Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Public Transport

Traffic stacked back up the hill;
the flash photography of sun
on rain- glossed pavements.

I am travelling incognito,
reading a book I have re-titled
‘Do Not Disturb’.

Still a voice drags me off the page,
out of Carver’s ‘Afghanistan’,
it’s demanding

‘Which stop is it for the bus station?
I’ve got to get to Nottingham
or some place miles from here!’

I force myself to answer
‘I think it’s the one after next’,
and then, because I feel I have to,

 ‘my sister lives near there’,
but he’s screaming ‘I’m leaving before I kill her
or she kills me!’

Beyond the mirrored windscreens
starving Gothic arches roar
above the Portakabins

On College Green
A camera crew is waiting
For news to happen

While the bus trundles
inexorably
towards our stops.


© Deborah Harvey

From Collage: The Best of Poetry Space 2010 and one of the runners up in Poetry Space Competition 2010, judged by Philip Lyons


Saturday, 12 April 2014

G.B

I saw George Best
on a bench today
he was leaning forward
legs crossed
all angles, elbows and joints
smoking
spittle grey beard
straggle haired
I stopped the car
and shouted :
"George"
he nodded knocking accidental ash from ciggy
"were has the magic gone?"
he looked up
dropped the dog end
it fell in a floating spiral
with one touch of his knee
one twist of his hip
the Strettford End rose
the gasp before...
toe to ball
past man after stock still man
looped the ball over Wilson
as the match was lit
pandemonium ensued.
Sparks hit the floor
George said :
"Andy were's yours?"
I flickered through the reel
trawled the back catalogue
looked at my disshevelled hair
my bruised arms
and said:
"George, I never found it"

Andy Scotson

Today's offering is from regular Poetry Space supporter Andy Scotson. I thought it would entertain...

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Bumble-bee

The wind is at my window
as a bee comes storming in –
big burly bumbler banging
at blurred glass and stained timber.

He hurls himself around
buzzing like a pylon in a thunderstorm.
He spurns my hat
doffed to guide him out.

He zooms like a space-ship
on edge to be off to the stars.
As his fury grows, I shrink.
His roaring envelops me.

If this were the war
he would be a bomber
broody with high explosive
over crystal city.

But he’s found the gap and is away
helter-skelter over the brambles
out of my muddle into the storm.
I draw the curtains across the wind.


© Martin Bates

This one comes from Green Spaces: poems from Poetry Space Competition 2011 and was highly commended by judge Rose Flint. The remit for the competition was for poets to write on green themes, green spaces that had personal or wider meaning.

This is well worth a read and is available from the online shop


Saturday, 29 March 2014

Shoes



I do not possess lots of shoes,
my last pair sufficed all my needs
for several years,
just those, and Wellingtons mean there is
little chance for anybody else,
even if they want to be,
in my shoes.

Once when officially sized,
I went home with leather uppers and
a compass in the sole,
safe in the knowledge that I would always
be able to find my way home,
except I couldn’t,
in my shoes.
My brother’s shoes would fit,
they always did at some point in
my development,
by then I would ensure that the soles
were split or puncture them,
so I didn’t have to,
wear his shoes.
Once a dear friend of mine,
who had been drinking
beyond control,
got up semi conscious and put
on his wife’s stilettos by mistake,
he fell down the stairs,
in her shoes
I’ve met people occasionally,
and thought how wonderful their
life must be,
seeing only the fa├žade that they wish to reveal
that can be misleading,
and I’d think I’d like to be,
in their shoes.
Shoes are a funny thing,
that we may want to wear someone else’s
or they yours,
until we walk behind our first impressions
and find we don’t exactly fit,
how we thought,
into their shoes.

© Simon Bridges


This poem was published in the Poetry Space Showcase in August 2010.
Simon later went on to publish a book Sepia and Silence (Matador) and you can buy it through the Poetry Space online shop.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

I am a beautiful woman, walking


        along a river, along a beach, over a bridge,
my feet crunching on stones and sand, making
gentle thuds as they connect with the earth.

I am a beautiful woman, walking.
I choose to survive,
I am honouring my ancestors:
the beautiful women who walk with me.

I think of warrior women, walking
I think of wise women, walking
I think of strong women, walking.

For years I have not known who I am.
Now, I find answers in the arc of a duck’s wing as it
takes flight,  in a seagull’s throat as it chokes out its cry,
in the sunshine on my back, the glass-glitter of water.

I find answers in the rhythm of walking:
along a river, along a beach, over a bridge.
I am the past and the present and the future.

I am a beautiful woman walking, honouring
my ancestors, myself, my children, the future
warrior women, listening to the sound of the sea
and the timeless rhythm of feet.

© Louisa Adjoa Parker 

The above poem was published on the Poetry Space website in November 2009 when I was still publishing monthly selections of poems and before Poetry Space became a company. This was to happen in February 2010. I was very pleased though that even at this stage Poetry Space was attracting a high standard of submission. This exceptional one by Louisa Adjoa Parker later found its ways into Collage, the best of Poetry Space 2010 which included all the poems from our first year alongside the winning and highly commended poems from Poetry Space Competition 2010, judged by Philip Lyons.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tree on the Drostdy Lawns


Perhaps you will cast down only
whatever it is you want to,
whatever it is you need to cast down:
moths and manna, coins, rain and silver goblets,
your roots aching with that elemental
longing of a child’s outstretched arms,
pulling in, holding on, needing.

Perhaps your sky is hot, or misted cool,
or only really there when the weather
moves, when you too are cast down beneath it,
clouded in leaves, twigs, branches, birds.
Perhaps my roots and yours, my gifts
and yours, my span and yours are one;
perhaps, after all, we’re the same.


© Harry Owen

Highly commended in Poetry Space Competition 2011

From Green Spaces anthology published by Poetry Space Ltd, 2011

The anthology contains the winning and commended poems from Poetry Space Competition 2011, chosen by Rose Flint.

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Kindness of Strangers

I
Pete cuts my bread roll
butters it, and
spreads the marmalade.

I expect you’re not supposed to do this, I say.

No, but... I think
If it was me
I would want someone to do it for me.

My eyes fill,
tears run down my face,
and drip onto my plate.

Pete looks so anxious - that I lie
 I’m fine, I say
It’s just the pain in my arm.

He moves on to the next bed.

I cried - because
this man I do not know
was kind to me.

II

My Weetabix comes in a plastic bowl,
the yellow wrapper bright and shiny.

Brenda unwraps it for me.

I went to town on Friday, she confides,
and bought some new boots.

Milk is sloshed onto the Weetabix
islands marooned in a white sea.

They’re brown suede
and have lovely stitching ‘round the top.





I nod

Got them cheap I did ‘cos they were last year’s style,
they couldn’t sell them - too tight they were on people’s calves.

I’ve got lovely slim calves, she says
raising the hem of her uniform to show me.

They’ve got furry lining
so I won’t have to wear tights with them.

I start spooning my cereal - now sloppy
in its white disposable bowl.

Tea or coffee? Brenda asks me
wielding the giant teapot over the cups

Tea, I say.

Half price they were, she continues, a real bargain.
She looks pleased.

Brenda stirs my tea for me,
and places it in reach

You’re trouble you are, she says - and winks.
She moves her trolley on to the next bed

Tea or coffee?

© Sylvia Perry

From A Kindness, published by Poetry Space Ltd in 2013



Footnote: The ward domestics – “Pete” and “Brenda” 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Bosom Friends

                             
                        From Saigon’s bright bustling
                        into an Aladdin’s cave,
                        shelves of silk in strata
                        of sapphire, emerald, ruby.
                                
She flows soft rivers through her arms,
across the rush-matted floor
over my shoulders
hands dancing
framing me with chosen fabric.

Sweat sequins her brow
jet eyes twinkle beside
an ebony fall of hair.
A bonsai woman with twiglike arms
tiny trunk, swaying
in an imperceptible breeze
slim legs
two downward strokes
of a calligrapher’s brush.
I dwarf her.

She clambers onto a stool
calling figures to an assistant,                                      
passes the tape around me
across my bust - looks at the number
hesitates
checks.
Our eyes meet -
words rustling like leaves
she says, Nice big titties!
cups them in miniature fingers.
I’d rather be your size, I reply
and we laugh and hug.

                       ©  Margaret Eddershaw

From Catching Light by Margaret Eddershaw, published in 2013 by Poetry Space Ltd

More information


Friday, 21 March 2014

Aubade

There is a moment when the song begins,
when light peels back the darkness and I sing,
when leaf by leaf the tree assumes its shape,
when I reclaim my throne within its crown.

I sing because the lifeforce tells me to,
because there is so little time to sing,
because my heart is full and fit to burst,
because… because I must, because I can.

You wake to hear me, drowsing in your bed.
You wake and think of how you woke before,
awake in darkness, everything quite still,
awake and waiting for the night to end.

You fall asleep and I become your dream,
become the music you are following,
become a forest where a river flows,
become a glade where you can rest at last.

There is a moment when the song begins.

© Philip Lyons

From Like It Is, published by Poetry Space Ltd, 2011



Thursday, 20 March 2014

Shades of Midnight in Summer


The moon

illuminates the edges of clouds

in the darkness

Silence fills the night

except for faint cricket sounds

continuously in rhythm

Stars twinkle

deep in the dark blue sky

Silhouettes of trees outline the horizon

A warm breeze flows

gently in the air

Heat rising from the ground

Smell of freshly cut grass

The aroma of eucalyptus leaves

Scent the air

The last bird calls

were three hours ago

Shades of Midnight in Summer


© Richard Bell

Published in Poetry Space online showcase - November 2011