One of my Newgate Street poems in the window of the fabulous dress shop Unique Boutique who will be doing a display of clothes poems 🙂 readings Tuesday at 2

and it’s all happening! I have been busy! We all have here in Morpeth. I have written 17 poems for The Newgate Street Festival taking place here in Morpeth this week and some other members of the poetry group have at least matched that number.

The traders have been most enthusiastic about our group’s poems and they are being displayed in the windows of businesses this week. Poetry is alive and kicking in Morpeth and we hope that Newgate Street will benefit from a well deserved boost ‘cos it’s a great street and our high streets are vital to the survival of market towns! We went into those shops! We talked to the traders. And this — an excerpt from ‘STRIPES’ is the result of one conversation:
And Susan has a philosophy
and it’s one with which we should all agree
that the high street is the place to be
especially for the elderly
or those who just want company
a friendly chat, a place that’s cheery
an easy place to stroll to daily
call in the shops and have a chat
that human contact that no internet
seller can provide. The world we create
is up to us and creativity isn’t
some luxury we can live without.
So this poet took very little persuading
to buy the big blue butterfly
necklace with plastic rings
as a little treat.
So poetry and commerce meet
in a happy alliance on Newgate Street.

So you see — this is important stuff we’re engaged in and I hope you will support us too!

So where and when can you come to hear our poems?

Monday: Opening — Town Square 10am/ The Cube 10:30/ The Wheatsheaf 2pm/The Sour Grapes 7:30

Tuesday: Cafe des Amis 10:30/ Unique Boutique 2pm/ The Black and Grey 7:30

Wednesday: Packhorse Yard 10:30/ Cafe Vault 2 pm/ The Peppermint Tearooms 7pm


Packhorse Yard is so beautiful!!! Come and see for yourselves.


Thursday: The Ice Bar 7:30

Sunday 11th: The White Swan 7:30 — and I am hoping for some audience participation 🙂

Here’s a funny one to wet your appetite. It’s a true tale!


Give us a Butcher’s (for Martin’s)Give us a butcher’s…

In Martin’s they’re always so helpful I find
they’ll chop up and cut off and roll up and grind,
suggest the best cut or sell bones for the mutt.
But I just hadn’t made up my mind!

Every woman likes a big beefy men
and that day there were three of them.
One slicing ham, one sawing bone through
and one who said pleasantly, What can I get you?

I stood in a quandary a moment or two;
did I want steak to fry? Did I want lamb to stew?
At last — and I looked the man straight in the eye;
Can I have a look at your brisket? says I.

And the one sawing bone nearly went through his own
and the one at the slicer was doubled with laughter
and taking my cue to make things even worse
I said – Oh, not ‘your’ brisket! And then dropped my purse.

With coins and composure all over the floor
it was quite a few weeks ’til I went back for more
and I practised first carefully outside for ages
how I should ask for their excellent sausages.

Oonah V Joslin 2016
I also so wrote for:

Fin and Feather (a shop now gone)

Proudlocks (which still has — a presence on Newgate)

Bakehouse Cafe (Bakehouse Yard – shop right of the cafe used to be a reflexologist’s)

The Oriental Pearl (Takeaway)

Elizabeth Ayres (Podiatrist C4 & Fawcetts Yard)

Appleby’s (sadly now a dead bookshop)

Unique Boutique (my favourite clothes shop!) who are also putting on a display of clothes poems by me!

Lateral Art (new to Packhorse Yard)

The Price is Right (Prices’ Groceries)

Ice Bar (YUM)

Perris Antiques (Packhorse Yard)

Decxorative Delights byNicola (Packhorse Yard)

STRIPES (which does all manner of bling)

Reason to Love (Peppermint Tearooms)

How It Must Have Been – Morpeth 1898

What did the Normans ever do for us? (about William de Merlay – the Norman who founded the town)

In August I appeared at THE STANZA for the first time and it was an amazing night of poetry! and at BAR LOCO. My poem Northumberlandia was published in The Fat Damsel 10 Writing in a Woman’s Voice: To Dust, and Kermit in the Kardomah A New Ulster 47 and in Postcard Poems and Prose, and I even took part in a radio show! MINT 🙂

I have been proof reading my forthcoming book THREE POUNDS OF CELLS, designed by Marie Fitzpatrick and edited by Kathleen Cassen Mickelson who will be reading at the 17th November launch at The Stanza. There wioll be a launch in Morpeth too of course — Of which more soon!

In short a good poetry month and I hope I’ll see some friends as we read this week in Morpeth. Please support our lovely town and thanks Barbara Ross for all your hard work in organising this event.