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Poet Profile: Chris Black

Welcome to the first of our poet profiles! Here, we will look at the winners behind the poems of the 11 Whispers album. Our first winner, Chris Black, submitted three poems, two of which are included as the first tracks, those being Down on the Farm and Gwenevere and Franco. To find out more about Chris, see his Instagram page @purpleandgoldpoetry or his YouTube channel 'Chris Black'

Down on the Farm

Blue veins stood out like tracks

On Granny’s wrinkled hands

Working tirelessly

Kneading dough

How we loved the aroma of her baking

She would measure the ingredients

Cupful by cupful

Then before it was ready for the oven

She would take a knife

Cutting a deep cross into the loaf.

We would stand close by

Waiting for our chance to prod the loaf

Then, and only then

Would we get our treat

A big enamel mug of fresh lumpy buttermilk.

That will put hairs on your chest

She would tell us

But it never did.

My sister was well glad of that.

Gwenevere and Franco

The woods ring to the sound of birdsong

Joy in all creatures, great and small.

Will they ever know the pleasure they give to humankind?

So the conversation began following an uncomfortable pause.

Once you’re not thinking that a particular situation

Is an obstacle to going forward, then it isn’t.

He spoke in gentle tones

I have walked through this world alone

All these years; never in my wildest dreams

Did I visualise this outcome.

He filled his pipe, giving himself pause for thought.

She sat opposite, eyes pools of sadness.

Since I was old enough to be my own boss

I have pursued this cause - she spoke in whispers:

My heart has been disturbed all these years

Journeying this life.

Silence and a deeper silence followed.

I feel like someone else, like I don’t belong here

She said, after what seemed like an eternity.

In the calm of music from within the confines of the café,

With voice a tremble, he replied,

This morning you returned like an upturned jewel.

I am reunited with my daughter.

And I with my father. Hallelujah.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm retired, which gives me time to involve myself more in the reading/writerly world.

The bookworm in me enjoys autobiographies and a vast range of poetry. Do I have a favourite poet? If pressed on that question today as I write it's Ted Hughes, tomorrow it could well be Ogden Nash or Spike Milligan. Variety is the spice of life. In times gone by I dabbled in presenting a variety of music based programmes on local radio, mainly American country. My favourite artist? It would have to be Merle Haggard.

What makes you tick?

What makes me tick? Greeting each morning regardless of the weather, that I’m well enough to face another day. Enjoy the simple life of family and friends and my music.

Who inspires you?

Family as a complete unit.

What are your plans for the future? Do you have anything in the pipeline?

To enjoy each waking moment. Presently I am compiling poetry for a book titled Down on the Farm. It's fictional - with a smidgen of childhood memories. Hopefully it will be a companion for my poetry and short stories book Same Train Different Track published in 2016 by Boland Press.

Do you have any advice for writers out there?

I wouldn’t be the best person in the world to answer such a question except to say there is a writer in each of us, so be yourself and write as it is your right. Regardless of the genre.

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