Underground - Diane Scantlebury

Eyes cast down
Earphones in ears,
Silent, commuter world
With only the rustle of newspapers
To accompany the drone
Of the engine,
Clicks and sudden sparks,
The tube train
Thrusts through the darkness,
Carrying its crop of
Weary workers,
Only the tourists
Are animated and talking,
The babble of languages
Mixing with incoherent announcements.

The underground has an odour
Metallic, oily and the perspiration
Of human closeness,
Stoked into a fug
By the stifling heat,
The doors grind open
Relief,
Press through the barriers of bodies
To the platform,
Mind the gap!

Diane Scantlebury

What Sweet Bliss - Kathy Figueroa

What sweet bliss bringest coffee
And a homemade butter tart!
A salve for the hurt ego,
A balm for the aching heart!

Oh, sweet fragrance of dark roast
Fine grind, Fair Trade coffee bean!
Amongst all beverages
Thou surely must be the Queen!

This and the grand confection,
A pastry and sugar blend,
Prepared to peak perfection
Will, the most sore spirit, mend!

Kathy Figueroa

Day Trip - Diane Scantlebury

Off to Brighton
On the Southern train
A day at the sea side
It‘d better not rain
Listening to iPod
To help the time pass
Just under an hour
The journey is fast
First stop Clapham Junction
In ten minutes at most
Then out of the city
Down to the south coast

Across the aisle of the carriage
Two ladies chatter
My head is full of music
So the subject doesn’t matter
The rhythmic roll
Makes some passengers doze
Through ear popping tunnels
As onwards we go
With scenes rushing by
It is easy to slip
Into a hypnotic trance
A high speed fuelled trip
Destination looms closer
Soon time to stop
Now thoughts turn with anticipation
To fish n chips and rock

Diane Scantlebury

Mum 1932-1965 - Tony

You left us on the 15th of May,
When you were suddenly taken away
A young family left to cope
With only love, faith and hope

Found it very hard to take in,
Tried to remember how it had been
Only a kid of six years old,
Didn’t believe what I was told

“Your mummy’s gone to heaven son”,
I just wanted to cry and run
To hide and hope that you would seek,
To find me mum, I felt so weak

We tried to live a normal life,
We had no mum, Dad lost a wife
Stuck together just like glue,
Hard times but we made it through

Always there for each other,
My Dad, my sister and my brothers
Grew up and went our different ways,
But we never forget those early days

It’s forty eight years since that day,
When the angels came and took you away
But still I think of you and wonder how,
You’d think of us if you were here now

I try my best to make you proud,
Find silver linings in every cloud
It’s hard sometimes to carry on,
Trying to be happy, full of fun

Miss you now more than ever,
Know one day we’ll be together
I needed you then, miss you still,
And I know I always will

Tony Robert

Final Instalment - Andrew Barham

The garden is almost complete
As the time for leaving approaches;

Will it be ready
Before I go?

It hardly seems worthwhile
Planting tomatoes in the greenhouse this year –

They’re never ready
Before September …

Andrew Barham

Economic With The Truth - Lyndon Queripel

Planet photos from outer space
There's gold bars on Mars
Just below the loose surface
In stained glass coloured jars
No one knows how they got there
Not even the minister of economy
No one knows,no one's aware
No one knows but me.

Lyndon Queripel

Friend Addiction - Diane Scantlebury

I realise now
that you are
my addiction
I want to
snort you up
imbibe you
take you back
when I know you’re
no good for me
you are hazardous
to my health
yet I still ignore
the warnings on the pack

we have a fatal attraction
I cannot
put you down
I want to scroll
onto the next page
the one where
you’re not around
but I can’t
the return button
is jammed
and back you come again
I can’t shake you off
my delicious
toxic friend

Diane Scantlebury