Absent Love - Kate Gallienne

I was born from you
But you’d never know
For you love for me
Did never show

The last on your list of priorities
I often prayed upon my knees
That one day you’d suddenly see
Your daughter, your child, little me

Wrapped in a world of deceit and lies
You turned your back as I cried inside
Your mind distracted and away from home
Forgetting me, leaving me all alone

My life is a winter, so bleak and dark
With scars etched deep across my heart
Thoughts of you, surely bring me down
I cannot smile with this heavy frown

Time will heal or so they say
But I live this pain day after day
Like a jigsaw piece I’m all amiss
And I cannot recall one single kiss

So don’t be alarmed when I scream in your face
For the rage within me is hard to displace
You say you love me but it cannot be so
For your love for me never did show.

Kate Gallienne

Deadwood - Donald Keyman

It's time to cut out the deadwood
and pile it in the yard
in front of the polling station
it needn't be too hard

yes, it's time to clear the alley
of supine bowling pins
a spring-clean after a winter
that's lasted four long years

so let's get out the new broom
let's get out the axe
yes, it's time to spill some old blood
it's time to cut out the deadwood

Donald Keyman

Modern Poets - Bryony de Lat

I wish to declare my long-held disquiet
regarding the inaccurate image of modern poetry
presented by media, schools and the like
where the poet's a recluse, strange and solitary.

'Au contraire!' in my experience, (quite varied,very long)
yes they step back, but only to digest, philosophize,
by their very nature, folk easily become friends, and more
they hear everyone's woes, an ear kind and wise.

Bryony de Lat

World of Sadness - Diane Scantlebury

Yesterday I saw you,
A shadow walking,
Wearing your sorrow
Like a too heavy coat,
Your face was pale
And the sparkle had been
From your once bright eyes,
Now dull, opaque opals
Stared back at me,
Where there used to be
Fiery diamonds,
You were drifting along
All the fight inside gone,
I wanted to hug and console you,
Reassure you that life
Would trundle on regardless,
But I knew this was not the time,
You were locked in your lonely
World of sadness,
And probably wouldn’t listen anyway.

Diane Scantlebury

Labourers - Trudie Shannon

The church is beset by scaffolding.
A spider web of Metallica.
Inside the welcome porch,
The labourers stand to, folded neatly
In their cement spattered jeans and steel-capped boots,
Drinking tea from battered flasks.
Inside the God space, there is an air of neglect,
Of eternal waiting.
The swear words from the portico rush past
The stations of the cross,
Dust motes multiplying in their wake,
Cruising past sainted images
With the soft, eradicable ease of light.
From his vantage point, high upon the crucifix,
Jesus hangs about, wondering
If any the lads might stand him
A mouthful of water.

Trudie Shannon

Have A Care - John Carré Buchanan

I don't care if you’re a Muslim
I don't care if you’re a Jew
I don't care if you’re Christian
Syrian, or from Crewe.
If your L-B-G-T
they're all fine by me,
because I believe
we're all humanity.

From the tycoon in her ivory tower
to the orphan on the street.
A rebel fighting government
the girl I've yet to meet.
The Inuit in the high north,
the Bajau on the sea,
we all share the basic right
to live a life that's free.

It’s a right we share with nature
with beasts, the birds and bees,
the creatures of the ocean
and yes; the plants and trees.
From tiny little microbes
to the might of the great blue whale,
the spider hanging in its web
and the humble garden snail

Yes, we share that basic right,
to live a life that's free
but we humans also have;
a responsibility;
to mind the world we live in,
to mind the air we share,
to keep the oceans pure and clear,
and above all show we care.

so; I don't care if you’re a Muslim
I don't care if you’re a Jew
I don't care if you’re Christian
Syrian or from Crewe.
If your L-B-G-T
that's ok with me
but if you insist on damaging
this world, that all life shares
we're going to have a problem
because I'm someone who cares.

John Carré Buchanan

The Rock - Ian Duquemin

I never shall leave these rocky shores
Yet the gypsy inside on the open moors...
Longs for a freedom that never shall be
While the vagabond sings within me...
Songs never heard on this island of mine
The prison long lost with the passing of time
Abandoned and never a beat in my heart
Cursed we are never to part
Yet this traveller moves on a higher plain
Untethered and free of his ball and chain
On a journey of silence that leads him astray
So no longer a castaway

Ian Duquemin

Aftermath - Lyndon Queripel

After the last fish has died
Fried in your river of regret
And the truth that you denied
Has slipped right through your net

After the last tree is felled
And the earth is scorched and burnt
The air you breathe is poisoned
From the lessons you never learnt

After the last word you heard
Still echoes inside your head
And the colour of your money
Can't even buy you any bread

After the last well runs dry
You thirst and hunger in the cold
Unable to feed your greed
With crumbs of silver and gold

After the last rays of the Sun
Have set your shadow free
From the guilt that was built
As blood spilt into the sea

After the last page is turned
And the book of life is read
Will you wait with your fate
Surrounded by the living dead.

Lyndon Queripel

Grief - Diane Scantlebury

Grief is a vulture silently circling,
Circling in the air,
Then swooping down at life’s lowest ebb
To pick the bones of our despair,
But those pickings are slim
When you’ve become frail and thin,
Caught up in the turmoil of sadness,
And all around you the well wishers spin
On a roulette wheel of madness,

Grief is a mantis
Quietly and mindlessly engulfing its prey,
Siphoning out the life force
As you try to struggle away,
But that struggle seems futile
When all that’ll be left is dry bone,
And only years of frayed memories to clutch
After the one you’ve loved has gone.

Diane Scantlebury

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