To Beauty, A Prayer - Kathy Figueroa

I’m going to listen to Pachelbel
And marvel at the Canon he wrote.
I’ll revel in each clear, ringing chord
And in the precision of each note.

When I sit down at the piano,
I play this with reverence and care,
For his great and glorious music
Is as though, to Beauty, a prayer.

Kathy Figueroa

Still Only 62p A Litre - Stephen A. Roberts

it's turned out not very nice today
time to keep in the warm I'd say
I'll flick the switch for summer heat
burn some oil - a winter treat

using the planet's stored up fire
I’ll warm all the water I require
plants and plankton from the dawn of time
finally reach the end of the line

in controlled combustion they meet their doom
in the unseen boiler room
and as the wind outside starts to whine
I bathe in the Cretaceous sunshine

Stephen A. Roberts

The Horses Are On The Track - Chris Hudson

Hey there! Mr. Sand-Man
One day you’re a glad man
Your style of fashion is no fad

Dress up in pearls and sequins!
Put all your doubters to route
Forget the school you learned by rote
Freely embark upon being

Do moor burns trickle and drain your tears?
The tears have hardened with the years
Your rent’s in arrears
Take a day or two.

What’s within you is now without
No need to cry or shout
You argued with death despised
Now joy is realised.

Sea-shells and snails adorn your garden
Time hides amongst your toes
Who knows where it is born and how it goes?
Sometimes fast, othertimes slow.

Your friend dangle from your fingers on telephone lines
Like valuable rings they sparkle and spangle and shine
You wear stars on your brows
You frown, inveigle and wrangle.

Can you shoot common sense dead?
Dense, you prove your own head
What’s to prove? You lose
And the Professor grooves
Shoots shove aside dense cement
Your silent roots.

Two minds in one brain?
Too different, always the same
Talks and spits in your eye
Ineffably stupid and extravagantly shy.

Chris Hudson

Can’t Complain - Diane Scantlebury

White rabbit and swan shaped clouds
Across the Caribbean sky chase,
Majestic coconut palms sway and bow
To vapour dragons and galleons as they race,
By the pool lounge the tattooed,
Beer swigging masses,
Their children splashing and cavorting
Draw disdainful glances from the snobby,
Hiding behind their dark glasses,

The sun blazes, waves crash
It’s “happy hour” once more,
By now red, raw and sunburnt
More rum and beer
Down their parched throats they pour,
Before the scene gets too boisterous
Just in time comes the rain,
Like the beer
It’s cool, wet and refreshing,
So none can grumble or complain!

Diane Scantlebury

The Knowing - Susan Jones

back home, girl,
take some mind's ease,
touch again, spit drenched mauve cuckoo flowers,
smell meadow grass, eye cornflowers, true blue-
lay your heart wide
to old friends,
who know

Susan Jones

A Very Short Journey - Marianna Pliakou

You stand by the window,
below the silent sky,
before the naked street.

Once youʼd walk together,
and in your path this place would glow
and every star would flower in the night.
Under the sun the hours would grow,
till time became a pale, pure light.

But, sometimes, sometimes, moments peak early,
smiling at us, with their best clothes on
and their sweet scent of certainty.
Like those first grapes,
promising euphoric wines,
before falling on the ground.
Their aroma fading,
before it gets familiar.

And maybe there,
below that sky, before that street,
youʼll walk again, some day,
despite your aching stride,
in peace with that journey,
that proved to be so short.

Marianna Pliakou

Large Animal - John E Blaise

You are the vibrant, vicious, victor
The power and the gory
Your tale tells the story.
Dog fights under blue skies
Above the spitfire flies
You can see the bloodshot eyes
Hear the growls and battle cries
Sheep’s clothing no disguise
Your blooded open wounds
Fancy a fight for freedom or fun
Demoralized, defeated on the run,
Representing your rough, roguish species
Just like Professor Plum’s thesis.
Wrong way, off course, uptight,
Or spoiling for another fight
Preying on the wingless flight
The purged pointless plight
Hide under the spreading chessboard
Striving for strategy and super tactics
Shaded by a large lopped tree
Creature emerge from land and sea
Battle cries and fighting talk
Begin to crawl, creep then walk
Forget all the winter time blues
Lights working without a fuse
Now decision time, win or lose
There’s no escape, no place to run
From the mad Englishman with dogs and gun

John E Blaise

Poem From The Hippie Days - Kathy Figueroa

You've gotta have a cause
Whatever that may be
Something to bide the time
..And use that en-er-gy

You don't need a career
A good hobby will do
To exercise the mind
And make a buck or two

So dig that nine to five
Earn some cash, stay alive
Or, if you don't want to
Go to work for the man

Just sing on the corner
And then shake that tin can!
Sell your wares on the street
To help you make ends meet

Move out to the country
With a good friend or two
Then live off of the land
Groove and play your kazoo

Bop Bop Be Bop
Wa Wa Wazooo

Do what you want to do
And be what you will be
Ev'ryone needs a cause
To keep 'em feeling free!

Kathy Figueroa

Beauteous Morn To See The Day - Chris Hudson

Beauteous morn to see the day
Young babe sleeping in a manger lay

Peaceful, innocent and so full of life.

Every day is wondrous when you are so young
Fresh and bright and miraculous, when the day is done
Youth of shining bright eyes, striding through the mist
Meeting with your friends, you know you must be kissed
Childhood tales of legions, galleons and spoil
The evil plans of villans, daily you must foil
Tantrums so deep and dark, it seems the world must end
Christmas cards and presents, thankyou letters you must send
Of fairytales and castles, and damsels in distress
To gain access to the castle you must climb the golden tress
The first words come, you’re talking
Soon everywhere you will be walking
Learn to play? It comes naturally
As all life’s wonders you must see
In my child’s eyes I see the universe
A miniature world inside there trapped
What before was seen in silence
Now with babbles must be mapped
Life’s a lifelong journey, with hurdles to overcome
The parents will soon be much relieved
When you can wipe your bum!
Long journey in the dark into the day is born
The curtain is rent asunder with the coming of the dawn
Then fresh as dewdrops on the grass
A soul is born, unique at last
The miracle of life never ceases to amaze
While darker thoughts and complex plans do occupy our days
The glory of Creation, life’s pleasures to enjoy
Then out the door, off you go into the world’s employ
But keep a little corner of your soul in paradise
Don’t forget you were once a child, and heed my advice
In children there is a wisdom, so straight and true and fine
And a kind of beauty that reaches up to the sublime
This inner wisdom- from whence it came?
Makes me think we live- and yet- live again
Billions of years of evolution are programmed in every cell
Your childhood years determine, if, or not, you will do well
Remember as you pass through life, you were at heaven’s gate wrought
The truth and love of childhood, with gold cannot be bought!

Chris Hudson

Golgotha - Joan Raleigh

‘Crucify Him!’ the people called
in the heat of a Jerusalem day.
‘Let Barabbas go!’

With leather scourged, and step by step,
He bore the heavy cross of redemption
on to Golgotha.

Through the shimmering haze of dust
the people gathered to watch Him die -
flanked by two thieves.

The Judean sky filled with portent
as they heard in the midst of sacrifice:
‘Father, forgive them!’

Darkening clouds were spreading forth
black as a solar eclipse. The people
were afraid, and left.

On the ground a torrent of rain
drained His blood, and all who stayed knew,
He was the Messiah.

Joan Raleigh

Not Sad - Diane Scantlebury

I’m not sad
Just thoughtful,
Listening to the murmur
And lapping of the sea,
I’m not sad
Just wishful,
Watching the long horizon,
Letting thoughts drift
To where they want to be,
I’m not down
Just hopeful,
There’s a beautiful future
For you and me,
And while the waves relentless
Crashing onto the sandy shore,
Wipe away all trace of our footsteps,
The coral pebble of our love
Will endure forever more.

Diane Scantlebury

The Bones Of It - Susan Jones

Turbot bones lay regimented
on restaurant white china:
no-one could strip a carcass
either Brill or Bass
with my father’s skill.
Now, I remember him -
his elegant knife,
his precise fork,
his polite passion.

With a restricted menu
I eat more fish meals;
but their remains
lay splintered and dishevelled.
Though I try to please
with careful cutlery,
it seems, all those
abandoned upturned boats
never make the beach in one piece.

Susan Jones

First Memory? - Stephen A. Roberts

day upon day of endless youth it feels
I spent swimming in the douit with eels
or outside the house-front in scorching sun
in a hot yellow sand-pile of desert fun

down Houmet beach reached through the fern
my freckle-tender skin was quick to burn
under high azure skies and lazy Dakota drone
I moved plastic soldiers amongst the stones

So: my first memory - was I five?
what happened to the other four years I'd been alive?

was my first memory a warm and sticky feeling -
then my Mother scolding, Mother kneeling?

or was it Dad's mint-green Ford Anglia van -
and evening shouts from the mackerel man?

my first memory might be one of these
or lost,
among the poplar trees
on the way to school

Stephen A. Roberts

Sorry Peter, Paul and Mary - John E Blaise

Where have all the flower power people gone?
Long- time passing
Where have all the flower power people gone?
Long-time ago
They have gone to ground, disappeared everyone
The bearded ban the bomb beatniks
The free love, free living fan,
Pass us the hash tray man
Let’s have a revolution if we can
The vociferous anti-Vietnam war protesters
Those who took the Greenham common stance
Just give peace a chance.
The happy, hippy movement a wave of bright colour
Are they now ageing anarchists and agitators?
Or anti-establishment conspiracy theorists
Now settled with two point four children or grandchildren
To continue their life style would be so brave
So they drift away leaving room for the new wave,
Of young people, free spirits with an open mind
Able to question and probe whatever they find
Meanwhile the one time pusher of soft drugs
Is now a small time dealer selling rugs.

John E Blaise

A Place of Pride - Janet

Behind the half price decs they hide.
Waiting to take a place of pride
on tinselled shelves, where snowy chocs
and golden reindeer in glittered box. Are
left unsold, since festive excess
by those now needing larger dress.

January brings the Hot Cross Bun
and chocolate eggs promise Easter fun.
With threats of hell and damnation from
the post-Christmas diet nation.
Still, slowly moving to the fore and
stacked up high beside the door.

The Easter Chick and Golden Bunny
little chocolate lots of money.
Wait till all resolve is weak and
diet days have become so bleak.
Celery, grape and low fat sticks, now
someone needs the chocolate fix.

No more from view they need to hide.
At the front of the shelf they stand with pride.
Egg hunts and the Easter Bunny.
Shopkeepers making too much money.
Stretch until the ice creams come, with
chocolate melting in Summer sun.

Then festive decs on shelves appear.
Must haves for December cheer.
Golden reindeer snowy chocs.
All encased in glittered box.
While chocolate eggs prepare to hide
'Til they can take a place of pride...


Behind Bars - Chris Hudson

That poem should be behind bars!
It injects drugs and drives around in cars!
It meets loose ladies and hangs around in bars!
That poem should be behind bars.

It is mean, and it is lanky
It stole my best hanky
It stole one of my gloves
(Well I mean to say, I left it behind in the park)
Don’t accompany that poem,
When it is after dark!

It has a jewel encrusted mobile
And it moves just like a shark

That poem should be behind bars!

It goes around with radicals
And talks about the stars
That poem should be put where
It cannot do anyone harm
Although it is somewhat dashing
And has a kind of charm

That poem is deranged!
I think it came from Spain

That poem should be out of reach
Not in the sun or on the beach
That poem’s gone Much Too Far
That poem should be behind bars.

Chris Hudson

Fighting Alligators - John Buchanan

Drip, splat. Drip, splat,
droplets begin to merge,
a thin film forms.
Drip, splash,
now it has volume
still the rain falls.
The depth increases,
slowly, relentlessly,
I’m buoyed from the floor,
forced to tread water
in the filthy mire.
The swamp deepens,
it fills with claws and teeth.
I'm forced to fend off alligators
while the rain falls.
Claws rip, teeth gnash
the fight drags on.
Resolve, strength, my very soul,
sapped- by the incessant onslaught.
I begin to flounder,
every ounce of strength
expended in a fruitless struggle
to stay afloat, to fight alligators.
Each scintilla squandered
just to experience the languid
dismemberment of body and soul.
What's the point?
Stop kicking.

John Carré Buchanan

Never the Right Time - Diane Scantlebury

I was shocked
When I heard you’d died,
And felt sadness
For your sons,
Somehow it seemed wrong
That you had gone,
You were barely into
The middle years of your life,
Almost young enough
To be my child,
A beautiful, ambitious woman
Taken too early,

Those poor boys,
What heart break,
What pain,
To lose a mother
Too soon,
Those who knew you
And loved you
Are speechless,
Grief stricken,
Although we knew
It was inevitable,
Only not just yet,
But the time is never right
For the young to die.

Diane Scantlebury

To Rhyme Or Not To Rhyme - Janet

Internal rhyme in poetry demands elements of symmetry.
What's in the middle does depend on what is written at the end.
Rhyme or not, the poet's choice, if to give their poem voice.
Important though is to recall, else into the trap will fall,
not to contrive is a must or the story will be lost.
Put pen to paper and then write no matter at what time the night.
Be not afraid dismiss the fear then let the world your message hear.


Unlimited Resources - Rod Ferbrache

We went to town last week to do some bits and bobs.
Nothing in particular, although there was one job.
When we gained a grandson we saved up our loose cash
And once in a while when there’s enough, to the bank we dash.
We did the same one Saturday, and as we stood in line
A thought dropped into my head, that there would come a time
When Zach would be quite old enough to know he had a sum
That bit by bit had mounted up and then the time would come
When with his bank book in his hand he’d draw some money out
He didn’t have to worry, he didn’t have to doubt.

While too young to understand, or even be aware,
Resources are building up from those who love and care.
It didn’t depend on what he did, the kind of boy he was,
The money was simply there, I have to say, because-
His Gran and Granddad love him just the way he is,
He didn’t have to earn it; the fact is, it was his-
To do with as he wanted, to spend it his own way,
We wouldn’t dictate just where it went, we wouldn’t have a say.
So we’ll go on saving, until the time is right
And when we hand it over we’ll share in his delight.

This got me kind of thinking how just like life this is?
A truth that stares us in the face, and yet can so easily miss.
That in our name a bank account is there in time of need,
To draw upon, to benefit, if the truth of God we heed.
He says to me in weakness, His strength will make me strong.
When I mess up, do stupid things, do something that is wrong,
For me there is forgiveness, a massive stash of grace,
But I must go and draw it out, if the future I will face.
The Father paid a huge sum in sending us His Son,
It seems so sad to waste it, with all that He has done.

When next you go into a bank to draw some money out
Remember all that Fathers done, you never need to doubt.
If in any way you lack, in spirit or in soul
It need not forever stay that way; He wants to make you whole.
You may not realise in Him how rich you really are.
It’s something that’s not measured by size of house or car.
It’s also not dependant on how much is in the bank
As a son or daughter of the King it is how high you rank.
If Father owns the cattle upon a thousand hills
Then all is at His disposal, and can give it as He wills.
So never think you’re wanting, or have a need that goes unmet
We are heirs to the King of all, this we never should forget.

Rod Ferbrache

A Different Road - Chris Hudson

I work
It is a mind-dulling, monotonous process
Relaxation is guaranteed to purge all rebellious thought in hazy absurdity.
Television and alcohol subdue thought, reducing
The polarised participant into and incapable, emotional torpor
Drugs which increase and sharpen awareness are kept under lock and key
Their criminalisation reducing their quality and purity
Feeding the unscrupulous profiteering dealers
Lysergic acid and cannabis, not opium or heroin
Political stratagems, ancient and modern regimes
Profit for undercover agents and tax dodgers
In the free world captors and slave-drivers benefactor façade removed
Illusions abandoned, the universal dance of impermanence
Static power systems abandoned, minds freed
Turning to the light, the truth, the life, listening to within
Cease all violent striving and watch power systems crumble
Death-grip on the throat of humanity released at last
Laugh, turn away and real life
Way forward to peace, all feeling, all seeing
Freedom from within, conquest religion
Subverted into enslaving people, dividing them
Liberate the human spirit
Let the select masses pampered and preened to perpetuate
The rule of trained power systems, self-abasing slaves in ignorance
Absolute ego-addicts, manipulating sub-symbols
Elasticity, poverty, electricity of elitism.

Chris Hudson

Contented Soul - Diane Scantlebury

An unencumbered life
Free to roam as I choose,
No debt, no assets
No Monday morning blues,
Clear of responsibility
No baggage, no loans,
My office is wherever I am
In a hotel or at home,
I’ve enough to be generous
There’s no ancestral pile,
I consume only what I need
Greet the world with a smile,
No guilt, I’m not greedy
No fear of youth or of growing old,
Love and loved by friends and family
I’m a contented soul.

Diane Scantlebury

Ode To Free Verse - Stephen A. Roberts

I hope that I am not too late,
to add my voice to the debate -
about not making poems rhyme
supposedly a heinous crime.

The following work is tongue in cheek
and has sadly spawned some rhyme that's weak;
please don't be upset, just gently cringe
at this turgid, rhyming binge.

This loose discussion of poetic styles
is designed to bring you out in smiles,
I don't know my iamb from my elbow
Hmmm, think I'll end this line with yellow.

So off we go, you'll soon agree
that sometimes rhyming can be twee,
we're already at verse four, line three
with our rhyming dik-shun-ree!

Yes, one man's fish is another man's poisson
vin de pays is the frenchman's boisson;
quick find me a word to rhyme with doggerel
oh dear, it seems there's ...none*.

With so many types of written form
one cannot say what is the norm,
there's more to this than rhyming couplets
(you know this line will end in droplets).

Yes, it takes all sorts, there are many voices
odes and sonnets, even if your choice is
free verse versus schemes more rigid**,
I'm pretty sure this blog can bridge it!

So if ginsberg, cummings and poets bolder
don't float your boat and leave you cold, er,
you can look up words to rhyme with “verse”,
like I have done with this silk purse*** !

*  you can put "bugger all" here, I swear but I was timid and didn't dare!
**  did you like this rhyme internal? please, no, stop, it's too infernal!!
***  of all the rhymes this is the worst fetch the nurse, my boil has burst!

Stephen A. Roberts

Rhymosaurus - Kathy Figueroa

I'm aware that some folks
Don't like rhyming verse
That it makes some people tense
And others groan and curse

Some just plain can't bear it
And call a word doctor
..Or word hearse
They don't think there's anything
That could be much worse

So, hurray for all who say
Any style is okay
And fit to be rendered
With paper and pen

I think of them now
As I sit with a smile
And wrangle a rhyme

Kathy Figueroa

A Different Planet - Chris Hudson

It seemed no sin to believe in magic
Or to be living a myth
A symbiosis between man and nature
All barriers dropped, no inside no outside
Gathered around the fire, flames
Licking into the inky blackness and shades
And livid colours splashed our faces
We felt warmth, reaching out our hands
Smile spread from face to face, person to person
A smile born from the wisdom
That fire shuts out the night.
In the cities and towns, dull shadows walk the streets
A ghoulish army to confront and meet
A legion of fears to test my verve
Is wraithlike existence what they really deserve?
In the country, autumn displays her dapperness
Wind howls, rain strafes,
The colours glow in a hollow echo
Light diffuse, night close
Journeys bind and tighten in knots
Sea cold, sky bland,
Yet there is movement here between sea and land.
The Christian and the Pagan are at opposite ends of the earth
Yet they meet and mingle, on this, our sacred turf.
They say ignorance is bliss; then am I to surmise
That the blind and happier than those left behind?
Ignorance of the law is no defence
Yet panderers and flatterers set the pretence.

Chris Hudson

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