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1st April, 2018 


Do you speak Plibble? Probably not! But Susan Richardson does. It's the language of the endangered European sturgeon and Susan's last poem, Plibble, was recited in that weird tongue – translation to be found in her new book, Words the Turtle Taught Me. It's been extremely well reviewed and she's now on a 40 gig whistle-stop tour to promote and celebrate it – Write Angle in March was her third venue.

She observes the creatures of the sea but is also interested in man's interractions with them. In Fluke, about the bottlenose dolphin, she deals with the reaction of the crowd of trippers when the dolphin's fail to appear: “spirits sag like jelly fish” and “pleas of refunds please”. Cartoon deals with the puffin, the clown of the seas, with “his growly call from underground like the electric sound of a pencil being sharpened”. She wrote Play in the voice of the Porbeagle shark, “Love best when frondling kelp, the under over, the over under roll and Oh, the giddy tingle...” if these sound strange to you, don't be surprised, but they're part of her unique style and after a while, they do start to make sense – sort of!

Nerrivik is based on Greenland creation stories; telling how the creatures of the sea are the dismembered body of the goddess of the sea: “hear the slice of the knife when my father chopped off my fingers, my arctic howl as I sank to the ocean floor”. Metamorphasis is based on her dream that she was becoming an emperor penguin! “Soon I must force this hard, new truth between my legs and hatch it.”

At the open mic, Joyce D'Silva, new to Write Angle, recited her song, Creatures of the Factory Farm, a fitting follow-on to Susan's theme: “They die for us. They are no more. But they long to feel the sun upon their backs, to stretch their limbs and rest upon the grass”. A talented poet we hope to hear more, from - In Saving The Earth, Leah recommended never throwing anything away: “So keep them forever, the sofa the chair, one day you'll be a millionaire”.Connecticut Court told of her brother's bad luck in having a man-hating judge hear his divorce: “She went for the heart and the wallet of men...” Topically, Would You Blame Me For Trump: “I'm guilty, I'm guilty, Oh yes I am, 'cos I'm a Yank, related to Uncle Sam”.

Naz Kourgli returned with the poem, A Little Lull: “A lot of lonely hearts collapse beneath the weight of empty space.” He followed with Sarah Story, telling how, at a party, trying to make contact with a beautiful young man while 'under the influence', he was embarrassed when he (and his friends) realised he was standing in front of a cardboard cut-out of Hans Solo”. His story was so realistic it was hard to accept it was fictitious. Colin Eveleigh's Caught on Camera was other-worldly, about a leaf spinning on a spiders web; his Be Still for a Moment had a peaceful, mindful quality: “Stillness is here, no reason, no purpose, stillness”. It brought back memories of his poem about a cup caught in a tree, getting higher as the tree grew.

Damian O'Vitch, whose talents were so obvious when he first came to WA's open mic, he was asked to be Write Angle's guest. Unfortunately, he has to wait till January 2019 – as all of 2018 is booked! - humorous as ever, this time he performed The True Story of Why Garden Gnomes Look Like Santa Klaus. Santa's children are “cast out from Eden, dumped on doorsteps....offspring of the lecherous, nomadic...”. His eloquent The Oldest Living Resident, on the theme of parks, described the trees: “Unfinished compositions. They etch the sky like the caligraphy of evening starlings...”

Phyllida Carr provided three favourite, sing-along tunes on her mouth organ – sorry - harmonica – Blowing in the Wind, Let it Be and The Runaway Train. There's no way the audience would not have joined in. Your reviewer had Let It Snow, how we're never prepared but “Our strength was ever the art of muddling through”. I Remember It Well dealt with how we each have different memories of the same events: “Is each the centre of our life? Memories well crafted to fit our personal image...”.

The raffle prize was a double act of a dinner for two at either India Gate or the grill house, Flames, two excellent Chichester restaurants. The winner: a vegan. We're sure he'll find something to his taste.



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