Close My Eyes - Tony Robert

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

Close my eyes see your face
Reach for you, just empty space
Nothing that side of the bed
Empty pillow without your head

Dream you’re there holding me tight
Snuggled up to me in the night
Think I feel your lovely touch
Perhaps I’m hoping a bit too much

Love so much for it to be true
Want so much to be with you
Start to feel you slipping away
No matter what I do or say

Suddenly awake looking round the place
Feel the tears rolling down my face
Realise it’s just a very bad dream
Try to make sense of what it means

Where do we go from here?
Decisions that I really fear
Hope we can ride out the storm
That your love will keep me warm

Love for us to grow old together
To be with you forever and ever
To love, to care, to cherish you
That’s all I really want to do.

Tony Robert

Le Catioroc - Oscar Milde

At certain phases of the Moon
they’d congregate, toad-faced, to mutter incantations,
where tainted soil absorbed their charnel reek,
and writhe like snakes around
their hairy-hoofed messiah’s horny thighs.
These were no beauties:
in lanes, men passed them by
with eyes averted and a murmured prayer,
while goodwives crossed themselves
and hid away their brats.
When tides, Moon-sung, made pulses quicken,
they’d cast finery aside and, naked, dance a power alive
to curdle milk,
or sour a womb
or make strong men their slaves.

Oscar Milde

All The Wrong Reasons - Lyndon Queripel

You were down by the river
In the streams of yesterday's dreams
You can't forget but forgive her
Only time will bring healing
Love flies on a broken wing

You were looking for answers
To deny a troubled sky
But only shadow dancers
And grey clouds passed by
Love turns a blinded eye

All the wrong reasons
All the wrong rhymes
Between the seasons
And the changing times

You were lost in the night
With nowhere to share
And no sight of the light
Did you just misunderstand
Love deals a crooked hand

You were beyond communication
Without any role to control
Driving through your imagination
Too far in a street beat car
Love shines on a falling star.

Lyndon Queripel

The Harvest Moon - Jenny Hamon

The harvest moon shines bright and clear
Lighting my way, you seem so near
It seems to say as summer wanes
I will return to you again

A fond farewell is hard to say
But sitting by this moonlit bay
The memories of summer days
Fade into an autumn haze

The September equinox is nigh
And days of summer soon will die
But memories of this lunar night
I’ll treasure 'till the spring's in sight

Jenny Hamon

Flowers In Our Hair - Tony Bradley

If you're like me, around sixty-five
you'll know exactly what I mean
when all the young people felt really alive
and global peace seemed more than a dream.

If you're younger, although you weren't there
you may get the vibe from this rhyme
for us wrinklies, it's a bit of nostalgia
the world was better, for a very short time.

You didn't have to go to 'Frisco
'cos love was all around, babe, in the air
pretty girls with gorgeous short dresses
and my light blue, brushed denim, 'South Sea Bubble Co.' flares and long, curly hair.

I must apologise, because in the previous verse
that last line was conspicuously, ridiculously long,
but the whole sentence brings back such memories
to leave any word out, somehow seemed wrong.

The fashions were all different, new styles and tones
frilly shirts, flares, kippers and clogs,
music for everyone, The Beatles and Stones
Dusty, Elvis, Dylan, and Troggs

I could wax lyrically, ad nauseum, about the cars around then
I know I'm just another silly old fart
but a lot of them are still cherished today
'cos like us, they're really works of art.

I honestly don't know if anyone will read this
but I seem to make more sense in a rhyme
I'm hoping that some folks, around my age
have been reminded of their own happy time.

Tony Bradley

Conned Or...? - Donald Keyman

Condor's excuses have now become legion
dropping their bombshells and crippling the region
the States are off hiding behind their closed doors
searching in vain for the lost penalty clause

This winter will be grim for sure, and no doubt
the olives and hummus will all run out
there'll be frenzied pleas on Facebook and Twitter
for some fresh tapenade and a few slices of pitta

Yes, the Liberation has passed us by once more
in an echo of that false dawn of 1944 -
no-one will come with their fags and their Hershey's
to soothe the Donkey's frustrated curses

History rewritten, twice shy twice bitten
no sign of help from good old Great Britain,
will our dear Channel Islands never be freed -
from the sometime occupiers of our silver seas?

Donald Keyman

I'd Sooner Be Poor Than Be Like You! - Ian Duquemin

You look at me as though I don't belong here
But I'm here... And here I will stay!
Your money and expenses could never move me
No matter how much you would pay!
I don't want your money, as I don't have a need
It's the prison you've built and you'll never be freed!
I don't want your wealth... As I'm not into greed
I'd sooner be poor than be like you!

You tell me that I don't deserve to be here
But who the hell do you think you are to say?
To solve all the problems that I can see clear
It's you who should be on your way!
As I'm not the kind of person you ever could use
I don't have a thing so I've nothing to lose!
But I do have a tongue you may have to excuse
I'd sooner be poor than be like you!

You think you are better than I'll ever be
But you are blinded and fooled by your wealth!
It doesn't take money to tantalise me
You can keep every coin for yourself!
As money is something you need in your life!
To buy fancy cars and to purchase a wife
But I don't need to live with all that trouble and strife
I'd sooner be poor than be like you!

Ian Duquemin

Passing Strangers - Katherine Svensson

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

I drove past you.
You wore a brown leather jacket.
A skeleton covered in skin;
Cheeks and eyes and body concave.
Life being sucked out of you from within.

What cancer would take your life?
I do not know.
You made me think about you for a while,
As I drove past you,
On my way home.

Katherine Svensson

Sorry, you're a poet - Bryony de Lat

It's no bed of roses and you know it, poet
but you were born to be one, always will
maybe a modern performer, with your mate, mic.
Or ye olde school scribe, with ink and quill.

You're not like news-hacks, who just scribble, and spew
with you everything that happens, hits home
you take it all to heart, no escape for you
it's neither rag, nor paperback, it's a life-long tome.

Everything affects you, with your caring heart
it's your best virtue, but it's also your curse
your emotions are constantly ignited, excited
and to temper and contain them, you oft' turn to verse.

You wouldn't really want to be like some people
full of themselves, with their masquerades, and poses
strutting through their own garden of life
without ever smelling the roses.

Bryony de Lat

Comfort Vessel - Kate Lee

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

If I could capture the beautiful essence of our friendship
I would pour it into a terracotta vessel and keep it safely there,
So that when I was alone and in need of comfort
I could gently release the cork stopper
And bathe in the glorious perfume of contented familiarity.

Kate Lee

West is Best - Diane Scantlebury

West is best
And so it seems,
Where tractors around the arena race,
Where ears are pierced
By teen girls’ screams,
As in the embrace of a fairground ride
Into the darkening, cloudy air they rise,

West is best
And so it seems,
Where in the side tents
Piglets, donkeys, fowl and cattle
Compete for prizes,
While cakes, scones and veg
Proudly nurtured do battle,

West is best
And so it seems,
Where under heaving, hot canvas
Friends and visitors meet,
While jostling in the endless queue
For pints lining the bar,
With high spirited banter their neighbours greet,

West is best
And so it seems,
Where local bands strut their stuff on stage
Resurrecting vintage tunes from the past,
For the appreciative, swaying audience
Now slightly drunk,
Wilted and showing their age.

Diane Scantlebury

The future's imminent (it’s not in our hands) - Julian Clarke

The brass key turns tightening the spring
How the second hand races, chasing dates
Evenly stitching together the edges of time:

Facing its face, no smile, no frown
Unzipping the seconds into minutes
Tormenting, teasing, running late
Unperturbed silently setting the day;
Relentlessly sweeping round and round
Each hand turning towards the future:

If the clock work were to stop, no tick-tock
Suspended in time the hands would wait.

Ingeniously, somehow they will always turn
Magically pointing to impending events
Mocking us, they will never age . . .
In time zones across the lands these hands
Never stuffed in pockets in perpetual motion
Engraving the past and sealing the present.
Now the digits twist in time, one understands
The future's imminent: it’s not in our hands.

Julian Clarke

Moth - Trudie Shannon

The sun is shining, the street, people thronged
And all hurrying.
So much business, so much stress and pressure,
So much to do, so little time to 'be'
That the light of this beautiful day
Seems somehow, to be missing.
Suddenly a splash of orange flutters by my head.
I see a night moth, its wings each bearing an open eye
Its head a lion's mane.
It saunters in its flight between bobbing heads,
Pitches between toddlers’ feet
Touches lightly, silk dresses and slick suits
Alights, albeit briefly upon the bare arm
Of a dozing drunk
Then soars up again, not like an eagle
Reaching for the sky
But somewhat erratically clumsily
Crashing against shop windows.
Like the drunk, lost and wandering.

Trudie Shannon

Service Charge - Lyndon Queripel

"Can I put that on account?"
I asked as I winked my eye
"On account? What account?"
I heard the salesman cry
"On account I have no money."
Was my quick-witted reply
As I started up my engine
And smiling, waved goodbye.

Lyndon Queripel

In My Dreams - Lester Queripel

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

In my dreams, I dream of stars in endless midnight skies.
I dream of a world where people don’t tell lies.
I dream of a world where the earth never dies.
In my dreams I dream of money being used as an energy.
Being used to help set people free.
Free from tyranny and slavery.
In my dreams I dream of unity.
I dream of people helping one another.
In my dreams I dream in colour.
I dream of sunsets and rainbows, waterfalls and streams, all sorts of beautiful things, in my dreams.
In my dreams, I dream of a world where people really care, and simply wouldn’t dare, pollute the rivers, or the air.
There are no hungry mouths to feed, there is no greed.
In my dreams I can see the sea so clear.
Everything we cherish is held dear.
In my dreams I can hear music and feel the harmony.
We all sing in the same key.
We all dance and we all join hands, our hearts full of joy all over these lands.
I wonder if I will live to see, my dreams become a reality?
I certainly hope so.
If you like, I’ll let you know.

Lester Queripel

Saved - Tony Bradley

If I hadn't met you, I'd be a different me
probably dead, or living in a hostelry,
in prison for robbery, or assault, or worse
or with three old companions, cardboard, hunger and thirst.

If I hadn't met you, I wouldn't be here
the cuts were deep, the damage severe
the real me was squashed, gnarled and twisted
and it only changed , because you existed.

Everyone owes me, and someone's gonna pay
for the pain and neglect, I suffered each day
I'm ready for trouble, I'm going to blow,
a self-destruct lever just waiting to go.

But one day you smiled at me, even though you were shy
a beautiful sunlight filled my dark dismal sky
an angel came to me, on that special day
all my demons and bitterness just floated away

Tony Bradley

Exodus - Ian Duquemin

It seems a war is sure to come
The exodus of man begun
A crossing to a safer land
To those who might reach out a hand
A Trojan horse shall be let in
To wipe out any form of sin
A black flag unfurled raised up high
Where Christians fall and die
The God of hate is on his way
Advancing closer every day
His putrid breath and songs of rage
Upon the media stage
And all the fools who shed a tear
The ones who call out "Bring them here!"
Shall see the devil magnified
As man and God collide

Ian Duquemin

Battle Ensues - Valandra Bolan

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

I feel you
waiting, watching
ready to catch me when I fall

I know you are there
waiting to envelop me
grip me tight and not let me go

I could run from you
but I don't have the strength
you are stronger than I ever could be

I want to fight you
I need you to go now
repeating my mantra
tomorrow is another day

the tunnel light fades
your arms embrace me
a strong hold
I am yours yet again

Valandra Bolan

I Can't Bear Grylls - Bryony de Lat

Several years ago now, I'm not sure when, exactly
my husband's choice of TV programmes drastically changed
instead of the plethora of war films and sport
he's only watching one thing now, he's completely deranged.

It's Bear Grylls, countless programmes, a new 12 part series
and there's the old repeats on Dave and Shed
he's already got two essential box sets
and he's sent for more, he's well off his head.

One man's lifestyle has become his religion
he's actually jogging now in the hall, pathetic
in a BG onesie, and he's trying press-ups
it's dangerous, he was never at all athletic.

Blitzed his wardrobe, thrown out bright-coloured clothes
smart shirts, posh trousers, even his dressing gown
now he orders from the BG Blog and Army surplus
everything's 'camo', slime green, or excrement brown.

He's obsessed with making life more difficult
sneakily adding elements of danger, or luck
the other day he attempted an emergency exit
broke the Toilet window, and got himself stuck.

One morning, last Winter, our drive was really icy
but in his 'special' snow boots, he had to go out
he slipped, and impaled himself, on his prickly roses
a teenage neighbour rescued him, an actual Boy Scout.

Now he's started cooking vegetable peelings
and grubs around in the garden for roots and stuff
he tried sleeping in the shed, but a "huge" spider attacked him
so he's got a tent, for the garden, "gonna sleep rough".

His ambition is to survive on a desert island
he fantasizes about being shipwrecked, it's sad, I know
of course, in reality, he hasn't got the balls
but I won't discourage him, I'd help him go.

Bryony de Lat

First Born - Diane Scantlebury

I’m the first born
And I’m resentful,
That my parents should dare,
To have a spare,
A usurper to my rightful place
In their affections,
I’ll always be first
Of that there can be no question,
But what is more,
I’m angry and sore,
That another should challenge
The hierarchy of my position,

I’m the middle child
And I don’t think it's fair,
That my siblings resent me
Don’t want to share,
When there’s really no reason
Why they fail to see,
That our parents' affection is equal
And they love them as much as me,

I’m the youngest
And I don’t want to quibble,
But I can’t agree
With the first or the middle,
For I’m the baby, the spoilt one,
And it’s plain to see,
Who my parents love the best
And it’s me, me, me!

Diane Scantlebury

Who's Got The Blues? - Lyndon Queripel

Yawning, I woke up this morning
And got out the wrong side of bed
I knew it the very minute
That I hit the wall with my head.

Lyndon Queripel

The Magic Hour - Kathy Figueroa

It’s called "the magic hour"
Before the sun sinks low
When everything is bathed
In a warm, golden glow

Colours look much richer
Flowers, more velveteen
And a country garden
Is a haven of green

The dragonflies hover
As light glints on their wings
Tree frogs start their chorus
And sing of peaceful things

Kathy Figueroa

The Magic Hour was published in The Bancroft Times newspaper on September 3, 2015.

Harbouring Doubt - Joan Etoile

There's something wrong these days with our transport links
So many cancellations and complaints it all stinks
If the Germans turned up now we wouldn't get away
We'd queue up at the harbour to find Condor was delayed

There would be widespread fear and consternation
The States would have to postpone the evacuation
Us donkeys would be condemned to Nazi rule
All because we missed the boat to Poole

As long as the tide wasn't too far down
The Germans would march right into Town
Goose stepping along our Eastern Front
Free to enslave us all they want

Maybe some of us could pose as day trippers
to make good our escape on the Commodore Clipper
While the rest of us could slip away unseen
While Jerry was searching for Pier 17...

Joan Etoile

In comfort, in debt - Tony Bradley

Washed onto the shore, lifeless, that dear little angel
such heartbreaking sadness, beyond words, and verse
and imagine, beyond this tragedy and evil
his family, his people, are fleeing from worse.

We all have to do something, this mustn't go on
money, possessions, or time we can give
lobby our leaders, form one loud voice
we owe that dear angel, as long as we live.

Tony Bradley.

That Awful Truth - Trudie Shannon

You will be the source of a thousand thousand
Heartrending songs and poems.
For your small footprints never graced
Any kind of promised land,
No one opened a welcoming hand to aid you.
You lie dead, in a canvas bag, tied at the neck
Beside the bags that hold your brother and your mummy.
Placed lovingly, agonisingly in the hand dug grave,
By your daddy,
Back in the homeland that you all had fled
That homeland torn apart, destroyed, oozing terror and death
Where the sun bears down
And the bombs and mortars continue to fall
Heavy, toxic, killing rain.
You, one small boy,
One in an excruciating line, of thousands upon thousands,
Yet it is
The image of your one, small, inert body
Lying prone upon the wave lapped sand
That will haunt and layer guilt upon millions.
One small boy, dark haired and beautiful
Fleeing for life but whose life was stolen
Not by bombs, water, the sea
But by wilful blindness and man’s crass inhumanity.

Trudie Shannon

The Old Farmhouse - Tony Gardner

Memories live in this old homestead
Through the years they still delight
Of a young boy window gazing
At the brilliant starry night
How two newlyweds came laughing
How love died, a sorrow still
But though people change and fail us
This old farmhouse never will.

Loved and lovely, strong and honest
With its weather-wearied face
From my youngest years the centre
Of my world, the dearest place
Life is not a bed of roses
With the good oft comes the ill
But though people disappoint us
This old homestead never will.

There's such joy at my returning
Every time I've been away
What a peace my heart is feeling
As I vow I'm home to stay
Snug beneath the Downs it nestles
With the stables and the barn
And though people cool towards us
This old house is always warm

As my father and grandfather
Farmed this God-touched Sussex earth
Loved and clung to this good building
Knew instinctively its worth
So through all that lies before us
Through Life's tangled tears and thrill
And through people's fickle friendships
This old house is constant still.

Tony Gardner

I Make No Apologies For My Passion - Lester Queripel

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

I make no apologies for my passion
My passion is what makes me
My passion is not an item of fashion
A trend to be thrown away
I've had it since the day I was born
I'll have it till my very last day
It won't desert me, or make excuses for my being
It doesn't need to justify what everyone else is seeing
It is what it is
Excitable and creative
Tortured and emotive
It doesn't sit on the fence in a nonchalant way
It lets me know that it's there every single day
So I make no apologies for my passion
I make no apologies for being real
I make no apologies for the way that I feel
The person that you see
Is the real me
That's why I make no apologies for my passion

Lester Queripel

Teachers of Terror - Ian Duquemin

The killer in his covered head
Whose hatred wished for many dead
Where just his eyes could victims see
His god made him the appointee
His mission was to kill them all
To teach to others gods own rule
And warn them that their time would come
No matter where they run
You might think terror... Muslim fear
But think back to another year
When men in sheets would hunt a man
And murder was their plan
It seems to me the table turned
And from your hatred others learned
The hooded terrorists today
Resemble KKK

Ian Duquemin

Goodbye, Harvey Graham (The Editor's Cut) - Tony Bradley

Harvey Graham's died, he hardly lived, seldom sinned
left all his demons behind, he's given up, and gone.
Just a feeble flame, he flickered in a wicked wind,
and drowned in his mother's tears, he could never have shone.

After school, his Mother's note said "I'm sorry Harvey"
when he found her, . . . hanging from the kitchen door
too much of his father's drinking, and beating
"Please be strong for me, Angel, I can't take any more."

Little Harvey didn't live much longer
in torment, in prison, in violence, in care
His Mother's love had made him stronger
but the painful memories he just couldn't bear.

Tony Bradley

Shipwright - Trudie Shannon

When they say,
How are you?
I speak of you gently as if your dying
Was just the 'way of life' to be expected some time, by all of us.
"It was hard but…" "It’s one of those things?"
Then the awkward pause, the grinding to a halt
The horribly hesitant full stop before I respond with
The "I'm okay or I'm fine" line that lets them off the hook.
But, without company
Life seems to have more clearly defined edges,
Has become more intensely graced with colour.
Every sound resonates like a chorale in a cathedral.
I witness a myriad things, little things, momentous things
And yearn to tell you, yearn to hear the intonations of your voice in response
But all of it, every facet of this potent living
Amplifies your absence and with that
My rudderless ship drifts on foreign seas
Where once I knew the nuance of every wave
And could match the winds to oppose all currents and the many storms.
Now my ship drifts and turns with every eddy,
Spins on its own axis while the sails flap forlornly.
So for the time being, I've battened down the hatches and
I'm letting the tides and the currents do as they must.
If you are watching, bear with me
It takes time to learn to be a shipwright.

Trudie Shannon

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