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

Why not contact us for more details about our small, mutually supportive monthly meetings? Don't be shy. No need to be brave!

Sheila 01823 67 28 46

Valerie 01884 84 04 22

Friday 22 November 2013


Eyes dropped on a thousand threads of gold across the cerulean waste
watch, silent, fluttering moths caught in moonbeams, guardians of the human race.

As morning seeps softly over earth's eastern rim the night eyes linger, still ajar,
then close, yielding father-love to the warm embrace of daylight's star.

© Sheila Rogers
All rights reserved

A lucky child?

On trains across wind-swept plains.  Boys herded, hungry, afraid.  And David’s Star
dealt death in that land; fractured families and the forsaken Bar Mitzvah.

Yet there was a lucky child: Thomas Buergenthal, who shunned the waste
Of lives short lived and through love and luck escaped the chambers others faced.

© Helen McIntosh
All rights reserved

Monday 11 November 2013

The Boarding School Survivors Group

Eyes burning while he told his story
Disabled with anger by memories
Suspended for ever in their web of hurt
Triggered by the arrival of autumn
Taking him back

Warmth and understanding from the others
Palpable through common threads of pain
A rare moment of shared experience
Haunting them
Holding them back
from moving on with their lives

The boarding school survivors group hugged each other and left.

© Liz Redfern
All rights reserved

Three Kings 2013

Their famous presents wrapped in Christmas paper bought from the bazaar
Three camels strode with kings on their backs religiously following the star

They could not foresee how the story would unfold and tragically end in waste
A life full of potential and inspiration causing jealousy, suspicion and fatally defaced

© Liz Redfern 
All rights reserved

Quatrain: Outpatients’ Clinic, RD&E

In the waiting room anxious hands are interlaced;
the clock ticks, doors open: time goes to waste

on dated magazines reviewing makes of cars.
Finally called - Good News - thank your lucky stars!

© Tim Scott
All rights reserved

Outside Me a Star

When I look outside myself, instead of God, I see a star,
How can I hinge my unworthy poem to an object so far.

It is alone, incomprehensible and will seem such a waste,
Yet I fear I could easily choose wrong words in my haste.

© Valerie Taylor
All rights reserved

The Hours

Once, on another shore, I had eternity to waste.
Shed moments, careless as the wind-blown cherry blossom, bridal white, which 


the lawns in spring.  When did I cross the line where time, a shooting star,
burned fierce?  Was gone.  I yearn to grasp - but have let slip my hour.

© Gill Dunstan
All rights reserved


Moonlight deceives, paints
Sooty shadows, silvers, shifts
Perceptions, unnerves.
In the park, lovers
Sit entwined, believe, for now,
Eternity’s theirs.
Fluffy goslings sleep
Unaware the fox is close
Needing to feed cubs.
Only the ocean
Forever restless, remains
Unmoved by moonlight.
Close the curtains, dear
I prefer creeping darkness
To the moon’s pretence.

© Gill Dunstan

All rights reserved

A streak of Light

Sometimes what we see is just surplus to the gods’ requirements - waste;
mere cosmic rubbish.   But this debris – hurled hard - reflects Mars’ 
     profound distaste

for Venus’s tasteless new underwear (her neon stockings, suspenders and 
Over the heavens it goes; momentarily recycled and become a new 
     shooting star.

© Sophia Roberts
All rights reserved

Friday 25 October 2013


Moon-glow skitters over
glass - waters yearn upwards
sighing then subside.

Diamonds polka dot on
oceans - rapt lovers gaze in
self-absorbed illusion.

Day breaks - a red rose
peers through the mist to welcome
honest sunlight.

© Shelia Rogers 
All rights reserved

The moon emits no light of its own

Solero bolero
Horizon hues flambouyant.
Moon mirror round.

© Helen McIntosh
All rights reserved

Sun and moon

She was the moon day end to his sunlit splendour.
He the procreator, the giver of light and life;
Moon - the calm restorer,
Mistress by proxy of the starlit skies.
Sun and moon, dancing with the music of time,
Rising and setting,
Waxing and waning,
Their inevitable symbiotic cycle.

© Helen McIntosh
All rights reserved

Monday 21 October 2013

The moon emits no light of its own

Time was when the sun
And the moon disputed who
Would see me to bed.
No longer do they
Squabble. Cats curl up with me
As the screen flickers

And the cocoa cools.
Bedfordshire beckons and the
Light will go out - soon.

© Tim Scott
All rights reserved

October Country Living

How boldly Autumn paints the world
With shafts of golden sunlight reflected
In armfuls of cobnuts and conkers

Tidy the garden before the winter bites with
its earth still warm and workable
Fiery foliage and vibrant berries shout to be picked

Seasonal style means mellow makeover,
Warm comforting vintage heathery cashmere
Scents of purpose replacing sunlit freshness and warmth
Apple day gone, bonfire night to come

© Liz Redfern
All rights reserved

A modest proposal

The croft overlooks the white horse sea and the whitewashed goat shed.  Heathered Cuillins behind.  No mains, no drains.

A quiet conversation gentle, yet full of risk, almost lost in the constant wind. Could I give up my freedom for this freedom?  Last ferry leaves in an hour he said.

© Liz Redfern
All rights reserved

If I lived by the Sea ( Ode to St Brelades)

Sun fades as crescent moon appearsno fan fare,
dusky sky meets a rolling sea
relentless in its quest to land
cleaning the sand of all purpose
wiping evidence of the day

Greys, pinks and blues of light
pure against the crashing waves
rhythmic silence
a back drop of evening bird song
the string of promenade lights
giving shape and clean lines

Mermaids must haunt the distant rocks
hiding their tails from view
fishermen and sailors not daring to
think or look as they cut by
their balance and sea legs
feeling strangely under threat

Dog walkers return
to their homes of brick and stone
made of sand like the beach
feeling safer in the twilight
leads and balls packed away
legs twitching in the chasing dream

Hotel guests leave their balconies
for the warmth of the bar
old fears and scars disappear
as the day sinks with the sun
would I always feel like this

if I lived and loved by the sea?

© Liz Redfern 
All rights reserved

The moon emits no light of its own

Borrowed from across the world
transported as if by magic
Dream catchers flicking the sunlight
between lands skimming oceans

Carrying hopes and depositing them
a continent away to the beach by
another moon shimmering sea

So starting the ancient story again 
Borrowed, as if by magic
transported, from across the world

© Liz Redfern 
All rights reserved

Moon emits no light of its own

Sun reflected
Stardust falls through space

© Liz Redfern
All rights reserved

As Far As the Eye Can See

My eyes are clouding now,
though my heart is full of pearls,
ripened over long years.

My bones fail – yet
teeth crunch words
from the spring of
a still dancing heart

though it drifts a little,
towards folds of endless sleep

where sea laps on milky sand,
in the black coiled night
where the moon emits no light.

© Valerie Taylor 
All rights reserved

Harvest Moon

diminishing daylight
farmers gather last crops -
the sky thickens with dust

above the horizon
a low-slung sphere looms -
the colour of slow burning fire

light of the sinking sun reflected -
a huge mirror suspended

pulsing silhouettes 
wng it home south -

backlit migrating birds

emitted equinox moonlight -
a blood-red Japanese lantern

© Sophia Roberts
All rights reserved

Tuesday 8 October 2013

A modest proposal,

A modest proposal,
I thought
but then,
Not every teacher
has a
'Clothing Optional' beach
at their disposal

© William Botley 
All rights reserved

Well Met by Moonlight

His (he dares to) dark eyes have etched themselves
and sent quite, yes,
blatant messages.

I’m overcome by a flood of emotions.
I’m fox-trotting, doing a quick-slow tango,
dancing barefoot with sequinned toes.

I think this – may be it
in the middle of the Quiet years
– half drowned in dreams.

© Sophia Roberts
All rights reserved

Whilst we grew up

Whilst we grew up, our parents ached,
Endured our adolescence,
Mutely watching our mistakes.
Then when we finally flew the nest
With not a backward glance
Life began again for them;
They quickly took their second chance.

With us all gone, our rooms re-painted
Junk re-assigned, some boxed and dated,
They then began to spread their wings,
Ruffle feathers, collect more things..
Things they didn't strictly need
But really felt compelled to own.
A huge job lot of garden seed,
A little flat in a foreign town.

New ownership brought guilty pleasure,
Mental riches they could not measure.
My parents soon were hard to find,
Their foreign trips quite clandestine
We felt we knew, then, how to ache
As they'd done, when we,d had our cake
And eaten it, no second thought had we,
We'd done it all so trivially.

© Isabel Hare
All rights reserved

A Modest Proposal

I'm a shy, retiring type, deploring all but subtle
artifice. I'd like to live a simple life, give up the
Palaces and strife.
A modest, undemanding wife.

So here it is, my birthday test: to live just like a shepherdess
I'm going to give my all to sheep;
I've heard they mostly eat and sleep.

© Isabel Hare 
All rights reserved

A modest (or perhaps improper) proposal

"The money," barked DS Haggis. "Where?"

"Don't know, guv. Honest. I was look-out, that's all"


Haggis twitched, squinted. Surreptitiously flicking a switch, he murmured: "How about a deal, you and me, eh, Stubbs?"


"Fifty-fifty." Pause. "Sixty-forty then, your advantage. A long and happy retirement in Rio. What do you say?" 

© Sheila Rogers
All rights reserved

The Royal Prerogative

"Your heart, my sire, is an errant liege that wanders far and wide.
In Greenwich or in Canterbury 'tis restless as the tide.
I'll not pretend that I approve Your Majesty's philandering
so go your way, I will not stay to connive in your pandering.”

© Sheila Rogers
All rights reserved

A Modest Proposal on a Stormy Night

“Of course,” said the tall man.  “Welcome to my home.  My man will show you to the guest room and bring you fresh clothings.  Tomorrow we will locate your car and arrange for its repair. 

“It is agreed?   Good.  Please to come in.  

“And later we will have a bite.”

© Tim Scott
All rights reserved

Thursday 29 August 2013

Role Play

The damsel in the tower,
      has the power
            to languish longingly
                     hour by hour
                           playing so skilfully
        her part

in this baffling mythical story
     with its heartening, inspiring glory
           was she real
                          or was she not?

A fantasy invented by me
    allowing my strategy
              for being both desired and free,

                  but her trapped - I sadly forgot

until I unlocked the door
              and with total horror saw
                               her dead upon the floor!

© Valerie Taylor
All rights reserved

Saturday 17 August 2013

Henry V111:

In yonder tower
there is a flower
that hath my heart!



Should you oughta
Ditch the King of Spain’s daughter
to get a son?

For fair Anne Boleyn
Looks designed for sin
Is she the one?

When living next door
Is plain Jane Seymour:
With childbearing hips.

But Holbein deceives
That Anne of Cleves
Will make the grade

The kingdom scoured
Brings Catherine Howard
With pouting lips

So Catherine Parr
Is better by far
As your nurse maid

© Tim Scott
All rights reserved

Leila and the Artist

Leila felt drawn to the opportunity, wanting to open her mind and body to it. Rumours had spread quickly that he was coming to find new subjects for his paintings.  Leila dreamt of being chosen, not to hang on a wall static and one dimensional. The means to an end, so her innate ability to dance might be noticed.

Not part of the usual crowd of young girls that constantly preened themselves making her feel awkward and clumsy.  They dreamt of being life models, she dreamt of being a dancer.

Leila had grace and poise when she had the confidence to stand tall. Shoulders back. Her open pose mirroring her open face. Visible and vulnerable.
Today felt different.

Leila dressed carefully in her dancing outfit. Beautifully made and painstakingly stitched by Chantal. She understood everything.

The bodice criss-crossed with broad white ribbons.  The diamond spaces it created filled with bright blue feathers and sequins that fluttered and glittered with each move. The skirt flaring outwards with a lacy drift of ruffles flowing with her hips as she danced for her mirror.

I’m looking at a print of the painting now. I see the hope and vulnerability embracing her dancing soul.

© Liz Redfern August 2013
All rights reserved

Henry VIII was once riding out with Cardinal Wolsey

Oh Royal Henry your wandering eye
Collecting wives and pretty girls
I have my Beth with golden curls

With flowing locks, fast and long
She stole my heart by her sweet song
I have her trust, she`s made a home
And before you ask

I’ll not go again to Rome

© Liz Redfern
All rights reserved

Wednesday 14 August 2013

For my part

In yonder tower
there is a flower
that hath my heart

For my part

I should have cried, “Horrible of hue,
hideous canker to behold; you shall rue
this lusty day.”  But to serve him, as I ought,
to Rome I hastened.  “As you have sought,
I entreated Clement: ‘Sanction a divorce (Henry needs a son)’ ...”

Anne Boleyn and I were both undone.

© Sophia Roberts
All rights reserved

Wolsey’s Reply

Dear Liege, it seems
Katherine, your wife,
Cannot fulfil your dreams.

Arthur’s ex-wife
Brings only strife.
I fear the worst –
Your union’s cursed.

To Rome I’ll go
To share our woe,
And I dare hope
The blessed Pope
Will soon annul
Your marriage vow.

You’ll free your flower
From her dread tower
‘Ere Lenten roses
Make winter poesies.

© Gill Dunstan
All rights reserved

Tuesday 30 July 2013

The Question

‘Guilty or not guilty?’ he asked,
as I stood at the Pearly Gates.

who were privileged  to live
between World War Two
and Planet’s End.

who consumed,
neglectful of the polar bear
and the billions dying of starvation.

who cared much,
and delivered little,
how do you plead?’

© Gill Dunstan
All rights reserved

Wednesday 26 June 2013


Half way down the ward,
Clinically cushioned.
A husk of a man.
Post operative psychosis
They called it.
But where was he?
This world or another?
Deep, deep down inside
Clutching at wisps of fleeting knowledge,
In pursuit of his being.
In this world.

© Helen McIntosh
All rights reserved

Monday 17 June 2013


The garden is liquid gold
streaming along glossy
leaves, drenched in light,
green  underwater chamber,
my womb, my ignorance.

Suddenly, I look down,
the mirror of my blotchy flesh,
the creases, crevices.
Then up into the
azure sky.
Where else can I look
to ask my question,


© Valerie Taylor
All rights reserved

What's wrong with me?

I haven't got a phobia, an -algia or a hernia,
nor yet a simple complex to bewail so they can cure yer.
My feet were pretty grotty once but they've been chopped and changed,
I'm really fully better - though the dog is quite deranged.

So when the general boasting starts I just sit still and stumm
and listen while the whinges go cavorting round the room.
I shake my head and smile and tut and quietly sip my tea
because I never ever can decide: what is there wrong with me?

© Sheila Rogers
All rights reserved


I am thinking of your eyes looking into mine
The pair of emeralds that truly make me pine
My thoughts then wander to your golden hair
I imagine your golf club swinging through the air
Today I woke to see the springtime snow-drops glisten
Do I hear the softness of your voice; do I really listen
Is that your breath; so soft as only I can feel
I smile…for I am feeling everything; not least your zeal
 I even feel the purr and gentleness of your snoring
And laugh… for life with you is never, ever boring
In truth, you were in my mind throughout last night
Again I had those special feelings…so right; so right
To some a break away may be very well
To others it’s a cause for pining, and only they can tell

© Kenneth Campbell
All rights reserved


When he popped the question on his bended knee
A reply was anticipated with certainty & glee
This early morning gesture that was so very strong
Merely prompted a terse comment about the Seagulls’ throng
So beware of a question that might not hoist the sail
Disappointment is the only message from this thorny tale

© Kenneth Campbell

All rights reserved

The Question


“Guys, let’s unpack this question...”

The keen and the stupid put up their hands to guess. Mr Middlebrow, palms down, tried to contain curiosity mistaken for adulation. Later he would boast of his pupils’ problem solving strategies.

The answer is in your fat head, thought Carl. Just teach me.

© Tim Scott
All rights reserved

Same place, same street, same house

Swirling swooping returning
homing in on home
riding currents,
watching shadows
sun pointing
moonlit way

them back each year
same place, same street, same house,
same neat and tidy nest

like me they are returning
knowing safe will be there
knowing there will be safe
our blind faith rewarded

© Liz Redfern
All rights reserved

The Reverend Jim Jones.

"I am the truth: come follow me."
"To where, Lord Jim?"
"To Guyanese forests lush with peace and light, to live and love as one, each one with me.
There is a better life. Come, follow me."
"Yes, oh yes."
"Together we'll transcend the mire in glorious sui-cyanide."
"Amen, Lord Jim."
© Sheila Rogers. May 2013
All rights reserved

Friday 14 June 2013

The question

was not, “Are you willing to take me out?”
nor, “Are you inclined to come with me?”

 “I’ll take you if you want to go”
is not an answer.  Neither is,
“I’m happy to.”

That’s not what I asked you.
 “Do you, or don’t you, want to? 
Yes?  Or no?”

© Sophia Roberts
All rights reserved

Thursday 16 May 2013

Searching for ‘it’

I have abandoned all hope.
I can’t hazard one guess. 

I am up against the wall,
- blocked - without a clue.

I don’t get it. 
I give up.  OK?

Game over. 
I’m not playing.

Faith, I’ve had enough.
Remove the blindfold. 

Thank you.  So, how do I
write this poem?

© Sophia Roberts
All rights reserved

Blind Belief

Rain gnaws windows.
I admire the tapestry,

November daylight fades.
I sense a presence.
Nerves prickle –
I freeze, feel trapped, can’t breathe.

‘That room...?’
‘ haunted,’ the guardian agrees.
‘A murderess...’

‘So there you are!’  Husband and friends advance.
‘A  g-ghost...’
‘Rubbish!’ they hoot,
‘Just tales for tourists.’

© Gill Dunstan
All rights reserved

Blind Faith

I met Jesus in a dream.
He had pale blue eyes. 
They saw to my soul and accepted me,
making my school days easier to bear.

My parents fretted and doubted,
the headmistress said,
take yourself in hand!

Blind to reason,
I hid in the reflection
which I had placed
in his eyes.

© Valerie Taylor
All rights reserved


Stand up all those whose faith is blind
Your fervour is so essential for all mankind
There are Ten guidelines for human life’s demands
And all should heed what our Christian God Commands
By sticking to the fundamentals of Canon Law
One will witness human happiness… just soar & soar

© Kenneth Campbell
All rights reserved

Blind Faith

This ye should know of Blind Faith ...

.... Hostess of ‘The Corsair and Compass’ in Penzance:

“Blind she may be, but she can sniff trouble at twenty paces, mark bamboozlers stealing her grog, catch ‘em and crush ‘em ‘til their ribs crack.

“And every night she lights a candle, sits in her chair waiting for Capn. Trewhella’s return.”

© Tim Scott
All rights reserved

After that nothing was the same

NOTHING was the same people said
AT a stroke everything shifted
ALL those lies
LIKE pulling a loose thread and unravelling time
IT was relentless scab picking to reveal new skin, it
WAS about truth and healing and knowing, just knowing
BEFORE change comes choice and choice brings change so

© Liz Redfern
All rights reserved

"after that nothing was the same"

standing at the urinal
my best friend Nigel
tried to kiss me
which was rather a shame
after that, nothing was the same

© William Botley
All rights reserved

Tuesday 23 April 2013

The Road to Naivasha.

     We drive through an endless overgrowth of forest. It's hot. I doze.

     "Look!" My father's voice whiplashes my torpor. "The edge of the world."

     I stare. The road has vanished. Outside, I tiptoe forwards: far below, reaching beyond forever, a vast plain. In a flash my unlived life opens up before me.

© Sheila Rogers
All rights reserved

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Turning Your Anecdote into a Short Story

"Anecdotes don’t make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about."

 - Alice Munro

Tuesday 16 April 2013

After that nothing was the same.

Drifting on a white bed
A day’s anchors lost.

drowning in pain.

Strangers rush in.
Shouted instructions.

A baby heavy on my chest. 

A decision made without
experience, with  imagination.

In a while, I will forget
what it felt like without her.
© Valerie Taylor
All rights reserved

Monday 15 April 2013

After that, nothing was the same

This was the third shop.

“Suits you,” Adam had said.  Clearly not: again he was left standing amid knickers, bras and suspenders.

“And the talking snake said it was ok?” he had asked thousands of years before.

She had nodded, he had bitten and they became ashamed of their nakedness.

© Tim Scott
All rights reserved

My wife is getting married again

I don’t know what to say.

I should have said – years ago.

She’d supposed my existence.

She’d been part of the audience
at my piss poor performance
all my adult life.

She is going away
to that part of her life
where I become a mere shadow -

“Anne’s first husband.”

© Sophia Roberts
All rights reserved

Never the Same

Ideas spin and spiral in my mind:

a carousel of music, colour, light,
shimmers with meaning.

Ink is the gaoler,
locking black on white,
confined, stolid, still.

There thoughts shrink
to dry shadows of themselves,
become puny, brittle.

All my complex language
cannot make halos.

After, words are never the same.

© Gill Dunstan
All rights reserved

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Your writing rehearsal

The WHOLE of this blog post is well worth reading.  Just click on the link, below:

Your writing rehearsal. | Sarah Selecky: "Here is why you should practice with warm-ups and writing exercises:

1. It shows you how to recognize your resistance as resistance. This is crucial, because if you don’t recognize it for what it is, then you won’t write very often. Or you’ll push yourself and suffer through writing in an ugly way.

2. You’ll know what a certain discomfort feels like in your body when you write something that feels honest. You’ll do this over and over again in your practice, and learn how it feels different when you write stereotypes and clichés. So even though it’s always going to be challenging, you become more familiar with the feeling of writing what feels real.

3. You’ll be surprised by your own writing. You’ll learn things about your characters, your sentences, and your stories that you didn’t expect. You’ll find delight and pleasure in your creative life.

4. You get better at it. Good writers are writers who practice writing."

'via Blog this'

Thursday 4 April 2013

My Name is Magic

My name is magic?
Gill’s sharp, sounds harsh, is common.

I’m also Diana.  Moon-Goddess?
Cruel huntress?  No.

A rose by any other name
would smell as sweet,
so Shakespeare said.

I have many names,
play many parts:
Nan, Mum, Darling sometimes,
Auntie, friend.

But where am I among them?

© Gill Dunstan
All rights reserved

Tuesday 2 April 2013

I remember

I remember everything
it's a talent that I have
a memory for this and that
the slightest thing
will not be missed
Hello! something in my pocket
Oh Bugger!
it's the shopping list                  

© William Botley
All rights reserved

Magic is my name

I hovered fifty feet or more
above the desert’s dusty floor
The magic carpet they provided
was full of holes and draughty sided
The swimming pool was just mirage
at least I dodged the airport charge!

© William Botley
All rights reserved

Monday 25 March 2013

I Remember …

… Jack Frost`s spirographs inside my bedroom window: beyond lay the monochrome, muffled moors.

That day a flurrying helicopter came to take our pinch-faced neighbour to hospital; a what-a-lark soldier delivered bread – and then was gone into the sun-leached sky.

It was 1963 and my four-years-old self had forgotten the summer.

© Tim Scott
All rights reserved

First Dance

I went to my first dance,
wearing a dress of midnight blue
flecked with tiny silver threads.

glasses left on the dressing table,
I was a blind Cinderella
waltzing in a forest of dark
suited boys in pale shirts,
blurred and never
to be recognised again.

© Valerie Taylor
All rights reserved