Home Feedback, Andre Mangeot, 3 April 2017 André’s poems are spare, punchy, crafted, questing and questioning. Those that followed an environmental set were wide- flung geographically, and often political, concerned with human rights or pulled from current affairs. Like the Somme casualty, a watchmaker’s son who hammered a cigarette case out of shrapnel and bullets during  ‘moon- and frost-lit lulls .. numb in the foxhole’s flicker and stink’ (‘Scrimshaw’). ‘The Odds’ drew on several unrelated simultaneous situations, in which the subjects ranged from child to adult. The rub being that only the teacher from Harlem carried explosive in his rucksack.  ‘It’s said we’ve more in common than divides us …The younger ones will come / to what they know by imitation..’  ‘Jerusalem’ began with a rich, catchy line, ‘The laughter from the café barely touches him’, before turning into an ominous villanelle, with its repetition of the word ‘sin’. And another of today’s ideological misfits or freedom-fighters pulled the pin on himself and everyone round him. There were two poems about personal relationships. Family poems are invariably ones of discovery and thereby, therapeutic. We come to terms with loss by writing about it. ‘The Grievance’ spun from the colourful background of Morocco’s Fez. A story a mystery, and maybe a crime, in closely knit, five-line stanzas, with a flicker of Arabian Knights. What did ‘The Democrat’ do with his wives? ‘The Sigh’ was a story from Trinidad, its long column of unstopped words a striking evocation of time and place.  Perhaps a Trinidadian version of Ken Loach’s I Daniel Blake minus the sting. Our theme was the natural world and its desecration. I had expected to hear Hopkins and Hardy. In fact there was only one such reading from the floor by a published poet. Thanks to Lois, we discovered James Wright (1927-80), ‘One of America’s finest contemporary poets’. There’s even an annual poetry festival held in honour of the man who pushed the boundaries of language into tender poems about the US Midwest. Wright’s ‘To the Evening Star: Central Minnesota’  has a haunting line: ‘Beautiful daylight of the body, your hands carry seashells.’ The voice of Maureen’s poem was ‘careful about recycling’; ‘meticulous’ would be a better word. Aware that this carefulness is ridiculously inadequate to the wider problems of our planet, the subject found a solution in ‘a kind of reverence’ for everything. Charles’ aptitude for satire in singing metre and rhyme was colourful and funny. Almost any couplet from ‘A Plaint about Lip-service to Ecology’ makes the point: ‘Civil Servants counting beans Make doubtful deals behind the scenes As government men in over-tailored suits And strange financial instruments Appear where Arabs once pitched tents.’ My contribution to climate change (Collapse) brought two blocks of left and right-justified text. The idea being to represent deCaires’ horse sculptures (The Rising Tide) first in the open, then newly revealed from submergence in The Thames. However apposite, its short quotations from the Bible and other poets were hard to read. Maybe it’s more effective on the page. Hilda made 3 sextets end-wrapped by words from Shakespeare’s Ariel’s Song. ‘Coral Wreath’ was a mixture of lyrical with medical and scientific argument. There was more science from Michael C’s ‘Mer de Glace’, a winning title for a poem packed with information about an eminent mountain-climbing physicist. John Tyndall’s work on gases in the atmosphere led to his recognition at the eponymous Centre of Climate Change Research at UEA. I don’t think John and Sally’s mini performance play could be stretched to cover ‘environment’ except for ‘no wood chopping today’. ‘A Morning at Home with the Planners’ might also have been titled ‘Life at the Top of the Glebe’. Google tells me that ‘Suzhou MS6175’- the title of Orlando Edmonds’ poem, is the name of a Chinese Dust Mask, adding, ‘This product is currently unavailable, but you may contact the supplier directly’. Even if you didn’t know, the info could be found in its first lines. An expressive reading from Dominic had us clinging to our chairs. Would the wearer be throttled? If y   o u d e tect air-leaks, re-adj  u  st  the                                                                                    nos epiece an  d                                                                                                                for   h                                e  ad Peter’s recently announced ‘Commended’ in the National Poetry Competition makes ‘What Can I Say’ one of ten winners out of 8,500 poems. Saltmarsh Poetry feels special; we’ve even heard it twice. **