Poetry-writing black cab driver Michael Dennis leaves poems for customers

This Is Local London: Poetry-writing black cab driver Michael Dennis leaves poems for customers Poetry-writing black cab driver Michael Dennis leaves poems for customers

A cabbie has made a name for himself on the streets of south London by leaving his own poetry in the back of his taxi for customers to read.

Michael Dennis, 46, from Clapham, start penning his own poems seven years ago and his work has since appeared on Radio 2's Spoken Word Session and on LBC's Early Morning Breakfast Show.

He also regularly puts his work on his Twitter page (@theblackcabpoet) and has a growing online fan base with almost a thousand followers.

Mr Dennis, an avid AFC Wimbledon fan, said: "Up until about seven years ago I had no interest in poetry.

"Then these thoughts started coming into my head, so I thought I would put them down on paper.

"People’s reactions have been astounding, which has encouraged me to keep writing."

The black cab driver was inspired to write his latest piece after a customer who worked at Trinity Hospice asked him to pop in to see the charity's work first hand.

He also attended the hospice's annual Light up a Life church service, which celebrates the lives of loved ones.

Mr Dennis said "I’ve only ever heard good things about the hospice's work. When a member of staff got in my taxi and invited me in for a guided visit, I jumped at the chance to learn more.

"Trinity’s buildings are fantastic, but it was the atmosphere that struck me most - the whole place felt welcoming and full of life, and the nurses’ passion for their job really shone through.

"I hope the poem does justice to such a positive place that makes a real difference to local people."

The cab driver hopes his poem will help to raise awareness of the charity, which relies on the generosity of the public to raise over £6.6 million every year in order to continue its work.

To read Mr Dennis's work visit www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk

Mr Dennis' work:

"Another year older deeper in debt,
Another 12 months to rue and regret,
52 weeks not getting much done,
Chasing my tail missing out on the fun."

"Fools and money easily part,
I'm an idiot skilled in this art,
When I get some cash in my hand,
It goes through my fingers like grains of sand."

Light Up A Life With Trinity Hospice 

William Hoare in 1891,
Decided that there should be something done,
Provision for all of society,
An easing of pain and anxiety.

To The Times the Hoare family campaigned,
To undertake measures that appertained,
To setting up a place for people where,
The terminally ill received good care.

On Clapham Common there is such a place,
With understanding, empathy and grace,
Thoughtful consideration for each case,
So you can spend your days at your own pace.

Preparing for the things eventual Will differ with each individual,
They guide you through whatever you have planned,
With knowledge and experience, you’re in safe hands.
They give peace of mind knowing somebody's there.

To provide expert respite or palliative care,
Through the worrying stages of ill health,
Regardless of circumstance or wealth,
Their presence is a day to day process.

They're partly funded by the NHS,
The rest is raised in our community,
Thanks to the public's generosity,
Fundraising, legacies, each donation,
Helps staff who view their job as their vocation.

Home visits that provide the right support,
Building relationships, trust and rapport,
I've spoken to outpatients and they say Each need is catered for in every way,
They're grateful for the care that they receive And counselling for loved ones left who grieve.

To ease all pain with sensitivity,
Is what they strive to do at Trinity,
Mother, father, daughter, son, husband, wife.
Help those at Trinity to 'Light Up a Life'.

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