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 25 September 2012

The Dentist?

         I am really scared, scared of me, why?
                  I`ve not done this before
       Which one is it, it looks like rain today
I hate the numbness, numbness in my heart again
  What a really cold fish fish tanks make me smile

© Liz Redfern Sept 2012
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It's how you ask the question

Where are you from?
New Zealand
Where they have koala bears?
No, that`s Australia
Where they filmed Lord of the Rings?
Where the All Blacks come from?


Where are you from?
New Zealand
Oh that`s interesting, which part?
Is that where they had the earthquakes recently? That must have been awful. Were you personally affected?
Yes, I lost my house and my husband.
Well actually, he died 3 days later, with a heart attack brought on by the stress of it all.
I was determined to come over to England for my niece’s wedding. You see we had planned to come together, and I knew he would want me to, even though I had never travelled this far on my own before.
We planned to do it together you see.

© Liz Redfern 9/12
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The Letter (with apologies to the Bard)

With dread anticipation,
I seize upon the letter.
Am I soon
to shuffle off my mortal coil?
I think of graves and worms and epitaphs
and how to tell the family.

But no!
It states:
‘All clear!
You lie within the acceptable range.
You’re normal.
You will not need to drain
our slim resources further.
You’re nothing special at all.

© Gill Dunstan
All rights reserved

Wednesday 12 September 2012

The Letter

Two pregnant letters clattered onto Julian’s doormat. 

The first contained a heavy sheet of creamy bond; in restrained paragraphs a solicitor expressed condolences on the demise of an unvisited aunt and congratulations on being her sole beneficiary.

The second - flimsy brown - held a print-out of his test results...

© Tim Scott
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           The bottle blinked out from the crevice where the tide had dumped it. As I gingerly eased the paper out
           it pulped into a mish-mash of dying half-words:
                                                       ...OS...   ...MUDA...   ...ber 194...
                                                       ...uck...   torp..o...   ...feboa...   ...inki...
           I hovered, frowning. High up in the rocks, children's laughter rang out like church bells.

© Sheila Rogers
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Sonnet (extract): Al Dente

          Alas! Thou art gone, my loyal, incisive friend,
          wrenched from thy bed like a boulder from the earth;
          thy mordant strength that succoured me from birth:
          I mourn thy loss, thy violent, bloody end.

          No fairy crown atones for thy decease.
          Thy life's work done, now may thou rest in peace.
© Sheila Rogers
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Felled by Lassitude

It was a dream.
No vaulting ambition,
just a late flowering
of homely joys, small treats,
warm comfortings.

Hope sung, gleaming
like an iridescent orb
fine spun as gossamer
caught on the wind.

Yet crushing fear crept in
and fractured every shard.
So felled by lassitude
of chances lost
I lie, regretting.

© Gill Dunstan
All rights reserved

Medical Care, circa 1955

I tried to make Dad understand
That glasses thick and shaking hand
Did not inspire much confidence
In Dentist Dave, and I was tense.

But Dad, whose teeth were mostly false,
And in the war had seen much worse,
Exhorted me to, ‘Just be brave.’
He was a friend of Dentist Dave.

Twenty-two injections later
Mum was angry with my pater.
She called the Doc, he ordered bed
And morphine for my aching head

And bleeding mouth.  Then for a week
I saw strange visions, couldn’t sleep,
Missed everything.  What can I say?
I dread the dentist to this day!

© Gill Dunstan
All rights reserved


...I hope you are well began his boarding school letter; lack of imagination prevented better. A pompous reference to …yours of the 31st ultimo was satisfactory in its day, but would now be treated with dismay. His love letters were dire, yet recent emails most definitely inspire.

© Kenneth Campbell
All rights reserved

The whole thing is awful

            but by far the meanest
            is a visit to the dental hygienist
            last year we had the clumbsy Swede
            but now the harvest's gone to seed
            to kick the gang man's greedy caper
            has driven the burly Niss Croatia
            to drop the hoe
            and grab the scraper

© William Botley
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“Please, Mr. Postman”

When my father shared the handful of old letters
I’d hoped to find just one
that would sweeten a side of my mother
deeply soured by resentment

Only later, when the radio
sang a song, from a time when
I’d discovered love,
was I folded back,
restored to myself again.

© Sophia Roberts
All rights reserved

Love Letter

Tender blue lines curl,
horizontal weight of symbols
depress the surface of paper,
knife rips through sticky seal,
in danger of pulling a word apart.

Spread and flatten the folds,
greedily eat meaning,
vacuum up, memorise,
put it in my eyes,
again and again –
inhaling into my heart.

© Valerie Taylor
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