Interview of William Thomas Fearby

William Thomas Fearby is a retired business person. He currently dedicates the major part of his time to poetry writing, song writing and promoting poetry. He is the administrator of three poetry groups on Facebook and his works regularly appear in various literary magazines and journals. Here goes an enriching interview with a talented poet from England – the birthplace of the English language and English literature.
Vatsala Radhakeesoon:  Mr. Fearby, welcome to Setu! Please tell us about your   earlier life, background and actual life?

William Fearby: Hello and thank you for this interview! I left school in 1966 with no qualifications. I started working in a car factory at 15. Then after a year I decided it wasn’t for me. So I became a salesman in men’s tailors and that shaped my life. I worked in various shops. I got married in 1971 and shortly after that I was asked to become a buyer manager in a fashion boutique.

Vatsala Radhakeesoon
My wife and I decided to start a family. I saved as much money as I could by working at two jobs and in between my jobs I used to make wooden bird tables and wooden garden furniture in my garden so as to earn more money.

I always wanted to have my own house and my own business which I achieved after 10 years of struggling. I ran my business for over 30 years .Then in December 2013 I nearly died. It was then that I decided that my health was worth more than wealth. So I closed my business down and decided to put my thoughts down on paper. So, that is when I started writing poetry. My daughter was going through problems with mental health issues. So I started writing about her problems in verse. Then, I started to write other poems about causes to try to raise awareness for others. I read about a 27 year old man who lost his grandmother through dementia.  So, he set up a charity in remembrance of his nan. I sat down and wrote a poem entitled I don’t know your face and sent it to him.

He messaged me and said “I have just read your poem and I cried my eyes out”. Then he asked me if he could use it on his website living with dementia.  He also asked me if I would go to his fundraising event and read my poem out to a crowded room. The scariest thing I have ever done was when I started reading it out and the room went dead silent. Afterwards, everyone clapped. That is when I knew I could touch people’s hearts with my words. Hence a poet was born.


V.R:  In a flash, poetry holds the hand of the would-be poet at some stage of life and for most poets it is a lifetime agreement with this beautiful refined written art. How did poetry first come into your life?

W.F: I never set out to write poetry at first. I started to write a children’s book about a rabbit.  We had as a pet who was disabled after 12 years of being in our lives. He sadly passed away. So I wanted to write something to remember him.  He was paralyzed in his back and his back legs. So we got him a little disabled cart.  Thus, he could get around.  I wrote 2 adventure books where he was a super hero. Then, I think writing poetry was a natural progression. I also read an article about a child who was sexually abused which really moved me to tears. This made me want to tell the world about the horrors of abuse in a way that would make people interested to read something or would hold their attention. That is why I wrote it down in rhyme.


V.R: Is there any particular theme you enjoy bringing in your writings?

W.F: If you read my poetry you will notice the theme in my writing is to give a message to raise awareness. Even in my love poems, I like to leave the readers thinking there is an underlying message personal to them. I have written many poems about taboo subjects that people are scared to talk about but I feel have to be broached. I wrote a poem about cancer and a person dying.


V.R: Who are your favourite authors/ poets and how do they impact on your works?

W. F: This is a difficult question for me to answer. I love a few poets’ works but they are not mainstream poets. They are new and exciting poets that I have met through my Facebook groups. These are mainly Khalid Belkhalf, Tony Ortiz Heather Turner and Joel Northup. I feel inspired by their writings.


V.R: How does the poetry writing process goes for you – from the initial stage of inspiration to the final crafted poem?

W.F: When I start to write a poem I usually have an idea in my mind but invariably my thought process takes me down another route.  Generally, I try to keep to my original theme but I feel my mind pulling me off course. It is as though someone is telling me inside my head “no that’s wrong; tell it this way”.  So I tend to go with the flow and I find the words come flooding out. Everything just seems to fit and make sense.



V.R:  You have been born, live in England and write in your native language. What is the actual position of poetry in the life of Britishers?

W.F: I really think that a lot more people are more into poetry now than they were years ago. The music industry has got a lot to be thanked for. The new breed of singers like Adele, Ed Sheeran Kelly Clarkson and a whole lot of others turning out beautiful lyrics into their songs So, now everyone wants to be able to emulate their heroes.



V.R: Do you think poetry can contribute to the betterment of the society?
If so,  how?

W.F: Poetry is a double edged sword. It can make you very happy and it can make you very sad.  It can make you laugh or make you cry .Poetry can be a great healer. Therefore it holds a very important place in everyone’s life at one time or another .
Hence   it can lead to a better society.


V.R: Nowadays slam poetry is much appreciated by younger generations and even elders. Do you think this will be a threat to traditional poetry or other poetry styles in future?

W.F:
No, not at all. There is room for all types of poetry in everyone’s lives. Everywhere you look in life you will find all forms of poetry being used.
After all who expected that William Shakespeare being less known for poetry will still have his poems around.

V.R: What would you advise young and emerging poets?

W.F:
Poetry is the beautiful art of turning plain words into a truly wonderful piece of art. We are all born with expression in our hearts. A poet realizes this. That is why we have the ability to turn random words into a thing of beauty. Thus, I advise them to keep writing and improving.

V.R: As a poet and person who has seen much of life, what message would you like to give to the world?

W.F: Put down your guns and weapons. The pen is and always will be mightier than the sword. You cannot kill with words.  But positive actions can be done.


V.R: We sum up this lovely conversation with some of your poems:

I don't know your face

for fifty years I have stood at your side
we shared everything we had nothing to hide
we lived a full life
we never really cared
but now when I hold you,
 you act like you’re scared

we talk all the time about the things that we did
we laugh and we joke and act like  little kids
but then you turn to me and say what is this place
why do you keep touching me
 I don't know your face

please take me home I don't like it in here
then the smile on your face turns into fear
I try to console you but the harder I try
you back into the corner and then start to cry

don't you remember me look at my face
we have been married 50 years
this is our place
we moved in to here when we were first wed
now the fear in your eyes has now turned to dread

help me ,help me somebody please take me home
I don't like it here please leave me alone
why don't you listen
I can't stand this place
I don't know your name I don't know your face

and then in an instant you turn to me and say
I remember our wedding
it was raining that day
you looked so handsome in your suit and tie
my heart felt so proud I started to cry


we danced all night to our favourite band
then you kissed me held me and squeezed my hand
you promised me you would love me forever more
as you carried me off the crowded dance floor

I wish I could remember your kind loving face
the way I treat you I know it’s a disgrace
I'm sorry the way I doubt you
I love you so much
what would I do without you as my loving crutch

I hope you understand that I don't mean what I say
when I treat you so cruel and I push you away
the good days I once had are now fading so fast
all I have left now is a love lost in the past
william t fearby

16/03/2015

I couldn't stand the pain

the clock on the wall shows a quarter to three
the old man sat crying while drinking his cold tea
his world has lost meaning since his love walked out
leaving him feeling empty, his heart full of doubt

the rings on the tables, the stains on the floor
the strong smell of tobacco, the old creaking door
the memories of days spent when they were together
he always thought what they had would last forever
how could he know it would all end up this way
he lost all his pride when he begged her to stay
their time had run out; there was nowhere to go
she left him a broken man with nothing to show

he sits at the table where they always sat
remembering the hours he spent at their flat
trying to make sense of what he had lost
his wife walked out
now he is counting the cost

as the clock ticks on to twenty past four
he sits all alone just watching the door
hoping and praying that she may come back
oblivious of  time  and losing all track

he lights up a cigarette straight after the other
and struggles to breath as he thinks of his lover
he coughs and splutters cold tea in his cup
a dark shadow stands over him
so he looks up

standing over him he sees his darling wife
and tells her he has loved her all of his life
she says I know dear that's why I am here
I have come to collect you please have no fear
and as his spirit leaves his body behind
she said I didn't leave I'm not that unkind
I had to go my darling I tried so hard to stay
but God sent the angels and they took me away

now we are reunited forever for the rest of our days
I promise I will make it up to you in so many ways
and I swear I will never leave you ever again
because if I lost you twice I couldn't stand the pain

william t fearby


Who can I tell?

I sit by my window to watch the world go by
it's not that I want to
I really don’t know why
it's something I have always done since my teens
like only eating pizza but never eating greens

it started when I first attended my senior school
I lied to my parents
why was I such a bloody fool
it started with name calling
that wasn't so bad

I wish I had the courage to tell my mom and dad
the physical abuse started not too long after that
when they beat me up and said keep your mouth shut twat
if you tell anybody we will kick your fucking head in
what could I do there was no way I could ever win

so I carried my secret all through my school life
taking the beatings and self-harming with a knife
I cut my wrists every night because I had no self- worth
I even took pills so I could leave this cruel earth

nobody knew what I was going through a living hell
I would sit in the classroom dreading the home time bell
because as soon as I stepped outside the school grounds
my tormenters and bullies would all gather around

they would beat me and film it on their mobile phone
it got so bad I would fake illness so I could stay home
but in the end my mom wouldn't buy it so she sent me back
my tormenters hunted me down like wolves in a pack

constantly I wanted my life to come to an end
I was scared of everyone even my best friend
why does the world hate me I can't understand why
I locked myself in my bedroom so no one could see me cry

I went through this misery for five long years or more
when I left school I was frightened to go outside the door
so that is why I sit by my window watching the world go by
I am too scared to trust anybody and I don't want to try

my life has been ruined by my so called school friends
if I had only told someone my torment would have come to an end
instead I let the bullies dictate my lonely living hell
they are still doing it now but I have no one to tell.

william t fearby
03/10/2015
Biography: William Thomas Fearby William Thomas Fearby is 66 years old and has been married for 46 years. He has 3 grown up children and 9 grandchildren. He has previously been in the business field. He has been writing poetry for about 4 years. He writes about things that move him and inspire him. He tries to write in a format that everyone can relate to. William believes that his poems come flooding out when he sits down to write. He always tries to raise awareness for good causes.  He mainly shares his poems on his Facebook group Poems of life   and considers himself to be lucky enough to meet so many great poets online, whose works he sincerely admires.

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