Write a Note April poetry showcase: Graham Barrie Langley, Emma Bailey & Cat Eliza T

Write a Note April poetry showcase: Graham Barrie Langley, Emma Bailey & Cat Eliza T

by Anita Foxall.

Every month Write a Note receives poetry and spoken word at the MAST, in the heart of Southampton, and this month this city has showed me/us once again how much talent it contains. Being an In Common collaborator, I eventually thought that I could make some magic happen and link both, so that Write a Note poets and writers can share their magnificently crafted work beyond the stage.

Last month we joined on the 25th of April, a date of major importance in, my once home, Portugal, marking the 48th anniversary of the end of a 41 year old dictatorship; so red carnations (the symbol of a revolution where no gun needed to be shot) brought some extra colour to this month’s poetry, words and music.

It was a very busy evening, with a lot of poets, different voices, different styles, and different emotions; and here, for you, are two of the poets who attended and a few of the poems they read in the event.

The evening always starts with a ‘sacrificial’ poem read by the host (me), so here’s bit of what happened at the April Write a Note:


Anita Foxall

I am not only the poetry editor for In Common, or the host of Write a Note, I am also a poet who takes her inspiration from all sorts of sources, but humans and their behaviour are what interest me the most.

The poem I will share here, and that I read at the last Write a Note was inspired by an art exhibition, but which then took a complete different direction and explored the struggles of unacceptance and integration.

Waves and Forms


The current brings waves

full of rage,

angrily biting the shore.

Curvy marks drawn on the sand,

imprints of quietude 

left like caresses, 

before unavoidable farewell.

But farewell was left far away,

different shores,

different waves.

They come,

they too come in waves.

Overwhelmed by fear,

they step on this ground uneasily.

Welcomed with forms: 

name, address, origin,


“What is the purpose of your visit?”


The child draws 

circles on the sand with her foot,

she doesn’t understand.

There is a form for her too.

“What is the purpose of your visit?”

The waves behind them

are still full of rage.

“Tell is right now:

what is the purpose of your visit?”

There are circles and curves on the sand.

The designs mingle

and become a brief, 

novel geometrical shape,

before it’s devoured by the next wave.

“What is the purpose of your visit?”

“I’ve come to tame the waves.”


Anita Foxall

October 2019


Graham Barrie Langley

Graham has been writing and performing his poetry for over 40 years and has appeared in over seventy venues ranging from pubs, open mic nights, poetry clubs and folk clubs to schools, weddings, churches and festivals. Several poems have been published in magazines and he has self-published three books and has just completed a compilation of old and new work which should be available by early June. His material draws from life and he is particularly interested in the foibles of human existence and how people treat or mistreat each other. You can see eight examples of his work on You Tube by searching for Graham Barrie Langley.    

Can you smell sulphur? 


Can you smell sulphur?

I can smell sulphur.

The whiff of brimstone

Stings my throat.


Can you smell smoke?

I can smell smoke.

The scent of burning

Stings my eyes 


Something’s wrong

I can sense it.

Feel it drifting in the air.

Rotting, slipping away


Can you feel change?

I can sense change. 

But not for the better

A slight sea shift


Can you feel shaking?

My feet can sense shaking.

The ground beneath our feet

Is not the same 


We are so used to the same

We imagine it’s constant

We should sense change

But we have forgotten how


Can you smell sulphur? 

The trick is you can’t

He makes you believe

He’s not there.


Til you choke with the fumes,

Burn with the heat 

Wretch at the rotting

And we fall at his feet.  



15th August 2020 


Everything and nothing


Do you remember me?

How could you forget?

When you speak of me

Do you hush your voice?

Or laugh out loud?

 Dodge in the crowd?

Do you remember me at all?

I’m the one that loved you.


When your parents ask about me

Or you pass me in the street

Or you see me at the station

Or old friends ask us to meet,

Do you remember me?


Don’t you feel embarrassed 

When you run after someone

And call their name

They turn around 

You find it isn’t them?


Do you remember me?

Do you remember me at all?

I’m the one that loved you…

That’s all

You can’t spend your life avoiding me.

How could you forget?

I’m the one who loves you..

We had everything you know.

Now we have



8th November 1983


Emma Bailey

Emma is a 42 year mother of two. Originally from South East London, she has lived in Southampton since 1998 when she moved here for university. She has always been interested in poetry but only started writing last year. She finds writing a therapeutic outlet and often her poems are based upon her own lived experience of the world as she juggles motherhood, relationships and her Ill health. Not always the most upbeat of writers she does try to include a lighter side to her writing when she can.

Ta Bron orm

(Irish Gaelic for sadness is upon me)


Sadness is upon me, and it will be for as while. But then, it’ll pass and I’ll remember how to smile.

Grief is upon me. Loss cuts me to the bone. But time will be the healer and joy will yet be known.

Happiness is upon me. I’ll share it with the crowd. I’ll spread it through my smile as I laugh heartily and proud.

Peace is upon me. All my skeletons laid to rest. I have no fears or worries now as I approach my final breath.


I’m Alright

Pardon me, what was that? I’m a little deaf you see. And ow! Watch the back, please. 

What? Oh the wheeze, it’s a breeze today and the back? Yes, it’s psychosis. 

No, that doesn’t sound right. I mean, it’s scoliosis, curvature of the spine. 

Me? Sounding breathless?,  well I do like to flirt. Only joking I’m just poking fun at your nosiness, I mean, concern. 

Turning blue! Am I really? Well that can happen, you see. Oh look there’s a squirrel running up that tree. 

We were talking! Were we? What did I say? Oh yes, I was forgetting the forgetfulness, but then I forget that every day. 

My heart? Don’t let me start on that most annoying of organs, it’s beats are most irregular and discordant. 

Oh hi! Nice to meet , how are you tonight?

Me? Yeah I’m ok, I’m fine, I’m alright.


Write a Note always invites a guest to bring some moments of music for us all to enjoy and relax. This month we had the brilliant Cat Eliza T delighting us with her amazing songs. 


Cat Eliza T is a Southampton based musician and multi-instrumentalist. Her influences range greatly from traditional folk to progressive rock. She will regale you with poetic tales of love, loss and (for one song at least) mosquitoes. Cat has many strings to her bow, literally, as she plays guitar, ukulele, dulcimer and viola, bass. Constantly buying instruments she loves to entertain audiences with her ever growing musical menagerie. Her debut EP ‘I Should Wait Around’ and music video for the title track was released in 2018. https://www.facebook.com/events/269342836938347/ In July 2015 Cat Eliza T went to Sofia, Bulgaria for over a week and was asked to return for a second visit July 2016. She was featured on multiple radio stations and live national television. She performed at nine venues around the city. All the while bringing Beefeater Gin to the music lovers of the capitol. She made friends for life on these trips, they’ve been the best time of her life. Influences include: The Cure, Sivu, Kishi Bashi and many more.

Cat Eliza T by Yena Jeon.

Have a listen to some of her songs here:


https://youtu.be/wKLVyHWkQfo (Cat’s first performance at Write a Note, in Caskaway)


Most importantly, support her work:



@catelizat – instagram

Main image, courtesy of Artful Scribe.

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