Archive for August 7th, 2008

Diane Taylor West

August 7, 2008

Diane Taylor West

Diane Taylor West

Diane Taylor West

Ms West is a teller of tales and a writer of poetry. The variety of work she produces is wide and varied, from writing up her column in a local weekly paper to producing both humorous and poignant poems, stories and anecdotes for magazines and anthologies. Here are two examples of her work.
First poem. I have chosen this one as a starter because I think it is one of her best. Nothing pretty-pretty but stark and chilling! An abused child caught in the grip of fear, from which there is no escape.

A Crying Shame…(ssh)

Silent tears are the voices
That no-one hears
Caught in the throat of fear
Waiting for release
When it comes
If it comes.

Forbidden words
Hidden away
Locked in the vault of guilt and pain
Waiting for release
When it comes
If it comes.

Trapped behind a mask of lies
And the ignorance of unseeing eyes
Waiting for release
When it comes
If it comes.

A dirty game
A crying shame.

Taylor West

And now for something completely different!

The Flasher

The man in the raincoat stands up and prepares
As the girls head towards him, of him unawares.
He waits till they’re next to the sign that says trash,
Then steps out in front of them, gives them a flash.

One says, ‘Oh my God!’ and then ‘Yeuk!’ says another,
‘I’ve seen bigger things on my two-year-old brother.’
They all fall about laughing, to his surprise,
So he hastily tries to zip up his flies.

Much to his horror, he gets his ‘thing’ stuck;
What a time to have such a run of bad luck.
His eyes start to water and he blinks away tears
As he waits till the pain in his groin disappears.

He staggers away, loudly groaning with pain,
And he resolves that he’ll never go flashing again;
But after a while he begins to feel better —
He’s watching a woman who’s posting a letter.

The pain’s gone completely, and now he feels fine.
He’ll make sure that nothing goes hay-wire this time.
He stands in the bushes, unzipping his fly,
And a bee flies inside it — oh me, oh my!

Taylor West

Read more of her poems in Northern Lights, stories and poems from the North of England. ISBN 978-0-9548885-8 Go to to sample pages of the book.

Robert Sewell, singer, writer and poet.

August 7, 2008

Robert Sewell: have you heard of this remarkable man?


Robert Sewell singing to live audience

Robert Sewell singing to live audience

According to Barbara Stonewall, freelance reporter based in West Yorkshire, Robert Sewell is a typical Yorkshire male, at least how they like to portray themselves as being — mean, brusque and masterful. Or is that just a rumour? I ask myself.

Ms Stonewall raves about Sewell’s singing ability and seems to think his macho characteristics and Yorkshire intonation are part of his mystique. Certainly, I myself find his singing pleasant to the ear, but I’m not sure I would go overboard as to the macho image. I suspect that underneath that tough exterior there beats a tender heart. But this is mere speculation.

I have not read Violence and Violets. I suspect it is a longer version of his moving story concerning events of the early 1980’s. It was a time of heartache and violence in mining communities of which Sewell was a part. I may be mistaken but I think the short story was called Gala Day. On the other hand, that might have been the picture under the title. But if the exact title escapes me, I will never forget the loyalty, violence, bravery and poignancy the storytelling portrayed. I look forward to reading the full story in Sewell’s prize-winning book. The title, Violence and Violets is particularly apt: Violence speaks for itself, and violets symbolise watchfulness, faithfulness, I’ll always be true.

Sewell’s poetry, like the man, is a bit of an enigma. I have read his book of poems and they reflect his personality: brusqueness mingled with tenderness, openness with impenetrable depth, hopes and fears, joy and pain. I like them, even the openly chauvinistic ones, which I suspect, are written tongue in cheek.

Barbara Stonewall appears to be quite captivated by the man. She even claims he saved her dog from drowning in the village pond. But I have it on good authority that Sewell merely wished to retrieve his fee that was in an envelope the dog had run off with. Or did Sewell get that story around to keep up his mean-streak image?

If you have not heard Sewell sing, go to my site on Look on the white imeem panel under the photo carousel and click on number 3 — Love Letters Robert Sewell

Then click on Thrilling Encounter and hear about Barbara Stonewall’s interview with the man himself.