Paul Crawford – Awakening

Awakening

I knew no writer.
I knew no artist.
No culture other
than work work work –
it’s a privilege to exist.

No one dared look outwards
to rest of world.
Unless you want to
be cast asunder – a freak
a cross-the-street oddity
to be laughed at.

Even now adult I struggle
to find home for my wonder
my gut bursting adoration
for a flick of paint from
16th century.

I continue to wander onwards.
I’ve nothing to hold onto;
nothing to pull me under.

Paul Crawford is  a 33 year old poet from Scotland. A newish one 🙂 only this last year having found the belief to write with encouragement from a friend. He writes at https://asunsetvision.wordpress.com
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Mark Goodwin – Other Token Used to Record This

Other Token Used to Record This

at the bottom of
Vow Lane just before

the brook that feeds
Desire River

one voter or perhaps
many have cast

their wishes into
the hawthorn

that stands
with branches hanging

over the water’s flow

the wintry thorn
is festooned

with dozens or
possibly scores

of neatly tied clear
plastic bags full

of dog shit

backlit by setting sun
these ghosts gleam as

a blackbird lets
his long evolved voice

be heard

Mark Goodwin is a walker, climber, balancer & stroller – and he takes care placing his feet, as well as his hands. His latest collection is ‘Steps’, published by Longbarrow Press. Mark’s sound-enhanced poetry can be listened to here: https://soundcloud.com/kramawoodgin

Edilson Ferreira – Matter of Faith

Matter of Faith.

We cannot share with companions
that we do not catch a glimpse
of our journey’s end,
what or where to we are going.
Like human primeval hordes
we continue to come and go
on hidden crowd’s desires,
sometimes-guileful ones.
In despite of the feeling
we are pursuing threads
in an old Greek labyrinth,
we secretly believe a sense
in such comings and goings.
Since this is matter of faith,
not suitable to science eyes,
must be kept by so little of us.

Mr. Ferreira is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than Portuguese, in order to reach more people.  He has been published in four printed British Anthologies, online or printed reviews like Cyclamens and Swords, Right Hand Pointing, Boston Poetry Magazine, West Ward Quarterly, TWJ Magazine, The Lake, The Stare’s Nest and some others. Short-listed in four American Poetry Contests, he began to write after retirement as a Bank Manager and is seventy-one years old. He lives in a small town with his wife, three sons and a granddaughter.

Lydia Towsey – Eton Boys

Eton Boys

Now this is the winter of our discontent
we shall wait with weight upon our heads –
We’ve made a list of calculations,
say Eton-educated men.

The elderly must sell their houses,
women learn to stay at home –
the public sector doesn’t need you,
we only had it on a loan.

Disabled children lose their bedrooms,
immigrants are left to bleed
as nurses learn they’ve no compassion
and teachers’ hands are tied to teach.

Now this is the winter of our discontent
we shall wait with weight upon our heads –
Hurts us just as much as you,
say Eton-educated men.

Hospitals are shaved with scapulas,
students work from age sixteen,
abandon all ye education,
learn to parrot dates and scenes.

Abandon college for a factory,
learn to work and feed machines;
the system has a need of people
to push the train that oils the wheels.

Now this is the winter of our discontent
we shall wait with weight upon our heads –
Yours is not to question why,
say Eton-educated men.

The country has a brand new boys’ club
made for banks and billionaires;
leave your bullion at the cloakroom
to be laundered, stoked and freshly aired.

The sick are signed up to the work force
as idleness should never pay.
If you are rich and very wealthy
we hope that you enjoy your stay.

Now this is the winter of our discontent
we shall wait with weight upon our heads –
The poor are often undeserving,
say Eton-educated men.

Lydia Towsey is a poet and performer with a Masters Degree in Creative Writing (Nottingham Trent University, 2010). Her experiences include: speaking at the House of Lords, performing at London’s 100 Club and presenting at Plymouth University’s Zombie Symposium. Commissions include: Freedom Showcase (Literature Network, 2007); Spoken Word All Stars Tour (Poet in the City, 2011) and Beyond Words — U.K. tour of four South African poets, including Keorapetse Kgositsile, South African Poet Laureate (Apples and Snakes, 2010). In 2012 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize. She has been published by The London Magazine, Hearing Voices and Magma Poetry, amongst others. Her work recently featured in ‘10 Poems about Knitting’ (Candlestick Press) and is forthcoming in Raving Beauties’ ‘Hallelujah for 50ft Women’ anthology (Bloodaxe Books, April 2015) and Crystal Clear Creators Anthology (2015). In 2014 she UK toured ‘Three the Hard Way’ (www.3thehardwaypoets.wordpress.com) alongside Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze and Alison Dunne. Her full length collection, The Venus Papers will be published by Burning Eye Books, this Autumn. For more information see http://www.secretagentartist.wordpress.com

Anthony Wilson – Some More Strategies for the End of the World

Some More Strategies for the End of the World

A mast                                     head
………………………….lost shoes
………crowds numbering many
…………………………..who are prisoners
(did I say banker?
…………………………)
………………………………some snow                 some ice
…………………….some rain

……………………………plans for an ark
………………..the last lantern
……………………………..a buy one get one free sticker
………………..some beads
……………………………………(semi-precious)

……………………………………………a man trying to remember
………….something

a torso, uniformed
…………………………………buses which ran late
…………..breath on the outside
…………………………………..of a window
…………………………………………………….poster
…………………………………..of a child drinking Bovril
…………………………………………………………………………-torn pages-

there was much mud

another plinth

Emma Lee – You Told Me You’d Dreamed of Me

You told me you dreamed of me

When you’d showed me a dress
you’d thought I ought to wear,
I’d thought of Sylvia Plath’s “Munich Mannequins”
and memorised the number for Human Resources.

You tell me, even though I’m not really listening,
that in your dream I’m wearing floaty florals
(something I’d never choose.)
We’re discussing poetry.
(I’m ignoring your monologue.)
Somehow I sit on your lap, spilling flowers.
A kiss is involved. You tell me
I’ve got nothing to worry about.

My stomach slushes like snow
stamped on by muddy footprints.
I plan my daily routine so I am never
in an office area alone with you.
My voice has melted.
What I want to say is frozen in thin air.

Jean Atkin – Singer on the Tower

Singer on the Tower

For Peter Stutz at 90

it doesn’t bear thinking about, but
it does bear remembering

in the cold nave
she sat down at the organ, played
& you
heard it booming
up through the church
full in its notes
as you climbed the slow
spiral round & up
& round & up
the tower

& the thoughts came
of your pal, brave boy,
who climbed the spire’s mast,
put the golden cockerel
on the top –

you stepped out of St Peter’s stone
throat & onto lead

one hand on the cold spire & moved
to look out over Peterchurch
over the whole snowy valley

& breathed              opened
your mouth             sang

I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day…

& night begins to fall
& the trees in the churchyard gather
your deep notes into heartwood
strand your sounds
into their millennial fibres,
everything, even
the golden cockerel

Put it all in oak, so it’ll last
for many years when I’m gone
before I get too late

Jean Atkin works as a poet, and lives in Shropshire. Her first collection Not Lost Since Last Time is published by Oversteps Books. She has also published five poetry pamphlets and a children’s novel, The Crow House.  Her poem ‘What’s Human’ was included in 2014’s Best Scottish Poems, an online selection of 20 best poems by Scottish poets.  She has held residencies and worked on projects in both Scotland and England, and is Wenlock Poetry Festival’s first  Poet in Residence in 2015.  She also works regularly as a poet with elderly people living with dementia and leads a young writers group for Writing West Midlands.  www.jeanatkin.com

Elizabeth Rimmer – Two Poems

Grave Kist

Sand and storm protected, then revealed
this clutch of homes, so distant from us,
a settlement where tern and bonxie
are more at home than hens and sheep,
where seal and limpet matter more than kye.
Once their dead were among them, in safe places.
Owl and otter lived in the kists after,
and now strangers walk over the dunes,
to peer at cold stones through glass.

Grave Goods

After the funeral they come to the green,
four young men and the widow. They stand
a while, talking softly, then go, leaving
the wreaths and the photos, and the things
he’ll need, or he’ll miss where he’s gone –
a Guinness candle, a long bright can of beer,
a plastic-covered Tesco’s apple pie.

 

Elizabeth Rimmer has been based in the Forth Valley since 1982. Her first full collection, Wherever We Live Now, was published in 2011 by Red Squirrel Press, who will also bring out her second, The Territory of Rain in September 2015.

Home

Richard Devereux

Political Energy

At the present time all the energy
is with the Right, not the Left.

To the pot-bellied talcum-powdered
body-politic of the Tory is attached

a nasty festering UKIP sore and
the rotting deliquescence of the Liberals

both of which give off
an energy of sorts.

Old Man Labour dozes, snoozes, sleeps
but cannot even raise a snore.

The Greens are fine
for sitting around with in fields

but soft-edged and un-forged
in coal or steel or grime

though in time I imagine
my own children turning to them

seeing their Dad
as some kind of old red dinosaur.

Richard Devereux is a political dinosaur from Bristol

Sally Evans – Two Poems

If You Are Angry Said My Mother

If you are angry said my mother,
take a hockey ball onto the grass
and hit it around with your hockey stick.
It will make you feel better.
If? If ever? I dwelt in anger,
throve on it. Nothing in life
would make me sit down and cry,
but I rode on, throve on anger.
It took me wild places till I learned
to kick anger before it meant violence.
To hit the unfeeling hockey ball
was one thing; quite another
to attack my then husband’s lover
(who had arrived in my absence
and tidied up my house)
with an ironing board.

If you are angry said my mother,
take a hockey ball onto the grass
and hit it around with your hockey stick.
It may not make you feel better,
but your hockey will improve.

Search

This is the piece of paper I can’t find.
I can’t show you it, I’m sifting
through heaps on the desk, on shelves, on the floor.
It drives me crazy. I know I had it yesterday.
I always keep it safe. It is white, oblong, slim, shifting,
printed in black with some sort of header.
It’s here somewhere. Yesterday

it was my MOT, Monday
it was the phone bill, Tuesday
it’s a friend’s poem, well, a copy of it.
Wednesday it’s Tuesday, Thursday
the card I bought for my brother.
Last week it was a letter from history
and now it ‘s a packet of sweet pea seeds.

It could be my brain, all my memories
thrown down all over the floor,
under the bed, or in houses
I don’t live in any more.
It could be people I used to love
and still do in some pigeonhole.
It could be the whole concept of love,

which turns into self preservation
or something more or less horrid,
it could be something I thought was on paper
but is actually an internet file.
Ah, I remember. I pinned it on the fridge.
I’ve forgotten what it said, and it ‘s
too long ago to matter.

SALLY’S NEW E-BOOK The Honey Seller