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Got The T-Shirt: National Poetry DaY, 2008

Steph Spiers wrote a special poem for this year's National Poetry Day.

Steph and members of the Rising Brook Writers Group stepped up to the challenge of the day by giving a public performance of their work.

To read more of Steph's poems please click on
http://www.openwriting.com/archives/got_the_tshirt/

And here is a link to a Rising Brook Writers web site
http://www.myspace.com/risingbrookwriterslive

Rising Brook Writers, a creative writing voluntary charity for the Over 50s, stepped up to the challenge to celebrate National Poetry Day in their second live poetry performance event of the year.

The Words In The Library event was held in conjunction with Staffordshire County Council's Your Library Service and was part of a celebration of the UK's 15th Annual National Poetry Day on October 9th. Events in the Shire Hall and Baswich branch library were also held during the week.

National Poetry Day was launched in 1994 by William Sieghart of The Forward Arts Foundation to fuel the nation’s enthusiasm for verse and to provide a platform for poets and poetry of all kinds. WORK was the set theme of 2008 NPD with some of RBW performers reciting works written especially for the celebration. RBW supporters also recited widely from, Staffordshire Introspective, (the book being shamelessly plugged on the photo) their 2008 poetry collection and gave previews of works already selected for, Eclectic Mix, their 2009 collection.

Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, says: “Poetry can be a very present help in time of trouble, as well as a very intense delight in times of pleasure.”

Jules Mann, Director of the Poetry Society comments: “Poetry about work is often deliciously subversive, which I highly recommend in these uncertain economic times. It can also offer revelatory glimpses into the human condition.”

A Poem from the Live Perfomance written for National Poetry Day:

A Price Too High (Carers’ Rap) By Steph Spiers

When the price demanded by love is too high,
long days - short days - years passing by,
Carers holdfast: taking up the slack,
sleeves rolled up, they’re on their jack.

Unqualified nurses’ demanded sacrifice.
‘Try more tea dear, come on be nice!’
Teetering on the edge of personal abyss,
Wailing inside, keening for what they miss.

With no let up on the morrow,
just another day of toil and sorrow.
Slogging hard from early light,
with every frustration and another fight.

Carers always die first, statistics show
worn out, defeated, always on the go.
While unburdened, the ‘cared for one’
happily lives on and on and on and on.

Not ‘Voluntary’ work! Just unpaid.
Bowed and broken: nerves shot and frayed.
Shattered, living on a different planet,
Every sacrificial hour tested to the limit.

Caring isn’t a choice, it’s not a ‘vocation’.
There’s no chance of a fat promotion,
no direct lines of communication.
No-one sane signs up for tribulation.

Without respite, without let up,
day in, day out. Over spilling cup,
losing their own life’s inner beauty,
caught on a spiral of love and duty.

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