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

Too Late - Andrew Barham

An untimely deadline missed
Beguiles an unlikely tryst
With a warm wind blowing
Through all seeing but not knowing
How blue is blue can be –
How blue is the sea?
And the sky falling down
For our home is warming now
More rapidly than we thought it would
More rapidly than they said it should
Way back in 1990
When Scientists could not agree
Though by 1993
They did consensus see;

There are tipping points three
We hoped we might not see
In our lifetime though
Of these our children might know
Them more intimately:
Glaciers melting majestically
Mountains of ice plunging into the sea
Happening unexpectedly
The others are happening too:
As these things often do
Stricken forests burning bright
Lighting up the darkest night
It's not exactly a pretty sight,
The greenwood consumed in infernal light;

We see in slow motion
Glaciers falling into the ocean
As Greenland's ice caps melt -
And new land like a green felt
Emerges to sore amaze our eyes
With unimpeachable data that defies
The skeptic's and the denier's lies
This too rapid melting of the ice.
As the polar ice recedes
And our beleaguered planet bleeds,
Nations and oil companies compete
To see which one can beat
The others to get there first
And satisfy their insatiable thirst

It's not just ice that's disappearing
That third tipping point Scientists were fearing
Was the melting of the permafrost
Happening rapidly at the cost
Of northern communities:
As the permanently hard soil recedes
And the frozen ground begins to thaw
Whole towns slump and sink into the maw
Of the boggy earth below
(Though now the trees there grow);
The consequence comes and goes
As the peat begins to decompose
Releasing more carbon into the air
(Of this, the Scientists were scared.)

There is a fourth tipping point
That can really shake up this joint
The most frightening one by far
(We forget the biosphere is like a jar
With everything sealed within
Which is why we Scientists make such a din
About the dangers we all are in)
While the politicians spin
Saying the potential harm
Is just Scientists spreading alarm
For some sort of personal gain
Though I notice they refrain
From saying what these benefits be
From this imagined conspiracy

Only very recently
Within a month or three
Russian Scientists did observe
Something new to throw a curve
Into our calculations
That will really rock all nations
The fourth tipping point
With which to anoint
Our most dire prophecies
Far worse than rising seas
A runaway greenhouse effect
We will soon begin to detect
For methane bubbling from the ocean floor
Shall cause the planet to warm even more …

Andrew Barham

60 Glorious Years - Jenny Hamon

What a wonderful weekend of celebration
That brought together the whole of our nation
We waved our flags and partied in the street
And had fun with people we would never usually meet.

United together in Celebration
We shared your joy and jubilation
Your people from Commonwealth countries joined in
To honour your service so selflessly given.

To The Queen and Prince Philip we wish to you
Health and happiness your whole life through
So let’s raise a glass and give three cheers
To Her Majesty and 60 glorious years.

Jenny Hamon

Hope - Jenny Hamon

The swallows are back for the summer
They are frequenting the barn and their nests.
I marvel at their energy
Never ceasing, never seeming to rest.

That’s a sign summer is almost here
Although the weather can’t make up its mind
The sparrows and blue tits are nesting
As are the blackbirds and wrens, I find.

The garden is looking fresh and young
As the shoots push their way to the light
I always love this time of the year,
Before the weeds have appeared for a fight!

The wild flowers that adorn the lanes
Are a picture to behold
They give food and hope to the insects
And so natures year begins to unfold

We have hope for the harvest to come
And look forward to seeing things bloom
Just like we have hope for peace in the world
And pray that it comes very soon.

Jenny Hamon

Gumboots - Kathy Figueroa

When I was in town
I had a fashion attack
And bought shiny
New gumboots
In sleek stylish black
Now, through the mud
I can fearlessly stomp
And I don't get my feet wet
When I cross the swamp
I lived in the city
A long time ago
And had to dress up there
Mainly for show
I worked nine to five
White collar hours
In those great big
Toronto office towers
Now, I live in the country
And life is just grand
When I spend my days
Outside on the land
I'm happy as a lark
As I work in the dirt
In my gumboots, jeans
And an old flannel shirt
You won't find my wardrobe
In a fashion magazine
Because I dress for comfort
Not to be seen
So, bring on the flannel
Bring on the plaid
Bring on the gumboots
The best footwear I've had
I don't look high fashion
But don't give two hoots
Because I always feel good
When I wear gumboots

Kathy Figueroa

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