BY EMAIL THROUGH CONTACT PAGE (JPH Avenue Two) 30 May 2012
Dear Mr Marshall,
I have just read the three poems on your page and felt that I must say that I was moved by all three.
'Anyhows!' is amazingly poignant and so relevant. It deserves to be circulated to schools and read out in morning assemblies. (Do they still do that?)
Perhaps it should also be read out to the United Nations General Assembly, it may encourage them to get up off their backsides and actually do something to stop Assad and his murderous thugs.
'They Came In The Night'....Well.. What can I say? My words are insufficient. Until today, only one other poem has had me wiping away tears so that I could continue to read. That was Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum Est'.
And finally, 'What's The Matter Lad?' Another poignant and moving poem which illustrates the harm that homophobia can do.
I'm from Manchester, and lived out my teenage years in the 70s. Although being gay was no longer illegal, we had 'God's Cop' James Anderton as our Chief Constable, (I'm sure you'll have heard of him). So as you can imagine, for a young teen, struggling with his sexuality, growing up at that time was very difficult. When I was old enough to go to the bars in the village, Anderton was busily raiding them and closing them down to save us from "drowning in a cesspool of our own making". As a consequence, I felt it better to suppress my feelings and try not to bring shame on myself and my family. I married in '83, and had two great children. I'm still married, and my wife now knows about my sexuality, but I sometimes wonder what could have been had I had the courage to come out back then.
I hope all of that makes some kind of sense. I was never much good at putting words on paper.
I know it's a bit of a ramble, so I wouldn't blame you for just hitting the delete key.
Thanks for those great poems anyway.