RARA OPEN MIC Monday March 13 with Alternative FRILL!



Soon it will be the second Monday of the month, meaning it is almost time for you to bring up to five minutes of your word based goodness along for a free slot at a free event that happens every single month…



This month, RARA will be hosted by the lovely FRANCESCA MURPHY and because he keeps showing up WILL FORD. Together, and in the spirit of modernity (ie crashing two words together to make one word), Fran and Will are FRILL


Sadly, due to circumstances beyond our control Fran Murphy will not be able to join us but FRAN SMITH has kindly agreed to help out, so this month RARA will be hosted by:






Fran  Murphy and Will Ford previously co-hosting RARA


RARA looks forward to seeing Fran Murphy again soon, and much thanks offered to the calming and warm Fran Smith for returning as a RARA co-host!

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Fran, at a previous RARA with her co-host Bridget Leggy Tanner


Whether you are an old hand behind the mic, a relative newbie or wondering what it might be like to share your words for the very first time, RARA will welcome you with open arms and offer open ears while listening to your opening and closing mouth. “Be as silly or as serious as you want to be, for five minutes” is the invitation RARA extends to you…

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RARA is brought to you each month in association with Dave Daggers, Will Ford and the very kind people at the Mackintosh Sports and Social Club, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff.

But without the lovely, inventive, enthusiastic and incredibly beautiful people who come along to share their letter based creations there could be no RARA, so thank you if you have ever come along before, and future thanks are waiting for those yet to enter the friendly, welcoming atmos of a RARA night, where variety is guaranteed, laughs can be anticipated and provocation of thought and sometimes a touch of bemused mystification are part of the mix of material you will encounter


Catching up with HEADSTAND poetry podcasts featuring new interviews with MARK CURTIS, DES MANNAY and JOHN ELIOT!!!



A little while back I had the pleasure of being featured in a podcast by HEADSTAND, CLICK HERE to hear, if you wish.

Since then I have been keen to keep anyone who happens upon my blogs up to speed with HEADSTAND, a semi-regular series of podcasts, some music based, others focusing on interviews with poets who perform their work.

Christmas meant I fell behind a little, so am now catching up with the three most recent HEADSTAND poet interviews, which as always, feature readings by the guest and the presenter, and prompts for the listener to contribute to future podcasts…


Every poet has their what they write, how they write and why they write and on this blog you will find links to podcasts about those very things, produced and presented by…

Patrick Widdess, the man behind HEADSTAND


Patrick (author of Feeding The Spacemen) is a performance poet himself and has a keen interest in  the what, how and why, when it comes to the work of  his fellow poets.

Click on the links below to be taken on  journeys with Patrick to find out what poets have to say for themselves…



A prolific writer on themes both intensely personal and universal, Mark is an enthusiastic and regular performer at open mics. Questioning assumptions about us as people and often exploring the effects of traumatic experience, Mark uses writing to find balance within himself, and, indeed, balances out his more serious writing with other more imaginative and humorous writing, sometimes with a tinge of comic horror.

CLICK HERE to listen to the interview, during which Mark offers the prompt ‘Balance’ and listeners are invited to write whatever feels appropriate to them on this theme. Patrick will select contributions to read out in the next poetry related HEADSTAND. Indeed, this podcast features responses to the prompt of  ‘You Have Three Minutes Left To Live, What Is Your Final Message To The World’ offered in the previous HEADSTAND poetry podcast featuring…



Driven by the desire to contribute to the cause of Social Justice, Des storms into open mic nights and competitions as a ‘Hooligan Poet’ shaking his fist at the causes of injustice as he perceives them, principally the grasping greed fed, but never satisfied, by the empty calories of Capitalism.

Unashamedly left leaning, with his political heart worn proudly on his sleeve, Des is not immune to the stirrings of the more romantic heart style, rarely more so than via the words of Remote Console, with its tale of unrequited love. CLICK HERE to listen and find out more about Des’s achievements during a hectic last twelve months. During the podcast you will hear responses to the prompt ‘Baby Shoes’ offered during the previous HEADSTAND podcast featuring…



John Eliot (author of SSH) waxes lyrical about poetry and how it can help people connect with each other. CLICK HERE to listen. Serious and subtle in performance compared to some of the more outlandish performance poets but it isn’t compulsory to be loud, and like most of us, John enjoys more than one type of writing and his attendance and readings at spoken word events demonstrates he is certainly a supporter of all kinds of self expression. The podcast includes responses to the prompt from the previous interview featuring Christina Thatcher, for words on looking at the aspects of life that are, on the surface, mundane, yet hold their own entire world of meaning…









find out more about the author of this blog on the following website…





HEADSTAND Returns to your podcast listening facilities with another warm conversational feature on poetry, performance and writing practise and inspiration. Join Patrick Widdess and Fran Smith to hear some readings from Fran’s compassionate and healing work that speicifically aims to add to the good feelings in the world, not merely describe the bad

Fran Smith

Fran Smith: Philosophical Body Poet

Fran  is relatively new to the performance poetry scene but has come on in leaps and bounds and can be seen at the KAYA 2015 festival on the Manor Stage this coming Saturday August 8th! The festival will be offering music, literary things, games, food and more from Friday August 7th until The end of Sunday August 9th.

For Fran, her poetry is ‘holistic’ and by that she means it is a part of her general approach to life and her therapeutic work which seeks to heal mind and body by any means available via physical therapy and words that create positive thoughts about life rather than reinforce the negative and the toxic flow of information coming at people from the world at large, and the media in particular!

Before you head off to HEADSTAND to bask in Fran’s warmth, may I be so bold as to link to a previous blog containing links to other podcasts in this series, featuring Costa Prize Winner Jonathan Edwards, the legendary Mab Jones, and more! 



MONDAY 08/06/15  FROM 7.30pm    RHYME AND REAL ALE

Affectionately known as RARA, this come one come all open mic event at the Mackintosh Sports Club in Roath offers you an eclectic range of poets, storytellers and spoken word performers for FREE. If you have something you can do in five minutes and want to share it with a welcoming audience come along and do so, it’s FREE! Beer and other beverages NOT FREE. Second Monday, every month, RARA!!! This month, your hosts will be Fran Smith and Bridget Leggy Tanner…

WEDNESDAY  10/06/15 FROM 7.30pm   WHAT YA GOT?

As it says on the pic, second and fourth Wednesday of every month, come and show organiser Owain and the audience at Ten Feet Tall what you do! Turning up early is recommended to ensure all the slots aren’t snapped up before you get there, and I will be nabbing one myself to read The Coward, a story poem of mine that is coming out for Kindle next Monday Expect a variety of performance styles and experiences if you come to show what ya got, or simply come to see what the performers have got! Upstairs at Ten Feet Stall, the bit with the stage in it, entry to watch or perform is FREEEEE!!!,

FRIDAY 12/06/15  8.00pm  LAST MIC STANDING @ A Shot in the Dark 

The last heat, and the heat is on at A Shot in the Dark where you can eat, drink, and be entertained as musicians, comedians and poets offer themselves up for your perusal and your vote. One pound entry to the event, way more than a hundred pennies worth of entertainment! Um, please vote for me? ; -)

SUNDAY 14/06/15  7.30 pm HEARTSPOKEN (four) with special guest CANDY ROYALLE 

Heartspoken will be happening for the fourth time at Kuku Club at the Park Plaza Hotel. BUT WHAT DO YOU GET FOR YOUR FIVE POUNDS IF YOU VENTURE OUT ON SUNDY EVENING?

Mab Jones presents, and hosts a night of words delivered from the heart, be they happy, sad, amused, enraged, or anything else they could be. Sign up to take part in the open mic to get a pound off the entry fee or pay the whole fiver and simply enjoy the variety of spoken word voices and styles you will encounter. If you have a heart, bring it along, pal, hear words beating fast  and Candy Royalle!!

my Website



Will be reading tonight at Foxy’s Deli in Penarth at A WINTER’S TALE, organised by Artist Pauline Williams and Therapist/Poet Fran Smith, for more details CLICK HERE

Will be reading two pieces, see below, the Snowflakes In Your Eyes written some time ago, Snowflake Destiny written today…

Snowflakes From Your Eyes    by Will Ford
When the fingers of the winter chill that close around your bones
Are the only fingers that you feel, unless you count your own
Maybe there ’ s an empty space there in the life you live
That can ’ t be filled by good deeds or the charity you give
That can ’ t be filled by worthy thoughts of the woes of the poor
That can ’ t be filled by focusing on ideals anymore
That can ’ t filled by any God or other spirit guide
Nothing that you snort or smoke, and nothing you imbibe
Can fill the empty space once it gets around your bones
And chills you with the knowledge noone knows you feel alone
Because that ’ s meant to be something that only losers say
So you grin and bear the empty space and hope it goes away
When the world at large demands you wear a smile upon your face
No matter how you really feel, it feeds the empty space
It grows in size and appetite, if you dismiss your needs
As self-centred indulgences, empty space impedes
Your eyes from seeing clearly, your path to brighter days
And memories of sweeter times will start to be erased
Till there ’ s no way forward, no way back, nothing but shapeless void
And you feel like you ’ ve become a thing people wish to avoid
You become sometimes unable to look people in the face
In case they look into your eyes and see the empty space
But you wont be able to hide it, people soon get rather wise
To protestations of feeling fine that start to sound like lies
To everyone who hears them, then last of all to you
But you might find there ’ s noone left there to admit it to
When you recognise belatedly what others came to see
The shimmering outline, the empty space, where you used to be
When the fingers of the winter chill that close around your bones
Are the only fingers that you feel, unless you count your own
Beware the empty space that can leave you so cold inside
That when you weep no tears fall
Just snowflakes from your eyes.


Once upon time there was a snowflake on the breeze

Dancing on the air, and feeling very pleased

It suddenly found itself stuck upon a tree

And begged of passing brethren “what will become of me?”

No answers were forthcoming as it lingered on the bark

Watching other snowflakes dance and laugh and lark

Swirling windswept patterns all around the park

It’s over now, our snowflake thought, no chance to leave a mark

Then another snowflake joined it upon the tree

They didn’t like each other but agreed to disagree

Compromise is key and very necessary

When you can’t escape from somewhere you don’t really want to be

Frozen to the spot, forced to peer, ponder, stare

At other trees and other snowflakes becoming snared

On trunks, roots and branches, there and there and there

And there, and there and there and there and there and even there

Sharp silhouettes of leafless trees slowly turning white

Softening the atmosphere of evil in the night

That gets evoked in tender hearts by a wintry forest sight

As if the trees will grab them, well you never know, they might…

Our snowflake was one of millions whose appointed Winter task

Was to give the stark cold foresty wood a pretty Winter mask

While other snowflakes danced on past to become, um, well, let’s say…

Constituents of blizzard drifts, or Snowman DNA…