Witch - Richard Fleming

Black shawled, she gathers sticks, views you aslant.
Her cat is black, it has an evil eye.
We tread an extra mile, though we are tired, to avoid her gate.
Our children, in their sleep, cry out in fear
while pregnant women shy away when she appears.
O’Riley cursed her in a drunken rage
and afterwards
his cattle ceased to milk, his horse fell down and died.
They say she rides a broom on summer nights
when shadows cross the moon like ravens’ wings.
Dark toads squat wetly on her windowsill
and croak the Devil’s name in foreign tongues.
No luck, no luck for us while she remains.
She must be gone, like others of her kind:
first by the ducking-stool and pins
while priests intone their cleansing Latin spells,
then by the fiery stake, where she will burn
and burn
and burn
and burn
and burn
and burn
and burn.

Richard Fleming

The Pumpkin Beast - Kathy Figueroa

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

In the blackest hours of Halloween night
Stir creatures that moan and wail
Such sounds can give a soul a fright
And cause your heart to fail

But there's one that makes the other bunch
Sound as innocent as a birdie's chirp
When it goes CRUNCH, CRUNCH

"Oh, tell us, please, what is this beast?"
Hoarse, hushed whispers query
"On what does this monster feast
And make noises that are so scary?"

Listen carefully to what I say
Make sure my words you mark
Things transpire in a mysterious way
On Halloween, after dark

Behold yon pumpkin, with an eerie face
Lit by a candle from within
It's to keep bad spirits from that place
That's why it has a hideous grin

But people give nary a thought
That, inside, the pumpkin is being toasted
The candle flame burns so hot
The pumpkin becomes roasted

Certain epicureans of the quadruped kind
Esteem this squash 'cuisine'
And, in abundance, it's easy to find
On the night of Halloween

There's one with which I'm acquainted
That has a legendary appetite
And I nearly fainted
When I first saw the following sight

Only scraps of rind lay on the floor
The Pumpkin Beast had struck behind my back
And he was still looking around for more
After his initial snack attack

'El Perro Gordo de Paudash'
Is the name by which he's now known
And he'll choose pumpkin in a flash
Any day, instead of a bone

Kathy Figueroa

No if, just do - Tony Bradley

Don't worry about 'not fitting in' any place
for you, it would have been like a prison
you work better on your own, a wild card,
a loose cannon, or some other euphemism.

When the bright are young, they always get smothered
but some go on to create, if they manage to breathe
and if they get noticed, just look who's most bothered
it's those twisted smotherers, see the jealous seethe.

Probably born in the wrong time and place
characters like you will be slandered, abused
the mindless masses will close ranks and cluster
and, without thought or trial, hang the accused.

So sail your own boat, dude, do your own thing
they'll be things you can't change , or avoid
if you just try and impress yourself
those who put you down will be well annoyed.

Tony Bradley

Freezing - Tony Gardner

Fingers of coldness are creeping all over
Iciness eating the flesh off of me
A dog fox is barking outside in the darkness
Clouds are forbidding the Moon to break free
And all that I want is for Time to drop backwards
Back to the years when we tasted Life's wine
When all was a breathtaking, red-blooded exploit,
Not like this cold, bitter frost riven rime

Tony Gardner

The Wrath - Ian Duquemin

The crying wind blew up the hill
It dragged along a frozen chill
Bending trees with ease apart
Its destination was my heart
Hunting for its feeble prey
There was no place to hide away
The skies grew black when it was here...
To feed upon my fear
The whispers taunted "Let me in"
And lightening cracked a frightening grin
As here was I now all alone
Within this twilight zone
The chill crept in and covered me
Completely raped and savaged me
I gazed upon your photograph
And swear I heard you laugh

Ian Duquemin

Recycling Techniques - Oscar Milde

These are mandated recycling techniques
ordained by bureaucrats with marker pens:
recycle paper, plastics on alternate weeks.

Pack tight your kitchen cupboard till it squeaks
with jars and cartons squeezed like battery hens:
these are mandated recycling techniques.

Stack piles of paper high as mountain peaks,
let children use waste cardboard to build dens,
recycle paper, plastics on alternate weeks.

Old cooking oil can give you rosy cheeks:
rub it in sparingly each night after you cleanse.
These are mandated recycling techniques

Spare bin-bags make a cool, black dress, with tweaks;
milk cartons, sturdy shoes, but just size tens.
Recycle paper, plastics on alternate weeks.

Exemplary reuse is what your Parish seeks.
Comply, comply if you have any sense.
These are mandated recycling techniques.
Recycle paper, plastics on alternate weeks.

Oscar Milde

Back to GMT - Jenny Hamon

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

I hate it when the clocks go back
And the evenings are so dark
The hours of daylight go amiss
As we are all at work

What a depressing thought
Why can’t we stay on Summer Time
(I know many people have fought.)

I think they call it SAD disease
As darkness makes me depressed
I feel I want to hibernate
All alone in the darkness

I know I just have to put up
With the dark and dismal days
And if I seem miserable
Just put up with my grumpy ways.

This SAD disease will pass
And happiness will return to me
I will be back to my happy self
When the clocks change to BST

Jenny Hamon

Lunar Eclipse - Diane Scantlebury

There you were resplendent
In the middle of a star freckled dark sky,
The blood orange moon
We’d all been excitedly waiting for,
Not so much red, but brown,
As if a muddy thumb
Had smudged you,
I craned my neck
To get a better view,
Under the half closed blind
Of the bathroom window
And then wondered,
How many more sleep encrusted eyes
Were upwardly gazing
In those early, pre dawn hours?
Just to catch a glimpse of you
Before you vanished,
Never to be seen
For another eighteen years.

Diane Scantlebury

Autumn Colours - Yasmin Mariess

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

Turned Red,
leaves dead.

All green,
now unseen.

Leaves brown,
floating down.

golden hues,
light defuse.

orange leaves,
summers thieves'

at last, my dear,
Autumn's here.

Yasmin Mariess

In A Dark Place - Tony Bradley

My secret little room here, under the stairs
no-one can hurt me behind this little door
safe in the darkness, as if I'm not real
I've melted into the walls and floor.

I can forget for a while, in this dark room
nasty things that keep happening, every day
forget the bad people, remembering only
the kinder ones, who never stay.

They never look for me here, snug in my den
I suppose the big spiders would give them a fright
nothing scares me in here, the evil's out there
creepy people, and demons in the night

No-one can see me or hurt me in here
I love the quietness, the safety, the black
I'll hide away, for most of the day
and try and be braver, when I go back.

Tony Bradley

Mean Old Crones - Kathy Figueroa

Mean, old crones
Rattle their bones
In the middle of the
Dank, dark night

A buffet of pills
Won’t cure their ills
It just whets
Their appetite

With sighs and moans
Wails and groans
They crave pity
For their plight

But chortle with glee
When they can see
They’ve hurt someone
For sheer spite

Mean and bad
Or maybe just mad
Hate fills them
With delight

They like to lie
And get high
...Without a broom
They still take flight…

Kathy Figueroa

Mean Old Crones was published in The Bancroft Times newspaper on October 8, 2015.

Winter - Julie Gallienne

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

Winter's bleak message
of trouble to come
foretold in the skies
and dead leaves
on the run.
Blown around
on gusts of wind
dreams and desires
for us to chase.
Autumn's last ditch
at dressing the worl
in bejewelled attire
giving way to black
and grey.
A clear indication
of the direction we'll follw.
But as if by magic
the world is transformed
by the flutter of flakes
glistening like crystal
in a midnight sky
against a full moon.
Laying in peace.
Life takes on a calm
unhurried pace
showing a clean canvas.
Giving us time to reflect
on nature's wonders.
One minute our lives
in complete turmoil
are turned upside down
in a heavenly
serene scene.
Never extinguish
the flame of hope.

Julie Galiene

The Bottle - Ian Duquemin

If you should die and I should live
What of the love I couldn't give?
I'd store it in a bottle tight
Topped up with tears I'd cry each night
So when we finally meet again
We'd share this bottle filled with pain
And get drunk on the love I'd kept
For whom I'd sadly wept

Ian Duquemin

Kids - Oscar Milde

We meant it when we said
that we’d stay in love forever,
but that was years ago
and it wasn’t cool or clever.
We were young as kittens:
love was a ball of wool.
I don’t know which of us turned out
to be the greater fool.
I have your letters still,
suspended in time and space,
but us: those kids we were,
have gone, vanished without a trace.

Oscar Milde

Grand Prix Heroes - Lyndon Queripel

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

Mike Hawthorn was a champion of the fifties code
He retired at the top only to be killed on the road
Jim Clark died at the wheel and Peter Collins too
The plane of Graham Hill dived out of the blue

Fangio and Nuvolari have now passed away
But the magic of their driving is still revered today
Stirling Moss was the complete driver of his time
A near fatal accident stopped him in his prime

Auto Union, Maserati, Vanwall and B.R.M.
Were they all as classic as we remember them?
Goodwood, Kyalami, Donnington, Zandvoort
And the time before Hockenheim was cut short

Jochen Rindt was killed at Monza in nineteen seventy
But he still became the champion posthumously
John Surtees did the double on four wheels and two
Jackie Stewart won three titles and a safety first issue

Hunt the Shunt was a nickname James had to live down
But that didn’t stop him from winning the crown
Niki Lauda survived the inferno at The Nurburgring
And amazingly came back, again to be king

Villeneuve of steel behind the Ferrari wheel
As engines scream and tyres squeal
Gilles was on the track when it all went black
In a fast lap speed trap and never came back

Ayrton Senna lived to drive and that’s how he died
Unless he was winning he was never satisfied
The San Marino weekend was such a tragedy
But the cause of his crash is still a mystery

In the Grand Prix circus, the ring of Formula One
With twists of the wrists the gladiators shone
It was death or glory in the most dangerous drives
But the power of the story cost so many lives

Lyndon Queripel

The Cannon Rock - Tony Gardner

The gorse is gold as Guernsey butter
Linnets flitting through the thorn.
Thick the scent of elderflower
On the cliffs this summer morn.

Through the warm, blue skies the swallows
Twist and glide in skilful sport
Down below, our destination,
The Cannon Rock at Petit Port.

As we scramble down the cliffside
With our tackle, rods and bait
Ostensively it's fish we're after
But just the solitude is great.

Now the climbing sun grows stronger
Sparkling on the placid waves
As we bask in peaceful pleasure
I know this is all I crave

Sitting on the weathered granite
The lapping waves a foot away
Catching one or two small "rockies"
Which we return to swim away

When I'm old and stiff and creaky
When I can climb the cliffs no more
Still will glow within my memory
The Cannon Rock at Petit Port.

Tony Gardner

October - Julian Clarke

The dew soaked grass looks soft as silk
Shrouding the valley floats a ghostly mist,
Just for a breath the sun rests on tree tops
Rising slowly for a new autumn day.

Golden brown leaves fall on the ground
Dancing in a frenzy, swirling around,
Foreboding clouds sail on blustery winds
A watery sun hides behind one, it rains.

Leaning into a south westerly gale
Bodies bent double into a head wind,
People fighting with their umbrellas
Waiting for bus a huddled together.

Julian Clarke

Sitting In A Bar At the Airport - Andrew Barham

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

Sitting in a bar at the airport –
Moody, melancholic day-dreaming bar
Taking me away from everything
As it draws it all into perspective
Waiting to see if I shall board the next flight

Been a while since I've sat in a bar
Contemplating the meaning of life over a pint of beer
While ogling a favoured waitress,
But nowadays they're all sports bars –
That ubiquitous telly staring down at one
From every possible point of vantage
Advertising sports, endlessly …

I hate sports – thugs in gaudy uniforms
Paid ridiculous sums of money
To knock a bit of rubber
Or an inflated bladder
About with their hands or their feet
Or batter it with sticks and bats
For the entertainment
Of beer-swilling couch potatoes.
It puts one off by focussing one's attention
On something utterly ephemeral and worthless;

Been too long since I had a drink at the airport,
Yet, I remember a time when we would never dream
Of going to the airport
To board a flight or see someone off
And not have a drink while we were there …

Andrew Barham

Billy Fisher - Tony Bradley

Back at your granite seat, Billy, love
though you'll come this way no more
six years since it was placed here, above,
your favourite stretch of shore.

Six winters now, tide in, tide out
the earth will turn, beyond my life
you're out at sea, where you belong
and I wait here, a fisherman's wife.

Tony Bradley

Green Eyed Monster - Diane Scantlebury

A dragon with a scaly back
And flashing eyes of emerald green,
Leapt onto the page of her laptop
As her cursor scrolled down the flickering screen,
Why he’d come she didn’t know
Or how her firewall he could circumvent,
Nor did she know the jealous troll
Who into her life this jewel eyed monster had sent,
To wreak mayhem and havoc through her files
Just before she could save her precious work
And safely tuck it into bed,
The beast reared up and blanked it out
With a lash of its forked tongue
And a toss of its angry head,
If her only crime was to post
Her creativity for all to see online,
What had she done to provoke such ire?
Or to irritate an envious troll
And place herself unknowing, into his line of fire.

Diane Scantlebury

Runaway - Oscar Milde

It was another boring day,
no harm was planned, it was just fun,
at least it started out that way
but now he’s scared and on the run.
His headstrong pals led him astray,
someone got blamed: he was the one,
and the result was hell-to-pay.
Because a lying tale was spun,
he had to duck and run away.
He’s hiding now, his life undone:
a criminal, or so they say,
but no one ever found the gun.

Oscar Milde

Wrong Place... Wrong Time - Ian Duquemin

I was born in the wrong place
I arrived in the wrong time
I should have been a teenager in 1959
America should have been my homeland
When rock n roll meant something
Tuning into a radio station
To listen to Elvis sing
I'd be driving a black Chevy 55
Taking my girl to a show
Stealing a kiss as the movie played
Pretending she was Marilyn Monroe
But here I arrived in 64
Where I never did really belong
My life at times has seemed way out of sync
And my birth date is what made me wrong
I don't belong in this digital world
Where everything feels so cold
I belong in a place of exciting times
When rock n roll broke the mould

Ian Duquemin

October - Martyn Legg

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

October, and the trees are stripped bare of all they wear, but do I care, do I care?
October, and the doors all close but no one knows for no one sees, but do I care?
The leaves are laughing as they fall to the ground, so slowly they drift, without a sound
So slowly I fall, or so it seems, I have all the reasons but none of the means, no infant cries, no tear filled eyes, but do I care?

I see the solution but can’t find a cure, the dreams are all faded, have lost their allure, time is the answer and life is a day, maturity comes in a cruel kind of way, but do I care, do I care?
I’ve asked all the questions and heard the replies so hollow with pity and acceptable lies, the autumn has bitten, the colours have gone, It seems in the end that I held the wrong one.

This thing that I’ve cherished completely in vain, a thing of such beauty has caused me such pain, but do I care, do I care?

October, and the trees are stripped bare, so beautiful were they, clothed in their innocence. But do I care?

Martyn Legg

A Difficult Pause - Trudie Shannon

Across the wooden table, her elbows crooked
Her head cupped in one hand
We talk, of this and that, the past, the present.
Out of the blue she says

I hope he dies before me.

The words seem harsh, hard, cold
As if she no longer cares
I am speechless, have no idea how to fill the void.
In this uncomfortable pause we avoid each others eyes.
Then she says

If I die first,
They will put him in a home.

She says it without emotion
But she is so emotionally charged,
I weep on her behalf.
Truth is all too often
So hard to swallow.

Trudie Shannon

The Perelle Pullers - Tony Gardner

Mine host, Mick Finn, of the Perelle Inn
Had a word with me one night.
We were downing gin that he'd just got in
When he says all serious-like;
Now the shows are near, and I'd like this year
To get the pub esteem
So we'll organise a few of the guys
And we'll get up a Tug of War team.
We can ask Bill Snell, and Jack Queripel
We'll ask the regular boys.
There's Fred Le Cras, and his brother-in-law
It's something they'll all enjoy.
You and I can pull, and that bloke named 'Bull'
Could do as the Anchor Man.
Young Jim La Moye and the Gallienne boy
They'll help us if they can.

Training time was drawn for that Sunday morn
We were eager to take the strain
But we all got tight on Saturday night
And just two were fit to train.
So on Monday night in the evening light
We gathered around to train
It wasn't much fun when we went for a run
And Lloyd said "Never again !"
But in a few weeks we were smart and sleek
And our confidence was high
That we would pick up the 'West Show' Cup
As easy as eating pie.
Well, the big day came, our date with fame
We looked great in our brand new kit
Then Bob Le Feuvre said, "To calm our nerves
Let's pop in the Beer Tent quick."

Let me tell you all that was our downfall
We were there at chuckout time
And we never saw the Tug of War
We missed our chance to shine.
The best laid plans of mouse and man
And the host of the Perelle Inn
Were blown sky high by a beer on the sly
And a fondness for the gin.

Tony Gardner

Living In Sin - Lyndon Queripel

Confession is good for the soul
This motion has always been carried
You must make love and not war
But then only if you are married.

Lyndon Queripel

Raven Rules - Andrew Barham

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

Canny old crow
I hear his wings
Beating against the sky
I can't see –
The Forest is silent;
Ancient trees
Shrouded in moss
Which falls in tatters
From moss thickened limbs
Murmuring ancient wisdom to themselves:
I look up
Into the distant canopy
Hearing the Raven calling –
My camera
Set at 28, as wide an angle as it will go
Can't take it all in:
Tree trunks as wide
As a Silver Ghost is long;
Trees …
Moss …
Rules …

Andrew Barham

Energy Conservation (Save Some For Later) - Tony Bradley

When I think back to my stupid young years
the wasted energy almost has me in tears
continuing the lost cause, supporting the lame duck,
I couldn't just leave it, and accept my bad luck.

Nowadays, there's more caution in my moving
any cause for action needs a good deal of proving
I spend time in the garden, keeping it pretty and neat
but much longer basking in my favourite seat.

I'm out driving, admiring some lovely view
I get out for a stroll, it's a bit of a wrench
I'm enjoying the scenery, the fresh spring air
but I'm sure the buggers have moved a bench.

Tony Bradley

Acrobatic Poetry - Fred Williamson and Lester Queripel

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

The words leap off the page.
Onto the empty stage.
It’s the start of the show.
The ideas flow.

Words rain from my mind.
I juggle them into line.
Poetry prose and rhyme.
Easy to find.
Pumping from my brain.
Like an express train.

Words, like busy bees.
Like monkeys in the trees.
A wordy display.
A worthy array.
The show must go on.
There is no pause.
Even after the applause.

Fred Williamson and Lester Queripel

War Inc. - Ian Duquemin

All you military men
Who would give up their lives
What of your children?
What of your wives?
You fight for your country
And you fight with a pride
But what of the pain that you leave when you've died?

Yet the generals hide safely
Behind desks where they sit
While you and your comrades
Step deeper in shit
They give you their orders
And await your return
Then act like they might have some kind of concern

When your bullets are loaded
When your missiles take aim
Each one with its target
Each one with a name
Your name too is written
On a shell tipped with lead
And it's pointed and locked and it's aimed at your head

Will you answer my question?
Will the fighting soon cease?
You can't fight for a future
Only peace can bring peace!
Yet wars keep on raging
And still so many die
Can somebody honestly answer me why?

I will ask you one favour
Let my children be free
Keep them out of your conflicts
Leave them here next to me
So I can teach them the one way...
I believe to be right
That peace can't be found if a man has to fight!

Ian Duquemin

Fuzzy ‘Round the Edges - Diane Scantlebury

I’ve got great new specs
Everything’s in HD,
A whole world of minutia
Has opened up for me,
From the spots and lines on my face
To the dirt on the floor,
Toast crumbs in the bed
And thick dust on the door,
But I think I was happier
When all around me was blurry,
Unaware of tangled hair in the carpet
Or bath taps scaly and furry,
So what if the definition is great?
On the leaves of distant hedges,
Ignorance can be bliss
When your sight is fuzzy ‘round the edges!

Diane Scantlebury

Blog Archive