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Poems included in the September 2017 Exhibition Round.


Closing down

I'm closing down,
I'm running out.
Running out of words.
They rise and flee,
Crippled shadows
Of vagrant scattered thoughts.
Oh I feel love,
I feel so loved...
But the world is rushing by
On a wave of life above.
Above my hidden sea,
Of closing tearful stars.
Mirror landscape,
Is such fearful geography of scars.

©Copyright Ieva Rasmussen



Choose Joy

Free to taste a breeze.
To fly with Jays -
To buzz with bees -
To be the Sun's rays.
And to break cocoons!

Or to gather moss-should I choose!

Free to breathe -
Not just the air -
But everything - everywhere.
To hide behind,
A setting sun,
To be the joy of everyone!

They're my thoughts -
I get to choose -
The way I feel.
The things I do -
The things that hurt-
The things that bruise-
They're my thoughts -
I let them loose.

I'm the one,
I set them free -
It's never you,
But always me!

For the joy I know,
And pain I keep -
I get to choose,
What gets to me!

©Copyright Ric Cochran



Lovers' race

You fell in love with me,
A little bit too fast, 
A little bit too soon.
You were running, 
And I could never quite catch up.
Suddenly you slowed down.
By the time I finally got closer to you,
You turned around and walked away.
When you passed me by you looked defeated.
You left me confused and wondering which race I was running.
Maybe I fell in love with you,
A little bit too slow, 
A little bit too late.
I raises my white flag, 
Out of breath, and said we needed to talk.
It was already clear, nobody won.
Motivation was lost, 
Directions changed. 
Where are we going from here?
You moved in slow motion,
Two steps ahead, two steps behind.
The created distance felt the same.
Full of doubts my feet shuffled back,
From our blurred finish line.
One of us, always a few steps behind, 
Never on the same track.
Now I look at you,
and the only thing left,
Is your faded silhouette.

©Copyright Jony Francissen




Bolt's Last 100

Again The London Patrons gathered in awe,
World's greatest sprinters come from afar.
Andre now injured.. was a no show,
His hamstring delivered a real blow.
Bolt, Blake, Gatlin and Coleman on display,
This crowd had come to witness this dramatic play.
Heats and semis ran with no real shock,
Bolt behind Coleman.. just a reason to take stock.
Bolt noted that here was one to watch,
The crowd roared as this new twist did hatch.
The drama now on high alert as the final came,
Every speedster ready for the speed game.
Smooth was the warmups that sultry eve,
All seemed peaked and nothing up any sleeve.
Down to their marks all did descend,
At set.. they did all rise, eager the crowd's suspense.
Blammm.. the gun reverberated so clear,
Out the blocks Coleman in a flash did streak,
Bolt, Gatlin and Blake followed.. starts weak.
A Blue streak now they did chase,
All drew close right at the finish line,
Alas.. only Gatlin passed just in time.
Bolt's farewell now relegated to third place
Disbelief the world over, what a race!
Gatlin, Coleman then Bolt the photos said,
Yet Bolt was the one that the crowd feted.
Gatlin bowed to the dethroned king,
Usain did hug him no kissing of his ring.
Years of dominance now in the past,
Bolt graciously marveled at the kid so fast.
Coleman only 21 with a future so bright,
On this day Bolt passed the baton.. no fright. 
Forever graceful to the very last interview,
The combatants gave us a great stew.

©Copyright Carl Pontiak




Returning to the Mountain

I have been recalled to the mountain,
By some primeval force,
That has always been half hidden, in my soul.
Is there a reason that I must report
On certain days or years?
I do not know -
I only know -
I must go there alone.
There were times when I was half way up;
I thought I heard the sound of clashing swords;
But the wind can fool you
So you think that you're not alone.
Then I would climb up to the camping site
Pitch my mountain tent;
And watch the Sun slowly outpace the Moon.
Perhaps inside those ice capped caves,
An abandoned God still lives?
That just needs me awhile for company;
I know that there’s a presence,
Although I have never seen a sign,
A silent voice that somehow calls to me.
I also know that in the Mists of Time,
A great battle once took place;
Did I perish in that shieldwall with the brave?
Is that the very reason,
I come time and time again?
Is my destiny to revisit my own grave?

©Copyright John Anthony Fingleton





I spent so long just watching,
A lone spider spinning its web,
For the cruel winds to destroy it,
And place it in my path to tread.

With the sun highlighting the weeds,
The sunflower sheds its petals,
Providing a rare burst of colour,
Amongst the stark stinging nettles.

As the birds camp out on TV aerials,
Singing into the pale sky,
The neighbourhood cats are peering,
With their strange, watchful eyes.

The trees are picking up the breeze,
Swaying gently with subtle sound,
It adds to the changing ambience,
That I can now feel all around.

And shouts echo from the streets,
Drowned out by motorcycle roars,
As aching and tired feet,
Are all walking broken tarmac floors.

And as the sun is now being replaced,
By the clouds as black as ink,
Toning down all my thoughts,
And diluting everything I think.

©Copyright Steven Michael Pape



Bird House

Wrinkled faces behind glass windows.
Ours are always open.
I see her. Her crystal blue eyes.
She can’t fly away.
White hair, gold earrings.
I wonder if she has a name.
Yellow cup, sippy lid,
But she’s not a baby.
Brodie thinks she’s just like her,
That one day she’ll jump outside.
Our house isn’t a prison.
I don’t have the heart to tell her.

©Copyright Emma Guinness



Left Lion

I've been sat here, on the left, since 1929! 
My oh my I've seen some sights! 
From royalty visitors in all their finery,
To rowdy locals on Saturday nights.
Pomp and processions, I've seen them, 
I've even seen Robin Hood and the Sheriff too!
I can remember when kids used to play in the fountains...
...and funfairs...well, I've seen quite a few!
Menelaus was my original name, 
Named for a Spartan warrior king. 
Proudly I sit with my paws crossed,
Through summer, autumn, winter and spring.
Now, I'm referred to as Leo, 
I'd like to think that it's Leo for luck! 
As I've witnessed many a successful rendezvous, 
When lovers have met at the left lion, miduck!
I've lost count of all the children, 
Who have clamoured onto my back.
Posing and preening for photographs, 
So many kids that I have lost track.
My brother, Agamemnon (our Oscar),
Sits on the right side, facing me.
For some reason, he's not so popular,
I wonder how can that be?
It's the Left Lion where people meet up,
Whatever the event that is occurring.
So, like all cats I sit here smugly, 
If you listen closely you might hear me purring.

©Copyright Joy Rice



Peace Deceased

When the World kills,
Media gets its thrills,
We stay sitting still,
Whilst they get their fill.
And if a baby cries,
Whilst her mother dies,
It is no surprise,
That guilt lives in your eyes.
Pay the bills,
Money in the tills,
Missiles in the skies,
Another of our lies.
Peace. Deceased.

©Copyright Daniel Mortell




The Moth and I

Nine forty-five and the garden is still alive,
I see a flutter of a moth as it passed through the diamond shaped fence,
Passing the green tomato plant hanging from Herb’s cane frame.
As I look above the trees and down to the unfinished garden space,
A dragon fly is hovering in and around,
It takes flight and disappears over the brown painted fence, placed there a year ago.
My hands are not sore anymore.
I close my eyes and a siren blurts out its ever-protruding noise that does not bother me no more,
For in this garden,
A stillness of perfection lures me in to see once again,
A moth that flutters by. 

©Copyright Paul A Carruthers





O h I wish I could stop
C ounting everything I
D o in even numbers.

O r not read the
C omplete label on packs of every
D ay things.

O r be able to throw away a
C an of beans with just one left inside but
D ear me, I just can't!

O r not have to have everything in
C omplete order, like books on shelves and
D uvets on beds.

O h it rules my life,
C ompletely rules my life,
D ictates my life!

O bsessive
C ompulsive
D isorder.

©Copyright Rachel Hobson




Dark Hours

At night when I drift away
To the sleep realm
I no longer have vivid dreams
All but mere visions of dark.
No more sunshine, no more spark,
Birds or bees, honey suckle flowers
Or trees.
Only eerie, cold, fearful
Passing of the hours.
I wonder if I will ever beautifully dream again?
Until then I'll try to have a good night
Fall asleep and hold my pillow really tight.

©Copyright Ammi Romero



I give up

I wanna go die
Under my covers.
Sleep my life away,
let my pillow soak up
The tears that stray.
Forget the real
World exists.
Live in my dreams
Unafraid of taking risks.
Let the illness win today,
I smiled yesterday.
Held my head high,
Believed I was strong.
Once again I was proven wrong.
I’m trying to breathe,
But can only sigh.
Today I don’t have the strength,
To fake the smile you observe.
Even when I know it's
What you deserve.
I told you I was sick,
A damaged excuse of what
Once was a cool chic.
Tomorrow could be different,
If I can only be patient.
As for today,
I don’t want to live in the reality.
Where anxiety is a vitality,
Take the pill.
Welcome the sleep.
Accept my escape.
Sometimes I win,
But today I taste
Bitter sweet

©Copyright Chanel K. Galaza




It swings back and forth -
Our destructive kind of love,
But I can't seem to escape its hold.
I remain entranced,
Calm in your embrace,
Lulled to sleep by your lies and sweet nothings,
And it keeps on swinging--back and forth.

©Copyright Elle Zamora



Shinning Stars

Wearing idyllic smiles,
As though part of an outfit.
As the nearer star shines,
Through cerulean skies.
All simultaneously remembered and forgotten.

©Copyright Laila McDermott




Brown on the outside and white within is a coconut,
That's how some of us have always been seen,
Caught between cultures and parents’ desires,
Leaping and stepping around racial quagmires.

Torn and tortured in order to grow,
Forged in fires from flames burning within,
Misunderstood and unsupported many of us are,
But given the opportunity - we'll go far.

Our parents left the East to provide a better life,
Education and wealth for their off-spring the aim;
But children mix with other children openly with ease,
Because they haven't yet been infected with the racial disease.

Secret friendships endured around family rules,
As we skulked from cultural corridors forming a hidden community,
A dilution of culture occurred within,
In these pure little souls to whom discrimination is alien.

We still live like cultural chameleons - hidden and in some ways alone,
Still meandering through the desires of family and ourselves,
But having become stronger through necessity,
Unbound by their gravity.

©Copyright Villayat 'Wolf' Sunkmanitu



The Unwelcome Visitor

As the light descends,
I slip into a murky hiatus.
My old friend is knocking;
To answer, is to be at home.
My head is bare, devoid of thought,
My heart has haemorrhaged;
I feel your teeth sink in, as it deflates.
My body has splintered
Into particles and shards,
Dust, with no place to rest.
My bandage has unravelled,
The tourniquet come loose.
I catch a glimpse into the distance;
Just a twinkle, enough to sting my eyes.
Somehow, I recall that the sun,
Will always pierce the black.

©Copyright Leanne Neill




Not today

Not today- I've had no sleep,
The nightmare begins,
To make me weep, 
For my sins.

Leave me alone, 
I don't want to know.
About guts and bone,
I'm a no-show.

Yes, Once again, 
See it in my eyes, 
A quiet, subtle pain.
Watch my friend as he dies.

Where does this end, 
The daily torment.
Will 'God'-an angel send,
To save my lament?

The silent sorrow, 
Such a sad loss.
Watching them go, 
And I was their boss.

Shouldn't be them, 
Why am I still here?
Again watching-So Grim, 
With a silent tear.

So, what's with you, 
I can hear you say?
I'm pushing on through,
My Battle with PTSD!

©Copyright Jason Walker



The Sting

My sister and brother were told I don’t exist.
I am in that locked up cupboard,
The flesh slowly eaten off the bones.
Their buried questions,
Taped up enquiry.

I met them but I still don’t exist.
Their shame is carried into their empty night,
I came from that encounter without my severed limb.
Its phantom still hurts.

I go to see them in my dreams,
As a swarm of bees stinging them awake;
Stinging you all awake.
Plaguing until you tear your body apart.

I am a swarm of bees.
Sweet with honey.
I can kill or sustain.
Such is my power.

To destroy me, is to destroy life.

©Copyright Maresa MacKeith



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