Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on Thursday 30 May 2019.
Present: Jonathan, Adele, Lesley, Pip, Mike, Ian (chair).
Apologies: Jenny, Jenny Burns, Sue Thomason.
Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.
Presenting apologies for Jenny, unable to come due to the need to rehearse As I Walked Forth One Summer’s Day, a new production by the duo Merry Melancholy, Ian took the opportunity to announce their forthcoming performance near Hull on 16 June.
Mike — read a poem: On The Market, amusingly advertising for sale his unusual home on a working railway station, plus resident ghost. Eager to have the poem for Poem Of The Week, and to show off his espionage skills, Ian photographed the manuscript, extant only as a handwritten page in Mike’s exercise book.
Ian — read a poem entitled The Moon Machine, inspired by the discovery and decoding of the Antikythera Mechanism, an amazing antiquity brought up from the wreck of a trireme near the eponymous Greek island. The poem has been updated from its 2016 version, in which the Greek general described by Thucydides who comes to grief by changing his plans to address a bad omen is incorrectly described as Syracusan. Jonathan was able to confirm it was the Athenian general Nicias, plus correcting Ian’s spelling of the name.
Pip [Caicos Moon] — read a further instalment of her recollections of coming-of-age in South Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where her father was the District Commissioner. It is the week when Bella (her promised new puppy) arrives. The embarrassment of being unable to cater adequately for visitors when the only fresh food to be had is either porridge or lobster. Life goes on at the island’s LORAN station, manned by a detachment of the USA Coastguard, all young men who impart a decidedly South Pacific flavour to the island’s social life.
Adele — read two poems revised after their first recital to our sister Poetry Group:
Death Trap – a countryside idyll of childhood turns nasty when a child’s fingers are caught in a gin trap.
Blackouts – the terrors and comforts of going to bed in the dark during the scheduled power cuts of Edward Heath’s 3-Day Week.
Both poems generated lively discussion, of the poet’s appealing turn-of-phrase and the historical social issues they raised.
Jonathan — read a humorous short story about a GP who dies and goes to heaven, where he needs to make his case for admission to an unanticipatedly reserved saint at passport control.
Lesley — read Reunited – a short story with a ghostly theme, based in Whitby. A young woman is tragically reunited with her missing husband who disappeared following a morning’s fishing from the West Pier. A deep discussion of the “creepy weepie” genre ensued, members feeling that this sort of tale gains power if it avoids being too predictable, since a dash of ambiguity can heighten the creepy atmosphere. In that regard the title was thought perhaps to give the game away too early.
The meeting closed at 12:55 PM.