By Anton Dolders, Regional Chair of Arts at Macmillan Cancer Support
Art For Macmillan’s fundraising activities are not purely limited to demonstrations of art and craft skills as indicated by the participation of local poet: Malcolm Rimmer, who has recited his work in many of our variety shows and in impromptu performances at Southport Market and outside The Atkinson. Malcolm was born in Southport, where he has lived for most of his life except during his student years at Newcastle University where he studied psychology and time spent as a safety consultant in the Middle East and Far East after he achieved a Masters degree in Health and Safety.
Malcolm’s work was first published in Lancashire Life when he was nineteen and then again after a break of nearly twenty years in Liverpool based creative publication Nerve and The Daily Mail. He also received a best live performance award by Literary Review. Malcolm focusses his literary talents on outlining deficiencies in Western society, particularly the lack of success which can occur when people interact with both comical and tragic results. His influences span the centuries and include Shakespeare, Wordsworth and far more recently American poet, Thom Gunn.
Malcolm outlines the criteria for what he considers a successful poetic composition simply as being that, “it should make sense and rhyme”. There are actually far more intricate structural and rhythmic elements present in his work though and I consider the modes by which he expresses his perception of human synergy far reaching, poignant and on occasions extremely amusing. I hope you enjoy the following poem which I think is thematically relevant.
Come Whine With Me – By Malcolm Rimmer
They come to your house
It’s for a contest or so we’ve been told
But really it’s for a nosey around
Before slagging you off into the ground
They eat all your food and always complain
Then keep on repeating the same refrain –
The starters too hot, the pudding’s too cold
And the main was better left on hold
They sit on your bed and crease up your sheets
Walk on your carpet without wiping their feet
Try on your clothes, even your best,
Leaving long greasy marks on your clean string vest
They smile to your face and sneer at your back,
Which just goes to show the manners they lack
If it were me I’d not let ‘em in
Except to serve food, straight from the bin.
A dinner party’s a roll of the dice,
So sit and consider this advice –
Whosever you are, whatever your flaws
Never let strangers root through your drawers.
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