Tag Archives: Keith Massey

Keith Massey Reading

Not only a poet but a playwright, Keith belongs to our Writers’ Group but not all of us were aware that he writes plays.

We have been invited to a rehearsed reading of his latest at 7pm on Thursday 5th. May at St George’s Church Bloomsbury.

It is a free event with a collection for Amnesty International. The play is called ‘Which One Of You Is Jesus Christ?’ and is set in a psychiatric hospital where three patients have made this claim.

Keith Massey

Readings by members of the SPC at Sunrise Senior Living, Frognal House

Readings by members of the SPC at Sunrise Senior Living, Frognal House

spc 1This is the first venture of this kind for some time and one we were especially pleased to undertake. Ayten Dervish, who attends our meetings with her daughter Sezgin, now lives at Frognal House in Sidcup. Because of our link with Ayten we thought might make a visit there and read some poems to the residents. Sezgin herself was one of the four readers.

Frognal House is described as having the feel of a country residence and it certainly has. We arrived as some of the tables were being set for high tea. The present house, although it dates from earlier times, was the residence and birthplace oif Thomas Townend. 1st. Viscount Sydney, after whom Sydney, Australia was named.

spc 2Our first audience in Chestnut House was somewhat dispersed as they were sitting at tables where they had recently enjoyed a meal. It was not an intimate space but the residents gave us their full attention which must have been quite difficult as we were not close to them.

Our second audience, in the more enclosed environment of Well House, was sitting nearer to us on chairs and settees. They too were attentive although one lady announced her intention of leaving during the interval. The staff were very helpful when it came to settling and calming the residents. Many, if not all, were suffering from dementia although it really seemed that poetry could ‘reach’ them and we were glad we had come. Below is the list of who read what.

List Of Poems And Readers

spc 4Read by Isabel Turvey:-

Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson

To Autumn by John Keats

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Read by Sezgin Kemal :-

Ithaka by C. P.Cavafy

Walking Away by C. Day-Lewis

First Love by John Clare

Read by Muriel Letman

To Daffodils by Robert Herrick

Matilda Who told Lies, and was Burned to Death by Hilaire Belloc

From A Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson

Read by Keith Massey:-

Farewell by Walter de la Mare

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

At The Railway Station, Upway by Thomas Hardy

spc 3

July 11th. Members of SPC at WORDfest on Beckenham Green

This event was organized by Harris Academy Beckenham who wanted to encourage participation from the community. As the whole event was to be a celebration of the written and spoken word we were contacted and agreed to fill two half hour slots with readings of a miscellany of poems ancient and modern, comic and serious.

Beckenham WORDfest.

WORDfest Beckenham

For the first slot we decided on a theme of Words, and for the second we read poems that were connected in some way with Action. Maggie Hoyle was applied to for ideas and members of the team made a contribution. So, folders in hand, we entered the Creative Canopy and read, mainly to friends and relatives it must be said, competing at one stage with a singer and band in full spate just a tent wall away.

WORDfestThe interval between readings was spent tranquilly in Sheila and Brian Corrins’ garden but there was time to see a few of the many events that were going on and admire the quotation quilt, the Poe Tree and the Edible Book competition with its inventive entries. Fun, even though the logistics were not always in our favour and thanks to everyone for two great readings. Two members of the audience requested copies of UA Fanthorpe’s ‘Dear Mr Lee’ so seeds were sown.

The readers were Sheila Corrin, jane Knight, Keith Massey, Mavis Robinson, Ruth Smith and Anne Stewart.

Wordfest Beckenham

Well Done Keith!

We are delighted to announce that Keith Massey, who joined us recently, has won an award in the Four Counties Poetry Competition which this year was open to poets connected to Greater London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. He will be going to the awards ceremony in Brighton on Feb. 25th. as the competition was initiated by the Rottingdean Writers’ Group. The judge was John McCullough, academic and prize-winning author of ‘The Frost Fairs’ published by Salt .

Here’s Keith’s winning poem :


How deftly the armadillo’s
tectonic plates rehearse the slide
of land and archipelagos
over a deliquescent globe.

See the perforations of its
intricate river systems,
etched crystalline
along the wings of dragonflies.

Note how the pitted, blistered crabs
display their craters;
small planets orbiting
between tide and light.

See the field of atlas Friesans
each carrying its unique maps;
unexplored, bulging continents,
floating in creamy seas.

We can survey the earth
with satellite astonishment;
but not our secret sudden legends,
the cherished cloud that’s dragonish.

Keith Massey