Go on a magic poetry trip at London’s Southbank

When the sun made a brief appearance a couple of weeks ago I took a lovely stroll down Southbank and was delighted to find some poets sharing their lyricisms.

The first I met, Joseph Mallinus, was pitched up under the Clink Street tunnel next to the mural of Shakespeare (very apt) with his “magic poetry carpet.”

Like a little poetry wizard he lays out his works in different coloured envelopes and invites punters to choose one in exchange for a small donation.

joseph mallinus

“What you see before you is a book which is unfinished and this is it’s present form; a kaleidoscopic happening”, he says.

“It’s a magic carpet – each trip is good.”

The poems have been written over the past 20 years for various people based on requests and Joseph eventually hopes to put them into a collection called The People’s Book.

I went for once called For A Young Lady (also apt).

Extract from For A Young Lady by Joseph Mallinus

joseph mallinus 2

The colour of the envelope is an indicator as to the tone of the poem, i.e red = passion, yellow = happiness etc. (Mine was white which I think is youth).

The next I came across was Edmund Davie who was typing poems on a typewriter on request.

I asked for one about a cat (of course) and in Blue Peter style he pulled one out that he’d done another day and thought was “pretty good.”

poem 2

He said if I didn’t like it he’d whip me up another one – but I did.

Here it is…

Curiosity killed the cat? crap

Curiosity caused the cat

To learn a lot and figure

Fresh ways of skinning his fellow felines

(There being more than one)

And keeps him swinging till

In spacious surroundings

Taught him to toy with his prey

And showed him fragrant field

Of fluffy catnip scented quarries

For Fun & Games

& made him a girl’s best friend g– damn it

Diamonds can’t cut it and cosmetics fade

-Edmund Davie

poem 1

Edmund says he’s been sitting out writing his poems for about two years and does it “any day it’s not raining.”

I left Southbank feeling very blessed indeed.

It’s a joy to share your talents with others but it also brings them joy in return.

So keep the good poetry karma flowing – always sparkle!


2 thoughts on “Go on a magic poetry trip at London’s Southbank

  1. For a donation of £5 Edmund Davie wrote me a wonderful poem for my dog –

    FUJI-san is my inu
    is Japanese for dog’
    and is as monumental
    as the mountain that bears
    his name
    more ginger:
    he strikes horror into the hearts
    of all those he’d never harm
    preferring to paw patchwork.
    his tail curls like wreathes
    of cloud from a cigar
    smoked on a tokyo balcony
    looking out on the landscape.

    It made my day and I have stuck it on the fridge at a level where my dog can read it whenever he wants to. Thank you Edmund!


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