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 March 2014

Can I be old enough?

Can I be old enough
To remember milk churns at the roadside awaiting collection,
Ernie on his milk float bringing bottled milk to the door?

Can I be old enough
To remember the first broadcast of Dr Who,
Cowering behind the sofa at the sight and sound of daleks?

Can I be old enough
To remember Grammar School green regulation knickers,
And hiding to avoid running round the school hockey pitch, boys gawping?

Can I be old enough
To remember the long haired, long robed freedom of the hippy years
And now see these clothes marketed as vintage?

Can I be old enough
To remember walking 20 miles, much of it barefoot,
And still feel able to do the same, but knowing I cant?

Can I be old enough
To have worked all my life, and suddenly to stop?

Of course I can!  With Spring in my step and joy in my heart!

© Helen McIntosh
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Monday 24 March 2014

The Rivers God/Authority and Jeremy Fisher

Of the 64 flood warnings, issued tonight, Jeremy,
17 of them are severe.

The buttercups by your door will go and the
deep waters become unclear.

What will become of the minnows, then, Sir?
The deep-swimming trout and the pike?

I cannot abide to serve dinner, Sir
That the Alderman and Sir Newton dislike.

© Isabel Hare
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Concrete rivers, strident lighting, rusting
Metal, rotting timbers on sodden chipboard.
Half-forgotten people, long ignored
Neglected wastelands, not dead but sleeping.
Except at edges, under hedges, creeping grasses
Straggling, growing, tender grasses, Hopeful
Greenness: glowing, glistening, a grassy whirlpool
Un-noticed so far, save by gypsy-led horses.

© Isabel Hare
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Zeus eavesdrops on Sisyphus

Sisyphus:  Per ardua ad astra ... nearly there!
Zeus      :   Nearly, Sisyphus? You fool yourself.
Sisyphus:  Just one more push ...
Zeus      :   ... and down it goes again. That's seventy-two thousand five hundred and
                   thirteen. Ha!
Sisyphus:   ... and down. All is well. Death lies not in chains, but she cannot enchain
                    me. Per ardua ad vitam!
Zeus       :  This is absurd.
© Sheila Rogers
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Overheard conversations: 'Waterloo'

Ah, my Bony,
Doesn't it make you feel excited?
By the thunderous battle scene,
when I 'ear zee rifles crack,
it’s like an aphrodisiac -
make you feel like rumpy pumpy ?

Non, it's giving me zee 'eadache
Not tonight, Josephine                               

© William Botley
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Tuesday 11 March 2014

Soldier poets

“What use Christian principles in war-torn trenches?” raged Ghost of Wilfred Owen.

“Faith stilled my fears. Hope hinted, whispered in prayerful poetry”, breathed Hodgson’s Ghost.

“My anguished creativity! The irony, a pugilist pacifist snuffed on Armistice Day!”

“He helped me to die.”

“But the battlefields chased Him from me.”

© Helen McIntosh
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Narcissus and Echo

“I see my eyes in the water – how enchanting!  Is it love?”

“….it is love….”

“I am complete.  I belong to myself.”

“…belong to you…”

“I need no one. I live in the flames of longing… in a cocoon of love.  I am perfect.”

“…you are perfect.  I love you.”
© Valerie Taylor
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Overheard: 1903. Dr Horatio Nelson Jackson, aiming to be the first to drive across the USA, stopped in Alturas, California

Jackson wired Wells Fargo (‘Together we’ll go far’) for tyres and batteries.

Order received and dispatched.  Arrival tomorrow.

Dreary days passed during which Jackson gave rides to curious locals.

He wired again:

Your order is important to us.  We are experiencing high call volumes but will get back to you shortly...

Jackson drove on.

© Tim Scott
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Mae West’s Audience with Pope John Paul II

God does not look at external things but at the soul.

     Sure, it's the life in your men that matters.

Treat men as objects of love, not as objects for use.

     You know when I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad…

     Is that a gun in your pocket?

© Sophia Roberts
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Green is the sound of the wind in the marram grass,
the flash of the sun on a kingfisher’s wing.
Green is the peppery taste of sweet basil,
the gem that’s a promise of love in my ring.

Green is the lichen mouldering the gravestone,
obscuring for ever whatever has been.

© Gill Dunstan
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Jealousy, weeping green, fresh as tears,
chlorophyll smelling from the sappy wound
leaking pain of loss. Agitated veiny green.
Return my love to me.

Congealing envy compacts; folding bitterness,
sadistic neglect and bile, turns from green
to yellow, dark brown, sharp,
rancid with want and intent.
The air turns old, murderous.

© Valerie Taylor
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In green meadows I was born, there toiled, laughed, played, was free,
yet lofty mountains haloed in high-noon sun
beckoned. Hungry, I climbed to stand at last, eager-eyed, upon the crest.
Thin air, rock-cold, assailed me. The sun had fled.

Below, nature unfurled its lush green wealth.
Where now the dream?

 © Sheila Rogers
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The Green

Quintessentially English.  The Green at Aldbury. Shared space.
A pond with bulrushes, marsh marigolds, lilypads.
A willow dips its boughs to the water. A grassy place
For play and picnics and footie for the lads.

Incomers, posh Porches, gourmands at The Greyhound;
Yet transcendent images of a traditional village abound.

© Helen McIntosh
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Unlucky for some

Located between yellow and blue, it’s the east and sunrise,
Ireland and Islam; it’s Venus, emeralds and jade; hope,
spring and growing grass, leaves, vitality, regeneration;
youth, immaturity, inexperience; envy, monstrous jealousy -

not forgetting my neighbour’s potential:
his brows that meet in the middle over his evil green eyes.

© Sophia Roberts
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A schoolmaster's advice

"Pity about the weather, sir,
Still, the pitches look nice and green,"
Said the smugly suntanned schoolboy
In his uniform, pressed and clean.

Daughters, you must marry money
If you have the chance
To have summers bright and sunny
In the south of France.."

© Tim Scott
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First trials of NeverMow© are progressing well. The 'grass positively glows with chlorophyll that is not there. Previously impractical dresses swish cleanly over it and no hazardous evening dew theatens shiny-shoed progress. A fuller trial is planned for York, incorporating dog-mess training. Motto: "Clean and green sets the scene

© Isabel Hare
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