Competition Winner - March 2013
Quest Of The Canine Enigma - Jenny Hamon

Image Source: John Buchanan

The image above is called 'Autograph'. It was taken by John Buchanan.

Quest Of The Canine Enigma - Jenny Hamon

You left your mark to show
You passed along this way
Maybe the world was different then
To what it is today

I wonder did you stop
And look around you here
Was it something that you saw
Or maybe you could hear

You did not linger long
As just one pawprint shows
Maybe you paused a while
Catching a scent upon your nose

How long ago was this
When the ground received your mark
Now we will always know you passed
But never hear your bark

Jenny Hamon

Anti Clockwise - Lyndon Queripel

The clocks go forward an hour tonight
Or do they go back instead ?
Anyway come the light of day
I'm still going to stay in bed.

Lyndon Queripel

Journey of Nishiyuu - Andrew Barham

Six proud walkers on the jinglebell rainbow
Trudging across the land through the snow
Six proud walkers with their Elder Guides
Across the icy wastes, their toboggans glide

They come in peace, these warriors of the rainbow
Part of a prophecy as was foretold long ago
An answer to these troubled and troubling times
When Man has humbled Nature Herself with his crimes

These peoples the French called Kristineaux
Whose lands not so very long ago
Stretched from Labrador to Northern BC
From Montana to the Northwest Territory

Winters in Northern Canada blow cold
When the Arctic jet stream southward blows
And the land chills down to forty below
In this barren land of ice and snow

These stalwart youths setting forth –
Nomads from the bleak and barren North –
Who bring a message of hope and warning
From the Land of Night to the Land of Mourning

When all around us is despair and all hope is lost
Why do we still plunder the land regardless of cost?
We have fouled the air and the waters
Like beasts defiling our mother's daughters

Let us pray these six plucky youths
Bringing messages of sacred truths
Are the forerunners of the prophecy
Brought to a man in the mountains* by another Cree

Andrew Barham

Invisible Hero - Diane Scantlebury

If I could have
A super power
I know just what
It would be
I would have to choose
I could see you
But you could not see me
What hours of fun
There could possibly be

You would never see me coming
I could take you by surprise
Like the comic strip
There would be PHWARR and PHEW
Until stars glowed in your eyes

The tricks I could play
At your expense
But if you were in peril
I would rush
To your defence
Rescue you from
The jaws of monsters
Or the clutches of evil men
My invisible cloak
Would invoke
A service on which you could depend

They would never see me coming
I could take them by surprise
Like the comic strip
There would be BIFF and POW
Until stars flew from their eyes

The invisible hero
Saves the day
But there is a small price
I would have to pay
My rewarding kiss
From you
I would have to steal
Because my true identity
I could never reveal!

Diane Scantlebury

Sold Out - Lyndon Queripel

My girlfriend got lucky
When she won the lottery
I married her the next day
They say money can't buy love
But one thing I 'm sure of
There's always a price to pay.

Lyndon Queripel

Beautiful Kite - Diane Scantlebury

We had a beautiful kite
That would frolic and gambol
In the sky
It had a magnificent tail
It took two of us
To fly
Its colours would shimmer
In the sun
With glints of gold
We had such fun
It would twist and shimmy
This way, then that
Then pounce and dive
With stealth of a cat
Until one day for no reason
You let the string go
Our lovely kite gone
To where?
I don’t know

Diane Scantlebury

On The Fourth Day - Lyndon Queripel

By the time I got to Woodstock
It was all over
Man, was I bitter
Everyone had gone
And all that was left
Was a field full of litter.

Lyndon Queripel

Silent Thought - Diane Scantlebury

How wonderful the sound
Of near silence
So peaceful, so calm
So tranquil
You can almost feel
Your thoughts
Traversing, transcending
Floating upwards
To that imaginary bubble
Above your head
No brash, sparkly light bulb moment
But pure, translucent thought
So soft you can hear
It whisper
Close your eyes now
Be at peace
And rest.

Diane Scantlebury

Where do the seagulls go? - Diane Scantlebury

Image Source: John Buchanan

here do the seagulls go? - Diane Scantlebury

Where do the seagulls go
When there is rain, hail or snow?
How do the bees thrive
Through winter’s onslaught
In the hive?
Unlike the arctic fox
Or polar bear
They have no fur
They have no lair
So how do they survive?

Where do the ants go
When summer is over
And winter’s sun sinks low
When snow clouds hang heavy
In the sky?
Unlike humans
They have no clothes
They have no hair
So do they crawl away
And die?

Where do all our hopes go
Do they melt away
Like the snow?
In our youth we had no real cares
We felt invincible
We had no fears
So why as we age
Does ambition die
And sink fast like the sun
In the winter sky?

Diane Scantlebury

He Scares Me So - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

The Angel.
the visit.
the annunciation
the humility.
the acceptance.
the discussion.
the listening.
the quiet understanding.

the cousin.
the 2nd visit.
the child leaping for joy in the womb.
the King.
the first born.
the passover.

the upheaval.

the dream.
the journey.
the ass.
the arrival.
the rejection.
the lowly place.
the ox and the ass.

the Angel's message in the fields.
the rush.
the birth.
the homage.
the Wise men.
the 2nd journey.
the gifts.
the gold, frankincense and myrrh.
the 2nd dream.
the other route home.

the carpenter.
the rebuke of Mary.
the presentation in the Temple.
the Pharisees.
the talks.
the doubters.
the missing years.

the tempters.
the desert.
the baptising.
the healed
the grateful
the test.
the journey on the ass.
the salutations.
the accusations.
the mistrust.

the kiss.
the betrayal.
the denial.
the attack.
the healing.
the resignation.

the dream of Pilate's wife.
the presentation before Pilate.
the sending on to Herod.
the return to Pilate.
the offer of exchange.
the findings.
the washing of hands

the flogging.
the fibres in the air.
the tearing flesh.
the crowning of thorns.
the casting of lots.
the spitting.

the bearing of wood
the fall.
the fall.
the fall.
the conscription.
the woman.
the cloth.

the crowds.
the hill.
the centurion.
the thieves.
the nailing.
the third hour.
the darkness

the thirst.
the plea.
the storm.
the piercing.
the forgiveness.
the temple.
the smell.
the breaking of bones.
the removal.

the tomb.
the enrobing.
the other centurion.
the stone.
the silence.....

the third day.
the light.
the rolling.
the witness.
the resurrection.
the upper room.

the visitation.
the Holy Spirit.
the covenant.
the realisation.
the understanding.
the tongues of fire.
the doubting.
the wounds.
the hands.
the acceptance.
the ascension.
the man.
the giver.
the saviour.
The God.

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

No More Rhyme - Diane Scantlebury

I lay restless in my bed
Words battling and jostling
Inside my head
Until I leap up
In sleepy rage
To let them tumble
Onto this page
So many words
So much to say
Get them all written down
Before they fade away
Eyes half awake and blurry
Hard to see
Now there is no more rhyme
Left in me

Diane Scantlebury

I Thought I Did What's Right - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

I Thought I Did What's Right
not knowing the reality
not seeing the yellow green
and the Sunlight flickering on the leaves

The colours in your hair
soon though I would learn
you'd be no longer there
how long would I dream

for a dreamer I have been
as I drift from stream to stream
roads and highways pass me by
its almost any hour that I can sit and sigh

I remember distinctly
once being afraid to crush you
were I to hold you too tightly
a vision you were then

but that was when I still believed in romance
wishing desperately there might be a chance
I could come back under any form
but you suggested, that would make it difficult

for you as you had informed all
that we were no more
you asked me to kiss you warmly
while a letter was already on its way

with little more than just to say
stay away, just stay away
like a fool, I agreed and lost it all
no love, no home but worst of all

I did not have the children
nor the spunk to fight for them
worse still to come
they believe daddy abandoned them

now not just love has been lost
but even the basics of care and
respect have all worn away
no-one could ever count this cost

a love once won
a love once adored
once held in the highest esteem
and with every heart beat, even with

leaves yellow and green
like the Autumn
are now but

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Colours Of The mind - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

What are the colours of the mind
what are the shades when one is being kind
how bright are the hues, when reflecting of you
a myriad, I think when they are of me and of you

explore then your thoughts
and correlate
can you see now the rainbow
the sparkle inside

how it echoes and fuses
with things tangible and surreal
look now and see this fountain
as it rises and fall and spirals

the purples, and greens,
the yellows and blues
mixes of reds and whites
even black

now fushias and golds
with browns and silvers
see them radiate
and stir and wash together

collide, and split
and bounce
with wonderment
watch as they infuse one with the other

like memories they embrace
and enfold us
the comfort and confront us
provoke and evoke within us

the longings,
the hopes,
the dreams
memories are Colours of the mind

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Walk with me - Diane Scantlebury

Image Source: John Buchanan

Walk with me - Diane Scantlebury

Walk with me
By the sea
We’ll collect shells
On the beach
Walk with me
Let the salt air
And the tang of seaweed
Assault our lungs
Walk with me
Crush my hand in yours
As we scramble
Over the sea wall
Walk with me
Let’s sit and kiss
In the orange boat
Tethered to the shore
Walk with me
Let’s watch the sun’s fiery glow
Sink slowly over Lihou
Walk with me
But you are gone
And I walk the sand alone
Now all I can find are stones

Diane Scantlebury

A Tango Too Close - Diane Scantlebury

There is a small
Jealous pang inside my heart
Because I know
You have moved on
To dance with another
When you refused
To dance again with me
Denied me when you knew
I love to dance
But perhaps our tango
Went on too long
And you had to break free
Release me because
I got too close
And you were afraid
That I would hurt you
As others have done

Diane Scantlebury

The Crossroads Of Eternity - Lyndon Queripel

I was out on the road trying to hitch a ride
When a car pulled over and stopped in a slide
"Where are you going?" I asked the driver inside
"To the crossroads of eternity." He replied
Now that’s one place I have never been
So I opened the door and then I got in

I looked for a seatbelt as he put down his heel
And saw there was a bible open at Ezekiel
He said he was a Christian as I heard tyres squeal
And so I asked him "man, is God for real?"
He smiled and said "brother, this is no appeal
But if you hear a trumpet, grab the wheel."

I said "slow down." and then began to shout
"You’re going too fast, stop and let me out.
All of my life seems to be flashing by
Jesus, don't you know I'm too young to die?”
As we hit the next bend doing ninety five
I thought we'd never get out of there alive

Now we were clocking over a hundred and ten
Turning white with fright i began to shake
And when I looked behind it blew my mind
Some other crazy guy was trying to overtake

There was a flash, it was the last thing I saw
Everything was spinning as I fell to the floor
I closed my eyes, I couldn't take any more
And when I woke up, I was holding my jaw
My bed was upside down and my head was sore
I was sure I'd been through that dream before

Now the moral of this story, in case you hadn’t guessed
Is to buy your own car, learn to drive and pass a test.

Lyndon Queripel

The Vision Of Flames - Lyndon Queripel

The fire burns slow in the fading light
Shadows grow with the empty night
Darkness degree but all I can see
Is in the vision of flames

As they dance before my eyes
And the smoke begins to rise
A memory of how we used to be
It's all in the vision of flames

A summer beach of golden sand
We run together hand in hand
The clear blue skies of paradise
It's all in the vision of flames

A love that seemed to be so strong
I never dreamed could go so wrong
The time I lied, the time you cried
It's all in the vision of flames

Falling leaves in a garden of rain
Winds that blew through hearts of pain
Clouds of grey on a stormy day
It's all in the vision of flames

Now I’m alone and the fire has died
It's left me feeling cold inside
But in the ember all I remember
Is in the vision of flames

Lyndon Queripel

Traded In - Di Scantlebury

Last year was
A horrible year
My ex traded me in
Not quite sure
Where I went wrong
Too old perhaps
Not thin?

I thought I looked
Quite good for my age
But alas I should
Admit defeat
Against a younger
Bit of stuff
No way could I compete!

There never was
A hint of grey
Covers all the dye said
On the packs
Bottox and fillers
Could be killers
But you would never see the cracks!

Although I know
It was not my fault
That my man
Had wandering eyes
Girls take a tip
Before you let rip
Go easy on those pies!

Di Scantlebury

And So Again I Dream - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Looking out wistfully,
forbidding the darkness to preclude
hearing the strings not just of heart
the ensemble lifting us gently like a leaf on a breeze

from time to time a rustle
no not from the trees
a rustle of memories
that rise and fall like fire flies

Soaring and drifting
from one scene to another
and so again, and so again
I dream

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Ten Empty Bottles - Jenny Hamon

Ten empty bottles sitting on my wall
Ten empty bottles, have I drunk them all?
But if one empty bottle should accidently fall
There’d be nine empty bottles sitting on my wall

Nine empty bottles by the garden path
Nine empty bottles, a party aftermath
But if one empty bottle should roll down the garden path
There’d be eight empty bottles left there to my wrath

Eight empty bottles stashed behind the door
Eight empty bottles for the recycling for sure
But if one empty bottle should roll and cause me to fall
There’d be seven empty bottles stashed behind the door

Seven empty bottles now sitting in my hall
Seven empty bottles lined up against the wall
But if one empty bottle falls over on the floor
There’d be six empty bottles waiting in my hall

Six empty bottles moved to the kitchen shelf
Six empty bottles were put there by myself
But if one empty bottle is knocked off the kitchen shelf
There’d be five empty bottles left sitting on the shelf

Five empty bottles, on my shelf they cannot stay
Five empty bottles, should recycle them today
But I dropped an empty bottle on the kitchen floor
Now the number of bottles left is now down to four

Four empty bottles now in a plastic bin
Four empty bottles rolling round making a din
But on the way to the car I dropped the bin they’re in
So there’s three empty bottles for the recycling bin.

Three empty bottles in the boot of the car
Three empty bottles, the journey’s not too far
But the emergency stop caused the bottles to jar
So there’s two empty bottles sitting in the car

Two empty bottles rolling round at will
Two empty bottles now rolling down the hill
One empty bottle beat me down the hill
Now there’s one empty bottle saved from the landfill

One empty bottle off to recycle in my car
One empty bottle, I’ve kept it safe so far
But if I drop this empty bottle and my record I will mar
I’ll have just lots of broken bits to shovel from my car!

Jenny Hamon

Life’s Adventure - Di Scantlebury

If my life was a mirror
What would I see?
All of my pains, joys and sorrows
Reflected back at me
Would I care
Would I stare
Or linger longingly
Would I hope
Would I crave
For things
That could never be?

If my life was a journey
Would you go with me?
A trip into the vast unknown
Or sail on life’s
Mysterious, ominous sea?
Would you dare
Would you care
If it got really stormy
Or the tide changed

If my life was a prediction
What would I foresee?
Would I amass a fortune
Or be as poor as poor can be?
Would it matter
If dreams shatter
As long as I was well
And love was my champion
To combat life’s
Lonely hell?

Di Scantlebury

Isn't It Strange - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Isn't it strange
That feeling inside
like hunger, only yearning
stretching out like the vacant tide

These empty moments when thoughts drift away
not really understanding how it happened this way

the longing, the hoping, the praying still
that one day you might actually call
but knowing, that you never will

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Each Other - Tony Robert

This wasn’t supposed to happen
Just didn’t see it coming
Friend to rely on, shoulder to cry on
Thought there might be something

This can’t be wrong, feels so right
When we are together
Soon discovered, we were lovers
Hope it lasts forever

Drawn together, so much in common
Both seen hard times
Find it hard to trust again
Risk the heartache and more pain
Just didn’t see the signs

Feels real hard when we’re apart
Miss each other so much
Long to be, just you and me
To love, to kiss, to touch

One day we’ll look back on these times
With all the fuss and bother
Count the tears and all the fears
But we’ll always have each other

Tony Robert

But Surely You Can't Dance - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

But surely you can't dance
Firstly, don't call me shirley
dance, of course I can dance
in my mind, this broken, old body takes flight
still spinning and turning and lifting higher than ever before

physically, I can spin my chair like no-one else can
I rhumba like a goodun - tango takes a little practice
but man can I jive and two girls at once too
many times have I been stared at for just
getting up on the floor as soon as the music starts

you see, I am only restricted in my chair
by my ambitions. luckily they are varied and vast
being held back since the accident? I knew it wouldn't last

so yes, I can dance with Shirley or anyone
who will take centre spot with me

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

The Great War - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Aindre added this note to his poem which is why it has been put on an 'adult page'; "Please note this is not for the faint of heart or weak stomach."

The Great War - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Great Uncle Patrick fought in the Great War
wounded very early on he told stories
of what went on with the Black and Tans
and how badly they treated Irish people

all the while his war wound would surface during
every other sentence as he had shrapnel
still inside his lungs and even on
an August day he sat by a roaring fire

roll of toilet paper in one hand and
gesticulating expressively with the other
then up it would come from the depths
Cough and Spit he called them
the two Flemish comedians

and into the paper he would spit mid sentence
calmly continuing the conversation, folding neatly as you like
leaving room for one more go and once the paper was sufficiently weighted
to the back of the fire he flicked it with a deftness unrivalled
and sit there and hiss and sizzle until it dried and then burned

hacccccaahhhh gurrrraaaach (spit)
over and over this would happen without any
formality, just routine and telling jokes all the time
until to bed he would go and then the real pantomime began

The house was always immaculate
dark brown stained doors stained glass front window
tiny rooms but with a huge kitchen
and always some scone or cake on the go

I remember being asked if I would stay over one night
and throughout the night he would call out Oh
Jesus, I'm done, I'm going Mary
Mary being his sister and my Great Aunt

A woman of kindliness unsurpassed a woman of substance who
wore bright blue bloomers and proud of them showing them on the Sea Saw and equally proud of being called Miss
never married, but a dancer supreme with numerous suitors

She shared the home and put up with the daily task of listening to many stories over and over and watching as we (I did anyway)
split out sides laughing at the eccentric actions
that only our family would take in our stride

he told many a near knuckle joke and so popular
was he that any Wake (Irish Funeral) and first
on the invite would he be

A hairdresser by trade and sported a fedora
drove a Volkswagen Fastback
drove it until Great Aunt Mary took his licence away
we would again laugh saying he kept death off the
roads by spending most of his time driving on the pavements

Sitting in his rocking chair with his checked blanket
and boiled sweets, a good and gentle man
God fearing and on that one night only
that I stayed, over and over he called

'it won't be long now Mary
oh Jesus, I'm dying
Oh God help me'
and I called out, 'I wish he'd hurry up
so we can all get some sleep'

He survived for many years after that
and I remember he offered to pay me
for staying the night and I was upset
but really I should have paid him for the entertainment

I can still hear him struggling to breathe and bringing up
phlegm laden cough after cough
I do not ever remember him complaining
and can even smell still the turf on the fire and hear the sizzle
of the gunk he had no choice but to bring up day in day out

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Etude - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Like an Etude it starts off easy
taking time like a climax of timpani
building and building
bouncing, dropping, lifting, reverberating
gentle, crashes - then more loudly still
always in rhythm, always in rhyme
single notes, then pairs,
quavering, crocheting some with mimim effort
arpeggios and broken chords
diminuendos, ritardandos and accelerandos until
cloud burst of Cymbals
cacophony of sound now like an operatic aria
the stillness has been shattered but
and just as suddenly a
moment of silence returns until
the birds chirp and sing with gai abandon
those previous sounds welcomed and embraced as
the rain appeases the tired earth

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

The Golden Rule - Lyndon Queripel

He who has hold
Of all of the gold
Will make all of the rules
So keep on digging you fools
Keep on digging
Keep on looking for jewels
And blaming your tools
As stubborn as mules
Keep on digging

Keep on swigging from stools
Play your lotteries and pools
Ignore all the ridicules
Keep on digging you fools
Keep on digging
Before there is a tax
On a spade and pickaxe
You can't frigging relax
Keep on digging.

Lyndon Queripel

Spring - Julie Gallienne

Dormant seedlings and bulbs
comatose in winter slumber
collectively feel the awakening
of an inbred
ancient pattern.
Something's expected of us
but what ?
Nature takes over
as groggy cells automatically
begin to multiply
pushing inexperienced
vulnerable shoots upwards
towards a fast thawing surface.
like exploring fingers
climb through the soil.
Is it safe here ?
welcomed by the caressing sun
bravely stretch newly emerged leaves
towards her warm embrace.
Quivering in excitement.
Encouraged by a gentle breeze.
Animatedly shaking colourful heads
in unison.
Giving thanks for the season
and the renewal of life.
Species mingle
with no concept of difference.
All are welcome
forming the colourful patterns
of nature's carpet.

Julie Gallienne

London Is- Diane Scantlebury

London is
A noisy place
Full of deafening sound
Sirens screaming in the night
A faster pace

London is
A lonely place
Full of crushing crowds
Bodies rammed in the tube
Yet no one looks at your face

London is
An unusual place
A mish mash of global souls
Some with no aim or purpose
So many displaced

London is
An uncharitable place
So many homeless crouched
In grubby shop doorways in the street
Passers by giving nothing
Begging for something to eat

London is
An amazing place
But will empty your pockets
Will drain your energy and your soul
And will never return your lost case

Diane Scantlebury

Table For One - Diane Scantlebury

Will someone be joining you?
No I say
Just me
A single, solitary diner
Sitting alone for tea

But did you book?
No I say
Just look
I know you will put me in the corner
Don’t ignore me
Take my order

Would you care for a bottle?
No I say
Just a glass
Would be fine
My voice drowned by the hub bub
As I order my wine

Did you enjoy your meal?
Yes I say
Just delicious
But now I am quite done
Will come back again soon
Reserve my table for one

Diane Scantlebury

Jesus Must Have Heard Him By Now - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
or Sweet Heart of Jesus
Night after night I would sing
as I lay in my bed with no-one
except my four brothers

Yes I'm a catholic and proud of that too
not to mention that time old taboo
betrayal and hurt the hiding the lying
but we can with a will repair and heal

the burning of incense
the constant whisper of the old ones
prayers echoing round the Church and its walls
watching the wax on candle falls

falls like frozen creamy rivers
held there in time
singing out louder
but with reason and rhyme

practising at home, in school and at Church
though we called it Chapel een though a Cathedral it was

Warmth of candle light in the gloom
the rustle of cassocks
my envy at never being chosen
so the better I would sing

Of His glory and praise
with lyricism and love in each phrase
until that day
one day

night in fact when Michael shouts
'mammy, will ye tell him to stop singing'
'Why son'? came the reply

'because Jesus must have heard him by now'

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Sark Revisited - Joan M. Ozanne

We’d walked these lanes together
when the trees were saplings,
roamed the gorse covered cliffs.
watched the sun sparkle on the sea
and the tide rise and fall,
measured on ageless rocks,
while gulls flirted with the breeze.
Remember the carriage drive together?
Candles flickering in their lamps,
lights in cottage windows,
horse’s hooves on untarred roads
disturbing the stillness of a moonlight night.
Are you remembering too?

(Dedicated to Lawrie)

Joan M. Ozanne

A Melancholy Tale - Joan Raleigh

This sad ode has a bit of a sting
as I recall when I used to be thin.
The memory’s clearer than I’d like it to be
since my hour-glass figure became history.

Years ago I would trough-in chips
cooked in oil and cheesy dips.
Then I’d plaster butter on my bread -
‘laid with a trowel’ my husband said.

Drinking wine or a rum and coke
went well watching tele and having a smoke.
I didn’t know back then that in time
gravity was lurking along the line.

I guess I should have exercised,
instead of stretching to oversized!
But I know now I’ve learnt my lesson
and doing a regular training session.

I’m counting the calories, each damn one,
before my feet are eclipsed and gone.
The programme’s tough, to build muscle anew,
and the fitness instructor’s quite nice too!

Joan Raleigh

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