Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Door to Hell

The Door to Hell is burning like resentment every day,
Consuming every promise, every tender word I say,
And still The Door remains ablaze, enticing me its way.

With purpose and conviction, the flames which never rest,
Consume the very passion to which they do attest,
With the purpose and conviction I never have possessed.

The burning cavern endless deep with 80-meter span,
In desert Karakum was formed and left to burn by man,
This Door to Hell so ghastly pure devouring all it can.

For twenty years and twenty more this blazing, torrid well,
Has lit the way to agony consuming me to tell,
That one day soon I’ll gladly pass through burning Door to Hell.

©  Craig Guthrie

Take a look inside a giant hole in the desert which has been on fire for more than 40 YEARS 

Craig is currently seeking a publisher for his book of poetry and prose "Chef and I - Lyrical Salads and Literary Vandalism" All comments, suggestions and offers welcome. More  HERE

Monday, 30 July 2012

The Evil Games

Each man and woman
and in-betweeny
wants to be seen here.
It’s what they’re all about –
moving ‘swifter, higher, stronger’
than the next man or woman
or hermaphrodite chancer
or drug-raddled body enhancer.

It’s the arena of small ambition
that reduces the human condition
to physical exhibition.
The phrase ‘disgusting displays’
is tailor-made for these Olympian days.

Tarnished gold,
the tarts’ grubby target,
above all else!
Swifter, higher, stronger, sadder,
ever more desperate.

Come on! COME on!
Peel of the Lycra suits.
The drugs don’t work.
They just make it worse.

They’re corrupted,
like the Olympics itself,
by being about
winning instead of the
important stuff of life,
which is mainly about losing.

Look now to London!
On the podium they stand,
grinning go-getters,
facile pace-setters.
Some people cheer,
some wave the bunting
of freedom-crushing states
as athletes are rewarded
with the motherland’s
rancid anthem.

Nothing can redeem
a movement  that professes
to be noble, while doing
what the ignoble always do,
in crushing the
humanity, humility,
poetry and eloquence
right out of people.

© Steve Regan

Mitt Romney questions whether Britain is ready for Olympic Games

Steve Regan co-runs the Bards of New Brighton (Wirral) and Liver Bards (Liverpool) poetry clubs. He is a former newspaper reporter.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sunday Supplement

This week's poems spanned the extremes of human nature - from our greatest aspirations to our darkest moments as neatly brought together in Random Acts from first-time contributor Afric McGlinchy, who led us from a feel good carnival in Ireland to an evil joker in a Colorado cinema.

We are heading to a Big Brother state said newcomer Ricardo Walcott in Anti-privacy - a poem on local authority' powers to snoop on residents. You might argue that some people should be watched, or they'll cheat the rest of us and get away with it, suggested Alan Lambert in Punishment Insured.

Meanwhile, 'In hotel lobbies /  Life coaches schedule miracles' according to Caroline Hurley in Wrong Cue - her cynical countdown of self-help measures had everything but chicken soup!

Meanwhile, as athletes from around the globe gathered for another countdown, Rose Drew reminded us of the daily hurdles of the huddled masses outside the arenas in Modern Olympic Games. And as teams compete and crowds gather to watch, E R Olsen brought us full circle us to remind us of the perils of Alone-ness - which begins with the man who 'touched no-one for thirty days' and drew us inexorably back James Holmes who touched so many people's lives last week

Martin and I at Poetry24 are always waiting for you to touch us... and I don't mean it like that!  Which reminds me... are you reading (or doing!) anything kinky this weekend? If so - see below!

Have a great week



As the fog of decadence
Descends upon us
We slide, inexorably,
Towards the floor of depravity,
Like a snowman melting in heat.
By we I mean you
Who will never read these lines.
I am only witness here.
Wisdom is no currency in the pit.

© Thomas Martin

Publisher whips up a beginner's guide to DIY sadomasochism

Thomas Martin lives in Dublin. His prose works have been featured in Piranha, Figments, The Evening Press and The Weary Blues. He is currently working on his first verse collection.

Saturday, 28 July 2012


creates and severs
the tethers that hold us together.

Yesterday, a man told me
his father was driven crazy
by doctors locking him
in a dark room for thirty days --
He touched no one for thirty days;

                never could touch anyone again,
                only pee in the corners of their rooms
                as if the lights were still off.

Today, a man told me
his son was shot by a different man –
in the neck – with many others
who did not expect smoke
or flashes illuminating smoke
in a dark room full… full…full.

This other man’s friends could not be located.
This other man’s family was far away;

                he could not touch anyone with
                his fingers so busy on booby-traps;
                writing long sentences with no periods,
                as if in a cabin out in the woods --
                nowhere near a pond.

E R Olsen writes poetry and practices law in Nevada, in the U.S., where he lives with his wife and four children. His poems have appeared in several U.S. journals, most recently in Viking.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Modern Olympic Games

100 meter dash to queue for a job
To be one of 500
Trying for 3 spots

Go for Gold
In the Look Poor Enough playoffs
To hang on to food stamps
And be able to eat

In the javelin toss
Try not to aim
At tempting political targets
You hope don’t come into range

The little people
Left to scrabble amongst ourselves
Outsides the gates of prosperity, security:
The real game is to survive.

Leap! Like superman as you pole vault
Over the trash that towns can’t afford
To pick up

Sprint for help when the lady
Who didn’t couldn’t wouldn’t don’t matter now anyhow
Doesn’t have
Fire protection sees her house catch
And nobody comes

Run that desperate mile
From the cracker with a gun
Who thinks you don’t belong
In his neighbourhood

Stand for hours and smile
And say You want Fries with that?
As you wait
For that amerikkkan dream
To be served.

© Rose Drew
House Dems fall short in blocking food stamp cuts

Rose Drew has hosted open mics for +9 years (www.yorkspokenword.org.uk) and co-owns small press Stairwell Books. She’s published in newspapers, books, journals, including her collection Temporary Safety (2011).

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Punishment Insured

The door bangs shut as they’re driven away
Millions they made, ninety days they’ll pay
From designer suits at the top of Q Tower
To jump suits at the base of watch towers
Living at the tax payers cost
What is it exactly that they have lost
When they’re released without any pain
On a private jet back to Ukraine?

© Alan Lambert

 Seán Quinn's son and nephew jailed for contempt

Alan Lambert is 33 and originally from Dublin. A relative newbie to poetry, the above is the second poem he's written.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Wrong Cue

When the blues go viral,
Companies love misery,
Suck lucre from plagues.

In hotel lobbies,
Life coaches schedule miracles.
Score more goals, they urge;

Surrender to the
Moment’s power of here and now    ̶
As if creatures don’t.

Famous gurus swash-buckle
Their way inside heads

Like hitchhikers’ guides
Or galactic Gibranic prophets.
There’s nowhere to hide.

Jeremy Kyle
Sorts simpletons out, gung-ho,
On television.

Doesn’t he? One-man
DSMIV, and much much more,
Suggests the blurb.

Professionals, ‘client-
Centred’, judge suitability,
Engage on their terms.

Disturbed, one flew over
The cuckoo’s nest, long-jumping

A plain ‘how are you’
Forestalls elaboration;
Close counsel is hugged.

New Age bad language
Abounds from self-help mongers.
In wings, Big Pharma’s poised.

What would Lao Tsu say
To koans proliferating
Like primed cluster-bombs?

Or Thoreau, retreating
Not en masse, a la mode,
But discrete, alone?

Not everyone can
Master motorcycle
Repair, or wants to.

Be scotching them we
Must, Yoda’d caution; dart the
Forces of Darkness.

Thinking positive,
Python-esque, is pushed: how come
We’re still not there yet?

Smack ‘em back to flat;
Set to zero, starved, empty  ̶
Need’s where profit’s at.

Manufactured need,
Dimming in the name of light.
No. Turn back. Go native.

 © Caroline Hurley

Is the practice of self-help helpful?

Caroline's poems have been published in e-magazine, The Electric Acorn. She recently returned to post-graduate psychology studies and has also written a novel, short stories, and both a stage and screenplay.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Anti Privacy

Monitoring powers and snooping laws
spying dressed up in an official name
a data bill riddled with flaws
society with no rights to claim

Civil liberties bound up in red tape
privacy becomes a thing of the past
heading towards a big brother state
how long will the madness last?

We are doing this to protect you they say
crime is on the rise
the Home Secretary paves the way
CCTV, the Watcher's eyes

Whilst out in the public view
be careful how you act
cameras from all angles filming you
anti-terrorist groups are keeping track

© Ricardo Walcott

Councils 'must have' monitoring powers

I am returning to the poetry scene after years of experiencing life. Now ready to create once more, as I love the power of words!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Random Acts

Spiderman and Cinderella
weave through bubbles,
wands, balloon-swords;
the street is teeming
with new romantics,
streams of pink
and purple,
blue and real
red hair.
From the lorry stage,
a band plays 'random
acts of kindness',
the mosh-pit crushed
as kids make trains
and spinning tops;
while somewhere else,
a joker waits
till everyone is seated
then pulls out
his bag of tricks.

© Afric McGlinchey

Gunman announced himself as the Joker, says eyewitness

Pucker fair: random acts of kindness prove big hit

Afric McGlinchey won the prestigious Hennessy Poetry Award (2011). Her début collection,
The lucky star of hidden things, was published in 2012 by Salmon Poetry.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sunday Review

There has been a definite air of tension about Poetry24 this week. Pressure on Bob Diamond, to give up £2m of his payoff to charity, prompted Philip Challinor's, The Supreme Sacrifice. And newcomer, Rose Drew, presented us with A Few Dead Republican Girls, written in light of restrictive anti-abortion laws that have curbed reproductive rights of American women in the past decade.

Maurice Devitt points to Leaves on the Track in his poem that reflects the biggest rail network investment in the UK for well over 100 years. But it's 100 days that Mohammed Morsi has given himself to bring his ‘Renaissance Project’ to fruition for the Egyptian people. Lavinia Kumar rightly asks if that's enough time in One Body, One Goal.

Our second newcomer this week, Caroline Hurley, examines How Science Rates With Poetry, and we finish in the money once again. Having started with a story about the Ex-Barclays boss, Gabrielle Bryden reminds us how Wikileaks has had success in its court battle against Visa in Iceland, over blocked donations.

Well, the sun is showing its face at last, and I'm off for a few days next week, to share some of it with my family. Do make sure that you mail your submissions to Clare and myself, to ensure that that they picked up.

I'll leave you with a tribute to Celeste Holm, who died this week.

Have a great week.

Martin (and Clare).


We honor her grace in dimming light.
Now a spangle across the celestial night.
A few more stars upon highest high.
In the glittering northern sky.

Of height, breadth, depth and width.
A limitless range where poets writ.
Upon screens and stage she takes her place.
And tonight lends heavens beauty's face.

© James Schwartz

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Saturday, 21 July 2012


is leaking,


soon to be dead

says Julian,

if the funds can’t get through

invisible gatekeepers say no,

Visa, MasterCard, PayPal,

Western Union, Bank of America

have turned off
the life blood,
a sacrifice
to stop further leaks,

jugular payback
snarl the offended,

let’s stop playing monopoly

groans Julian

and fetch a real doctor.

© Gabrielle Bryden

Wikileaks wins court battle against Visa in Iceland over blocked donations

Gabrielle is an Australian poet published in a range of books, print and online journals and on ABC National radio. She blogs at http://gabriellebryden.wordpress.com and tweets as GabrielleBryden.

Friday, 20 July 2012

How Science Rates With Poetry

Science presents accounts versus a story
Of things observed exactly by the eye;
The truth of all, from earth’s core to the sky.
Measured to fit standards, but poetry
Blithely lifts an item from its category
To enjamb it with a fact or lie,
Fluttering gaily like a butterfly
From phantom flowers back to reality.

Just as little children have to play
To stretch their senses and their intellect,
Of how science rates with poems it’s wrong to say
They’re at cross-purposes, they don’t connect
When both their emissary’s a mockingjay
Copying, eavesdropping – and if I know, I’m fecked!

© Caroline Hurley

Science Meets Poetry at ESOF 2012

Caroline's poems have been published in e-magazine, The Electric Acorn. She recently returned to post-graduate psychology studies and has also written a novel, short stories, and both a stage and screenplay.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

One Body, One Goal

Everyone says on the streets that one hundred days
are not enough, that it takes three hours for bread,
that city workers need bribes and have feet of clay.

Buses feel free to drive fast down streets the wrong way
and poor districts have large rubbish piles though they plead
for streets to be fully cleaned in one hundred days.

President Mursi has a tough army to weigh
with drug dealers, thugs and the whole electorate
who mistrust city workers known for feet of clay.

He had a parliament for minutes one day,
a supreme court really determined to impede,
making it hard to succeed in one hundred days,

but he visits neighbor countries as head of state
to make sure that the brotherhood is not misread
and his plans will not wither or have feet of clay.

Egyptians beg that they be treated all the same
as a democratic society would demand
and they all hope the promise of one hundred days
rejuvenates the country, removes feet of clay.

© Lavinia Kumar

Are 100 days enough?

Lavinia Kumar lives in New Jersey. Her poetry has appeared in several publications, in the US and UK. She writes a blog for her brother’s seniorsmagazine.org, based in Portsmouth, NH.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Leaves on the track

Clearly the Victorians

were proud

of their trains,

so they invested

to make them faster

and more mysterious,
seamless snakes

of love and murder,

platforms of denial,

where tears

became agents of deceit

and petered lists

of unknown destinations

coughed names

of crooked despair.

© Maurice Devitt

Maurice is reading for an MA in Poetry Studies at Mater Dei, and has recently been short-listed for the Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Competition. He is working towards a first collection.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A Few Dead Republican Girls

That’s what it’ll come to,
after Roe v Wade is overturned completely:
a few botched abortions
a few dead daughters   (the more beautiful the better);
golden children of rich Republicans
undone by their parents plans.

But not toooo rich,
a platinum card buys a lot of doctoring;
a private jet can fly someone anywhere—
to France, say, where Gramma goes
for Alzheimer's stem cell therapy,
or Switzerland, where the Old Man himself
is said to travel for Parkinson's.

Just rich enough;
just loved enough,
a female Isaac whose Abraham dad becomes appalled,
stricken by grief,

Already, multiple States have multiple laws
outlawing choice,
stayed only by reluctant Federal hands:

hands now untied, fists curled
to demand Obedience,
slamming blows on shameless sluts across the world,
to send them, weeping,
into the compassionate arms of their Savior…..
…….Well, that’s the plan. 

Like bowls of colorful condoms now removed from college halls
so sexed up kids can just shower in cold water
and tough it out, dammit;

like scrips for The Pill unfilled
by ethically compromised pharmacists
who shouldn’t bring Religion to work in their lunchpail;

like Pledges and Promises of Chastity
sworn before dad in the livingroom
yet forgotten by the bike shed;

like all plans to legislate human sexuality,
and yet forget that humans are involved—

this plan will ultimately fail,
fall victim to too many victims,
an overturn doomed to being overturned.

And except for those unfortunate daughters,
who find themselves in bad circumstance,
with no medical help,
no legal recourse,

in a decade or two of the dying
things will go back to what they were.

All it takes are a few
Republican girls:

woe be to them.

© Rose Drew
Study: Abortion-rights cuts dividing America

Muslim pharmacist refuses to give morning after pill 'on religious grounds'
Rose Drew has hosted open mics for +9 years (www.yorkspokenword.org.uk) and co-owns small press Stairwell Books. She’s published in newspapers, books, journals, including her collection Temporary Safety (2011).

Monday, 16 July 2012

The Supreme Sacrifice

Dear Marcus, thank you for your note,
And good luck with that sinking boat.

I'd like to close this chapter now,
Before I'm brought to book somehow.
I do not wish to make a fuss
And so I shall be generous.

I'll happily give up my shares
In Barclays' various affairs.
You needn't give me office space;
I'll work beneath a bridge someplace.

And by the way, you can relax -
I won't force you to pay my tax.

But, given all that I could say,
I'm sure that you'll be glad to pay
No more or less than what is due:
Let's say a million or two.

Now, once you've settled up this bill
I'll take my hands from out the till,
And leave you, Marcus, to arrange
Some semblance of a culture change.

Spare not a thought for poor old me:
Ever your servant, Diamond, B.

© Philip Challinor

Ex-Barclays boss Bob Diamond under pressure to hand £2m payoff to charity

Weblog: The Curmudgeon - You'll come for the curses. You'll stay for the mudgeonry.
Books: Philip Challinor's Books

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Sunday Supplement... and something for the weekend

I'm not sure what to say about the first poem this week: 'Standard Model Playground,' with its electrons, muons, bosons and leptons, sounded more like something Sheldon would say in The Big Bang Theory than our regular contributor Lavinia Kumar.

Then again, there's a lot I don't understand - like how we ended up, according to Philip Challinor, on 'The Road to Serfdom' with 'snooping spooks and thieving banks', or why people maintain stubborn prejudices based on other people's sexuality, as touched on by E R Olsen in 'It's My Secret.'

We were on safer, more familiar ground with Abigail Wyatt's heartwarming tribute to Eric Sykes with 'Night, night Eric.' But all is not well in England's 'little patchwork fields' according to Wendy Nicholson. Her 'Downfall of a Dairy Farmer' arrived fresh as a Daisy just as I herd (ahem!) the story on TV.

With poems not exactly flooding in, we published a poem of mine this week, 'Underwater'. I don't mean we published it underwater, although there are plenty of places still under threat as I write this. Martin and I rarely post our own poems here, and if we do, it's a sure sign that we are still a bit low on contributions.

Have a great week

Clare (and Martin)

and finally...a little something for the weekend

The Cheetahs´ Response

Don’t tell us to mate behind bars.
Captivity leaves many scars.
The urge to have offspring is none.
No fire, no passion, no fun.

You’ve got to let all of us loose.
A partner we’ll find to seduce.
Attraction is sudden, complex.
Survival depends on wild sex.

© Vala Hafstad

Date Night at the Zoo, if Rare Species Play Along

Saturday, 14 July 2012

It’s My Secret

My brother and I sit and watch TV.
He says to me, What would you do?
What would you say, if like that guy
your son told you that he was gay?

He says to me, I'd punch him in the face;
not to really hurt him I guess, but just to
tell him I was mad, more or less.  Really
mad that he had turned out this way, and that

he did not understand what he'd chosen;
what it would truly mean to be gay.
His life would be hard, he wouldn't have kids
to run in his yard, as if that's what we did.

Honestly, if he told you that's the way
he wants to live, be with men night and day…
I would not have it, but what would you do?

It's my secret, I tell him, and that’s all I'll say.

©   E R Olsen

A Closet by Another Name

E R Olsen writes poetry and practices law in Nevada, in the U.S., where he lives with his wife and four children. His poems have appeared in several U.S. journals, most recently in Viking.

Friday, 13 July 2012


Beyond the French windows
it’s like the bottom of the sea
with green fronds swaying,
seeds and insects floating past
on mysterious currents.
Next door’s hatchback
lurks subtle as a submarine,
clouds swirl like water disturbed.
You expect to see a shark
but it’s just the minnows
of the air, strangely quiet.

Shoals of pigeon, scavenging
squirrels with their floating fur,
the bleached bones
of scuppered deckchairs lurch
at unlikely angles, alongside
the creaking hull of a rusted wheelbarrow.
Whiskered catfish, camoflauged
amongst shed roof barnacles,
observe a whirlpool in the fernery,
and the ground falling away
beyond the reef of patio
into a fathomless green.

© Clare Kirwan

Britons clean up after flood chaos

Clare Kirwan is co-founder of Poetry24, blogs as Broken Biro and tweets a bit. She also writes fiction and her first play 'Enola Gay' premiered in Wirral, July 2012.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Downfall of a Dairy Farmer

What is the matter Farmer Brown
what can be troubling you?
The sun will soon be out again
no doubt there’s work to do.

But Farmer Brown in weary tones
solemnly replied
‘My situation’s desperate
of that I can confide.

I love to see my cows outside
grazing happily,
but now however hard I work
I’m faced with poverty.
Oh Daisy, Buttercup, Bluebell
they all have done their bit
their creamy milk is not enough
there’s more cash in their shit!

The government won’t listen
foreign dairies have more clout ,
they’ve cut the price of milk again
to force us farmers out.

All the while the rain pours down
so cows must be inside,
the price of feed is rising
it’s bad news for the countryside.

I love our little patchwork fields
but the future is in doubt,
for factory farms will spread out here
with local folk left out.

There’s nothing more that I can do
it’s all become a pain,
 we'll have to pour the milk away
with our earnings down the drain.

For Daisy, Buttercup, Bluebell
they all have done their bit
their creamy milk is not enough
there’s more cash in their shit!’

©  Wendy Nicholson

Farmers threaten to pour milk down the drain

Wendy is an ecologist studying animals and plants but likes painting, and writing all kinds of poetry.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Night, night, Eric

Farewell, Eric, last among those uncles
who brightened all the evenings of my childhood,
with your long legs, your awkward grace,
your teeth, and the quickness of your tongue.
How my father would laugh, on the grey settee
where my mother cuddled close beside him;
us kids curled in armchairs or sprawled
like kings on cushions on the carpeted floor.
It was magical then, your flickering presence;
and your antics appealed to our innocence.
No drama queen: through your jokes and pranks,
your straightforward kindness shone through.
So night, night, Eric, now you go to your rest
with the prayers of at least two generations,
those who you lifted when life was bleak
by the very English art - of being - you.

© Abigail Wyatt

Eric Sykes dies aged 89

Abigail is one of the three founding members of the Red River Poets. The latter will be appearing at the Heartlands Project in Cornwall, 29th September, as part of 100 Thousand Poets for Change.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Road to Serfdom

Rah rah for markets fair and free,
Which keep us all efficientised!
Not even welfare suicides
Can keep us from that million three!

Let proles give out their humble thanks
For our Third World economy,
With all that nice autonomy
For snooping spooks and thieving banks!

Though we shall not recover soon,
A lesson's here, both sad and true:
Unwise to pay your taxes to
A smirking Bullingdon baboon.

© Philip Challinor

UK on course for return to 3 million unemployed, new surveys reveal

Weblog: The Curmudgeon - You'll come for the curses. You'll stay for the mudgeonry.
Books: Philip Challinor's Books

Monday, 9 July 2012

Standard Model Playground

Leptons charge into the playground in Planck time –
muons, taus and better known electrons slither,
slide, run, in full zest as though they are all that matter.
In proper time and space a flow of quarks appear,
and charm the leptons with rival and strange flavors,
sometimes by moving up, sometimes down,
but always with positive impulse.  They are known
to spin tales in an urge to compose a new playground,
small enough for fermions.
And so today cryptic W and Z bosons
shuttle between them and the leptons
to rework the design – they show waves and matter
must waver and adjust to the new architecture.
Then, as they take a collective breath,
Higgs enters with low energy, unobtrusively, quiet,
only to disappear as the new playground is settled.

© Lavinia Kumar

Higgs boson-like particle discovery claimed at LHC

Italian Higgs boson research body bears brunt of government cuts

Lavinia Kumar lives in New Jersey. Her poetry has appeared in several publications, in the US and UK. She writes a blog for her brother’s seniorsmagazine.org, based in Portsmouth, NH.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sunday Review

The climate has been changeable at Poetry24, this week. Newcomer, Noel Loftus, offered us the cold facts associated with the naming of fathers at birth registration in Ireland. Single Brothers tells of increased responsibilities without concomitant rights.

Inevitably, here in the UK, the rain, the relentless rain. David Subacchi's Rainfall in July is a nice observation on the effects of the wet stuff, as it pours from one summer month to another. And, of course, it's just the weather to encourage the growth of weeds. However, Kay Weeks points out that hoeing and digging isn't the only way to keep on top of the problem. New York City parks department has deployed goats to tackle invasive weeds. Yes, they're Bringing in the Hooved Pros!

Mark Kerstetter warns us of the dangers of the Riptide, with particular reference to an incident offshore, in Pass-en-Grille. Then, away from dynamic sea currents, and straight into the Doldrums. Anna reflects on the continuing possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone.

Finally, Lavinia Kumar took us through stormy waters with A Title of Command, inspired by the case of a Roman Catholic official convicted of child endangerment, who, it has been decided, must remain behind bars until sentencing.

Each week, Clare and I end our little summary of the week with a request that you keep the poems coming in. The danger with repeating a request is that it can very soon become just a predictable string of words. For only the second time in almost 18 months, we are desperately short of material. Unlike the the rain, submissions have dried to a trickle in the past couple of weeks. Without your poems to publish, our only option will be to display the test card.

Have a great week.

Martin (and Clare)

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Saturday, 7 July 2012

A Title of Command

A monsignor flies over priests,
like a blue jay defending its nest,
a principal his schoolchildren,
a hunter his hounds at the fox kill –
the master hunter astride his horse,
his hands in white gloves.

In medieval times they hailed a fox
a beast of the chase, the pursuit
a thrill, only stopped if the prey
went to ground – then the master’s
proud horn sounded, to point hunters
to another field, another fox.

The master hunter sported a uniform
of scarlet jacket with four crested
brass buttons, white skin-tight breeches,
dress boots to the knee with no laces,
and a hunt cap with black ribbon
sewn to hang down to his back.

A monsignor may wear a red-trimmed
black cassock with purple sash, or
perhaps purple cassock for solemn rites.
And he may send a priest from one
church to another, to lead altar boys
in sanctuary duties, and beyond

to other rooms and indoor spaces
where a fox would feel as trapped
as when underground.  Though a fox
has fled to be alone, to escape
its hunters, and is able to breathe
more quietly, in freedom.

© Lavinia Kumar

House arrest denied for convicted Pa. monsignor

Lavinia Kumar lives in New Jersey. Her poetry has appeared in several publications, in the US and UK. She writes a blog for her brother’s seniorsmagazine.org, based in Portsmouth, NH.

Friday, 6 July 2012


August has been a long time here
Trade winds elusive,
not quite near enough
to sail these bankrupt seas,
doldrums depressed
we sink deeper into lassitude

No more dead horse to flog,
throw overboard,
the debt remains,
no work to work it off.
Doldrums depressed
we need a degree of latitude.

Were we not becalmed,
Rudderless in this bankrupt sea,
we would set sail
to the nearest shore,
doldrums lifted
raise high the flag of gratitude.

August has been a long time here
Trade winds elusive,
not quite near enough
to sail these bankrupt seas,
doldrums depressed
we sink deeper into lassitude.

© 'Anna'

'Greece euro exit likely in months'

Anna is passionate about her world and writes about her feelings in both poetry and prose.  She lives in the UK and for personal reasons, prefers to remain just 'Anna.'

Thursday, 5 July 2012


The IV goes in

around the time the bottom

drops out. You’ve seen it,

and you can do nothing for it

but go with the flow.

Your reserves drain into the sand.

Never one to become

habituated to panic

you lose it before you remember

to let go.

But it’s not too late, darling, to lay back

your head and drift

to the sign of the sea,

then parallel to home

until riding the waves free.

It’s so easy for you, she said,

so hard and dry, with beak and claw in crust.

But only when she said, This is what

is called a complication

did I feel myself go under.

© Mark Kerstetter

Woman dies after riptide drags family offshore in Pass-a-Grille

Mark Kerstetter lives in Florida where he is a regular beach bum June through October. His poems have appeared in Evergreen Review, Connotation Press, Unlikely 2.0 and other journals. He blogs as The Bricoleur.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Bringing in the Hooved Pros

Topic is eliminating invasive weeds,
but what a totally cool headline,
making me think--and perhaps also you--
of other hooved pros, such as the
devil in its many guises, that troll keeping
us from crossing the bridge, and so on...

The name of this specific invasive weed (Staten Island, NYC)
makes it sound as if it's wearing a flowing
toga,  and indeed, the park's department is
going to war with those mighty "phragmites,"
and here's the news feature twist:
They're brining in 20 Anglo-Nubians--goats

With names like Mozart, Hadyn, and choke, Van Goat,
with "floppy ears and plaintive bleats," and described
as "not fearsome," as they go "munching inexorably
through the long plate leaves in this first phrase of a
wetland restoration at what will soon be Freshkills Park."
This exciting experiment that prefaces...herbicide.

You know how we go inside our heads about some news article
written with a poetic touch (and this is one) that makes
us want to go and see what we're reading and maybe pet
the sweet goats as if they are our beloved cats,
but, staying within the confines of the article--Read on!
This is slated to be "the largest park...in NYC...in more than a century."

Summing it up, Eloise L. Hirsh, park administrator says
about the situation: "The sanitation department mows us once a year,
but this is 2,200 acres. We need help."  Bring on the goats
to be used in "vegetation management." And, oh my god!
In this new spiritually-coated age, the goat mowing, a "laboratory
for green practices" is hoped to turn degradation into "ecological redemption."

© Kay Weeks

To Tackle an Invasive Weed, Bringing In the Hooved Pros

Kay Weeks. Ellicott City, MD. Worked in national historic preservation for 30 years, Dep’t of Interior, National Park Service, in the policy-setting Wash. DC home office.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Rainfall in July

Rainfall in July
woodpigeons waddling
across the wet moss
of an unkempt lawn
tree branches bending
dripping their tears
for sunshine delayed
Two hawks soar above
alert to any prey
hidden by plant pots
sheltered by bushes
while lesser birds flit
from one watery
twig to another
driven mad by this
unsettled weather

Rainfall in July
soil drunk with moisture
flowers tipsily
displaying colours
each shrub bawdily
bursting out in green
eager to attract
admiring glances
On the patio
only vacant chairs
an empty table
an unkicked football
Inside no sound but
the steady drum beat
of summer’s fingers
on Perspex roofing.

© David Subacchi

Wimbledon 2012: heavy rain threatens Andy Murray match against Marin Cilic

David Subacchi’s first English language collection ‘First Cut’ was published by Cestrian Press earlier this year. He is a regular contributor to ‘Poetry 24’.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Single Brothers

Now toddling child, where is your toy? Your playmate’s latest hoodwink?
Golden ringlet was the ploy, plundered when you would blink.
Now schoolboy once with sharp new pen, why scribe with blunted stub?
The girl who begged you share it then delivered quite the rub.
Now acned youth, now money crutch, I see you were deluded.
Hackneyed promise was go Dutch, yet still you are extruded.
Now man of means, why must you pair? Because you’re at that age.
In you hop to the dainty lair. Your vigour must assuage.
Now two score ten, there’s little jest. Your credit cards’ desired.
Legal missives soon suggest these nuptials be retired.
You’ll pay your due, though you may wail. Fly nest so they won’t smother.
Jurisprudence will prevail. Fledglings stay with mother.
Now toddling lad, now where’s your toy? Hid safe deep in your pocket.
Pull those ringlets, whipping boy! Then run like a f***ing rocket!

© Noel Loftus

Required birth registration will not boost fathers' rights

Noel Loftus is a fellow member of ward9writers from Mayo in the west of Ireland. In his forties, he is married, with two children, and currently works as a buyer for a safety supplies company.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sunday Review

Lavinia Kumar has become a regular commentator on matters of the Arab Spring, through her poetry. Not surprising then, in a week when Tahir Square witnessed jubilant scenes following Mohammed Mursi’s presidential election win, New/Old Egypt found its way to our pages.

Mike Richardson pointed To the Weather Gods, after the deluge experienced across the UK. As we cruise into the music festival season, the reaction from many who had tickets for the Isle of Wight event proved that the preferred option of mud and music really is an urban myth.

In mid-week, we had a Higgs Moment, courtesy of L S Bassen. Have Physicists really detected what has continued to elude scientists for 40 years? And, while we’re seeking long overdue answers to historical riddles, the UK coalition has endorsed a revised bill for further reformation of the House of Lords. The perfect moment for Philip Challinor to pen his Fiddlers Three.

Meanwhile, In the Zoo, was Vala Hafstad’s take on the rhesus monkeys who have taken to mugging on the streets of Dehli.

Continuing in a zoological vein, Fly Fishing, by John Goss, informs us of how surveillance vehicles are being aerodynamically engineered in the form of insects, so they blend perfectly into their surroundings. My advice? Invest in a fly-swat.

Have a good week, and remember to keep those poems coming in.

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