Poet Simon Rae reads his work

An Evening with Simon Rae

Friday, 6 July 8pm

Tickets: £7.50 or £22.50 with pre-event supper

Entertaining raconteur, Simon Rae reads his award-winning poetry.                                  Phone 01308 459511 to book now!

Poet, playwright (Grass and One-Man Macbeth both sold out performances at Sladers Yard), BBC R4 Presenter (Poetry Please!), Editor The 20th Century in Poetry (Ebury Press 2011)

Simon Rae won the National Poetry Competition in 1999, having twice been a runner-up. He has also won a major Gregory Award and a Southern Arts Literature Bursary. For ten years he wrote a regular topical poem for The Guardian. Rae presented Radio 4’s Poetry Please! for five years. His poems have appeared in a variety of publications including the TLS, Observer, New Statesman, Poetry Review and London Magazine. He has held Royal Literary Fund fellowships at both Warwick and Oxford Brookes universities and was also poet in residence at Warwickshire County Cricket Club. His most recent poetry collection is Gift Horses published by Enitharmon Press.


There’s a missing person in everyone,                                                                                                a draft-dodger, truant, man on the run,

deserter, defaulter, garden-fence-vaulter,                                                                                       an into-the-wide-blue-yonder absconder,

and I found mine, or he found me,                                                                                                 and together we sauntered out for a paper

or a carton of milk that wasn’t needed                                                                                                to match the one that would turn to cheese

while the cheese beside it turned slowly green,                                                                      leaving the bed unmade and the garden unseeded

and a bit of a mystery to explain.                                                                                                     The wagging tongues went worrying back

to the gap in the hedge and the hole in the fence                                                                         and to how they’d somehow always suspected

there was more to the case than met the eye                                                                                and if only they’d known as they walked the dog

or pushed the buggy round the block                                                                                             that that was the definitive last Good Evening

it would have been easier making sense                                                                                            of what they now saw was a chain of events…

Meanwhile smoke-rings float to the ceiling                                                                                     prompting this out-of-body sensation

that I’m looking down on a pile of clothing                                                                               artistically folded there on the shingle

and thinking how I’d left my life                                                                                                      like a field of snow which a confident witness

would swear blind he’d seen me cross                                                                                             yet find, when he came to prove his point,

no tracks to show in the unblemished whiteness…

Simon Rae

About Sladers Yard

Sladers Yard is an art gallery and cafe in West Bay, Dorset. Our art gallery showcases contemporary British Art, Furniture and Craft whilst the licensed cafe serves fresh, locally produced homecooked food and drinks.
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