The Wondermentalist Cabaret came to Ways With Words at Dartington. Trumpets (to give yourself a fanfare before you enter places); a guitar that played itself, like something from a children's story book; the Dead Poets' Slam; Beryl the Feral read haikus.
Best joke of the evening - "It was possible to get a good educaion at the Rudolph Steiner school. It was extra-curricular, an after-school club."
Matt Harvey ran the show with a rod of iron. It was slick, fast-moving, professional.
The topic for a collaborative poem for the evening was 'Windmills'. Rapid-fire, cut and paste poets collected lines from the audience in the interval, and this was the poem they glued together . . . literally:
Windmills… what are you like?
Do you mind how I wind the windmill will?
Gyratory, vibratory, mistral–seeking blades
Sentinel shifters of airy semaphore
Windmill nimbys, nimwill wind me, spin me
Whisking up clouds for a sunset soufflé
An un-winged plane, going nowhere fast, forever…
Turbine be forever mine
Swish, swoosh, swish, swooshhhhh!!!
Oh how revoltingly Dutch.
Wind mills – (on) tall hills – (are) modern ills – (with) fancy frills
Puffing, blowing, huffing, flowing
Ghostly forms, foolishly arrogant in your ridiculous white attire
Why do your wings wave like a waffle?
A pickled onion spinning with its stick
A Spiro-graph of air-borne flight, fights…
Wind grinding pepper-pot, slow sail stew
Scarecrow comedian making a point
A lighthouse on the land, warning of approaching corn
Making flour by wind power, takes about 59 minutes! Doh!
Big sails waiting for wind kiss, sky caress, open arms
Sail this steeple across swollen sodden swamps
Slender blades generating “power”, strong stems – 3 turning petals
She loves me, she loves me not, “she loves me”
Whooshing, whirling, wheeling
Web, windy, wild, westerly
Focused on flour or flux
Though the mills of god grind slowly, they grind exceedingly small
A Mandela milling the wind
Ranks of slim white sentinels saving our skins
No ill winds please, keep it sweet
The sails on the mill go round and round…
Who can mill the wind?
And, once ground, what kind of cake would it bake?
Something light and airy? Self-raising? Or f-air-y?
Windmills – do they always wind with time?
Do wind farms really make all the wind?
There once was a windmill in old Amsterdam
Where mice loved to dine on bran flakes and spam
The slow wave of the giant’s arms
Not waving, but drowning.
A wonderful Wondermentalist evening. One of Matt's poems ends with his father asking, "When are you going to get a job?" Let's hope he doesn't.