Broken Children - Ian Duquemin

My old man he wasn't much
But had the loudest laugh in town
Him a father? Not as such
He'd turn my whole world upside down
His eyes like mine the colour blue
Were passed to him and then to me
But on my birth, or my debut
A different world I'd see
The horrors that would come my way
I'd store them somewhere deep inside
But on occasions, like a play
They did not want to hide
And in my nightmares standing there
The very ghoul that I would fear
Would laugh out loud without a care
And whisper in my ear
Hush little baby don't you cry
Nobody cares if you live or die
Then laughter fills the room with dread
The room of fear within my head
The sheets I'd pull around me tight
While through the darkness shadows crept
No comfort in the black of night
Where broken children slept

Ian Duquemin

Nora’s Still Working Hard - Diane Scantlebury

Nora's still working hard,
Nora knows her place,
She always says
She's happy to see you,
With a bright smile upon her face,
Expertly serving coffee
Deftly pouring the tea,
Nora stands for no nonsense
From the likes of you and me,

Nora's always working hard,
Nora's in her place,
Nora has outstanding patience
With the foibles,
Of the human race,

Nora is a trooper
She'll soldier on and on,
She always goes that extra mile
Where no one else has gone,
Coffee pot in one hand
Tea pot in the next,
Nothing's too much trouble
No order too complex,

Nora has a private life
Not that you would know,
She cordially smiles
And greets us,
But never puts her feelings on show,

Nora can't help working hard,
Nora loves her place,
To many she's invisible
But she never forgets a face,
No one knows what Nora thinks
Or cares if she lives alone,
She fills her days
By obeying others,
Then quietly marches home.

Diane Scantlebury

Mister Bore - Oscar Milde

He’s a dull bird in today’s world:
no strutting,
no nothing,
no brag,
no swagger,
no guile,
no style,
no profile online
no quips,
no sell,
no kiss and tell
of whips or gels
or girls or drugs
or private hells,
no bugs,
no hugs,
no movie plugs ...
he simply shrugs.

You might opine
he doesn’t shine
and think, at sixty-nine,
he’s in decline.
He chinks your glass
and laughs
and says he’s fine.

Oscar Milde

Just a Has-Been - Tony Gardner

It's years since I took to stage now
Or held and picked a guitar
Uncut are my fingernails now, and my voice
Is cruelly changed by the jar

For a singer's life is uncertain
He has to fight so hard to win
Recognition and fame and position
Until real money rolls in

Then after the work and the sweating
The practice, auditions that wear
Ambitions down to dejection
'Til all you have left is a prayer

I'll sing songs to myself if I want to
Or if you like I'll sing them to you
But I'll not sing again for money
For the words could never ring true.

Tony Gardner

George Torode (Part 2) - Tony Bradley

So well-loved was this talented, kind man
not just the anecdotes, his endless repartee
a disabled chap in his gang, called John
sometimes bore the brunt of his humour, even he

George lampooned everyone, no-one was spared
even chaps like John, it would seem
John was a grafter, but he was uncoordinated
he was a loose cannon, not really part of the team.

George would say,"Look out, give him room, boys
he does the work of three, . . . he's all action . . .
he's got to, mind, he's injured the other two . . .
they're at the PEH, in traction!"

Tony Bradley

Wear Your Poppy With Pride - Lyndon Queripel

Wear your poppy with pride
That's what the sign said
Remember the ones who died
And the ones who bled
Wear your poppy with pride
It's time to pay the price
For those who turned the tide
With their ultimate sacrifice

Wear you poppy with pride
For we must never forget
It can't ever be denied
We owe them such a debt
Wear your poppy with pride
Give generously if you please
Now that the blood has dried
And we all live in peace

Wear your poppy with pride
There's freedom in the air
And take your place beside
The silence of our prayer
Wear your poppy with pride
Let the services begin
Remember the widowed bride
And the unsung heroine

Wear your poppy with pride
For those who rose and fell
Across the great divide
Of bullets, gas and shell
Wear your poppy with pride
If only those poor souls knew
The same banks financed every side
In both World war one and two

Wear your poppy with pride
With faith,hope and charity
In God they trust and hide
From behind this conspiracy
Wear your poppy with pride
To honour the brave hero
But who gets to decide
Where all the money will go

Wear your poppy with pride
As a tribute to the many
There's veterans far and wide
Who won't even see a penny
Wear your poppy with pride
For the old soldier on the street
He sold his medals and cried
Just to buy something to eat.

Lyndon Queripel

Vazon Shoreline - Richard Fleming

After the storm,
a cleansed beach to walk upon
and early sunlight on washed sand.

Gulls guard the tide line,
police the sea: soft breezes ruffle
feathers, not composure.
Arrogant figures with dagger beaks
and pale, dispassionate eyes
of contract killers,
they stare me out.
Plovers race along like commuters,
hurrying, hurrying,
shoulders bent, drab as clerks,
then dart into collective flight
sprinting low over water,
their silver under-wings
glinting, glinting.

Black and white oystercatchers,
tiptoe round rock-pools:
liveried butlers polishing mirrors.
A single white egret shimmers
like a jilted bride.

After the storm,
a cleansed beach in sunlight;
the blanched sand
an unspoilt page.

Overnight, the world stopped.
Now it begins again.

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

Remember, Remember… - Traditional

One of many versions of this traditional chant

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Guy Fawkes, guy, t'was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England's overthrow.

By god's mercy he was catch'd
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.

And what shall we do with him?
Burn him!


Rascally Rasputin - Kathy Figueroa

Rascally Rasputin
Bedded women near and far
Reprobate Rasputin
Was the favourite of the Tsar

Recondite Rasputin
Taught that “Jesus saves”
Rapscallion Rasputin
Led the royals to their graves

The mad monk of Siberia
Influenced the Romanov clan
By presenting himself as something
More powerful than just a man

A huckster, a hoaxster
Not a shaman was Grigori
But he had powers of persuasion
To a tremendous degree

Alas, Tsar Nicholas, The Second
Didn’t show much common sense
His trust was misplaced
With a dire consequence

For his iniquity, Grigori
Rasputin paid a great price
His painful, protracted demise
Wasn’t very nice

Poisoned, shot, beaten
Then, eventually, drowned
Felix Yusupov ensured the monk
Would no longer be around

And, though the royals prayed that
Jesus would save them in the end
It was proved that miracles weren’t
Something on which they could depend

Rascally Rasputin
Bedded women near and far
Reprobate Rasputin
Was the favourite of the Tsar

Recondite Rasputin
Taught that “Jesus saves”
Rapscallion Rasputin
Led the royals to their graves

Kathy Figueroa

Rascally Rasputin was published on October 27, 2016, in The Bancroft Times newspaper.

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