The Horse - Stuart Price

A rider carefully steered his horse through the untamed forest,
A panorama of colour in summer’s full burning magnificence.
Branches of a long leaf pine swayed in the gentle breeze,
As a caterpillar crawled slowly up it’s trunk.

A fox blinked in the midday heat, deciding to stay out of sight,
While a leaf on the forest floor winced with pain as a metalled hoof trod upon it.
The compassionate overhead sun smiled,
Happy with her role as co-creator of this beautiful scene.

Horse and rider were locked into the same restful rhythm,
As of a slow ballad sung on a Spanish street on a July evening,
While tourists ponder menu choices outside welcoming Casas.
Except that here no money is needed to consume the rich
Meal, served as Nature’s gift to those unencumbered to receive it.

So dear reader, will you join me in celebrating all manifestations of life ?
Or will you go about this world, focussed only on your problems,
And forget to see the beautiful myriads of Creation that are all around you ?

As we make space in our minds and hearts for all that is good,
So there it will be, and a long forgotten memory of where we
Are truly at home, welcomed and innocent, will return once more.

Stuart Price

Tall Trees - Jennywren

A row of Poplar trees
backlit by the afternoon sun
Stand, like giants, impressing the young child
While between each one, a man, wearing a tin hat stands .....watching

Watching ... the Father and his child
working amongst their ripening crop
The Father knows their purpose,
He understands

'We must harvest this whole crop today' he says
'It will be a surprise for Mum'
He knows it will not be there tomorrow

Those trees - still there
A constant reminder of that day long ago
Trees so tall, men so small
A lasting impression on a young mind.


Time Out - Jennywren

Image by JennyWren

Time Out - Jennywren

Time to think...
about nothing at all

Drifting in a bubble
To emerge refreshed
Happy for the brief respite
from life's realities

Smiling at the world
which isn't so bad really


Recycling - Jenny Hamon

We’re trying to recycle everything we can.
We load it up regularly and take it in the van,
To the recycling depot just down the road,
Where we deposit all the items we have in our load.

The bottle bins are noisy, but it’s something we must do.
I hope no one is counting how many bottles we’ve got through,
Although I must admit, it has been quite a while
Since I visited the recycling, she says with a wry smile.

Now I’m by the paper bin, it’s getting rather full.
I poke and prod the paper, then I push and then I pull.
Oh look, there are some magazines I don’t think I have read.
I think I’ll take them home with me and look at them in bed.

What’s this, is it the latest dance? I really must try that.
Oh, they’re stamping on the boxes to make sure they are flat
Before posting through the jaws of the hungry cardboard bin,
And going away happy they avoided a mortal sin.

We promise we will try to recycle more and more
So it becomes more of a habit and no longer a chore
To make this world a greener place for our kith and kin.
And the moral of this story, don’t just put it in your bin.

Jenny Hamon

Renewable Energy - Jenny Hamon

I see in the Press a wind farm’s proposed,
Out on the west coast, off Cobo it shows.
Some eminent men came up with the idea
To ruin the view with windmills I fear.

The wind is a source of energy, I know
But not all the time does the wind blow.
How about looking at the sea and the tides?
They are predictable every day of our lives.

So why stick those windmills out in the ocean
Instead harness energy from the sea’s motion.
Please don’t ruin our beautiful West Coast
Where fishing and sunsets we love the most

Let’s find a way to harness the tide
Before this proposal is what we decide.
Please think about using the power of the sea,
And keep the coast beautiful for you and for me.

Jenny Hamon

The Universal Politic - Alec D. Jackson

Even were they able,
would the stars escape their celestial providences?
Would the planets and moons
race asunder, tetherless?
Why then must we deny
the path which destiny
has directed our feet to tread?

We, too, could fight
the politic of the universe,
colluding to bring both spheres within one orbit.
We, two, might reason,
against all reason,
with self denying perfidy
and betray our selves.

But, is cold logic
the only physic
that rules this night and day?
Tell me then,
star of stars,
can you not feel the yearning gravity?

If no,
then I also
will ignore the laws of motion
which pulled our worlds so near.
If no,
tell me to go,
to dream abroad of other
satellites and globes.
But if,
such words bare the stinging brand
of deception think on't.

Dare to risk,
to allow Phoebus himself,
a chance to guide our roads, perchance they join above.
Thus fate commands
the fires of night,
that they might traverse the skies in peace.

Just so,
God has spun the fabric of space,
to demand that
in indesputable fact,
each shall to each attract.

Alec D. Jackson

Infection - John Carré Buchanan

The infection started slowly,
but that did not last;
Lungs weakened by the continuous onslaught began to fail.
Life giving gas now bore pollutants which weakened the body
and made the virus’ attack deadlier still.
The beating heart now forced polluted blood
through clogged and damaged veins.
Kidneys and liver began to fail as the antigen’s onslaught
outstripped their ability to cleanse.
The skin’s surface took on an unhealthy pallor
Sores broke out, black, yellow and red puss bearing carbuncles
An unhealthy cloying stench hung around the body
And still the virus continued its attack.
Finally unable to function the fabric of the body broke down
And there hanging dead in space where the blue planet had hung
Was a smog covered grey planet destroyed by a virus called;
H U man.

John Carré Buchanan

Competition Winner - February 2012
Post Prandial - Stephen A. Roberts

You are yawning not roaring
as I move closer I
discover your halitosis is worse than mine -
gazelle breath
with a hint of springbok
- nice!

Stephen A. Roberts

Waiting for Rhyme - Aindre Reece-sheerin

Waiting for Rhyme
Taking my time
Really feeling fine
Mushing the thyme
Pulling the pau pau spine
Looking at the people standing in line
All patiently reading the sign
Cashier asking if they’re feeling fine
Or just simply waiting for a rhyme.

Aindre Reece-sheerin

Bio - James Willis

James Willis

I am now retirement age. I have been in Guernsey for 44 years and I have a wife, Win, and 4 boys, now all married.

I was Technical Director in an engineering firm for 33 years working for the Horticultural industry as well as diversification into other areas towards the end of that era. Theatre was my hobby, both on and off stage. I was the Events Manager at St.James for the last 10 years. I have written poetry since my early teens, with a gap when I was busy house building and raising a family. I have had a number of poems published in books and magazines and my name is on the Roger Perrot Trophy in the Eisteddfod. I have written and directed a Guernsey play in the GADOC One Act Play Festival.


Guernsey - James Willis

Of gull grey, dull grey, glittering granite
The habitat of cormorant, guillemot and gannet.
Sea waves crash and sea spray splash,
Where Guernsey clad, Guernsey lads dash.

I’ll remember then, the fishermen, in broad beamed boats,
With winches and nets and bobbers and ropes.
Pots in trots and rollocks and anchor,
All combined to fish Pollock and chancre.

A grand man, the land man, ploughing the soil,
Hoeing and sowing and growing his toil.
Fenceless field, the common ground,
With cattle grazing rights , profound.

In privateer and pirate years, long past,
The ecological mould was cast.
The seigneur shrewd, the feudal mule,
For centuries did his fiefdom rule.

Smooth yellow sand, green mellow land,
Where houses and history and heritage stand.
French by connection, British by election,
A community committed to right protection.

James Willis

A Sonnet to thee - Aindre Reece-sheerin

How then should I write a sonnet to thee my love
How would I begin to speak and to write of my undying love
Where could I find the words to express how deeply and truly I feel
When would there be enough hours in a day seconds in a minute to demonstrate
Who would understand how I hold you in my heart, in my thoughts, in the breath I breathe
What can I possibly say in words that I am unable to convey in how I look at you
Why must love always test us, lift us, shake us and yet, hold us in the palm of its hands

Aindre Reece-sheerin

Strange Iconic Sentinels - Aindre Reece-sheerin

Stretching up towards the scattered light from a grey, cloud filled sky
You are the accepted symbol of our fallen men and women of wars current gone and by
Those perceived gallant lads and lasses, who gave their lives that we may celebrate our right
Our right to demonstrate against such loss of life and the futility of war

You who will never grow old, you whom we shall remember in each and every setting sun
You who fought and died in that which you believed was right
Whether victor or vanquished you fought your fight Never perhaps knowing the enemy in your sight

So with your crimson tops stretch on toward the light
Take with you their souls for us into the glorious light
Ask them to teach us how to live and not to fight
Ask them to show that only God has might and right

With your thin yet strong if at times tenuous grip
Show us that life is like the water you sip
Bitter and sweet, stormy and cold
But like those lost to us you will never grow old

So whether in flanders field or on erins green isle
If lost at sea and unknown no marker where you lay
Rise up my beauties and reach for the sky
Take heart, draw breath, for you need no longer sigh
As in God’s Blessed Love, and arms do you lie
comforted and free unlike this mortal coil
Unlike the poppy’s seeds which are tied to the soil

Aindre Reece-sheerin

I miss you so much - Aindre Reece-sheerin

I miss you so much

I do really miss you so much, for the way you smiled
for those whimsical looks and pretend frowns
how your spirit uplifted us from the ups to the downs
with you there was no need to send in the clowns

I miss you every day, but am succoured by what you would say
‘I have some fabulous memories and it is these very memories
that we use to hold us when there is no-one to hold us’
it is in, these very memories, that your spirit will never ever die
while I remember you – in fact it soars

so I take heart in my missing you, and the days of tears
and all those lost moments but our memories abide
so as we walk along this, life’s highway, you’ll still be at my side
where love for you and affection will always be in my every stride

in my waking or sleeping, and in laughter with friends
your spirit walks with me until this, life’s journey, ends

Aindre Reece-sheerin

Untitled - Katherine Svensson

“That’s what you’ve always wanted”
Was all that you could say.
Your cold, hard voice, those steel grey eyes
I remember clearly from that day.
“That’s what you’ve always wanted” you said
When they placed him in my arms.
That you should not feel the father’s love
He’s your son, your flesh and blood.

Did I detect a trace of bitterness the day our son was born.
Or maybe you were feeling just a little insecure.
I shouldn’t really judge I know but I too was unsure
What this little life would bring on that summer’s morn.

“That’s what you’ve always wanted”
Was all that you could say.
I will remember those words those wounding words
Until my dying day

Katherine Svensson

Z is at the end of your alphabet (and D is for ...) - Stephen A. Roberts

Image: Stephen A. Roberts

Z is at the end of your alphabet (and D is for ...) - Stephen A. Roberts

As normal, it began with A for Anyone, Anywhere, but you don't want to
Bore the listener
Creating a new line for every
Damn letter in the
English alphabet
Finding that some letters
Harder to find
Ingenious, and sometimes
Juvenile words to represent them
Killing yourself to be clever
Loving each
Made up
New word,
Pausing to rethink in the
Quiet, and taking time to
Reconsider the
Specific choice
That will be
Understood by
Various people
Who know that your
X-ray means that
You have Z at the end of your alphabet; and that
Z is for Zurich

Stephen A. Roberts

Spontaneous verse to go with Muse - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

How then can I say, ‘Sorry’ how can I just employ this four letter word with a tail.
How might I express the deep regret at falling off my Charger
However will I regain the trust you placed in me
How will I be able to demonstrate that what I need is to be forgiven and to move on

Once our spirits soared, once our lives were entwined
Once we were two separate beings but with one thought – each other
Once we lived, loved and laughed together
Once upon a time and still the clock ticks on

It was not your choice nor mine to go and fight for that which we all thought was right and proper
It was not written in any stars that we would be separated by hatred and war
It was just that time – it was, - just, that, time

So oft I hear the calls, ‘bring them home bring them home'
And in the still misty mornings yet I can see those boys marching on
Marching on but to glory – no marching on for what they thought was right and proper
So that those of you left behind might be free, free from tyranny
I loved you then, I love you now, I will always love you

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

I’m Still Here You Know - Aindre Reece-sheerin

I’m still here you know. What with the rain and the snow
And even if sunshine, sure I’ve nowhere else to go
I’m still the one who raised you who fed you at my breast
Who at the tender age of ‘not quite two’ – took you to your first music fest

I helped you sing before you spoke
and slapped you in the middle of your back if you choked
I taught you reason I taught you rhyme
I gave you almost all of my time

So in these fleeting, ‘lucid’ moments of bliss
Hold me like I held you
Take my hand with a kiss
Tell me how much you love me and, its me that you miss

I’ve heard some talk of Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Though I know nothing of that
I just remember your first home nappies
Where everything started with ‘Splat’

I’m still here you or did you forget
When you look so deep into my eyes
The same as your’s – like the bright, blue skies
I’m still here you know and yet……

Why has everyone abandoned me
Why do they tell me what to do
Hoh! and there you go again little one
Potty on your head when its time for a pooh

Rarely but sometimes I forget who and where I am
My name? Why, its Doris, I’m my daddy’s little lamb
Must get the chips on and Andy will be here soon
Must get the chips on – ‘Don’t be talking stupid Doris – I’m not the King of Siam’

I’m still here you know – no I haven’t gone away
I’m a little older now and forgetful so sometimes my thoughts stray
Must get the chips on, somebody took the cat
Are we going out today, Oh my giddy Aunt, I must just clean that mat

What’s your name, are you here to see your Mother?
Its lovely that you come to see her
Mine never bother

I’m still here you know - Sing a song of sixpence
A pocket full of memories – only tuppence a bag
Doris is still here you know - Just take a closer look inside

Aindre Reece-sheerin
Dedicated to Doris E Ward Sheerin

My Crinoline Lady - 11 11 1992 - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

How fierce the wind this morning blew
Sending my now golden weeping willow askew
The final leaves from friendly neighbours’ trees
Had found their end on grass or paths

But my dear willow just bent down and bowed
And waved her fronds as though in stern revenge
That she who in 1987 was pronounced ‘dead’
As down she lay, the earth her bed

But with the help of neighbours dear
Who came in to find me in despair
My willow weeping and I was too

Wondering how she could be reborn
Yes we did conquer, and by the spring
Out came her tiny buds – golden first
And gradually into that splendid green

She was alive, and what’s more
higher and wider she did spread
my crinoline lady, whom I observe
through my kitchen window serving to give me
the hope I need with which to live

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

LOVE – 12 Mars 1993 - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Just four letters
So often used
Just spilling off one’s lips

What does it mean?
Who am I to say
Although I have known
What it held for me
In so many years of caring

A child – ‘I love you mummy, daddy’
Quickly turns to
I hate you M or D

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

A Countryman's Favour - Stephen A. Roberts

an innocent love apprentice I, drawn in by your musk
lured to a lonely windmill, yellow in the dusk
on your bed made of seashells and tiny dragon's teeth
you opened up your ocean to show me what's beneath

the milling wheel is turning, grinding us to clay
timeless notions of indifference gently swept away
way out on the reed marsh the tide is ebbing in
as you teach the love apprentice what it is to sin

she broadens my horizons then sends me on my way
blinded to the outcome, into a brand new day
leaving a countryman's favour, simple like a doll
the seed is ground to corn then the miller takes his toll

Stephen A. Roberts

Deserted Desert - Elle King

Tumble weed had formed,
As it was being blown west,
The scorching sun on the sand,
Putting most life to the test.

A rattle was rattling,
Among the dry grass,
What ever lived near,
was not going to last.

A caw from the vultures,
As they searched for some prey,
may be circling above,
for most of the day.

There was no water around,
As if being hid by camouflage,
The only water you could see,
was a glistening mirage.

And as the sun did set,
So did the heat,
The coldness overcame,
whatever it could meet.

Both the heat and the cold,
Can cause your body to hurt,
be wary of your surroundings,
In the deserted desert.

Elle King

Transient Sun - Janinka Diverio

You pass through my thoughts
Often but less now
A cold sky, shy of sun
Above, cools my face
Eyes searching for clues
Fingers touching starched cold grasses
And leaves, he leaves

Once warm, my heart
Now transient between homes
Eyes searching for that place
Where the sun might reach
One day
Where a warm night sky might
Shy of frost, warm my face again

Janinka Diverio

Chapel of Rest - Janinka Diverio

You lay, I sat
Whilst summer sun melted
Yet we were cool inside
Where we’d been sent to hide

I talked and talked
Shed a tear or two
In-between handshaking
And watching people watching you

They came, they stared, they cried, they left
Some came in peace, most were bereft
The thick stone walls offered shelter and shade
Whilst you, untouchable, were out laid

Your eyes asleep, your lashes still long
Your life spread before me, like a song
Your body flat, still, just a shell
Where had you gone, this man who knew me so well

Your skin was pallid, soft and clean
Your lips still full, yet your cheeks unseen
Sunken and gaunt in a body caved in
Smart and well-presented, still in your skin

Your eyes couldn’t open, they were stitched closed
Your arms outstretched, but a hand I couldn’t hold
Sweet Mary above us, dressed in blue
As tainted glass reflected you

Three days, two nights
I was only twenty-one
Seems like yesterday
They told me that you’d gone

Janinka Diverio

Pulse Rates - John Carré Buchanan

Crouched in the shade of a tree
pulse rate; fifty three.
I Watch a goat herd amble by
as the sun climbs in the sky

Hid behind the tree
pulse rate; a hundred and sixty three.
Listen to rounds spin by
as the Taliban let fly.

Crawl away in the muck
pulse rate; who give a flying f*#@
Dust flies on the hillock nearby
as our gun team lay down heavy reply.

Lain on the bank of the Wadi
Pulse rate; a hundred and forty.
As we suppress; the left flank move
Tommy Terrorist to remove.

Sat on a box back at base
Pulse rate; eighty eight.
We’ve been debriefed and had some scoff
Now it’s time to knock off.

Crashed out on a saggy camp cot
Pulse rate: quite a lot.
Thoughts keep flying through my head
Today, I was lucky, I’m not dead.

John Carré Buchanan

Bio - Janinka Diverio

Janinka Diverio

Of Polish and Italian descent I was raised in Guernsey and spent all of my childhood and formative years on the island. I moved away to study and work in Switzerland and Northern
Italy when I was fifteen and never really returned for more than a few months at a time until suddenly twenty-five years later and I’d only been ‘home’ once.

Both of my parents died before they were fifty whilst I was in early adulthood and with no family home or paternal base I found myself constantly questioning topics such as
belonging, abandonment, home, death & love. In my quest to understand myself, my losses and my own thoughts I took to exploring my own creative intuitions and writing seemed to work best for me.
I wouldn’t however really call my self a poet but more of a ‘sorter of thoughts’ and I am very happy that through the Guernsey Poets Blog I have found a home for them at least.

My other inspirations are music (improvised, jazz, indigenous) and conceptual art. I admire the uncompromising nature of artists working in this challenging area despite the odds against
fame or monetary gain.

I am now living in North Wiltshire and run a party business (shop and venue) in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. I feel privileged to be able to contribute to John’s special project and love having this connection with the island which will always have an enormously special place in my will all of my Guernsey friends, old and new.


Nothing Less, Nothing More - Janinka Diverio

Nothing Less, Nothing More - Janinka Diverio

A memory now
Nothing more
Nothing less
Under this cold silent day of summer
With still blue skies
I ask myself
‘Were they all lies?’

The gathered momentum of months gone by
Like a wave growing in force only to crescendo and crash and chase
The eroding shingles to the shore
Just a memory now
Nothing less
Nothing more
The wave tugs, like a beckoning spirit under a
Distant silent moon….and
Pulls and repels the flotsam
Again into the hungry mouth of the ocean

Too much emotion
Too many defeats 

Too much to bear

I stand

Alone, afraid
Face to my face
And I ask myself
‘Were you really ever there?’ 

Janinka Diverio

Blisters and Balloons - Janinka Diverio

If I have to lose you
Then know I will be with you
Angel wings around you

If you have to leave me
Then please do not forget me
And please try hard to see me
In the sky
The pebbles
The lanes
The lines
The music
The rain
And in the balloons and blisters of life

I’ll walk with your shadow
Wipe away your tears
Dance for all your joys
And fight away your fears

I’ll cloak you when you’re down
Lift you when you fall
Just please do not forget me
Please remember it all

Janinka Diverio

Curtain Down - Janinka Diverio

Coming to terms
Which lesser of two evils
Will hurt me less?
Fingers slipping
Tears wiping
Heart breaking
From memories
Of love making

We teased, played, delayed
This moment
This wrenching
Tearing of souls
Dripping and falling
And writhing and calling
Yet you answer me not

Is it with time
You forgot?
Are you hiding
Till your heart does rot?
Your back towards
Self-turned once more
The curtain down
Yet no encore

Janinka Diverio

Our Law - Janinka Diverio

A wave, a hazy line
Campfire smoke
Passes by, meanwhile stinging
My eye
A tingle of the skin

Thoughts of him
Too late for me
Friendship defeated by
More than hope
Departed why

Our law of
No expectations
Collapses around me
Tears of lossFor you, for us

Fighting back
Worth less
Less worth
Our loss, our law
Open book, Closed door

Janinka Diverio

Cooled Molten - Janinka Diverio

Fly by night
Fleeting and now forgotten
Once entwined like filigree
Hearts, body and hopes
Now cooled molten

Morning light
The sun within shone
Yet cast a shadow
On our imperfections
And now you’ve gone

The thudding crash of hope
Space I can feel
Seventh heaven
Now fallen
Seems unreal

Two eager souls
I thought worth fighting for
My eager soul
Paid the price
When you walked out the door

Janinka Diverio

To Miss - First Movement - Janinka Diverio

I miss you
I miss the voice I hear
and the moving images
I miss your silence
that filled the space
I miss your tales, your wisdom, your recollections
I miss
I miss the anticipation
of your words
I miss my yearning
of friends to be
I miss my limbo
I miss
I miss your ways
I miss your many anyways
I miss imaginary days
I miss
I miss the hope
I miss the maybe
I miss
I miss you

Janinka Diverio

The Cake - John Carré Buchanan

The baking tin was triple wrapped,
brown paper, tied with string,
when a lumpy, brown, sticky mix
was poured from height therein.

The oven had been warming up,
when the door was pulled asunder
and the tin was placed atop a shelf
not middle, but just under.

Slowly the sticky mixture baked?
and gradually it did harden,
'till tested ready with a skewer,
from the furnace it was pardoned.

Cooled in tin, and then on rack,
and bathed in cooking brandy,
then wrapped and stored and bathed,
some more was modus operandi.

The rich brown fruit cake was liberated,
and brushed with sticky jam.
Then wrapped in a golden covering
of evenly rolled marzipan.

Next came the icing. Purest white
and smoothly layered all over.
Then left to set and layered again
sheer white like cliffs at Dover.

Now for the deftly placed nozzle
a squeeze, a press and withdraw
colourful piping surrounded the base
then around the top ‘encore’.

Figures were sculptured in marzipan.
The nativity scene oh so neat,
the beautiful cake was finished,
all that was left is to eat.

The cake looked so impressive,
with its nativity scene, so unique,
nobody wanted to cut it,
So it sat on the table all week.

People hungrily admired it,
but no one dared take a slice,
then late last night for his supper,
the dog ate it all in a trice.

John Carré Buchanan

My Dear Friend - Karen Allaway

For Karla - a Special Friend

You stand alone again.
The same spot where just weeks ago you stood so tall and proud,
Grief hung round you like a shroud.
Telling of the woman who gave you life.

This time you speak of the man,
The man who took the woman for his wife.
Life is so cruel to have you do it all again so soon.
Where once you stood so tall and strong,

Now you are but a shadow.
A small, dark shadow about to break,
With what life’s cards have dealt upon you.

I stand there watching you my dear friend,
Willing you to be strong so to continue the words you must speak.

Take comfort now my dear friend,
No more pain for them.
For they are with the angels in Heaven,
At peace, never to be separated

Karen Allaway

Bio - Kathy Figueroa

Kathy Figueroa

First of all, I'd like to say that I consider it to be an honour and a privilege to be a contributor to the, 'Guernsey Poets,' blog, particularly since I live in rural Ontario, Canada!

My involvement with this group of writers, from the Channel Islands, who are situated such a great geographic distance away from Bancroft, Ontario, initially came about when an invitation was extended to me to join a Facebook poetry group that had been created to facilitate communication with, and display poetry by, writers from that area. The Facebook site proved to be such a success that the, 'Guernsey Poets,' blog was created to accommodate the ever increasing number of poems that were being submitted. Of course, I was interested in participating!

To tell you a bit about myself, I'm a freelance writer and photographer. A small plant nursery, which I own and operate, has provided the subjects of many of my photographs. These floral photos are featured on cards that I produce and offer for sale in various places in the Bancroft area and, also, when I take part in an annual art studio tour.

Since 2004, both local newspapers, The Bancroft Times and Bancroft This Week, have published my articles and photographs. Over the years, my work has appeared in a diverse variety of other print media, across Ontario, such as: Mystical Voices Magazine, the Mohawk Nation Drummer, Anishinabek News (including the annual Pow-Wow Guide), the Haliburton Echo (including The Weekender section), and the Belleville Intelligencer. Online, besides appearing on the, 'Guernsey Poets,' blog, my work can be found on various poetry websites such as, 'Fieralingue' (Italy), and, 'Tsunami Books' (France), as well as on Sun Media community newspaper websites across both Ontario and Canada.

Recently, I've been involved with producing a series of illustrated poetry chapbooks that feature small collections of my work and the first two, 'This And That: Five Poems,' and, 'Rural Rhymes: Five Poems,' have just been completed. I'm hoping to eventually have a collection of my poetry and photographs published as a hard cover volume and am currently going through the process of looking for a book publisher.

Along with being happy to contribute to the Guernsey Poets blog, I'll have to mention that I really enjoy reading the fantastic work of the other poets, which is so artistically and abundantly displayed there. A poetry site of this nature is, in my opinion, truly a delight to read as well as to contribute to.


Anger after Pain - Janinka Diverio

The quiet too loud
Alone in a growing crowd
Of me and me

Your resonating last word
Goodbye with an x
Now familiar, now yours, just one more
But you patiently said goodbye at least

So your last word
Pauses and causes
My mind to instruct
The recently overused tear duct
To well and spill
Onto cheeks bathed warm
From a bath too hot
Only I forgot
That pain for pain is no trade off

The rain, the rain
Remembering you

Again, again
Seeing you

Refrain, refrain
From touching you

The same, same
Ghastly view

Janinka Diverio

Plinthless Angel - Janinka Diverio

You've gone again
And this time I will let you
My heart drained
Left full with pain
Endless - too tired now to hold on
I let go
And succumb to
Drowning in my own tears all night
Under a growing moon
Into the morning bright

Resigned, defeated
Your protests, reasons
Too much this time for me to take
You crave a shackleless heart you say
Yet a heart half full is
Black, black, black
Under a moonless sky

Awake from no sleep
Into the still of a Sunday dawn
Dismayed, bereft
Your fallen, plinthless angel
With damaged wings
Will let you see
Walk far away now
Walk far away from me

Janinka Diverio

Memory - Janinka Diverio

My imagination
the embers once hot
now cool

My heart once joyous
the victim
you forgot
to the fool

Janinka Diverio

Lounge Bar Observations - Janinka Diverio

Palm trees in the clouds
Oversized curtain tassels
Reproduction prints
After dinner mints
Family conversing
Eat as much as you can
Dark inside when sunny
Packet trifle, frozen flan

Carpenters on the radio
Pockets of chat at the bar
Melamine chipped place mats
Wondering where you are

Varnished wood
Sachets of sauce
Frosted windows
Between each course

Old man
Sat all alone
This hotel bar
His second home

Tourist season
Coming soon
A few new faces
Would lift the gloom

Lights dimmed
Heaters turned low
Machines fall quiet
It’s time to go

Janinka Diverio

written at Grange Lodge Hotel whilst waiting for Lester Queripel,

Memories at Cow’s Horn - Janinka Diverio

Hour upon hour
Memories of days spent
Time went
Out with the tide
Side by side
We swam with white horses
Crashing into once rocks
Popped seaweed, pierced bloodsuckers
Threw pebbles as far
As our child arms were able
Down on Havelet Bay

Time on
Childhood gone
Seems like yesterday

Time gone
Years on
Since I went away

Janinka Diverio

Man In The Moon - Angelica

You raised a hand to meet the ink black sky
caught a galaxy of stars - and placed them
gently into my waiting outstretched arms
then watched them climb up on a smile
to light downcast sad eyes and guide
abandoned day dreams to nudge possibility.

You took a slice from the full moon and
laid me in it's gracious curve, an alabaster
cradle- soft pillows of exquisite imaginings.
I dreamt of a world where love is truly there,
where people really care-Then the dawn broke
rose tinted in azure sky. I heard you sigh.


Muse on Life - Angelica

I muse on life...... wandering thoughts curl, whispy tendrils like smoke
from an abandoned cigarette drift round blind corners nudging sweet
memories back into sight, so afraid that they may fade.
phantom trails clasped gently lest un-noticed they slip through open fingers,
fall just out of reach, yet linger close, tantalizing, tasting, testing the looseness
of silken ties...falling veils expose the shadow, questioning why life offers no
answers, yet passes uninvited judgement on our frailties -now the wind no longer
sighs to me but growls it's impatience at my inability to answer the 'whys'.
Is it life's ironic voice that no matter how vocal in the end we have no choice.


I'd Rather Be Your Nightmare Than Your Daydream - Andrew Barham

Let me take you into the shadows
We'll watch the strangelings stream
Through the looming changes neatly stacked in rows –
Where we're going, I no longer know,
For I can see only dimly into the distant landscapes
Where those waiting shadows grow,
Their twining vines bestowing sour grapes;
We can pluck them, eating them as we stroll
Down these empty corridors, our resounding footfalls
Keeping time with the ever vanishing rock and roll:
Strange waveforms answering the silent call
Of shifting patterns in the swirling sands
On an empty beach, the vacant horizon staring …
Staring into the distant starlight shining on dark islands –
A midnight sea, luminous! Phosphorescence glaring!
I am lost in this haze of ancient memories,
So lost, I no longer know where to begin
Or where to find this meeting point for all my journeys,
For there is no way now to let the endgame in.

Andrew Barham

Hallucinated Reality 6:Creation Mists - Andrew Barham

Mourn, ye
For the warrior
Fallen in battle
For he
Will not be
Able to take
His rightful place
In the Dead Village;

I bear witness
To this fact
In my coat of many cultures
For the spider waits
Above her jewelled orb
Sparkling with countless droplets
Of mourning dew

Eight Creation Mists
In the foggy mourning
As Reality
Is Hallucinated
Into being
The momentary confusion
Of contorting strings
In the Spider's web:

The whole world above is my father!
As he emerges
From the Mourning Dew
With my blind brother
By his side
Breathing divine energy
Into the mother
Upon whom I stand;

To create the world
From a mote
From the bottomless abyss
By a great white swan,
The theft
Of all Creation
Is the first and last contest
Between two
Hallucinating Realities …

Andrew Barham

This is part of a series of "Hallucinated Reality" poems in which the title is actually imbedded within the poem. Thus, these poems are titled, but the title does not appear at the top, but somewhere within the poem.

Hallucinated Reality 5 Home at Last - Andrew Barham

Finally …

I feel
At home
At last …

My little space
In my little place

My flat
Ain't no
Mon Desir!

It's a 2-bed
One-floor walk-up
In an apartment building
60's built and boxy
Set between
Two other buildings
Just like it
By large carparks
And a bit rundown
(There's a big hole in the carpet,
For example.)
In behind the carpark

The Wilderness
The Great Bear Rainforest
To the West
Home of Kermode
(Though not found round here!
But occasionally seen
60 km North of here …)
Bear …

A home is where you find it
And what you make
Of your own
Hallucinated Reality there:

The furniture from Guernsey
And elsewhere
Collected along the way,
Candlesticks and candelabra
I bought from Peter
Lord Saumerez
The antique
Coloured brandy and sherry glasses
From the Red Cross Charity Shop
The Antique Fair
At the St Peter Park Hotel
Labelled beer glasses
From pubs
In London
Whisky and Brandy glasses
From the Houmet Taverne
The Oak table
Chucked by the dumpster
At my Mum's Co-op
The bookshelves
Pulled form the decaying garage
On 12th Avenue
Point Grey
The canoe paddle
My brother gave me
On my birthday
So long ago
The tapestries and carpets
I acquired
In Strathcona –
Like the winerack –
Cast off and forgotten;
Even a handful
Of my books …

I feel
Home, At Last:

No one
Can touch me here
For I have found
Sanctuary …

Andrew Barham

This is part of a series of "Hallucinated Reality" poems in which the title is actually imbedded within the poem. Thus, these poems are titled, but the title does not appear at the top, but somewhere within the poem.

Hallucinated Reality 4: Disposability – Andrew Barham

What happens
Hallucinated Reality
A nightmare
We are unable
To awaken from?

Off-shore these days …

Chinese junk

But labour costs
Are so much lower
And everyone
Looks for
The cheapest price
Even if you're willing to pay more
For better quality
There's no guarantee
You'll get it

Flat pack
"Use it once
"And throw it away!"

No more
Hand-me-down heirlooms
Good for a hundred years
Or more
Of hard use –

Never buy new!
Unless you really have to,
The surest way
To undermine
The collective consumer culture
Before it overwhelms us
And covers us all
With our refuse.

We've locked ourselves in
To the nightmare
Of Disposability

Our economy
An economy
Of sale
Requiring unbounded growth
In a finite world

We keep pushing back
The boundaries
The Lim Soup
Of expansive potential
At first
The final collapse
Of everything
We've built.

Andrew Barham

This is part of a series of "Hallucinated Reality" poems in which the title is actually imbedded within the poem. Thus, these poems are titled, but the title does not appear at the top, but somewhere within the poem.

Double Whammy - Lester Queripel

Without appearing to be too unkind
One always has to bear in mind
That if you increase the waist
Then you automatically increase the waste
The words sound the same but aren’t a simile
They impact is on you as well as me
Because the result is a double whammy

Lester Queripel

Guernseys’ Number One Son - Lester Queripel

(Written in tribute to the memory of local legend George Torode)
The island has lost its’ best friend
His life came to a premature end
He was taken from us at an early age
But he wasn’t ready to leave the stage
He hadn’t finished singing his song
And we hadn’t finished singing along
He hadn’t finished telling us his joke
The one about the chap from Torteval, who was a bloney good bloke
He hadn’t finished telling us his story
The one about the roadsweeper covered in glory
It was a tragedy that he wasn’t allowed to live
He had so much more to give
He was a gold nugget in the sand
A genuine and funny man
He was never foul mouthed or crude
He was never vulgar or rude
He didn’t need to be!
He was a master of words
He was a storyteller supreme
His delivery, and his timing were a storytellers’ dream
Our world is obsessed with greed and money
But George stood apart; he found it all so funny
He was a self-made man
He was a gentle man
He had the world in the palm of his hand
We are all in shock; in a state of disbelief
The people of Guernsey are united in their grief
But we are so grateful for his legacy
His books are there for all to see
So thank you George for all that you’ve done
You will always be Guernseys’ number one son

Lester Queripel

I Want To Be - Fred Williamson

I want to be a wind that blows your hair and brushes your cheek.
The first breath that passes your lips when you speak.
I want to be the light that shines on your face.
I want to cover you with grace.
I want to be rain that runs off your clothes.
Grains of sand that flow through your toes.
I want to be the water in which you bathe.
I want to be with you in your grave.
Be with you when your soul does rise.
For eternity..................through the skies.

Fred Williamson

Slip and Slide - Fred Williamson

Tiles on a roof slip and slide apart.
Fall into the gutter damaged and broken.
Separated and in need of repair.
In need of a new start.
It is the same for us.
Only we have a heart.

Fred Williamson

Scary Mary and The Frog - Lester Queripel and Fred Williamson

Scary Mary dreams she’s a Fairy sitting on a log.
Deep within the forest, talking to a Frog.
Magic wands; rabbits from hats; the grass is always green.
Flowers always bloom in this wonderland supreme.
Shooting stars dance and glide in a heavenly display.
The perfect astral galaxy within the Milky Way.
The rays of the crystal moon, illuminate the skies.
As the Fairy and the Frog gaze into each others’ eyes.
Connecting and communicating in their world of fantasy.
Enveloped and cocooned beneath the lunar sea.
As they share a cup of morning dew, she prays her dream comes true.
Will a Prince be reflected in the stream or is this really just a dream?
As the sun begins to rise and the dawn begins to break.
Scary Mary realises she’s made a big mistake.
There was no Frog, there was no log.
She’d fallen asleep next to the dog! Woof! Woof!

Lester Queripel and Fred Williamson

Pieces of Life - Fred Williamson

The missing link.........scattered fragments lost
Pieces of my own life
Like a jigsaw puzzle they are coming together
The right pieces fit into place
As I obtain more wisdom and knowledge
I am repairing my spirit and my soul

And I listen and learn from other life
There are pieces that are much the same
They relate and gel
Like minded pieces growing and becoming one
Find a piece and turn me around
It almost fits, but not quite, so try again

You will discover a cousin or a brother
Find the pieces black or white
Eventually they fit just right
They form a picture
Beings of light

Fred Williamson

Take Back Your Power - Lester Queripel

Working every day just to pay your way.
No time to think or have your say.
Have another drink, it’ll make you smile.
Take your mind off things for a while.
Might make you feel ‘alright’.
But, in truth, it’s only a brief respite.
Because it’s all an illusion: a tragic delusion.
The truth is my friend, you are living for the weekend.
The rest of the week you have to pretend.
We left our dreams behind when we left our youth.
Why are some of us so afraid of the truth?
This is not a rehearsal: you won’t live your life twice.
Please permit me to give you my advice.
Time is precious so treasure every hour.
Take back your life, take back your power.

Lester Queripel

Targeted - Lester Queripel

You call me a fool.
You make me a target for ridicule.
You criticise: you even tell lies.
You think I’m inferior to you.
You’re always mean to me.
You constantly demean me.
It’s all part of your quest to prove you’re the best.
I really wish you’d give it a rest.
Every time I have something to say, you turn away.
There’s no reason for the way you behave.
If you had your way I’d be in a grave.
Did somebody destroy your soul years ago?
Is that why you always have poisoned darts to throw?
I think it’s all a charade, a ‘tragic show’.
To cover up your pain so you don’t get hurt again.
I wish you’d change the way you behave.
It’ll be you that ends up in an early grave.
You’ll gradually implode, under the weight of the load.
You probably won’t heed my advice.
So I won’t give it twice.
But I can see it all.
The writing’s on the wall.
Lessons have to be learned.
The tables need to be turned.
We all have a right to a life.
Let me give you back your knife.
It’s been stuck in my back for much too long.

Lester Queripel

The Cycle Of Goodwill - Lester Queripel

You make me feel good as I do you
This is of course, what we should all do
If we want to contribute to the cycle of goodwill
We should all do our best to create it until
Until we get it right and the cycle is in motion
Until we refine the potion
Until we live lives of constant support
What greater battle is there to be fought?
I support you and you support me
When that day comes we can say we are finally free!

Lester Queripel

United in Friendship Through the Colours of Love - Lester Queripel and Fred Williamson

This is not the real deal.
This is not the way we’re supposed to feel.
We aren’t holding the right cards in our hands.
Spread the word all over these lands.
We must illuminate each others minds.
These are unstable times.
We are herded like sheep into a pen.
We must not let it happen again.
Nourishment for the soul.
That should be our goal.
The way we are treated is a downright disgrace.
We must reach for the heavens, that’s our rightful place.
We must rise above the drab and the grey.
We must transport ourselves far, far away.
Deep down inside of us is an inner wealth.
We must tune into the frequency of the higher self.
We must help the people to find their voice.
We must realise we really do have a choice.
Help everyone to tell their story.
Herald it in with trumpets of glory.
Let us light the fuse and ignite the spark.
Get into the light out of the dark.
Dance to the music of the orchestra in the sky.
We have to encourage the people to try.
We can join together on the coloured sky train.
We have to stake our rightful claim.
We must all be disciples for the greater good.
Bring manna and light into each neighbourhood.
Slide down the rainbow from up above.
United in friendship through the colours of love.

Lester Queripel and Fred Williamson

My Angel Appeared - Elle King

When I close my eyes,
I start to remember,
Those times I would bow down,
And begin to surrender.

The reason I hurt,
Is because you think I'm a 'hinderance',
Is it just me,
Or are you the one with no patience.

The tears I had cried,
were when I stopped beleving,
That someone would save me,
From the pain I was receiving.

I heard them downstairs,
The bottles were breaking,
Another arguement occured,
world war 2 they were remaking.

All i could do,
Was curl up on the floor,
And hope that i couldn't hear,
Any footsteps near my door.

But all hope was lost,
When my door was slammed open,
I was too scared to look up,
But I heard slurred words being spoken.

My stepfather, who was drunk,
Walked closer to my body,
I could smell the aclahol from his breath,
As his shadow lurked over me.

His giant paw clenched,
As pain filled my head,
Kicks and punches I receiced,
Till I was left for dead.

As I woke up,
A white ceiling I could see,
My vision was blurred,
'What had happened to me?'

I was in the hospital,
Being treated with care,
And right beside me,
Two policemean were there.

They told me a lady,
A random passerby,
Stopped and listened,
As she heard my cry.

She had phoned the police,
And got my parents arrested,
While I got addmited to hospital,
To get my body tested.

An angel, I believe,
Had appeared to save me,
She opened my cage door,
And set me free.

When I closed my eyes,
An angel I could see,
Thanks to my angel,
I can live peacefully.

Elle King

Hallucinated Reality 3 - Quantum States - Andrew Barham

The endless flux –
Dreaming Quantum States:
Countless points of light
Flickering in and out of existence
Particles darting about their orbitals
Seeming to be
At once
Scattering photons in every direction –
Unimagineable dimensions –
Particles flashing
Flickering momentarily into being
Vanishing into the endless nothingness that gave them birth
Joining strings
Now here
Now there
Convoluting into complex balls of energy
Giving birth to new universes
Of fluctuating Quantum States
Before fading away
Into emptiness;
The new iTunes visualiser
On my MacBook
The Hallucinated Reality
That is the basis
For all reality –
8 Creation Myths
Creating the world
From a grain of sand
Dredged up
From the bottomless abyss
By divers means …

Andrew Barham

This is part of a series of "Hallucinated Reality" poems in which the title is actually imbedded within the poem. Thus, these poems are titled, but the title does not appear at the top, but somewhere within the poem.

Hallucinated Reality 0: Departure Gate - Andrew Barham

Walking up to Chuet

For that penultimate morning swim
I finally realise
What the difference is
Between me and them –
Other teachers …

Crying everywhere I go
Walking through the corridors of Heathrow
To the Departure Gate …

Certain songs on my iPod …

African songs
Sitting on the dolmen
In my garden
Drinking red wine
Waiting for Shaun to arrive;
It's Spring,
My first
In Mon Desir …

How I love this place
And its people,
For the healing has begun –

My little cat …

Half wild when I first moved in
Slow to approach,

He has extra claws
On his paws …

He comes round
From time to time
And nobody knows
Where he's from

He comes round
On my last day
While I'm frantically packing away
So I sit down
On the sacred ground
With him
Sobbing uncontrollably:
It's finally bursting out
All over me
The sadness
I've been holding in …

Listening to African songs
Sitting on the Dolmen
Drinking wine
While waiting for Shaun …

Listening to African songs
On the moving walkways
Through Heathrow
Heading for the Departure Gate
Wave after wave of sorrow
Breaking over me
As I try to hold it all in

Walking up to Chuet
For that penultimate morning swim
Trying not to cry
As a great wave of sorrow
Bursts out all over me
And I finally realise
The difference
Between Them and me:

I always worked with the kids
On their own terms
Within the limits of classroom management

Other teachers dictate the terms
Under which they will allow the kids
To work for them,
Fuelling their resentment
Against teachers
Forever …

No wonder
The other teachers
See me as a threat;
I represent
A loss of control
The antidote

To the Orwellian world
Of the classroom
The teaching community
Struggles perpetually
To perpetuate
It's their Hallucinated Reality.

Walking back from Chuet
To Heathrow's Departure Gate
I finally realise I'm saying goodbye
To Guernsey, my home …

Andrew Barham

This is part of a series of "Hallucinated Reality" poems in which the title is actually imbedded within the poem. Thus, these poems are titled, but the title does not appear at the top, but somewhere within the poem.

Hallucinated Realities 2: Voyage to Nowhere - Andrew Barham

One more Hallucinated Reality
On the road to somewhere
Away from here
As the kliks flick past –
Hope 64 km
Hope 56 km
Hope 42 km –

Around Chilliwack
The mountains start closing in …

at last …
Where we enter the Fraser Canyon
Hell's Gate
To the Interior
The first leg of the voyage
Behind me;

The endless stripmall
Of the Fraser Valley:
Car dealerships
Selling massive pick up trucks
And four-wheel drives
Giant Warehouse stores:
The Brick
The Great Canadian Superstore
Cash and Carry
Office Depot
And worst-of-all Walmart
(K Mart and Canadian Tire
Once seemingly so vast
Now as dwarfed looking
As the local General Stores
They superceded not so long ago);

The modern suburban dweller –
Homo dysfunctionus –
Can no longer survive without
The accumulating relicts
Of last minute's essential fads
On his Voyage to Nowhere:

Everything is so vast these days!
The sheer scale of consumerism …

Inside the vaunting caverns of commercial enterprise
The choices seemingly endless
Every kind of ethnic cuisine catered to
Except mine …

"Where can I find the Brown Sauce?"
"Err …
"You do have Bovril?"
"Marmite! You must have Marmite!"

I haven't seen
Cinnamon Grahams
For decades …

"I need a replacement widget
"For the doodad
"I bought here
"A year ago?"

I'm sorry, sir.
We no longer carry that item
I can sell you one
Just like it,
If you wish!

It has
A battery
Of new features
I hadn't realised
I'd wanted:

It can now do everything
I never wanted it to!

But the one I've got
And which does what I want
Is only a year old
And I've looked after it so well.
It only needs a new widget …

Outside my Mum's Coop
People throw away
The most amazing things;
You could open a business
Selling second-hand vacuum cleaners
Whose bags needed replacing,
Some of them
Less than a year old.

Our landfills are full
And the provincial government
Has forbidden us
To take our trash
Across the border

"We want to see
"A made in BC

We will exhaust the Earths' resources
Stripping the planet bare
To keep up with our Joneses

A virus
Infecting the lovely Gaia –

Where are her antibodies?

Andrew Barham

Notes for non-Canadians and anyone unfamiliar with the argot of heroin addiction

1. Klik is Canadian slang for kilometre. 1 klik = 1 km.

2. Joneses has two reference points: Keeping up with the Joneses is a North American expression referring to those who tend to base their purchasing decisions upon what their neighbours already have. It was a common expression in North America from the 60s to at least the 80s. The baby boomers, who used to deride older generations for being guilty of this sin, have themselves become the worst offenders. A Jones is also old Vancouver Junkie slang for a heroin habit. It was a common expression in the 60s and 70s amongst the heroin addicts of Granville and Hastings Streets, as in "I've got a Jones". It likely derives from the 19th Century North American expression "yen" referring to an addict's craving for Opium, as in "I've got a yen; where can I score?". Of interest to those unfamiliar with the delights of opiate addiction, opiates cause constipation; hence their medicinal use to control diarrhoea. Opiate addicts of the 19th Century used to refer to the rather large and difficult bowel movements they had from time to time, as, "giving birth to a yenshee baby." In the early 19th Century, the British brought the benefits of opium addiction to China, and the Chinese repaid the compliment by bringing it to Britain's colonies on the West Coast of North America. Thus, Vancouver and Victoria became the twin centres for Opium distribution in North America.

3. This is part of a series of "Hallucinated Reality" poems in which the title is actually imbedded within the poem. Thus, these poems are titled, but the title does not appear at the top, but somewhere within the poem in bold text

Hallucinated Realities 1: Trapped Pigeon - Andrew Barham

The toxic fungus
The heart of our soul;
A fading dream
Hallucinated realities –
Psychotropic distemper –
Wither goeth wir
Racing through the shadows
Of our lost world?

The grey gull alights:

Crows gathering …
A pigeon
Caught in a forgotten wire
From the corrugated roof
Of a rusting shed;

The seagull …

How the twitchers twitch
And shudder
Whenever we
(In our ignorance)
Call them
"Seagulls" –

The great grey gull

With perpetually frowning eyes
Trying to catch
A stuck pigeon
While the crows watch
Waiting …

Every time
The upside-down pigeon tries to fly
Held fast
By the wire
Snared round its leg

Accidental death
Incidental death

It matters not which
To the Trapped Pigeon
Or the other birds
Tempted by
An easy meal …

Andrew Barham

This is part of a series of "Hallucinated Reality" poems in which the title is actually imbedded within the poem. Thus, these poems are titled, but the title does not appear at the top, but somewhere within the poem.

Hidden Love - Katherine Svensson

My wants, my needs I’ll cast aside
For the brood here at my side
Of love I know that can never be
My dream goes on eternally.
Of this life there must be more
Can this go on forever more?
God give me strength to break this bond
Surely you understand I can’t go on.
I’m only human you realise
I need warmth, understanding, don’t criticise.
And so my life goes every day
Those words so harsh you speak to me.
And so I turn to you my love, my love for you can never be.

Katherine Svensson

In My Garden (A Winter Reverie) - Kathy Figueroa

Image by Kathy Figueroa

In My Garden (A Winter Reverie) - Kathy Figueroa

I am a gardener
A tiller of the soil
Often, in my garden
From dawn to dusk
I'll toil
I work the land
And plant many seeds
Tend my crops
And pull the weeds
Then, at Night's bidding
Reluctantly take my rest
For, of all places on Earth
A garden
Must surely be
Among the best
Though the clutch
Of Winter
Has cast a pall
And the hours of light
Are few
Never ceasing
Without fail
The Sun is born
The harsh wind
May blow
And the snow
Relentlessly fall
But my reverie
Is of my garden
And the beauty of it all

Kathy Figueroa

(This poem was first published in The Bancroft Times newspaper on March 17, 2011.)

Ascribe - Alec Jackson

What God has forged you, a muse,
which life has scarred in cruel abuse?
I cannot stand where you are tall,
Venus, mother, love withall.

My eyes can but guess upon your form
from whence the beating heart was torn.
Yet auras glow incandescent hues
of the muse of mine you keep to you.

These words, I doubt, ascribe devotion
sublime and pure with keen precision,
but all thy issue, brood and heir,
will know this disciple; my muse, so fair.

Alec Jackson

Skin Tight - Janinka Diverio

A wave of hazy dream stuff floats by
An apparition, a glimpse, a wish, a desire
So real, so near, so true

Skin tight no more
Love lessens but the bond intact quivers, shudders
Unable to wander

A window into tomorrow
A whisper from my past
Something awaits, is awakening, is here

Janinka Diverio

Remembering Friday - Janinka Diverio

Hyde Park early evening
Sun streaming through the
Buildings of somewhere
We didn’t know

A pub, a bar
Seems a long time ago
Failing more, more, more
Under a first spring London sky

Then Saturday, river edgeland
Thoughts, walks along
Pebbles in the sand
Sometimes hand upon hand

But too soon
Pool-like eyes
Infinite, clear, full
Of your heart, heavy
Laden, heavy, full of

Till time caved in
Stopped too early to begin
Pulled away too soon
Down a faceless track

After, regret
Alone, empty, searching
Attempting to accept
Mindful choices made

A wanted hug
A needed touch
Too much
Though not enough

And now – remembering Friday
Despite what I know
Where to?
Forward to where we can’t go!

Janinka Diverio

If You’re Not on Board (Villanelle) - Rob Platts

If you’re not on board when my ferry sails,
and the spiteful wind's moaning its tirade,
I’ll wait by the gate till your bright light hails.

Picture me! swimming, with dolphin and whales
and cry only joy at marks that we laid,
If you’re not on board when my ferry sails.

Take heart, be strong, at the drive of those nails.
In good time they'll rust; don't be afraid, as
I’ll wait by the gate till your bright light hails.

Look to our children; put away dark veils.
They’ll step that small coin so your ticket's paid,
If you’re not on board when my ferry sails.

Laughter's in the offing, sheet in your sails.
While stars warm your hand and waves serenade,
I'll wait by the gate till your bright light hails.

Don’t turn your back to a new dawn or blade;
I’ve kept our ship's log and that'll not fade.
If you’re not on board when my ferry sails,
I’ll wait by the gate till your bright light hails.

Rob Platts


The poem was written for my friend who’s husband, an old pal and shipmate of mine, was brutally killed at sea in 2009 at the hands of pirates. I've included a few notes for readers who may not be nautically minded.

1. The small coin refers to the ancient practice of shipbuilders putting a silver coin under the main mast to pay the mythical ferry man to ferry the souls of dead sailors to the after life

2. 'The offing' refers to somewhere between where you are and the horizon.

3. 'A new blade' is short for a rudder blade and is a metaphor for a new helmsman ie mate.

Faith, Rocks and Other Rainbows – Rob Platts (with inspiration from Voltaire)

If thoughts were carried on scented winds
and prayers were caught by candle light,
If love was found under seaside rocks
and dreams fell ripe from talking trees,
If faith was kept afloat, gliding,
in a green canoe,
and fish knew
our given names
and how to let us go,
If life was more than a teardrop
clinging, briefly, to a smile
and if wars were fought with lollipops and laughter
and our children never cried,
would we still need those good books
and rainbows in the sky?

Rob Platts

A Snowball's Chance - Stuart Price

Simon snowball stood before the gates of hell where he met the keeper of that fiery place
A hairy beast with an unpleasant smell and massive warts upon his face.
'So what heinous deeds have brought you here', said the keeper to Simon in a scary voice ?
Well, said Simon 'I was always quite cold but for a snowball that’s ok and constitutes no vice'.

'Proverbially in these fiery furnaces you will not survive', said the keeper to Simon with an evil smile
Poor Simon was shaking and bowed, if he could just stay cool he may last a while.
There were flames of fire from snake filled pits and ghostly ghouls with puss filled zit,
When Simon saw this his eyes filled with tears, cos snowballs and hell are not a good fit.

Slowly poor Simon was losing ground, as he melted in the heat, spreading water around
That's it that's the end he thought but I won't cause a fuss and I'll make not a sound.
As his snowball body did slowly disappear he thought his death a bitter cruel blow
But he rose up slowly, no longer at the mercy of heat, or trapped in a ball of snow.

He was amazed to find that at last he was free, a floating snowball spirit on an endless sea,
I thought I was snow, a small ball of ice, now I can see, no way was that me.
His friends came to greet him and made a huge fuss, his hell just a dream, neither will it hurt us.
So no matter what happens, all our fears, guilt and pain, it's Truth and Heaven that deserve our trust.

Stuart Price

Untitled - Alec D Jackson

Whisper quietly, lest we speak of love;
its tender touch, the lapping waves of summer sea.
Moon and star that urge the tides upon the shore, Diana’s fervent heart.

But now, I see, upon the crested spill
a bark bearing noble standard,
risen high upon mountain waves that arrogate the land,
insistent, endless,
crashing against the scarred cliffs.
Splintered, transmogrified rocks are cautiously made smooth.

From deep within this cupidinous ocean, can a sea change happen?
Will this faithful ship harbour safe within
the arms of the tortured bays,
to trade its cargo,
equal, fair and new?
Why then, an embargo,
bars the artisan who cares for the heart of this potent land?

Why steel to meet the giving?
With fearful caution greeting?
I know and understand from where such embassy springs;
not all aid and council hides beneath duplicitous wings...

For the seafaring steward is keeper of yet another dream,
upon the beach where soil and water trace,
where city, town and village flourish and royalty nurtures the knave and maid.
When tower and cottage are made anew
from wond’rous granite, to aspire and grow.

Alec D. Jackson

The Carpenter - Stephen A. Roberts

Image - Stephen Roberts

The Carpenter - Stephen A.Roberts

The bent nail stares at me accusingly,
The Carpenter says nothing as
I place another and drive it in
Hoping to miss the tendons this time
Some of His blood touches me
But I don’t feel blessed

Stephen A. Roberts

Frog Prince Story Poem - Elle King

The Sakura trees are blooming,
Now in the beginning of spring,
The weather is turning sunny,
And the birds begin to sing.

But one story that I love,
And it happened with our backyards pond,
It was so beautiful and magical,
As if from a flick from a wand.

The grass so green and soft,
The ponds water so blue and clear,
But something in that water,
Was drawing me near.

A frog had hopped out,
Making noises with its inflating throat,
As if it were trying to speak to me,
It let out a giant croak!

I was into fairy tales,
This was a chance I didn’t want to miss,
So I picked up this little frog,
And gave it a little kiss.

All of a sudden, within a flash,
I was stunned to see a prince,
I shook my head in disbelief,
saying ''it was only a coincidence'

A dream, a dream, it has to be!
I should try and get myself to awake,
I pinched, I yelled, I rolled around,
but I realised this wasn’t fake.

Such a beautiful figure,
Stood in front of my very eyes,
From a frog a prince appeared,
Although I’m very surprised.

A fairy-tale this still must be,
There’s no way this could be real,
Seeing a frog and picking it up,
with a kiss to seal the deal.

This must be a magic trick,
Or it could have been an actor,
Or I could still be reading the frog prince book,
And it’s at the end of its chapter.

But alas, it was only a book,
Oh prince how I’ll miss you,
That’s the end of book 1,
You'll have to wait for book 2.

The frog that jumped out of our pond,
Was no coincidence,
because after the kiss occurred,
I found my beautiful frog prince.

Elle King

Magical Melody Story - Elle King

I heard this beautiful Melody,
... The notes were flowing together,
The music was hypnotising,
I wanted it to last forever.

Such a beautiful story,
Was being made within the tune,
The notes were flowing gracefully,
Like a new butterfly from a cocoon.

It was as if by magic,
The music was drawing me near,
I listened close with all my heart,
To see what else i could hear.

I could hear chimes,
Like a beautiful breeze had flown,
I could hear birds singing to eachother,
So they know their not alone.

I could hear a heartbeat,
I think the music had a heart,
The peaceful piece that was playing,
Was only just the start.

The music had gotten faster,
It was picking up the pace,
But even though the notes were flying,
The music still had its grace.

The wonders of the notes,
Flying without a fear,
My eyes were closed and my ears were open,
To see what else i could hear.

The music started to turn sad,
And it made me want to cry,
The Melody had gotten slower,
And the notes were saying goodbye.

A tear had fallen of my cheek,
And slowly hit the ground,
But something sad like a tear,
Emitted a beautiful sound.

These happy tears had started,
Because this beautiful melody started to play,
And even though instuments have no voice,
They still have alot to say.

They have a voice within their melody,
Just listen with your heart,
As i said in the beginning,
This is only the start.

I once heard this beautiful melody,
A story it was trying to send,
The melody faded into your heart,
To bid this poem an end.

Moral of this story,
Look deep within your heart,
Don't give up on what you love,
Because its only just the start.

Elle King

Ode To Housework - Kathy Figueroa

Ode To Housework - Kathy Figueroa

It's time to clean
This house
Though I'm allergic
To dust
Someone will
Be over soon
So tidying
Is a must
Let me think
Of this drudgery
As something
That's actually fun
Otherwise, it's going
To be awhile
Before I get this
Housework done
Let me delight in
Washing the floor
Instead of thinking
It's such a chore
The cat boxes
Will be fun to change
I'll whistle a tune
As I rearrange
The laundry will go
In the washing machine
The plants
Will be watered
So they stay green
Scrubbing the sink
Won't take as
Long as I think
And then, after I do
I'll polish the loo
Cobwebs can be swept
Away with a broom
Then I'll vacuum
The living room
(Note to myself:
Remember to take care
And make sure I get
All the dog and cat hair)
Yes, I guess
My house is a mess
I could do more
And procrastinate less
Then, in no time
This house
Would be clean
And I'd be
The happiest
Person you've seen

Kathy Figueroa

(This poem was first published in The Bancroft Times newspaper on January 5, 2012.)
A special, 'thank you,' goes to, 'Walter Inkster, the Devil's Artisan,' for allowing the use of this fabulous illustration.

Evolution - Kathy Figueroa

Evolution - Kathy Figueroa

Long ago, a dinosaur
A prisoner, by gravity bound
With lumbering, heavy steps
Did plod across the ground
And it crushed all in its path
With an earth shaking tread
Unlike a bird that flies
In the blue sky, overhead
Maybe this massive creature
When mired in the
Black mud of a swamp
Dreamed of being able
To frolic and romp
Perhaps this behemoth
So long ago, alive
Wished it were more agile
That it could soar and dive
Maybe in its heart
A hidden hope held sway
That it could change
And be different some day
Perhaps its wish was granted
Implausible as this might sound
It's got to do with something
Archaeologists have found
This might seem far fetched
Or maybe even absurd
But recent discoveries have shown
A dinosaur evolved into a bird
How long the process took
They can't, with accuracy, say
But I guess a need to fly
Made a dinosaur evolve that way

Kathy Figueroa

(This poem was first published in The Bancroft Times newspaper on May 20, 2010.)
A special, 'thank you,' goes to, 'Walter Inkster, the Devil's Artisan,' for allowing the use of this fabulous illustration.

Beautiful Old Style Poems - Kathy Figueroa

Beautiful Old Style Poems - Kathy Figueroa

Give me a rhyme
A clever turn of phrase
Give me glorious poems
Written like
In the olden days
Let me revel
In the language
In words that resonate
In my mind
Why are beautiful
Old style poems
Now so hard to find?
The eloquent verse
Of a bygone age
Still makes people smile
Why has rhyming poetry
Fallen out of style?
Rhyme for me a story
An epic adventurous tale
About a trip to the
Mountain peaks
Or the ocean to set sail
Speak of the
Human condition
The best and the worst
Of joy, sorrow and triumph
And dreams that have burst
Tell of hope and longing
Of heroes and dignity
On injustice and suffering
Shine a light for all to see
Weave a wonderful story
Use rhyme like
Golden thread
Form a tapestry of words
That inspires wonder
When it's read
Rhyme like Robert Service
William Blake and
Edgar Allen Poe
Create a beautiful
Timeless poem
Like they did
So long ago...

Kathy Figueroa

(This poem was first published in The Bancroft Times newspaper on November 23, 2011.)

A special, 'thank you,' goes to, 'Walter Inkster, the Devil's Artisan,' for allowing the use of this fabulous illustration!

Writing Poetry - Jenny Hamon

A seed is planted in my brain
It rattles round and becomes a grain.
It germinates every now and then
And has me reaching for my pen.

The best ideas come to me
In early morning, about half past three.
To quickly scribble then is the key
Or sleep will not return to me.

As I go about my daily bread
Random ideas pop into my head.
I write them down while I remember,
While it’s still a glowing ember.

There is no rhyme or reason when
The wondrous ideas flow from my pen.
I really have to scribble my thoughts
Before the thinking process aborts.

The poetic juices begin to flow
The spark of an idea begins to glow
It will happen no matter where I am
In the bath or traffic jam.

I only know I must record
The vivid thought before it’s absorbed
Into the dark depths of my brain
Never to be recalled again.

So no matter where I be
I carry pen and paper with me.
I have to say that people stare
When I’m jotting down notes and riding my mare.

The thoughts that come thick and fast
I must capture before they’re lost
And when the poetic moment has died
I think no more, my brain is fried!

Jenny Hamon

One Sky Moment - Janinka Diverio

I have not included an image with this post as Janinka prefers to let the text stand for itself she says; "It allows the reader to conjure up his/her own images and relationship with the words. I respond very well to visuals but in this case I like the words to stand alone in their own naked and raw glory.... "

One Sky Moment - Janinka Diverio

Effervescent sheets of mauve
Dance around the mallow
As crisp, cotton and
White lace
Doilies and paper shapes
Pirouette and beckon
And spin themselves around
Street-lined and bobbinesque bays

Umbrella clouds float above
Horizontal falling rain drops
Whilst a phalanx of sheep’s wool momentarily
Shrouds the sky.
The horizon trimmed with pinking-shears
As zig-zag tree tops protrude and pierce
The ever-white infinite, yet sometimes
Interrupted blue as
Pallid mauve ribbons
Remind me of you.

Janinka Diverio

To David Bowie - Stuart Price

Man of whimsy, pale beauty and thinness
Close adored friend of both ways fantasy
And lonely teenage bedsitter distress
Whose pain and trouble you alone could see;
You were as cool as cool as man could be
Exploring the stars is there life on Mars ?
Oh how we all wanted to be like thee.
Iconic, ironic not moronic
Your created personas a tonic
For the strikes and stress of the Seventies.

Stuart Price

(Very loosely based on Keats wonderful poem ' To Autumn')

The Rescue - Jenny Hamon

The pager pierces the slumbering room,
He leaps out of bed and peers through the gloom.
There must be a problem out in the rough sea
Problem enough that they need to call me.

The wind is howling, the sea is boiling
But out at sea a sailor’s calling.
No second thoughts, there’s a job in hand.
The crew are ready, the boat is manned.

The night is black and the sea is high
But the call is urgent, someone could die.
They slip the mooring and head out to sea
Leaving the shelter of the harbour’s lee.

Full speed ahead and set the course,
The waves are huge, the weather worse.
They battle on, no thoughts of slowing
Through mountainous waves and gale force blowing.

The radar’s like a heartbeat glowing,
On the screen the yacht is showing
We’re nearly there, get ready boys
(It’s hard to shout above the noise.)

The crew are trained, they are a team,
The Coxswain slows alongside the beam
One by one the sailors are pulled on board,
No wasting time they cannot afford.

They take the casualties down below
While other crew establish a tow
The yachtsmen now are safe and sound
Aboard the lifeboat, homeward bound.

The homeward journey’s a slow rough ride
The lifeboat battles against wind and tide
The speed is slow, but with casualties aboard
A successful rescue is assured.

The dawn is breaking, it’s morning now
The mooring chain’s secured on the bow
He heads for home, into bed he slides,
Don’t put your cold feet on me, she cries!

Jenny Hamon

Without so much as a sigh - Andrew Barham

Without so much as a sigh
My father dies
By the struggle
To stay alive
And the nurse turning him
Cries …

A dark presence
Lurking in the corners and shadows
Perched up there
Near the ceiling,
Waiting –
And it's all over.

He could see it
As he lay
The terror in his eyes
Every time
He looked up there
Unable to speak –
To communicate;
The man I looked up to
The man I could always talk to
About anything
About everything;

Is not so complete –
It leaves everything
Unanswered …

Andrew Barham

Blog Archive