Replies – a poem by Imogen Berry-Henshaw

Lily,

Thank you for your valentine poem
set to Beethoven symphony number 7

And thank you, Rachel, Sophia,
Anna too
For saying you’d come to the funeral.

There were dandelions –
I held them and I was glad, yes

Because you were one.

May said we should go inside
But what does she know?
She opened her ruby woo lips
And swallowed the lie
he tenderly put inside
That oh so easy to swallow mouth.

The parcel was brown paper
with a butchers twine bow,
They all said so – left unopened
because I couldn’t remember how to.

Lily, they were naked in my dream
last night, like Picasso –
Pink and Butchered.
I thought about them less
than the size of their thighs
Which they hid my words behind,
my secret declarations,
That Maud left out
beside the lemonade stand.

They all love you,
Said to addressed this “Dear Lily”
but I can’t

It is not about you –
It’s about those dandelions.
I can’t let go.

Lily, I hope this finds you well?
May said ‘in with the old, Out the new.’
If only that were true.
I forgot to sew my hem
last year, it caught all the mud.
I washed the dirt away
Till all that was left was a yellow crease
And the smell of you.
Someone will iron it out in time
But the first pollen is the sweetest,
it stains the deepest.

A Major.
Time we had.
I thought I was a rose
then my thorns slipped off with my dress.
An entire bouquet,
Your valentine means the most,
I never thought that much.
Keep my precious posy safe
And the soil in sight,
My fingers are woven to both.

Dali’s clocks melted down the Valdepeñas,
I couldn’t remember his name
but four movements later
I do. Thank you.

With fondness, Lily.
Your imprint on my back,
Left by the slit in the blinds,
kissed me.

I wrote my replies.
Yet only seven.

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New Poetry by Holly Attwell

Drip, Drop

 

The rain rolls down the window and the car drives on,

Splashing through waters of unknown depth.

The lights flicker by, faster still,

Until the light from each is a momentary glance;

Potential to illuminate as they dance.

Face to the window leaves a cold mist on the skin,

But it warms within this calm metal box.

The music buzzes on,

Switching lanes,

And the engine becomes unnoticeable.

Thoughts fall, some caught, some passed, still forming.

Always rolling with the rain,

Each disappearing to be replaced

By another.

Drip, drop, gone.

 

A Haiku 

The beetroot tree shines,

Dazzling in the busy park,

Somehow unnoticed.

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Car

This car is comfortably safe;

I know this place,

But not where it will go.

Remain a little longer, though,

I try to say,

You hear something else anyway.

It flies from me,

Through the window and free.

Parallels that briefly intertwine.

Lights illuminate and shine.

The sun is beginning to hide.

Then I realise I have stepped outside.

I smile.

You have a new car now.

 

Words Leftover

Words leftover from the things unsaid,

Swirling only in our heads.

The trapdoor once opened, and words tumbled out like

Sticks and stones,

Stones and sticks,

But not the words remaining,

Not the could have beens,

Now, only the maybes.

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Burnt Toast

The smell of burnt toast

Clings to my hair,

My dressing gown, everywhere.

I smell it as I walk up the stairs

And it drifts through the air.

You let me burn, unnoticed

It protests.

And now you wonder why you were so careless

And wow,

You notice me now.

You let it crumble

To smouldering could have been.

 

Meaning Missed

Talking through the glass,

The words turn to ash

And the embers drift away;

Gone.

Meanings melt upon contact with the frozen

Glass, so you step aside.

Hand up on one side, just to be missed.

Both now gone,

And etched in the ice is

Meaning missed.

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Plans Not Present

Here comes the question that you

Really need to answer.

There is no need to defer

Or to tell the truth.

 

Where do you see yourself?

In 5 or 10 years’ time?

Do not be left on that shelf

For that would be a crime.

 

You need a plan, you do.

You really must conform.

Anything could occur,

But please fill out this form.

 

Please, try to remain present

Whilst making your choice

You should know that the events

Of the future are shaped by your choice.

 

Carpe Diem

Carpe diem, procrastination,

Writers block or inspiration.

Thinking through what to do

Might just take its toll on you.

Think,

But not too much.

Look for the next thought,

They branch out and flicker.

Think,

But not too much.

 

The Problem with Frost

The snow falls beautifully, effortlessly, truly;

A picture book scene through and through,

Mixing with water, just to form sludge;

Half-formed snow, sad snow.

Lives changing

As a life lies in-between.

It does not affect the others who hurry to and fro

But they see the woman cry,

Perhaps they wonder why,

Why,

Why.

The snow falls again.

Such consistent frost.

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Curiously Unexpected

Playing golf next to a sheep

Was completely unexpected.

It looked at me as if to say

‘I know this was not expected.’

However, I continued to play,

And the sheep watched on.

The next day I expected the sheep,

But the sheep was gone.

 

 

Linguistically Speaking – a Poem by Dominic Williams

Linguistically Speaking

Subordination, coordination, validity in construction.

Estimation, decimation, extensive in destruction.

Clausality, disparity, declarity and structure.

Preliminary, principally, restrictively and stricture.

 

Complementing and exclaiming, interrogatively.

Declaring and comparing, expositionally.

Expression, constituents we modify.

Verbosity, conceptions to clarify.

 

Words and sentences, distressing.

Speech and dictact, progressing.

Spirit and humanity, repressing

Thought and pleasure, digressing.

 

Linguistically speaking, prepositionally tweaking.

Vocabulary constantly evolving.

Intrinsically created, grammatically mutated.

Language, communication, devolving.

New Poems & Drabbles!

Hi there!

Here are some of the latest pieces that our group has been working on, including some poetry and a few exercises in the art of drabble-writing.

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The Apple of my Eye by Neil James Jones

Beautiful. Your body a work of art
But I do not love you, only those you know
Not inseparable but we must not part
I do not need you still must never go.
Touching is believing and I know it.
You’re my property but anyone can call
The shine has left this apple, I’ll admit.
They’ll claim you. Were you ever mine at all?
You will stay with me, more often than not
The signals you send are mixed, it’s true
You need me, I’m all that you’ve got
So every time I leave, I fear I’ll lose you
And no matter how many times you die
You’ll come back, you’re the apple of my eye

 

This poem is by Jessica Jane Parsons, whose friend (who is producing an album called Green Eyed Girl) approached her and asked for a poem to grace the back of the record. 

Green

not quite

depends on the light

pale

pastel

gentle

but rage exists

glints and hints

but always controlled

never unfolds

I see that now

it is never unleashed

but never to be leashed

instead

burns with purpose

with reason

and with care.

 

In last weeks meeting, we had a go at writing some drabbles. Drabbles are stories which are exactly 100 words long, and challenge the writer to be as succinct and concise as possible whilst still telling a story. Here are some of our efforts…

There was a steady drip from a corner she could not see. She pulled at the rope binding her ankles together and whined through the dirty cloth covering her mouth. Her hair was matted. She didn’t know what with, but she could feel it caked to her face. It might have been blood. It probably was blood. There was a pounding in her head. She screamed through the cloth as the dripping water got faster. The concrete below her started to get colder. A gentle puddle of water started to creep over her. The dripping sound turned into a gushing sound.  – by Sam Moulton

The Idiots are Winning

The final signs of the end times were not biblical, they were idiotic. The idiots arrived. The perfect storm of ignorance and hypocrisy. And an idiot presented with The Big Red Button will invariably press The Big Red Button. We know this now as we did then, but it is little comfort as we pick through the dust and rubble of this grave, new world. Literature does not fill empty stomachs and art does not prevent the spread of infection. But you need not worry. Idiots were as ill equipped to survive in this world as they were the last. – by Neil James Jones

Jane awoke on the day of the wedding feeling dizzy. It was a beautiful morning, the glittery sunshine the same shade of champagne as the bride’s hair. At the church, Anna squeezed her hand. “You make a beautiful bridesmaid.” They began their descent up the aisle along with the rest of the wedding party – and then Jane could see him. Tall, imposing, dark – but handsome. He looked into Jane’s eyes and smiled, as Jane took her position and Anna stood next to her soon to be husband. Beautiful blonde Anna was getting married and there was nothing Jane could do. – by Danielle Jade Oldham

There was a moment as the sun set, pink and grey into the night, that I believed. Not in a god but something blameless. The mountains that fell around me were quiet as the birds rousted and the night animals had yet to stir. You let me stand there, protected but alone on that ridge as the shadows settled around us. There was warm blood on my knee from an injury on the scramble up, it made me feel human and safely mortal in a night that felt like it would never end, and until you spoke it never did. – by Imogen Berry-Henshaw

Loss

She lay there, not sure of what to think – wanting more than nothing to turn back time, wish the last few months back. She knew the symptoms, it had happened to her before. But this – the blood – not again! She knew what had happened; she’d lost it. Him. Her. It. Whatever had been growing inside of her – no longer there. Her bed was draped with the scarlet she had made. She couldn’t move, frozen within her own mind. This is your fault. You should have done better – taken more care. This is all down to you. And she believed it. – by Amy Murphy

 

 

 

 

 

Diamond in the Dark – a Poem by Freyja Erickson-Rohrer

freyja

Stop.

Stop trying.

It’s not worth your crying.

Save your tears for joy,

Or for the loss of those who brought you joy.

Snip away the vines that have crawled around your neck

And hold you back from light.

Hack the heartstrings that claw to stay attached,

That drip in poison and blind your inner sight.

Wash it away

If you are to use your tears for want of good,

Wash clean the pain.

And yearn to feel

Yearn to heal.

But never ignore the scar. Ignore the knife.

For, these diamonds can never truly be destroyed.

No matter the grit of the rock that hammers.

Stop defending thoughtless acts.

Thoughtless attacks.

Stop.

What diamond can shine when it still resides in darkness?

 

 

Poem & Illustration by Freyja Erickson-Rohrer

Poems/Poems/Poems

The Last Man by Neil James Jones

You’ll want a real man

Who is gentle, wise and caring

When desires make demands

He is rough, base and daring

 

But all men are pigs

Right down to the last

Try to find yourself a gent’

As they’re selling out fast

 

It’s a question of numbers

Just supply and demand

Enough time in the desert

And you’ll drink the sand

 

You’ll sit there and listen

What else can you do?

As he whispers sweet nothings

And delivers them too

 

All the good men are gone

No replacements, a dearth

Now you’ll have to make do,

Since I’m the last man on Earth.

 

Related image

 

 

 Just Another Anxiety Poem by Stephanie Love

This will not be another poem

About how depression is like drowning

Or how anxiety is like a rollercoaster

Because I fucking love rollercoasters

And I fucking hate anxiety

I promise there will be no tired similes

Or metaphors that will bore

This is not a step by step guide

The demons that live inside

Are not demons at all

Just some brain chemicals

That aren’t mixed right

I don’t mean to belittle your fight

It’s just that anxiety can have a funny side

Have you ever gotten off a bus and sprinted home

Convinced there’s something shady about that man walking on his own

Or waited outside a pub pretending to be on the phone

Because your friends are late and god forbid you sit alone

Have you ever had a panic attack at the ASDA checkout

Because your mum dropped a jar, Dolmio sauce spilled out

As the glass smashed and an assistant comes across

And you’re crying over pasta sauce

One time a phone rang in an office I was cleaning

I ran down six flights of stairs screaming

I didn’t know if I should answer or ignore

Got overwhelmed and headed for the door

But that doesn’t compare to the anxiety I get when I feel overdressed

Nothing in the world causes me more stress

I remember spending my 18th birthday

Hyperventilating outside TGI Fridays

Because I wore make up and put on heels

Everyone else was dressed for a casual meal

Looking back, in a better place, I can laugh

Although I’m not cured I can see I was daft

You don’t always recognise when you’re know you’re being irrational

When you suffer from anxiety it’s understandable

To react in a way that others find funny

So why not share the joke, even if it’s at your expense

Because having anxiety is shitty and learning to laugh is the only defence.

 

 

No Place in Your Life by Sam Moulton

Less of a necessity
more of an accessory
been left out to dry
and for you to forget about me
I’m not needed anymore
you’ve got new friends you can bore
I would die to be there but
you don’t want me around because I make your head sore
with my moaning and groaning and constant complaining
the world sucks and I feel like I’m in training
for the day I’m gonna die
and it’s so draining
to not be needed
by anyone and I even pleaded
for a place in your life
but you never conceded
so I stepped up on the bridge, real nice and high
all that’s left to do now is to fall and die
the cars are zooming past and not one of them can see
my body as it tumbles and I say my last goodbye.

 

 

 

Poems for a cold September night

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Some of our latest poetic offerings from three of our members. 

Untitled Poems by Holly Attwell

A stab through memories that glittered and shined,

a pierce of betrayal and uncertainty.

The mask has slipped to reveal another

and I don’t think you can see yourself in the mirror.

A knight in shining armour; no.

A bad person; not that either.

Perhaps just an ordinary boy lost in their own confusion.

But answer this; was it me?

*********************************

Rain lashes onto the cold, grey ground.

From behind the glass, it makes no sound.

It is like a blanket wrapping around the houses,

and it makes everything darker; from the leaves,

that are now a leathery dark green,

to the slimy, almost black concrete.

It makes the cars shine dimly,

and people fear to drift into the patches of water,

which fill the pavements and make them even.

The question is, how deep are those potholes,

which are now covered by water and hit like a soundless snare?

In this rain, will troubles or happiness drown?

*********************************

As I stared out on a wholly grey,

unwelcoming and blustery day,

an unexpected sight caught my eye.

Through the water falling from the sky,

flew towards me a fiery coloured flicker.

Dodging the rain with expertise; a butterfly

with red wings, perched upon my window sill,

only momentarily.

The grey day paused at this flash of colour

and surprise; the rainbow in the rain,

and then it was gone,

flying through the storm alone,

as if catapulted into the wrong place and time

and captured, just for me, in my eye.

*********************************

Why did that person choose today to die?

They did not choose of course, but why?

Why is it that on this day,

filled with both sun and cloud,

they took their final breath and left without a sound?

The neighbours stare at the house,

peaking through net curtains,

watching and wondering as ambulances

arrive and depart. They guess,

and they know. The sky turns grey,

and a man turns and says out loud

“Why did they choose today?”

and somehow, that sounds profound.

*********************************

You sit there in front of that person,

and the void of time stands before you.

Seeing into it is easy, but talking through it is not.

You sit there all the same,

and the two of you are somehow changed, yet unchanged.

Through this void you see backwards

to a time when conversation was easy,

silence even more so, and your mouth opens

with some triviality, just to fill the silence,

because in that silence are a thousand things unsaid,

left to circle in your head,

and the distance seems even stronger.

 

Poems by Xenia Lily 

Woodsman

I have found a thousands way to not love you.

The distance, the time, the language, the differences to name a few.

But with each reason, each story I tell myself, I can’t help it;

I fall for you every time.

I remember the way you looked at me and each block I put in our way to try and stop the sound of music the world seemed to be singing.

The sweet symphonies of surrender.

The way your hands held mine. I was home, grounded.

It was a secret we had to keep.

But the world knew.

We never made promises because we were afraid we couldn’t keep them.

We just had each other.

The scent of your chest when you’d pull me closer to you, woodchipped and alive.

With you I felt alive.

I told myself no each time.

Each time I didn’t listen.

If felt wrong. Like I wasn’t the right puzzle piece.

But I’ve never felt more at home than I did in your arms.

You gave me an infinity in numbered days.

That’s what all the love stories say.

But I never used to believe them.

Not until you walked in, My hero.

 

I ruined it all. I was the one who left.

I wanted to give you a better life with someone who was your puzzle piece.

One day I’ll learn to regret my decision.

Maybe one day you’ll learn to accept it.

Or maybe, one day.

We’ll both get what we really

 

Battle Fatigue 

The ashes of you leave me scattered,

Breathless,

Like the soldiers at Dunkirk.

Trembling, fragile, but a fighter amongst all else.

I never knew I was worth something.

But I realised my value after you denounced my worth.

You try, but fail, to make this work.

But I march on.

Your words strike like bullets – fire with precision

I will never surrender.

But a wave cracks, breaks, smashes around me.

The winds of past battles gather, collected.

We announce as one, we will never surrender.

The pictures faded, scattered like seeds.

Memories fragmented, bias and mistaken.

You leave me bloody;

We march on as one:

We will never surrender.

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Poems by Danielle Jade Oldham

Things I learnt in the Hospital

 Dr.Clarissa hates writing in black ink

the girl in the next bed isn’t a natural blonde

I wish I had painted my toenails –

a splash of red on my pale skin would look so divine –

I bet everyone thinks I’m not pretty.

It’s quiet here,

and I like to read magazines for hours on end.

How does she do it? A doctor, with husband and four children.

How come she was allowed all that?

 

CH

 For a whole minute I loved you.

Standing in the kitchen

humming

and unpeeling a banana.

You love bananas

and I loved your distracted eyes,

dark hair, hands that almost look still young, I could see

a calmness, finally, yellow light

and the smell of lemons, everywhere

 

then you see me

and sigh. Frown.

You’ll never tell me what I did

and once again

I don’t love you

 

Adore

 Forcing chocolate down my throat

you never take no for an answer

but that’s okay, for you,

you’re honey-sweet and cinnamon-freckled and

besides

I don’t yet know

that there’s such a thing

as too much chocolate.

 

Your powdered sugar is in my hair

but I feel no shame.

Sickly sherbert, blue, in the morning

just in case.

 

I hate you enough to hang you

with a strawberry lace,

in your boiled-pear jumper

and sleep creases.

 

Images – Danielle Jade Oldham

Excerpts from SECTORAL HETEROCROMIA, a Poetry Collection by Luke Nutt

1. The incidents you aren’t allowed to discuss, particularly if you are a
man; the emotional dogma of living; the gooey shite.

1

 

One

the swirls of emulsion on the wall
wont miss your running fingers;
the dead flies on the windowsill
won’t miss your complaining;
the water from the shower-head
has forgotten the curves of your body;
the chair you wrote in
will slowly lose your imprint;
the photos you will never see again
are the only things that remember the colour in your eyes.
had i known you were about to leave
i would have tidied the house
since your smell has matured into a toxic sitting.
its too late in the day for that nonsense
so your aura can stay even if you won’t.
as is expected, i will leave the door unlocked
so the possibility of your murderous return is unobstructed.

 

Two

nobody falls to pieces, really
our solid state changes –
we become a liquid form
so barium heavy
unable to be caught
by God.

 

Lovey Shite

i just want the delicate dreams
the naughty nightmares
the sweet dreamy demise that i deserve.

remind me of earlier
when we would walk
through ocean’s lips,
Helios’s grip
on our way home
to my favourite place:
the bedroom at the top of the stairs.
i had never in my life been so far away from judgmental glares.
i’ll wait by the sepulcher
bring yourself
– the job is yours

2

 

Art

dying is not
a method of eradicating you.
dying is an art form.
an art form in which brush strokes
are unacceptable. kiss yourself
with a knife.
create art with your crimson oil.
the carpet is your hue to change
i would love to kill you myself
to watch your blood tango,
tango and dye the bed sheets
you masturbated on.
i have had to kill you
and i didn’t have to love it –
but i did.
only because my masterpiece is complete
and we are both so happy.
this is not auschwitz
more of a cessation of lesser-life.

 

Kitty

oh kitty you bastard
your body was unexplored
undocumented and fruitful.
i knew you were coming for me –
pearl harbour, perhaps?
after your kissing kamikaze sweep
on my brow
i was dizzy
unable to keep myself standing
with the irreparable damage.
the walls around me melted
with a hot touch.
let’s hold hands
and watch this whole thing fall apart.
i became very good friends
with the curb
with your foot
that you clamped on my chest.
at a loss to keep hold
of the breath under my chest
i wished i could have killed you
but
that would have been suicide.
i’m not ready for the commitment.
the commitment of death.
the death of you. truthfully
there is little that i am ready for.
imagining such a blessing
would be a sadomasochistic crime.
the thought of such a blessing, however,
lingers like your perfume – a sillage.
there is no wind to carry it away
there is no distraction
no destination or required location.
you pulled the chain connected to the plug
so we could drown together.
i’ll be right back.
but you did not return.

 

Journey

i heard your body
crooning for me
you were begging
to be unravelled
explored so delicately.

3

 

Biological Beatdown

love that echoes
in my eyes. a heart
that beats mine
to a pulp.
good girl.
don’t stop.
venomous kisses
of yours that
react slowly
with my mind.
don’t stop.
your words
your words
shouldn’t scare me,
that is the job of
thoughts i cannot release.
don’t stop.

 

I’m Coming, Ganges

my corpse relaxes
with sore
untouched lips.
the river’s hum
gently whispers
on my leg’s side.
i can see God.
he doesn’t care –
that’s why i’m here.

 

Pebble

when your bones crack
i imagine i am walking
on sea shells.
the rush of love
as you smile
seems to envelope the world
causing it to blossom.
each time i attack your lips
i embrace the taste
of lilies feeding on blood.
it upsets me that
nature can be manipulated
in such a way
that destruction can
appear so humanely natural.

 

Death Metal

isn’t it strange
that if you wish
to remove a song
from your head,
you are to listen
to it repeatedly,
but, with a person
it only kills you
h a r d e r.

7

 

Untitled

don’t roll away from me
i hate being under the covers alone –
molested by asphyxiation.
i’ve had a long life,
particularly today.

 

2. Blindfolded and wandering through the forest during a snowstorm. I
have tried to explain this collection of poetry but believe me, I
cannot. Some, I am sure, do not even make sense. Take them as they
come.

 

Untitled

your blood
it takes a moment
to spend as much time
on my tongue, as the words
“i love you”

 

Untitled

it was a vile, sunny day
that i spent with naked, blistered feet.
we stood amongst the nettles
and a few of our pet bees.
it is just a simple amalgamation
of spit and chewed food.
but when you participate
in kissing me, i become.
my mind begins to gently torture me.
my teeth grind
i make another attempt
at trying to figure out
exactly what or who you are

 

Untitled

it doesn’t count
when i trample on flowers
because they can’t resist.
you can and it upsets
everyone even more
because you’re beautifully whimsical
but filled with toxins
you have that enticing
straw on your neck
that i can’t help but suck at

 

3. So, when you go for a run, and you have that really clear, spicy
breath of air at the back of your mouth, the one that makes you
salivate rather heavily; that’s what these are all about – slightly
discomforting but you know they are good for you.

 

Untitled

you know, Honey
if it rained
every time joy
spread your cheeks
i would drown
with a similar
expression of content

 

4. These are based around strangers you fall in love with in the street
and never see again; they are also based around the people you spend
your life with. Again, the gooey shite.

6

 

Untitled

just because your hair
lies on the ground
embellished in betrayal,
does not mean
at all
that the rest of us
have forgotten about your beauty

 

Untitled

your naked flesh
concealed by destructiveness.
a blow of amalgamated couth insults
flows delicately from your mouth.
i was worried i would see you leave
heaving your brogues,
scorning and scolding
over cold, collected cobbles
but you hobbled happily,
the drunken jive,
over to my corner of the bar.
i really wish you hadn’t

5

 

Blossom

as you do
the first flower of spring
in a field of withered dreams and memoirs
you left before my ticket was valid.
a collage of cottages habitually unkempt by the sea
eroded and swept – my hand is dry
adieu, adieu, adieu
i wave powerfully
but no crooked eyes have noticed me.

 

5. Here, I have attempted to join beauty with the physical appearance –
discuss.

 

Untitled

i still find strands of your lily pink hair.
it’s 11:45 at night.
it isn’t long for my wishes to take a hold of the icy tail in the deep
infinite shower above me and everyone else.
your blood was sticky.
dried lips were positive to a negative.
my hands were scaly from the rope burns.
what do you expect?
i was too afraid of letting go.
i was reassured.
none of this was my fault.
i did not intend to enter Alice’s wonderland and see you for myself.
the mysticism, clarity, starvation, abstract nature you throw at me
leaves me burning yearning calling shouting blistering growing aching
horny climbing clawing hiking sprinting for something else from you.

you are always enough
you are never enough

4

 

Words – Luke Nutt

Pictures – Alfie Verity

Selected Poems by Neil James Jones

Tanka:

The darkened bank

Where the river rose before

Water left its mark.

I want it to rise again.

I wish it would never leave.

 

 

 

A picture of grey.

Cold, brittle branches stretch out,

Clouds sit unmoving.

Relief comes from the footsteps,

The floorboards break the silence.

 

 

A Sestina:

The unknowable creature is the one we seek to analyse

And the comparisons come easily: beauty, goddess, angel

But not strong or gifted or even decent.

That’s why the serpents coil around your legs and hiss

Their flicking tongues nip with the expansion

Of their influence and they see you as prey, a wounded moth

 

The fragile wings turn to dust when the moth

Is captured, yet we still analyse

And investigate its formless, fractal expansion

In them we seek the work of a god, the face of an angel

Or the reassuring and debasing hiss

Of the serpent, neither compassionate nor decent.

 

The observers claim to be upstanding, decent

And with honour. You are still a moth.

Pinned. Immobile.  Oblivious to the unheard hiss

Of the bubbling beakers and creaking equipment that will analyse

You. They will strip the angel

Of its wings, now folded and without expansion

 

The creeping, oozing expansion

Into your heavenly domain makes a decent

Defence impossible and the angel

Will soon fall, a burned and broken moth.

After the action, after the fact they will analyse

What went wrong. They’ll blame each other with a snap and a hiss

 

When they turn and their sweet words become a hiss

That rings in your ears, the expansion

Of white noise, static you cannot analyse

They no longer need to be respectful and decent

They cannot lament for the moth

This alcove has lost its angel

 

There is no place on earth for an angel

Those that do not believe will hiss

There is no place in the daylight for a moth

The sun boils in its red giant expansion

The is no place in this city for the decent

Only literal, reptilian minds that cannot analyse:

 

An angel in expansion

A hiss at the decent

A moth to analyse

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A Collection of Couplets:

The grand game never changes

and remains through the ages.

 

High in the ivory tower,

secure in their seats of power.

 

For I am just one person

but with inaction things worsen.

 

“Things will never change” they advise,

though the history books say otherwise.

 

Change is more than overdue,

we ask ourselves “what can we do?”

 

All the lies they have spoken

mean the promises stay broken.

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Five More Minutes of Spring

It’s always the sun that wakes me.

The bright early light that shakes me from sleep.

No matter the weather outside,

It is a warm spring day,

Shot through with potential.

Anything is possible.

I breath deeper,

Smile easily,

And the hum and buzz of something natural

And growing follows me

I want that feeling

All the time

Every time

I cling to it

And that is why I beg you.

 

I reach from the covers to touch you

My fingers extend

Vines creaking with slow motion exertion

My hand flailing in the space you left

Branches groaning with intention

And I ask you to stay

On this spring day

for five more minutes

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Exile on Oldham Street

Oldham street is not a home to anyone.

The humans here have already gone.

It is a transient space,

A waiting room.

A bus lane flanked by barber shops and vintage clothing sales,

Hipsters stare at Apple laptops while sipping artisanal craft ales.

 

The velocity of the road means that

No busker can play,

No one can ask for change,

No one wishes to stay and chat,

And the charity muggers of Market Street are well out of range.

 

The residents of Oldham Street are just popping in.

They have just arrived or are waiting to leave.

The seconds spent here do add up,

Those seconds spent have accumulated over years

 

Before Affleck’s Palace

There was Affleck and Brown

 

Before The Night and Day Cafe

There was day and night

 

Before Madchester

There was the Methodist Mission

 

If you take one of those seconds,

On a summer afternoon,

And spend it on yourself

You might just see

Beneath your feet

Where the history of this street

Pokes through

 

Sad Girl Poem

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It is easy to cry

When you realise

That everyone you love

Will reject you

Or die

You are born, you live and you die.

And maybe that’s enough

 

There is far more evidence

To suggest the existence

Of Harry Potter

Than any religion created

Or mystical doctrine ever stated

You are born, you live and you die.

And maybe that’s enough

 

We are all afraid of death

Of taking that final breath

But even that is ok

Ok to be terrified

Ok to be horrified

That you are born, you live and you die.

And maybe that’s enough.

 

This is not a dress rehearsal

A state before the reversal

Admit it freely

Admit that you are going to die

And that any place after is a lie

You are born, you live and you die.

And maybe that’s enough.

 

Assume that your faith is an invention

Its purpose merely the retention

Of willing donors

Or the desire to explain

This uncaring physical plane

You are born, you live and you die.

And maybe that’s enough

 

You speak of beauty

As is your duty

When considering creation

But there is beauty in chance

And music in that Brownian dance

You are born, you live and you die

And maybe that’s enough

 

What if there is no reason?

And for nothing a season?

The walls come tumbling

Perhaps the purpose is you

And what you manage to do

You are born, you must live and you must die

And maybe it is enough to try

 

 

The Social Customs and Culture of The Oxford Road People

A giant Tin Can once filled with human beans

Sits as a monument to student dreams,

Student debt and student diet.

The Museum’s resident Tyrannosaur

Reminds us of what came before

And what will come again when the road stands quiet

 

From Rusholme to Parrs Wood,

Meaningless names now lost for good.

The road was there before it was built

And will remain

Even when reclaimed

By the drains clogged with silt

 

Tribesmen scale the Geoffrey Manton building’s furcation

To see the foliage crash like a wave against Oxford Road station.

They will stalk the campus for prey,

Dry venison in the bus lane by day,

Tan hides on the bicycle racks of All Saints Park

And draw close to the bonfire of law school books come dark

 

As the days grow longer and hotter

The primitives will seek the only source of clean water.

The parched and thirsty tribesmen enter

The sacred springs of the Aquatics Centre.

They will greet each other solemnly as their forefathers did,

The tribal salutation of “Alright ‘r kid?”

 

Girl

Get in the car and go

We’ll catch some cats that can blow

And maybe a little something more

for a couple of young guys looking to score

 

The girls, my god the girls

The bubble gum blondes with California curls

Those fierce and fiery redheads

with hard smiles and soft linen beds

 

Small town girls utterly devoted

San Fran’ sweethearts, sugar coated

Diner broads served to order

as we head on down to the border

 

There’s the sexy jazz that screams

The hot tea minus the cream

And the cervezas por favor

But we want more

Not just the girls,

but the girl

 

We are here to find her:

The American Dream

 

Not the Hollywood mass production

Or the Madison Avenue mass seduction

She must be sought not bought

Uncovered and discovered

 

Stepping straight off the rolling stock

Or fresh off the boat in port

Or maybe just a short walk

into Old Town

 

Neither manufactured nor tailor made

You’ll know the girl by those eyes of brown and jade

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Words – Neil James Jones

Images – Danielle Jade Oldham