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Friday, 11 June 2021

IN WHICH I WRITE AND SING A SONG

One of the main points of sadness in my life is that I lack any proper musical ability. This makes me sorrowful because there is nonetheless a deep sense in which I am a musician: I carry songs around within me in my head wherever I go. These 'songs' are original compositions, it's just that I lack the ability to play a musical instrument or sing sufficiently well to enable most of these tunes to have an existence in the real world, outside of my head. I also never learnt to read music, and the music lessons I had at school, based as they were on classical music and a pedagogy that erred on the side of the highly traditional, left me feeling that music wasn't for me, that I was musically thick. I did learn to play the bass guitar as a teenager, and to strum a few chords on the guitar too, and actually ended up writing probably about twenty songs for a punk band I was in at the time, which you can listen to here. I also wrote a few solo songs and did a few covers under the name Yabyelle, which you can check out here. (Don't ask where the name came from; it is a secret I can never reveal.) But still: I have so much more music in me than is conveyed there, but which I am unable to release. Partly this is because I can't sing very well. Anyway, I wrote a song earlier this week. I started with the lyrics, and then decided to put them to a tune. After having done this, I decided to record myself performing the song. The inspiration I had in mind was Ewan MacColl, who was famous for his acapella recordings of old folk songs. Here is my effort:




I hope I haven't embarrassed myself too much by sharing this video. If by some chance you do enjoy the video, it would mean the world if you could click 'Like'. Here are the lyrics:

LOVE YOU MORE


So the sky is enshrouded with ripples of doubt

and this sink has a blockage I cannot get out

and there’s rain in the day yet in evenings there’s drought

I will only love you more.


So the words they come easy but suddenly stop

and the ceiling is creaking and threatens to drop

and that wardrobe of costumes is merely a prop

I will only love you more


Through the pain and the strain

and the ache of the heart

Through the thoughts that get caught

as our fort falls apart

Through the churning that yearns

for the finish to start

I will only love you more


So the tea on the table’s abandoned and cold

and there’s cat hair and rats where there used to be gold

and the devil once jailed has now been paroled

I will only love you more


So the shadows that creep, they seep in through the cracks

and the money we earned’s now demanded for tax

I just know that this snowstorm will not hold us back

I will only love you more


Through the heat and the sleet

and beat of the drums

Though the ending seems pending

I’m mending the slums

and I’ll go with the flow

for I know you’re the one

and I’ll only love you more


Yes I’ll only love you more





Thursday, 10 June 2021

POEM FOR EMPATHY DAY 2021

 A VOW


My feet got blisters.

I kept tripping over

and ended up snapping

one of the heels.


My big sister shouted at me.


That’s the last time

I try to walk

in someone else’s shoes.


....In all seriousness, Empahy Day is a wonderful initiative from the Empathy Lab. It happens every year in June, and is well worth checking out. And please, despite the difficulty, do continue trying to walk in someone else's shoes.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

CATASTROPHIC

The vase is on the floor again.

The bed is in a state.

The cushions have been torn apart.

The chaos won’t abate. 


The television’s on its side,

its wires all askew.

The radiator’s leaking

and there’s nothing I can do. 


The picture frames are cracked and bust.

The rug has been demolished.

The living room is upside down;

all calm has been abolished.


My books are torn. I feel forlorn.

My mood is rather flat.

I didn’t know all this would happen

when I got a cat.


Saturday, 29 May 2021

EVERY PARENT'S WORST NIGHTMARE

Mother, Father, please sit down;

I’ve got some news for you.

It’s quite the revelation

and I wish it were not true.


I’ve done some introspection

and I’ve analysed my mind.

I’ve fought my inclinations

but I have to be resigned 


to be the person I must be 

in order to fulfill

the destiny bestowed on me

by fate’s unbending quill. 


I know that it will cause you pain

but please try not to show it.

Mum and Dad: when I grow up

I want to be a poet.


Wednesday, 26 May 2021

KIDDIES' BOOKS

Some of you play football

and some others act or sing,

but if you want to moonlight

then we know of just the thing

to gain more recognition

and a bit of extra quid:

It’s really rather obvious

just write a book for kids. 


It doesn’t really matter 

if you cannot hold a pen,

nor if the typing of a word

is quite beyond your ken.

Just spew out some ideas

and we’ll come and jot them down;

we’ll stick you on the cover 

and you’ll be the toast of town.


Nor does it make a difference

if the plot is rather slight.

We’ll make the letters bigger

and put pictures left and right.

We’ll print your name in sparkles

and you’ll wear a golden crown

as kiddies crowd around your pap

and gobble it right down.


Yes we know you’re very famous 

and already have it made.

There may be better writers

and they may be poorly paid.

We pray for these unfortunates;

our thoughts, meanwhile, are thus:

we’ll make you lots of money

and you’ll make some more for us.


Sunday, 23 May 2021

A POEM FOR MY GRANDMA'S 80TH BIRTHDAY

Today I went to my to my grandma's lovely 80th birthday bash. 80 is pretty young to be a grandmother of someone my age, and my grandma has always been like a second mum to me. An occupational hazard of being a poet is that it becomes expected for me to stand up and do a poem at this kind of event. I usually try and duck out of doing this, but this time I thought I'd better step up. Here is my grandma's 80th birthday poem:



The poem, as you can see, follows a very simple format. It uses repetition to provide structure, and the content consists of very specific memories. I encourage everyone to give this a go - the more specific the memories are, the more personal and (I think) emotionally meaningful the poem becomes.