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.

 

Formication, by Tonnie Richmond

Formication

If, sometimes, you like to indulge
in a spot of alfresco, illicit sex
be careful where you lie,
be wary of what might happen next.

If, following said fornication
while you have a cigarette and a little rest,
you feel a rush of formication
you may well be sitting on an ants’ nest.

Tonnie Richmond has, since retirement, spent a lot of her time doing archeology and writing poems. These days, the poetry is a little less arduous than digging. She has had poems published by Dreich, Yaffle, Dragon and others.

 

The Passenger, by Lynn Valentine

The Passenger

November and everywhere turns mouse,
garden no longer good enough though
the compost heap smoulders with rot of apples.

The mice brush by inside discharging dark
pellets of shit, nips of urine, craze
of footprints. The air grows furred, weighs
heavy with whiskers, a particular brown-grey
colour scheme, rushing of small rodents.

He is frightened to open cupboards, too scared
to sleep, to become part of the scurry.
He puts down poison, traps, peppermint spray,
packed up clothes for a holiday.

The last item to sneak into his steamer trunk?
A wee sleekit beastie—mouse.


Lynn Valentine’s poetry collection, Life’s Stink and Honey, was published by Cinnamon Press in 2022 after winning their literature award. Her Scots language pamphlet, A Glimmer o Stars, was published by Hedgehog Poetry in 2021. Lynn is on Twitter @dizzylynn

 

Not an Epic, by Terri Metcalfe

Not an Epic

With my attention span,
I don’t write long poems
hanging off the ends of sentences
veering into the weather forecast

scattered wordy periods.

I chance the occasional romance
with assonance but like snow in May,
it bewilders me so I let it melt

away. I’ve always felt
I am four stanzas average,
five and I risk an accidental plummet
into my shopping list. Boy with a mullet

on Shop Street, don’t go bringing
back hairstyles that should only ever
be fish...pie mix, juice, not from

Terri Metcalfe has been published in Abridged, A New Ulster, Green Ink Poetry, Spilling Cocoa and Skylight 47. 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 this January.

 

I Wish I Were a Vicar, by Trisha Broomfield

I wish I were a vicar

I wish I were a vicar
penned by Agatha Christie,
I’d visit many well-known faces
who ‘d kindly ask, ‘More tea?’

I wish I were a vicar
in one of Christie’s books,
I’d wander round the place bemused
I’d wear befuddled looks.

And if I were a vicar,
one that Agatha had penned,
I’d find bodies in my library,
exclaim, ‘Good Grief! Heaven forfend!’

As a black and white penned vicar
I’d live on countless pages,
in many different languages,
and truly live for ages.

 

Shopping, by Trevor Alexander

Shopping

I need to get stuff from the local mart,
but then my stupid car just will not start.
I ring the garage, but they cannot come
until a week on Thursday, minimum.
The buses are on strike, so they’re no use;
I silently bombard them with abuse.
A taxi then I guess, and hang the cost,
but time goes by – I think they must be lost.
At last a car arrives outside my gate
and toots as if to say it’s me that’s late.
I gallop down the drive and can’t resist
a much relieved internal pump of fist.
My head explodes when we get to the store;
I’ve left my wallet by the kitchen door



Trevor retired in 2013, and decided to write a novel. Stalled on chapter 3, he ventured into poetry. He has been published in anthologies and magazines in UK and USA, plus his own book in 2017. Trevor has read at several Literary Festivals, and regularly contributes at poetry/spoken word groups.
 

Cousin Ken, by Hilary Willmott

Cousin Ken

Cousin Ken from Cockermouth Cumbria
Has a wholesome rhythm to it.
Cuz-in-Ken-from-Cock-er-mouth-Cum-bri-a.
I loved him living there.
When friends asked after my cousin Ken
I would say ‘Oh, Cousin Ken? He’s well, still living in
Cockermouth, Cumbria.’
And then he called with his new address
making him cousin Ken from Romney Marsh, Kent.
I’ll never forgive him for this.

Hilary lives in Bristol close to the River Avon. She resides there with her partner and three dogs. Has been previously published by Templar Press, Bristol Poetrycan, Leaf, Velvet, Obsessed with Pipework, Exeter Broadsheet and Mr Garnham. Still planning to submit enough poems for a collection and still finding excuses not to send them off.

 

Homing hairbrushes, by Sarah Dale

Homing hairbrushes

In appreciation of Douglas Adams,
who first noticed where biros go.

Hairbrushes have now joined
biros and socks as sentient life forms
with an irresistible homing urge –
watch them wriggling through
those ladders in time’s fabric,
catching their bristles
on filaments of space
off to their ideal planet
where every surface
is as smooth and bald
as a billiard ball.

After a misspent youth in libraries and museums, and some time in between, Sarah has finally achieved her dream job in Lichfield working for the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum (and book shop). She writes for fun and enjoys swimming.