Rope Trick - Richard Fleming

Upward, upward, upward he goes
on the taut rope in dusty heat
defying gravity, belief.
One rope end lies, sweat-oiled, coiled, neat,
on a soiled, cheesecloth handkerchief.
From his father’s pipe, music flows.
The other end climbs vertically,
upward and attached to nothing
and up that swaying ladder, there,
a small brown boy, with gold ear ring,
shins, this red morning, while we stare
with breathless incredulity.
We western tourists: Brits, fat Yanks,
believe mostly in disbelief.
Dull cynicism is our way:
debunking magic is our brief.
It’s just a bloody trick! we say,
who trust in pension plans and banks.

Richard Fleming
This poem appears in Richard’s second poetry collection, Strange Journey.

For further information go to http://redhandwriter.blogspot.com

Poly Tunnel - Diane Scantlebury

My poly tunnel isn't majestic or grand
As a bold, green statement on the patio it stands,
Within the warmth of its shelter
Side by side we sit and sow,
The seeds and the tubers
We hope will thrive and grow,

Out of the compost and the muck
Now ingrained beneath our nails,
Come fresh, brave shoots to tenderly water
And fastidiously guard against slugs and snails,
On sunny days we’ll unzip and roll up the door
To allow cool air to circulate,
And let curious bees enter and get down to work
The beans and alluring strawberry flowers to pollinate,

Every time I look at my poly tunnel
I see a miracle place,
Where new life will germinate and grow,
And deep inside me there’s great joy and excitement
That only the parent of plant babies will know!

Diane Scantlebury

Dereliction - Donald Keyman


There are less breweries now
to organise piss-ups in
but somehow our elected members
don't let that worry them

Ancient sites are razed to the ground
in an act of fundamental vandalism
to create shoebox living for a work drone lifestyle,
suiting a stereotype that has ceased to exist

Meanwhile Havelet looks like Berlin, '45
and the flasher in Candie Gardens
waits for the lights to come on
in the Penthouse apartment

Donald Keyman

Mourning Bird Song - K Svensson

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

She sits in her gilded cage
Gazing at the feathered forms
Drifting lazily on the wing,
Flying free on thermals
In skies of azure blue.

Peering through life’s window
She wonders, what if?
She had the courage
To fly free
Just like those other birds do.

Powder-puff clouds float by,
Breezes taking them
Destination unknown.
To tumble like tears,
For who?

She’s known no other life.
Let out, she briefly flies
Wings unfurled,
Soaring high,
Dipping low.

Going back to the keeper,
Met with scorn.
Wishing,
Hoping
Her song will be heard.

K Svensson

Backchat [ a soliloquy ] - Lyndon Queripel

Do you ever talk to yourself ?
I do you know
It all began
Sometime ago
When I was on my own
Feeling alone
Then I started to mutter and stutter
When there was just you and me  
And then I'd mumble and grumble
When we were in company
They say it's a sign of madness
When you talk to yourself
But when you answer back
Well that's something else
I don't know why I do it
But every now and then
I think maybe it's because
No one else will listen.

Lyndon Queripel

Bless You, Mr. Pryor - Tony Bradley

Art was the subject every one liked
He made everything seem new, so much fun
we all felt chirpy after his lesson .
and nobody liked to miss one.

His ropey long hair, like a thick grey thatch
an old green tweed jacket and friendly smile
burgundy corduroys hitched round his plump waist
with an old school tie, in gypsy style.

Some of the other teachers didn't like him
the perceived lack of discipline, the clothes, the hair,
in the staff room, some wouldn't talk to him
so he stayed in his classroom, he didn't care.

He said to always give more, than we ever take
to value the world's beauty, and the time we've got
he gave us poetry books, but he read from his head
He was there, every deed, every plot.

He was so friendly and full of affection
he cared for us all, he loved life
but we knew somehow, beyond his warmth
he'd had more than his share of strife.

and the words that he passionately spoke to us
although we had the poems, they weren't lines
somehow it seemed he was just remembering
his earlier, exciting, dangerous times

He finished the poem, and that was our task
with our minds and our palettes, re-capture the scene
tinker's caravans, little sailboats, or castles and moats
we'd all just come back from a lovely dream.

I didn't do well in most subjects at school
I was bored, it was dull, it was dire
but now I'm enjoying a beautiful world
God bless you, Mr. Pryor.

Tony Bradley

Purify - Kathy Figueroa


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

Chemtrails scar
The pretty blue sky
And GMO stuff is in
The food that we buy
Radiation from Fukushima
Causes creatures to die
Big oil companies
Foul the ocean
And we wonder why
Madmen wage wars
They say are about
God on high
And create conditions
That make others
Too numb to cry
The end of life
On this planet
Could well be nigh
Unless we learn to
Respect, honour
..And purify.

Kathy Figueroa

Wrong Cut - Ian Duquemin

One day they'll cut me open to examine my interior
Discussing me as hollow, maybe soulless or inferior
And as they slice and probe at things they may wish to preserve
They just might slip and aggravate a last remaining nerve
In disinfected shock and awe I'll open up my eyes  
Wearing grotesque stitches as a frightening disguise
I'll let them beg forgiveness whilst amidst their routine gore
Then stand to prove them very wrong... And walk out of the door

Ian Duquemin

Evening - Trudie Shannon

The evening sun daubs golden light upon the forest.
Clothed, or in a state of winter undress,
The trees are become a swathe of gilt edged loveliness.
The tide is rising, drifts like a languid, but living Ophelia,
Tracing silver eddies around the floating fowl, the geese, the ducks
Who, as dusk falls do not break the magical intonation
Of the Sun's last out breath.
With raucous calls or flurrying of feathers.
It is time for thanks, for homage.
It is evening and the waiting Moon rises
Elegiac in cool grey majesty
And the Sun shifts silently out of eye-line
Sinking soundlessly into the outspread arms
Of the awaiting sea.

Trudie Shannon

Impressions On The Ferry - Dead Mountains - Andrew Barham

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

Raindrops on the window,
Mist on the mountains ...
There's a storm coming
Dark clouds hang
Pendulous in the sky
Somewhere near,
A baby cries
Outside, a tugboat pulls a raft of dead trees
Stripped from once green mountains
Now bare and littered with the skeletons
Of ancient Firs, Spruces, and Cedars,
A cemetery of the wild;
What creatures lived here
In this place of nebulous mists
And green trees?
Dead mountains.

(On the ferry between Gibsons & Horseshoe Bay, July 1987)

Andrew Barham

Red Suitcase - Diane Scantlebury

He strides ahead in a storm of anger
She trails behind, head down but defiant,
She tries to catch up
But he races on, quickening his pace,
Neither looks back
To the small child struggling with a red suitcase,
Too big and too heavy
For him to control,

He is furious, his temper flowing
She is embarrassed,
Her face scarlet and glowing,
Neither thinks of the child
Following and forgotten,
Struggling to control the red suitcase,

She suddenly turns back
Remembering her responsibility,
He is gone, disappears into the crowd
And is nowhere to be seen,
Neither in their selfish feud
Considers the small child,
Struggling with the red suitcase,
Which like his parents,
Is too big and too heavy
For him to control.

Diane Scantlebury

Garden Diary - Richard Fleming

A sparrow’s building in the box
we fixed up on the wall this spring:
hardly the tenant we desired;
a dull, unprepossessing thing,
unlike the Technicolor tit
but then, we had no choice in it.

He builds his nest there, bit by bit.
labours to find, fetch, gather, knit,
while we watch on and gradually
applaud his efforts, even cheer
this hero who was no one’s choice,
uplifted by his presence here.

Richard Fleming

This poem appears in Richard’s second poetry collection, Strange Journey.

For further information go to http://redhandwriter.blogspot.com

Gillian Norris - Tony Bradley

The stage grows gradually darker,
the music fades as the lights slowly dim
then, to a haunting tune, on an Irish flute
unbelievable beauty weaves in

spotlights illuminate her winding path
of such alluring, silky grace
and a thousand little stars, twinkling
from her dress of crimson lace.

Gliding, spinning and twirling
she soars, and floats and swirls
with pouting lips and smouldering eyes
and flowing long black curls.

Rising from magical toes, her slender form,
to an enchanting, angelic face
a heavenly vision encaptured
such passion, such beauty, such grace.

Tony Bradley

The Mistress Position - Wendy Maitland

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

Living on stolen time
With misbegotten dreams,
Tumbling together,
Indecently magnificent.
Knowingly illicit,
Believing lies,
Never wise.
Drowning in joy,
Strangers to guilt,
Delirious madness of love.

Ignoring all the signs,
Like death, not now.
Nor warning lights
To note the sudden shift
As bars clang shut.
On the other side
A shadow flits:
Slinking back
To the sun-filled life
And carefully chosen wife.

Wendy Maitland

Crossroads - Lyndon Queripel

I walked to the crossroads
There's three ways out of town
I looked for the signpost
But the wind had knocked it down

I saw an old man stumble
With shadows in his eyes
When I asked him for directions
He pointed to the skies

So I watched and I waited
The Moon was overcast
I'd never felt so alone
And no one else came past

A hard rain began to fall
At the break of day
So I just turned around
And went back the same way.

Lyndon Queripel

Celandines While You Lie Dying - Trudie Shannon

The sun is shining today
And joy of joys, two ducks play in the pond.
The celandines in all their golden glory gem strew the hedges.
The wind still wreaks havoc,
Blazes across the treetops, chivvies and gnaws voraciously the very sky.
But in here, all is much the same
Though you are quieter, less able to pass comment coherently.
The common term for this gradual withdrawal is 'slipping away'.
But I do not see you slip or slide
Just see that daily, you are a little less visible.

Trudie Shannon

An Entire Life in Boxes - Ian Duquemin

An entire life in boxes, stacked within a messy room
The contents tell a story like a hieroglyphic'd tomb
Inside are wrinkled photographs and bills he didn't pay
Strands of hair, dismembered toes... His blatant DNA
One box holds his ironed clothes.
Another hides his head...
First box boring, cardboard brown
Second, crimson red
Separating life and death is easy to explain
A centrifuge not needed to divide the joy from pain
Pinned upon the boxes lies the answer to his end
A bloody little poem... That the killer kindly penned

Ian Duquemin

The Hourglass - D.B. Morst

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

Within a fragile vessel, the grains of time
With agile grace,
Pace silently, no beat no chime.
A deep and golden tress is,
Sweeping not about a face.

For here inside this timepiece, life’s beat does seep
From widened crown,
Down far below, to empty deep,
A hungry dark abyss,
Where all history does drown.

Oh give to me a heartbeat, but one more pulse
To see the light!
Might time stand still, and not convulse,
The memories incomplete,
Far beyond my failing sight?

But my pleas for life anew, cry out in vain
No peace I’ll earn,
Burn endlessly, in tortured pain,
Holding not my one love true,
I'll watch the hourglass turn.

D.B. Morst

For You - Bryony de Lat

What can I do now, all I wanted in life
on that cruellest, blackest day
stolen from me for ever
please take this nightmare away.

All the good stuff in me's been taken
everything that was pure, made me proud
inspiration to strive, be brave, be strong
vanished, gone in a hideous black cloud.

Every new day, these constant reminders
slash at any chance of a new life, they sever
they cut without warning, jabbing, stabbing
and I'll be bleeding inside forever.

If all the precious things had vanished with you
I'm sure I could easily had gone with them too
easier than these empty todays & tomorrows
just wishing for, . . living for, . . dying for, . .you.

Bryony de Lat

Electoral Prayer - Diane Scantlebury

Let only words of sincerity
Trickle from your lips
Nothing syrupy or sticky toffee sweet,
Nor idle boasts or pledges
Or hollow promises you'll never honour, or keep,
Tomorrow will it be worthless
If you say it all today?
The poor will still get poorer
The super rich will never pay,
You may try to seduce us with rhetoric
To place our mark against your name,
But when election fever has cooled and died down
Will we find that nothing has changed?
Don't promise it all, but deliver none
Just to avoid an opinion poll dip,
When lives and futures are in your hands
Let your words be sincere and of substance,
As they trickle from your lips.

Diane Scantlebury

To Drown - Richard Fleming


As night goes stepping like a dancer;
white frost stands on the black-thorn;
moonlight spills on the expanse where
grass advances, each blade drawn.

From her bed, voices entrance her
then draw her, helpless as a fawn,
out to the bridge and there balance her
briefly, before she plunges down,
as night goes stepping like a dancer,
to drown
and drown
and drown
and drown.

Richard Fleming

This poem appears in Richard’s second poetry collection, Strange Journey.

For further information go to http://redhandwriter.blogspot.com

I'm so sorry, Guernsey - Tony Bradley

Born a bit later, I didn't suffer the war
only witnessing the damage, left behind
the wrecking of homes and families,
the disease and destruction of body and mind.

Plymouth, 1950, still blackened from the bombing
was reeling still, years after the trouble
I was born at 3, Clarendon Terrace
but 1, 5 and 6 were just piles of rubble.

The grown-ups had anxieties still in their heads
some women saved things, without knowing why
string, and jars, in boxes under the beds
and fearing the siren of death from the sky.

Children were viewed as the future, now safe
my brother and I were brought up with a swagger
encouraged to glorify, and brandish spoils of war,
a helmet, a Luger, or a German dagger.

Maybe 'cos they sensed the grown-up's old fears
young boys' bravado made them act the fool
I remember you'd get a seething six of the best
if you drew a swastika on your note-book at school.

Imprisoned on your own island, it must have been worse
the enemy's robbery and threats must have been numbing
I'm in shame now, how, in ignorance, we played. .
"quick, in the loft, the Germans are coming . . . ."

Tony Bradley

9th of May 1945 - Lyndon Queripel


If the Germans had won the war
I overheard some one say
We'd have no date to celebrate
No Liberation Day

If the Germans had won the war
We'd be driving on the right
And there would be a curfew
After nine o clock at night

If the Germans had won the war
And were in complete control
For sure there'd be a law
Against playing rock and roll

If the Germans had won the war
It would be a real drag
Having to fly a swastika
For our island flag

If the Germans had won the war
Without a shadow of a doubt
You'd never see a Guernsey Jew
But you'd see a sour kraut.

Lyndon Queripel

When Jackboots Echoed - Ian Duquemin


Churchill planned to bomb our lands
The stepping stones for German feet
As jackboots echoed through the town
Upon our cobbled street
Flags of Deutschland dressed the poles
And young men spoke in different tongue
When radio released the news
To put right all the wrong
Soon the ships came to our shore
And rifles lowered down at ease
Shouts of freedom, songs of joy
All hailed our appease
The barren fortress island freed
Surrounded with its many towers
Jackboots now our history
But Guernsey always ours!

Ian Duquemin

Seventy Years and Today - Trudie Shannon


It seems strange that we should talk of celebration
To once more throng the streets for Liberation.
Though I have heard first hand from my Mum
Who was a part of it, the Occupation
The stories of the hardship and the camaraderie
The fears, the lack, the cold, the sharing secretly
The music and make do
Of grey clad soldiers from a foreign land,
Mother's sons, sister's brothers ....
Not all Nazis
How food was scarce and jackboots imprinted everywhere
To think of those who died from malnutrition
Before the Vega brought supplies and salvation
To think of deportees and curfews
And prisoners scantily clad, who died
And were entombed within the concrete that they made.

It's hard for me to take account of sacrifice long past
Yet, we must remember

But need to remember too
That today many millions across the world
Endure the very same
And we turn our heads aside
And in so doing enact our shame.

Trudie Shannon

Freedom - Stephen A. Roberts


Freedom from the crooked cross
The Field Grey unwanted boss
Was Guernsey’s gain and Hitler’s loss
Though he didn't live to pay
The coward blew himself away
Before Guernsey’s Liberation day

Freedom came in '45
The landing of Force 135
Found the locals still alive
And though a heavy price was paid
To have some decent sea walls made
The Guernsey donkey proudly brayed

Freedom seemed so simple then
A triumph over evil men
Sarnia free to thrive again
But time goes on and things have changed
Freedom's meaning is rearranged
To suit the modern day and age...

Freedom rocks - and how!
The 21st century sacred cow -
Money - is the Fuhrer now
End result of work's chore
Needed for a house and more
Of course you need a 4x4!

Freedom means a range of perks
For new fascists in their Mercs
As they get used to island quirks
Freedom to filter if you like
Near suicidal on a bike
Cyclist prays for a car tax hike

Freedom is sometimes wasted on these shores
Some drink 'til they can take no more
Then slump down drunk in a Pollet door
But no-one’s smoking with their beer
Freedom’s strange, even queer
Do you feel free to agree, mon vieux?

Stephen A. Roberts

Tall Trees - Jennywren


Originally published here in February 2012

A row of Poplar trees
backlit by the afternoon sun
Stand, like giants, impressing the young child
While between each one, a man, wearing a tin hat stands .....watching

Watching ... the Father and his child
working amongst their ripening crop
The Father knows their purpose,
He understands

'We must harvest this whole crop today' he says
'It will be a surprise for Mum'
He knows it will not be there tomorrow

Those trees - still there
A constant reminder of that day long ago
Trees so tall, men so small
A lasting impression on a young mind.

Jennywren

Boom - Gordon Arnold

Originally published here in August 2013

A poem about a Canadian WW2 Mine that was found in the Bluebell Woods and subsequently detonated off the Guernsey coast; as seen through the eyes of a father, mother & child.

“There she goes” said the Dad to the child
While his wife just frowned ever so riled
As if saying “she” that war is beguiled
But his eyes, they were wild
Like those of a child

And the child?

Well… He just smiled.

Gordon Arnold

Give and Take - Bryony de Lat

Life was a jigsaw before you came
lots of pieces broken or lost
you came along with a simpler game
caring, sharing not counting the cost.

After all my dark depressing days
suddenly bright and free
a new straight road, so clear, no haze
all I had to be was, me.

No matter now what fate dealt me
little hopes dashed, small dreams shattered
being worthy of this heaven-sent love
was the only thing that really mattered.

She's been stolen now, so soon
and I've gone back to a cold dark place
I seek no help from this private doom
to an evil world I cannot face.

Bryony de Lat

The Little Café - Holly Jones

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

The little café is across the street
It's not too far so use your feet
Service with a smile is what they say
They won’t mind so stay all day
Make yourself at home bring a book or your phone
Once you're there you won't want to come home
They serve Breakfast, lunch and even tea
Brilliant views right near the sea
Outside seating for that summer breeze
once you see their cakes you will be begging on your knees
So when you think about the little café
Remember that smile because that's what they say!

Holly Jones

917 - Tony Bradley

917 didn't really have a chidhood
was always hiding, too frightened, too shy
too much abuse, neglect and torture
917 just wanted to die.

917 can't trust anybody
unable to relax, make friends
thinks anyone's show of kindness
will always have sinister ends.

For 917 there's a red mist, now
of anger, when someone with powers
is unfair, or just a little bit curt
917 now no longer cowers.

917 seeks peace, in misguided revenge
someone else, an unwitting prey
that self-destruct button been pressed
and they lock 917 away.

So for 917 there's no career, no life
"behavioural problems, a misfit", they say
But it's not just here now, it goes on and on
there's new numbers every day.

Tony Bradley

Blog Archive