Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street
Saturday 28th January 2017
7.15pm – 8.15pm
Free but with voluntary Donations to Cancer Care.
Walsall Poet Laureate & Black Country Bugle Ambassador Ian Henery launches his latest publication, a book inspired by his efforts to raise money for the Scouts in his native Black Country.
A few years back Ian, a solicitor and Scout leader, contracted a virus that left him with only one working lung. "l went from a fit and healthy man who had completed the Three Peaks Challenge twice to a man who couldn't run upstairs - I couldn't even run a bath," said Ian.
Inspired by a visit to the world-famous shrine at Santiago di Compostela in Spain, Ian put together a group called Scouting for Fun(ds) and embarked on cycling the South Downs Way in two days to raise money for the Scouts in Walsall.
Ian's new book, Scout on a Bike: The Miracle of St James, is a collection of blogs that he wrote at the time as well as his poems that were commissioned by the University of Wolverhampton for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Each chapter is prefaced by a quote from a song by the rock band, The Levellers and the band are promoting the book on their own website.
They aren lt the only rockers impressed with Ian's book. Chris Difford of Squeeze said: "This book is full of character and fun, it's a good read, even with both eyes open... hang on to your hats as the journey is a wild one in many ways.
Scout on a Bike: The Miracle of St James by Ian Henery is published by Mapseeker Archive Publishing at El 0.99 and is available from Ian Henery Solicitors, Quickjay Buildings, Bilston Street, Willenhall, WV13 2AW.
A Question At Christmas
(for Emily who always asks questions)
"Please, Miss, does Santa Clause exist?
We don't have what's called a chimney,
But I always get my wish list;
Carrots and whiskey disappear After silly Dad goes to bed, I know its him every year".
" Please, Miss, reindeers don't really fly!
Santa's Sleigh can't land on our roof!
Its Dad who eats all the mince pies,
Burglar alarm always set,
My Dad is most particular,
At Christmas forget".
"Please, Miss, whats the Christmas Story?
Winter Festival or Solstice?
A baby born to God's glory?
There's lots of stuff I want to ask; We're bombarded with images:
Tell me, are you up to the task?"
"Lots of questions in one so small,
I was trained for this at college,
But how can I answer them all?"
(Thinks - you are how old? Only eight?
Is that the time? Its getting late!)
"Please, Miss, what is Christmas about?
The eating, drinking and binges
And afterwards - grown ups just shout!
"Miss, I know when stockings are filled
It all goes on credit card bills;
Added to this Christmas expense
Is twenty four hours of suspense
For the Big Guy in the red suit,
Fur-lined, be-whiskered and in boots."
"Good gracious - let me have a think: Ask the audience, call a friend? fifty fifty?' need a drink, A strong coffee and not mulled wine, These are good questions from a child Needing answers at Christmas time".
"Forget the trappings of glitter; Children die in wars so bitter.
Homeless wander in streets, forlorn;
On streets, unloved babies are born,
Refugees roam across our world For this, festive banners unfurl?"
"Whats the message? I will tell you! Bells are ringing, not just for lunch; Above all else, this much is true:
Jesus was born, the angels sing Of peace on Earth and God's great love, This is the message Christmas brings".