Party Line - Lyndon Queripel

You play back the last message
On your answer phone
Just to hear another voice
You're feeling so alone
You pick up the receiver
And listen for the tone
You dial the speaking clock
Your time is all your own.

Lyndon Queripel

Air - Trudie Shannon

Without the fluttering of the leaves
Or the scudding of the clouds.
Without the wave tops scattered away
From the body of the sea
Or random plastic bags taking flight
Flapping like voiceless birds.
Without wires stretched taut across the countryside
Adjoining metal giant to metal giant
Thrumming communication
Or the whistling under eaves, beneath doors
Through invisible cracks and fissures.
Without the rise and fall of diaphragms
Or cold calling on the inside of our mouths
We would not know the wind.
And what is the wind but air
That stuff of life itself.

We inhale air, we exhale air.
We inhale air, we exhale air.
And in breathing thus,
We live.

Trudie Shannon

Lambs - Di Young

Spring lambs are skipping in the grass.
I shout out Mint Sauce as I pass.
It amuses me to see
them pause from their frivolity.
Who knows if lambs can suffer stress
but they look really worried. Bless!

Di Young

Streams and Dreams - Bryony de Lat

We watched the stars gleam, reflected in the stream
I've come back now, there's no stars, and I'm thinking
how could we, in our own little dream
ever have had the slightest inkling. . ? . . .
that those stars, dancing in the water, there
twinkling, but you thought, just at us . . . winking
and your little paper boat, made with such care
like our days together, would soon be sinking.

Bryony de Lat

Birdman - Richard Fleming

Something of an institution,
every day he’d play an almsman’s role.
Like penitents, drab pigeons
would flock,
seeking absolution or nutrition;
would peck away
relentlessly like waves.
He’d stand,
an ageing, salt-weathered island
amidst a bobbing sea of grey.

Richard Fleming

The Dreams - John Buchanan

You asked for a poem on dreams;
I gave up dreaming a long time ago.
You ask…. why?

From the depths of my mind they come
Gaunt faces old and young
Tortured by hunger, cold and loss.

They are beyond fear,
Fear was yesterday’s game.
Today it’s about here and now.

The old give up for the young,
It’s always the same,
And when they fade……Hhm.

The young wander the streets alone
Feral as they search to survive,
Predated on by “factions”,

They’re treated and beaten
In the name of “the cause”
And they’re taught to obey.

They are used for pleasure,
To spy, to kill
And to clear mine fields with their feet.

Young boys, young girls, old eyes.
They should be in school
But the teachers were killed.

Today they’re you friend
They play marbles, eat chocolate
and asking to see your gun.

Tomorrow they’ll throw stones,
count faces and paces
or carry a bomb

I gave up dreaming a long time ago
Don’t ask me why
Coz I’ll cry.

John Carré Buchanan

Systematic - Lyndon Queripel

We're creatures of habit
Conforming to standards
And required specifications
Sealed with approval
But subject to change
And various radiations
Brainwashed by freedom
To blind faith acceptance
And other modifications
By names who are faceless
And numbers discounted
With coded translations
We're all consuming apathy
In social exchange
For true identifications
Tracing the family tree
Free to choose our friends
But not our relations.

Lyndon Queripel

The Undelivered Promise Of Potency - Marianna Pliakou

"Between the potency
and the existence,
Falls the shadow"

T.S Eliot, "The Hollow Men"

It is the look of it that fooled us,
as it shimmered and glowed in the night,
like a peacock on a broken floor.
We had not grown into our clothes,
and the bitter fruit we had not tasted,
so we believed the twinkle of the star.
But the night was long,
and our tired gaze fell on the ground,
only for a dog to take away.
The seed was stale,
and our  words broke to many pieces.
And half way,
struggling to carve “existence” onto a tree,
we ended up with “exi..t”.

Marianna Pliakou

Word Child - Diane Scantlebury

I’ve come to claim my creation
A shameless child of mind’s invention,
Cavorting and jumping up and down before you
Trying to grab your attention,
This wayward child is demanding
And won’t let you rest,
Till you stop what you are doing
And acknowledge her,
For she is your train of thought,
She‘ll pester you even while you sleep,
She is persistent and will not be ignored
Until you embrace her,
Praise and applaud her
Then commit her to paper.

Diane Scantlebury

Root and Branch - Peter Kenny

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

There’s marching in the Guernsey lane,
my table’s bare, the pattern’s clear:
they will starve us after curfew
they will break us at the table.

I scrape aside the hedgerow scraps
to float along the willow road
to distant bomb-pocked England
near a city I've never seen

where my children stay with strangers
and, forgetting all their patois,
they turn in skies of fractured glaze
and trill their songs with English tongues.

Each night the doves return as crows
and I’m harrowed root and branch
as they bayonet their places
and their mother stands accused

for I tore them from their garden
and I knotted them with labels
like a cherry shedding blossom
I dropped them from my stupid limbs.

Peter Kenny

War - Di Young

War is magic, war is fun.
We have weapons, we have tanks.
We fire mortars here and there.
We have leaders. We have ranks.
Others dare not, but we dare.
We all get to fire a gun.
War is magic, war is fun.

War is magic, war is fun.
Some get wounded, but not all.
Some lose senses, some lose limbs.
Others perish where they fall.
They go home to flags and hymns.
Still, we get to fire a gun.
War is magic, war is fun.

War is magic, war is fun.
We kill those we’re told to kill.
They would kill us if they could.
Killing is a noble skill.
They are evil, we are good.
We each get to love our gun.
War is magic, war is fun.

Di Young

Port Soif, January - Bryony de Lat

The faded-green dune-grass sways, gripping the sand
in the harrowing, howling, harsh winter gales
shimmering and swirling, unfolding, unfurling
like yachts with billowing wind-filled sails.

The white sand swirls, swept up by the tide
tossed up into towers, in twirling trances
clutching the crests of the grass on the dunes
all swaying together in wild winter dances.

Bryony de Lat

Estrangement - Trudie Shannon

His father died.
He's inherited some of his father’s clothes,
Ties round his neck his father’s cravats,
Dons his father’s coat to keep out the winter chill.
And at night he foetus curls beneath his father’s blue blanket
And the soft eiderdown that once kept both of  his parents warm.
He doesn’t say anything.
His mouth remains closed and his pain
Makes the edges of his eyes ache.
When he looks into the mirror
He sees his father’s son.

Trudie Shannon

Limerick for Paddy - Guernsey Poets

there was a young poet from Guernsey
who wrote reams and reams of verse he
said "as it's Paddy's day
I've put a limerick away"
then forgot it through Guinness and whiskey

Guernsey Poets

Week Long Affair - Ian Duquemin

She kissed me on Monday and left me confused
She hugged me on Tuesday, so tightly I bruised
On Wednesday she whispered so sweet in my ear
And Thursday she longed for the time I'd be near
Then Friday she told me that I was the one
Saturday came... and she promised me fun
On Sunday I woke up and scratched at my brain
Then blew it when I had to ask her her name

Ian Duquemin

Silence I - Marianna Pliakou

And there,
beneath the trees,
beneath the broken summer
and the eloquence of absence,
lies the day.
The day that did not grow into a night,
and, wrinkled, stared us in the eyes,
until it fell on the floor,
No blood, no dust,
no words.

Marianna Pliakou

All Life is Precious - Lester Queripel

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

There’s that sign again..........’Baby on board’.
Is a baby’s life worth more in the name of the Lord?
Or is it paranoid parents being overprotective?
In that case why don’t they hire a detective?
A police escort would be the safest way.
Bodyguards to see them safely through the day.
Let’s not pretend!
Where does this paranoia end?
The simple fact cannot be ignored.
The sign should say ‘People on board’.
Because all life is precious.

There’s that sign again..........‘Baby on board’.
Is a baby’s life worth more in the name of the Lord?
Two people are smoking on the front seat.
Baby in a baby chair fast asleep.
All the windows are closed, no fresh air.
Isn’t there a cruel contradiction there somewhere?

There’s that sign again..........‘Baby on board’.
Is a baby’s life worth more in the name of the Lord?
The simple fact cannot be ignored.
The sign should say ‘People on board’.
Because all life is precious.

Lester Queripel

His Career In The Circus - Richard Fleming

He started as The Human Fly:
it was a buzz but he got bored.
He gave sword-swallowing a try
but couldn’t stand the taste of sword.
The high-wire beckoned. With a shout,
he climbed up there in spangled tights
then hurried down: he had found out
he didn’t have a head for heights.
Billed as The Mighty Cannon-Ball,
it seemed this role was without flaws
but one misfire caused him to fall
into a hungry lion’s jaws.
Inside the fearsome beast’s abdomen,
he took his bow: consummate showman.

Richard Fleming

Perfectly Fake - Diane Scantlebury

She’s not happy
So she’ll change her look,
Choose a perfect new image
From a glossy magazine or book,
Endure the pain of
Being pummelled and plucked,
To have a bottom like J-Lo’s
And her thighs lipo sucked,

Still not content to leave it at that,
She’ll have her lids and brows lifted
Till she has eyes like a cat,
With lips like a duck
She can hardly speak,
Her face is expressionless and wax like,
Her nose resembles a beak,

Not yet satisfied
Her attention turns to her chest,
And the puppy dog ears that hang
And fail the pencil test,
Encouraged by the tabloids
She feels every woman should want,
A huge pair of bosoms
On sunny holiday beach to flaunt,

Add a dazzling white smile,
Plus a few random tattoos
All that’s left for her is on a sun bed to bake,
She’s now nip, tucked and orange,
The desired effect is complete,
She’s perfectly fake.

Diane Scantlebury

Bali Ha'i Sark - Shirley D. Carré

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

Far Away our own special island is calling,
On sea approach it beckons to you.
On arrival charms, lures you up to the top.
There it embraces and enfolds you.

Charts show off the indented, forty-mile coast,
Two linked rough diamonds, the larger northeast,
A little island close off its west coast.
The smaller has rocks, a sea stack to its south.

From Guernsey, along the eastern horizon,
It lies - a grey form with sloping-down ends.
Recumbent whale, the sea stack its fluke.
Mist emphasizes its repose and mystery.

On the ferry approach, cotils and cliffs
Resolve into colourful, soft slopes above,
Sheer, fractured facades and gnarly rocky
Coastline below with sea caves, walled coves.

Bendy strata and serpentine balls give
Testimony of awesome ancient forces and
Events uninviting then, fascinating now.
A smudged dark line rings island and rocks.

Not endemic pollution problems, but algae
Living on the edge, at the high water mark.
Your landing has surprises - the walk from
The jetty, through tunnel cutting a headland.

The islands once uplands in a grassy plain
Roamed by aurochs and hunter man.
The in-flooding seas carved the coastline,
The wind and rain smoothed the cotils.

The coast is vertical stage-set for avian
Concerts, ballets, dramas, where birds of
The sea, coast, and cliffs perform.
Their voices welcoming your landing..

At the top is the "Avenue" Sark's village,
Venture farther to discover the jigsaw of
Fields, landscape of scattered house
Clusters, buildings, and Sark time.

Prehistory, legend, history, narrative,
Welded into the landscape, reflected in
House, courtilege, field names, making
This our own special island, calling you.

Shirley D. Carré
Acknowledgement: South Pacific by Rogers and Hammerstein.

House Calls - Lyndon Queripel

They've started pulling down number one
Tomorrow it'll be number two
Then three,four,five,six and seven
The next will be me and you
I wish I was number ten
And the last in the queue
Like the captain of a sinking ship
Before he himself sinks too.

Lyndon Queripel

Birth of a Poet - Ian Duquemin

On the day that the rain makes a spider web shine
When breeze blows the blue bells so letting them chime
As snow spirals down as if fairies in flight
And a spark lights the moon on a magical night
When unicorns leap over waves crashing in
And beauty is found by the soul that's within
As words from the lips of a lover are sworn
That's when a poet is born

Ian Duquemin

The Mariner - Marianna Pliakou

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

He weighs his past by the sea,
each year a wave,
each wave a part of him.
In his beard salt and seagull cries.
In his eyes the rhythmic dance of the ocean,
sometimes shifting softly,
sometimes restless and angry.

He weighs his future by the sea,
hoping his waves will soon melt into a rock.

Marianna Pliakou

The Cow’s Horn - Trudie Shannon

We walk the cliff paths, passing by
The German cemetery and the Fort, turned housing estate.
Then we amble onto the Cows Horn
Wander amidst the defensive ruins of a different age.
Some are disguised by softly growing camouflage.
While symbolic cannon sit, scattered black,
Like ill sown seeds.
Huts, once ammunition stores, are barred shut
Against tramps and wayward youth.
We clamber up overgrown steps to stand
Atop the concrete skeleton of a gun emplacement.
Its redundant tracking revealed, exposing
Neglected teeth in rusting, graphic testimony to its past.
We are drawn to it, bidden invisibly and see that
The track arc has become transformed
Is silently beautiful.
Rust blooms weep into the bald, decaying concrete.
At our backs the sea glitters, seagulls sweep the skies
And in the distant haze, France shimmers.

Trudie Shannon

Folk Club - Diane Scantlebury

Lighting low to eyes glazed with red wine,
Acoustic performance, foot tapping time,
Loud applause, compere’s introductions satirical,
Harmonies and melodies, beautiful and lyrical,
Deft fingers over hard frets plucking, chords strumming,
Entrances the audience, gets finger tips drumming,
Magical ballads from present and past
Wring tears from the eyes, sets hearts beating fast,
The woolly jumpered nod in appreciation humble,
Nervously waiting turn in the background,
Musicians whisper and mumble,
In warm intimate atmosphere, the small encircling throng
Cast off inhibition, break into spontaneous song,
The backing vocals to each chorus, a joyful sing along!

Diane Scantlebury

Sea-People - Richard Fleming

On this grim coast, ships come to grief:
our waters and our tricky tides
are treacherous and full of traps.
Sailors do not rely on maps
alone, but say their prayers besides.
We watch them perish on our reefs.

We are sea-people, scale and fin,
who distrust strangers: salty brine
is what we know. Those who survive
our ragged rocks do rarely thrive.
Does our geography combine
to lock them out or lock us in?

Richard Fleming

Untouchable - Alec D Jackson

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

On the bewitched shores of Hesperia
You stand,
There, where dreams are drawn to reality,
Or life is renewed.
Shipwrecked, I can hardly see beyond you,
My Helen.

The Faustian pact I would broker
For one touch;
The slightest caress, glancing warmth
Too much;
Eros would explode forth bearing my heart,
still beating.

Untouchable upon the sands
Of all time,
I sacrifice all that is
All mine,
Selene's radiant silver beams
Reveal me:
A crystal silhouette,
Without the lights that incandesce,
Within you.

I can not offer palaces nor
I am the faithful servant
You the Titan, I the mortal, honest
and constant.

Now I look for fates guiding hand
to show,
We both in signs and portents we
would know,
That time has brought us here today,
to love, again.

Alec D Jackson

Bus Stop Conversation - Mona Parkes

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
And why does traffic swerve away
like roebuck from a lion’s charge?
And let me ask you, if I may
Why so damn fast and why so large?
Well, it’s a Guernsey bus, eh, you explain.

Where’s it coming from, I inquire?
Who knows? is the reply I hear.
They come, they go. Don’t tempt the fates.
At bus stops, pray. One may appear.
May even stop. They’re like the States:
a law unto themselves, eh, squire.

Mona Parkes

Time Waits For No One - Lyndon Queripel

It's hard to walk when you're old
Without getting in some one's way
For it seems that every body
Is in such a rush today
I know I'm not as fast now
As I used to be
But isn't there anyone here
Who is slower than me ?
I suppose even time
Impatient,has passed me by
But it's not death that I fear
Only not knowing how I'll die.

Lyndon Queripel

Left Behind - Ian Duquemin

Two birds broken found each other
Fell in love with one another
Mended, they became as one
And fled toward the rising sun
She the stronger flew ahead
Soared through clouds alone instead
Leaving him to fall behind
Without her, lost and blind
What was one, was two again
With separation came the pain
The same old feelings she once felt
Caused her heart to melt
She stopped and turned, then spilt a tear
Expecting him to reappear
She searched the lonely skies below
But lost him long ago

Ian Duquemin

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