Sarah, the Neighbour’s Child, by Lisa Lopresti

Sarah, the Neighbour’s Child

She would lean forward and turn to gaze
at me from her pushchair as her
Mum, my neighbour,
would waltz her around the corner.

Always she would stare, with big blue eyes,
the same shade as mine, till the last second
stoic and expressionless
but intensely focused.

She grew and walked and ran and still
craned her neck at me, before corners
but stayed silent when greeted,
a child who was seen but not heard.

One day, when Sarah was 6, her Mum
asked me to watch her child when there
was a family emergency. Things were fine,
she remained silent. Then, when watching Dr Who

in a clear charming voice, she asked ‘Why are you
so ugly? to which, without thinking I replied
‘I am you from the future’. She did not stop
crying for twenty minutes.

A published poet thrilled to be featured regularly on BBC Radio Bristol and spoken word events. Lisa likes to convey poems to portray, this life.


Banana Pooh!, by Andy Brown

Banana Pooh!
Should you decide to ever quietly walk and to never ever absolutely not talk
whenever you go to the bustling zoo that means you won’t slip on Banana Pooh
because you may not actually even know bananas have ears that expand and grow
that hear you’re about to eat them whole it goes slap bang into the banana soul
but should they ever knowingly hear then you will trigger all that banana fear
and what will happen is what we would do and bananas feel they have to also pooh
and if you look and note their little ruse of how they camouflage and easily bruise
beware of that little bit on the end that you just can’t help but to bend
and remove before it goes into your mouth and then what happens, it all goes south!

It’s not just the bananas that generate that mess, sometimes it is more but often it is less,
tends to be the ones that consume it the most, the proper primates, the living and the ghost
of zoos gone by with Scrooge’s revenge, from ancient times and new-Stonehenge
the tales have come from down the years of how humans conquer banana fears
and give them to the monkeys and the apes watching all their frenetic merry japes
their swinging and climbing, laughing glee, but then they stare, and sit upon the tree
and let it out with messy, meticulous aim competing with each other for Olympic fame
of splattering and spluttering and splashing, of beating, hitting and crescendo crashing
as we look at them swing and do their tricks they communicate with each other, call us dicks
and know they have always been here first and always know what species is the worst
as they watch us eat their staple food, moon us, laugh and generally be rude.

If chancing to unzip that yellow fruit don’t think to wear a high-heel boot
forever be aware of whatever shoe is worn to venture to your local zoo
because it’s so definitely so, so true you could slip or slide on banana pooh!
Perhaps you need legs like storks or need to balance on prong-like forks
if you would ever venture to that zoo where you could slip on banana pooh!

So should you ever again go to your local zoo and perhaps never have seen banana pooh
just get your camera, aim and click, stand back and watch their evil trick
see them act as if on Shakespearian stage unleashing fiery, ferocious Gorilla rage
as needless, unthinking reflective glare makes many a normal calm primate swear
then beware, see how they run, they rushed to get that infernal, flashing camera crushed
thinking if they could get you in their paws they would scratch you with serrated claws
and then they would definitely sit upon you deliberately despatching bombing banana pooh
with gorilla smiles, chewing, looking serene claiming innocence as if have never been!
Please keep your senses fully tuned or you could easily find a wound
but should you ever damage leg or arm your reckless nonsense led to harm
because didn’t heed all sound advice you deserve your limbs cut, sliced or diced!


Not the Glory in My Garden by Maggie Storer

My garden is a garden that has no stately view.
There’s a railing at the bottom with some privet poking through.
Our terrace is some decking and peacocks, they can’t fly,
So the magpies and the pigeons would attack them from the sky.

For where the straggly weeds grow along the rotting fence,
You’ll find a broken shed among the nettles there so dense.
No potting shed or cold frame will you find within the grounds,
Just plastic toys and bicycles lying all around.

And there you’ll see the children, toddlers, girls and boys
Told to go and play outside, to go and make some noise.
A place where they can let off steam and shout and say rude words,
For the glory in my garden is the freedom it deserves.

’Cos I can’t pot begonias and I hate the prickly rose.
I’m the one who always kills off everything that grows.
I’m not concerned about the lawn where weeds and moss abide,
For it’s there to be a playground for my kids who play outside.

Adam was not a gardener and God who made him sees
That he gave him Eve to cherish in the garden on his knees.
So when the day is over you can clap your hands and say
Let’s astro-turf the garden and get out there and play.

Maggie Storer has gathered quite a collection of poems and is tentatively sending them out for approval.  She helps to run a local creative writing group in South Staffordshire. Her short stories have appeared in her local newspaper, but she now wants to concentrate on her poetry.


Barbie, Sindy, John and Mike by Thomas McColl

With her ten-fingered lynch mob,
my sister, Tracey, tore my Action Man apart,
after finding Sindy and Barbie,
both of them naked on my bed,
discovering the joys of lesbian sex.

I didn’t realise they were sisters
or that Barbie was due to get hitched that day to Mike,
or that my Action Man’s name was Mike.

Tracey, with a severed plastic leg still in her hand,
explained that Mike,
while serving at the front line
that stretched across the living room,
had ‘on purpose stepped on a land mine’,
distraught at having heard the news
that his bride-to-be ‘was a dyke’.

My other Action Man,
which Tracey named as John,
was married off that week to Sindy,
but the marriage was a sham.
With some encouragement from me,
Sindy and Barbie continued their lesbian love affair
at every available opportunity.

That Sunday afternoon,
with John replacing Mike at the front,
and Tracey out shopping with mum,
I brought Sindy and Barbie together once again
to have their fun.

Thomas McColl has had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Rising, Iota and Ink, Sweat and Tears, and his first full collection of poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn, is out now from Listen Softly London Press.



A Blue and Pink Encounter at the Mall by Jinny Fisher

A Blue and Pink Encounter at the Mall

Jinny Fisher lives in Somerset and is a member of Taunton’s Juncture 25 and Wells Fountain Poets. Her poems have been published in The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar, The Broadsheet and Prole. She also gained Highly Commended in York Mix Competition and 2nd Prize in Interpreter’s House Competition (2016).


Poetry Lesson by Carole Bromley

Choose any animal, the teacher said,
maybe one you don’t like
and listen to his point of view.

Mary chose a rat, Fred a spider,
Jack a duck-billed platypus
but I thought of the rudest word I knew

and picked a dung beetle
not because I don’t like them
but so I could say poo.

Miss wasn’t amused and sent me
to stand outside the door
where there was nothing to do

so I pulled faces at the others
when her back was turned.
Jack laughed. She threw him out too.

We listed animals we didn’t like:
crocodiles, bulls, woodlice, sharks,
wasps, rhinos, the kangaroo.

I said ‘What about seagulls
when they snatch your chips?’
and Jack said ‘What about you?’

So I said he was an ape anyway
like the king of the swingers.
He belonged in a zoo.

But just then the head walked by,
looked in at the class writing poems,
said ‘What have you been up to?’

So Jack looked a litle bit sheepish
and I said ‘We’ve been acting daft.’
And he said ‘So what should you do?’

And I said ‘Say sorry to miss, Sir’
and Jack said ‘Not do it again’
and he said ‘Gentlemen, after you,’

and opened the door to the classroom
where Jack managed two lines about seagulls
and I did a dead good haiku.

Carole Bromley lives in York where she is the stanza rep and runs poetry surgeries. Winner of a number of first prizes including the Bridport. Two collections with Smith/Doorstop, the most recent being The Stonegate Devil, October 2015.