Hotfoot from Kolkata, Tiffany sat on a stool like a school prefect, all of a piece, and as someone commented, wonderful wild words came out! Topically, she made travel, her (and our) first theme with a run of poems from So many moving parts. A lively vocabulary, unexpected turns, and an eye for the drama of situation, helped to portray the wellbeing or otherwise of people and places met or seen during earlier trips. I hobbled home with green leaves where my mouth should be, to autumn from the petal-shattered streets of you, true south.’           From ‘Media luna’ which may have been Thailand. Tiffany’s poems are always lyrical, mostly in regular forms.  It’s her ability to grab different levels of reality behind familiar settings and circumstances that win the reader. Sometimes she moves straight into the poem from its title, giving immediacy referred to by Oliver Reynolds as ‘speech in action’. There’s invariably an edge of irony in her take on the 21st century. And the pandering of pretty air hostesses from financially competitive airlines, took a typical interrogation. ‘The hands of flight attendants’ ‘whistle through us,/ setting things bonelessly upright’.                                           Several poems rested on hand movements. These included ‘Five-finger exercise’, written for one of her grandmothers.  ‘its abacus of small bones / reckoning // how light breaks through the prism / of your fingers, antique roses / on the back’s  //smacked saddle.’ If we were engaged by Tiffany’s initial readings, her hospital poems, partly ‘found’ from the words of staff and patients, had an even deeper emotional impact.   * One striking poem from the floor was ‘High Flight’ by John Gillespie Magee. Twice chosen, it was read first by Maureen, then by Mike, with a short biography. Personal info. increased the poignancy of an already exceptionally moving sonnet by a nineteen year-old, killed in mid-air, three months after writing:  ‘Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth … Put out my hand, and touched the face of God. Another powerful poem was Carla’s recent New Yorker contribution (‘The Fox’ by Tom Sleigh). In neat triplets, a surf-boarding subject surrounded by international pugnaciousness morphs into imaginative foxdom. In such a guise, he cheats intimations of death by savagely outsmarting hens ‘crazy with terror at  how everything goes still’. Thanks to Peter’, we heard the incessant, witty repetitions of ‘One Car’ in Patrick Mackie’s meditation on the personalised vehicle in which so much of our lives is spent. Especially if you live in the Burnhams. Still picking up on ‘travel’, was Evelyn’s sonnet by Patience Agbabi, a  poet performer of Nigerian parents who regularly addresses social themes. ‘Chunnel/Le Tunnel sous la Manche’ uses the Chanel tunnel’s own subversive voice to talk about race and territory. Charles’ poem (‘The Meretricious Metric System’) took us to France’s Reign of Terror for the origin of modern weights and measures (ml and gm) that ‘kill the joy of simple things’. In Helen Akers’ ‘House’, the protagonist swam (a metaphorical journey with lots of internal rhyme), from flooding that leaves him/her stuck in a stairwell. Despite which, the tone was upbeat. Pippa’s journey passed through a kissing gate (always evocative), across cow-pat meadows to a timeless encounter with a stone carver from Warham’s ancient encampment. My letter-poem from our cabinet-building paternal grandfather, stuck hard into 1921 with its train-crossed countryside, Wagner, Gilbert & Sullivan, the megaphone, Thomas Hardy, and Einstein, all of them timely. Two other poems opted for ‘travel or special orientation’ in more circuitous ways. Pol’s, titled simply ‘Spatial disorientation’, played hide and seek with words themselves. Finding one inside another etc. John L. portrayed the world of star photons, Bill and Fred in an astronomical cum physics extravaganza that ended with the Nobel prize. (Memo, a photon is the smallest pocket of light-energy that exists.) Dominic’s son, Orlando, began with an extraordinary title (‘you saw motes C++// there was hair in your eye and I told you about it’).  Its first stanza steadied me, ‘you can tell a lot about / someone from the way they / organize their icons.’  
Feedback, Tiffany Atkinson, 6 Feb, 2017