Mr Jones, the Lighthouse Keeper,
had an ever increasing collection of masks,
finding them on Amazon,
going for a song on Ebay,
an Amazonian Warrior,
Donald Trump, the colour of desperation,
everyday waiting for the knock.
The Postman whistling his happy little tune,
handing over the packages,
waiting for the signatures,
the always offered cup of tea,
wanting to get away from the hundreds of faces,
with no eyes.
Mr Jones liked the silence,
time to himself,
with no disturbance,
So, when the four kids,
the two attractive ones,
the two unattractive ones,
and their Great Dane with his
liking for eight foot tall sandwiches,
called in, after being stranded
it all got a bit too much.
Mr Jones, tried on his masks,
finding the one with best fit,
and the worst intentions,
and scared the kids,
and that pesky, overweight dog right off,
but he forgot about the body in his back-yard,
the diamonds under the patio,
the blood on the roof,
from the previous tenants,
and the Police came and arrested him,
put him away for years.
No lawyer would take the case,
of a Lighthouse Keeper,
hiding behind someone else’s
What's that rustling in the trees? It's the Disco Badgers strutting their funky stuff
From their lofty perch high amongst the foliage they just can't get enough
They have a fondness for the 70s disco groove
You can tell that by the way they sway and move
They hang their transistor radio from a lower branch, tuned to retro golden disco hits
They party through the night shaking their badger bits
In the early morning light they retire to their underground homes
Clearing up their empty beer cans, burger boxes, and southern fried chicken bones
Bio diversity responsibilities matter to these funky types
As much as their chest hangin' medallions and perma tanned facial stripes.
They hold each others front paws for support as they stand on their hind legs and groove
In hip swingin' disco fashion they rhythmically move
You'll notice I've used move and groove twice now but you can never have enough
They have to concentrate and not let go otherwise they'll tumble to the ground luckily these badgers are tough
With plaintive 'eek thump eek thump eek thump' echoing in the dark, as gravity takes it's toll
They land with a wild yelled 'Geronimo!' and perfectly executed parachute roll
They traipse back homewards using the zebra crossing, road safety is their primary thought
'Now you see them, now you don't' as on the cctv they're caught
Carefully passing the convenience store the bar code faced badgers creep
Desperate not to set off the till scanners bip bip bip beep
They keep to the shadows, dropping their litter in the relevant receptacle
They recycle responsibly of course but remain global warming sceptical
They're eager to do their bit, it's what climate conscious creatures do
They're just happy the badger cull's been vetoed and banished to the back of the animal killing queue
Neil Windsor is a Writer of children’s short stories, Artist and Poet from Leeds who produces and performs all his work with an absolute passion and a slightly slanted off – kilter view of life.
He also plays extremely bad left handed blues guitar.#neilwindsorart
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.
A question to be answered, please:
Why do most men avoid M.D.’s?
At thoughts of office calls we scoff
unless there’s something falling off.
And if our ankle’s had a twist
we hop around and then insist
that it’s improving very well
although, of course, it hurts like hell.
Sinus pressures, nasty fevers,
failures of most pain relievers,
bellies sad and oozing sores
propel us not through clinic doors.
The answer to this riddle, though
is well concealed although we know
that such recalcitrant displays
are just one part of manly ways.
first published by Light Poetry Magazine
Phil Huffy writes early and often at his kitchen table, casting a wide net as to form and substance. His work has appeared in dozens of journals and anthologies, including Schuykill Valley Review, Eunoia, Lighten Up Online, Orchards Poetry, The Lyric, andseveral haiku publications. Phil’s other interests are cycling, camping, pet care, potato chips, moonlight, and motor trips. He has published three collections of his poems and is proud to have recorded one of them (Magic Words) as an audiobook.
Looking like a hairy yeti
Sitting sucking his spaghetti,
all splattered on his face
I watched him gulp and slurp,
Sniff and pick and blow and burp,
When his plate was licked
he never left a trace.
She’s a winner of no Poetry Ireland Competition, or any other competition. No published debut collection, nothing printed anywhere else yet except here.
Her poems have been nominated for nothing so she’s nominating this poem to go on this page – a great place to start nominating.
She is the curator of nothing. Her anthology doesn’t exist, yet she keeps going.
She recently read some out in Charlie Byrne’s bookshop, Galway. People clapped.
Iona walk of shame
I did not leave
my sodden knickers
on the rocks
after semi-skinny dipping
on the Sabbath
that must have been some other pilgrim.
But there is learning here –
wet black pants
look just like kelp
strewn across a rock.
Jay Whittaker lives and works in Edinburgh. Her debut poetry collection Wristwatch (Cinnamon Press) was the Scottish Poetry Book of the Year (Saltire Society Literary Awards) 2018. Her second collection, Sweet Anaesthetist, (also Cinnamon Press) was published in 2020. Jay is widely published, including two poems in the recent Bloodaxe anthology, Staying Human. www.jaywhittaker.uk / @jaywhittapoet
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
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
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.
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
Such a worried demeanour.
And you’ve put the fear of god
Into a porpoise.
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
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
He stretched his legs under the hospitality
Of her kitchen table, listed the locals lately deceased,
Those who reached old age, those taken young.
She offered currant cake.
Reaching for a slice he asked in a flash,
What age would you be now, Nonie?
She returned the plate to ellipsis equalised
On oilcloth. Smiling benignly, she enquired
What age would you think I am?
He subtracted generously from the score,
Near enough, she said.
No hacker would ever crack
My mother’s personal information or ransom her ware.
Marie Studer has written poetry since her teens in the1970s and started to submit in 2018. She won the Trocáire Poetry Ireland Competition 2020 and the Halloween Ekphrastic Poetry Challenge, Bangor Literary Journal 2019. Her poetry has been published in the Stony Thursday Book, The Waxed Lemon, Wee Book of Wee Poems, Fire & Water, Drawn To The Light, online and local anthologies.
Twitter handle: @StudiMarie
The Free Spirit Ward of Court.
My Heart yearns while my mind dwells,
Liberation from the restraints,
Imposed by the state.
I am energy, so free and abundant,
I crave distance from the piercing eyes of my Nurse.
Give me the sky and I will soar,
Bring me a melody and I will sing.
A free spirit forced to fit into a square box.
A hammered, bent misfit yet vivid and vibrant.
My bodyguards are deaf to this
I cant abscond in present,
But in spirit I am free.
You can cage my body but not my mind,
You can dictate my actions.
But you can’t compose my soul.
You can’t tame me!
I will break free.
And fly as high as my dreams go.
I must hug recovery.
Slipping back into the creation of me
Slipping back into the creation of me,
I find myself hollow and nobody can help,
My thoughts are mine and nobody can change them,
Someone might want to,
Lisa said “One way to float is if you die”
But I am not of that,
There is too much life there to live,
I am rising again like a flock that floats,
Up to the cloud for no one to find,
Hide again to shock me out of this world,
The tapping of the plastic that annoys me,
Rubbing and then buff for the showing of the world,
I’m done – complete,
The finishing of this story is never near,
But to the end we mustn’t advance,
The wow in my life has been rocked back and forth, forth and back,
Rocking until we feel sick with emotion, I can’t find the right metaphor but it will come,
On air I am hungry but that era is done,
I’ve begun but I do not know how to stop,
I slipped away and nobody noticed.
I AM CEREAL KILLER was born in 1995 out of grief and anger. After 19 friends and acquaintances died from complications from AIDS over a three year period, I was advised to “get it all out, write it all down.” And once I had it on paper, what would I do with it but put on a show? Inspired by the Divine David, I discovered I AM CEREAL KILLER’s extraordinary look, a kaleidoscope of colors constantly shifting with his mood of the moment.
I AM CEREAL KILLER is also the proud author of two books, This Isn’t a Gift, It’s Just the Way I Feel (yes, never fear to reutilize a title that worked the first time) and A Collection of Dildos on My Shelf. These can be found on the shelves of The British Library and are sold on Amazon (not by him) for exorbitant amounts. There is also a spoken word CD with tracks produced by Richard Torry of Minty, and a guest appearance on the Fuzzbox video, WGAF-AWFUI!
Now, I AM CEREAL KILLER talks about a much wider range of topics in regards to LGBT rights and acceptance. A new show is coming to New York City with fresh material and the fresh title of The Aerodynamics of Giraffes and How to Slice Them Properly (see show to understand title).