4 By Bloody 4’s, by Lisa Lopresti

4 By Bloody 4’s

Huge SUV, 4 by bloody 4,
Parked right outside my front door.

In narrow Edwardian city streets,
Those 4 X 4’s like to retreat.

I can admire the metallic paint,
That the late evening sun warmly glints.

But there is no light streaming through,
My tall beckoning windows as it ought to do!

The pollution that these vehicles exhale,
Dust’s lungs and glass in dirty veils.

My city is not 4 X 4’s natural habitat,
Country lanes and tracks is where that’s at.

But what about the snow!
4 by four drivers want to know.

Well in our cities, those 2 days a year,
Mean you should stay at home and drink beer.

Lisa Lopresti (she/her)is a poet from the statue toppling City of Bristol. She has been broadcast on BBC Radio Bristol and published in magazines and anthologies. Lisa performs in spoken word events and has found this both terrifying and exhilarating. She likes to convey poems to portray, this life.
https://lisa-lopresti-poetry.webnode.com/

 

Quark, by Trisha Broomfield

Quark

Mum is on a diet, is always on a diet
today’s wonder ingredient, low calorie Quark.
‘Come on,’ she says,
wicker shopper over one arm,
‘we’re going down to Budgen’s.’
I pull on my boots

we reach the chill counter
via the Walnut Whips, Mum searches,
cream cheese with or without chives
cottage cheese, with or without most things,
Lancashire, Wensleydale, Cheddar
Edam and Gouda, no Quark

Toby, who went my school, stands
dreamily replenishing stocks of hazelnut yoghurt,
Mum approaches, ‘Quark?’
Toby, nonplussed, bends his six foot frame, silently,
Mum, thinking him hard of hearing, repeats
at volume, ‘Quark! Quark!’

Her mouth lost for words
she searches for gestures to express her need
I backtrack to Walnut Whips,
Toby’s eyes glossily imply that nothing in his brief training
has equipped him to deal with a woman
who thinks she is a duck.

Trisha has had three pamphlets published by Dempsey and Windle. She is a regular contributor to Surrey Libraries Poetry Blog and has a regular poetry spot on her local radio. Humour escapes from her work regardless of any constraints applied. https://www.facebook.com/Trisha-Broomfield-Poetry-2340859049276291

 

Mourning what he lost, by Rodney Wood

MOURNING WHAT HE LOST

Steve found it boring caressing his hair each morning
because his hair was arrogant, luxuriant and elegant.
He never thought one day he’d need a transplant
for the 2 foot Mohican attached to his cranium.

Hair dyed pink geranium and not bright cerulean, maroon,
bubble gum, cinnamon, electric crimson or even violet-red (medium).

He poured cereal into a bowl then found he had no milk.
His blessed day had shattered, gone belly up, shattered
and his hair had fallen out. He could no longer caress,
flout, shout or watch sprout from his cranium

hair dyed pink geranium and not bright cerulean, maroon,
bubble gum, cinnamon, electric crimson or even violet-red (medium).

All his hair had vanished but one remained and thrived
and each morning he combed, shampooed and conditioned,
trimmed, pinned and gelled that strand so it lay flat on his head.
Then he lost that single hair as it departed his cranium.

A single hair dyed pink geranium and not bright cerulean, maroon,
bubble gum, cinnamon, electric crimson or even violet-red (medium).

What should Steve do with it? Have it displayed or framed,
dipped in formaldehyde, electroplated or suffer immersion
in alcohol? Steve must let everyone know a 2 foot Mohican
once flourished on his now empty cranium.

That hair dyed pink geranium and not bright cerulean, maroon,
bubble gum, cinnamon, electric crimson or even violet-red (medium).

Rodney Wood lives in Farnborough, co-host the monthly Write Out Loud (Woking) and is widely published.

 

Model Boat Club Blues by Charlotte Harker

The decline began after a spree of sinkings.
I think it was a submarine.
Someone is disobeying the finely streamlined rules.
I am facing a flotilla of ruse,
I’ve got those model boat club blues.

I am losing the plot and my concentration,
I keep getting the bow and the stern mixed up,
I’m caught in a storm at a lake so artificial,
Infighting and resignation over the sailing schedule,
Should a clipper give way to a frigate?
Yet more dispute,
I’ve got those model boat club blues.

In the clubhouse I’ve lost direction and rudderless
I struggle to make a course correction
to keep this armada in some order,
but there is no denying we are taking on water; oh whatever,
I am always on board,
to hell with the weather,
this is my ship and I’m going down with it,
I’ve got those model boat club blues.

Charlotte Harker is a Writer, Artist and Performance Poet. Her first collection of illustrated poems ‘The Wear and Tear of Conversation’ was published in 2018. Further information can be found at https://www.dempseyandwindle.com/charlotteharker.html

 

Dr Frankenstein’s Beauty Tips for Monsters, by F.R. Kesby

You trawled through Bikini Babes. You searched in Hottest Celebs. You scoured Fitness Goal Bods. You rifled through Silky Skinned Sirens. You poured over Instagram Stars You Wish You Were.

You snipped yourself a pair of perfect legs. You chose a flawless face. You cut out a pair of breath-taking breasts. You tore out luxurious locks. You selected a set of stupendous abs.

You pick out what they tell you is desirable. Is desired. You make yourself a beautiful monster. Each hole you cut in a magazine is a hole you cut in yourself.

F. R. Kesby is a poet and storyteller from Leeds. She has headlined gigs including for Stirred, Word Club and NeurodiVERSE and her work has appeared in magazines and journals such as OFI, Laldy and Strix. She also writes for Spoons and Toons (https://faykesby.wordpress.com/) and Women’s Republic (http://www.womensrepublic.net/author/fay-kesby/).

 

Malacophagy, by Mark Totterdell

In a pub that overlooked saltwater,
I ate a heap of mussels,
so sweet, so soft, I never tasted better,
well worth the mess and hassle.

On the beach at Sidmouth, one damp summer,
I chewed into a whelk,
a plug of solid snot or slimy rubber
not fit for decent folk.

In a big marquee one time, in public,
I went down on an oyster.
The sea was rising, falling in my gullet
for what seemed ever after.

By the Med, with chips, I chomped on suckers
of deep-fried octopus.
I fear my smart and subtle distant cousin
was hardly well-served thus.

‘Mark Totterdell’s poems have appeared widely in magazines and have occasionally won competitions. His collections are ‘This Patter of Traces’ (Oversteps Books, 2014) and ‘Mapping’ (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2018; http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/mark-totterdell/4594336680).’ 

 

Three Blind Mice, by Diana Devlin

A toad once said to three blind mice,
would you like to come to supper?
Thank you, toad, that would be nice
but can we bring our brother?
You’ve got a brother? said the toad
but that’s not in the rhyme!
He’s there to guide us down the road,
he’s with us all the time!
Very well, the toad replied,
you can bring your brother with you;
the more the merrier, he sighed,
it’s really not an issue.
And so they dined by candlelight,
the five of them together;
it was a truly lovely sight,
and they all enjoyed their blether*.
We’re lucky you’re so kind to us,
the mice said to their host.
Why, thank you said the slimy toad
but I’m not one to boast.
The night’s still young so come with me,
he said in tones triumphant.
I’ve got a cure to make you see
and platters full of cheese abundant!
The mice could not believe their ears
and went into his study
but the fourth mouse, he was full of fears
because the carpet was all bloody.
Once in, the mice could not escape,
the toad had locked the study door.
He tied their brother up with tape
then nailed him to the floor.
I’ve got your treat, he grinned at last,
you won’t have long to wait.
The fourth mouse squeaked, “Get out and fast!”
but alas it was too late.
The toad cried, You are now my dinner!
It’s you I’ve wanted all along.
You’re number’s up and I’m the winner.
Don’t you hear the dinner gong?
The three blind mice stood terrified
as toad picked up a paperweight,
his evil features magnified
in the blood red fire light.
He brought the object crashing down
upon the mouse’s little head.
The crack resounded right through town
and the seeing mouse lay dead.
You horrid toad! the mice all cried,
your evil plan will fail!
You can run but you can’t hide,
you’ll go to prison without bail!

Now in a children’s rhyming story
the toad would be undone.
But life is sadly much more gory
(some say that that’s more fun).
And so the three mice died that night
and the toad enjoyed his feast.
The moon shone brightly on the sight
of a toad and four mice, deceased.

*blether is a Scots word meaning chat

Diana Devlin is a 54 year old ex-teacher/translator/lexicographer from Fife in Scotland. She has always loved reading and writing poetry and has had a little work published online and in print. She enjoys life in Dumbarton with her husband, daughters, Jack Russell and two bossy cats.

 

MARIE (who stole husbands and ended up alone) by Sherri Turner

The favourite sport of loose Marie who lived at number twenty three,
was practising seduction when she flirted with her neighbours’ men.
Her reddened lips would pout and tempt and no poor soul would be exempt
until they could resist no more and turned up at the harlot’s door.
When she had had her evil way they asked Marie if they could stay
but she just shooed them off before she moved on to her next amour.
The wives despised this piece of fluff and pretty soon had had enough
and so they all devised a plan to frighten off the bravest man.
The message first reached Toby Grey who, playing golf one Saturday,
found all his club mates in a snigger because his ‘niblick’ wasn’t bigger.
The next to hear was Jack McGrew who learned that everybody knew
how premature the consequence of his excess exuberance.
The worst was grocer Michael Stout, who nearly died when he found out
his customers were all aware his veg were not a matching pair.
The men soon found that all who’d strayed had had their failings well displayed.
They hung their sorry heads in shame and knew Marie must be to blame.
Despite the shortness of her skirt and fine ability to flirt
her efforts now were quite ignored. No longer was Marie adored.
She soon became a dreadful sight: her lipstick smeared, her hair a fright.
No company of either sex would anymore her threshold vex.

It’s rumoured that, on warmer nights, she walks the streets in fishnet tights
beseeching anyone to visit.
It’s no surprise they don’t, though, is it?

Sherri Turner lives in Surrey. She has had numerous short stories published in women’s magazines and has won prizes for both poetry and short stories. She likes to write silly poems when she feels in danger of forgetting that this is supposed to be fun.

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