Too Many Straights, by Claire Duthie

There are too many straights on telly
The situation has really got very silly
And out of hand
Wny don’t you understand?

There’s far too much prancing
On strictly come dancing

Wny wallow in the mire
And watch ” married at first sight?”
It really, really is dire.

Lionel Blair
Is no longer there

Mayday, maidez
Paul O Grady

Heaven help us
Russell T Davies

 

Frames, by Eddie Gibbons

FRAMES

He met her at the Art Gallery.

Made eyes at her
across a Caravaggio.

Saw her framed against a Miro.

Watched her glide along
an avenue of Monets.

She saw him standing
like a prick
between two Pollocks.

Published in ‘The Republic of Ted’, Thirsty Books, Edinburgh, 2003.

Eddie Gibbons has six published poetry collections. ‘What They Say About You’ was shortlisted for the ‘Scottish Poetry Book of the Year’, 2011. He was a prizewinner in the inaugural ‘Edwin Morgan Poetry Competition’, 2008. He has a poem in the Bloodaxe anthology ‘Land of Three Rivers’. Twitter- @1Eddie_Gibbons

 

Oh Me!, by beam

Oh Me!
I am a soggy biscuit
I am murking
at the bottom
of your
mug

I am a sang-widge
you thought you threw away…
a Summer ago

I am a surprise from a stranger
who’s known to the Gardaí
you didn’t wear your glasses
you thought I was waving
but I was wanking

beam is a 26 year old poet from Ireland. She has participated in workshops led by Kevin Higgins, read at Galway City’s Literary Organisation event ”Over The Edge” and has been published in Cabinet Of Heed, Broadsheet.ie, Impspired, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Spilling Hot Cocoa Over Martin Amos, WordCityLit, Ink Sweat and Tears & Open Skies. Recent work includes; surviving the pandemic and several disappointing sourdough loaves. She is becoming the kind of person who says the things you ”aren’t supposed to say”. You can find more of her poetry @personalbeam on instagram.

 

Tu-tu in Training, by Trisha Broomfield

Tu-Tu in Training

Steph was wider than me, and shorter,
it was a gift, a hand-me-down
from her parents in their high house
to me and mum in our basement flat,
‘Come on try it on,’ Mum urged,
‘you’ll feel the part.’
I slid it up my non-existent hips
the shine of the satin, soft
as my hands smoothed over its bodice,
‘The skirt’s a bit torn at the hem,’
Mum said, ‘But I’ll fix that in no time.’
I looped straps over my shoulders,
they fell off, my pointy bones
unable to cling to pink ribbon,
‘Safety pins,’ Mum said, ‘hoik it up a bit.’
Hoiking and pinning, Mum, sideways pull to her lips
determined to make it fit.
‘You’ve got the book,’ Mum flicked to the page,
‘come on, position one.’
I tried, one then two, easy peasy this ballet,
then, knees like my dad’s, I stuck in position four.
‘Back straight, neck long like a swan.’
Mum had seen The Nutcracker on telly.
Shoulders cramped by a bodice pinned to fit
I sank a hopeful plié.
‘That’s it, you’ll make a ballerina yet!’
Mum clapped her hands in delight,
‘though, you will have to keep your vest on.’

 

From the Rag, by Christian Scully

From the Rag

Time drags as the barmans rags wipes another stain away from the bar top Feelingas though the clocks have all but stopped and the hourglass sand or the biggest hand are heading backward
Its funny how stood here in this palace of beer church to excess as tobacco laden breath requests another and sings a sad lament Cursing them who lurk on borders them past into obscurity and them who are royally fucking up the country whilst doing their best as you see… its complicated

Bleary eyed hobbling from pint to pint to bookies and back handing over scrunched up notes pulled from grubby back pockets as there lips smack down the sweet nectar.
Straightening ties telling the same lies how its just a quick one on the way to the office when we both know they will be back tomorrow.
Hearing grumbles and strife about distant kids and ex wives after pint after pint after pint
Some starting early
or some continuing
a perpetual night out that
they can never bare to end

Best mates at breakfast become bastards by lunch
as they are too drunk to stand let alone throw a punch
but then its all just a part of the carbon copied institution once known as a pub
Where now they serve kiddies and professionals grub
whist in the corner they lurk
all crude gestures and smirks
till its time to wobble back to bed
rest their red faced weary heads
grab a sarnie
grab a kip
buy the paper
and repeat

 

Half an hour’s work, by Sarah J. Bryson

Half an hour’s work

The secateurs fit her hand
perfectly, as she works
to shape the form
until a thicker branch
does not yield to the blade
and they are exchanged
for the long handled lopper
which uses the physics
of leverage to exert
their power.
Four more chops
then she drops
this tool for the rake
to gather up the trimmings
then stands back
to admire the shape,
notices a stray weed
she’s missed, under the bush
grabs the hand fork
to extract the dandelion’s
long tap root, but
this one needs
the little spade
to loosen the soil
to ease out the beast,
all but the tip surrendering
to the teasing.
She stands back again,
thinking how much
can be achieved in a short time –
then sees one more stem
to trim, to finish the job.
She looks around
for the secateurs
which have disappeared-
searches for nearly
another half an hour.

Sarah J Bryson

Bio
Sarah has poems published in print journals, anthologies and on line. She has been a regular participant, during the Covid pandemic, in a weekly on-line arts event, combining photographs with haiku style poetry and has recently had several poems on the Poetry and Covid site.

 

Surf School, by Robert Garnham

Thou has the charms of a warthog.
Vile, doth your snout snuffle
Amongst the remnants of last night’s moussaka.
Has thou perchance upon my corduroy trouser leg
Upchucked?
Be gone!
Quoth my
Surfing instructor.

Upon my word did the very same surfing instructor
Not two hours previous
Raise an eyebrow or two as, with help,
I oozed into the requisite wetsuit,
Like a slug into a Smarties tube,
Thus requiring considerable tugging,
Talcum powder, axle grease, Vaseline,
Gravity and sheer luck,
And yea, for it was the closest I had come
In many months
To sex.

Unleashed on the sea thus be-rubbered,
I had all the equilibrium of a sparrow
In a cement mixer,
All the agility of a lopsided basset hound
With an inner ear infection,
All the balance of Fox News
And all the rhythm of a drummer divorced from his drum
And also, coincidentally,
Three months in the grave.
You might say that
I wasn’t really cut out for it.

Thy surfing instructor, Troy, were a frown
With a man attached.
Sayeth he,
I’ve never seen a surfboard just sink like that.
It just went down like a stone, didn’t it?
You’re rewriting all the laws of physics,
And upon my word,
Did’st thou notice the countenance of that
Dolphin?
Such a worried demeanour.
And you’ve put the fear of god
Into a porpoise.
And also,
Thou art emitting
A vast and toxic slick.

Thy wetsuit were as shapely as a
Delaminated lorry tyre,
Such that a passing walrus should deliver
A cocky wink,
And surely I would have excelled
In all my brine-soaked majesty
Were it not for a chafing in the gusset
Which brought tears to mine eyes and
Conjured
That night I spent in Nuneaton with an
Abraham Lincoln impersonator
Whose frisky appetites
Could ne’er be sated
Yet ate my buffet breakfast and scarpered
Without so much as a how do you do?

The sea were as rough as mine uncle
And it pounded on the beach like
An angry old man on the doors of the closed cafe
In which he has left his baccy tin,
And no matter how I progressed
I could stand not on that blessed board.
For when it cometh to surfing I am nought
But a charlatan, a poseur,
A ne’erdowell enmeshed in misery,
No more qualified to join the surfing greats
Than a giraffe join a coven of mallards,
That I might hang my head in shame,
And mutter, oh, when do I get to say cowabunga?
And hand in my ankle bracelet
And my coral necklace
And my flip flops
And submit to the life of a land based mammal
Such as a badger or a dental hygienist.

How vast the expression of shock on the face
Of my damp-headed instructor
When I leaned on the flanks of his
Cobbled rickety surf shack
And the whole place concertinered
Into a jumble of wooden planks.
He hardly laughed at all.

And thus began a tirade the general gist of which
Implored me to explore
Other avenues of past-time
In which my ham-fisted bungling efforts might
Not cause quite so much pain, anguish, damage
And general gnashing of teeth.
And that, dear listener,
Is how I became a poet.

Robert Garnham has been performing LGBT comedy poetry around the UK for ten years at various fringes and festivals, and has had three collections published by Burning Eye. He has won slams in places such as London, Edinburgh and Swindon and headlined or featured at events such as Bang Said the Gun, Raise the Bar, and Milk and in 2019 was the Hammer and Tongue featured artist for a tour of the UK. Je has supported artists such as John Hegley, Arthur Smith and Paul Sinha. He has made a few short TV adverts for a certain bank, and a joke from one of his shows was listed as one of the funniest of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe. Lately he has been writing short stories published in magazines such as Stand, Defenestration and Riggwelter, and a humorous column in the Herald Express newspaper. In 2021 he was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and shortlisted as Spoken Word Artist of the Year by the Saboteur Awards. His influences are diverse and include Ivor Cutler, Salena Godden, Bob Newhart and Laurie Anderson.

Robert is the editor of Spilling Cocoa. His website can be found at https://professorofwhimsy.com

 

There’s a Fucking Fly in my Fridge, by Paula Nicholson

There’s a Fucking Fly in my Fridge.

There’s a fucking fly in my fridge.
Fellating a fish finger,
fondling the fruit and
feeling up the frangipane.
Your fun is finito
and in my fury,
fffffwack!
Flattened.
There’s now no fucking fly in my fridge.

Paula lives near Lockerbie with her family and an overly chatty cat. She likes scientific stuff, zombie films and books, and is partial to a slice of cake. She blogs on Twitter @paula_nicolson and Facebook as DeckyWriting.

 

Just Desserts, by Greg Freeman

JUST DESSERTS

Even after all this time
I’m not ashamed of what I did.
Tipping a mixture of party food
through an elderly former
neighbour’s letterbox.
He’d complained to our landlord
that our girlfriends stayed overnight.
It was the Seventies. Yorkshire
was and is a backward place.

I’d moved out as quick as I could,
got a place with my girl, soon
to be wife. Was invited back
for a party by the one nice flatmate
that we bumped into in town.
I hatched the plan in advance.
Halfway through the evening
I went out with my offering
and delivered it. Rat-tat-splat.

They say revenge is sweet.
Black forest gateau, trifle,
a soupcon of tiramisu.
And a dish best served cold.
Those puddings came
straight from the fridge.
I suppose my ex-flatmates
received some feedback.
Still gives me pleasure, writing this.

Greg Freeman is news and reviews editor for the poetry website Write Out Loud. He co-comperes a regular poetry night in Woking. His new collection is called Marples Must Go! One of its themes mourns the comic heroes of yesteryear, with this cri de coeur: ‘Why can’t life still be hilarious?’ https://www.dempseyandwindle.com/gregfreeman.html

 

Grumpy Bumpy Poem, by Ed Poetastic

The sun too bright,
Toss away the clock,
These sheet are so tight,
My body feel like a rock,
EVERYTHING NOT ALRIGHT!!
A sound? Knock, knock, knock
Someone looking for a fight!!
The door!! Why is there so many locks!!
Mail, give me that! Forget being polite,
No Sir you can kiss my buttocks!
You enjoy that? Get out of my sight!!
Dumb stupid clock going tick tock,
I’m trying to eat with all my might,
What!! No tea or Coffee in stock,
This day is so crazy and not right,
Even my stove is refusing to ignite,
Puuufff, time to see boring sites,
It’s meh so what alright okay despite,
Why is the sky so bright, blue, and white?
Why is my jacket so little, stuffy, and tight?
Why are kids flying stupid droids and kites?
No more happy sappy activities in my hindsight
Being grumpy is my passion and birthright
I drink the bitter bad and toss away the delights
Seeing a peaceful moment spoils my appetite
I wish I can raindown thunderstorms with spite,
This sunshine, flowers, and butterflies really bites
I Love pure darkness then boring pale white
I love taking out the bulbs in everyone’s lights
I Love seeing fights, firefights, and bullfights
I love setting fireworks at the dead of midnight
Why am I so crabby, grouchy, and uptight?
why should I tell you? Have a grumpy night
By Ed Poetastic