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

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