31 May, 2015

Spotlight on Rob Baylis

Each month at Kulturá we will feature one of our Open Mic poets on the blog. May's spotlight falls on Rob Baylis.

Rob Baylis

Rob has been a spasmodic poet since secondary school but has never tried to get his work published. He also had a song-writing period and won the first Cambridge Band contest in 1985 (see his 1 minute appearance on Whistle Test).

In recent years, Rob’s poetic spasms have increased to an almost constant flow on subjects ranging through nature, the landscape, the plight of food animals, climate change and his personal life. This is despite no formal background in literature or creative writing. His master’s degree is in environmental policy and he is a Chartered Environmentalist with a day job in public sector facilities management.

As one of the main organisers of the 2015 Alternatiba Todmorden Festival of climate alternatives, Rob conceived and undertook most of the organisation of the successful Poetic Alternatiba Todmorden event with five featured poets and popular open mic sessions.

Rob performs his poetry regularly at open mics in the Calder Valley. At May's Kulturá Rob read a number of poems including Ramsons.

Connect with Rob on Twitter: @leafn4give


When Wild Rose Dene weeps winter’s greasy sleep,
The waxing ramsons sketch their lips with jade
Star-white flowers burst like fireworks in the shade,
Their garlic breath teasing beneath the trees.

This springtime scent jigs rings around my feet:
A birthday gift to me, its lifetime slave,
To dry my dampened mood and make me brave
Enough for hurling stones at mind disease.

In June, the waning ramsons quit my food.
They could be back next year, but maybe not;
No more destined than a floating balloon.

This fool has searched outside to be amused,
But ramsons in my thoughts should never rot
Until I too have dropped, and been removed.
© Rob Baylis

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