If you want to look sad,
you can't wear a Sombrero
You have to be happy.
It will catch the rain,
be its own dance floor,
you will block up the street,
become a living door.
If you want to be a happy fellow,
buy yourself a Sombrero.
Category: Short and Sweet
Safe Word, by Hilary Willmott
Keeping it simple is for the best
Choose nothing hard to say
Something easy, sharp and short
You'll be better off that way.
I would suggest a few words here
Such as 'North' or 'East' or 'South"
And never words that can't be formed
With an orange in your mouth.
Hilary has been published and sometimes shortlisted over the years by Templar Press, The Exeter Broadsheet, Leaf, Velvet, Obsessed with Pipework Bristol PoetryCan and Mr Garnham.
A misuse of fruit, by Anne Babbs
A misuse of fruit
It was meant to be erotic.
The strategically placed strawberries,
The cream-covered nipples,
but all I could think was
that the sheets would need changing
before I could sleep.
Anne is a poet who regularly takes part in open mic events and the occasional slam. A selection of her poems can be found in the ‘New Voices’ anthology published by Offa’s Press in 2022.
Mystery Man, by Phil Huffy
Consider now Hercule Poirot,
a criminal’s cleverest foe.
and quite erudite,
though sometimes exceedingly so.
Phil Huffy writes early and often at his kitchen table, casting a wide net as to form and substance.
Shelf Life, by Stephen McNulty
Stephen scribbles things whenever he is not forcing a member of the public into a CT scanner. His poems have appeared in Boyne Berries, Drawn to the Light, ROPES, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, Strukturriss and Vox Galvia.
Sort, by Sarah J. Bryson
What sort are you?
Tea or coffee?
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
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
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
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.