Pub Games - Donald Keyman

do you remember the E & G?
the English and Guernsey Arms to you and me
a good old boozer down the Bridge
bar meals, scampi, darts, cribbage

then one day it all had to change
the brewery decided to rearrange
the locals' opinions were not sought
and a fake Irish pub was duly bought

I went in there when it was done
to see the locals having fun
they were sitting where they always used to be
enduring endless fiddly diddly dee

I could see they didn't give a feck
for an ersatz pub from a flatbed truck
as far as they were concerned it would always be
their old pub, the E & G

for twenty, maybe thirty years, they
drank Guinness instead of local beers
But they never really gave a feck
for the sham shamrock

now history has proved them right
and they have won without a fight
for Paddy's bar has been reconverted
to the E & G it has reverted

and we're left to consider the irony
when there's a band on, at the E & G
the gig venue is a mystery
because it's "down at Blindo's doncha see?"

Donald Keyman

Bleak - Paul Fletcher

Today's poem is a "Golden Oldie" and was originally published here in December 2010

... A past dance 
With a sea devil

Lost souls
Found upon a new land
Separated from their heaven

Sky blends
Into starscapes
Hidden above
The fronds of
Loose leafed cloud

Nimble cumulated raindrops
Froth down into the blue expanse

I imagine children playing
Lives out as drowned men
From a far culture
I toy with the idea they are them
Lived again
Laughing on the warm sand
On a gorgeous August day

Watching the stars
For their return.

Paul Fletcher

United No More - Ian Duquemin

United the Kingdom no longer
Britain the once ever Great
Divided its people stand helpless
In a land so unsure of its fate
The Union Jack once held power
Distinguished in red, blue and white
Seems to have lost any meaning
As its nation can't stand up and fight
Down come the churches and steeples 
New gods are now ruling the land
Our land, once free and untethered 
Speaks in language we can't understand 
Our motto was "Never Surrender"
Yet surrender we seem to have done
And everything British about us
Has vanished, been stolen... And gone 

Ian Duquemin

Sign Language - Lyndon Queripel

The tell tale signs were all there
Bloodshot eyes and tangled hair
Cracked voice and vacant stare
A damaged heart beyond repair.

Lyndon Queripel

In The Bleak Mid-Winter - Christina Rossetti

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk,
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air -
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him -
Give my heart.

Christina Rossetti

"In the Bleak Midwinter" is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner's Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti's Poetic Works in 1904. Source: Wikipedia

Christmas 1914 - Richard Fleming

Out of the trenches stepped one man,
a truce flag held above his head,
then from the other side was waved
a cloth and word was quickly spread.

From blackened ground, like seeds, they grew
to cover those disputed lands:
a khaki crop mingled with grey,
cautious at first, then shaking hands.

Gifts were exchanged, tobacco, smiles.
Creased photographs were shyly shown.
Then, from a trench that frosty day,
a leather soccer ball was thrown.

The goalposts were four bayonets.
A match was played in friendly style
by muddy boys, for boys they were.
War was forgotten for a while.

Richard Fleming

Christmas Morning - John Buchanan

Giggles erupt from the huddle.
Excited nudges, toothless smiles.
The air fills with high pitched chatter,
as children talk all at once; no one listening.
Too much fun.

Shiny paper torn asunder, thrust behind.
Fingers break into cardboard boxes
to grasp treasures within.

Hovering in the background,
camera flashing,
parents revel in the joy before them.
A Christmas scene played out
in a thousand living rooms.

It won't be long before little voices everywhere plead;
Daddy, please can I have a go?
...... IT IS MINE !

John Buchanan

Back Then – Trudie Shannon

Back then, it was easy
Because there were maidens, unblemished.
You know, until marriage,
And men whose hearts were open,
You know, receptive to spiritual blessing,
So Joseph could say to Mary
Right on
When she told him she was having a baby.

Back then it was easy
Because there were angels,
You know, visible singing choruses
Of white winged seraphims
That flew across the cosmos with the news.
And back then, there were verdant hillsides
And shepherds,
You know, simple people in touch with the earth
Looking after sheep and lambs
Who could say
“Wow angels, Wow, a new King,
Let's mosey down and greet him brothers”.

Back then it was easy
Because there were Wise Men
Who took notice of celestial changes,
Bore witness to new and beautiful stars,
Who could say
“Friends this star is a portent of change in our world,
Let us plot its path, follow its light, seek its destination”.
Back then it was easy,
Even with Herod
Because we had angels didn't we?
Who infiltrated and told, got the Wise Men on the move.
Didn't save the infant boys though.
But you couldn't have everything, even then.

So when the time was right
And he was born
They were all there,
Expectant revering, gob-smacked!
And they all brought presents,
You know, gold , frankincense, myrrh, a lamb, wool.
No inventory was kept
But all useful gifts nonetheless.

Now there are few hillsides with sheep,
Fewer still with shepherds.
And our star-gazers are all cosmic war-mongers.
And women, all too often,
Have their virginity reft from them
While still children
And men told of spiritual fatherhood
Would beat their fiancé up good and proper
Teach her a lesson.
And angels are disregarded
As figments of fertile imagination or lunacy.

So you see,

Back then,

It was easy.

Trudie Shannon

Four Minutes – Diane Scantlebury

No one had noticed the bright star in the east,
As they sat down to gorge
At the table laden with Xmas feast,
They chose to ignore the plight
Of those destitute and in need,
While they stripped to the bone
Every morsel in their greed,
Not a thought for the child
Whose birth they celebrated
And was in a stable born,
When they sat groaning on the sofa, stuffed,
Amongst the debris of wrapping paper torn,

News of wars, famine and devastation
Bypassed their booze-glazed vision,
As they sank comatose, in deep slumber
To snore like hogs in front of the television,
No one had noticed the bright flash
Of light in the east,
The warning of impending apocalypse
Four minutes before,
The arrival of the beast.

Diane Scantlebury

Christmas Notes – Trudie Shannon

Christmas notes
Fall as light
As steamy breath
From cold children's
Open mouths.
Standing in the queue
At the food bank.

Choirs of forgotten angels
Gather in darkened streets
Cardboard in their shoes
Waiting for soup
To be handed out.

Christmas notes
Accompany wise men,
Loosing laced tongues,
Wandering home
Worse for drink.

Christmas denotes
Crass hypocrisy
Too many falling prey
To shallow glitter
And superfluous gifts


Whose birthday is it?

Trudie Shannon

Really do! - Tony Robert

Close my eyes, thinking of you
And all the great things that you do
That keeps me coming back for more
Never been in love like this before

You are so very special to me
Love you so much, can’t you see?
I’d do whatever you desire
Your love has set my heart on fire

As I lay here in bed alone
Listening to your voice on the phone
Wish you were here for me to kiss
At this time of night it’s what I miss

Maybe one day my dream will come true
I’ll go to bed, cuddle up to you
When I’d wake, I’d hug you tight
You’d help me make it through the night

Sometimes it’s difficult for me to find
The words to say what’s on my mind
To express the way I feel for you
I love you so much, I really do

Tony Robert

Fermain Flight - Richard Fleming

The trees stand random, not in rows;
the path ahead weaves side to side;
bright sunlight falls on branch and bough
as, overhead, white jet-planes glide,
their tracks like furrows from a plough
on a blue field where nothing grows
not even clumps of cloud today,
nothing to mask the brightness, fair,
but swallows sailing like thrown stones
across an endlessness of air.
At the cliff’s foot, sea sways and moans
on this rough coast by Fermain Bay.

Down over mulched roots, swift, I go;
boots drive me over waking ground,
past tall trees, spring leaves richly rife,
drawn by seductive ocean sound
down to the salty source of life.
Deep, endless deep then gently slow,
the tide’s raw pull envelops me:
bright shoals collide behind my eyes;
trees sweep like waves to left and right;
the heart, set free, begins to rise.
Transfigured, winged, in green sunlight,
I soar, ecstatic, to the sea.

Richard Fleming

This poem first appeared in The Man Who Landed, as part of A GUERNSEY DOUBLE, a joint collection with poet, Peter Kenny.

For further details and availability of this book please go to

Time Stood Still - Lyndon Queripel

Time stood still
It came to a stop
In the realm of silence
You'd hear a pin drop

Time stood still
Like the future past
Lost in a dream
A spell was cast

Time stood still
We'd  reached the end
Of the wilderness
Waiting to transcend.

Lyndon Queripel

Maturity - Diane Scantlebury

I’m like an old egg
With a chick still inside,
An ancient cave
Where my inside child can hide,
A vintage decanter
Full of fine new wine,
A young head
On old shoulders
With a fertile, overactive mind,
Youthful errors and mistakes
I’ve made plenty that’s a surety,
But now I have the advantage
Of hindsight and maturity,
I feel no need to regard the passing of youth
With envy or resentment,
I can treasure every year gained
With the smugness of contentment,
I may have had my salad days
Enjoyed, indulged and taken my fill,
But like cheese and fruit I have matured
And am even tastier still!

Diane Scantlebury

Christmas (Present) - Ian Duquemin

Under a lamplight a choir performed 
Snow spiralled down from the sky
People walked by wrapped in coats and scarfs
To the shops and the sellers nearby
Where pushing and shoving had started
Where greed called the modern day crowd
Beside them the choir sang sadly
In an atmosphere freezing and loud
Above them a star hung unsurely
Around them the night gathered in
The ghosts of a past kept on singing 
While the truth bit like rats on their skin
The lamplight did shine on the present
Where Christmas was tainted by greed
Where choirs and carols and spirit itself
Were no more a part of or need
But under the snowflakes still falling
A small child stood under the light
He sang with the choir not seen by all 
With a song of a silent night

Ian Duquemin

Black Christmas At Wood Grove (A Jolly Xmas Rhyme) - Oscar Milde

The Browns were tending their garden,
Jack Wilson was washing his car,
Rose was unloading her presents,
while William was bound for the bar.

A cat was asleep on a lawn
as puppies played tag round a tree.
A shadow passed over Wood Grove.
It was Saturday, just after three.

The ground seemed to suddenly tilt.
A resounding tremor was felt.
The sky turned hot as a furnace
and the elm trees started to melt.

The air grew steadily hotter
as house-windows splintered like ice.
The smoke-grey cat turned into ash.
The pups spun like tumbling dice.

Wood Grove was changed in an instant:
red-brick houses grew suddenly pale,
chimney-pots tumbled like skittles.
Far off, sirens started to wail

then faded into a stillness
where bird-song and breathing had ceased.
There was nothing but towering silence
and a mushroom cloud to the east.

The Browns became garden compost
while Jack and his clean car went pop;
William exploded; Rose never
unloaded. Everything came to a stop.

Black ashes gathered like snowflakes,
enveloping, drifting and thick.
Whatever had passed over Wood Grove,
it certainly wasn’t St Nick.

Oscar Milde

Stone Fish Swimming ~ A Photograph - Trudie Shannon

Wave washed pebbles lie glistening beneath the sun filtered sea,
Like shoals of surreal fish.
The land fall, the small islet, is like an observer,
Draped for effect, in landscape.
Sky is distant and for the moment neutral
And the static fish and the unmoving water
Shift and ripple symbiotically, mesmerically.
Our minds, on oath, swear we gaze at chemicals on paper,
Bound to shape and form by some alchemic magic
And that those shapes and forms bear witness
To a given moment on a given day,
And unlike the invisible movement of glass,
These textures of submerged stones ARE stationary.
But, if we blink, it is as if, out of the corner of an eye
We see our static pebble fish, that swim, that swim
That swim away.

Trudie Shannon

Lightstorm - Stephen A. Roberts

Meteor shower, Swift-Tuttle,
celestial message in a bottle.

My thoughts as Perseids
instant and forgotten,
pinpricks of light in the Sargasso of doubt.

I cry stardust, for I
won't live to see
this comet, or
the transit of Venus again.

Then, during the lightstorm, the thought,
searingly bright;
                    neither will you.

Stephen A. Roberts

This poem appears in the Poetic Republic's third e-book "Poems To Talk About : Warming Bees".

For further details and availability of this e-book please go to

Meeting a Famous Person – Elizabeth Fisher

I met the Queen
When she was visiting Blackpool
I was standing in the front of the crowd
When she stopped right in front of me.
She asked me my name
And did I have a job
Did I live here and like it .
I couldn't speak
My legs felt weak
I pointed to the newspaper shop across the road and said 'Just above'
(I thought "you would prefer the palace Luv")
Then she shook my hand with her white gloves on and gave me a smile.
I was stunned for a while .
I met the Queen
How lucky is that
I'm only an ordinary chap !

Elizabeth Fisher

Sunset at Cobo - Richard Fleming

Out-of-body experiences
are said to be like this: a bright
whose infinity of light spreads
across water
in ripples of diminishing red
towards a richness
of setting sun.

Barefoot among rock-pools,
I feel contentment
here on this west-facing shore,
my summer skim away
as, over waves,
a thrown stone

Richard Fleming

This poem first appeared in The Man Who Landed, as part of A GUERNSEY DOUBLE, a joint collection with poet, Peter Kenny.

For further details and availability of this book please go to

Surrender - Lyndon Queripel

The light was bright
All was revealed
Shadows surrender
Time to yield
Your nerves are shot
No longer steeled
Lay down the sword
With the shield
Lay down your arms
And the fears they wield
Now open your heart
Pray to be healed
With your name signed
And your fate sealed.

Lyndon Queripel

Guernsey - Ian Duquemin

The rolling yellow cliff tops 
The ripple of the sea
The greedy call of seagulls...
With their "cry of hunger" plea
The sands that keep returning
Lying warm upon the shore
Framing Island history
On ocean ever pure
Guernsey keep on blooming
Let your flag lift high and proud
Keep your cheer of freedom...
As a song forever loud
And help your children flourish 
In the future, as the past
And may your strength and beauty always last

Ian Duquemin

Ebola Orphan - Diane Scantlebury

And so it came
A silent thief,
Brought only pain
With no relief,
Left an orphan crying
For his mother,
Who lay unnamed
In an unmarked grave
Alongside his father, sisters and others,
For this newly created ‘only child’
There’d be no joy or pride,
He’d be a lone survivor in an empty world
Where all his family had died,
With no one left to love
Or nurture him
Nothing more for medicine to do,
Ebola orphan child
What will become of you?

Diane Scantlebury

Paused - Janinka Diverio

Today's poem is a "Golden Oldie" and was originally published here in December 2010

Washed up, eroded
by the course of, the force of...
...the caressing game of life

Once stirred, once a battle against the odds
Ogre-like in its stature –

- like you

A failed plight, dead of night
A colossus so frail, strewn masts and a shredded sail
Now simply a faintly image, my friend –

- like you

Ghostly clouds embody the secrets of a hoped-for land
of a kind face, a warm heart and a stroke of your hand

Deathly silent, tears shed,
what lies now on the ocean bed?

Paused -
so quiet
Embers littered midst drift woods and lives

Caused -
what caused
shattered hopes, quashed spirits and severed ties

- by you?

Janinka Diverio

Celebration (for which there are no proper rites) - Vic Gamble

there are no proper rites,
ambrosia slipped between the tiles,
on the tiles
cat-walk screeching
in lingual insubordination…..
it is all a cacophony to some,
but we must encompass the whole caboodle,
like a contango,
our celebration forward fan-faring,
a fountain for the day.

a bellow of a raindrop
on the green leaf vein,
black circles black
and back to blue again,
the flag-rag wave,
the beauty of swans slow-gliding,
old eyes sup energy from joy
while the young mischief making merry;
there is no phantasm in celebration,
only that which exists,
not phoney, but phonetic
as loud as clear as cheering.

grab the glad rag Gladstone bag
let rhyme and song entangle,
exhale to exhaustion,
savour, scamp & spangle;
there are no proper rites,
enjoy the day's spatula of lights
and quick skip
the light drowned fandangle.

Vic Gamble

A Gift Of Flowers - Trudie Shannon

He proffered two flowers,
Both full-blown , a blue and a yellow.
She thought of Spring but
This was Autumn and he was well into his winter
His shoulders stooped, his head bald
And his skin ruddy with burst capillaries.
She took them graciously
Whilst he swept his cap from his head
Bowing slightly.
And realised in that gesture
She was in receipt
Of a simple gift of love.

Trudie Shannon

Firestone - Lyndon Queripel

Through fields of flood
And rivers of mud
With puddles of blood
In the name of God
On streets of shame
They keep the flame
Of greed and desire
In a stone of fire.

Lyndon Queripel

Winter Sun - Stephen A. Roberts

Don't be afraid of the silence
Don't be afraid of the dark
The winter sun is behind us
But the devil has left his mark

There is a devil inside every one of us
And we must leave our mark
Don't be afraid of the silence
Don't be afraid of the dark

Stephen A. Roberts

Owl - Richard Fleming

In a green lane in St Peter’s
near midnight, under a full moon,
a pale owl
flew across my path, silently,
then low
over dark fields to the tree-line, hunting.

I turned
to watch his tireless sweep
over dumb ground, mist spreading like a shroud,
till I lost sight of him,
and coldness, creeping,
turned my leaden footsteps home.

In bed, near daybreak,
I jerk awake, heart pounding,
mindful of accelerating time, moments eaten up,
of golden, soundless wings,
that questing eye;
sharp talons reaching for my heart.

Richard Fleming

This poem first appeared in The Man Who Landed, as part of A GUERNSEY DOUBLE, a joint collection with poet, Peter Kenny.

For further details and availability of this book please go to

Tipped Up World - Ian Duquemin

Is this the day where everything changes?
Where life's tipped up and rearranges
Is this needle in my arm...
Delivering help... Or inflicting harm?
Are these lumps beneath my skin...
The coward killer from within?
Is this the fight I face alone...
'Though I'm not on my own!
I've always had to find my way
But now I need your hand this day
The hand that fits so well in mine...
As if made by design
With your strength I stand a chance
A future's waiting to advance
From a tipped up world of only mess
To tidy... More or less

Ian Duquemin

Blue (A Poem For The Blue Planet) - Kathy Figueroa

Today's poem is a "Golden Oldie" and was originally published here in December 2011

It's in the blood
And in the air
It's something that's found
In the mountains
And the seas
It's part of us
And all that breathes
Humanity seeks it
In outer space
And rejoices when we've
Found a trace
'A riddle,' you might say
'Well, this is odd
Does it involve a Higher Power
Often known as, 'God'?
'Yes,' the Torah
Old Testament and Koran agree
In an example of rare unity
At the beginning of Creation
It was given form
And from it, all of life was born
Here is an additional clue
It's given this planet a lovely hue
Of blue
Acqua, agua, amanzi, eau
Immerk, ma'im, maji, maya, mizu, pani, rano
Shui, usun, vada, voda, wasser, water... H2O

Kathy Figueroa

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