Committed writers dedicated to working together to produce excellent poems, short stories, drama, life writing, and creative non-fiction

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Sheila 01823 67 28 46

Valerie 01884 84 04 22

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Circle of Light

What can I do, poised on
The periphery of this event?
Imagining, waiting,
Picturing them…
Mother, Father, Baby…
Perhaps I can conjure them
In a circle of light?

In a city of
A million psyches
Trapped in flats
And partitioned rooms
Under criss-crossing
Silvery planes,
There will be a moment
When the signal goes
And the baby begins her journey.

The breathless hours will propel her
In stops and starts, as
She is pushed up the warm canal
Into a strangely lit room with
Faces gazing down at her,
As she is pitched into
The shocked arms of her parents.

She will lie, skin on skin
On her mother, then her father,
Their tones and smells as familiar
As the dark room she lived in,
Where their voices
Echoed in her watery world.
She will feel the rhythms of
Their breath,
And burrow in the milky folds,
Rocking and murmuring
In her mother’s arms.
Always folded, wrapped tightly,
As eventually she
Begins to open her eyes
And distinguish the map
Of their faces, their smiles,
Sensed before,
Through the muted sounds she has
Heard in her safe, dark sleep.

Above us all in the frosty night sky,
Lies the illuminated stitching of Cassiopeia,
Anchored on veils of starry infinity,
The constellation, complicated and minute,
Registering this moment,
As I await my grand daughter.

© Valerie Taylor
all rights reserved

Sunday 28 November 2010

A Poet's Tool Kit

I will wear it heart-side out;
I will slide it deftly into the pocket
of my jeans.  It will be small. 

It will be lightweight and strong
pliable as a paperback novella
waterproof and hard-wearing.

There will be space enough to carry
an A4 hard-backed spiral-bound
notebook, with plain and ruled paper,

a fountain pen filled with blue-black ink,
a dictionary, a packet of crayons,
a pencil sharpener, and a rubber eraser.

It will hold the whole company of poets.

There will be Solitude

for the ‘where I’m at’ space:
the place I hide, concealed, cocooned
held safe in a still womb.

There will be Silence

so I can listen out for, try to
hear the rhythm of breathing
and the thrust of a heart-beat

There will be Room

to spread my precious hoard
of words out on the blanket I clutch
for comfort and temporary shelter.

And Nimble fingers

to manipulate their sound
and the shapes they make

as I arrange and rearrange
organise notes on manuscript paper

I will need a structure as I move towards
and alongside releasing and reframing
the something – neither rhetoric, nor prose.

An authentic style to convey the signals,
and communicate the evidence
to carry the message - the intentness and about-ness

over a fragile bridge – in order to tell
you and me both
what I have discovered.

I must have patience and time
to resist the lure of

I need the right voice to sing out
or whisper soft into
night’s dark reaches

A tuning fork
to ensure my resonance
is true

A handbag mirror
to reflect
the epiphany

and test that this witness
of what is in the blood
can get up, stand unaided

walk off the page.

© Sophia Roberts
all rights reserved

Monday 15 November 2010

Towards Michaelmas

Through the empty trees
summer's cygnets sashay past
Grey swans on the turn

© Sophia Roberts
all rights reserved


Leaves spill, sway, stagger
Two steps forward, three steps back
Summer’s embers dance

© Sophia Roberts
all rights reserved

Sunday 4 July 2010

Love in a Supermarket

Dear Diary (Monday)
We touched hands, briefly
She asked, did I need help with my packing?
Her Name Badge said 'Norma'

Dear Diary (Tuesday)
Love is cruel
Norma has a love bite and an engagement ring
We stopped touching

Dear Diary (Wednesday)
'Every Little Helps'
Back to self service
Bye, Norma.

© Harry Mills
all rights reserved

Friday 2 July 2010

Love in a Supermarket

Veined, pink
Foetal prawns,
Rich green
Minted peas,
Brush of skin on
A hot day
By the cool
Earth smelling
Eyes touching.
Cynical jokes at
Pre-packed meals.
Tongues stroking,
By the crusty bread.
Meet and marry
At the checkout
Then the consequences
Will be faced.

© Valerie Taylor
all rights reserved

Thursday 1 July 2010

Ringing the changes

These hard
fruit flavoured
coloured white, 
yellow, orange, 
green, purple 
or red
still feature
a short message
written in capitals 
(the clarity of which is
sometimes compromised)

So no change
since nineteen twenty-eight

save that ‘Love Hearts’
are found in supermarkets

embossed “Email Me”
and “Luv U

© Sophia Roberts
all rights reserved

Saturday 12 June 2010

In the End

A Woman in an Interior, Strandgade 30 by Vilhelm Hammershøi

In these deserted rooms that gave us life,
though I summon the words of regret,
I cannot feel the pang.

Do not worry my husband.
My arms will come away empty
when I turn to leave.

I shall leave the husk
of my unrequited love
for our infant Thomas,


© Sophia Roberts
all rights reserved

Saturday 5 June 2010

The Room

A Woman in an Interior, Strandgade 30 by Vilhelm Hammershøi

Light opens the doors,
Her loss has blocked time.
Her hands rest on
The heavy material of her dress.
There is no breath but her own.
It is a long time before death.
Outside a bird sings
Through the paralysis.

She is unaware
That she is not alone.

© Valerie Taylor
all rights reserved

Friday 7 May 2010

Room 504

Note: During World War II there grew up a new breed of ‘time waits for no-one’ or ‘what if there is no next time’ song. Room 504 was one of the songs that best symbolise the pleasure and pain under war time conditions.

Knowing love and grief share the same body
I fear I am tried,
tried and found wanting.

I asked
for room Five Hundred and Six,
before you arrived
not Four.
I am too old for a surfeit of mourning.
This is too precious to spill.

Lust cannot wait;
love can.

© Sophia Roberts
all rights reserved

Thursday 6 May 2010

Room 506

Already I have a relationship
With Room 506, for the
Number is imprinted upon my retina as
I search for the meaning through the door.

An old table, chair and a window…
There is a sofa for lying and thinking.
No reality but my imagination.

So it is a writing room. 

© Valerie Taylor
all rights reserved

Wednesday 5 May 2010

I notice

coming between us
there are issues of substance
and the lack of them 

© Sophia Roberts
all rights reserved

Saturday 17 April 2010

Underneath the Wiper Blades

I've just retired from MI5
surprised to find I'm still alive
No more dead letter drops 
no more spies
But what's this on my windshield?
I can't believe my eyes
a last shot from the Ministry
It's my form P45!

© William Botley
all rights reserved

Friday 16 April 2010

Read all about it!

Every morning, anyone
can read the latest
news on my windscreen:

the oblique messages
written in thin blue ink
on narrow feint A4
worn out programmes
or the backsides of menus.

But only the ghost of ‘Yet to Come’
can read what lies
in the spaces
between your lines.

© Sophia Roberts
all rights reserved

Thursday 15 April 2010


Summer and I lie in the grass
Watching the dark buzzard
Circling, crying in the blue.

I get up, intending to go home.
Holding my keys, I approach my car.

I see a flat plane of a note
Anchored under the windscreen wiper.

Tiny, neat writing.
‘I have seen you…’

© Valerie Taylor
all rights reserved

Winter Solstice

down through bleak high panes
pink of coral sinks to grey
a dark bell echoes

© Sophia Roberts
all rights reserved

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Through the wardrobe

For years you have practised sitting meditation at this
solid, long limbed, tall as an ancient oak, door

imagining what it would be like
to cradle a cast iron promise
to toy with the possibility

to hold the key
that will raise the pins, create a shear line,
allow movement, and then entry.

You have it now
and measure the weight of it.

Caress and fondle it.
Slide indulgent fingers. 
Up and down. 

You trace the throat and the collar
feel for the deep grooves on the nose,

where the front limb bends slightly in
towards the centre cut of the bit. 

You have been a locksmith in waiting
learning how a key and a lock
work and wear together.

This lock was strongly made:
there is complex warding, double tumblers
and sliders arranged for maximum security;
it has withstood neglect.

You place the heart bow on your lips.

You exert firm pressure as the blade
enters the gate of the keyway
and compromises
an ancient inner sanctum. 

You stand at the threshold.  Here is the view
you waited for; what you wanted.

This is what you will find.

© Sophia Roberts
all rights reserved