Score Card

Hey Readers

Friday saw me have a really bizarre day where running errands of mercy for my flatmate meant missing shows I had hoped to attend.
I did however attend a Hammer and Tongue poetry slam and more than that I was a judge at the slam This poem relates the story of how it felt to be a judge in a poetry slam I’ve given it the title Score Card I hope you enjoy the read.

Score Card 

The dark of a haunted  basement
masquerades as a torture chamber
for the spoken word participants
who take to the stage
to let me feel the love, the passion, the rage
You see I  was a judge in a poetry slam 
as six poets battled for hammer and tongue
It was time to let the battle begin
when marking I remember
not to hold grudges
or be favourable to those I  call friends 
having competed on nights like this
I sense the power of the occasion
and how it can impact
on even the most seasoned of poets
the trick is too grab the fear by the throat
and not freeze
you need to make your three minutes matter
when I’m a judge with score card in hand
I want to hear your patter
show me your dreams in rhyming schemes
that take me to the edge of my seat
fill me with anticipation,
Inspiration, horror
make me laugh, cry, or bring tears to my eyes
I try really hard never to give anyone below 7.4 or 5
respect is due for putting themselves through this hell
bearing your soul to a room full of strangers
is fraught with challenges
hidden dangers lurk in every stanza
no matter how much you hated Cameron, Blair, or Thatcher,
what you think doesn’t matter  the audience will be the arbiter of  your success
their reaction counts more than you might like
in this poetic fight to the finish
and yes I empathise with the view
everyone’s a critic
but I promise I will play fair
I know how hard you laboured over your lyrical poem
I have felt the pain of standing alone on that stage
I will not deduct points
If you read from the page
this is about poetry not memory
content and delivery are more  important than subject choice
so let me hear your voice
I want to listen to your words,
before I mark them.

@ Gayle Smith 2016.


2 thoughts on “Score Card

    • Hey Suzanne Hammer And Tongue is actually the name the name of the event. They run slams in London and elsewhere throughout the year and always come to the fringe.

      I’ve actually won a Hammer And Tongue slam in 2011 and compete in them just because I can. It’s the same when it comes to judging , if they need someone to make up the judging panel and I’m there which I often am, I’ll always step in and do my bit for a great group of people who by just giving me a stage have made me a better performer.

      As for my marking, I always tend to be on the generous side. Well I know what it’s like to get up on that stage and wait for the judges score cards.

      Love And Best Wishes
      Gayle XXX

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