Get Over it, by Tonnie Richmond

Tonnie Richmond is a retired local government officer who has spent the last couple of decades as a volunteer archaeologist, working on digs in Cheshire and on Orkney. Many of her poems reflect her archaeological experiences and love of Orkney. She has had poems  published by Yaffle, Dragon/Yaffle, Driech, Leeds Trinity University and others. She is currently working on her first collection.
 

Sort, by Sarah J. Bryson

Sort 

What sort are you?
Tea or coffee?
Victoria Sponge,
or a rich fruit cake?
Dark chocolate Bounty,
or a Milky Bar kid?
Would you choose
a bag of lemon drops,
or a sherbet dip?
Would you prefer
a large gobstopper,
or an Extra Strong Mint?
Milk Tray or Green & Blacks?
Are you a suck it and see type,
or a gobble and go individual?
Do you think birds of a feather
flock together, or rather that
opposites attract?
Maybe you are
a Foxes Glacier Mint?
Me? I’m a Licorice Allsort

Sarah is interested in words, words for well being, people and nature and the connections between these elements. She has poems in print journals, anthologies and on line.

 

Starless, by Patrick Chapman

Starless

Set to amuse an empress of India, diamonds are
not even fruit – but flush with satsumas

alone, try getting someone to love you for
money. Made in the whirl of a stellar

ballet, tangelos yield to the cut of my Japanese
blade. The crush of my hand makes me wonder

how diamond and orange are brought to our shores –
and what old blood we spill into new Mason jars.

PATRICK CHAPMAN has published nine poetry collections since 1991. Other books include a novel, three volumes of stories, and a guide to the work of David Cronenberg. His next poetry collection, The Following Year, appears from Salmon in 2023. He lives in Dublin.

 

On waiting for a poetry journal’s acceptance/rejection email, by Terri Metcalfe

Cumbria native Terri Metcalfe moved to Ireland with her Mayo born partner and two children in 2019. From a down-to-earth, tools of the practical trade family, she only recently in her forties thought it acceptable that she might be a serious poet. Terri has endured several decades of mental and physical ill health which she draws on in her work. She has been published in Abridged, A New Ulster, Green Ink Poetry, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis and Skylight 47, amongst others. She was shortlisted for the Open Window 2023 mentorship programme and will be a featured reader at the 20th anniversary of Over The Edge Literary Events held in Galway city library this coming January.

 

Dearly Beloved, by John Lawrence

Dearly Beloved

This poem is
gathered here

to celebrate
the matrimony
of Couplet and Tercet.

This poem is not to be entered into lightly.
Thus, we need to confess

that Couplet hath played
fast and loose
with a sestet, thrice,

and Tercet hath also succumbed
to the tenderness of carnal union

with a haiku, in an act of confused
orientation. Nonetheless,
as a measure of forgiveness

and a certain degree of apathy,
if no-one can show just cause
or impediment, I proclaim
Couplet and Tercet
to be a quintain.

John has recently moved to Cambridge (voluntarily) from Worcestershire, and writes poems (involuntarily) because he feels he has to or something bad might happen. He is a popular (reportedly) performer and has published a collection The Boy Who Couldn’t Say His Name.

 
THE FULL ENGLISH TAKES A DNA TEST

Old Bean, Old Sausage, there are question marks.
I know you’ve had a lot on your plate.
How can I break this to you?
Your bacon is pure Viking.

Baked beans arrived here illegally
Uncle Sam wants them back
Hash browns have no right to remain
Plum tomatoes only speak Italian
Since 2006 HP sauce has called the Netherlands home
PG Tips must face up to its colonial past

Three mushrooms on your shirt
your England’s still dreaming

If you know which side your toast’s buttered
you’ll be a good egg.

Mr Full English, you are thoroughly scrambled.

John Lanyon lives in the Cotswolds. He works as an organic gardener, linguist, musician, and writer. Having failed his English Literature O Level, he came to love literature through reading it in French and German. He writes about art, the body, childhood, society, nature, the spirit of places, the secret lives of words.

 

The Yarn Spinner, by George Bastow

He sits in the corner of your local boozer 
Wearing a smile as broad as a battlecruiser
He's got the spiel of a champ and the luck of a loser
But lend him an ear and he's sure to amuse ya
He's the Yarn-Spinner, you know him

He's got a mouth that moves at the speed of light
Emitting patter sickly sweet as Angel Delight
He's as old as the hills and as young as the night
Halfway between an oracle and a gobshite
He's the Yarn-Spinner, you know him

He used to work for MI 5, but he keeps that on the low
He used to be a roadie, went on tour with Status Quo
He used to be a boxer, trained in the States with Smokin’ Joe
Plus, he played all the instruments on Enya's Orinoco Flow
He's the Yarn-Spinner, you know him

He's a world-famous artist with a masterpiece on his easel
He's an ex-Hollywood tough guy, former stuntman for Vin Diesel
He’s a lapsed circus performer with his own troupe of dancing weasels
Oh, and his wife’s a scientist who's discovered a cure for measles
He's the Yarn-Spinner, you know him

He spent decades as a TV exec, commissioning comedy and drama
He spent his work experience at the British Museum spit-polishing suits of armour
He spent seven years in Tibet as an organic yak meat farmer
And he spent yesterday as a Buddhist monk, making tea for the Dalai Lama
He's the Yarn-Spinner, you know him

He’s been known to beguile crowds with his eccentric charm
He often bewilders bar-staff with his far-fetched smarm
For a pint or three, he'll no doubt twist your arm
But everyone can agree he don’t mean any harm
He's the Yarn-Spinner, we all know him

George Bastow is a poet, writer, blogger and hat connoisseur from the picturesque wilderness of North Warwickshire. 

 

He has written for numerous publications and regularly performs at spoken word events. 

 

George also facilitates workshops for Writing West Midlands’ Spark Young Writers Programme. 

 

Blog: https://gdbastow11.wordpress.com

Twitter: @GDBastow

 

Doctor Zeus, by Tom Barlow

Doctor Zeus

A poet in my online crit group
wrote that the unintentionally
comedic couplets in my new poem
remind her of Doctor Zeus and I

am taken with the image of lightning bolts
thrown for no reason at Yertle the Turtle,
for capriciousness makes a god a god.
I realize the Lord of Thunder would never

have allowed himself to be incarcerated
in verse meant to draw giggles
and the good Doctor Seuss would
never have written about Zeus the Moose

and his incestuous appetites, for there
was seldom any innocence in those old
ribald tales of characters fated to suffer
or deal out suffering or both. What

parent would be foolish enough to put
their child to bed with the story of a god
who eats his wife when Doctor Seuss offers
the epicurious Sam-I-Am
and his beloved eggs and ham?

Tom Barlow is an Ohio writer of poetry, short stories and novels. His attention deficit disorder has kept his pen whirling like a merry-go-round horse and poems like these are what have flown off as he desperately tries to convince the carny to stop the ride. See more at tombarlowauthor.com.

 

The mighty, by Ruth Aylett

The mighty
--
He arrived in the sixth form
from a poxy private school
that thought itself posh,
and though he was local,
they’d rubbed his voice down
until our local accent came off
and he spoke like an Etonian.

He had that up-your-own-arse
confidence of the rich,
but wasn’t all that clever
when it came to school stuff,
almost like he felt above it.
And his grades weren’t much.

So the summer we left
I bumped into him in the street,
and just could not resist
telling him I was going to Uni.
I’m not bothering with that he said
(Daddy’s business I thought)
Because, he said, I’m in meat.

I didn’t know Daddy had gone bust
until I caught sight of him next:
the boy on the local butcher’s van.
In meat.

Ruth Aylett teaches and researches robotics in Edinburgh and has been known to read poems with a robot. Her pamphlets Pretty in Pink (4Word) and Queen of Infinite Space (Maytree) were published in 2021. For more see http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~ruth/writing.html

 

On Passion Spent, by Cait O’Neill McCullagh

ON PASSION SPENT
̶ Somewhat after William. Shakespeare &
Vita Sackville-West; would be lovers all

Now that night has bled back into the black earth
& I no longer covet the cloak of sleep, impossible,
my heart (that desirous old fat-spotted oven) cools,
quits bigging ‘memories’ never truly hers to own.

Teetin the truth of it, in quick quartz dazzled dawn,
I find love’s swim in us was as ill-fit as a finless fish.
Between our thighs trickles only the dampest regret.
Dear, it’s daft to conjure dreams from wreathy bones.

Awkward as a gang of hangers thrust sidewards into
a frantic-packed case, I half-exhume ‘forget-me-nows’
of screen-preened hair (exhausted with flicking), eyes
dripped-dry with feigning drookit-dewy & a fret of lips,
̶ un-kissed.

For if we had ever our ‘selves’ met, IRL with skin on,
offscreen, I doubt we would have set about to fraying
our zips. Perhaps, my Zoomy pal, my ‘could have been’,
my not ‘THE one’, we’ll let passion spend one last squib?

Then, I will weigh my eyelids down & steep my senses in
̶ forgetfulness.



Cáit started writing poetry, at home in Scotland’s Highlands in December 2020. Over forty of her poems have been published since. With co-author Sinead McClure she was a winner of Dreich’s ‘Classic Chapbook Competition’ 2022’, awarded for their chapbook ‘The songs I sing are sisters’. For more information visit https://linktr.ee/caitjomac