INDIGO DREAMS

PUBLISHING LTD

 

GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2018 IS NOW OPEN

Ben Banyard was born in Solihull in 1975 and moved to the West Country in 1994 to read English Literature and Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Plymouth’s former arts and education campus in Exmouth.

 

It was during this period that Ben began to write poetry, although it wasn’t until he joined Jo Bell’s famous 52 group two decades later that he started to take writing seriously. Since then his poems have appeared widely, both in print and online.

 

Ben’s debut pamphlet, ‘Communing’, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2016.

 

Between 2014-2017 Ben edited the online journal, Clear Poetry.

 

He lives in Portishead, just outside Bristol, with his wife Natalie and twins Daisy and Jack. He blogs at https://benbanyard.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

 

138 x 216mm

 

68 pages

 

£8.99 + P&P UK

 

ISBN 978-1-910834-74-9

 

PUB: 1st March 2018

 

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘We Are All Lucky’ is an uplifting collection which carefully examines the joys and sorrows of modern life, from the cradle to the grave and everything in between.

 

***

'What strikes me most about Banyard's poems is his affection for humanity, grounded by his wry humour. His imagination allows him to empathise with people he encounters. He has the gift of finding pleasure in the everyday, in all its seediness and tawdry beauty. He has the true poet's gift of noticing details others miss.'

Angela Topping

 

'Ben Banyard writes accessible poems about the real world, with its triumphs and disasters, tragedies and comedies. I like them for their humanity and warmth, for their sense of humour, and for the way Banyard often pins down just the right details to bring a piece vividly to life. This is an enjoyable collection.'

Geoff Hattersley

 

'There is an impressive range here and, whether writing about childhood memories, being a father, cataracts, spit hoods or Birmingham, this poet displays a sureness of touch and an ability to precisely capture a vanished world or the exact tone of a voice. Ben Banyard is a poet with a sharp-eyed yet affectionate view of the world. I very much enjoyed this confident and varied collection.'

Carole Bromley

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Banyard

 

We Are All Lucky

 

 

Book Launch

 

We are not here to ease it down a slipway

but we hope for a smooth voyage.

 

A champagne bottle won't be smashed on its bow

but we will say its name to invoke success.

 

The writer is skilled, spent days in dry dock

plating, welding, riveting, tarring, agonising, praying.

 

A small crowd has gathered to see its splash;

there are tugs and a pilot to acclaim it.

 

We could wet its head, smoke cigars,

but if you ask me we should hold it high,

 

read its pages aloud as an incantation,

waft it with incense, spank it lightly with blossomed branches.

 

Ask it to come back a year from now

to tell tales of its adventures in the world's hands.

 

 

East Street

 

Don’t listen to them;

this street wasn’t better

in the old days.

 

The pound shop used to be

a butcher’s on one side

and an undertaker’s on the other;

 

they knocked them together

when it was Woolies

but I can still see

mourners dressed in black

having to look at

all the pigs’ heads.

 

There are always drinkers

by the bus stop nowadays

but before the war

your great granddad

went missing one pay day

and came home in the morning

with his arm around a policeman.

 

People moan about

all the charity shops

but you try shaking a tin

anywhere these days.

 

I can spend a morning

going door to door;

the cancer one’s best.

Its handy ever since

they shut the bingo hall.

It’s all online now isn’t it?

 

 

 

Courage, mon brave

 

Keep these words in your wallet

or a bright locket around your neck.

They may dim or scuff over time

but gently polished they will reignite,

kindled to prove a far beacon.

 

Shrug them on like a cool arm

around your shoulder when depths

approach, when love seems distant.

Let the world see you can bear fear,

meet its stare eye to eye; smile.

 

 

The lives in commercials needn’t be yours

 

a man and woman grinning

at a sunkissed boy and girl

 

clean cars coast through ghost towns

abstract drama of eau de toilette

 

glass and plastic blue glow of gadgets

banks are your loyal local friend

 

this is how they insist you wish to be

trammelling a deep generic furrow

 

couched in the glare of fragrant daydreams

at the mercy of serving suggestions

We Are All Lucky

 

Yes, the city has better graffiti

but the words set your fingers drumming.

 

The lights remain red long enough

for you to think about it as you idle.

 

A mischievous part of you asks

if Lucky is a cypher for Spartacus.

 

What is luck, and do you believe in it?

Is anyone truly, consistently unlucky?

 

You are lucky you realise

that the scrawl is true.

 

There are sorrowful days, yes,

shadows, sleepless nights.

 

Sometimes wallets, keys, phones,

people you love, go missing.

 

But your life is not a passive coast

from one negative to the next.

 

There’s a lot of good fortune

to be thankful for. You make a list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Body Stories

 

On the radio they say the victim

sustained life-changing injuries.

 

My grandfather lost half a finger

in a machine at work.

 

I broke my collar bone

under a collapsed scrum.

 

Dad came off a Triumph,

his nose crushed on asphalt.

 

Scars tell stories;

we’re never the same.

 

And then I think of the Caesarean,

how you have a smile just there.

 

 

 

Everybody Hurts

 

Driving down the tree-lined hill

the song shifts up a gear and my shoulders heave.

 

Used to find it too gloomy,

but the strings swell, buoy me up and

 

Stipe insists that little boy

they pulled from the sea last night

should be the last.

 

It’s morning in early September,

the sky is a crisp Aegean blue.

 

Sunlight splashes the road through leaves;

the season’s tide is turning.

 

I hope for a traffic jam around the bend,

just to sit for a few moments;

 

listen to this again for reassurance that

I left my son asleep in his bed.

 

9781910834749 image003 WAAL cropped tighter