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Poem – She is Sci-Fi by Stephen Philip Druce January 31, 2017

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She Is Sci-Fi

She stripped off her
retro boots – ripped up
her non-descript Sunday suits,
 
trashed her ugly
dresses – burnt
 
the dark cuttings from
her tresses – now short
dyed ocean blue –
 
in futuristic design she
put on some devil horns and
a wrought iron spine of
prickly thorns –
 
square shades and
silver-glittered roller blades,
 
giant collar and shoulder fakes,
face paint and wings of snakes –
open jawed,
 
she flew with higher birds, and
with her sabre sword she carved out
the words in the sky –
 
I am sci-fi.

BIO:  Stephen Philip Druce is a poet from Shrewsbury in the U.K.

Poem – Snowed In by Helen Burke December 29, 2016

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Snowed In
by
Helen Burke

And ..some people spend their whole lives , snowed in .
But we’ve been lucky , we have braved the blizzard
And gotten soaked through to the skin.
Do you remember the funny house in Wales
And waking to a prisoner level of the white stuff.
It felt like a weight had been lifted from me
I could just stay within the snow circle
And let the frost and the icicles do the rest.
Everything was white , my soul , my bones , my blood.
And yet I have never felt so alive.
As if a great drifting lay above and below me
And little particles of my small self dissolving
Into the December day .
From the top window I could still see the world ..just .
I could see the perfection of what might be achieved
If we could just hang on in there …
And a figure walking in the distance that I knew
To be myself.

BIO

Helen Burke has been writing poetry for 42 years she also writes short stories, plays, comedy sketches and does painting and visual art. She has a new collection called”Today the Birds Will Sing “ coming out with Valley Press in the next couple of months.

Her work has been widely published and anthologised.  She has won a number of competitions such as Manchester International, Norwich, Suffolk, the Yorkshire prize, Southport Comedy, Jersey, Devon & Dorset, Torbay and many others.

Her work has been published and distributed in America by www.origamipoems.com, based on Rhode Island, she has 15 chap books with them, having formerly read at Roots in Providence. She has recently been made an honorary member of Ocean State Poets.

She reads at many literature and music festivals in the UK and read with former Poet Laureate ,Andrew Motion.She is a regular host on E.L.F.M Radio in Leeds featuring many of her own poems and guest poets and musicians. Her work is described as witty, surreal, humane and accessible,commented on by Gillian Clark

Poem – Talking to Actresses by Helen Burke September 2, 2016

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Talking to Actresses

We meet the four of them in the green room ..
And they seem amazed we are there .
They are each like jewelled butterflies , fluttering and vying
For attention .  But if you ask ….
They will deny this .
They are modest , unassuming ..one wears a child’s bow in her hair.
Another patent leather shoes.  The fourth older one looks glum.
Already they have started being nice to her …
So she knows its all over ..bar the shouting .
The pretty one makes us coffee but forgets to put the coffee in ..
It’s all such a joke to her.
The famous guy comes in …they all slink past him , brush a breast , a leg against him
In case he’s in any doubt.
He’s not.
We try and ask about the play ..but they are like bucking broncos
And we get nowhere.
The pretty one is nibbling a lettuce and air sandwich ..the older one munches down
A massive Cornish pasty .  The other two share couscous like some kind
Of shamanic ritual .  Hollywood ..Hollywood ..one laughs …
That’s where I’m bound.  Her voice is like a fork being put back in a drawer
The wrong drawer.  Charming is as charming does the older one mutters ,
Bits of pasty clinging to her leotard.
They all cross and uncross legs like a disease and flick their hair
And smile as if we are mental patients ..to be tolerated as an interlude
In their incredible journey lives.
They will not remember us within the hour .
The spotlight shines from their unforgiving eyes.
A tree falls in the room .
A dead body is lugged in and left to bleed.
They step over both .  Kick their legs up high .
Head for the beckoning stage.

BIO:

Helen Burke has been writing poetry for 42 years she also writes short stories , plays, comedy sketches and does painting and visual art. She has a new collection called “Today the Birds Will Sing ” coming out with Valley Press in the next couple of months.

Her work has been widely published and anthologised.  She has won a number of competitions such as Manchester International, Norwich, Suffolk, the Yorkshire prize, Southport Comedy, Jersey, Devon & Dorset, Torbay and many others.

Her work has been published and distributed in America by www.origamipoems.com, based on Rhode Island, she has 15 chap books with them, having formerly read at Roots in Providence. She has recently been made an honorary member of Ocean State Poets

 

Poem- A Van Gogh Moment by Helen Burke July 11, 2016

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A Van Gogh Moment

I am having a Van Gogh moment when
all the flowers are leaping out from the soil
and capturing the sun and the rain –
and the blue flowers dance their way out of pain –
Yes, Yes ! ,I am having a Van Gogh moment.
I am in control ,  I tell myself , shout , in dribs and drabs
but the fireplace keeps talking to me and the dancers little hands
(I brought her in from the rain ) through the mirror, they  are laughing .
And the letter I write is a spiders revenge.
I am having a Van Gogh moment.
Surprise, surprise !! sings the café owners dog
and the rippling corn of the green sea beckons me,
and the stars in my eyes whirl like oysters and
the clams Gaugin has brought us for tea
are repeating their alphabet by twos and by threes.
I am having a Van Gogh moment.

 

BIO:

Helen Burke has been writing poetry for 42 years she also writes short stories , plays, comedy sketches and does painting and visual art. She has a new collection called “Today the Birds Will Sing ” coming out with Valley Press in the next couple of months.

Her work has been widely published and anthologised.  She has won a number of competitions such as Manchester International, Norwich, Suffolk, the Yorkshire prize, Southport Comedy, Jersey, Devon & Dorset, Torbay and many others.

Her work has been published and distributed in America by www.origamipoems.com, based on Rhode Island, she has 15 chap books with them, having formerly read at Roots in Providence. She has recently been made an honorary member of Ocean State Poets

 

 

Poem – Football Isn’t Special Anymore by Stephen Philip Druce July 9, 2016

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Football Isn’t Special Anymore

 

Football isn’t special anymore –
not like when I was a kid.

Supporters all had smiles on their faces -|
football grounds were special places –
the young and the old, the rich and the poor,
but football isn’t special anymore,

there’s too much t.v. football on,
so the novelty’s gone,
a nil nil draw or a ten one score –
football isn’t special anymore,

the football t.v. show – spoilt mid-flow,
but the half time analysis – a screen intrusion –
we hoped it was entertainment,

but the diagrams of circles and lines
shattered the illusion, oh what a bore –
football isn’t special anymore,

football shirts once a nice simple strip
you’d be careful not to tear, now
an ugly kit plastered in advertising shit
you wouldn’t want to wear, oh what an eye sore –
football isn’t special anymore,

The ground announcer insults the fans by
yelling out – the team names – as if
they’re too dumb to know who’s walking out,

twenty two child mascots – an absurd a pantomime
as you can get – players holding hands with kids they’ve never met,
oh what a chore – football isn’t special anymore,

managers under duress – to partake in conferences for
the gutter press – punished with a fine if they so decline,

the t.v. camera work of the pitch is too busy,
irrelevant shots of all the worst angles – a birds eye view –
from a pigeon dangles – spins round and makes you feel dizzy,

the meaningless obligatory pre-match handshakes – to
encourage fair play gesture fakes, but snub out of spite
and it causes a fight – once we were friends but now it’s war,
football isn’t special anymore,

t.v. cameras spying – obliged to show close ups
of drama queens crying – fuelling the tension
with a troubled face mention, awarding them attention
as compensation for the sin, of the hefty prices they were
charged to get in – a rosy apple with greed at the core,
football isn’t special anymore,

there’s not one player worth paying to see,
not one with charisma, style or presence –
not one you’d really want to be,

the ball is so light it’s now a balloon –
bouncing high as a plastic moon, if
you kick it hard, it will catch the keeper
off guard – swerving two ways on its own,
so the scorers talent is still unknown,

the winners celebrate with an artificial routine,
of fireworks, glitter, streamers and confetti,
bouncing like puppets in paper spaghetti –
the silliest spectacle I ever saw,
football isn’t special anymore,

football’s now a non-contact sport, prompting
deceit by the penalty cheat, and players who choose
not to stay on their feet,

stadiums now all look the same – like a coffee shop chain –
bland, soulless, impersonal architecture – as if the tacky plastic
pictures on the outside won’t aesthetically affect ya,

poor kids in the community ignored,
by the clubs that don’t care –
that they can’t afford
to even get in there,

you’ll pay through the roof,
you’ll pay through the floor,
because football isn’t special anymore,

football isn’t special anymore,

FOOTBALL ISN’T SPECIAL ANYMORE.

Bio

Stephen Philip Druce is a poet from Shrewsbury UK

 

 

Poem – Tigers In Cloud Ships by Stephen Philip Druce March 16, 2016

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 Tigers In Cloud Ships

Clad in spiked plummet –
stilled vapour rip
as cotton ball angels drift,
sail scratch prowl –
circle bird cluster
in snow coat applause,
suited cream orchestras
abandon scarred circus skies
in chorus salute,
and tigers in cloud ships
roar unmanned –
their sweetest melody.

 

BIO: Stephen Philip Druce is a poet from Shrewsbury, UK. He has been published in Cake, Muse, Spokes, Message in a Bottle, Pulsar, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Taj Mahal Review, Shot Glass, Hermes, and many other poetry journals.

 

 

 

 

 

Poems by Dane Cobain -Struggling to Find Potential Usernames, Let’s Get Incendiary and The Flights of Your Darts November 27, 2015

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Struggling to Find Potential Usernames

She can’t be @RedLantern
‘cause it’s a takeaway place,
and @Red_Lantern is also some sort of restaurant
and @RedLighthouse has been taken
by some woman who hasn’t posted
since 2011;

@CarlaCobain could be cool,
but some fool is already using it
and there’s nothing I need to tell you;
meanwhile,
someone else has @LighthouseEyes
and @EyesLikeLighthouses
is three characters too long
and anyway,
then you’d have to explain
what it means;

I tried various combinations
on the theme of wolves and foxes,
like @LupineFox and @VulpineWolf,
and you know what?
Some bastards stole those, too.

Maybe I should stick to what I’m good at,
‘cause you were always one
for finding titles.

 

Let’s Get Incendiary

Your words are strongest when honest,
and I never promised silence to begin with;
I never promised anything
‘cause I didn’t want to break them.

Truth is,
I fell in love again,
only this time it’s personal –
I’m not in love with the moonlight
like I used to be,
and I’m not in love with the music,
although it helps.

My poems force sparks to fly
between us,
singeing eyebrows
and causing serious distress
in the eyes of the spies
who spread their lies
about me,
and ironically,
I’m now at fault for the truth,
but I never asked for their opinion
anyway.

The Flights of Your Darts

Step right up to the little black line
and get ‘em in your sights,
‘cause the time is right and tonight
you’re fucking frightening,
and the flights of your darts
shine bright beneath the lights;

you’ve gotta strike ‘em in the eye
and shoot ‘em to the ground,
cast ‘em out without a shadow of doubt
and start breathing in and out again,
tell your friends when you’re dead
you’ll reappear again,
but the jokes on them
‘cause you’re immortal anyway,
and you’ll stay alive in the smell of the rain
and the way things change or stay the same.

So step right up to the little black line
and let ‘em fly tonight;
tomorrow,
we’ll learn to play baseball.

Author Bio:

danecobainbio Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK) is an independent poet, musician and storyteller with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not in front of a screen writing stories and poetry, he can be found working on his book review blog or developing his website, www.danecobain.com.  His debut novella, No Rest for the Wicked, was released by Booktrope in the Summer of 2015.

“Dirty Pebbles” and “The Unexpected Find” – Two Poems by Christopher Barnes September 17, 2013

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“Dirty Pebbles”

 
                 Detritus –
Bludgeoned, sunk from earth’s skin.
Grinding kits express it shatter-proof
But dazzlement’s flown.
De Beers grumble at lost sheen.
Diamantaries wink for light-grasp, glitz.
Crystal scaffolding no longer sparks
——————
The Unexpected Find
 
A backswept alley eye-opener –
Roll up roll up to this pleasure-round attraction.
They tout tuck, ding-dong fights, wild oats music –
Customer-snatching freak shows
In diamond-studded light.
Uncork a grumbling metropolitan purlieu –
Spanner-built thrills,
Ping-clink coin-heavy arcades.
Twist-a-whirl, shoot-the-chutes
And all your awe will be gravity-flung.
 
Christopher Barnes is an accomplished poet in the UK. You can read more about him on his BBC website page. He recently read his work at at the Callander Poetry Weekend hosted by Poetry Scotland.

On Hot Days and The Leopards of Peace by Helen Burke June 15, 2013

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Whitby260

Drawing by Helen Burke

On Hot Days

On hot days , I play Jefferson Airplane
Or a little David Bowie – the day seems to demand it .
When the grass smokes and the pavements burn
And my arms hold themselves out to the sun .
Grace Slick’s voice and Ziggy in the sunshine will make
The day a good one , even hotter.
When the clouds gather – I turn to Fleetwood Mac , have to –
What other choice is there ??
And on rainy days it’s Al Stewart – Year of the Cat.
And soft Irish rainy days – American Pie and Don McLean.
I use them as umbrella’s , as sturdy boots and hat. So the day
Is not a wash-out , and I whistle down the wind.
On windy days – into the room comes Joni Mitchell and she and I
Are blown away down to the Mermaid Café.
And on changeable days , days that can’t make up their mind –
I go for Vashti Bunyan .  Works every time
When there’s thunder in my shoes and lightening strikes –
I dig out Bob Dylan and revisit old Highways.
You put Mott the Hoople on when you come in .
There’s a storm predicted in the East , you say –
And I want to be prepared .  But.
It turns out to be hot , so we have to think again.
The Man who Fell to Earth  ? or White Rabbit , I ask.
And the sun melts the windows, the music , everything .
I am trapped inside black vinyl .
And it’s hot.  Hot.  Hot.

The Leopards of Peace

So, we’re at this Pete Seeger concert ,
Right ??
That’s jan and kevin and lynnie and phil and me –
And what we are all doing , I cannot say –
Except that there are leopards .
Many leopards , big ones , small ones , shy ones ,
Chatty ones – all walking round the market place.
And available.
We are the leopards of peace , they say .
Will no-one take us home with them .
And we try.  Phil and I try – but the bag we have brought
Is kinda loose – and the leopards heads poke out – so
Things are rather tricky .  Phil and I ask the leopards what they
Want to do.
You must be your own leopards they say – and jan and the gang
Scoop up several of the really unusual leopards – and say
Don’t worry – we will take you a leopard back with us.
And a big Irish leopard – singing Danny Boy !! – leaps into
Their suitcase – and several small portable leopards join him.
Phil and I have one small leopard that we can carry between us –
And we do .  And this is how peace breaks out – between people,
Between nations , between dreams and moments you think are life
But are also dreams .  This is how peace is carried home in the heart.
Like a small leopard – until its time is come to walk the earth.
The whole of the earth .
Give the leopards a chance.   I wish you Peace.

BIO  

UK poet Helen Burke has written poetry for the last 35 years. Her work is widely anthologised and has won many national prizes, including the Manchester, the Suffolk and the Devon and Dorset prize.  You can read more of her work here.

Urgent Referral by Jim Stewart-Evans February 21, 2012

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Urgent Referral

I arrive too early, searching
with fruitless glances, sit
facing the automatic doors
where I watch
an old woman wheel herself
pre-emptively
towards a waiting ambulance
and struggle,
briefly,
against the weak resistance
posed by the transition
from tile to carpet.

As I slide my silent phone out,
at that exact moment, you call
in a state of panic:
you haven’t parked the car
in half an hour’s trying, have lost
all sense of direction, yet outside
your car materialises
at the end of the road:
you pick me up venting;
nothing is going to plan;
narrowly avoid a collision,
abandon the car
abruptly
in a car park not 50 yards away.

You turn to throw me
the keys: I stoop
to catch them,
then at the pay machine
I realise that I can’t,
and have to flit back for change.

Together in the waiting room, nervously
calming down, talking
too quickly, before
too quickly, I am in the room,
waiting.

Sending texts back and forth
across the closed doors,
I ponder briefly whether
I could be the odd one
out: without mammary glands
in a breast clinic, then pull up
abruptly.

When you return we leave
immediately; it is but thickening
of tissues and shared relief.

As we pause by the car
I have a strong urge to hold you close,
stand inert, registering the need
for physical reassurance, mutual validation,
and in that moment you are compelled
to give your parking ticket to a stranger;
it not being due to expire just yet,
then me a lift
back to work.

Bio

  Jim Stewart-Evans started writing in 2010 as an occasional escape from a scientific career. His poetry has since been published in LeftLion magazine and in poetry anthologies, whilst his poem on health service reforms came runner-up in a columnist competition in Pulse, a GPs’ journal. He lives in Nottingham and recently featured as one of the headline poets at Nottingham’s monthly ‘Speech Therapy’ spoken word night.

His website can be found at: http://poetrysideline.blogspot.com/