You Call This A Golden Handshake! - Lester Queripel

A golden handcuff, a golden handshake
Surely there’s been some kind of mistake
I’m only fifty five
I’m still very much alive
Yet I’m being shown the door
They don’t want me anymore
I’ve still got a lot to offer
Yet I have got to suffer
I have to stand in the unemployment line
Wait my turn…………………and sign
They’ve dispensed with all my knowledge
I will now have to summon all my courage
I don’t know how long I can cope with the indignity
We’ll have to wait and see

Lester Queripel

Snow On My Wall - Andrew Barham

Listening to Dad's old Jazz recordings on my iTunes folder after a nice breakfast of pancakes and Maple Syrup and looking after my fish while watching the snow come down outside my window …

Snow is peace and tranquility

And it makes everything, so pretty
Covering up all the ugliness outside …

I think I'm writing a poem on my wall

Can snow cover the ugliness inside?

Soft falling snow
So cold, so pretty, a blanket
Protecting everything
Cover my heart with snow

Andrew Barham

Looked After Girls - Shannon Shell

Image: Shannon Shell

Shannon Shell is 16 and is now living in a residential home for indepndent living 16+ leaving care.

Looked After Girls - Shannon Shell

Sweet as Heaven, hot as Hell.
The baddest babes as you can tell.
Wanted by some and hated by many.
Invited by most, envied by plenty.
Diamonds and pearls are so nice.
But they aren’t anything like us looked after girls.
Why do they hate us?
Why is there all this fuss?
We’re not going to stop until we see police lights,
It’s really getting out of control, too many fights.
Don’t treat us like we don’t know.
That comment was below the belt, way too low.
We’re the ones in and out of care.
Someone tell us how this is fair.
When you’re a looked after girl, all pretty and nice.
We don’t want a fight just some advice.
We don’t want a lecture no big deal.
We have feelings too, we are real.

Shannon Shell

Resolutions! - Jenny Hamon

Christmas is o’er and the New Year has come
We’ve eaten too much and had our fun
But that’s all over, it’s time we paid
So resolutions have been made.

Maybe pie in the sky or just a thought
Because we felt that we ought
But why do we think these resolutions will last
Because they never have in the past.

Maybe it’s good to try and be
The person that we’d like to be
With all our morals still in tact
And persuing values that we lacked.

Oh goodness me, I can’t do this
I’ve tried before but sadly missed
Attaining any resolute things.
That too much food and drinking brings

My resolution I think, will be
Not to resolve, just to be me
Not try and live by someone else’s aim,
So there’s nothing to break and no one to blame.

Jenny Hamon

Sonnet For Newtown - Andrew Barham

Suffer little children come unto me
But not so young for their Maker to see;
Cut down when their lives are just beginning –
What evil hour here is Evil winning?
Madness speaks, and Death untimely answers –
Get thee hence, Death! Cast elsewhere thy grim lures.
Children so young, so fragile filled with hope
For a bright future they will never see;
Through these dull days of endless night we grope;
Our pleas beseech whatever gods there be
Demanding answers from this tragedy:
From meaningless horror, we seek meaning,
Plunged as we are in Grief's bottomless sea –
Instead we hear only children screaming.

Andrew Barham

December 21 - Stephen A. Roberts

December 21 - by Stephen A. Roberts

December 21 - Stephen A. Roberts

A brace of gin and tonics,
ice and lime;
South American, ironic
as we drink to the end
as predicted by an ancient
calendar, created without
an atomic clock;
invented by just another
delusional cult
who basked in their arrogance
in the face of suspicious ignorance,
weaving their spells
to maintain control
of a craven populace.

If you're reading this tomorrow
then the deadline was missed
and I got pleasantly drunk,
forgot the brandy butter,
parsnips and presents,
not to mention the Mayan days;
I mean, hic, the mayonnaise…

Stephen A. Roberts

The Wounded And The Dead - Kathy Figueroa

A tear in the fabric of humanity
By unknown forces rent
Somehow let some bad thing in
Something evil sent

Like smoke, a wraith, a vapour
Malevolent tentacles uncurled
And early one bright morning
A toxic presence stained the world

On Friday, December 14th, 2012
The blood of innocents was spilled
In Newtown, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Twenty young school children were killed

And in Chengping, Henan, China
Twenty-two children were wounded at school
Again, by a beast in the shape of a man
Who was monstrously cruel

From where springs the coldness
The blackness that fills the soul with rot?
What could turn a man to beast
And pervert his rational thought?

What could warp his mind
And render him so devoid of joy
That all he longs to do
Is go out and destroy?

And for someone such as he
What could ever assuage
The maleficence that distorts his soul
And consumes him with rage?

How can we prevent
Such an act from occurring again?
How can we ever know what's awry
Deep in the hearts of men?

Animals don't kill wantonly
For pleasure or for fun
Only the human beast
Picks up a knife or a gun

Or drops white phosphorus
From planes overhead
And revels in the carnage
The wounded and the dead

Kathy Figueroa

X Marks The Spot - Lyndon Queripel

X marks the spot
Where Christ should be
On the Xmas card
You sent to me

X marks the spot
Where Christ is not
On the Xmas present
That I got

X marks the spot
Instead of Christ
Where the goodwill season
Is over priced

X marks the spot
And Christ it’s clear
Xmas comes earlier
With every year

Lyndon Queripel

Balunar - Lyndon Queripel

Someone once said the Moon was a balloon
But I hope that is not the case
For a satellite is off course tonight
And gone out of control in space
A red state emergency’s too late
The computer’s failed to stop it
This event anticipated no accident
If it hits the moon, I’m afraid it’ll pop it.

Lyndon Queripel

Call Collect - Lyndon Queripel

Walls have ears
Be careful when you speak
Telephones have taps
And mine’s started to leak.

Lyndon Queripel

Gales! - Jenny Hamon

Batten down the hatches
There’s a gale on the way,
Blowing up the alley
Making the trees sway

The weatherman has forecast
The wind from the north west
It’s going to feel quite chilly
So please put on your vest.

Go and check your mooring
Make sure the chain is good
Your boat is too expensive
To end up as fire wood.

With debris on the roads
Beware of fallen trees
And flooding being caused
By drains being blocked with leaves.

When you are driving home
Avoid the costal way
With waves and stones crashing
Over the wall at Vazon Bay.

This is the sort of weather
We get living on our Isle
So wrap up nice and warm
And ride it out with a smile.

Jenny Hamon

Grizzlies In Town - Andrew Barham

Where have all the Black Bears gone?
Eaten by Grizzlies every one!
So many Grizzlies in town –
One night last Summer
There were nine strolling around;
In The Village, a young male built his den
And all the little children to school in cars went then;
Mothers with cubs on the edge of the school grounds
Raiding gardens and dumpsters
And annoying the wife of the new parson –
It reminds me of a cartoon by Gary Larsen:
Bears on a fishing dock flossing their teeth
With fishing line to clean out bits of meat –

Yet! I've never actually seen a Grizzly
Though I've been within ten feet of a mother and cubs
Hidden from view by the thick brush along the trail –
She let me know I wasn't welcome.

Andrew Barham

Grey Day May - Andrew Barham

The black days of bleak November
Arrive ever earlier these days
How well do I remember
Those May skies of sunlight and grace,
But day after day the weary rain falls down
And that early promise of Summer fades –
All around me, the cars circle the town
Manically flashing their wiper blades;
Sluicing the dense rain onto the paving
Where the passers-by hunch and huddle
Like bent figures from an old engraving
As they step around the deepening puddles:

I dream of Poe and his bleak December
While longing for the warm Summer Sun –
But we are bereft, left only with its dying embers;
Spring has sprung and already it's done,
May Day ushered in with slatey skies of grey;
Waiting, waiting, waiting for a glimpse of blue,
A burst of sunshine to lighten up our days,
Spring's bright promise of a world renewed –
Halfway through May, and where are the flowers?
They are barely showing through the soggy ground.
Halfway through May and these cold April showers,
Endlessly, monotonously, just keep coming down.

Andrew Barham

Red Satin Dress - Yasmin Mariess

This Poem was written during a workshop. It is based on the following eight randomly generated words; summer, satin, honest, blue, comfort, employed, area, works.

Red Satin Dress - Yasmin Mariess

That summer I was employed in the lounge, serving drink.
My red satin dress was tight, and made the men wink.
The gentleman who strayed into my area seemed to think
That with his blue eyes it was not honest employment that night.
Altho’ I hate to say it, he was damn right.

Yasmin Mariess

The Butterfly - Liz Woodington

Flying in the sky,
Fluttering her alluring wings,
Is a beautiful butterfly,
Totally free and alive,
Full of elegance and grace,
Displaying complete splendour.

Beneath the colourful wings
There is a story,
A life of hardship,
And of immense struggle.
To reach this place of glory
Shea has been on a journey,
A journey packed with difficulty
Which sometimes got extremely tough,
A journey of transformation
Changing her from insignificant
To someone of great value.

And if you were able to ask her
Was it all worth it?
Her answer
Most certainly would but

Liz Woodington

Radio Active - Lyndon Queripel

There once was a DJ called Freak
Whose programme was quite unique
He’d claim “ In this game
They all sound the same”
And played records backwards each week.

Lyndon Queripel

It's Winter - Kathy Figueroa

It's winter, right now
In the Northern Hemisphere
There's much darkness
Cold weather and snow
So people try to spread good cheer
Festive outdoor lights are strung
To brighten up the gloom
Pretty decorations are hung
In the living room
People reconnect with
Friends and relatives they
Haven't seen for awhile
Folks go out of their way
To make others smile
At this time it's hoped
That everyone will feel like
They belong to one big family
Regardless of origin or creed
Everyone is welcome
Around the Christmas tree

Kathy Figueroa

Competition Winner - November 2012
The Fairy Ring - Andrew Barham

There's a ring around the sun
After the rains have come and gone;
Later, I see it reflected on the ground
On a knoll within a circle of stones.

Where are those Elven Folk
Who once peopled these ancient hills?
The stones around the ring are soaked
With the light which spills
From the sun dying across the sky
Just above the World Edge it lies on
Where Sky and Earth meet to try
To form a new horizon.

This forsaken place is empty now,
Forgotten – a remnant of a past time,
Not even the abode of a stray sheep or cow:
Man has moved on – and that's fine –
Science has brought us greater wonders.
The Moon is a goddess no more
And Apollo's chariot no longer blunders
From skyline to skyline on the new day's shores,
For we have set foot on Diana's soil
And probed the heart of the Sun;
Through creative blood, sweat and toil
We have met the gods and won.

Andrew Barham

Loyalty - Chris Hudson

God bless...
Beautiful England
As the last living Rose
Quivers in your hand.

The grey and the damp and the filthiness of ages
Through the stinking alleys where drunken beatings rages
Past where the Thames river does flow, glistening silver and gold
That for vain dreams and frippery was hastily pawned and sold

Night falls and moon does rise on silky sliding river
Moon sliver in the moving sky watches ocean’s shimmer
The fields of corn are ripe in beautiful England
As the last living rose quivers in your hand.

Our forefather’s planned we’d never be enslaved in this land
Under yoke of foreign oppression, by another’s hand
Will our blood rise up, brothers, and cast off our shackles?
Or tolerate and suffice in raising of our hackles?

God Bless Beautiful England
As the last living Rose quivers in your hand

The chain that binds us is the boundless winding ocean
This thread that runs through us like a fuse to an explosion
Like Hugo in his exile cross the waters there that pour
Yet conversely my blood my DNA not of these shores

I live and die forever through all England’s merry lands
My undaunted never failing love for you will always stand
God Bless Beautiful England
As the last living Rose quivers in your hand.

Chris Hudson

Sciatica - Martyn Legg

Rats are gnawing, biting, clawing
Pain is searing, endless, aching
Rats are gnawing, biting, clawing
Knotted tension, sleep is gone
Rats are gnawing, biting, clawing
Knives are twisting, cutting, probing
Rats are gnawing, biting, clawing
Tendons rigid, stretching, screaming
Rats are gnawing, biting, clawing
Spine is wracked by endless flame
Rats are gnawing, biting, clawing
Stupid, pointless futile game
Rats are gnawing, biting, clawing…

Martyn Legg

What Is? - Martyn Legg

What is beauty, but the child of dreams and longings held deep within us.
What is love, but the sister of pain and sorrow, wrung from our hearts into new birth.
What is joy, but the lighter shade of loss and feelings so dark and cold.
What is life, but the passing of moments in which we learn to love and remember.

Martyn Legg

Victor Hugo In Exile - Andrew Barham

Here it is, almost the end of October, 2012
And already the first snowflakes have begun to fall.
Should I note for the record, before I delve
Into the meat of this poem and tell all,
That it was in 2008, shortly after the Vale Earth Fair
I was sent scurrying back to this land of exile,
Racing sedately through the stratosphere
Crossing oceans and continents the while?

I cannot but ask as I enter Year Five,
""Has it really been four long years since I left?""
During those latter three years in Guernsey, I felt so alive
Despite the anguish of a teaching job bereft
Of any sense of accomplishment or worth.
They say, ""Home is where the heart is.""
But my heart has almost never been in the land of my birth
Despite the intense love I feel for all of This.

We are truly a social species with a deep need to belong;
In Canada, I really do love all of This: these wild places
Where, with a single moment's lapse, it can all go wrong
And the Rescuers are looking for your remaining traces.
Even here in this town carved from the Forest Primeval,
They probably think I'm more than a little crazy,
Wandering alone with only a bear bell to protect me from evil –
But I'm so used to bears; their nearness no longer phases me

As I hunt for mushrooms, seeking out the Chanterelle
Black in a mass, Golden ones like up-turned bells,
I enjoy every sound, every sight, every smell –
The faint spicey incense permeating every dell
Of new fallen leaves and needles on the deep moss –
But then the snow comes and it's twelve feet deep;
The forests are hidden til May, and I feel their loss
More than I can say, as all of Nature sleeps.

Perhaps my long exile might be easier to bare
If I had a social life, friends with whom I might feel less lonely,
Night after night, through the long dark Winter I stare
At the walls of my living room. To keep me amused, there are only
Persian carpets and tapestries and my collection of old books
And the music on my computer to keep me company.
I have become so familiar with every cranny and nook
That I find myself longing for some BC Bud to set me free.

One more School Year, that's all I need,
One more year of scrimping and saving and getting by,
One more year of monthly anxiety – Will I have to bleed
My Savings Account because my Chequing has run dry?
Every half month, will I get enough work days
To carry me through the next and the one to come?
Once I've got the rent covered and the bills paid,
I can anticipate putting money by and saving some.

I'm not just saving for a rainy day
In this isolated town, where, if it isn't raining it's snowing;
There's more than madness to my method of making hay
Even if I no longer know where this poem is going.
In Guernsey, for the first time since I can remember,
I truly felt I was part of a community,
Someone who belonged even in the bleakest December:
Guernsey, where once again, I can be part of Humanity.

Andrew Barham

The Robins of Cardiff - Kathy Figueroa

Though the snow did cling, 'twas the first day of spring
And I wanted to celebrate
No matter what faith is dear, to all it's clear
That this is an important date

It was Sunday, too, so the thing to do
To start the brand new week
Seemed to me that it would be
To go to church and hear the minister speak

So off I went as a congregant
Since my celebrations weren't of the partying kind
And I hoped that a measure of spiritual treasure
Would be something that I'd find

I wasn't wrong, sermon and song
Spoke of a man from the distant past
Who was wise and kind, a type hard to find
So fond memories of him still last

I sat in the pew and listened to
The minister speak some interesting words
And then was surprised when I realized
She had started to talk about birds

She said she'd learned, when early each year they returned
That finding food could be a difficult feat
So to make it less hard, she spread seeds in her yard
For the birds as a special treat

This once attracted a flock from all over the block
That enjoyed the unexpected lunch
'Til assailed by feathery blows from a crowd of crows
Which were a raucous and boisterous bunch

Suddenly, during the melee, from the fray
A big robin did appear
Then it perched quite still, on her window sill
And showed absolutely no fear

There it stayed, unafraid
As it looked right up at her face
And, with a knowing nod, she said it was sent by God
To illustrate God’s divine presence and grace

The sermon came to an end and I thought of a friend
Whose name was 'Mary Lou'
She had a heart of gold and stories are told
About the kind things that she used to do

All critters wounded or lost, no matter the cost
At her place were welcomed and mended
They convalesced, with food and rest
And were most carefully tended

With the hurt and stray, she had a way
She'd heal them or give them a home
It was a good circumstance, if by chance
To her place they managed to roam

Once, by bad luck, a tragedy struck
And baby birds were left bereft of a mother's care
Though still alive, they couldn't survive
They were too young to find food anywhere

Someone knew about Mary Lou
And her way with creatures large and small
Then correctly guessed the young birds in the nest
Should be taken to her to have any chance at all

Mary Lou fed them by hand and could understand
Exactly what they needed to eat
And people were amazed that the birds were hand raised
Because that was an unusual feat

Thus, by and by, they grew large enough to fly
After being nurtured so carefully
And, for they were wild, not tame, the time eventually came
When they had to be taken outside and set free

It was hard to part because, with all her heart
Mary Lou loved those birds, it was clear
So, her eyes shone bright, with a radiant light
When she said what happened the following year

It was a lovely day, in April or May
Her living room window was open wide
And to her delight, some birds paused in flight
Then, through the open window, hopped inside

They wandered about and checked things out
And seemed as if, to each other, they said
“Here we were raised, mercy be praised
We were kept safe, sheltered, and fed

Though far we did roam, this is our home
When we were motherless we were brought here to stay”
And they looked as if they knew kind Mary Lou
And thanked her, and then flew away

Medicine and technology were employed, but her body was destroyed
For her, doctors couldn't do anything
And right 'til her last days, she continued to amaze
With the way she’d ease all creatures’ suffering

She found relief in her belief
In a man who performed many a miraculous feat
Through the stories told, from times of old
She believed that, eventually, she and he would meet

Poorly she fared, but she never despaired
Or cried out from self pity or the great pain
And though, one day, she went away
I believe Mary Lou lives, again

When birds sing at dawn, maybe they pass the story on
So it's known in each new bird generation
Of how the kindly soul, on whom illness took such a toll
Is now held in great veneration

“It was a sign of love, from Heaven above!”
Said the minister that day in church
“An example of grace, from a holy place
That sent the robin to the windowsill to perch!”

And, to give the minister her due, what she said was true
But there was more, of which she was unaware
You see, Mary Lou used to live in that Cardiff, Ontario, neighbourhood
And I’ll bet the robins still look for her there

Kathy Figueroa

Halloween - Jenny Hamon

It’s the 31st of October
The night of Halloween
There are pumpkins flickering and glowing
Giving out a ghostly beam

The kids are out trick or treating
Dressed up as witches and ghosts
They are hoping to get treated
Instead of tricking their host.

It has to be old wives tales
When horror stories were told
Of spirits and ghouls and ghosts
Back in the days of old

But let’s just enjoy the evening
And celebrate en masse
After all it’s an excuse for a party
But the spirits are in a glass!

Jenny Hamon

The Pumpkin Beast - Kathy Figueroa

In the blackest hours of Halloween night
Stir creatures that moan and wail
Such sounds can give a soul a fright
And cause your heart to fail

But there's one that makes the other bunch
Sound as innocent as a birdie's chirp
When it goes CRUNCH, CRUNCH

"Oh, tell us, please, what is this beast?"
Hoarse, hushed whispers query
"On what does this monster feast
And make noises that are so scary?"

Listen carefully to what I say
Make sure my words you mark
Things transpire in a mysterious way
On Halloween, after dark

Behold yon pumpkin, with an eerie face
Lit by a candle from within
It's to keep bad spirits from that place
That's why it has a hideous grin

But people give nary a thought
That, inside, the pumpkin is being toasted
The candle flame burns so hot
The pumpkin becomes roasted

Certain epicureans of the quadruped kind
Esteem this squash 'cuisine'
And, in abundance, it's easy to find
On the night of Halloween

There's one with which I'm acquainted
That has a legendary appetite
And I nearly fainted
When I first saw the following sight

Only scraps of rind lay on the floor
The Pumpkin Beast had struck behind my back
And he was still looking around for more
After his initial snack attack

'El Perro Gordo de Paudash'
Is the name by which he's now known
And he'll choose pumpkin in a flash
Any day, instead of a bone

Kathy Figueroa

Competition Winner - October 2012
Autumn Colours' - Yasmin Mariess

Turned Red,
leaves dead.

All green,
now unseen.

Leaves brown,
floating down.

golden hues,
light defuse.

orange leaves,
summers thieves'

at last, my dear,
Autumns here.

Yasmin Mariess

Progress - Lyndon Queripel

They don’t make any more cigarettes
It came as no surprise
The cancer scare was everywhere
And the smoke got in your eyes
They don’t make any more bottles
With deposit on return
There’s recycling bins for glass and tins
And for the junk that doesn’t burn

They don’t make any more three foot rules
Everything is measured by the metre
Did you turn pale to find your pint of ale
Was only .5683 of a litre
They don’t make any more wooden chairs
In a programme to save the trees
Now you just sit on a plastic bit
That hurts behind your knees

They don’t make any more paper now
For the tabloid media show
Everything is seen on the TV screen
Home computer or the video
They don’t make any more money
The new system is cash free
If you don’t accept the sign of debt
You’re exiled from society

They don’t make any more petrol now
Of the red star super grade
It’s green instead without the lead
Another trick of the trade
They don’t make any more 45’s
The single has met its match
It looks final for the black vinyl
If CDs don’t bend or scratch

They don’t make anymore public ‘phones
The mobile has replaced them
After all when you made a call
The vandals had only defaced them
They don’t make anymore vitamin pills
They’re all against the law
It’s understood that G.M. food
Will benefit you much more

They don’t make any more golliwogs
The children had to learn
They were racist you see and not P.C.
And of great concern
But they still make nuclear weapons
Despite a grand display
Disarming beds of old warheads
Before they started to decay

Lyndon Queripel

Broken Arrows - Lyndon Queripel

Broken arrows on the ground
Make me feel like turning ‘round
The hills look dark and cold
Broken dreams, ghosts of the night
Sunset shadows and tricks of light
No wonder the thunder rolled

Well they’ve taken away the trees
Where I can’t even guess
Yes, they’ve taken away the trees
And left me in a wilderness

Broken borders and blinded eyes
It took such a long time to realise
All that glitters is not gold
Broken dance of a highway child
Through fields of fire, running wild
His spirit is uncontrolled

Well they’ve taken away the trees
Where I can’t even guess
Yes, they’ve taken away the trees
And left me in a wilderness

Broken heart at Wounded Knee
Scattered feathers through history
Where truth is bought and sold
Broken promises and pale faced lies
With reservations in thin disguise
What does the future hold ?

Lyndon Queripel

Back to GMT - Jenny Hamon

I hate it when the clocks go back
And the evenings are so dark
The hours of daylight go amiss
As we are all at work

What a depressing thought
Why can’t we stay on Summer Time
(I know many people have fought.)

I think they call it SAD disease
As darkness makes me depressed
I feel I want to hibernate
All alone in the darkness

I know I just have to put up
With the dark and dismal days
And if I seem miserable
Just put up with my grumpy ways.

This SAD disease will pass
And happiness will return to me
I will be back to my happy self
When the clocks change to BST

Jenny Hamon

Winter - Julie Gallienne

Winter's bleak message
of trouble to come
foretold in the skies
and dead leaves
on the run.
Blown around
on gusts of wind
dreams and desires
for us to chase.
Autumn's last ditch
at dressing the worl
in bejewelled attire
giving way to black
and grey.
A clear indication
of the direction we'll follw.
But as if by magic
the world is transformed
by the flutter of flakes
glistening like crystal
in a midnight sky
against a full moon.
Laying in peace.
Life takes on a calm
unhurried pace
showing a clean canvas.
Giving us time to reflect
on nature's wonders.
One minute our lives
in complete turmoil
are turned upside down
in a heavenly
serene scene.
Never extinguish
the flame of hope.

Julie Galiene

Party Piece - Lyndon Queripel

I was feeling fine
Drinking my wine
When she asked me
“Now do you see
The glass half empty
Or half full ?”
I turned and sighed
Then smiling, replied
“I think I’ll pass,
Forget the glass
I’m more concerned,
I’ve learned,
With the bottle.”

Lyndon Queripel

Grand Prix Heroes - Lyndon Queripel

Mike Hawthorn was a champion of the fifties code
He retired at the top only to be killed on the road
Jim Clark died at the wheel and Peter Collins too
The plane of Graham Hill dived out of the blue

Fangio and Nuvolari have now passed away
But the magic of their driving is still revered today
Stirling Moss was the complete driver of his time
A near fatal accident stopped him in his prime

Auto Union, Maserati, Vanwall and B.R.M.
Were they all as classic as we remember them?
Goodwood, Kyalami, Donnington, Zandvoort
And the time before Hockenheim was cut short

Jochen Rindt was killed at Monza in nineteen seventy
But he still became the champion posthumously
John Surtees did the double on four wheels and two
Jackie Stewart won three titles and a safety first issue

Hunt the Shunt was a nickname James had to live down
But that didn’t stop him from winning the crown
Niki Lauda survived the inferno at The Nurburgring
And amazingly came back, again to be king

Villeneuve of steel behind the Ferrari wheel
As engines scream and tyres squeal
Gilles was on the track when it all went black
In a fast lap speed trap and never came back

Ayrton Senna lived to drive and that’s how he died
Unless he was winning he was never satisfied
The San Marino weekend was such a tragedy
But the cause of his crash is still a mystery

In the Grand Prix circus, the ring of Formula One
With twists of the wrists the gladiators shone
It was death or glory in the most dangerous drives
But the power of the story cost so many lives

Lyndon Queripel

Sitting In A Bar At the Airport - Andrew Barham

Sitting in a bar at the airport –
Moody, melancholic day-dreaming bar
Taking me away from everything
As it draws it all into perspective
Waiting to see if I shall board the next flight

Been a while since I've sat in a bar
Contemplating the meaning of life over a pint of beer
While ogling a favoured waitress,
But nowadays they're all sports bars –
That ubiquitous telly staring down at one
From every possible point of vantage
Advertising sports, endlessly …

I hate sports – thugs in gaudy uniforms
Paid ridiculous sums of money
To knock a bit of rubber
Or an inflated bladder
About with their hands or their feet
Or batter it with sticks and bats
For the entertainment
Of beer-swilling couch potatoes.
It puts one off by focussing one's attention
On something utterly ephemeral and worthless;

Been too long since I had a drink at the airport,
Yet, I remember a time when we would never dream
Of going to the airport
To board a flight or see someone off
And not have a drink while we were there …

Andrew Barham

I Did It For You Mum - Shannon Shell

Do you know how scared I was?
All I wanted was to help you see justice brought.
I wanted to take it all back, say it wasn't true.
But I kept on going because I love you.

Do you know scared I was...sat at the bottom of those stairs?
But I got involved to try and stop your nightmares.
I hurt mentally...but you have the scars on show.

That morning the look on your face told me all I needed to know.
I'm crying inside but the tears you can't hold back.
Metal to your face...I heard your lip crack.
He denies it ever happened. Well the bastard is wrong.
Mum, I want you to know that I believed you all along.
You may have left me but I never believed a word he said.
Every time he walked into the room, I saw your face filled with dread.
You said you fell off the tandem, it sent a chill down my spine.
I realize now I am your world and you truly are mine.

I may only be a child but I understand your pain,
I'm your grown up daughter, pure as a drop of rain.
I feel a million miles away.
Your house is mine too and that's where I want to stay.
Every time that pig tried to break you down.
Just remember I’m the one still around.

Don't forget we're survivors, oh God that's so true.
Mum I just want you to know,
I did it for you.

Shannon Shell

October - Martyn Legg

October, and the trees are stripped bare of all they wear, but do I care, do I care?
October, and the doors all close but no one knows for no one sees, but do I care?
The leaves are laughing as they fall to the ground, so slowly they drift, without a sound
So slowly I fall, or so it seems, I have all the reasons but none of the means, no infant cries, no tear filled eyes, but do I care?

I see the solution but can’t find a cure, the dreams are all faded, have lost their allure, time is the answer and life is a day, maturity comes in a cruel kind of way, but do I care, do I care?
I’ve asked all the questions and heard the replies so hollow with pity and acceptable lies, the autumn has bitten, the colours have gone, It seems in the end that I held the wrong one.

This thing that I’ve cherished completely in vain, a thing of such beauty has caused me such pain, but do I care, do I care?

October, and the trees are stripped bare, so beautiful were they, clothed in their innocence. But do I care?

Martyn Legg

Standby - Andrew Barham

Yet again, I go darkly into an uncertain future
That looms before me, threatening with challenges –
Each, an Everest without its guiding Sherpa;
Turbulent currents – the Future wildly plunges
Through deep canyons of fear and despair:
I know not how it will go as I begin
To set in motion this upheaval from my lair;
I can only enter these dark waters to sink or swim.

The relative calm of safe routine –
Relaxed in the stormy eye with each tomorrow
Ascertained beforetime as each day seen
Follows on from this time we borrow:
It matters not that I was not ready
To tear apart and rend asunder
This lulling peace and serene tranquility
To fly forth and into the raging storm blunder.

Andrew Barham

Acrobatic Poetry - Fred Williamson and Lester Queripel

The words leap off the page.
Onto the empty stage.
It’s the start of the show.
The ideas flow.

Words rain from my mind.
I juggle them into line.
Poetry prose and rhyme.
Easy to find.
Pumping from my brain.
Like an express train.

Words, like busy bees.
Like monkeys in the trees.
A wordy display.
A worthy array.
The show must go on.
There is no pause.
Even after the applause.

Fred Williamson and Lester Queripel

Save our Seas - Jenny Hamon

The crashing seas upon our shore
Bring flotsam and jetsam for us to endure
Because in these days of plastic packs
The sea just washes these things back.

A wander along the high tide mark
Exposes things jettisoned after dark.
A rubber shoe, some empty cans
Tossed over the wall from someone’s van.

Besides the local rubbish here
The sea returns things from yester year.
How long did the bottle take to float
Across the ocean, or thrown from a boat?

Fishing nets, a broken crab pot,
A bundle of rope tied in a knot
A fish tray and a bright red float
Washed over from a fishing boat.

The rubbish washed up from the deep
Are treasures we are forced to keep
As many years hence, everyone knows
These things will never decompose.

Maybe we must have a think
Before this rubbish is on the brink
Of taking over everything,
And killing the gifts the oceans bring.

Let’s keep the beaches as nature’s way
Or a terrible price we all will pay.
Teach future generations how to live
And to appreciate their heritage.

Jenny Hamon

Raven Rules - Andrew Barham

Canny old crow
I hear his wings
Beating against the sky
I can't see –
The Forest is silent;
Ancient trees
Shrouded in moss
Which falls in tatters
From moss thickened limbs
Murmuring ancient wisdom to themselves:
I look up
Into the distant canopy
Hearing the Raven calling –
My camera
Set at 28, as wide an angle as it will go
Can't take it all in:
Tree trunks as wide
As a Silver Ghost is long;
Trees …
Moss …
Rules …

Andrew Barham

I’m Looking For A Minute - Lester Queripel

I’m looking for a minute I can never seem to find.
If I don’t find it soon I’m going to lose my mind.
I’ve looked everywhere for it and now I’m at my wits end.
If I don’t find that minute soon I’ll go around the bend.

I’ve looked under tables, I’ve looked under chairs.
I’ve even looked under other people’s affairs.
Maybe if I don’t try so hard it will suddenly appear.
Maybe it’ll come up and bite me in the rear.
Maybe it’s already here.

Or maybe it’s over there.
I’m starting to despair.
I’m getting in a real tizz.
Aaah look........................................................there it is.

Phew, what a relief.
It’s beyond belief.

But now that I’ve got it.................what am i going to do with it?
A nod’s as good as a wink, so give me a minute to think,
Then I’ll let you know.

Lester Queripel

Competition Winner - September 2012
Flight - Yasmin Mariess

As well I might, consider flight,
for I have wings, not feet.
For who needs feet to fly?
Legs that were once strong still there,
now in the confines of my chair.
I am unstoppable, the heart beats strong
It is the will that pushes on.
And upwards, to fly unfettered, free...
Hear me shout "I am still ME!"

Yasmin Mariess

Speaking in the QUIETUDE - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Spontaneous verse inspired by my dear friend Darren Betts on a wet Sunday Morning in the Channel Islands.

Speaking in the QUIETUDE - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Silence and Stillness, Speak to me in volumes
Volumes I cannot quantify nor would I try
The softness of the Autumn rain
Seems to ease my worries and strain

The gentle Mumble of distant thunder
No cars, No tractors; Just nature herself
Speaking in the quietude
Caring for the Planet

These silences and Stillness move me
Carry me off to a place only few can visit
Only some have the insight to open the door
Only some can see the way to forevermore

There is the odd flash of lightening now
Like a symphony, the trees rustle and the brambles bend
Now comes the downpour, and gentle tapping of doors
As the air moves from room to room

A translucent light as opposed to darkness or gloom
Birds hold their shelter, Cats find a shed
The roses though, breathe as if they have room
The season nearly over but still with some blossoms red

I look within as the clouds now wiz past
I look forward to tomorrow
Knowing the rain will not last
Bigger flashes now as to crescendo we go
Timpani and Boom call from out of the gloom
Lighting up even the darkest of rooms

As the rain pours and someone in bed still gently snores
The cacophony of rain, and thunder and light
Have helped me look inward to find that chink of light
To realise, my cares and my woes, will one day melt away, as will all the spring snows.

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Close My Eyes - Tony Robert

Close my eyes see your face
Reach for you, just empty space
Nothing that side of the bed
Empty pillow without your head

Dream you’re there holding me tight
Snuggled up to me in the night
Think I feel your lovely touch
Perhaps I’m hoping a bit too much

Love so much for it to be true
Want so much to be with you
Start to feel you slipping away
No matter what I do or say

Suddenly awake looking round the place
Feel the tears rolling down my face
Realise it’s just a very bad dream
Try to make sense of what it means

Where do we go from here?
Decisions that I really fear
Hope we can ride out the storm
That your love will keep me warm

Love for us to grow old together
To be with you forever and ever
To love, to care, to cherish you
That’s all I really want to do.

Tony Robert

Passing Strangers - Katherine Svensson

I drove past you.
You wore a brown leather jacket.
A skeleton covered in skin;
Cheeks and eyes and body concave.
Life being sucked out of you from within.

What cancer would take your life?
I do not know.
You made me think about you for a while,
As I drove past you,
On my way home.

Katherine Svensson

Who Regulates The Regulator? - Lester Queripel

Who regulates the regulator?
Who audits the auditor?
Who facilitates the facilitator?
Who adjudicates the adjudicator?
Who supervises the supervisor?
Who oversees the expert?
Who trained the first one?
Where did they get their knowledge from?
Who taught the first teacher?
Who ordained the first preacher?
Who set the very first test?
Who gave them authority to rule over ‘the rest?’
Who qualified the person who qualified the first surgeon?
They must have set their own standard of qualification!
They must have set their own procedures of operation!
They must have set their own rules of regulation!
Which brings me back to my first question.
Who regulates the regulator?

Lester Queripel

Not So Clever After All - Lester Queripel & Fred Williamson

People who pretend to be clever aren’t really clever at all.
Really clever people will make you feel ten feet tall.
So beware of people who try to make you feel small.
What is so clever about trying to impress?
All these people really do is leave you in distress.
They criticise and ridicule.
Try to make you look a fool.
The way they treat people is downright cruel.
So beware of people who try to make you feel small.
Really clever people will make you feel ten feet tall.

Lester Queripel & Fred Williamson

Farewell my Friend - Jenny Hamon

Image By Jenny Hamon

Farewell my Friend - Jenny Hamon

My Chestnut mare is moving on
Going to pastures new.
I know she will be happy
And is the right thing to do.

She lived with me for many years
And was my trusty friend
But now the time has come to move on
And our relationship will end.

Her life will be fulfilling
There’s space for her to roam.
She also will have company
To share in her new home.

Although the miles divide us
I know it’s for her sake,
And I always will remember her
Each morning when I wake.


But when the winter arrives
And the rain is falling too
I’ll be inside cosy and warm.
No mucking out to do!

Jenny Hamon

Rain – A Short Poem About Loss - Kate Lee

Rain falls softly, gently
like leaves from the trees.

Inside you take a shower in your own private rain
hoping that soon the sun will shine again.

Kate Lee

Comfort Vessel - Kate Lee

If I could capture the beautiful essence of our friendship
I would pour it into a terracotta vessel and keep it safely there,
So that when I was alone and in need of comfort
I could gently release the cork stopper
And bathe in the glorious perfume of contented familiarity.

Kate Lee

In My Dreams - Lester Queripel

In my dreams, I dream of stars in endless midnight skies.
I dream of a world where people don’t tell lies.
I dream of a world where the earth never dies.
In my dreams I dream of money being used as an energy.
Being used to help set people free.
Free from tyranny and slavery.
In my dreams I dream of unity.
I dream of people helping one another.
In my dreams I dream in colour.
I dream of sunsets and rainbows, waterfalls and streams, all sorts of beautiful things, in my dreams.
In my dreams, I dream of a world where people really care, and simply wouldn’t dare, pollute the rivers, or the air.
There are no hungry mouths to feed, there is no greed.
In my dreams I can see the sea so clear.
Everything we cherish is held dear.
In my dreams I can hear music and feel the harmony.
We all sing in the same key.
We all dance and we all join hands, our hearts full of joy all over these lands.
I wonder if I will live to see, my dreams become a reality?
I certainly hope so.
If you like, I’ll let you know.

Lester Queripel

Autumn - Jenny Hamon

Now the wind arrives and my garden so neat
Is strewn with a myriad of leaves at my feet.
The colours changed to reds and gold
As another season begins to unfold.

The Autumn days bring golden hues
Of leaves and trees, and heavy dews.
The world seems tinged with a golden glow
As if painted by someone in the know.

It happens on us suddenly
After still sunny days and azure sea
The Autumn winds decide to arrive
And remind us the seasons are alive.

We dig out our woollies to keep out the chill
These long dark evenings are a bitter pill.
Tender plants give up their annual fight
Against cooler days and lack of light.

Enjoy these days because all too soon
The world moves into another moon
When winter rears it’s cold dark head
And on from Autumn we are led.

Each season brings its’ unique time
And we must embrace each changing sign.
Enjoy each season as the world moves on
As all too soon it will be gone.

Jenny Hamon

I Wouldn’t Like To Be In My Shoes - Lester Queripel

I’m sure I’ll drive myself crazy one of these days
I’ve simply overloaded my system
I realise I am disposable
I can throw myself away anytime
And that’s the bottom line
That’s the ace up my sleeve
Although I know I flatter to deceive
But do I choose to lead this life or does it choose to lead me?
Sometimes I can’t see the wood for the tree
My paranoia may just be the death of me
I am before the executioner down on one knee
I am forever on the brink
Maybe I am the missing link
I have more than one war waging within
All of these wars I simply have to win
But the orders are often misinterpreted
And the bullets are often misplaced
The planes are often without fuel
And that is a downright disgrace
But at least I still have voices in my head
So I can’t be dead
One of these days and it won’t be long
You’ll look for me baby and I’ll be gone
I think that’s how the song went
It was a blues
I’ll tell you something else
I wouldn’t like to be in my shoes

Lester Queripel

Battle Ensues - Valandra Bolan

I feel you
waiting, watching
ready to catch me when I fall

I know you are there
waiting to envelop me
grip me tight and not let me go

I could run from you
but I dont have the strength
you are stronger than I ever could be

I want to fight you
I need you to go now
repeating my mantra
tomorrow is another day

the tunnel light fades
your arms embrace me
a strong hold
I am yours yet again

Valandra Bolan

Magnetised - Lester Queripel

Your body heat when you walked in.
It sent shivers trembling all over my skin.
The way you look, the way you talk.
The way you move baby when you walk.
I was really lost like a moth to the flame.
I just couldn’t believe it when you whispered my name.
You were talking to me with your eyes.
Falling for you, I was magnetised.

I was magnetised.
I was magnetised.

It wasn’t my fault I didn’t stand a chance.
Your body was electric when you started to dance.
Did it really happen or was it a dream?
I just can’t believe what I think I’ve seen.
Now I don’t need to understand.
I just want to stay in this wonderland.
Because you’re talking to me with your eyes.
I’ve fallen for you and now I’m magnetised.

Yes I’m magnetised.
Before my eyes.
Simply magnetised

Lester Queripel

I Make No Apologies For My Passion - Lester Queripel

I make no apologies for my passion
My passion is what makes me
My passion is not an item of fashion
A trend to be thrown away
I've had it since the day I was born
I'll have it till my very last day
It won't desert me, or make excuses for my being
It doesn't need to justify what everyone else is seeing
It is what it is
Excitable and creative
Tortured and emotive
It doesn't sit on the fence in a nonchalant way
It lets me know that it's there every single day
So I make no apologies for my passion
I make no apologies for being real
I make no apologies for the way that I feel
The person that you see
Is the real me
That's why I make no apologies for my passion

Lester Queripel

A Day In June - Kathy Figueroa

She got a late start
But put her heart
Into weeding her flowerbed
Down on her knees
She watched bumblebees
Bob and bustle by her head
The comfrey flowers
Had bee charming powers
Lavender blooms were in delicate array
Valerian blossoms, white
Were a stately sight
And the fine fragrance drifted her way
For the flowers to grow
The weeds had to go
But she felt hesitant, just the same
For they were lovely and lush
And the mullein leaves plush
But, if left, they would crowd out the tame
Birds on the wing
Chirped the details of spring
Chipmunks chattered high up in the trees
A joyous spell had been cast
Now that winter had passed
Wild daisies swayed in the breeze
Butterflies floated on air
Without a care
And inspected each beautiful bloom
The sun shone bright
And everywhere light
Dispelled any trace of gloom
She reveled in the flowers
As she passed the hours
Working in her garden, at home
And marveled at the way
That, on this day
All of Nature was like a beautiful poem

Kathy Figueroa

Competition Winner - August 2012
The S.O.S. Man - Jenny Hamon

Poor old man
What a burden he bears
Repairing shoes for people
He peddles his wares.

Cobblers, you say
But not him, just a man
Providing shoes for the poor
As only he can.

He stitches and glues
And repairs what he can
To make shoes to wear
The Save Our Soles man

Jenny Hamon

Gladiators - John Carré Buchanan

Channel 4 have been running a superb advertisement for the 2012 London Paralympics which start tomorrow. The advertisement is based upon the fact that the British Paralympic athletes are superhuman. Think about it; just for a few seconds please stop reading and think about it;

These people have a struggle to do things many take for granted, things such as; getting dressed, traveling to and from work, even mundane things like having a bath or going to the loo and that is before they start training. Each of them has adapted to, and overcome their personal difficulties and then gone further and learnt to compete at the very top of their chosen sports. This takes guts, determination and a singular focus on their goals.

These people are truly inspirational. In my eyes, the eyes of someone who finds just getting to tomorrow a struggle, they are magnificent, and yes they are in every sense of the word, Superhuman. My poem is dedicated to all of the Paralympians representing Great Britain, Go Team GB.

Gladiators - John Carré Buchanan

They stand proud.
Clothed in national colours
they form one body,
and that body exudes confidence.
The smiles on their faces betray them!
For these are smiles that know;
‘I can – I will’ and ‘I have’.

This knowledge;
born of unfathomable hardship
underpins all.
True - carbon fibre, plastics and alloys,
support bone, flesh and blood
but all are useless
without the knowledge.

So believe, British Gladiators,
believe and be proud.
And I will stand behind you
with a Nation that believes in -
and is proud of - you.

John Carré Buchanan

A Seagull's Prayer - Fred Brown

Footsteps fade on the sand runway
Through moon flight control and the tidal phase

Feathers shed from wayward courses
To new heights on the back of white horses

Spiralling round on thermals to heaven
Shores below left for dusk to redden

Crying laughter at the top of my voice
Till the oceans whisper without choice

Sail through me till my soul sings
With sunbeam wind-chimes under my wings

Breathe fluency into each wing flap
Till I soar with you over each mishap

Above dead suns, pink ice-sheets melting
Beyond bloated mountains, rainclouds pelting

To leave no trail of where I have flown
To let parted clouds be re-sewn

To lose trodden seashells to the tide
To live the rest of my life wide-eyed

Footsteps fade on the sand runway
Clear for landing on a brand new day

Fred Brown

Cheesy Metaphors About Life - Fred Brown

Cheesy metaphors about life.
They might smell bad but they taste quite nice.
What you're about to hear may smell so wrong
But try and taste honestly through the pong.

Time is like swiss cheese, some say holy
And gobbled up quick like guacamole.
Use it most on your favourite dishes
To satisfy your hungriest wishes.

Some folks like tomato sauce
With everything from dessert to main course.
Others eat fish eggs on their motorbike -
Whatever you want! Whatever you like!

Think of a day like a cafe venue.
Each minute reads like a fancy menu.
Italian, Mexican or Chinese
There's time to try all delicacies.

You can fill each year from sea to sky
With a chocolate life-time supply.
Or Take 1 second and wrap it up
To savour like a Chupa Chup.

After you've eaten, how much will you tip?
Are you grateful for the taste on your lips?
Try to imagine when there's no more to eat -
Are you happy with the window seat?

If you look at an ocean full of salt
And can only see its fishy faults
Then I'd say you haven't got it.
There's a skeleton in your food closet.

But if you can spread honey on your hell-burnt toast
And give all your bananas to the chimp hurt most,
Then I'd say you're halfway there.
The stars are like sprinkles in the air.

Try eating a bowl of cereal.
Life's like that but more funereal.
Before you reach the bottom don't forget
That what you give is what you get.

Most people on this fruitful Earth
Will have their share of daily bread dearths.
It's hard to realise picnic baskets
In things hard to swallow like woe and caskets.

So when it's raining, try a cup.
It could quench your soul when next fed up.
When thunder's rumbling in your belly,
Welcome it like a wobbly jelly.

Hearts that grow cold, empty and rigid,
Are similar in description to new fridges.
Try some salad in there, baby milk or butter.
Hearts can find purpose with healthier clutter.

Being kind and being nice
Should be as common as plain white rice.
If you understand your neighbour's diet
It decreases the chance of a food fight riot.

And being right or being the best
Is not as important as feeding a guest.
If my tongue is bitter, give me a mint!
At least when I talk my breath won't stink.

Digesting this poem could be flabbergasting.
But a good cheese is often everlasting.
If you leave it for a while on the shelf, don't worry.
I'm quite the fussy eater myself. Sorry!

Fred Brown

Mr. Brown - Pearl White Regan

Image Mr. Brown by Pearl White Regan

Mr. Brown - Pearl White Regan

In January I dropped a box
when shopping in the Town,
a man returned it to my arms
and I met Mr Brown.

‘Twas February quite near the end,
that we both met again;
We dashed to the same dry doorway
to shelter from the rain.

The March winds didn’t stop us
from meeting when we could,
we walked, and talked, and laughed a lot
the way that true friends should.

Then in the April showers
we ran across the sand,
and when the Sun was setting
we held each other’s hand.

May was quite exciting
we saw each other more,
He showed me lots of lovely scenes
I hadn’t seen before.

But June was quite the nicest month
the Sun was shining down,
When in a gown of sparking white
I married Mr. Brown.

Pearl White Regan

Reality - Julie Gallienne

Hearts of stone
cracked open
Feelings flood in
unwanted thoughts and emotions.
No place to hide
head on colision
with reality.
Reaching out for help
with fingers clawing
at snippets of hope.
Life's blows
pull the rug from our feet
leaving vunerable exposure
for the world to see.
Tears can't always be hidden
from prying eyes
anymore than the truth
can be hidden by lies.
Take time to notice
those in need
for they can't always ask
or be lowered to plead.
Just a look
or a smile
can change a perspective
in the blink of an eye.

Julie Gallienne

Diets - Julie Gallienne

Is it a sin
or a guilty pleasure
to cheat on a diet you seem to have been on forever?
Deprived of the foods
we believe we deserve
is it any wonder
we head for defeat?
Intentions declared
with enthusiasm
we head
the well followed path
that many tread.
Some have succeded
where many have failed
held up as examples
they have willpower nailed.
A beautiful body
is the prize to be won
but the race we are running
can never be fun.

Julie Gallienne

As One Day Ends - D.B. Morst

Day’s end and a simmering sun
Almost spent, hangs close to the horizon
Warm and weary and ready to slip
Into the respite of the salty salve
Whose fluid body
Rises and falls in alluring rhythm.
Breathing, sighing
Lying flat then arching up
White crests reaching like outstretched fingers
Seeking out the pulsing heat
Ebbing, flowing
Each wave growing ever closer with the beat
Swelling, churning
Sun still burning
Raging hard with yearning
Inching fast towards the edge
Water heaving
Climbing, pleading
‘Till Laws of Nature triumph
And solar embers pierce the silky skin
Plunging, sinking deep within
An almost audible hiss
An emerald roller collapses – shattering!
Scattering diamonds across the golden bed.

The light quickly fades
With the sea now full of the molten sun
A backdrop of stars is lowered quietly
And a cool breeze blows through your hair.
As the throbbing waves calm into gentle ripples
And we drift together on the turning tide
My heart is full with thoughts of sunrise.

D.B. Morst

As We Travel Through Life - Julie Gallienne

God and Spirit
angels too
please listen when
we pray to you.
Bless our children
form above
bestow on them
all your love.
Sprinkle angel dust
in their eyes
to help them see the truth
not lies.
Show them the path
to follow
so their lives are fulfilled
not hollow.
Guardian angels
stay by their side
be there when needed
to rescue and guide.
As their lives progress
let choices unfold
a journey of adventure
a story to be told.
S o from the moment of birth
till the passing to spirit
live life to the full
don't waste a minute.

Julie Gallienne

The Children's Forest of Cortes - Andrew Barham

Image By Andrew Barham

The Children's Forest of Cortes - Andrew Barham

Mushrooms emerging from thick moss
Or pushing through the darkened duff,
Sunlight slanting through the coniferous canopy
Until the hoary moss coating the cedar's branches
Glows golden through the massy filaments;

Spiders silk, fine filaments of light
Strung between the trees, or,
Orbs suspended between their branches,
Cobwebs running their length –

To see Sitka Spruce sidling up to Douglas Fir
In a forest where Arbutus pokes out
Above the waters of lagoons
And sheltered bays …

Artists amongst the trees transfigured
As they in turn are transformed by the forest
Alive with the light and the voices of children
Emerging like the fungi from the humic soil –
Indian Pipe – but whiter than I've ever seen it before,
And each sepal and petal tipped
With intense carmine, like no other Monotropa;

I was fooled by this unusual display
Of unaccustomed colour: Could it be
An Allotropa instead? But no:

This unlikely plant emerging everywhere
Bears its flowers singly atop its thickened stems;
Yet candy-striped it appears to be;
A flower of Christmas colour coming up
In the blazing August sunshine of High Summer …

Candy-coloured flowers and stems –
What more could one ask
Of a Children's Forest?

Andrew Barham

Time to live again - Tony Robert

How did all this happen? You sometimes sit and ponder.
Your life’s been turned upside down, is it any wonder?

You want to start your life again, to leave the past behind
So many loose ends to tie up, many new joys to find

You’ve so many memories, some happy, some so sad
You can’t seem to forget them, some good, some so bad

You always do what’s best for everyone and leave yourself ‘til last
Time to put yourself first, instead of living in the past

You must start to look forward now, grab the chance with both hands
There’s happiness for you right now, time for dreams and plans

You must be brave, you must be strong
Go for it, you can’t go wrong

Time for positive thinking, put aside those doubts and fears
Time for smiling and happy thoughts, forget the pain and tears

You can do it; you’ve got yourself through it
Time to live again

Tony Robert

Four Years On - John Carré Buchanan

Four years ago today I was knocked from my bicycle on the way to work. This poem describes where four years of working with a specialist pain management team, my family and friends has bought me. My biggest achievements being becoming a Christian, starting the Guernsey Chronic Pain Support Group and creating two poetry blogs Guernsey Poets and Poet at Jaybern.

Thank you for supporting me in this endeavour.

Four Years On - John Carré Buchanan

The memory is not important
Screech of breaks, shattered glass,
burst of fear, anger, pain;
that is how it started,
she just pulled out.

The loss that’s what truly counts
Feet pound along beautiful cliff paths,
bicycles, kayaks, water skis;
that’s what was lost,
everything I enjoyed.

No, It’s deeper, much worse
The essence of everything loved
Wife, Children, Friends, Job;
all of them suffer,
Torn asunder, shredded.

Self image, destroyed, hated
unimaginable pain, imaginable,
insomnia, tears, vomit;
these unwanted parasites,
devour all joy, never cease.

Every day, a new battle
continuous cycle of pain management,
exercise, therapy, stretches, drugs;
just to stay stable,
the gradual decline evident.

The one desire, end it, end it all
screech of brakes, shattered lives,
pain, despair, guilt;
tortured soul
fight, don’t quit, pray.

Put cares aside, trust the Lord,
true friends lend shoulders and listen,
plan, strive, achieve;
Four years on,
Pain worse, but hanging in.

John Carré Buchanan

The Flu - Jenny Hamon

I’m lying in bed
I’ve got the flu
Don’t want to get up
To go to the loo!

Every bone is aching
My head feels on fire
Oh why do I feel
Like I’m in the mire?

Oh how can I lay here
When there are jobs still to do
The dog needs a walk
And a meal to cook too.

Life just carries on
Even though it is tough
To just keep going
(Stop the world. I’ll get off)

I visit the Doctor
Now easier than said
He says just drink water
And go home to bed

I lay there in peace
And feel the warmth of my bed
I hope soon I’ll feel better
No more pain in my head

The only advantage
Of staying at home
Is that the Olympics are on
So why should I moan?

I have all the time
To watch the athletes compete
While I curl up
In my comfy seat.

I’ve followed the rules
And my temperature’s down
I’m starting to smile,
No continual frown

I wake up feeling good
I’m free from the pain
Good morning World
I feel human again!

Jenny Hamon

Eulogy For A Bat - Kathy Figueroa

A wisp of dusk, personified
Or should I say, 'animalified'
It grieves me, Bat
That you have died
A blight wracked your tiny body
Slight and brown
Stopped your flight
And struck you down
I wondered why
Not long ago
When the ground
Was cloaked with snow
As I looked outside
Late at night
I saw you swoop by
The electric light
"What could it possibly
Find to eat, now?"
Was on my mind
How could a bug
It hope to find
When all was frozen
White and still
I know now, Bat
That you were ill
In the shelter where
You were housed
To winters chill
You were roused
Then, in search of food
You left the safety
Of your home
Because of a plague called
'White Nose Syndrome'
This pestilential disease
Caused you to awaken
..Then starve.. then freeze..
So, sadly, your life was taken
You had great worth
In the grand scheme of things
As you flew over this earth
With fragile wings
Humans with no sense
Often like to say
That they are at the top
Of the food chain
Forgetting that black flies
And mosquitoes
Require warm blood to drain
And that, in this land
It's not unknown
For a person
To die of exposure
When lost in
The woods, alone
Should the word 'exposure'
Need to be explained
It can mean that the person died
Because too much blood was drained
So a bat is an answer
To a prayer for respite
And a defense
From the attack, from the bite
Of a blood hungry (possibly
West Nile Disease carrying) parasite
Though some folks
Might express fear if their path
With this creature, connects
It's good to remember that
In spring and summer
A bat can devour
From half to its entire
Body weight in insects
This critter should never be hurt
Or, by human hand, rendered dead
A bat should always be
Left alone, instead
So it can flourish and thrive
Because a bat is worth
Far more than gold, alive
One thing I know that could
Soon become very clear
Is that people
Will surely miss a bat
If bugs proliferate
And bats are no longer here
So Little Brown Bat
Myotis Lucifugus
Your good work I
Hereby, commend
And let it be known that
To humans and, indeed, to all
Warm blooded creatures
You were a friend

Kathy Figueroa

Words - Martyn Legg

Wordle Picture Created by JCB

Words - Martyn Legg

I place these thoughts upon the page
Expressing anger, full of rage
Broken promises and dreams
Endless nights and silent screams

Take these words and set them free
Let them be as they should be
I close the book the words are gone
Still the rage goes on and on

I place my heart within your hand
You know exactly where I stand
Fill these eyes with something new
Yet another glimpse of you

Words just come and then they go
There is no reason to their flow
Transcending time they state the pain
They speak of loss, they speak of gain

Could I control the way words fall
If I could live to use them all
Still there would be things left to say
Words enough to fill the day

Take these words and set them free…

Martyn Legg

Our World - James Willis

Living in between the rays of light strung from the windows of idleness, painted with the colours of your own loving taste.

Where is there an end where there is no beginning? How can you talk when your words just revolve in the circle of an unchartered sea of letters?
When can you explain it?
When can all souls see it and believe that it is you and that it is for the taking.

I want to carry away this thing and yet I cannot lift it from the ground where heroes stood. I am fought back with spears of forgotten wars and the basis of the constitution.

And yet we have wandered in leafy glades past towering love mansions where all noise is wondrous, sounds are voices of peace and loving, where nothingness grows, where friends live in yellow madness, where people are manufacturing the cloth of gladness, where the sovereign is in the trench and the common labourer sits on the throne and shoeless children carve their names on its legs and the elders come to paint pretty designs around those monuments of singular, named existence.

You and I, safe in our own shell of hardest resistance. Love is protecting us from the snatching steel claws of the world around us. The temptation wolves are baring their bus-ticket teeth, the salesmen are opening their treasure troves, promising us heaven and they only have hell. The policemen are wielding their insulated guns but the bullets bounce off our aura of morale. The tarmacadam shines of fresh steam-rollers where the rates have been and gone…..and the shell remains intact.

Where are we going? Where are the others? Where can we find the wanted, needed, required type of idol?
Where is the thing we are looking for? Show us the way…. The simple, easy going, free and easy, carefree life where idleness is the barricade against the prickles of the thorn bush world outside.
Porcupine of politics and magnetic, adhesive existence of deceit, hate, privacy invasion, sacrilegious, nosy, quarrelling, crushing, cheating, doublecrossing, conniving population of the world we left behind.

James Willis

The 2.6 Million Pound Drop - Stephen A. Roberts

No need for Davina
Don't give her a (Mc)call
2.6 million's been dropped
Through the trapdoor marked "fraud"

Skip all the questions
Go straight to the prize
"There's a loophole still open!"
The Guernsey taxpayer cries

The winning ticket as usual
Was sold to someone abroad
They've collected the cash and
It's all below board

Heads in our hands, the
Timing couldn't be worse
It's about fifty quid each
From a stretched public purse

But those crims from the mainland
(because we know it's them)
will find those green notes worthless
in their Nandos or H&M

Stephen A. Roberts

Lazy Sunday - Tony Robert

Another lazy Sunday morning
And I’m lying in my bed.
Suddenly with no warning
You’re running through my head

Try to shake away the thought
But still the images persist
Think I’m falling, must be caught
But you’re so hard to resist

Said I wouldn’t do it
Go through all that pain
Hearts been shattered, life in tatters
Could I take the risk again?

I’m acting like a love sick kid
You’ve really touched my heart
When we meet like we just did
I never want to part.

Know I should be old and wise
But you make me feel so young
For me you were a big surprise
Haven’t felt this way for so long

At last I’m looking forward
Instead of living in the past
I’m full of optimism
Just hope that it will last.

Tony Robert

Ships Passing - Rosemary Parrott

In my teens I used sit at my bedroom window on the hill near the Castel Church at night, watching the pinpricks of light that marked the movement of shipping along the horizon: cargo ships with their collection of lights at one end and a masthead light at the other, and cruise ships, not so many in those days, with a row of lights from stem to stern and between the masts, not dreaming that I would ever have the chance to go on one myself.

Several times now I’ve seen the caption on the cabin screen `You are now entering the Casquets gyratory system’, as if it were a roundabout on some motorway, and gone up on deck to watch as I go past Guernsey. I watch the row of lights in the distance and wonder if there is another restless teenager sitting at that window, watching my light creeping along the horizon and longing to be free.

My poem, 'Ships passing', is included in my most recent book 'Lanterns in Wet Leaves' which has just been published.

Ships Passing - Rosemary Parrott

No moon,
Hardly any stars;
A row of dark oaks
Stand firm before
The window,
Giant prison bars
Causing me to cry:
“Let me go,”-
But silently,
Inside my head,
So that no-one else will know.

Distant pinpricks of light
Inch their way
Along the edges of the sky:
Green ones
On their way to England,
Red, bound for
The Bay of Biscay
And beyond;
While in systematic round,
The lighthouse
Combs its corner
Of the night
With rhythmic,
Sweeping finger.

Rosemary Parrott

Summer 2012-07-15 - Pat

Clouds scudding across blackened skies
Bursting to shed Rain, Rain, Rain
April passes May & June
Will sun ever appear again?

Empty beaches. cafes, kiosks
Fields sodden, crops go under
Forecasts tell us over & over
More rain, hail & thunder.

Birds & Plants, Nature confused
Is it Winter, Summer or Spring?
July comes outlook dismal
But we cannot alter a thing.

Maybe in August or September
The sun will shine to stop the rot
And being human, rain forgotten
We’ll all complain we’re much too hot!


'Lennox' Was His Name - Kathy Figueroa

In Belfast, they killed a dog
'Lennox' was his name
He wasn't a rabid, vicious beast
He was a family pet and quite tame
The reasoning for this evil act
Was rather devoid of rationale
They said he just looked like a killer breed
And couldn't possibly be a little girl's pal
Without a shred of decency
Only blackness in each heart
The Belfast City Council
Ripped a family apart
They confined the poor pet, Lennox
To a sawdust covered cell
He'd done nothing to warrant being cast
Into that man made H*ll
They kept him isolated for two years
Until his coat became ragged and bare
It was obvious from the pictures
That he wasn't receiving proper care
How he must've cried each night
To be taken back to the arms of his family
While good people protested around the world
To try to have poor Lennox set free
Many wanted to adopt him
And take him far away
They wanted to give him a loving home
Where he could run and play
But their voices fell upon nothing
Except cold and heartless ears
And on the morning of July 11, 2012
The dog killers of Belfast
Actualized everyone's worst fears

They say that the way a person treats a dog
Shows how that person will treat other men
So it's certain, in Belfast, cruelty will surface, again
The behaviour of those who killed Lennox
Was a complete and utter disgrace
May they be known, forevermore
As bad examples of the human race

Kathy Figueroa

Paradise - Jenny Hamon

Image: Jenny Hamon

Paradise - Jenny Hamon

As I sit here, perched on a rock
Half way between sky and sea
I feel an infinity with God,
A joining of him and me.

The wheeling gulls, the blooming gorse
Make this a heavenly space.
If this is paradise, I’m here
Cradled in this beautiful place.

It’s a magical place, my cliff top seat
Where peace becomes the norm.
I drink in the wonderful atmosphere
That campions and thrift adorn.

A couple of hours to contemplate
Restores sanity to my soul
Amid the very busy life
That seems to be my role.

I gaze towards the horizon
Out where the sea and sky meet.
That’s where I’ll find my rainbow’s end
And my life will be complete.

Jenny Hamon

Write A Poem - Tony Robert

You’ve got to write a poem
That’s what they say
Just one worry
Better hurry
The deadline’s on Saturday

You should enter the Eisteddfod
It’ll be a bit of fun
Write the odd line
That’ll do fine
Try to get it done

But how to write a poem
Think up the clever rhyme
Make it scan
That’s the plan
I’m running out of time

Now the clock is ticking
Need some inspiration
Must be dim
Getting grim
This feeling of desperation

Suddenly it’s easy
The words just seem to flow
Line by line
Doing fine
I’m really on the go

On and on and on I write
Trying to impress
Think I’ve done it
Maybe won it
But perhaps I’m not the best

Others have been at it
Writing lots of lines
They’re really smart
Know the art
Of making better rhymes

Never mind at least I’ve tried
To do my very best
This writing game
Is hard to tame
Have I passed the test?

At last someone’s read it
Although it’s such a fudge
Had some giggles
At my squiggles
Well, you be the judge

Tony Robert

Acrostic Sonnet: The Opening of a New Real Ale Pub - Andrew Barham

Take us down to a grand and ancient pub
Hidden away on a lost avenue
Every soul consigned to Beelzebub
Bartered away for a drink grand and true
Each quaffer on his foaming pint intent
Sups mightily at perfectly hopped brew
These lads know from whence springs their deep content
Revealed only to the lord’s chosen few.
Eager drinkers of the world’s finest beer,
Alone or with friends, hie they hither here;
Let’s drink up!” the lord of the land bellows!
All things end for the best of fellows!
Last orders all round while the night is young;
Egad! It’s all over! Last bell’s been rung!

Andrew Barham

Chocolate - Kathy Figueroa

This is what I've learned today:
Chocolate chases the blues away
If tears are flowing from my eyes
I reach for chocolate, the large size
Chocolate, the food of Aztec kings
Is surely about what the sweet bird sings
A gift to mortals from the divine
Or to a lover, a valentine
It makes frayed nerves start to mend
Yes, chocolate is a woman's friend
It doesn't just put you in a good mood
It's a healthy, vitamin filled food
Chocolate makes you feel fine and regal
Let's hope they never make it illegal

Kathy Figueroa

Summer? - Jenny Hamon

What’s happened to the Summer?
It got washed away.
When can we shed our woolies
And let the sun come out to play?

We haven’t had a chance
To wear our summer clothes
Let alone the swimsuits,
Not even dipped our toes.

The longest day has passed now
The evenings will draw in.
We can forget those balmy barbeques
With our kith and kin.

An Indian summer’s possible
We do still have the time
To enjoy some lovely autumn days
When the sun finally shines.

Jenny Hamon

All You Want - Tony Robert

Spectacular sunsets, moonlight and stuff
Stormy black skies when the weather’s rough
Dramatic scenes in your mind
When all you want is a cuddle

First lambs of spring, an awesome thing
Baby’s first talk, toddlers first walk
Wonderful memories in your mind
When all you want is a cuddle

Can’t seem to function
Crazy at times
Brain out to luncheon
Losing your mind
Total disorder
Wild despair
Just need to know
Somebody’s there

First light at sunrise
Start of the day
Long summer’s evenings
Sun slipping away
Beautiful days, wonderful nights
But all you want is a cuddle

Tony Robert

Competition Winner - June 2012
Dragon Rising - Ian Duquemin

Tattoo etched upon the skin
Ruby red, needle in
Turquoise features, black outline
Sacred image, lines so fine
Golden ink begins to shine
The dragon on this arm of mine
Comes alive amidst the pain
Playing tricks within my brain
The dragon rises ever higher
Like a phoenix from the fire
Coloured ink imbedded deep
Forever mine to keep

Ian Duquemin

Lonely Me? - Tony Robert

6.45 alarm rings in my head,
Time to get my arse out of bed.
There’s a brand new day to start,
But do I really have the heart?

And so another day begins,
Somebody loses, somebody wins.
Me? I’ll be happy to just break even
Seems I arrive as lady luck’s leaving.

Paint on my smile, forget the pain,
Maybe today I’ll find love again.
Kid myself that I don’t care,
When all I want is a love to share.

Laugh and joke, I’m everyone’s mate,
Try to pretend that I’m doing great.
But deep down inside my heart,
I feel I’m slowly falling apart.

“Keep your chin up” I hear myself say,
Cheering up others throughout the day.
But I know when I’m home and close the door,
I’m all alone just like before.

And so I drag myself to bed,
A hundred thoughts in my head.
I’ve so many friends so how can it be?
That I always end up lonely me

Tony Robert

Mackerel - Jenny Hamon

Image Source: Jenny Hamon

Mackerel - Jenny Hamon

Going back a few decades
There’s a tale I remember told
About a Guernsey fisherman
Selling his catch by the side of the road.

Since 4 a.m. he’d been fishing
In his boat just off the south coast.
Catching mackerel with his feathers.
(In fine weather he catches the most.)

Now the story I’m telling happened
At Portinfer, They heard his cry
Mackerel, fresh mackerel, caught today
Sixpence each, please come and buy.

One man in the queue spoke in Patois
To his friend as they stood side by side
They don’t look very fresh to me
Don’t think they were caught on this tide.

Now Barry spoke Patois all his life
And heard what they had said
So he spoke to them both in his mother tongue
“I was fishing while you were in bed!”

The men looked very embarrassed,
And felt sorry they put him down
So each of them bought 2 of the fish,
And handed over half a crown.

Jenny Hamon

Patois is the Guernsey French language spoken in Guernsey. It is diminishing in use these days although steps are being taken to keep it alive.

About Art - Kathy Figueroa

Art is a language with which we communicate
Comprised of lines both straight and broken
Of colours, hues and shades
A language where not a word is spoken

So much can be conveyed
By a scene, or enigmatic look
A painting can be like an essay
A gallery, like a book

Artists speak this language
Where words need not be said
A work of art is a story
Just waiting to be read

Kathy Figueroa

The Shed - Jenny Hamon

There’s a shed at the end of the garden
That’s my husband’s pride and joy
It’s not very nice to look at
But is used for many a ploy

I thought I’d compare it to a tardis
But it’s not particularly small
So maybe more like Aladdins cave
I think that’s a better call!

It contains everything you can imagine
To make many creations from scratch
Anything you want made or mended
-Well he’s your man, (I know he’s a catch!)

If you want a particular tool
Or a thingamy that’s way out of date
He will delve under the bench
And whatever it is, he’ll locate.

There are areas for metal and wood
And also for beer and for paint
Although it looks a complete utter mess
A jumble sale is what it ‘aint

I loose him for many an hour
Or sometimes for the whole of a day
If there was room to install a bed
I’m sure he would move in and stay.

So if you’ve anything you want fixing
He’s happy to have a go
Or if you need something inventing
He’ll have a try, He’ll never say no.

So I don’t complain about the shed
Or the hours he spends beavering away.
Cos apart from the noise I’m left in peace
And know where he is at the end of the day

Jenny Hamon

Fish - John E Blaise

Kippers on the breakfast table
Sardines gridlocked nose to tail
Salmon smoked not cured
Sharks on loan from seaworld
Rainbow trout skate on thin ice
Searching for pots of gold
Codpiece worn below the waist
Monkfish swim to the sermon in haste
Pike staff the factory floor
Soles always down trodden so poor
Chubb swimming so safely in the loch
Conger eels dance in a line
Shoals of minnows everywhere
Carp complain and swear
But there's a ray of light, some hope
And quite a few Red Herrings!

John E Blaise

2nd and 3rd Millennium Poem - Andrew Barham

Second Millennium Poem - Andrew Barham

There are time when I seek
the solitude
Loneliness becomes its own reward
What goes around
comes back square!

Andrew Barham

Third Millennium Poem - Andrew Barham

I'm not destined to be
the next best thing
Just here
to punch the borders back;
Someone else
can reap my glory.

Andrew Barham

First Millennial Poem - Andrew Barham

It's a male thing
Staring dead ahead
Into empty vistas
Peopled with the Past;
Inarticulate Poetics –

I've written poems on everything
From toilet rolls
To the margins of telephone directories,
Bumming a pen
From a Waitress
Or Waiter
Or Bartender
In every forgotten shit-hole
The world has never known –

Staring dead ahead
While looking back
At the far horizon;
I've been there
But never necessarily done that!

Every dreamer's dream
Spinning in the dreamer's head
A distinct horizon –
We guys
Just staring
Dead ahead …

Andrew Barham

When Things Happen - Kathy Figueroa

When things happen
That cause my nerves to fray
And I feel disappointed
Or am filled with dismay
If plans don't work out right
And nothing seems to go my way
I look at things objectively
And this is what I say:

I'll just forget about my troubles
And not fret about anything
Because I'm going to the cafe
To hear the musicians sing
There's nothing better than music
To cure what ails the soul
Folk, classical, country
Or good old rock and roll

When stark images haunt me
And sad memories don't fade
If small problems daunt me
And success seems delayed
When I think things should be better
Because of all the dues I've paid
It's time to hear a guitar
And a fiddle, or two, played!

Kathy Figueroa

Spontaneous Creation for Jen JuCo's Thread - Andrew Barham

Eagle in an old snag
Sitting by his nest
Across this branch
Of the creek
That's really a small river;
Fresh bear shit on the forest floor –
The ground is frozen hard
And walking across the streams
And little ravines
On fallen over logs:
Treacherous in my wellies –
One giant old spruce tree
Suffering from Annosus root rot
Conks oozing from its butt
On one side
And one can see where the infection
Has got in through a root
Heterobasidion annosum …

It's a killer of trees,
A parasite that gets in
Through a damaged root
And works its way
Up the trunk
It kills the tree:
The fungus feeds on the tree's carcass;

Red Cedar next door
As wide as a house
Gnarly branches
Thickened with hanging moss
The whole forest
A vast haunted house
Home to a big old Grizzly
That should have gone to bed for the winter by now;
But he's feeding
On the spent salmon
Lying dead in the river
Getting in a few last minute calories
To see him through
The long Winter;

I'm following the bear unknowingly
Trying to burn off
A few calories
When I see that pile
Too fresh and unfrozen
To have been deposited yesterday;

The bear is moving away from me
Avoiding this wayward human
Wandering in his territory
So I turn back –
It's a courtesy really:
Neither of us
Wants an encounter.

Andrew Barham

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