The Letter I Dare Not Send To David Walliams, by Geraldine Ward

This letter isn’t an epic piece of flattery.
In fact it’s not really
worth the pain
to explain,
I am writing this on
the notes of my phone,
like a typical twenty-first century
media whore or vulture.

I think you know what’s coming next,
one of those pompous requests
for your time and services.
All I can say is I love the look on Simon Cowell’s face,
when you are locked in an embrace.
I have watched ‘Little Britain’ to death,
placed posters of Lou and Andy on my wall,
not a pretty picture in a hostel,
with comments such as ‘I don’t like it’
and ‘I want that one.’

If I were to be a ‘Little Britain’character
I would be Marjorie Dawes
because I really love cake,
but rather more than a bit of dust.

My son loves your books,
I think he has all of them now,
though hoping he won’t become
one of the world’s worst children
after reading their
delightfully naughty
escapades.

I have a signed copy of the book
about you and Matt Lucas.
My sister wangled one
for my birthday some years ago.
Well, that is a lie, her friend did,
because she was working, to do
it for her, then pretended
she bothered and chatted with you.

I would dearly love it
if you could visit
my son’s school.
The children and adults really do
all love your books too.
As a writer and comedian,
you seriously crack me up.

I am sure you are used to getting
a gazillion requests like this.
I just hope this one
is slightly different.

Hope to hear from you.

Best wishes,

Geraldine

Geraldine Ward is a mother, author,  and poet from Kent. She has had work published in ‘The Blue Nib’ edited by Shirley Bell, ‘I am not a silent poet,’ edited by Reuben Woolley and ‘Writers Cafe Magazine’ edited by Marie Lightman, among others. She plays piano and ukulele. Her twitter feed is @GWardAuthor

 

Catcht Oot, by Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon

Yis grindle grinder drosses off
hindneath hyst silkun ballons.
Hym telt hystself,
Nay bodies peepwatched mun plezure,
mun rod encumbered by mun tinglers.
Yis grinder trust hyst portal keyed up tootall tite,
Mae, hym discollect hyst damen’s mudder.
Herst haft ansistin unt key, ket por emgenzees.
Wist na bell-warnen ou alarums, herst cum tryst-soft
yis ink-drenched nycht. Hersta optycks largen
mosecs avaunt his staffthix spurtles y floops.
Hersta cheekles flambé, y hersta gottenfort enteer
yis grinder ist hersta suna, bie wedvow ohdidohs.
Hersta limbles lythen, hersta cardo pinds y pomps
ast herst flicks y grinds yis enshamed grindle yute.

Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon
Ceinwen lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and writes short stories and poetry. She has been widely published in web magazines and in print anthologies. She graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in 2017. She believes everyone’s voices counts.

 

Heathcliffe Enters Love Island, by Mark Connors

The new islander is something to behold
with his thick black hair and heavy black clothes
dressed for a winter on the wild, wild moors
but today it’s in the late 30s.
With all of the contestants already paired up,
he broods by the pool, under a parasol,
emitting nothing but the odd mirthless chuckle.
The buff boys with scar-less skin and insane white teeth
don’t see him as a threat, until the girls
huddle up, whisper, giggle a little too often,
now immune to cheap cheeky chap smiles
and made for ITV2 chat up lines.
Oh yes, some women love a bastard.

One by one, the islanders visit
The Beach Hut, but not to reveal
their coupling agendas but to talk about him.
the boys deride his inability to fit in,
be one of the lads, have a bit of a laugh.
But the girls are genuinely intrigued,
and not just by superficialities,
transfixed by his stares, smirks and sneers,
drawn to his darkness and elemental moods
like silicone and hyaluronic moths.
“A just haven’t got a clue what he’s thinkin,”
says Miranda from Birkenhead.
“Every time he looks at us, me heart falls out me arse,”
says Felicity-Jane from Wallsend.

Then come the challenges. First, arm wrestling.
Heathcliff finally strips off to a black loin cloth
and the girls get to see his old latticed wounds,
festooned behind considerable body hair.
He goes through the boys one-by-one, without
so much as a bead of sweat on his brow.
Then it’s problem solving, a general knowledge quiz
and not one of the lads can compete with Heathcliff.
So ,he wins, gets to stay in The Hideaway
and one lucky woman will join him.
He chooses a brunette called Cathy, from Hull.
“I wanted him the first tarme a saw him,” she says.
“I’ll give him the tarme of his larfe.”
But when she enters The Hideaway that night,
Heathcliff opens a window to let another Cathy in.

Mark Connors is a writer from Leeds. He has been widely published in magazines, webzines and anthologies in the UK and overseas. His debut poetry collection, Nothing is Meant to be Broken, was published by Stairwell Books in 2017.

For more info visit www.markconnors.co.uk
Twitter: @markeconnors2
Publisher: www.stairwellbooks.co.uk

 

This Poem Frets at the Side, by Beth McDonough

all shrivelly toes, won’t wet her face
needs to head right in now
worries about red itchy eyes
struggles against the flow
can’t propel her own core
nor negotiate with outerward bits
doesn’t have the courage to slice
through surface chop
simply won’t coordinate, cooperate

has lost rhythm
never left time to breathe
is scared to go out of her depth

This poem
swims like a brick.

 

Extra-Extra Terrestrials, by Colin Heaney

I met an extra-terrestrial,
Black orbs on cue.
It told me its favourite movie,
It called it Slacker too.
I eyed it with suspicion,
For the fellow was rather odd.
I asked if it paid taxes,
It said taxes were the devil’s lodge.
We laughed and I brought it to the Monty,
Seedy, beer stained seats.
It settled with a whiskey, and asked to have it neat.
It spoke of the universe, but mostly of the death of its future and creatures with many boobs.
This caused a guilty giggle, for I said, ‘I am useless too!”
Then a fight erupted, rather out of fashion.
I had asked if it liked music,
It called its favourite artist Rasmus.
I blinked, and thought that was very strange,
I expected something better and altogether more exotic.
It chuckled and said sophistication was left to Cher and Rick Astley.
I don’t remember the first punch, but it hurt nonetheless,
Then it pinned me to the table, oh how horrid was its breath.
I asked if it liked Lemsip, if only to break the ice.
For a split second it stared, slimy and incandescent, then it stirred,
And wiped away the alcoholic remnants.
I watched it leave, and yelled, ‘what are you doing?’
The alien responded, ‘I have work in the morning, and I am sick of my boss and his booing.’
I noted the similarity and nodded ascent, and went back to my brew,
Dreading the following day’s work dues, for my own boss was a right ole fool.

Colin is a twenty-one year old aspiring writer (never heard that before). He may or may not be an extra-terrestrial. He has an unhealthy obsession with coffee. If anyone should want to find his other work, they won’t. It’s scattered around the globe, and can only be found by Nicholas Cage and a rucksack.

 

You know, Wassername by Rachael Clyne

You know, Wassername

‘er wi’ mucky frocks

eeh she were a chatterbox,

chubby knees, never a please

or a howdoyoudo.
Knew her when she were flea high

to a snot-rag – now look, she’s writ a book
a best seller, gorra fella wi bags of it.

‘Appen I’d’ve done t’same if I’d a mind ter,
mark my peas and cucumbers,
it’ll be filthy as a brass’s gusset.
Yer can tek girl out of t’frying pan
but yer canna tek snicket out of’t’girl.

Mine’s a gin and orange luv, no ice.

RACHAEL CLYNE lives in Glastonbury. Her prizewinning collection Singing at the Bone Tree – is published by Indigo Dreams. Anthologies: The Very Best of 52, Book of Love and Loss, Poems for a Liminal Age. Magazines: Tears in the Fence, Prole, The Rialto, Under the Radar, The Interpreters House.

 

How to wake up by Pat Edwards

Always set an alarm, although you may not need it. Becoming fully awake is more a process than an event. My recommendations are as follows:

Accept that the sound made by your alarm is real, not imagined.
Accept also that it heralds the prospect of a day that requires your attention.
You would not have set an alarm if there was no imperative to get up and out.
Avoid thinking it is safe to close your eyes and drift a little.
We both know that you will fall into a deep sleep,
which will either precipitate lateness or a headache.
Acknowledge the presence of any other humans or animals sharing your bed.
Rushed or even luxurious hanky-panky is not recommended,
as this only makes getting up more complicated and/or upsets the pets caught up in the commotion. You could, if deemed thoughtful and/or encouraging, voice the fact that you did think about it, then move swiftly on.
Get some clothes on pronto, to discourage aforementioned prospect of a physical encounter,
and to preserve your dignity for Christ’s sake.
Do not try to make the bed immediately if persons or pets remain within its confines.
If they too have vacated, feel free to carry on.

That’s about it really.
It’s safe to assume that you are, in fact, up.
The awake bit may depend on caffeine, shower and other sundry paraphernalia but, essentially, you’re good to go.

Repeat ad infinitum as the alternative is, for the most part, singularly unappealing.

Pat Edwards is a writer, teacher and performer living in Mid Wales. Her work has appeared in publications such as Obsessed with Pipework, Amaryllis, The Fat Damsel, Picaroon, The Rat’s Ass and Ink Pantry. Pat runs Verbatim poetry open mics and is curating the 2017 Welshpool Poetry Festival.

 

The Dog Doesn’t Do Sarcasm by Charles Christian

The dog is doing his little dance. The little dance he always does whenever he wants more biscuits. He has a limited repertoire. He’s never been to dog training and we were too poor to send him to stage school.

As if, I say, I’m giving you any more biscuits when you’ve just turned up your nose at your dinner. A dinner of well-balanced tasty morsels that a team of canine nutritionists spent the best years of their lives perfecting. You, the same picky pooch who, given half a chance will happily snarf down six-month old roadkill.

Then I realise I’m being sarcastic – to a dog. My dog doesn’t understand English. Even if he could, he’s old and deaf now.

I begin to feel guilty, like maybe I’ve hurt his feelings. So I give him some more biscuits and explain that… I wasn’t laughing at him but with him.

My dog doesn’t do sarcasm but he appreciates irony.

(previously published in Not Expecting Fish anthology, Gatehouse Press, 2007)

Charles Christian is a former barrister and Reuters correspondent who now writes about tech, geek stuff, folklore, pop culture, medieval history, the just plain weird, and anything else he thinks you’ll enjoy.

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Google-sculpt No.2 by Jinny Fisher

Google-sculpt No 2

Jinny Fisher lives in Somerset and is a member of Taunton’s Juncture 25 and Wells Fountain Poets. Her poems have been published in The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar, The Broadsheet and Prole. She also gained Highly Commended in York Mix Competition and 2nd Prize in Interpreter’s House Competition (2016).