Rolling Out The Pastry - Jenny Hamon

When I was young
And just a child
I loved to bake with Mum
We weighed the flour
And greased the tins
Oh, it was such fun

Buns and cakes
We would make
The bowl and spoon licked clean
And pasties and pies
All golden brown
Were the best I’ve ever seen

My favourite part
Of baking with Mum
Was rolling the pastry out
I spent lots of time
Making shapes out of mine
And was a curious grey when done

It puzzled me though
When Mum rolled hers out
Why she made a clicking sound
But when I rolled mine
There was never a noise
And the answer I never found

But now I have grown
With kids of my own
And we’re doing the pastry thing
And the answer I found
To the curious sound
Is of course my wedding ring!

Jenny Hamon

Rage Against My Machine - Ian Renouf-Watkins

My body is telling me I’m old, older still at least
Because bits don’t work and some, so full of metal
That bone has gone amiss somewhere...elsewhere
Awry, around, through and down, it bloody hurts!
Warmth, not anymore, not felt, seen or even heard
Anyway, I feel absurd; irascible in fact, so much
So, knowing I should have given up, but years ago
When my body told me to stop, no, that’s enough!
Is enough, enough? I want more, don’t you?

To breathe easy, walk easily, run… don’t laugh
At me, it isn’t funny… is it really that uncanny
To dream of such simple pleasures, quietly?
It’s a bastard, a git, a complete shit storm of feelings
Coursing through me, as my legs still refuse to work
Properly, righteously angry, I want to scream loudly
But no one will hear it tumble, only, a useless mumble.
From my lips, slips the tip of something lost
Not found again, not ever retrievable, or even able
To really articulate how I’m feeling. Lost perhaps?
But, mostly, dog tired, stretched and horridly feeble.

Ian Renouf-Watkins

Romantic Nihilist - Andrew Barham

Highlights golden in brilliant sunlight
Glow softly in your chestnut hair, a memory
As I wait outside these grey-stone walls ...

Acting on an impulse,
I grasp a handful of fallen leaves
Scattered on the cracked paving at my feet;
Gently, I toss them to the wind
And they are gone,
These wisps of amber and crimson.

Crystals of frozen water,
Glittering like tiny diamonds,
Gust up from the wall,
Swirling motes of light
That billow and eddy about my face
As they drift ground-wards
To settle at my feet.

The wall crumbles into ruin
With the passing of ghosts and time,
And soon, the snow reaches above my knees
To cover me completely
As the seasons revolve;
Until, one day, there is a wisp
Of chestnut hair, streaked with blue,
Scintillating with golden highlights
As the sun bursts through the skeletal ruins
Of the grey-stone wall;
Liquid snow seeps into the gullies and fissures
Formed by cracks in the jagged paving
Where new flowers bud
And spread wide their vivid inflorescence
Redolent of a rainbow,
As a hand, soft, gentle, and warm,
Touches mine, caressing away the wintry chill
Until I'm warmed through,
No longer frozen to this spot,
As we walk away
Into the brilliant sunlight ...

Andrew Barham

Competition Winner - December 2013
A Universal Truth - Ian Renouf-Watkins

A bubble so clear, a small roundel of tear
Glass-like yet fluid, it shimmers and slides
Dripping and dropping it’s so full of light
Sliding down gently, it’s the water of life.

Ian Renouf-Watkins

The Man from Mars - John E. Blaise

From outside of society
the man from Mars stares agape
At our play now pay later life style.
Run by money driven capitalistic,
bourgeois, fascist hypocrites
who donate small amounts of money
from large corporate funds
to appease the silent majority.

Fat cats skimming off the cream
Sitting on millions.
With ego's the size of hot air balloons.
World run on currency
Environmental decisions made to fill wallets
By self-opinionated bigots
Everything contaminated and polluted
Apart from areas surrounding their domains
Their warm insulated castles.

Eyes closed, noses raised firmly upwards
Oblivious of any real poverty
Caused by corrupt third world governments
Backed by Western money
Laundered through offshore Islands
By shady illegal gangster firms
Dealing in tainted drug money
Helping to sustain monopolies and empires
All set up for future generations to inherit.

John E. Blaise

You Shouldn’t Have… - Janet

Oh you really shouldn’t .
you are just too kind.
I don’t know how you knew
or where this gift you’d find.
It’s just what I always wanted.
A kilt like Auntie Gert
and these yellow wellies
are just like Uncle Bert’s.
How did you know I needed
a Disney pink toothbrush
and a matching mug?
It really is too much.
I know, I used to watch Bambi
so a jumper you have made,
and bought me flashing antlers.
I’m like a fashion parade.j
What’s that Gran? You bought this on
the charity blue cross day and
you had to queue for hours
I don’t know what to say.
This jacket is quite lovely
with shades of brown and grey.
Oh, and there’s something in the pocket.
It is my lucky day.
It’s a hard boiled sweet
with just a bit of fluff.
I think I’ll save it for later
as I’ve eaten so much stuff.
Oh Auntie Jean you shouldn’t,
to my eye you bring a tear.
I’m sure I’ve seen this before
Ah yes, I gave it to you last year.
So let’s just raise a glass
and everyone stand tall.
Give thanks for the Queen and Ebay.
Happy Christmas to one and all.


Merry Christmas - John Buchanan

Merry Christmas everyone.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank two special groups of people who will not be with their families today. Please bear a thought for them as you sit down with your families or friends.

For all those serving with the Armed Forces, whether at home or abroad thank you, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

I would also like to thank all those serving with Sea Shepherd’s Operation Relentless in the Southern Ocean.

The following poem is an account of one of the best demonstrations of what can be achieved at Christmas; I would like to reiterate the sentiments of the last two lines.

Once again, happy Christmas and peace and goodwill to all.

A Carol From Flanders - Frederick Niven (1878-1944)

In Flanders on the Christmas morn
The trenched foemen lay,
the German and the Briton born,
And it was Christmas Day.

The red sun rose on fields accurst,
The gray fog fled away;
But neither cared to fire the first,
For it was Christmas Day!

They called from each to each across
The hideous disarray,
For terrible has been their loss:
"Oh, this is Christmas Day!"

Their rifles all they set aside,
One impulse to obey;
'Twas just the men on either side,
Just men — and Christmas Day.

They dug the graves for all their dead
And over them did pray:
And Englishmen and Germans said:
"How strange a Christmas Day!"

Between the trenches then they met,
Shook hands, and e'en did play
At games on which their hearts were set
On happy Christmas Day.

Not all the emperors and kings,
Financiers and they
Who rule us could prevent these things —
For it was Christmas Day.

Oh ye who read this truthful rime
From Flanders, kneel and say:
God speed the time when every day
Shall be as Christmas Day.

Frederick Niven (1878-1944)

The Shadow - Rod Ferbrache

Long time ago in Bethlehem so the holy Bible say
Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day.
A lovely song we know so well, but does it make you wonder-
If there was far more truth than this, and maybe we should ponder
About poor Mary and the things she could’ve seen that night,
That made her heart uneasy, that didn’t seem quite right?
As she lay the baby down upon that rough old manger,
Did she see its legs had crossed, was that a sign of danger?

Then later on as Jesus grew into a fine young lad,
And learned to fashion wood beside his ageing dad.
Did Mary ever stop and stare upon the things he made?
Perhaps a stool or table, or a handle for a spade?
Did she ever marvel at his affinity with wood?
Were the alarm bells ringing, had she understood?
A carpenter he is right now, but would he always be,
The words that kept repeating, was simply these, “a tree.”

The years went by so quickly, Jesus was now a man,
He began a ministry, said this was the Father’s plan.
Crowds seem to follow him no matter where he went,
So he stepped into a boat that'll James and John had lent.
As they launched off from the shore out across the lake,
Did Mary see a future sight that made her poor heart break?
For as the boat went further out she felt a sense of loss,
Was it a coincidence that the mast had formed a cross?

A few months on the crowd had turned into an angry mob,
The sight that Mary looked on just made her sob and sob.
There was a cross before her, in fact not one but three.
Her son was on the middle one yet no one heard her plea.
She heard him cry for water, but vinegar they gave,
She saw him hang and die there, and no one came to save.
Then all those signs that she had seen throughout his life on earth
Made sense to her, and she could trace them from his birth.

We celebrate at Christmas the coming of God’s son; .
At Easter time we’re thankful for all that he has done.
But stoop into the stable; look at the manger bare,
There is a shadow of a cross that you can make out there.
For even though we celebrate, with joy that well loved story,
We can’t ignore the fact that when he left his glory -
He knew what he was coming to, what price he’d have to pay.
Make sure that you remember him this year on Christmas day.

Rod Ferbrache

The Christmas Season - Jenny Hamon

Christmas is coming, so much to do
The shopping and cooking and cards to write too
There’s presents to buy and parcels to send
The tree to decorate, write letters to friends

I’m rushing, I’m dashing to get it all done
There’s mince pies to make before I have won
The fruit cake to stir and the wishes to make
The cleaning to do and house to decorate

On top of all this there’s a party and fun
Friends and relations have been invited to come
I have to be bright and cheery to all
With a kiss under the mistletoe in the hall

I am exhausted, the job is complete
I’ll just sit and relax in my comfy seat
But I’ve overlooked the real reason
For the celebration of this festive season

The birth of a child on this holy night
Is the reason we remember that star so bright
It shone over the stable and the manger bed
Where this baby, our saviour, laid his little head

Now lest we forget in the rush of the morn
The reason for all this, Baby Jesus is born

Jenny Hamon

Mirror - John E Blaise

I saw an old school friend and had a shock
I had not seen him for at least forty years.
His harsh appearance brought on the tears.
He was bald, hunched and wrinkled,
Had middle age spread and could hardly see.
So he didn't recognise me.

John E Blaise

It Doesn’t Count at Christmas - Diane Scantlebury

Don’t know about the goose
But I’m getting fat,
A thick rubber ring
Around the middle
Resistant to exercise or effort,
The spread that comes
With middle age,
One more sherry?
Another mince pie?
Continue to indulge
It makes no difference,
The midline shift continues
No matter what excuse,
Breathe in and hope
The sequins will disguise,
Distract the eye from the little black dress
That now fits like a sausage skin,
Mmm, but those sausage rolls look tempting
Surely one or two won’t harm,
Another slice of festive cake?
Go on then,
Not going to feel guilty
It’s Christmas so it doesn’t count!

Diane Scantlebury

The Nativity Play - Jenny Hamon

The time has come for the Nativity Play
The children have practised their lines to say
Songs have been learnt, and dances too
Ready to perform for me and you

The scene is set, rehearsals are done
The final dress rehearsal has run
With tinsel and tea cloths ready to wear
And makeup put on, and a comb through their hair

The children file in, there’s shepherds and sheep
And camels and donkeys and a baby asleep
There’s Mary and Joseph and kings so grand
Although one is so small and he needs a hand

A mum has been spotted, a smile and a wave
He will try not to cry, he was told to be brave
The performance begins with a well rehearsed tune
But the singing’s interrupted all too soon

Little Johnnie announces he wants a wee
The audience laughs with tears of glee
He is quickly removed from the sweet stable scene
Before there’s an accident that was unforeseen

The play carries on, distractions aside
The stars and the angels shine with pride
The donkey is restless and gives a yawn
About the time the baby was born

Now the cast are excited, the baby is here
They sing and they dance and they all give a cheer
A Christmas wish is sung to all
Before the final curtain call

I’m sure we’ll remember for many a year
The excitement and tinsel, the joy and the fear
The first time that we performed on a stage
Oh yes, we’ll remember, no matter our age

Jenny Hamon

Will The Revolution Be On Facebook? - Andrew Barham

The Revolution will not be televised
But it will be on Youtube
For our continued entertainment.
We will tweet it widely
Proclaiming its progress daily
Perhaps even hourly as it unfolds.
You'll confront it face on
In our status updates
And you won't need to google it,
Because it will be all over MySpace –
But, you Reddit here first!
And when it's all over
You'll be able to read about it
In Wikipedia.

Andrew Barham

Bane-Herbs - Chris Hudson

Witch me a herb, which herb is which?
Whether grown in a greenhouse, or in a ditch
Toxins that repel, ward off, or give grace
These herbs are all banes, where they leave a trace

Dogbane, known as Indian Hemp
Grows in many different places
Fibrous cord and herbal tea
To the heart it gives the races

Other forms, well known, of hemp
Their user’s minds t’entrap attempt
Best left well alone I know
Or to a shrink you then must go!

Fleabane, more seldom found, does insects repel;
Henbane, from Eurasia, sends senses all to hell
Witches use’t, to make them fly
Giv’n to animals, it makes them die

Witchbane, sometimes known as Rue
In southeast Europe, there it grew
For upset stomachs with bitter taste
In pregnancy to babes lays waste

Wolfsbane also known as Monkshood
Poisoned tips of arrows made good
Skin penetrating alkaloid
Wolves and werewolves to avoid

To get rid of fleas use fumigation
Witch posers suffer ridicule
Wolves not found within this nation
Believe in werewolves- you’re a fool!

Chris Hudson

Christmas Came Too Early - Diane Scantlebury

Christmas is coming
It’s getting earlier every year,
And from his HQ deep in the far North Pole
I’m sure I heard Santa swear,

Harrods had sent him an email at the end of August
A fact that struck him as weird,
For he’d just got back from Barbados
It was hot so he’d shaved off his beard,

They’d already started building his grotto
Festive cards and wrapping were on the shelves,
If he’d any chance of meeting the deadline
It meant more overtime for the elves,

Christmas had come too early
And Santa’s tan barely had time to fade,
He was stressed and under pressure
There were toys and gifts to be made,

Santa wasn’t feeling so jolly
In fact he felt rather flat,
He’d had a great time in the Caribbean
The rum punch had seen to that,

Whose idea was it to start Xmas in August?
It must have been one of the TV admen’s ploys,
But Santa was a true professional
He’d never disappoint all the girls and boys,

Christmas may have started too early
But Santa was determined to keep things on track,
Amidst all the spoilers and cynics
He’d make sure the magic was back,

For he knew the true meaning of Christmas was lost
Overtaken by profit and greed,
At least the children should be happy
In a world still racked with hunger and need.

Diane Scantlebury

Christmas - John E Blaise

Christmas time,
agnostics are attracted to the church.
The spiritual quietness at this Holy time of year,
And all the religious imagery of Christmas;
In the bleak mid winter,
Carols, choirs, Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Cattle lowing, wise men, Angels and shepherds fear,
Then there has to be deep crisp snow
Large Christmas trees with flashing fairy lights,
Blazing log fires, holly wreaths and mistletoe,
A happy jovial plump Santa Claus.
Children shouting, screaming, easy to excite
Ready to open their bulging sacks of toys.
Tables laden with mountains of food
And happy, warm inside, that's how we are supposed to feel.
But let’s get down to earth, let’s get real.
Weathers always mild, damp, usually drizzle.
Christmas starts in mid October ends in January
I've spent ten pounds on Peter only eight on Paul
What do I buy to make up the shortfall.
Shocked to receive cards from friends long forgotten.
The hypocrisy of smiling, eating with people you loathe.
How may people actually enjoy Christmas day?
Tired from over indulgence, financially ruined.
The average person just plain poor
Exploited by the blatant greed of shops and stores.
Yet we still celebrate oblivious of any other nation.
As though Christmas is the same the whole world over.
Just pause for one second or even a minute
While the small children amuse themselves with the wrapping paper
Forgetting the toy inside the parcel.
Think of the starving hungry child
Abroad and then on our doorsteps.
People who can never seek sanctuary, peace of mind.
The old, the frail, the sick, the lonely.
People who dread the mere mention of Christmas
And even the birth of Christ.
Say a prayer for all of them.

John E Blaise

No Idea - Andrew Barham

Have I exhausted my muse,
Worn her out with my rambles
Through the inferno
Of poetic inspiration;
Or has the World of Man
Merely caught up with my poetry?

I ramble through ancient verse
Laid down long long ago
By the Poet of the Greenwood
Standing up for the Understory
Against the sheriffs
Of this mercantile age.

The world has indeed
Caught up with my poetry:
Those mercantile monarchs and lords
Who promised so much
As they accumulated everything
For a handful of bright beads;

I am no Little Sir John,
Though I chronicle our own hundred year war
Against these mercantile imperialists
As we skirmish and turn about
Winning a battle here and there
While we lose the war.

Just as it seems all hope is lost
And the new mighty evil empire
Is about to proclaim itself
Rulers of Earth for all time,
A tiny glimmer of sunlight appears
And steals through those dark massing clouds.

Sir John, patronised by
The kings and lords of his war,
Through access, gained a deeper insight
Into his own troubled times –
I am not Sir John, for I have no access,
But I am the Froissart of our age.

Andrew Barham

The Changing Scenes of Christmas - Rod Ferbrache

Christmas has changed don’t you think?
From the ones when I was a lad,
Those times were special, simple and good,
Just my brothers, and me, Mum and Dad.
The ceiling was covered in paper chains,
There was holly and ivy – no tree,
Dad found a branch of evergreen oak,
Was as good as the real thing to me.

We’d go to bed early on Christmas Eve,
Made the night go quicker we thought,
But every so often I’d creep down the bed,
To feel what Santa had brought.
One of Dad’s socks did the trick every year,
Was amazing how much it would stretch,
We’d jump in their bed at the crack of dawn,
And our stockings we’d one by one fetch.

Christmas has changed don’t you think?
From the ones when I was a teen,
There were all sorts of decisions to make,
Like where to spend Christmas – I mean
Should I go to my girlfriend’s house?
Or should she come over to us?
What a difficult job to please everyone,
Yet we managed without too much fuss.

I remember one year on Boxing Day,
The party was held at my Gran,
It had snowed overnight but the roads were clear,
To drive Judy home was the plan.
But as evening fell so did the snow
Twas too deep to drive into town,
So she came home with me, and much to my glee,
From my parents not even a frown.

Christmas has changed don’t you think?
From the time when my children were small,
There were wish lists and hints dropped,
And the hope was that Santa would call.
It was their turn to jump on our bed in the dark,
“Can we get up, is it time?”
Didn’t matter that Dad worked a hundred hour week,
“Oh please can we get up?” they’d whine,

I loved Boxing Day; we’d play with their toys,
There was always something to make,
Lego was great; we’d build something big,
Like airports and towns with a lake.
My Little Pony, the Care Bears and Flumps,
Sylvanian families were fun,
The hours we spent on the floor with these things,
Just to think makes my throat grow a lump.

Christmas has changed don’t you think?
Now the girls have got boyfriends in tow,
Yet there’s a tradition that stays with us still,
You’ll not guess, so I’ll let you know.
Christmas Eve walks – they’re precious to me,
We’ve been doing them now twenty years,
We go out at three and come back in the dark,
During which we have faced many fears.

We can’t go on roads only farmland they say,
So through all the mud we trot,
There’s been chases with bulls, electrified fence,
And sometimes we’ve even been shot!
You’d think they could tell the difference between –
A rabbit, and humans times three,
But we still had to run across open land
And shelter behind a stout tree.

Christmas has changed don’t you think?
From that first Christmas long ago,
But has it? Or is it the things we have done
That has caused the occasion to grow.
We still celebrate the King who was born
In a stable so cold and bare
We sing of the Wise Men, who came from so far,
To worship, and give, and stare –
Into the eyes of the Christ child so small
A child who was destined to die,
We still praise His name and trust in His cross,
That was given for you and for I.

The story of Christmas remains the same,
The response is for us to give,
We either accept or reject this gift,
We can choose to die or to live,
Christmas can change from the one that you know,
The one that is never the same,
Just come to the Saviour, He beckons to you,
Listen, He’s calling your name.

Rod Ferbrache

Whatever the Season Throws - Diane Scantlebury

What is that strange light
In distant yonder
Punctuating the dark?
What sound on the breeze
Makes a rabbit’s back arch and stiffen
At a barely audible canine bark?
When did the dawn slink in?
It was pitch black
A moment ago,
Now with red rimmed eyes
It blinks awake
To put nature’s beauty on show,

But the day it brings is cold and sullen
The horizon is smudged with grey,
Winter firmly hauls down its shutters,
Keeping any hope of warmth
At bay,
Yet one bold bird stands defiant,
No escape for him
To the south and France,
Surveying the world
From his bare branch perch,
Whatever the season throws
He’ll bravely take his chance.

Diane Scantlebury

A Death In The Life - Lyndon Queripel

It was a cold December morning
I woke up and started yawning
I didn't want to get out of bed
When I heard John Lennon was dead
A voice low said over my small radio
Someone had shot the working class hero
I turned up the volume, it must be wrong
And then on came a Beatles' song
In disbelief I slowly dressed to wait
For another New York City update
When it came to confirm my fears
My eyes just filled up with tears
And somewhere deep down inside
I felt a part of me had also died
"It seems so strange," said a friend
"How men of peace meet a violent end."
Nineteen Eighty was the year
Do you remember where you were?
But then you see how I forget
You may not have been born yet.

Lyndon Queripel

My New Car - Jenny Hamon

I’ve bought a new car
All shiny and bright
It’s not quite new
But it’s certainly alright.

It replaces the old one
That’s on its last legs
Been round the clock
And attention it begs

Well, I’m all excited
I collect it today
So while I’m getting used to it
Get out of my way

The car is automatic
No clutch on the side
And to indicate I’m turning
Well it’s on the wrong side

I think that this means
In the next coming days
I’ll take things quietly
And re-programme my brain

So if you see me approaching
At a moderate rate
With wipers madly wiping
I’ll be turning in at this gate

Jenny Hamon

In Memoriam - Madiba (1918-2013) - John Carré Buchanan

African Statesman
dies peacefully in his home.
This time the world mourns.

John Carré Buchanan

Wunderkind! - Chris Hudson

I am a serious poet, and also a serious headcase
Some days now I seldom show it, but I was once hit with mace!
Yes I want it, yes I need it, I bleed regret but I can’t feed it
I hardly know it but I’ve put a spanner in the works of Man
I never knew of the substance of the master plan

I’m such a hard worker, you know, even though my life is finished
Before it had even began, the red stamp on the rejected chip.
Opposing slings and arrows; fortunes became ever so diminished
Trammel up outrageous consequence, liberate companionship

A maid’s rumour inopportune? Hopes and dreams of every nation?
Here, set clear, and set in motion, we, set free, birth our foundation
With cheery glow in every soul, demonstrating our devotion

Then that became my beauteous fairy creature- Let me kiss your hands,
I kiss your forehead, clasp you to me, come my love, forget the rest,
Completely naked… I squeeze you to my breast while traffic gyrates…

Slowly to and fro, stop, go, jam on the brakes, obstruct the traffic flow
All over Town, drive around real slow! It’s the same wherever you go.

Said emaciated yoga practitioner as he opened the door:
“I ain’t gonna go on the astral plain no more,”
I’ve put my money where my mouth was
My middle-age where my youth was.

Chris Hudson

When the Words Come - Diane Scantlebury

Image Source: Buchanan

When the Words Come - Diane Scantlebury

When the words come
You have to go with it,
Flow with it,
No point in fighting
The voices,
They’ll nag you,
Drag you back
Until you write them,
Empty your head
Or lose them,
Only then are you released
Spent and drained,
Another hour gone.

Diane Scantlebury

(The Quandary Of) A Painful Loss - Ian Renouf-Watkins

Fire burned inside his head
Stole any rational thought
Flames leaving only dread
His pulse would fall to nought

Muscles tensed eyes closed
Draining his last reserves
A painful and final choke
Delivered his craved dessert

Hot tears so openly shed
Though not for very long
As many were glad he’s dead
When they heard he’d gone

Light faded from his sight
A vacuum shut out sound
Losing in his final fight
And sent to the burial mound

Many came wept to mourn
And a few they lingered on
All were cut, so badly torn
Not seeing right from wrong

We watched his awful pain
Sobbed quietly out of sight
But now he’s thrown his chains
We can celebrate the light

Ian Renouf-Watkins

The Snow Dragon - Kathy Figueroa

Part I

The days grew short
The cold grew nigh
And the air was
Rife with chill
The Earth's retort
Was to longingly sigh
And the wind swept
Down from the hill
Colder, yet
And colder, still
Grew the clasp
Of the Season's embrace
And the great, grinding
Wheel Of Time
Turned to show
A sombre face
Gone were the greens
Of summer and spring
Gone, the merry flowers
Tame and wild
Quiet lay gardens
Where no creature stirred
Forsaken.. by cold, defiled
The Sun, source of light
And creator of days
That were luxuriantly
Long, warm and clear
Along with the blue skies
Almost seemed
To have fled
Which caused dread
Comprised of
A particular fear:
"If there's not enough sun
To keep this area
Warm and bright
..Then the Snow Dragon
Will soon appear"

Part II

Legends say
That, long ago
The last dragon
Had been slain
But now it's whispered
In the Canadian North
"A dragon roams
When the sky
Is a dark void
Vast and deep
And all wild creatures
Are asleep
Then, from the Arctic
Bursts a raging gale
That rises with
An unearthly wail
And moves across
The frozen land
Like the sweep of
A Titan's hand
But the turbulence
Is really the lashing
Of a mighty tail
And the sound
Is the howl
..Of the Snow Dragon
As it starts to prowl...

Sceptics exist, everywhere
And some have been known
To openly declare:
"Though supposed evidence
That the Snow Dragon
Traversed this area
Has abounded
We can neither prove
Nor disprove
That reports
Of its existence
Are either founded
Or unfounded
If we venture to surmise
That this creature's
Existence is real
Based upon
Empirical observation
We, presently, feel
That, to date, perhaps
This Snow Dragon's
Most notable feature
Is that it's a most shy
Retiring and
..Elusive creature"

Part III

"By Grace"
It's said that
People are saved
But this also lets
Some people see
It's Grace that lets folks
Have visions of realms
Of magic and mystery
Thus, artists, writers
And poets exist
As architects of dreams
They know that
The everyday world
Isn't always as it seems
Hence, those who
Only accept truth
From a scientist's lips
Believe the following
About a lunar eclipse:
That the Earth
Casts a shadow
On the smaller
Circling sphere
And, at other notions
They'll likely scoff or jeer
But weary disbelievers
Might one day 'whistle
A different tune'
(If, by tedious banality
They're not driven
To complete ruin)
When they discover that
A lunar eclipse is really
The Snow Dragon's shadow
Cast on the moon
And the showers
Of shooting stars
That pierce the
Winter night skies
Are really sparkles falling
From the Snow Dragon's eyes
When it turns its gaze
To the mortals, below
And the land it has covered
With crystals of snow.

Kathy Figueroa

Competition Winner - November 2013
Caught - Lyndon Queripel

Caught between red rock and a hard place
I'm looking back up into a distant space
Now I've disappeared without a trace
And I’m lost forever to the human race

Caught between high water and Hell
I relied on my foolish pride and fell
Down into this hole and now I smell
The acrid smoke of a burning spell

Caught between devil and deep blue sea
With all my sins suddenly surrounding me
Wound just like a coil of my own mortality
And here there is no key to set me free

Caught between all the seeds I have sown
And thrown into the cracks of broken stone
I'm trapped by the harvest that has grown
And now it can only be reaped by me alone.

Lyndon Queripel

Dangerous Legs - Diane Scantlebury

Legs are dangerous,
They’ll attack you
In the night,
Wrestle you under the duvet
Wake you with a fright,
Armed with their secret weapon,
Those cold assassins
Spiky, toe nailed feet,
Might as well give up
And surrender now,
It’ll only end in defeat!

Diane Scantlebury

The Inter-Stellar Medium - Andrew Barham

My heart is as full
As the space between
Stars distant from here
To eternity …

“Oh how I love you!”

I do remember
A young girl's caress
The touch of her hand
As soft as satin –

Have I grown so old
My heart grown so cold
I can love no more?
Such forgotten lore,
The tale whose ending
Far distant trending
Towards happiness
Ever after – No less! –
Breaks instead on shoals
Of those wedded goals
Not equally shared;
Unequally paired,
Two people in love,
A wolf and a dove …

Are we really one
Like the Moon and Sun,
The Yang and the Yin
Cycling out and in
As one becomes two
And I become you
As you become me?
Distant liberty …

Happily we met
Ever after sweet;
We thought we were set,
The world at our feet
An oyster we plucked
Whose sweet juice we sucked:

This story is old,
Has oft-times been told
Round the camp-fire's glow,
How she did bestow
Upon me her sweet grace;
Soft contours, her face
Alive with promise,
The promise of bliss
In her sparkling eyes –
Is it all just lies?
Why – I want to know –
Does it so wrong go?

What do we expect
From this thing called love?
Surely not regret!
But a treasure trove
As two tender hearts
Vow to never part!

Andrew Barham

The Pedestrian’s Plea - Jenny Hamon

The weather today
Is dark and grey
With persistent drizzle and fog
It’s the time that the trees
Shed all their leaves
And all the drains will clog.

The long dark nights
Don’t help in the fight
To keep all the leaves at bay
Try clearing the drains
In the dark and the rain
While the cars cover you in spray.

A wetsuit is needed
If warnings are heeded
While clearing the leaves away
Cars are driven so fast
Through puddles they pass
And I have to jump out of the way

So drivers I plea
To please just see
The puddles by the side of the road
And when you drive by
Please keep us dry
Oh drivers, please heed this ode.

Jenny Hamon

Forget About Winter - Diane Scantlebury

It’s damp,
It’s misty,
It’s miserable
And cold,
Just want to hibernate,
Just want to eat,
Don’t want to think
Of jingle bells,

It’s drizzly,
It’s slimy,
It’s wet,
Just want to crawl
Back into bed,
Bury my head,
Forget about winter!

Diane Scantlebury

A Bleak November Day - Kathy Figueroa

The sky is powdery grey
And a cold wind is blowing
All the warmth has gone away
But it isn’t yet snowing

The gorgeous blaze of Autumn
Has faded into the past
And nothing more than a trace
Of green will linger or last

If only sunnier days
Didn’t seem so far away
..And my old dog was still here
On this bleak November day

Kathy Figueroa

Money feels good? - Ian Renouf-Watkins

Feel the crisp touch on your hand
Does it feel good, give you happiness?
Tender might make you feel grand
Though can it really end your loneliness?

Un-peel a note from your roll
Will it assure you, create contentment?
Money that pays for your soul
Can it be more than greedy sentiment?

Give all your money away
Would it be wise, will you feel better?
“Keep it,” the Devil will say
It’s always important to be much richer…

Ian Renouf-Watkins

Time Waits For No One - Lyndon Queripel

It's hard to walk when you're old
Without getting in some one's way
For every one it seems
Is in such a rush today
I know I'm not as fast now
As I used to be
But isn't there any one here
Who is slower than me
I suppose even Time,
Impatient,has passed me by
But it's not death that I fear
Only not knowing how I'll die.

Lyndon Queripel

Sun Rise - Diane Scantlebury

Beautiful sun rise,
Faint amber light
Beyond silhouetted trees,
Gradually creeping
Incandescent glow,
Seeping ever upwards
My waking eyes to please,
Eerie morning quiet,
The distant curling
Of wood smoke,
Birds fly by in silence
As day breaks forth in hope.

Diane Scantlebury

Haiyan Wasn’t God’s Will - Kathy Figueroa

You have done nothing wrong
Haiyan wasn’t God’s will
God is the Creator
And doesn’t ruin or kill
Sometimes bad things happen
That are beyond control
That might hurt your body
But cannot hurt your soul
Belief will help you heal
Will help you rise above
As folks around the world
Are sending you their love

Kathy Figueroa

I Need To Stay Awake - John E Blaise

Vultures circling in the sky on thermals high
Jackals and Hyena's standing by
Sharks lurking in the ocean deep
Waiting, waiting for me to sleep.

As the wolves howl and prowl
Moving closer cheek to jowl
Creatures from the underworld creep
Waiting, waiting for me to sleep.

Six eyed cerberus moving from the gate
All three heads filled with hate
To them all life is cheap
Waiting, waiting for me to sleep.

Lurking in the shadows black
They will give no leeway cut no slack
They have an appointment to keep
Waiting, waiting for me to sleep.

Nodding off and drifting away
Time for the harpies to come out and play
Ready to flay, slay and reap
The waiting is over I'm falling asleep.

John E Blaise

The Price Is High (The Ballad of Anti War and Uncle Peace) - Lyndon Queripel

It costs so much to wage the war
It costs so much to count the score
It costs so much more every year
With hate to keep, life is cheap around here

It costs so much to build the bombs
It costs so much to fire the guns
It costs so much to fuel the fear
With debt so deep, life is cheap around here

The price is high to buy the lie
The price is high to fool and rule

It costs so much to keep the peace
It costs so much to pay the lease
It costs so much for the all clear
You sow, you reap, life is cheap around here

It costs so much to lay the ghost
It costs so much, more than most
It costs so much it would appear
In haunted sleep, life is cheap around here

The price is high to feed the greed
The price is high to restore the law

It costs so much to start and stop
It costs so much to reach the top
It costs so much the drop is sheer
The climb is steep, life is cheap around here

It costs so much to hide the facts
It costs so much to pass the acts
It costs so much to lend an ear
With faith to leap, life is cheap around here

The price is high to control the soul
The price is high to defend the end

Lyndon Queripel

Angry Act of God - Diane Scantlebury

Angry clouds in an ugly sky,
Angry birds against hurricane strength winds
Battle to fly,
Helpless trees ripped up
By an invisible force,
Hurtle to the ground to die,

Anxious commuters clutching their cases,
Look in anticipation at cancellation screens
With eager, upturned faces,
Hopes subside with realisation
They’re not going places,

All journeys curtailed,
Devastated plans,
An angry act of an angry God
Has snatched their fate,
From their sweaty, grasping hands.

Diane Scantlebury

The Harvest Moon - Jenny Hamon

The harvest moon shines bright and clear
Lighting my way, you seem so near
It seems to say as summer wains
I will return to you again

A fond farewell is hard to say
But sitting by this moonlit bay
The memories of summer days
Fade into an autumn haze

The September equinox is nigh
And days of summer soon will die
But memories of this lunar night
I’ll treasure ‘till the spring’s in sight

Jenny Hamon

Leave All Your Belongings Behind - Rod Ferbrache

I was sitting alone on the aeroplane
When the air steward began to speak.
I’d heard it before, about overhead lockers,
And the life jacket under the seat.
How to put it on and do up the straps.
Inflate it when outside the craft.
The whistle to blow, the light that would come on.
The doors that were fore and aft.

But then she said something that made me sit up,
It struck me as though the first time -
These words had been spoken, yet I am sure
I had oft heard this single line.
She spoke of us leaving the aircraft in haste
And she no doubt meant to be kind
But the words that she spoke were simply this...
“Leave all your belongings behind”.

“Leave all your belongings behind”, she said
For me that meant nothing at all.
I had no luggage with me you see.
Yet for others it would be a hard call.
There were some with computers, and briefcases full –
Of thins so hard to replace.
Others with weeks of clothing onboard
To lose them would be a disgrace.

“Leave all your belongings behind”
Is something we may never have done.
Yet a lot of our lives are spent, you’ll agree,
Just thinking of number one.
Accumulating things that hold value for us,
Fulfilling a want or desire.
We have often mentioned what we would grab
If our house should ever catch fire.

Because just as the air steward put it,
“Leave all your belongings behind”.
That’s how it will be at life’s ending,
You may think it a little unkind.
Yet the Bible so clearly puts it,
“Lay not up your treasures on earth”.
For when we face our Maker
None of this has any worth

But lay up treasure in Heaven
Where no rust can corrupt, or thief steal
Don’t hanker for things that have little value,
Spend time on things that are real.

We can get so hooked on the here and now,
Then give no heed to the there and then.
Yet there’s coming a day for everyone here
A time that is nearer than when –
We first got up this morning
Much nearer than we like to admit,
When we have to face the Saviour
And explain what we did with our bit.

Let us hold on to the world much lighter,
Its attractions lay to one side.
We need to live closer to Jesus.
In Him we need to abide.
“Leave all your belongings behind” is the call.
It will happen to us, ready or not.
Let’s strive for the crown that awaits us,
And not dwell on the things that just rot.

Rod Ferbrache

Jim - Unknown Author - The Trenches - 1916

I’m wondering at a poignant time if it’s possible through this forum to feature a verse written long ago by an author whose name will never be known ? I have many in my collection and this one is absolutely my favourite as a lover of dogs. It’s perhaps not widely realised that soldiers in the trenches of WW1 often adopted stray dogs left behind by fleeing civilians, and had good reason for doing so. This verse to my knowledge has never been published anywhere, which is a shame I think. - Alan Marquis

Jim - Unknown Author - The Trenches - 1916

A hard little, scarred little terrier
with a touch of sheep-dog thrown-in.
A mongrel, no matter,
for there’s no better ratter,
in trenches or dug-outs than Jim.

A tough little, rough little beggar
and merry are the eyes of him.
No German nor Turk
could do dirtier work,
with an enemy rat, than Jim.

He’s a fighter and a biter,
fear is unknown to Jim.
Loyal and bold with a heart of pure gold,
he loves me as I love him.

When light is done, night is falling
and the shadows are dark and dim,
in my greatcoat he’ll nuzzle,
his pink little muzzle
and growl in his dreams, little Jim.

Unknown Author - The Trenches - 1916.

Unknown Soldier - Alan Marquis

Now he’s just a soldier
once christened with a name,
who lived and breathed and questioned,
as to fields of war he came.
Where death has taken away from him
that final, last respect,
denied a name upon his stone,
the least he could expect.

In Flanders fields he bravely trod,
this unnamed soldier known to God.

His mother never came here
with tears to cloud her eyes,
nor children bringing flowers,
for they knew not where he lies.
So here’s a place to remember,
with roses, lillies or a poppy cross,
knowing not a name, yet mourning still a loss.

In Flanders fields he answered the cry
and here in peace will forever lie.

A soldier among thousands
who fell in Flanders mud,
has no name to honour him
yet once was flesh and blood.
Someone somewhere loved him
this soldier who had no choice,
and whatever language was his
he might ask if he still had voice.

Forget me not, Vergissmeinicht,
une soldat inconnue,
sacrificed not in vain,
if at least I’m remembered by you.

In Flanders fields he faithfully trod,
not really a soldier, just a boy,
and now, . . . only known to God.

Alan Marquis

Remember, Remember - Ian Renouf-Watkins

Lying here in pain tho’ blessed with life
Eyes turn to the slain as again we mourn
Our outpourings of grief so pure yet futile
Do nothing to stem the blood still torn
By a landscape hopeless with desolation.

Lying here in pain an unwilling patient
Heart beating the black dog of despair
As tortured tears stream bereaved cheeks
And streets fill with dark crow-red fear
Making our efforts a poor desecration.

Lying here in pain a lucky man yet
Giving thanks to those gone in November
The tightly coarse voices whispering
We must remember we must remember
Sacrifices made for our shared salvation.

Ian Renouf-Watkins

Two Minutes to Remember - Janet

Heads held high in single file
they walk with dignity.
Flanders poppies worn with pride
a sign that they are free.
A call to stand with heads bent low.
A silence through the land.
As each one stops and ponders
on wars in far off lands.
Two minutes to remember.
Two minutes to recall.
The lives and loves that had been lost
when they fought and gave their all.
Two minutes for a memory.
Two minutes to show our debt.
Two minutes to make a solemn vow.
That we will not forget.


Autumn Leaves - Lyndon Queripel

Autumn leaves are falling down
Autumn leaves are all around
A fade of green,a shade of brown
Autumn leaves are on the ground

Autumn leaves without my love
Autumn leaves,I'm thinking of
Summer dreams and winter lets
Autumn leaves me with regrets

And it's right now that I
Hear the shadows cry

Autumn leaves me standing here
Autumn leaves will disappear
As winds of change begin to blow
Autumn leaves,it's time to go

Autumn leaves and so do I
Autumn leaves a cloudy sky
Raindrops fall and bridges sigh
Autumn leaves without goodbye.

Lyndon Queripel

Old Lady Fallen From Grace - Trudie Shannon

Image Source: Trudie Shannon

Old Lady Fallen From Grace - Trudie Shannon

A lady of grace, I thought.
Poised and dignified, a quiet voice.
Her hair comfortably spun into the familiar knot
At the back of her head.
Elegant, the slight sideway tilt of her head, genteel
Her scarf cast across her shoulder not for warmth
But for loveliness,
The broach, a golden butterfly clasping her silk blouse
At her sinewy dowagers neck.
She walked as if time stood still for her,
As if she had just alighted from a shining beast with a combustion engine
Or may be the last carriage.
Moving as quietly as a princess in stockinged feet,
She paused in her passing of me
And in the cast of her eyes I knew, for her, I did not exist,
And my head bowed naturally in memoriam.
Truly once a lady of grace, of hushed dignity
Slipping gently through space now, whispering, muttering
To invisible companions, lax servants,
Her inane smile rigid, unbroken,
Her black court shoes scuffed, heels broken
And a thread, hanging shamefully from her skirt.
Oblivious she inclined her head gracefully
At the alabaster head beside the door
And departed.
The butterfly broach, crushed tin foil glinting brightly,
Captured in a stray beam of light.

Trudie Shannon

Battle With The Flies - Diane Scantlebury

There’s a plague of flies in the house
But how did they get in?
Did they cling like a grim insect S.A.S.
And hitch hike on the rim of my bin?
Too many hovering and landing on my work tops
Creeping across the pots with their feathery legs,
Would it be cruel to crush them?
I know I must before they lay any eggs,
I open a window to shoo them out
But they round in a counter attack,
I flick them with a dishcloth
They keep on buzzing back,
Now there’s nothing for it
I reach for the spray, with reluctant will,
They’ve been given more than enough chances
It’s not in my nature to kill,
As they lie there stunned,
With legs waving frantically in the air
I feel a small pang of pity,
But sympathy is only fleeting
It’s defend yourself,
Or be killed in this city!

Diane Scantlebury

Just Who Would Be In Jesus’ Church? - Rod Ferbrache

Image Source: Rod Ferbrache

Just Who Would Be In Jesus’ Church? - Rod Ferbrache

A question slipped into my mind,
They often do these days,
Of all the people in our church
Who walk in different ways,
We’ve young and old, thin, fat and tall,
They vary quite a bit,
But generally are all the same,
No matter where they sit,

Respectable and dignified,
Middle class, well spoken too,
We all have cars, and lovely homes,
And rather well to do.
Life for most is comfortable,
With food and drink a-plenty,
We never know of what it’s like
To sleep outside, cold – empty!

We don’t look out of prison
With windows barred and bleak,
Where liberty is taken from us
With a visit once a week.
No urge to steal for drugs or drink
To get us through the day,
No selling of our bodies
Not with strangers do we lay.

So I got to think
If Jesus had a church
Who would He have in it?
For which people would He search?
Because as I look at Scripture,
And see the folk He found,
They were not the sort of people
We would like around.

Isolated lepers,
With sores that smelt and wept,
Tax fiddlers, enemy soldiers,
Were the company He kept,
Rough and rugged fishermen,
Women of the night,
These were the sort of people,
We see His heart delight.

So when I ask the question
Who would be in Jesus’ church?
The answer that returns to me
Makes my own heart lurch.
For it would not necessarily be
The people here today,
But the ones the world has
Turned its back on,
Are the ones who stay away.

The reason that they stay away,
Is often plain to see,
They simply don’t feel good enough,
To mix with the likes of me.
There’s a feeling of unworthiness
That can keep them from this place,
Their shame and degradation,
Isolation and disgrace.

Yet Jesus always had the time,
In fact He sought them out,
Never did He turn away
Never did He doubt
That in the schemes of glory
There would be a place
For the dirty, down and out,
He made for them a space.

So as we go to church each week,
And fill the same old seat,
If we see a stranger,
Let’s stand and go to greet
Those people Jesus sends us,
Let’s make them feel at home,
It was always His intention
This should be their home.

Rod Ferbrache

Thank You Facebook - Jenny Hamon

I joined a facebook page today
About my old home town
The memories are flooding back
As slowly I scroll down

The pictures from my childhood
The names I remember well
Fill my head with sights and sounds
And many tales to tell

Classmates from my school days
Look so different today
But then no-one will recognise me
As I’ve also had my day!

Where did those lovely years go
We seemed so happy and free
The schooldays of my childhood
Have now returned to me

I hope I can rekindle
Friendships from the past
And keep this link to my childhood
With memories to last

So I give thanks for Facebook
Although many would disagree
Without it I’d have no contact
With all these memories.

Jenny Hamon

Grief - Trudie Shannon

Image Source: Trudie Shannon

Grief - Trudie Shannon

At dusk, with a blackbirds song and drizzle.
On the table, the empty whiskey bottle.
Beside it the uncorked wine, blood red.
The man, a shuffling automaton cooks tasteless food,
The processed wheat and the morsels of dead flesh
Are as grey as his features, as grey as his life.
All words are forbidden in the brittle atmosphere
He is as heavy as a ton of feathers,
As the lead that wraps itself around his windows,
His silence curdles thoughts in process
Twists love into glass fragments.
He sits while the pot boils, a head of steam singing.
In the barren stillness
The dogs pad in, coated in dew and constancy
Their panting breath like a gasp of wind escaped.
He sits and reaches out his grey hand, a reluctant desire
Encapsulating him in spite of himself.
His friend takes it in affirming warmth and promise
And the man bows his head and weeps.

Trudie Shannon

Over the Bridge - Chris Hudson

Cross the bridge- Budge!
Criss cross
Pipes, Cables, Girders, Bolts
Whilst up high
Birds wheel in the silky sky
Land treads softly at water’s heel
Ships cut water with metal keel
And We, so Free
Criss cross tarmac and steel- See!

“Up bends arches- the gradient increments in a slow unlikely fashion, we are born on its rattling back, across the water to the further shore. It’s weird this bridge there’s not a lot holding it up, look they race across it thundering steel and wheels turn crazily fast but a wafer, sandwiched metal across girders, on air is floating, its arching metals pipes, like rope threading the huge needle-stacks, harp-like array of cables that braces itself poised tenaciously against the sky; not the mist which holds it down.”

-An exerpt from the publication “Woolly Wanderings” © 1997
Author: Christian Christophelsson

Chris Hudson

Right Hand World - Lyndon Queripel

If you mean what you say
And want to play
Disadvantages lay
Ahead straight away
The game is set
The match is met
Place your bet
But don't forget
In this circumstance
It's a right hand world
With nothing left to chance

I know a lot about a little
And a little about a lot
But this right hand world
Has got my fingers in a knot

It seems in all the dreams
That are worth pursuing
The left hand doesn't know
What the right hand is doing
The game is hard
With no holds barred
You punch your card
With your future starred
But you will find
In this right hand world
It's been left behind.

Lyndon Queripel

Forecasting Jude - Jenny Hamon

They forecast the storm
Was coming our way
Batten down the hatches
Or you will pay

Check mooring chains
And shut up the boat
Keep the torch by the door
And a waterproof coat

Chainsaw at the ready
In case of falling trees
Avoid the coast road
And mountainous seas

We’re ready tonight
For storm Jude to hit
I think I’ll retire
And sleep for a bit

Well, morning is here
A few leaves spread around
But nothing to fear
No damage is found

But wait, in our garden
Why did I not see
The wind has up-ended

But do not despair
Of this terrible ploy
It belongs to my Grandson
It’s his yellow toy!

Jenny Hamon

Scenes of Autumn - Diane Scantlebury

The biting north wind
Brings a harsh seasonal chill,
Scoops up the fallen golden leaves
Letting them swirl where they will,
The drains and lanes
To choke and to fill,

Spiky horse chestnuts
Career and crash to the ground,
Releasing shiny conkers
To roll haphazardly around,
For the tiny, frozen fingers
Of gleeful children to be found,

The air is thick with the reek of bonfires
Thoughts turn
To witches and ghouls,
Halloween, pumpkins and parties
The treat or trick so cruel,
Amusement for the wicked
The shallow delight of fools.

Diane Scantlebury

The City Fox - Judith Anne Finetti

It was on a cold frosty January
Night in Morocco Street Southwark
That the City Fox crossed my path
On his way to Leathermarket Gardens

So sleek with a bounce in his walk
And so confident in his own habitat

I was the one out of place in an alien environment

With plenty of pickings for him from nearby
pubs and take aways
He knew exactly where to eat

Judith Anne Finetti

Competition Winner - October 2013
I'm Not Looking For Nemo - Andrew Barham

I'm not looking for Nemo,
Just a safe haven to lay my eggs –
A bit of sand in a warm land
I can scoop out with my legs;

I'm not looking for Nemo
As I follow Ocean currents –
A clear stretch of sea that's free
Of driftnets and plastic debris;

I'm not looking for Nemo –
I've been around too long for that!
My ancestors were strong, my lineage long
Stretching back millions of years ago:

What need have I to look for Nemo?

Andrew Barham

The Writer's Prayer - Jenny Hamon

Oh dear God please hear my plea
I’m trying to write but it won’t come to me
The poetry’s gone, my brain is dead
Please put some thoughts back in my head

I’ve tried so hard but cannot see
My inspiration has deserted me
The thoughts have gone, ideas amiss
And I am here in a writer’s abyss

I pray that I may see the light
To try to end this dismal fight
To blossom forth with thoughts anew
And write some poetry for you

Jenny Hamon

Too Warm To Be Autumn - Diane Scantlebury

It’s much too warm to be autumn,
We’re still basking in a southerly breeze,
Summer flowers defiantly display,
As gales strip the leaves
From the trees,

It’s much too warm to be autumn,
We should be wearing boots
Not open toed sandals,
Shivering, turning on the heating
Thinking of Christmas, lighting candles,

It’s much too warm to be autumn,
In the season of flu, coughs and sneezes,
Perhaps it’s the careless intervention of man,
That’s tricked nature
Into doing as it pleases.

Diane Scantlebury

You Left The Party Too Soon - Janet

You left the party too soon you know
You left the party too soon.
How I wish you had stayed
There were games to be played.
But, you left the party too soon.

Still the music played on
Even though you had gone.
There were songs to be sung
And bells to be rung.
Oh,you left the party too soon.

The Orchestra struck one more score
For dancers to glide across the floor.
We had, forever,lost our chance
To take part in one more dance.
Because you left the party to soon.

But life had called time, and
The last hour had chimed.
Your eyes slowly closed
When your spirit rose.
Still, you left the party too soon.


The Sea At L`Ancresse - (A beach for all seasons) - Judith Anne Finetti

The sea at L`Ancresse
A constant in my life

How many sandcastles has it carried away
During my lifetime?
The Duplo Lego of littoral art

A simple beach, no pier or bobbing boats
But a slipway which makes every
Swim at high tide a special treat

How many dog walkers and their dogs
Have left their footprints there?
Only in the winter months of course

And how many novice surfers have taken
Their first hesitant steps with the waves
Which are kindlier than at Vazon
With the big boys

How many lovers in my lifetime have
Walked across that sand at sunset?

And how many ice lollies have melted
In its baking sun?
Small children always promise they will finish them

And how many picnics have been enjoyed
On a table which is washed clean twice a day
Crumbs are not a problem and
What`s a bit of sand in your sandwiches?

And how many horses have enjoyed a canter
On soft sand after the hard tarmac of the road?

And how many skylarks have soared above this beach
With their heart lifting song?

And how many of the primitive folk
Who lived on the nearby headland
And up on The Doyle have gazed at this same sea?
So long ago

There is something comforting about the endless pounding
Of the waves
Month after month
Year after year
You can rely on it
Puts things into perspective somehow

Judith Anne Finetti

A New Day - Jenny Hamon

As the first orange glow of the morning
Appears behind Herm’s shore
There’s renewed hope for this new day
And aspirations we cannot ignore.

The dawn brings new resolutions
To live life full to the brim
Catching the joy and sunshine.
To ignore this would be a sin.

Let’s live with our cup half full
With all the good things we’ve achieved
And make our lives worth living
By finding ways to succeed.

So before the sun sets over Cobo
Let’s look at the day that’s just passed
And savour the good things that happened
With a smile, and hope it will last.

Jenny Hamon

You Wake Me - Diane Scantlebury

You wake me with your love,
Bring in the dawn
With your gentle kisses,
You make the birds
Sing for me,
As the gloom gradually
Transforms to light,
And the room is filled
With the fragrance of your body,

You spark my tired brain to life,
Arouse me with your teasing
Until my limbs quiver,
And my skin glistens
In the half light,
You wake me with your joy
Stir me to magical euphoria,
I am alive and alert now
No longer dreaming.

Diane Scantlebury

Love - Shannon Shell

I loved you, but I could not wait forever.
I made my choice,
But you would not make me yours.

In some delays, a year’s as good as never.
As what is lost no change of heart restores.
I love you still, but I cannot think of you
Without the bitter longest of regret.

This too will pass, I know and time renew.
The innocence one needs to love,
You were my once,
That never comes again.

A happiness untouched by any pass,
Whatever comes next with the stain
Of knowing well, this love might not last.

Goodbye my love! I hope someday you’ll be ripe for the love
You could have for me.

Shannon Shell

The Butterflies Are Still Dancing - Diane Scantlebury

It’s October and the butterflies
Are still dancing,
Nature is confused
So am I,
Everywhere cobwebs sprawl and glisten,
While an armada of clouds process across the blue
Nonchalantly sailing by,

The leaves turning brown and crisp
Flutter down to the grass
Soaked in dew,
Delicate annuals continue
To bloom and flourish,
Not sure what to do,

It’s still warm
As summer tries to linger,
Yet the sun rides low
In the autumn sky,
Days shorten to be grasped
By dark’s shadowy fingers,
So the butterflies dance this last hurrah
To nature’s law defy.

Diane Scantlebury

November 19th 1918 - Alan Marquis

`It’s December next month lads,
and at last there’s nothing to fear.`
`All over by Christmas they said,
though they didn’t mention which year.`

`We’ve a parrafin lamp to see by,
as we write our letters home.`
`no more reason to march anywhere,
never again any cause to roam.`

`A charcoal stove a’glowing,
filled for a change with fuel,
if we sit almost inside it,
there’s relief from cold that’s cruel.`

`And across the way out there,
the foe have no more hate.`
`They’re doing the same as us,
raking embers from the grate.`

`Abandoned are the weapons of war,
no bullets or bombs in the night.`
`Thoughts of peace have substance now,
sleep well my friends, sleep tight.`

R.I.P. John Duquemin, John Rihoy, George Robert. who served with 245 ( Guernsey ) Troops Company RE.
All three perished as a result of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning on the 19th of November 1918.

Alan Marquis

Things That Go Bump In The Night - Lyndon Queripel

"What was that?"
"I heard something then."
"I didn't but . . . ."
"Quiet. Just listen."
"You were dreaming, it's not . . ."
"Yes, there it is again."
"It sounds like . . ."
"No, it can't be."
"I thought you'd. . ."
"How? You had the key."
"I'm scared !"
"What about me?"
"You're a man."
"I am? Last night you said. . ."
"Don't disagree."
"But. . ."
"You'll have to get out of bed."
"It's dark. I can't see."
"You know the way."
"I don't know why these things
Don't go bump in the day."
"Oh, while you're up I think. . ."
"You'd like a drink"

Lyndon Queripel

Warmth - Alan Marquis

Pacing anxiously up and down, how I worried waiting there,
until my cabin door bursting open, filled with an icy stare.
A vision of beauty, perfection, all I could do was smile,
as frantic fears dissolving, lifted my heart a mile.

No greater relief could exist, than that within my breast,
my love for a wandering lady, who put me to this test.
Laughing aloud in deepest joy, unable to conceal desire,
I urged a welcome quickly, to a place beside the fire.

Where logs seemed to glow more brightly, fuelled by her perfection,
while wind outside howled cruelly, indignant at rejection.
As I wrapped my arms so tightly, around her trembling frame,
whispering words of love, repeating, again and again her name.

Ice cold water dripping, from tangled, matted hair,
she glared, indignant, at my over-zealous care.
Though I felt I should be angry, at reckless desire to go,
wandering alone in moonlight, out there in freezing snow.

Yet how could I speak of danger, how could I explain my fright,
knowing she loves the snow, I could never deny her right.
So concealing my dismay, I pretended not to mind instead,
as a sopping-wet dog, my lady, sought refuge in my once dry bed.

R.I.P. `Indy` Half Husky)Bannf, Canada.

Alan Marquis

London Too Loud - Diane Scantlebury

London you have a loud voice
A sound that never stops,
I can hear you in my dreams
And even when I open my eyes,
There you are
Like a waking nightmare,
Still screaming
You never whisper,
Your buses roar,
Your cars screech,
Your sirens shriek,
The tube rumbles beneath,
The noise continues relentlessly
Torturing my eardrums,
Until I block you out
With noise of my own,
The television, the radio,
To prevent you from oppressing
And clouding my thoughts,
Disturbing my sleep,
Making me long for
The peace and tranquillity
Of home,
Yet I know if I stay long enough
You would slink by,
So for now I close the window
In a vain hope
Of silencing you.

Diane Scantlebury

Toni - Sap - Lake - Fred Williamson

Motorboat along the Toni Sap,
Three meters of lap after lap.
Propeller dragging, stirring up the sandy mud,
We move along best we could.
Till near the floating village on the lake,
It is alot for us to intake,
The poorest here need a break.
Mothers washing, children swim, now and then,
We pass boats and fishermen.
Floating homes and resturant and shop,
Did not see no crop, or vedgatable plot.
A village hospital, floating school,
Do they teach the golden rule?
It will all be different come the rains,
I do not think folk here will comlpain.
In the monsoon they will be blown to higher ground,
Then a broken village, I heard some drawn.
Why do people choose to live like that?
For us a wonder ful afternoon on the Toni-Sap.

Fred Williamson

Like A River - Kathy Figueroa

I guess life can be like a river
With rapids and deep hidden whirlpools,
And waterfalls you tumble over
If you keep the company of fools.

And you can quickly get pulled under
By dangerous hidden snags and rocks;
You have to watch what a person does
Not just listen to how someone talks.

If 'twas possible to live again
And always view life through wisdom's eyes,
I'd never be wounded or weary
From grievous duplicity or lies.

I'd always know what was the right choice
And away from the wrong I could steer;
I'd have that twenty/twenty vision
Which, in hindsight, is always so clear.

But the sky wouldn't be lovelier
Than it is at this moment I write;
The flowers just couldn't be finer
Or present a more beautiful sight.

Though life can be like a great river,
Either calm or treacherous and swift,
Waterlilies bloom along its banks
And it's all a most glorious gift.

Kathy Figueroa

The Waves - Oliver Thompson

The waves break onshore.
I stand as the foamy mass builds.
It fades again as the supine sky
Beats down patters of grey and dissolves.

The sun has ended.
Waves continue to break, now more violent.
My hood whips up, hair is moist.
I do not shed a tear for the end,
But find resolve in memories.
The passing months of idle dancing,
Where we hailed to the sun
And brought with us everyone to sing.

Again I sigh for a summer gone.
But, as waves do not end or fail to beat,
We make a new song for autumn.

Oliver Thompson

Rewind - Richard Fleming

Written in free verse, this poem commemorates the tragic loss of life on September 11, 2001 following a terrorist attack on the New York’s Twin Towers. A version of it appears in my second poetry collection, Strange Journey, available online from

Rewind - Richard Fleming

Rewind Time, wind Time backwards.

Make the struck towers rise from dust, reconstruct themselves:
glass, concrete, girders, walls,
a huge jigsaw

interlocked, complete again.

Lights come on, phones chirp like crickets;
in reconstructed work-stations,
fingers dance on keyboards again;
vending machines cough then spew out pungent brew; air-con sighs then resumes; elevators ascend, descend; video conferences resume mid-sentence, emails beep, digital clocks flicker like quick, green lizards.

Time restarts as though it had never ended. Rewind Time, wind Time backwards.

Flesh, breath, hope, innocence: all the mundane certainties of ordinary lives
are reaffirmed.
Shoes, handbags, mobiles,

warped by intense heat: these un-melt, re-form, resume their shapes.

The terrible, unearthly screams subside. Rewind Time.

the soft clouds drift; birds fly in reverse.
Those grim death-planes, stiletto-silver in the morning sun, withdraw, like daggers, from the shattered towers,
whose twin glass skins, pristine again,
like smooth, un-rippled water.

Richard Fleming

When September Turns To Rain - Lyndon Queripel

When September turns to rain
I'll be alone again
But I'll remember the times we knew
And I hope you will too

When the leaves fall to the ground
And lie scattered all around
I'll be left here on my own
Deep inside the autumn stone

When the tide turns from the beach
Washing my dreams out of reach
I'll just stand on deserted sand
Before this shore of shadowland

When the sky fades to grey
Bringing darkness to my day
I'll look up at the first star
And wonder how far you are

When September turns to rain
I'll find it hard to explain
In the ember of the afterglow
Why did I ever let you go ?

Lyndon Queripel

Telegram Boy - Alan Marquis

Please don’t halt your bicycle,
do not dismount at my door.
Though I long for news from my lover,
I don’t want to hear of war.

Watching from behind my curtain,
I see you pass every day,
praying you will not stop,
dreading what a message might say.

No news in two months now,
no letter of love and kissing.
Nothing since that awful news,
`Regret your husband is Missing.`

My heart sinks to lowest ebb,
almost making me want to hate.
Your bicycle falls in the hedge,
you reach to open my gate.

Moments pass as the world unwinds,
waiting for unwelcome knocking,
my life in a whirlwind passing,
as future hopes are unlocking.

The longest walk of all my life,
to answer your dutiful call.
My footsteps echo in the hallway,
as my heart begins building a wall.

And a painted box behind the door,
those much loved wooden toys.
Already I struggle to imagine,
how on earth will I tell our boys ?

Alan Marquis

Bat - Cave - Fred Williamson

We waited patiently,eyes gazed,
A million at dusk, bats fly from the cave.
And there is jubilation,
For this a fluttering formation.

A spectacular, awsome sight,
It does last to our delight.
We are in a trance,
By a snake like dance.

Eyes fixed on this fluttering mass,
How long is it going to last?
This airy display a splendid sight,
Across the sky into the night.

They are now beyond, and out of sight,
To reach a plantation, there to feed for the night.
Then by twilight, return to the cave before Sunrise,
Full of fruits, insects and flies.

Fred Williamson

Angels Don't Play This H.A.A.R.P - Lyndon Queripel

HAARP = High-Frequency Active Aural Research Programme

Angels Don't Play This H.A.A.R.P - Lyndon Queripel

There's holes in Heaven,winds that blow
Eyes in the skies above your head
A spy satellite with a laser light show
Is beaming rumours that God is dead

Angels don't play this haarp
There is no natural harmony
Angels don't play this haarp
The song is on the wrong frequency

A toxic haze surrounds the Sun
Another day turns a dirty grey
And the programme has begun
Stealing our healing energy away

There's holes in Heaven and poles below
There's lots of switches and buttons to press
There's arial fires and hot wires that glow
To file a claim in the name of progress

Angels don't play this haarp
The Saints don't dance any more
Angels don't play this haarp
There's no pure music to this score

The clouds are full of acid rain
Jets spray chemtrails all around
Radiation levels spread out again
And it all will fall to the ground

Don't you think it's in the water you drink
Do you believe it's in the air you breathe
Don't you know it's in the food you grow
Can't you see through this conspiracy ?

Angels don't play this haarp
The atmosphere is out of tune
Angels don't play this haarp
Who sings of rings around the Moon ?

Now there's a fog of electro smog
Meant to experiment with the weather
There's a super computer that will log
Every mast and last antennae

There's holes in Heaven to keep it cool
And keep calm if it gets too warm
There's a manual and a special tool
That will over ride the electric storm

Angels don't play this haarp
The melody has just been lost
Angels don't play this haarp
The strings have turned to rust

Microwaves are ringing on the bell
Will you open the door to your soul ?
While television still casts it's spell
In it's own role for mind control.

Lyndon Queripel

Nameless Fears - Alan Marquis

1st Btn Essex Rgt. Patrol report, Feb 1917, Boom Ravine, Somme.
Outpost sentry not named.

Nameless Fears - Alan Marquis

Waiting, waiting, in still of night, almost drowning in a sea of black,
my thumping heart a candle, flickering to welcome them back.
As emptiness cloaks the earth, a bitter wind blows from the north,
I’m forbidden to leave my post, I cannot go back nor forth.
So alone I wait, only part prepared, for duty I half understand,
watching a rat attracted by warmth, hesitate near my hand.

I hear sighing sounds in darkness, from friends or foe I enquire,
or gas erupting from rag-dolls, hanging limply on the wire.
Then dull metallic clinking, my nerves are wearing quite thin,
is that someone creeping near me or a wind-blown empty tin.
And sudden, protesting squeals of anguish, what the hell is that,
perhaps the foe who test me, or just another loathsome rat.

Ice is forming around my boots, `O Dear Lord with me abide.`
I cannot even feel, do they still have my feet inside.
No glorious thoughts in mind, of fighting to make men free,
I only want to bugger-off home, for a steaming mug of tea.
But I’m losing my grip, I must focus on a ghastly plot,
or risk that final difference, between living a life, or not.

Soon I know they’ll come at me, those mud-men from the night,
expecting me to challenge them, though not to fire in fright.
So I try to hold my courage, every minute growing older,
knowing friends are out there, is comfort to make me bolder.
Though shivering in my misery, as my throat fills-up with phlegm,
a cough could make me vulnerable and be greater risk for them.

A machine gun rattles hatefully, somewhere far-off along the line,
punctuating someone’s death, thankfully this time at least, not mine.
And I’m not a bloody General, I cannot see the greater plan,
nor anything much at all in fact, I’m just a bewildered man.
Waiting for mates to appear, or someone to rush from the gloom,
wondering how soon till relief, or how sudden might be my doom.

Duty to mates is clearly defined, I know perfectly well what to be,
though not so clear is Flanders night through which I cannot see.
As awful sounds assault my ears, sudden threatening noises of night,
I hold my rifle closer, for love of life squeeze it tight.
I’m waiting, must not leave my post, it seems I wait for years,
nerves on edge, heart racing fast, forgive me for nameless fears.

Alan Marquis

Dad - Tony Robert

You were always there when I was small
Questions I’d ask you knew it all
As I made my way through school
You told me not to act the fool
Hold up your head, give them a grin
That way in life you’ll always win
Words of wisdom you always had
That’s what made you special Dad

Now you’re gone I think of you
And wonder what you would do
If in my place you were stood
Would you still be right and good?
Sometimes think that I’ve messed up
Been a failure through the years
Now my kids have gone and grown up
I still have doubts and fears

Know you weren’t the perfect Dad
But you always had my respect
Loved you even when you were bad
Your children you’d never neglect
Just wish I’d told you how I felt
Before you passed away
Loved you then, miss you now
Every single day

Sept 10th 1929 – Nov 17th 2001

Tony Robert

Monument of Hell - Fred Williamson

Monument of hell,
This tomb, the killing well.
The mount is so high,
Many steps to count and climb.
Not this time, no time,
Many cried, so many died.

Horrific, tales to tell,
Of torture, slaughter at this killing well,
The hole of hell.
Throats cut by bamboo leaves,
Till death they bleed.
Skulls, bones and skeletons.
To many steps to climb,
Not this time, if ever?
Never say never.

Fred Williamson

The Poet - John Buchanan

In the darkness,
the thought,
perfectly formed,
races around a clouded mind.
So perfect.
So complete.
So, memorable.
It compels,
it swirls and churns,
demands attention,
confounds sleep.
Yet, in the morning
the rested mind recalls but fragments;
that, perfect thought,

John Buchanan (Poet at Jaybern)

Meditation - Diane Scantlebury

So deep, I sink
Deep breath, inhale
Exhale, relax
Letting thoughts be still,
No sound inside my head
Let outside clamour,
Muffled noise
Unable to break in,
Deeper, I sink further
To a place of inner peace,
Conscious, yet unconscious,
Lifted and light
My body transported,
Finger tips and lips tingle
Eyes closed,
Breathe in, then out
Comfortable and chilled,
Almost asleep, but awake
I am aware of my surroundings,
Yet locked into
A warm, comforting sanctuary,
I don’t want to come back,
Until reluctantly my eyelids
Slowly flicker open,
Hello world
I’m still here.

Diane Scantlebury

Flapping Duck - Fred Williamson

You can find us on Facebook,
Quack, quack, your in luck.
You have found the flapping duck.
Dorms, singles and doubles,
Free yourself from all your troubles.
Become our welcomed guest,
Chiil out from stress.
Revitaliise your enrgy and zest.
Please sit down, find a seat,
Take the weight off your feet.
Make this place your retreat,
Ther are new friends to meet.

It is near a park and fort,
This can be your special resort.
Surrounded by bird-song, plants and trees.
Soon to feel at ease,
So calming the river breeze.
A selection of books, read some hours,
Candle lit tables, amongst green leaf and flowers.
Dim colured romantic by night,
On tables, candles for your delight.
So spread the word on your track,
Oh! please do come back.
To the Flapping Duck, Quack,quack, quack.

Fred Williamson

La Coupee, Sark - Jenny Hamon

Towering cliffs rising up from the sea
Majestically mesmerising me
I stand in awe of the powerful sight
Where nature’s in charge and shows her might

A small presence am I when I stand a’top
The narrow path on the top of the rock
Dwarfed by the view of the cliffs so steep
As they descend to the water so deep

I feel quite strange, a feeling of fright
As I try to peep over, afraid of the height
My stomach churns, I cannot go near
My legs are shaking, I have to leave here

Those powerful feelings leave me in awe
Of the drivers and horses who are brave to the core
They make the journey across La Coupee
No matter what weather, day after day

To the people who live on Little Sark
This is their lifeline in daylight or dark
Living over La Coupee, they must be brave
But the Isle is idyllic and their homeland they crave.

Jenny Hamon

Forgive Me - Diane Scantlebury

If I don’t have my glasses on
I won’t see it,
If I don’t write it down
I won’t remember it,
So if I ignore you
Doesn’t mean I don’t know you,
Forgive me
I’m just getting old,

If I don’t feel it
Can it hurt me?
If I don’t understand it
Will I be ignorant?
If I turn a blind eye
Will I be negligent?
Forgive me
I’m just getting old,

But can I use age
As an excuse,
To be a bystander
And no longer contribute to life?
Or maybe I missed
The point altogether,
Forgive me
I must be getting old!

Diane Scantlebury

Bamboo Train - Fred Williamson

From the future into the past,
On a bamboo raft, train away so fast.
A single line, unlevel track,
Clack, clack a pain in the back.
Back acher, bone shaker.
This bamboo platform - raft on wheels,
Going and coming, see how it feels.

Open fields and countryside,
Passing by buffolo, rice - padi, fields of rice.
We stop at a village, this end of the line,
To welcomed greetings, smiles all the time.
To be escorted around,
By so shy but oh! so proud.
Shown disused brick kilns,bricks made of clay,
Were put into kilns and fired each day.

Should now be a museum piece,
We were pleased.
Shifting and lifting, on our way back,
On and off the train, this one line track.
To let others pass, it was a laugh.

Fred Williamson

A Light In The Sky - Kathy Figueroa

As I stood and gazed at the nighttime sky,
A sputnik, a satellite, caught my eye.
It travelled in a slow and graceful arc;
A small and bright point of light in the dark.

Spellbound and transfixed I watched it with awe
And marvelled at the wondrous sight I saw.
It epitomized man's inventive flair,
Traversing the sky, so high in the air.

Then, as eastward, through the heavens it flew,
The roof of my house obscured it from view.
When, at last, it was hidden from my sight,
Nothing else broke the stillness of the night.

As the beauty of the sky wove its spell,
Into a dreamlike reverie I fell.
I basked in the radiance of each star,
The twinkling light from so very far.

I turned to look where the satellite passed,
Where, high over my roof, I saw it last.
Then nearly fell over from sudden fright
When, once more I spotted that satellite!

It crested the roof from the other side!
With ease, through the air, it appeared to glide
And it seemed to be coming ..straight at me!
I thought, "Yikes! How could this possibly be?!"

I was enveloped by a wave of fear,
As I stared at the strange light drawing near.
My heart raced, my mind reeled, I thought "Oh, no!
This must be some type of small U.F.O.!"

As though in a dream, no longer awake,
I pondered what sort of action to take.
But the light veered away and flew on by,
..And then I saw it was ...a firefly!

Kathy Figueroa

Competition Winner - August 2013
A British Summer - Jenny Hamon

Image Source:  John Buchanan

The image above is called 'British Summer' and was created by John Buchanan.

Competition - August 2013 - A British Summer - Jenny Hamon

Miles of beach at low tide
Bodies laying out to be fried
Buckets and spades, castles and holes
Children playing football, scoring goals

Brightly coloured deckchairs, Dad is asleep
His son is digging, burying his feet
Knotted hankey on his head
Mum lying out on the sun bed

Everyone slathered in factor fifteen
Hats are the order, sunglasses gleam
The donkeys are hot, they look for the cool
And stand up to their knees in a shallow pool

The scene is idyllic, but will not last
As a big grey cloud scuttles past
The rain begins falling and everyone runs
Carrying all of the beach gear, oh there is tons!

Now this is what we come to expect
From a holiday in Blighty, how can we forget?
The weather will break, a storm will occur
Because that’s what we know as “A British Summer”

Jenny Hamon

My Guide - Suzanne O'Keeffe

I don’t know who you are,
But Ive seen you in my dreams,
I see in you in my visions,
On every eye sight gleam.
Whenever I am lost,
I feel your gentle push,
I see you looking back at me
And telling me not too rush.
Whenever I feel lonely,
And the pressure is weighing me down,
Your pull on the reigns of your horse,
And wave a hand in front my frown.
You never say a word to me,
You just make those wisdom gestures,
You make me stop to think again,
And remember life’s little pleasures.
I hear you playing the wooden flute,
As you ride on ahead of me,
You always seem so astute,
You reflect and erase bad memories.
I see the sand blowing across your dark skinned face,
In all your seriousness you have a refreshing grace,
Youve been with me since I was born and id love to hear you talk,
For you have been my ”Indian guide” since the day I could walk.
As I write this poem you are now sat next to me,
You are as calm and relaxing as the wave upon the sea.
Though you do not talk Im not sure if you can,
But I’d like to thank you for being my “Indian Man”.

Suzanne O'Keeffe

Boom - Gordon Arnold

A poem about a Canadian WW2 Mine that was found in the Bluebell Woods and subsequently detonated off the Guernsey coast; as seen through the eyes of a father, mother & child.

Boom - Gordon Arnold

“There she goes” said the Dad to the child
While his wife just frowned ever so riled
As if saying “she” that war is beguiled
But his eyes, they were wild
Like those of a child

And the child?

Well… He just smiled.

Gordon Arnold

Travel Merry Go Round - Diane Scantlebury

Dashing through the airport
Trying to catch a plane,
Flight delays and mayhem
It’s totally insane,
Hurry, hurry, hurry
Gate closing, hopes in vane?
We’re on the travel merry go round
So here we go again,

Speeding through the tunnel
On the Gatwick train,
Stacked with cases to the gunnels
And passengers just the same,
Hearts are racing faster
In rhythm with the track,
Nonstop from Victoria
No chance of turning back,

“Tickets please” at the barrier
You’ve lost yours
Typical you know,
It’s gone to paper heaven
That place where documents go,
Got to get to check in
Got no time for this,
Let me through you jobs worth
I really must insist!

Suitcase so, so heavy
Not regulation weight,
Take a risk, no time to unpack
You’re running far too late,
A couple of kilos over
They reprimand the crime,
Grudgingly release the boarding pass
And let you off this time,

Now dashing through the airport
Trying to catch your plane,
Flight delays and mayhem
It’s totally insane,
Hurry, hurry, hurry
Gate closed, hopes were in vane,
You’re on the travel merry go round
So there you go again!

Diane Scantlebury

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