UNLIKELY poets have collaborated their rhyming skills to publish their first book.
Friends David Fletcher, of Fulwell, and Patty Smith, of Ashbrooke, had never worked together before discovering a mutual interest in the iambic pentameter – the rhythm of a verse.
The men had lost touch and were reunited after David began sharing his work on Facebook.
Now they are ready to unveil their first anthology – Gutter Rhymes – to the world.
“I started writing poetry after my dad died,” said 47-year-old David. “One day I wrote a poem about him and it triggered something in me.
“I put it on Facebook and Patty asked me who it was by. When I said me, he got in touch to ask about my work.
“We met up and were blown away by what each other could do, so we discussed it and decided to publish a book.”
Patty, 51, a horticultural teacher for Springboard at Herrington Country Park, is a member of the band Red Lion and has been writing music and poetry since he was 17.
“He writes songs for his band and is quite well known in Europe,” said David, an account manager for catering company First Choice. “But when this started happening I sort of came out of the closet, if you like, and showed my family my work. They were absolutely astounded by what I can do.”
Gutter Rhymes is a collection of poems about life, comedy, politics and emotions, themselves.
Dedicated to David’s dad, Bob Fletcher, who died in 2010, and Patty’s brother Marty Smith, who also died in 2010, the book is 160 pages and 98 poems long.
“We went to a publisher, but the book would have cost £6.99 to buy and we thought it was too expensive,” said David.
“So we decided to do it ourselves. We have done it properly, and it costs £3.99 to buy online.”
The men started working on the anthology before Christmas, although some of its poems have been written for years.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said David.
“It’s all happened since Christmas, but we had some material ready because we used a lot of old stuff.
“I wrote a poem around Christmas called Black Eye Friday that’s in there, but David used a poem that he wrote in 1980.”
The men will launch Gutter Rhymes at a free event, open to the public, at The Blue Bell pub, Fulwell, at 7.30pm tomorrow.
Books will be available to buy and have signed by the authors.