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A Matter of Chatter

My first ever publication.

“I chatter, chatter as I flow to join the brimming river, for men may come and men may go, but I go on forever.”

From ‘The Brook’ by Lord Alfred Tennyson.


Born from my love of children’s nursery rhymes, A Matter of Chatter is an eclectic collection of rhymes, poetry and nonsense for children which I first wrote and published in 1995.

   My piece, ‘Hey Dum Dum Rook’ was inspired by ‘The Cat and the Fiddle’, the earliest printed version of this poem being written in 1765, and which is now better known as ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’. ‘Where The Peppers Went’, is my response to the tongue twisting, rhyming question posed by Leon Rosselson in 1819 when he asked in his book called, Peter Piper’s practical principals of pronunciation, “Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?”  Whilst my rhyming verse, ‘Royal Mayhem’, like its predecessors, The Grand Old Duke of York and Humptey Dumptey, is a satirical, historic commentary and Two Muddle Some and several other pieces in this book, were inspired by the complete nonsense of Edward Lear.

I hope my humble offerings will endure the test of time, and  like those before them, in some little way, help to keep the tradition of nursery rhymes alive.

Back in 1995, when 'A Matter of Chatter' was but an eclectic pile of typewritten nonsense, rhymes and verse, I was fortunate to be befriended by a kindly gentleman called Molefe Pheto. Molefe was the Head of Watford Town's arts and culture team and founder of its writer's group, 'The Inkwell'. Being introduced to the writers group opened my eyes to the complexity of the writing world, and it inspired me to chase my dream of becoming an accomplished writer. So, to get myself known, I became a performance poet/recitalist. Performing at a variety of venues, including Watford's Coliseum, Waterstones national year of reading event and the Rainbow festival, I gained a lot of attention and followers amongst the town's dignitaries of the moment. Their interest and Molefe's support and belief in my ability, encouraged me to compile and publish what was to be my first book. At that point, Molefe arranged an opportunity for me. A one night only event. To be on stage at Brixton Academy along side another young, up and coming writer of the time called Benjamin Zephaniah. Molefe told me, he felt I was Benjamin's 'white' equivalent and that we would work well together, to bounce our respective work off each other. Excited by the prospect of widening my performance horizons, I practiced my recitation delivery, so as to be the best I could possibly be, come the night. But, the fickle finger of fate can be a cruel digit. And it was. It poked me good and hard! For the day arrived I was due to perform and events which are too personal to elaborate on transpired, colluded against me. Needless to say, I didn't get on the train. I never made it to the event. In the audience that night, a talent scout discovered Benjamin. And since, I've often wondered what might have been.

Now, here I am, so many years later, an Indie author. With thanks to modern technology, I've been able to re-publish the pieces I was going to perform that fateful night. If you are interested, you can find them in the revised and expanded second edition of 'A Matter of Chatter'.

Why not purchase a copy and see if you can figure out what those pieces were.

Available on Amazon, Google Play and Barnes and Noble.


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