Tribute to the Cows of Glastonbury

As the sunrise of Glastonbury week breaks, we the poets, the troubadours of the 21st century raise a wordspun glass to those sentient beings whose home we are borrowing for the week. Those bovine refugees whose transient presence paint this green and pleasant land with bold splashes of black and white now pootle off to their respective B&B’s in Bournemouth (we think). Ladies and gentlemen, a toast to the cows of Worthy Farm…

cow_pyramid

Vanessa Kisuule

I raise my sadly super market bought
Pint of semi skimmed to you
The true headliners of Glastonbury
You take centre stage
All other days of the year
And then one fateful week in June
You let us ticking glitter bombs
Piss our hedonism into your soil
We are sorry in advance
We almost definitely
Won’t leave it as we found it
It will take you some time
To strip away the shrapnel
Of our four day decadent dance
But we shall leave echoes
Of the choruses we sang along to
The festival friendships formed
Fast as a sailors knot
Then faded to phantom grey
We will bend down on our knees
And baptise ourselves in the mud
You will christen us crazy
In your field of dreams and whimsy
And on Monday as we trundle back
To the gunmetal of day to day
We will turn our heads back
To the post-apocalypse scene
Behind us
And nod sagely
In silent respect to you
The cows of Glastonbury

Harry Baker

 

howard

Howard

Howard lived in cow woods,
living how a cow would live,
chewing grass and making pats
were the main things Howard did.

They said Howard was a coward,
feeling how a coward feels,
fear would overtake excitement
looking at the outward fields.

It wasn’t easy living in the woods,
there wasn’t that much space,
but it was all he’d ever known
and that made him feel safe.

He’d heard about
this herd and how
they roamed completely free,
he hoped if he was brave enough
one day that’s where he’d be.

But
how would Howard leave
as a cow so cowardly?
He scoured cow wood’s trees
and caught a glimpse of the outside.

For
an hour now or three
he’d been about to bow and see,
but he’d allowed the doubts to breathe
and now he wants to run and hide.

But then one foot at a time
he tries
to set his fears aside,
he sighs,
and then he steps outside
his hiding place.

No longer sheltered by the trees
he feels a breeze,
he cannot breathe,
suddenly weak at the knees
his cagey heart begins to race.

So he retreated to the woods
where he knew that it was safe,
and told himself another day
he’d try again.

 

Carly Brown

cowpat2

A Poem for the Cows

Cows do not like poetry.
This fact is sad but true.
They do like painting and ballet
and even music too.

But try to get a cow to read
one line of a haiku?
They’ll roll their great big dopey eyes
and run away from you.

Cows cringe at bawdy limericks.
They scoff at tawdry verse.
And rhyming ballads, for a cow,
those simply are the worst.

That’s why the cows are happy now
to be away from here.
These pesky poets in one place
is what the bovines fear.

So while we poets stamp and jeer
and slam and speak and riot.
The cows all slumber dreamlessly
and wait for peace and quiet.

 

Charlotte Higgins

Cows

In six months I move to the city
I keep a tube map in an app and in my pocket
But lately I don’t always have to look at it to get to where I want to go

In a year or so, will I recognise London street names
The way I used to know the horse and two donkeys at the end of our road,
Or the cows I could see from my window

The half-conscious rhythm of that field
That I’d look out on, ploughed, then left fallow,
Then – always of a sudden –
Filled right up with cows
As if they’d been there from the get-go.

 

Erin Bolens

laptop

Air bnb: customer reviews.

Host: Worthy farm cows

Guest: Brenda, Cross Gates.

Feedback:

We had a great stay on worthy farm
Full of worthy charm.
We must have picked a popular week!
It was sort of like playing hide and seek
With everyone you’ve ever met.
The garden was extensive,
Local restaurants seemed expensive
Given chairs were sparse,
For most of the time we sat on our… bottoms.

The bathrooms had a minimalist vibe
(i.e. pretty much just a hole inside)
But we found this liberating,
Borderline invigorating!
But be prepared for a little waiting
And hanging around.
And we also suggest that you don’t look down.
The decor was bang on trend:
Like the apocalypse meets the West End,
Like a collage from your favourite friend,
A hipster version of make do and mend.
The neighbour’s music was pretty loud,
And seemed to pull a hefty crowd!
We didn’t realise this was allowed
Until we saw a copper in kaftan
Telling people to “have a laugh man”.
So we embraced the eccentricity
And got hooked on spicy tea.

So thank you cows for an enjoyable stay!
We hope to maybe meet one day
And say thanks for all the fun and larks,
It was a lovely alternative to our usual Centre Parcs.

 

Dan Simpson

Glastondairy Moosic Festival

The cows are going away for a week
they’re having their very own festival
a massive affair, but chic and boutique
it’s going to be unforgettable.

The bands are all booked, the tickets all sold
Daisy canters her way to the main gate
hoof-band put on, she’s brought into the fold
so excited she really just can’t wait.

Crowds of cows arrive and brave the bull run
the sound of a thousand hooves stamping
they go to pitch tents in space where there’s none
jealous of those cows who are glamping.

Don’t have a cow, Daisy – there’s room for you
in these fields where no humans will come
relax and chill out, just don’t give a moo
try to enjoy this long weekend of sun.

At least, they hope – are they grey clouds up there?
they don’t want ’97 again
but cows always know – a change in the air
they start to lie down as it starts to rain.

Daisy forgot wellies – waterproofs too
just stays there, watching, chewing the cud
till she needs to go to the portaloo –
how now brown cow? Daisy’s stuck in the mud.

Daisy loses her friends – all of her herd
starts to wander, lonely as a cow
enters a tent called ‘Poetry & Words’:
thinks: “not for me – that’s far too high-brow.”

Daisy’s exhausted, she sits for a while
listens to acts who perform poetry
and gradually her frown becomes a smile
she forgets all her worries totally.

So on Worthy Farm, the cows are all gone
off and away to explore pastures new
we raise our voices to those who belong
to this land that we’re just passing through.

As you enjoy your time at Glastonbury
look down, remember, these fields that we roam:
our ownership is just temporary
we’re only here until the cows come home.

And now, some of Dan’s Cow-based Band puns…

cow_kanye

Moo Fighters (pulled out)
Florence and the Milking Machine
Alabama Milkshakes
Graze-alia Banks
The Hoof
Cattle Williams
Kanye Dairy Crest
Dairy J Blige
Motorherd
Moodimental
Mark Oxen
Sleaford Cuds
Paul Heifer
Herd Bacharach
Beef Patty Smith
Bully Bragg
Fatboy Skimmed
Salt-J(erky)
Ungul-ate Tempest
Milko Johnson
The Of-Fall
The Maccabeefs
Catfish and the Burgermen
Cariboeuf
cow_lemmy
 .
.  
Thanks to all the poets who contributed to this. See you on the field…
Scott 🙂

 

 

The FULL Glastonbury Poetry&Words 2015 Line up

Behold, the dates and times of all the stars of this year’s Poetry&Words tent at Glastonbury. Thanks to P&W’s very own behind-the-scenes veteran Jack Bird for designing this year’s poster. Is very pretty 🙂

PW Poster Final

The first of our special interviews will be going up soon. Keep watching.

Scott 🙂

More festival folk flowing with florilegia

Some more of those wordy weavers of stonking stanzas. And me at the end 🙂

Antosh Wojcik

Antosh Wojcik

A true rising star. I saw Antosh perform at Glastonbury last year. An annoyingly talented young man, so crisp in his thought and realization for one so young and very good looking too. He’s quite charming as well. And self-effacing. He’s probably nice to children and animals as well. Your relatives would no doubt end up loving him more than you. Tell you what, I’ll give you his official biog before I weep with bitterness 😉

Antosh Wojcik is a poet, writer, performer. He was joint winner of The Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2013 and is a member of the poetry collectives, Kid Glove and Burn After Reading. He  writes for The Flashnificents blog. He is a resident artist at The Roundhouse and was part of Poejazzi’s cross-art collaboration, Howl 2.0. He has performed poetry around the UK at festivals such as Poetry&Words at Glastonbury, Bestival, In The Woods and at leading events such as TEDx EastEnd, Tongue Fu, Bang Said The Gun, Outspoken and various Apples and Snakes gigs. He was a poet-coach shadow as part of Spoke’s inter-school slam project, WORDCUP 2014, and leads poetry and writing workshops in schools. He writes to see and learn about people.

Carly BrownCarly Brown

Very excited about seeing this poet, having watched her winning poem at the Scottish National slam championships. Which you can see here.

Carly Brown is an American writer based in Scotland. In 2013, she won the Scottish National Championships of Slam Poetry and placed fourth at the World Series of Slam Poetry in Paris. She performs regularly in the UK and the US. In Edinburgh, she has been featured by The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Rally and Broad, Loud Poets and the National Library of Scotland. In St Andrews, she has performed at two TedX Conferences, a St Andrews University graduation dinner and at StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival. Her first chapbook, Grown Up Poetry Needs to Leave Me Alone, was released in 2014 from Knockingdoor Press. Her first children’s book, I Love St Andrews, will be published in Spring 2015 from Cartographie Press. She is currently completing a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow.

 

Luke Wright

Luke Wright by Steve Ullathorne

One of performance poetry’s major voices. I first met Luke at a poetry slam in Bristol 13 years ago and in that time his career has gone stratospheric and as gravity-defying as his hair. A real professional and a must see.

Luke Wright writes bawdy bar room ballads about small town tragedies and Westminster rogues. His fast paced, witty poems are crammed full of yummy mummies, debauched Tory grandees, maudlin commuters and leering tabloid paps. His live shows are enjoyed by thousands of people across the world every year, where he mixes the wistful with the downright comic to take audiences on an incredible emotional journey.

Since 2006 he has written and performed eight one man shows, touring them to top literary and arts festivals from Australia to Scotland via Hong Kong and Bruges. His current show Stay-at-Home Dandy tours March – June 2015. In August 2015 he’ll be taking Stay-at-Home Dandy and What I Learned From Johnny Bevan to the Edinburgh Fringe. What I Learned From Johnny Bevan is Wright’s theatre debut and features a score by Ian Catskilken from Art Brut.

Luke’s debut collection – Mondeo Man – was published in 2013 by hip London imprint Penned in the Margins. George Szirtes said it was:
“Not only verbally substantial, skilful and very funny but also complex in its feeling.”

Ian McMillan described it as
“an excellent book.”

 

Sara Hirsch

Sara Hirsch

I haven’t had the privilege to see Sarah live yet, but if this poem is anything to go by, I can’t bloody wait. Witty, honest and impeccably performed.

Sara Hirsch is a London based performance poet known for her witty, accessible and heartfelt poetry which challenges the world around her, tells a story or simply entertains. A multiple Slam Winner (including Hammer and Tongue, Genesis and Nozslam) Sara was the 2013/14 UK Slam Champion, recently came third in the World Slam Championships in Paris and was a semi-finalist in the European Slam Championships 2014. She was also awarded the Farrago award for Best Slam Performance 2013 and was voted runner up in the Hammer and Tongue National Slam Finals last year.

Sara has performed across the Country including features at Richmix (Apples & Snakes), Hammer and Tongue, Pleasance Edinburgh, Southbank Centre, Larmer Tree Festival, MAC Birmingham, Brighton Dome and Nozstock, was the April poet in residence at Bang Said The Gun, recently appeared on BBC Radio 2 and performed live on the BBC At The Edinburgh Fringe with Anneka Rice. Sara also regularly hosts Hammer and Tongue Camden and since September proudly produces the Genesis Slam, London’s only regular 3 round slam.  She has also been known to write the odd Haiku, normally including a terrible pun.

Sara will be performing her debut solo show “How Was it For You?” at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer and will be featuring at a number of festivals including Nozstock and Larmer Tree. This is Sara’s first Glastonbury and she can’t wait to be knee deep in mud alongside some of her favourite performers and peers.

“A  master of brevity, fluidity and building tension.” Unpublishables

“Sara has the unique ability to flip the atmosphere in the room. Her work is sharply observant and her storytelling fluent and accessible.” Slate The Disco.

 

Scott Tyrrell

Scott Tyrrell by James Sebright

So this is me. Look at that serious fierce-looking face, completely belying the fact that I’m about as scary as a bag of Haribo.

So, I used to do standup comedy over 10 years ago when I lived in Manchester before getting married and becoming a dad. I live and work back home in Newcastle now as a graphic designer, poet and occasional illustrator of owls that look like famous authors. I’ve won 13 poetry slams around the UK and recently, the Great Northern Slam at Northern Stage and The Anti-Slam Apocalypse at the Roundhouse. I’ve also been a twice regional winner of BBC Radio 4’s poetry slam.

I’ve performed at Glastonbury, the Edinburgh fringe, the Prague Fringe, the Big Chill, Kendal Calling, the Larmer Tree festival and various literature festivals including Cheltenham. I’ll also be performing at Womad and the Lindisfarne festival later this year.

My first full collection ‘Grown Up’ was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2014 and is already well into its second print run. (I’m told this is pleasantly unusual for poetry books, but my publisher may be humouring me about that.) It’s also available on Kindle.

Nice review about me:
“I have been fortunate to perform alongside Scott on a few occasions at both Glastonbury and Larmer Tree festivals, and each time he has astounded the audience and left them simultaneously creased with laughter and wiping their eyes. Poignant, powerful and undoubtedly poetic” – Joelle Taylor

Nice review about ‘Grown Up’
“With ‘Grown Up’ Scott Tyrrell has shown himself to be both Big and Clever. It is every bit as accessible as you’d expect from a writer who has honed his craft in performance” – Matt Harvey

And this is a bit of me, and another bit of me.

 

Stay tuned. Some real legends on the way very soon…