The Buriers - Richard Fleming

A Rhyme For Halloween

A barking dog, somewhere nearby,
alerts us to strangers’ presence.
We draw curtains, secure both doors,
duck behind chairs, crouch on all-fours.
Such precautions make perfect sense.
We do not welcome those who pry.

We do not welcome those who pry.
People who stray within our fence
are made to stay to settle scores.
We bury them beneath the floors
like treasure. Then we burn incense
and pray and wait for them to die.

Richard Fleming

Laced With Arsenic - Vic Gamble

These old wasted women
behind the dapple of lacehole curtains
sucking in the gossip
with perfect pulse
of piranha …...

careful Eugene
you have been seen
and the hot wire is buzzing
from lace to lace
in the metal grindings
of their see-saw tongues.

They slipper shuffle,
like carrion birds on a dead rat,
each vein and artery decimated,
like rancid rats on the gangrene of garbage
each gnaw is anticipated,
but it is, after all,
their private over-excitable art
of self preservation.

These wasted old ladies
with no hope for a new & healing skin,
each one at their personal station of the cross,
unsure if their Jesus
knows of their worst
& sinful sin.

...and lace flutters, whilst they,
like a butterfly still trapped,
unfocused by its
fluttering vision,
inwardly watch their own weak strength
being sapped.

Vic Gamble

Bad Taste - Lester Queripel

If you give bad taste an inch it will take a mile.
It will spread like a cancer through every new born child.
The same goes for apathy.
We don’t want it in our society.
Don’t allow it to be set free.
There’s a better future for you and me.
The same goes for bad language, it gets worse every day.
We have to get it under control it won’t just go away.
Standards have dropped to an all time low.
There’s no one else for them to go.
There’s far too much anger, there’s far too much aggression.
There’s far too much violence and too much information.
There’s a lack of responsibility and a lack of respect.
The reason of course is because of years of neglect.
It’s time to re-educate, rebuild and reclaim.
Before bad taste screams ‘victory’ and wins this awful game.
Let’s put bad taste in its rightful place.
We don’t want it upfront and in our face.
Let’s bury it six feet under the ground.
Then we wouldn’t have to have it around.

Lester Queripel

A Poet, Still? - Stephen A. Roberts

It has been announced
the former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion,
will be judging Guernsey's International Poetry Competition 2014 -
"Poems on the Move".

Sir Andrew Motion!
Poet Motion!
Poetry in motion!

How many times has he heard that pun,
the pun that launched a thousand rejection slips…
on so many different types of stationery:

Stationary - in Motion's hand.

Stephen A. Roberts

Crashed - Ian De La Mare

Like the surf of a wave it hit me,
I was so prepared to part,
Take stock and reflect upon ,
Our affair,
So intense,
Now gone,
As you cried,
My heart forward rolled,
The aftershock passed,
My old friend the cynic
Raised a cheery glass
To liberty and freedom?
Freedom to be lonely,
To please myself again,
But my first night without you,
In 504 
Business class,
Quite by chance,
I fly away,
In more pain, than I can bear.

Ian De La Mare

Second Skin - Chris Hudson

Before I cast off my second skin
And let the silky darkness in
Turn off the light
And into night
Spill the day’s noise and din.

I close my eyes
Turn to the skies

I say no prayer- for the world is my prayer
I turn off the radio
Now it has nothing to say to me
I think: this day has passed in a riotous racket
Like an express train passing
It makes a lot of noise
And passes by purposelessly
In an insane journey from one place
To another exactly the same

But now I hear a different sound
The sun is rising in the East
I have not eaten, and know I am alive.

Christopher J Hudson

Fish Wife - Diane Scantlebury

I once saw a woman on a crowded train
Unleash a tirade upon her husband,
And as he sat with head to his chest bowed low
I thought,
What right did she have to inflict such pain?
What could such a public display of ugliness gain?
Did a trauma past, a twisted seed sow?
To allow resentment and such bitterness to grow?

When the carpet of your time
Is almost worn threadbare,
To vent your disappointments and displeasure
On others hardly seems fair,
As I age I’d hate to become a garrulous fish wife
Like some around who quarrel, snarl and spit at life,
Instead I’d hope to be in tune with nature’s beauty
Be calm and tranquil, open to its clarity,
Treat loved ones, even if they annoy, with charity.

Diane Scantlebury

Humpty Dumpty - Sally Forth

He never had much luck with pets
but spent a fortune at the vets
to almost rid his cat of fleas
before it perished from disease.

He never had much luck in love:
would go to nightclubs, push and shove
to get close to his heart’s desire,
then find a man in girl’s attire.

He never had much luck at all
and tumbled one day from a wall.
He never was the same again
despite King’s Horses and King’s Men.

Sally Forth

Easter Tidings Rising - Vic Gamble

the catch-22 is that they issue
terrorist commands in gasping Gaelic
and religion in loose lineage of Latin,
yet not a broth of a man in the pub understands
the lilt of either language.

angry fists crush upon wooden tables
and wild shakes the froth
of Guinness
like gray tiredness of after-party jelly.

outside the spare air is groaning,
but it is only the copper of the storm,
while inside,sun ablaze, the boys are in short shape
for the shortcomings of the revolution.

The Dublin Times
runs a headline on the Pope’s latest decree
of Easter tidings;
bodies, it says,
will rise whole on the day of judiciary judgement
crushing all but daisies before them,
and though I will still have my balls,
and you the heat of your thighs, my love,
there will be no sex in heaven…..
though, he says, this Pope,
we will still be happy,
but somehow I doubt that.
But we will keep an open face
and good mind
for he is not the first Pope to be fallible…..
did not the last one die?

the catch-22 is that I am trained to shoot
who passes upon my own green land,
hidden here in the haze of moon
surviving by the rhythm of my enemies march,
knowing that when I splice his open wound
I shall retch at the sight of his cascading blood…….
perhaps the Pope has a take on that,
somehow I doubt it.

I know he is so busy assuring us
carnal knowledge is taboo in the afterlife
he has forgotten to wonder about
why we needed to die
in the first place.

Vic Gamble

Touched by an Angel - Lester Queripel

Touched by an Angel.
She touched me with love.
Touched by an Angel.
From the heavens above.
She touched me deeply, she touched my skin.
She touched me without, she touched me within.
With healing hands that know the value of compassion.
Gentle hands that can feel the heat of passion.
Soothing hands to take away my pain.
She came in with the sunshine and dispelled the rain.
She walked with the rhythm of a dancer.
She moved with the prowl of a panther.
With a dignity refined and a pride majestic.
When she smiled at me the connection was electric.
When she laughed it resonated with my soul.
When she held my hand I didn’t want to let go.
She has a spirit that burns with an eternal flame.
She took away the guilt, she took away the blame.
Touched by an Angel.
From the heavens above.
Touched by an Angel.
She touched me with love.

Lester Queripel

The Social Departing of Steven Nobody - Ian Duquemin

Dear Facebook friends...
I am saying goodbye
I hate living this life and I've decided to die
I don't have to tell you... but do feel the need
As it's you that will help me succeed 

Dear Steven...
I hope that you're feeling ok
Maybe you're having a bad day today
You just need to "turn off", give Facebook a break
Before you make a mistake

Dear Susan...
You don't even know who I am
Don't try to pretend that you might give a damn
We've not even spoken... And never have met
And if we did you'd despise me I'd bet

Dear Steven...
Susan was trying to be nice
I hope with this comment you will take my advice 
And try to calm down... Maybe swallow a pill
Try to relax... And just chill

Dear Colin...
I've taken the advice that you gave
It might be too late but I'll try to behave 
I've taken a pill... A whole bottle in fact
So I'm feeling a little bit whacked

Dear Steven...
I don't know the reason or why
But to write on your wall you've decided to die
Is really quite strange and a little... Un-cool
And probably breaks Facebook rule

Dear Andrew...
I don't really care what you say, oh...
And stop sending invites for games that you play
This isn't a game... It is very damned real
And none of you know how I feel

Dear Steven...
Andrew was being sincere 
And Colin and Susan expressing their fear
We worry for you by the things that you say
So I hope you don't mind if I pray

Dear Robert...
Pray if you really believe
But this is the last post that you will receive
These words are a blur and my breathing is slow
I will log out on life now and................

Dear no one...
The spirit of Steven has passed
This lonely recluse without pain at long last
Slumped over an iPad... A sad tragic end
As he died with not one real friend

Ian Duquemin

The Fallen - Richard Fleming

He does not lie in foreign fields.

No unmarked grave or simple cross,
in distant lands, conceals his bones.

Life is this soldier’s albatross.

Drink’s a temptation and he yields:
booze brings oblivion.

The stones
fly up to meet him.

It’s absurd
that he should brave a war yet fall,
unmourned, in some civilian street,
dead to the world,
dead drunk,

He lies in vomit, vision blurred,
used, decommissioned, obsolete.

Richard Fleming

River-Tubing - Fred Williamson

Peaceful freedom,
Messing about on the river,
River tubing, a lazy watery day,
At first going the wrong way,

I need a helping hand,
I am not making any ground,
Just spinning, around and round,
Doing dog-paddle,
A splashing water sound,

Let the current take you.

It was decided, time to take a rest,
On one small sandy river island,
We heard birdsong and crickets.
If we had a tent, we could free camp,
Short stop: a group photo shot.

Tubing with the river flow,
Passing fishermen and boats,
And other islands, not remote.

Let the current take you.

Fred Williamson

The Last Living Rose - Chris Hudson

God bless...
Beautiful England
As the last living Rose
Quivers in your hand.

The grey and the damp and the filthiness of ages
Through the stinking alleys where drunken beatings rages
Past where the Thames river does flow, glistening silver and gold
That for vain dreams and frippery was hastily pawned and sold

Night falls and moon does rise on silky sliding river
Moon sliver in the moving sky watches ocean’s shimmer
The fields of corn are ripe in beautiful England
As the last living rose quivers in your hand.

Our forefathers planned we’d never be enslaved in this land
Under yoke of foreign oppression, by another’s hand
Will our blood rise up, brothers, and cast off our shackles?
Or tolerate and suffice in merely raising of our hackles?

God Bless Beautiful England
As the last living Rose quivers in your hand

The chain that binds us is the boundless winding ocean
This thread that runs through us like a fuse to an explosion
Like Hugo in his exile across the waters there that pour
Yet conversely my blood my DNA not of these shores

I live and die forever through all England’s merry lands
My undaunted never failing love for you will always stand
God Bless Beautiful England
As the last living Rose quivers in your hand.

Christopher J. Hudson

Jagged Glass - Diane Scantlebury

Fragrant creatures wafting past
Busy bar with harassed staff,
Eyes glazed and bald pates shining
Downing pints and shots
Unsteady drunks whining,
At thrills from an oversized widescreen
The footy fans sigh and roar,
Inebriated a punter staggers
His drink tumbles,
Spills onto the sticky floor,
With a shoulder shrug and unseeing eyes
He lurches, uncaring through the open door,
Jagged glass shards,
Now the only remnants of lost dregs
And wasted lives of those, who like him,
Have slipped and gone before.

Diane Scantlebury

Guernsey Barn (dance) - Vic Gamble

Dandy air strolled,
his rude way in.
long leg flimsy,
slimline stalked,
danced her dance
& spun wind caught
toppled out those whiffle
popsy steps,
of a shy girl cornered
    in a Camelot.
with past suns,
now cataleptic cold;
wands of moon,
transfusing filters
on his wings of silver white
of fading light,
for his buzzing
      season’s old.
And unsure as dice
like Lancelots,
will chance a lot
      to bossa-nova
by the cracklight.

Vic Gamble

UFO - Lester Queripel

We heard a noise, it was an eerie sound
We were too frightened to turn around
But we knew we had to look
A split second was all it took
And there it was................hovering
About twenty feet off of the ground
Making a soft kind of whirring sound
We tried to speak but couldn’t
Tried to move our legs but they wouldn’t
We were hypnotised
We thought our eyes were playing tricks
Then in a flash it was gone
Into the night at the speed of light
I turned to you and you turned to me
Did you see what I could see?
No doubt about it………..that was a U.F.O
But where do they go?
And what was it doing here?
I didn’t really feel any fear............did you?
I wanted to speak but just couldn’t do.
Why didn’t they stay?
Why did they have to go away?
I hope they come back one day
They might even come back and take us away
Now that would be fun

Lester Queripel

Spider Season - Joan Etoile

It's the season of the spider
The crawling has begun
Navigating dewdrops, they
Journey from the Sun

They scuttle through the kitchen
Towards the Aga's warm embrace
Where Stroobs the cat is lounging
Contentment on his face

The spiders think they're safe there
And start to spin their web
But their time is borrowed
In the tabby's lair they're dead

Before they've time to scarper
He flicks them on their back
Eight legs cannot save them, as
They're eaten with an 'ack ack ack'

Joan Etoile

Summer's Dream - Julian Clarke

You came to me on a sweet summer's dream
Passing through worlds of magic and men,
A dragonfly guarded the gate between
You’d sing and dance in this beautiful glen.

Now most of us find it hard to conceive
Of the parallel world of our ancient way,
Listen so hard and you must believe
Open your eyes let your mind run away.

Do not be fooled by her beauty and charm
Her pretty little nose and delicate wings,
Her mystical magic may well do you harm
If you don’t respect all of Nature's things.

You came to me on a sweet summer's dream
Passing through worlds of magic and men,
I wonder if you will come here again,         
To sing and dance in this beautiful glen.

Julian Clarke

Unsung - Stephen A. Roberts

A dry notice
inside the back page,
summarised her as
a "spinster without issue",
a pencil rubbing, found in
the bottom of a drawer,
a faded graphite stain
that once held the light
amongst other possessions
and curling artefacts,
pointing to her time
spent as a young girl
cycling on the biscuit lanes
near the littoral.

years later, as a woman
of resolve, she was
plunged into
a secret world
of grim adventure,
finding love where it
had been banished
in a time of violence.
perhaps peacetime was tranquil,
boring even
and she rested on laurels
kept hidden from view,
by our definition unfulfilled;

Stephen A. Roberts

Creeper - Christopher J. Hudson

Avoiding askance!
Avoiding askance!
How we avoid
The responsibilities set upon us
Sneaking up on our consciences
And whispering, “It’s okay, no one noticed.”
So we junk them
And we pile them in a pit
In our deepest darkest mind
But the rubbish
Builds up
Behind closed doors
Which bursting
EXPLODE forth and drown us
In a tide of our own vomit
What our minds could not accept
And we are carried away
On a tide of our own madness
Our everyday insanity
Paradoxes unresolved
Frustration released, anger and pain
Burying forever vestiges of humanity
Pre supposed towards insane thoughts already
Now, chaos is totality is life.

Christopher J. Hudson

Barfly - John E Blaise

Change the world whilst sitting on a stool,
Authority on life, but everybody’s fool
Sitting in the same spot every day,
Always an opinion, something to say.

Listened to, smiled at, abused or ignored,
Most too polite to say they are bored
By the barfly the authority on life
Bet he has a long suffering wife.

Ultra confident on home ground
Talking loudly to everyone around
Over and over again in case something is missed,
Trouble is he’s always pissed.

John E Blaise

Hoping For a Fish Supper - Diane Scantlebury

A solitary seagull stalked us
As we sat on a bench by the sea wall,
We were eating our fish and chips
Wrestling with the paper in the wind,
He kept his beady eye on us
Trying to intimidate us with his steely gaze,
Throwing his head back from time to time
And caw, cawing as if to say
“Toss me a chip, you can spare it”,
This was a defiant, needy, greedy one,
Not for him patiently lounging on the sand
With the rest of the flock,
Waiting for the tide to come in
And the cockles to pop to the surface,
No, he was a harasser,
Bold, up front and optimistic,
He’d glance over again in our direction
Hoping we’d be generous and give in,
Hoping for a fish supper,
But we were hungry and had eaten the lot
So he flew off,
Finally leaving us in peace
To wipe our greasy fingers,
And fold up our ketchup smudged chip papers.

Diane Scantlebury

And Sharp As Any Star – Vic Gamble

This sour old priest faced man
still has his hair,still has fledgling feathered hair.

Licking & drooling over his landscapes
of bad molars, he
evaporates into mooching, moaning
tired senseless of all his tiresome over-tested genuflections.

droll & drone,
saliva sponging vinegar,
reflexes refluent…..
and sharp as any star, his razor.

the hand hamstrung
by quirky shakes,
the bathwater a liquid bier, (an unholy crib)
his chest catching breath
like a child’s sad, soiled bib….
and sharp as any star, his razor.

Outclassed by age
he has become as quiet
as the crucifix pearl strung
around an old toothless
dead nun’s neck.
And this sour old priest faced man
permanently scars himself and slips, as sloth,
into the paen of red.

Already twisting in water,
slow stride down,
as sharp as any star, his razor.

…..bursts of shine, blood mists to rust,
old priest faced man sours through twilight
and into the bloodless gingerness
of brown.

...and sharp as any star, his razor
falls deeper, deeper hell bound down.

Vic Gamble

The Power of the Arts ( a worldwide romance) - Lester Queripel and Fred Williamson

Every culture has its own musical band
To build bridges between people throughout the land
We speak different languages but we all understand
We dance in rhythm, all holding hands

I’ve just heard a song that resonates with my soul
Jazz, jive, reggae, rock n roll
It was the perfect song, rich in melody
It was all about the world living in harmony

I’ve just read a poem that touched my very spirit
I could relate, and resound, with everything in it
I felt uplifted; the words jumped off the page
The drama; the theatre; the whole world is a stage

I’ve just read a book recommended by a friend
It was so good I never wanted it to end
It will be a best seller if we give it a chance
Uniting the world in a worldwide romance

A producer and a director, will put it on the screen
To produce a film called ‘Follow that dream’
It’ll be all about ‘connecting’ and setting people free
Won’t that be a wonderful journey!

The power of the arts goes beyond pleasure
The power of the arts is beyond measure
The power of the arts has a language of its own
Everyone is invited; ‘Come on in friends……you’re home’

Lester Queripel and Fred Williamson

Tide Line - John Buchanan

The granite bears a tide line,
black as black can be,
as if some dirty giant
took a bath in the sea
and left a scummy tide line
on the lichen covered rocks.
But, if you look closely,
take off your shoes and socks
and scramble on the foreshore
you're in for quite a shock.
For here in this narrow band
twixt lichen and the sea
limpets and anemones cling
like jewels for all to see,
and in the little rock pools
amidst the coloured weed
guppies, shrimps and little crabs
take shelter from the sea.
Yes the granite bears a tide line
as black as black can be,
a line which hides great beauty
the treasures of the sea.

John Buchanan

Loose Feathers - Fred Williamson

Loose feathers birds in nest,
Mother feeds them she knows best.
A chorus of chicks twitter and tweet,
Young bird song sound so sweet.

With new feathers and learning flight,
Spread and flap wings with all their might.
Young birds almost grown,
From the nest will soon have flown.

To build a nest of twigs and straw,
And raise young ones of their own.
With loose feathers,
To keep them warm.

Fred Williamson

Erased - Ian Duquemin

The Visitor...

He looked into my eyes
Like he searched my very soul
I could feel him inside me
Rummaging through my darkness...
Searching for himself
Age had come too early
And distinguished he was not
His expression stayed unknowing
He never showed his smile...
The smile that had turned the head of many a girl
In a past forgotten time

The Patient...

Who is this visiting stranger?
The one with the similar face
Un-nerving every nerve within
With his all too worrying gaze
Here... a bed, a room, a nurse
Are the only things that make any sense
The stranger's voice with its volume low
Hums a monotonous tone
Who is this man that speaks in tongues?
The visitor, the spectre, the ghost
Who kisses my forehead before he leaves...
And calls himself ... My brother

Ian Duquemin

Of Charming Monsters - Chris Hudson

Who am I?
I am the sun that shines on everyone
Lights you up from tip to toe
Tell you things, perhaps
You’d rather not know.

Who am I?
I am the water’s flow
The rivers, rain and sea
All things come together
And mingle in me
Life giving waters, soul so blue
You come to me and make me
I understand and come to you
Gently, quietly, whispering your name

Who am I?
All four corners meet in me
I’m not chained but neither am I free
My number is two which makes up three
Who am I? Riddle-de-dee

Christopher J Hudson

Sorry John - John E Blaise

Grey, thin, drinks tonic water mixed with Gin.
Toothless, not bearded or a hag, walks with a wooden stick,
Winks an eye surrounded by wrinkled skin,
Try to imagine her first romance,
Love making between silk sheets,
Steamy passion behind closed doors,
Groaning and moaning through the floors.
Imagine, Imagine, Imagine.
Frail, once a plump woman,
Now a skeleton, dressed for dinner,
I see her wearing a shroud
Followed around by a dark shadow
Has nothing left to say or discuss
I don’t believe in Jesus

John E Blaise

Urban Child - Diane Scantlebury

I played in the streets of London
An urban child in a happy place,
Where houses were tall
With linoleum floors and dank basements,
And racism could hide its ugly face,

On sunny days after school
We’d skip and hop over pavement cracks,
While the landlady polished the door,
Waiting for dad to ride home on his bike
I was unaware then that we were poor,

Every Saturday there’d be a wedding or a dance,
Mum in her stilettos
Dad in his starched, white shirt and shiny suit,
Blue beat and calypso music
Would spill out into the inky night,
They’d celebrate
But long for their Caribbean roots,

With the luxury of innocence
I can look back on my early London days,
Invited to work, but not welcome
It must’ve been hard for dad and mum,
To keep my life full of love and laughter,
While they toiled hard
To escape from the slum,

For what they achieved I’m grateful
And will be eternally glad,
For isn’t it the dream and hope
Of our immigrant parents to give their children,
A better chance in life
Than they’d had?

Diane Scantlebury

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