West Coast Sunset - Richard Fleming

When the Fat Lady sings her song
of death, her red dress billows out.
Her stage is the horizon there
beyond the sea where white birds shout
like stage-hands in the cooling air
or, lazy, simply bob along.

Her audience, this perfect night:
beach strollers, men with barbeques,
joggers, dog-walkers, laughing girls,
wet-suited boys in bright canoes;
stare as her aria unfurls
its ruby notes in dying light.

Collectively, we hold our breath
to watch the Lady, red as paint,
sink down, her wondrous final scene
completed in a breathless faint.
The colour now, the tangerine
of saffron robes, perhaps of death.

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 http://redhandwriter.blogspot.com

Two Things That Should Never Mix - Kathy Figueroa

He wasn’t supposed to be born that way
But it wasn’t something he could choose
You see, his mother was a party girl
And really liked the booze

So he was awash with alcohol though,
As an embryo, shouldn’t have been drinking
Now he’s got problems and owes it all
To the fact his mother wasn’t thinking

“Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” or “FAS”
Is how the condition is commonly defined
It not only affects folks physically
It also affects the mind

Poor concentration, focus that flops
Around like a flag in the wind -
Pregnant women simply shouldn’t imbibe
Or else against the unborn they’ve sinned…

…By taking away their capacity
To have lives that are happy and productive
And ensuring a host of problems that are
Socially alienating and destructive

FAS means there’s no ability to understand
That there are consequences to actions
It also often means trouble with the law
Because of negative attractions

Being naïve and malleable, never
The master of their own mind
Their only hope is for an environment
That’s protective, structured, and kind

Some brutally hard facts,
Ones which no one likes to say,
Are that the condition is preventable
…And won’t ever go away

Alcohol and pregnancy are
Two things that should never mix
Lest there be problems that doctors
And prayers simply can’t ever fix.

Kathy Figueroa

The Spoils of War. (Get rid of all the bunkers.) - Tony Bradley

I often come for a stroll on this headland
they come for contrasting reasons, some others that do
some seem to have blinkers, ignoring the beauty
they're attracted to evil's past, blind to the view.

They don't seem to see the rainbow surf,
swirling gushing up gullies, 'gainst the granite peaks
the evening sunlight, on the wet rocks,
glistening a gull hovering over, as sheltered perch it seeks.

They just come to see the ugly concrete wasteland
coastlines desecrated, all beauty offended
do we wish to immortalize past sins ? . . . .
let's give Nature back her Earth, for the beauty intended.

Tony Bradley

Believe It - Lester Queripel

Borrow from tomorrow.
It could bring you joy or it could bring you sorrow.
It could become a noose around your neck.
You'll need to keep it in check.
It's payback time until you clear the debt.
There's no need to worry or fret.
Don't live a life of regret.
Do what you need to do.
Don't wait.
Don't speculate or contemplate.
Build your castle in the air.
You have the time to spare.
You have everything you need.
So there is no reason why you shouldn't succeed.
Roll up your sleeve.
It's possible to achieve.
All you have to do is believe.
It will be worth it in the end.
As long as you don't go around the bend.

Lester Queripel

Red, White and Blue - Diane Scantlebury

Outside the Britannia pub
Red faced, blue nosed he stands,
A smouldering cigarette dangling
From the scarred white fingers of his hand,
Ash spatters his scuffed shoes
While he reflects unseeing on a life,
Frittered recklessly away on beer,
Battered and abandoned like his wife,

With toothless mouth, he curses,
Foul and reeking of booze,
Slowly drawing on the stub
He’s nothing left and nothing more to lose,
Outside the Britannia pub
Red faced, blue nosed he stands,
Unsteady on white legs that once would swagger,
Now he can only grab the door frame
And back into its darkness stagger.

Diane Scantlebury

Breath - Julian Clarke

is our being.
Being is beautiful, and
being with you is as beautiful
as the breath itself.
Take nothing for granted,
appreciate the love
our breath

Julian Clarke

Big Plans - Joan Etoile

I worried about my Guernsey boys
Spending so much money on new toys
With them it's all "want, want, want"
That's why they traded in their little punt
For a nice big boat without a sail
What use is that when the engine fails?

Now they've asked for their inheritance
Though they said it was only "bants"
It seems they want to extend their drive
In case more people should arrive
I said they won't come, not when they twig
That your house is not so big

But they keep going on about their plan
How they could park a bigger van
They're even paying one of their mates
To find out who offers the best rates
Well at least someone will see some lolly
From my children's stupid folly!

Joan Etoile

The Beggar - Ian Duquemin

A beggar came calling, he knocked on my door
I swear I'd not known of a beggar so poor
I may not have much but I've got quite a lot
I guess I'm content with the little I've got
I broke him some bread, shared a bottle of wine
I gave him a coat that was comfortably mine
He thanked me and smiled, then he went on his way
A little more richer than he was yesterday

Ian Duquemin

Childhood - Tony Bradley

I was on the beach again, soon after dawn
just mooching, beach-combing, had a little jog.
Sitting on the sand, I re-enacted a game
that we used to play, when I was a sprog.

I made a pyramid of stones, with a tall one, on top
balanced, so it would have little resistance
I moved well away, with stones to throw
it seemed a bit cocky, quite a distance.

Anyway, I lobbed one, just to stretch my arm
to get the range, you know, casually tossed it
I only whacked it, sent it tumbling
I quit, swaggered home, I haven't lost it.

Tony Bradley

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