The Dragon Tree - James Willis

Today's poem is a "Golden Oldie" and was originally published here in March 2012

In fertile fired fissures grown
The weirdest wonders ever known,
But the strangest single sight to see
Is the rare Canarian Dragon Tree.

This agricultural aged delight
Spreads its limbs to heaven’s height,
Its ariel arteries grow, but slow,
To root, again, in the ground below.

A branch is born and grows, intact,
Another sprouts, to counteract,
Balance and ballast and buttress combine
In an Archimedean spiral design.

The sap that oozes from broken bark
Is rusty red, to leave its mark.
Medicinal remedy lore is rife
Of Dragon ‘blood’ enhancing life.

Disputed dates, debated wide,
Rumour oft retains its pride.
The sight emits emotion, strong,
The centuries seem to roll along.

Tales are told, of time and size,
Of great gatherings of the wise,
Who met and massed within the girth
Of the amazing oldest tree on Earth!

James Willis

This Morning - Trudie Shannon

A cool fresh morning, the sun glints playfully upon the water.
The tide is on the turn, has run out of energy,
Cannot bear to leave the Mother sea for too long.
A breeze passes, creates ripples, then comes to rest,
Momentarily earthbound, in the blossom laden mimosa tree.
The blooms turn every which way to hold it,
But all too quickly, it has untangled itself, and continued on its way,
Hushing up the hillside field, taking the sweet mimosa scent with it.
Cauliflower stumps lay exposed, their few remaining leaves
Soured brown and starting to rot.
Soon, everything will be folded over neatly by the plough
And sent back into the dark earth.
Wintering geese float languidly upon the outgoing tide,
Stopping from time to time, as the water eddies beside reeds and grass,
They eat, savour, then continue the retreat as the tide dictates.
A clock tick tocks in the kitchen
A different language to that of nature outside of these four manmade walls
Which moves on lunar heartbeats,
To its own secular rhythm.

Trudie Shannon

Nora - Diane Scantlebury

Nora serves the coffee
Nora serves the tea,
Nora clears the debris
Left by you and me,
Nora wipes the tables
Keeps everything spotless and clean,
In the background she silently does her job
Virtually unseen,

Nora has a boyfriend
Not that you would know,
On her day off they drink wine and beer
And to the cinema go,
Nora’s happy in her world
Never lets her feelings show,

Nora sets the tables
Nora mops the floor,
Nora makes everything perfect
For the evening shift,
Then she closes the restaurant door,
Knowing tomorrow will be like today
And the same as the day before.

Diane Scantlebury

Friends - Lyndon Queripel

What are friends for
Or what is more
Why can't I see
How much I can be
My own worst enemy ?

Lyndon Queripel

Road To Eternity - Ian Duquemin

Upon the blacktop came his end
His leathers torn like paper skin
A screaming engine drowned the sound...
As bones cracked from within
The chrome and steel horse he rode
Bucked and kicked its way to hell
Spitting bits of broken tire
Its breath a burning rubber smell
Bloody oil on Tarmac dried
Machine and man lie side by side
1957 passed... And death was such a blast

Ian Duquemin

The Donkey And The Devil - Donald Keyman

He's a stubborn bugger, but
he'll pull any cart he's put before
Stone, jam, grapes, tomatoes, flowers, money...
Have I left anything out? Well, he has
only himself to blame as
his greed gets the better of him
and first he lets his stable out
but when he thinks there's even more to be made
he sells everything to developers for straw,
a fatal Faustian pact between the
Donkey and the Devil.

The landlord turns the screw -
he didn't see that one coming,
he doesn't like being made an ass of
but it's too late, and he finds that
there is no Donkey Sanctuary
in this world he has created.

Donald Keyman

Search Me - Stephen A. Roberts

I don't care if you're old and grey
Put your laptop in the tray
Any liquids, gels or pastes?
Please throw them all into the waste

Did you pack this bag yourself?
Let me empty it onto the shelf
Are those boots, or are those shoes?
Remove them now and then go through

The alarm's gone off, here, step aside
For a body search you can't abide
Nothing found on the silver surfer - !
What did they expect, a Nebelwerfer?

Yes, the war on terror has been won -
Every time my belt's undone.

Stephen A. Roberts

Waiting for Rhyme - Aindre Reece-Sheerin

Today's poem is a "Golden Oldie" and was originally published here in February 2012

Waiting for Rhyme
Taking my time
Really feeling fine
Mushing the thyme
Pulling the pau pau spine
Looking at the people standing in line
All patiently reading the sign
Cashier asking if they’re feeling fine
Or just simply waiting for a rhyme.

Aindre Reece-Sheerin

No Place Like Home - Diane Scantlebury

They thought their hopes lay in far off lands,
Dreams they had conjured
From golden images in their youth,
But reality struck a discordant note
When the bright flames of fantasy
Became the grey dust of truth,
Travel truly had broadened their horizons
The quest of curiosity had urged them to roam,
Soon the realisation that grass is not greener only different
Made them appreciate what they’d already had at home,
It’s never wrong to have a dream
Opportunities are fleeting and will not wait,
But pause and reassess what it is you may wish for
Because it may just lie through your own front gate.

Diane Scantlebury

I'd Rather Be Your Nightmare Than Your Daydream - Andrew Barham

Today's poem is a "Golden Oldie" and was originally published here in February 2012

Let me take you into the shadows
We'll watch the strangelings stream
Through the looming changes neatly stacked in rows –
Where we're going, I no longer know,
For I can see only dimly into the distant landscapes
Where those waiting shadows grow,
Their twining vines bestowing sour grapes;
We can pluck them, eating them as we stroll
Down these empty corridors, our resounding footfalls
Keeping time with the ever vanishing rock and roll:
Strange waveforms answering the silent call
Of shifting patterns in the swirling sands
On an empty beach, the vacant horizon staring …
Staring into the distant starlight shining on dark islands –
A midnight sea, luminous! Phosphorescence glaring!
I am lost in this haze of ancient memories,
So lost, I no longer know where to begin
Or where to find this meeting point for all my journeys,
For there is no way now to let the endgame in.

Andrew Barham

Do Not Exceed Recommended Dose - Lyndon Queripel

Just take these drugs
And pull out all the plugs
For almost instant success
Over pain,tension and stress
Just take these pills
To cure all of your ills
And soon you will find
You've left your mind behind
When you've had all you can take
And you start to shake
Don't think you're going crackers
Join a band as a pair of maracas

Lyndon Queripel

Soul Tree - Ian Duquemin

My soul tree chose a lonely place
It dug its roots through rock and stone
To make itself a peaceful home
High on a craggy face
Below it waves came crashing by
Leaping up to drag it in
Salty sea made hard the skin
The soul tree does defy
Its leaves reach out like praying hands
Toward the blinding, burning light
And juggles stars throughout the night
Above the moving sands
It waits for me and calls my name
Its twisted trunk, my twisted mind
Our spirits shall become entwined
As we are born the same

Ian Duquemin

The Eubank - J Edgar

A fine invention was the Eubank:
neither a Hoover nor brush.
All you had to do was push
though it hardly lifted any rubbish, to be frank.

Charities know that trick.
They assure us, every donation
helps end illness and starvation
but little really changes for the hungry or the sick.

J Edgar

The Cottage - Richard Fleming

Approach the cottage through gardens bright
with poppies. Watch your progress spread
the grasses, tall as storks’ legs, crested white,
their fragile seed-heads scattered, taking flight
above the fearful field-mouse in his bed.

The grasshopper will fall silent when you come
along the narrow path where brambles claw
your coat. The bee will cease to hum
and silence, pulsing like a drum,
will hold you. The rat of doubt will gnaw

your soul. The cottage has assumed a stranger’s face.
The old step holds no welcome here within
the fractured arch which nettles now debase.
The door-mouth, puckered with distaste,
sneers at a broken garden-wall in ruin.

The heart grows cold. Within a pocket hid
a key lies leaden, with a lawyer’s note:
authority to seize the past, perhaps be rid
of scars that lie beneath the skin, morbid
imaginings. So very thin the coat

that hostile brambles pluck, like beggars in the sun,
as, dispossessed, retreating now through colours bright,
you run, the key unused, the quest, so recently begun,
aborted. The stork-leg grasses bow their fine-spun
heads to mock your craven flight.

In a black tree, a crow, with raucous shout,
warns you away, forbids your return.
As courage fails, resolve gives way to doubt.
Composed withdrawal becomes a headlong rout
with bitter tears, with bitter tears that burn.

A grasshopper begins to scrub away
the imprint of your presence. The ancient gate
sags like a jaw, all living spirit gone to clay.
About the cottage hangs the odour of decay.
The past, unquiet, settles like a weight.

Richard Fleming

This poem appears in Strange Journey, a collection of poems available from

Timeless Love - Diane Scantlebury

As time goes on
I love you more,
We have settled into the familiar
Not in a predictable way,
But just comfortable,
With you time slips by with ease,
Without you something is missing
And life seems colder,
Emptier and silence longer,

As time passes
I love you more,
With you I can be raw
Be myself and relax,
Happy and uncomplicated
Because there are no games to play,
With you I have met
A true soul mate,
Someone who adores the real me
Loves me for who and not what I am,
Accepting my flaws and insecurities,
As time flows on
I love you more,
And want to love you forever.

Diane Scantlebury

Hidden Love - Katherine Svensson

Today's poem is a "Golden Oldie" and was originally published here in February 2012

My wants, my needs I’ll cast aside
For the brood here at my side
Of love I know that can never be
My dream goes on eternally.
Of this life there must be more
Can this go on forever more?
God give me strength to break this bond
Surely you understand I can’t go on.
I’m only human you realise
I need warmth, understanding, don’t criticise.
And so my life goes every day
Those words so harsh you speak to me.
And so I turn to you my love, my love for you can never be.

Katherine Svensson

Conspiracy, What Conspiracy? - Theo Ryman

I love a good conspiracy.
I really love a plot.
I’m adamant they lied to us
when Kennedy got shot.

I think that Marilyn Monroe
was murdered. Well, she had to go.

I love to think our governments,
the Monarchy and powers-that-be
are hiding or distorting truth,
and evil, scheming constantly.

I’m sure that pretty Princess Di
was murdered though I don’t know why.

I’m certain that, at Roswell,
they hide aliens they caught.
I think sinister Masonic groups
control our every thought.

I know that Nine Eleven day
was funded by the CIA.

I have a large framed photo
of the Monster in Loch Ness
and some authentic Yeti hair
and I have an address

where, if I use by credit card,
I can befriend Jean-Luc Picard.

It’s fun to go down to the pub,
informing folk the truth’s out there.
It’s true they mostly roll their eyes
and edge away, but I don’t care.

I know the Queen’s a Martian spy.
How do I know? Don’t ask me why.

Theo Ryman

Beautiful Old Style Poems - Kathy Figueroa

Today's poem is a "Golden Oldie" and was originally published here in February 2012

Give me a rhyme
A clever turn of phrase
Give me glorious poems
Written like
In the olden days
Let me revel
In the language
In words that resonate
In my mind
Why are beautiful
Old style poems
Now so hard to find?
The eloquent verse
Of a bygone age
Still makes people smile
Why has rhyming poetry
Fallen out of style?
Rhyme for me a story
An epic adventurous tale
About a trip to the
Mountain peaks
Or the ocean to set sail
Speak of the
Human condition
The best and the worst
Of joy, sorrow and triumph
And dreams that have burst
Tell of hope and longing
Of heroes and dignity
On injustice and suffering
Shine a light for all to see
Weave a wonderful story
Use rhyme like
Golden thread
Form a tapestry of words
That inspires wonder
When it's read
Rhyme like Robert Service
William Blake and
Edgar Allen Poe
Create a beautiful
Timeless poem
Like they did
So long ago...

Kathy Figueroa

(This poem was first published in The Bancroft Times newspaper on November 23, 2011.)

Television Times - Lyndon Queripel

"We do not apologise
For the interference
To your programme as yet
So open your eyes
Check your licence
And then adjust your set."

Lyndon Queripel

Guernsey Monopoly - Ian Duquemin

I joined a game of Guernsey Monopoly
Around the table deputies surrounded me
They shared out the money, two for for me
I knew I wouldn't win (or get out of jail free)
So I played to see if there could be some good I could do
And I hoped to save the island and the Guernsey folk too

I chose to use the top hat
Thought I'd look pretty swank
Another used the Rolls and sat in front of the bank
He covered stolen hotels... In case I might see
And when I landed on them, he jumped like a flea
He took all my money, left me pretty much broke
Whilst drooling with excitement through his King Edward smoke

I pulled out hidden wages and paid off my fines
The rent was pretty steep (but that's the sign of the times!)
I gave the dice a lucky shake... rolled out a one
This game was tedious... And wasn't much fun
The banker stacked his profit, kept one eye on the board
Knowing Mill Street was the only place that I could afford

He handed me the deeds, with a smile on his face
Said he'd knock down Mill Street, put some flats in its place
Maybe add more offices... and a higher class café
All to be paid for, from the honest workers pay
He then purchased Fermain, to have a safe life
As his girlfriend lived down Cobo far away from the wife

One of them grabbed Fort George... To show off his wealth
This game seemed rather real, and not good for my health
I visited the doctor... And It cost me a house
Everyone was after me, like cats versus mouse
I noticed there were roads closed... Which happened to be mine
They passed me via diversions ... Time after time

I threw myself a six... I passed Fort George by
A move without no profit, caused the deputy to cry
When I came up trumps... And I bought myself Vale
They all got pretty mad... Threw my arse into jail
Knowing that a jail card I never did own
I decided that I'd stay here... End the game with a home

Ian Duquemin

Be There - Stephen A. Roberts

Why can't I live in the moment
Instead of holding out my phone
Like a freakin' geiger counter?

Why not see the whole, the real
In live-screen now-vision, and be there
not looking through a 5 inch, 41 mega pixel window?

Does life not exist outside the bezel?

And on play back
- I hardly ever play it back -
Will the world be bigger than I thought?

Does it prove I was there?
I was, but I wasn't;
Think about it.

What will I see on my death bed?

When the final moment comes,
as I take my final fading selfie,
My life won't flash before me
it won't be there, it will
all be in the Cloud.

Stephen A. Roberts

Le Guet - John Buchanan

Grandpa often took us to Le Guet,
Those are days I won’t forget,
For hidden there amongst the trees
We lived many boyhood fantasies.

He used to walk once round the wood
whilst Mark and I played Robin Hood.
Then he’d stand a while and watch us swing,
As if we were the Jungle King.

And then he sat atop the watch tower,
whilst we took on a ‘super power’
and scaled the ladders deep within;
without a care for life or limb.

With sticks and needles we’d build our dens
and hide away from all our friends,
and all the while he’d sit up there
and at the rugged coastline stare.

And now in turn I sit and stare,
and breath the beautiful fresh sea air.
I watch the waves wash on the shore
And think of all those years before.

John Carré Buchanan

To David Bowie - Stuart Price

Today's poem is a "Golden Oldie" and was originally published here in February 2012

Man of whimsy, pale beauty and thinness
Close adored friend of both ways fantasy
And lonely teenage bedsitter distress
Whose pain and trouble you alone could see;
You were as cool as cool as man could be
Exploring the stars is there life on Mars ?
Oh how we all wanted to be like thee.
Iconic, ironic not moronic
Your created personas a tonic
For the strikes and stress of the Seventies.

Stuart Price

(Very loosely based on Keats wonderful poem 'To Autumn')

Good Friday in St Peter Port - Richard Fleming

Sun warms the rooftops of the old town,
flows between close-built houses like liquid honey
and in the tiny, unkempt gardens slipping down
the hillside, gathers interest like banker’s money.

Gulls stand like weathervanes and face the bay
from chimney pots and leaning chimney stacks;
swallows scythe like scimitars from breaking day
till evening when, with rounded backs,
finance workers ascend the hill, evolving, as they do,
into the dour wife, weary father, wayward son.
From office desk to backyard bar-b-q,
the exodus of bankers has begun.

I pause on narrow steps to mark the view
of painted boats that dip beneath the Castle’s gun,
the sea, out to the islands, unremitting blue,
the distant, crooked rocks where foreign currents run
then, towards the airy summit of this prideful town,
set off, one man ascending, sun-bound, free,
through layers of stillness, soft as eiderdown,
content, this hallowed day, to simply be.

Higher and lighter, the heart, of hope, bereft:
so many yesterdays gone and few tomorrows left.

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

Form U La - Lyndon Queripel

Write your last name first
And your first name last
And your middle name at the end
Then sign on the dotted line
Of the text
No, I can't deny
The small print's unclear
But I don't know why
I only work here my friend
Next !

Lyndon Queripel

The Bleeding House - Ian Duquemin

I'd walked for days through rain and mud, the cold slowed down my freezing blood, the bully wind did blow me where no one should ever go
It pushed me to the bleeding house... The bleeding house perched on a hill... A place that never warmed a clinging chill
I'd walked a many mile that day and needed somewhere dry to lay, my weary feet had come a long, long way
I opened up the creaking door that sounded like a ripping saw, and entered anyhow or come what may
Cobwebs from another time, abandoned many years ago, were swaying from the ceilings to and fro
I tiptoed on the crimson floor, I pulled the collar of my coat, to warm the cold that gathered round my throat
I climbed upon a table top and pushed aside the rusty knives, the tools that butcher Pete had used to take so many lives
Beside the many chopping tools... My eyes began to close... The stench of death assaulted me and punched me in the nose
It wasn't long 'til slumber came, I dreamed about the driving rain and of the bleeding house where I did lay
And in the dream I realised that this was not a resting place, and not the place where most would choose to stay
As long ago this very room became each victims lonely tomb, they'd screamed for help but no one heard them shout
They tried and cried and prayed but died and butcher Pete was not the kind of landlord who would ever let them out
This man who wore a twisted grin, would find a house and then break in and steal people from their very homes
He'd watch them in their cozy beds, decide which knife he'd need to separate the fleshy meat from lazy bones
He'd drag them to the bleeding house no mercy for his captives... No sorrow for the dead was ever shown
In segments under floor boards were the bodies of the victims in the house perched on a hill where spirits groan
This room of doom contained their gloom until the falling of the moon...
By morning every ghoul had disappeared
As if the darkness hid them from the warming of the sun...
As if the sun was something to be feared
I woke abruptly in the dark, I struck a match that caused a spark that set alight the cobwebs overhead
Above me was the face of butcher Pete who wore a twisted grin just like the legend said
I never did get out alive although I tried my best to fight, this house upon the hill became my tomb
And in the darkness of the night I walk with other spirits on the blood soaked wooden floorboards of the room
We wait until the moonlight glows and listen as the cold wind blows
To warn away who ever comes along
A traveller who has walked the path, that all inside were dragged upon, the very path that I had chosen wrong
We try to scare them all away but those that do decide to stay, will never leave the door in which they came
As butcher Pete will use his rusty instruments to carve upon their chests the landlords name

Ian Duquemin

The Lighthouse - Hugo Russell

Today's poem is a "Golden Oldie" and was originally published here in January 2012

I can see the rocky outline of the high craggy tall cliffs
I can hear the crash of the stormy green watery waves
I can taste the salty deep sea below
I can smell the briny tangled seaweed
And touch the tips of seagull’s wings.
I can see the bobbing fishing boats
I can hear the wild raging wind howling.
I can almost taste raw rotten fish
I can smell old rusty brown iron
And touch the twinkling stars above
I can see my safe light brightly flashing
I can hear a distant loud foghorn
I can taste the bitter green seaweed
I can smell hot sweet milky coffee
And I can touch the rocks below me.

Hugo Russell

Fog - Hazel Lee

The islands and the bay have gone
and fog is slowly rubbing out
foreshore sights.
Upturned boats and stones
become invisible unknowns
as, bit by bit,
I start to doubt
there ever was a world beyond.

Hazel Lee

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