..day 24..

sonja benskin mesher

.day 24.

there has been a threat
with keeping us from

outdoor exercise
for us
to stay in our homes
gardens if folk do not comply
and continue to race about
on motor bikes and have barbecues

my initial reaction is dismay
yet if it keeps the thing at bay
will obey
and maybe do what others done
within my space

did you read the man who scaled
the size of everest on his stairs up
and down did not count

the lady ran a marathon in the garden

yesterday i find that banana split toffee
is still for sale
so it may be a treat from the internet


things change, only official transport is available
until things change then
it is best to drive yourself

it is an essential trip

the hedge is cut as much as i am able
next will be the ivy for…

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My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones and myself. April 6th


In Praise of a Pet

Little one, my first friend. I named you for a story, the 1950s volume,
my mother brought out like a surprise every
Christmas – Belinda, my rabbit.
all nose twitch and whiskers,
and power kicks when least expected.

Sometimes you would romp the garden,
tunnelling in the flowerbeds, excavating borders,
looking for an escape route, like that other story rabbit.
You always put up a fight
when we cornered you, guilty among the radishes.

One morning you left a surprise.
It was clear you had been to the ball,
no longer a stay at home, minding the hutch,
tending the run in envy
while your wilder cousins danced out by the full moon’s gaze.

Your prince wore a red fur coat and a special smile,
and I like to think there was a wild kiss chase,
where like Rhiannon, you didn’t stop –
not until he asked nicely.
There was no glass slipper, just ears

as a memento, placed beneath my favourite apple tree,
A lucky paw, unlucky for you,
dropped under the mulberry like a charm.
Little one, I never replaced you,
but I keep your power – always unexpected.

-Ali Jones

Flora and Fauna

Held captive
You gaze,
I wonder
How long
This will last.
Your friends, and my own
Rest silently
Nearby In some lush meadow,
Where, surely,
Soon I’ll join my ancestors In the earth,
To spring forth
Again; feed your young, Or dress a table.
When all is lost, loss offers new gains.


I promise

to shower you with daisies,
keep you fat on petals and love.
I promise to hold you
close to my heart when you feel afraid,
whisper soothing words
into your ears,
stroke them gently.
I promise to share my secrets,
to lavish you with affection,
even the parts of you that are worn.
Especially the parts of you that are worn.
I promise to lock sadness in a box,
hide it on a high shelf so you never
have to see how much life hurts.
I promise to open the gate,
release you into a field
of sunflowers,
and remind you every day
that you are home.

-Susan Richardson

Honey Bunny (children’s poem)
The bunny scrambles with a rose,
hassles towards the valley and goes
to meet his lover waiting from long.
She’s jittery, livid and headstrong.
On reaching bunny bows on knees
and offers piece of cottage cheese.
Declining food she turns her back
and bunny gets anxiety attack!
Next up he gives her sugar ball.
and tiny effort hits the wall.
Then finally he gives the rose.
The happy lady jumps on toes.
She kisses bunny on his lip—
He smiles; all went as per the script!

-Jay Gandhi


I am caged, cooped up, kept in.
He pokes freshly pulled grass
and leaves through the thin wire.

I am bigger than this prison
he cleans occasionally
whilst I hop about the garden,

Explore escape routes, test fences
and garden walls for weaknesses, before
I am grabbed, cuddled and imprisoned again.

One morning he will find the door hanging
by one hinge after I have busted out.
One morning he will cry because I am free.

-Paul Brookes


sonja benskin mesher

i have pondered, then discussed

with a professional

how we will be let out


will it be by age

or alphabetical order?

best not be by height

for i will be the last

if it goes from big

to small

he says that those who disobeyed

got out & got it, will be first



with two ems

plus a cerificate to prove it

while those that obey and

did not get it


longer indoors

i understand from the news

that it is still being discussed


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Luck, Blind And Veiled: A Pagan’s Year (Stubborn Sod, The Headpoke And Firewedding, Our Ghost’s Holiday.) A creative exploration of sources used to create my poetry series, featuring the cracking art of Marcel Herms.

Stubborn Sodstubborn sod aprilcontents plus added text

Stubborn Sod April Luck, blind and veiled 1Stubborn Sod April Luck, blind and veiled 2


Luck, blind and veiled

April 5th is the festival of Lady Luck, or Fortuna.


We definitely need some fortunate days. The verse hints at Yorkshire dialect. I much prefer dialect to bring sinew and straightforwardness to high flown language.

Marcel’s image holds danger band mystery.

My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones and myself. April 5th


The Lucky Hook

I always remember when we’d gather to watch,
the plug-hole whirlpool, vortex or portal to a magic kingdom.
We were convinced that we’d fly into another world,
where we could talk to animals, and trees might well
scoop us up in leafy arms and take us for a ride.

At the fair that autumn I fished a yolk yellow duck,
from a bare bulbed pool, taken in by the caller’s cry,
To try my luck, to win a prize from the lofty shelf, behind.
some were always out of reach – the house always wins.

I was happy with the plastic consolation, a dinosaur,
My mother part embarrassed and more indignant, when,
the brash faced man asked if I would rather have another –
A ‘little girl’s prize’ he called it – but I knew the dinosaur

was meant to come with me. I played with it in the bath,
washing off the glitter and tilt, and cling of apples, cinder toffee,
candy floss caught in my hair, and gobbled like a cloud –
held in the hands, yet already going away over the hills.

My dinosaur was slippery as a secret, and didn’t last long enough,
not even for a name.It danced in waves of Matey, as when,
I was extracted and the plug pulled, it followed the whirlpool steps, choreographed to swim into an underwater world of walking trees.

I should have begged my Dad to mine the garden,lift the manhole cover,
pry the archeology of what we wash away, – rubbish and treasure can be the same things, just wearing different clothing. But I didn’t – I cried into my empty palm,keening, while my monster friend swam free at last.

-Ali Jones


Companions of the deep,
Where do you roam?
You look the same Awake, and asleep.
Do you ever fear
You’ll pass it by
— Your destination–
In your slumber?
Or, do you have one?
The whole sea,
And each other
Are your home.

Free Death

The bubbles in aquarium
continually judge
themselves and trudge
before they pop.

In the deep seas they swim
and raft along the tides,
celebrate life
before they pop.

-Jay Gandhi

Majesty of Silence

We sink beneath the waves
where sound dies
and is reborn in a majesty of silence.
I watch my voice float
so softly
from the tip of my tongue,
quietly leave the confines of my body,
longing to break the surface.
It is easy here in the water,
to turn away from pain,
to feel weightless and beautiful,
to forget.
We swim together,
faces eager to reach the secrets
waiting for us
in the cradle of solitude below,
feet pointed to the sky
in a tranquil gesture of farewell.

-Susan Richardson

The Cost Is Prohibitive

to refreeze the poles,
bury carbon dioxide beneath the oceans,

to save our fellow animals extinction,
the death of insects.

We have to watch the pennies
to manage this extinction event.

The cost will be too high.
We could bankrupt ourselves
to save the earth.

Is it worth becoming paupers
to save this planet?

Count the pennies in your purse.
Count the lives in your hands.

Miguel Piñero: poet, playwright, actor, and the cofounder of Nuyorican Poets Café with Miguel Algarín, Pedro Pietri

Jamie Dedes' THE POET BY DAY Webzine

  • His poetry and the plays are so fraught with the things that aggravated and influenced him and ultimately made his life successful. He took this form and infused it with an urban, Latin lifeblood that had never been used in poetry before. He was remarkable as a writer in terms of never really self-editing himself or censoring himself.
  • I happen to feel that [Piñero] was a romantic character and there was something about his love for land that was very wonderful, the way he held Puerto Rico, that elusive homeland in the foreground of his thoughts and writing. For all of us who are uprooted and thrown into this city, to keep a semblance of that is always so dignified. That…

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..day 23 ..

sonja benskin mesher

..day 23..

the radio says it is palm sunday

i remember that story and i also
remember palm toffee
so vividly

now there is a word

i liked the banana split bar

@ 3d

my pocket money on wednesday
i guess that is when mum got her

national assistance

we use to hit it with mum’s hammer
to break it, then suck it soft. i still

have that hammer in the third drawer

it is a real panic if i cannot find it there

it is named
mummy’s hammer

of course

of course the numbers are now greater
each morning. they say they will lessen
at some point

she asked if i will sell my drawings after
i said that i do not know

i just does them
fixes them & puts
them in that box

i wonder if you can still buy that toffee

i will go…

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Excerpt from Catalogue d’oiseaux – Aaron Tucker

IceFloe Press

& across is the Hamburger Bahnhof
symmetrical with two flanking towers white & regal horizon
former terminus, culmination of rail networks
we move up its promenade, enter, open the whole of its cavernous centre
long echo & bellowing trains still ringing, still vibrant
the gallery quiet, & when I linger slightly I see you in that empty space
you, tiny against white, under large metal arches, joining dozens of feet above
this building with remnants of utility, now converted aesthetics, pristine & giant
& I catch up to you, thinking how we must look, two figures nearly swallowed
by the expanse of this building, & moving towards an exit along the side
receding, gone we cross through a simulated subway station, pale green tiles
replicated graffiti & then into an impossibly long hallway
globe lights hanging regularly an optical illusion
the stretch of it, as if created by mirrors, projects

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Extraordinary Times call For…

Wendy Pratt Writing


…whatever is right for you.

For some of us, this means carrying on as near to normal as possible. I work from home anyway and I am self employed, the pandemic has caused a big chunk of lost earnings in the form of festival bookings and workshop bookings, but thankfully most of my ‘bread and butter work’ is done from my home, online. I am still running my online workshops which, touch wood, even in a market in which everyone is now teaching online out of necessity, still appear to be popular. I am still mentoring writers. Not much, then, has changed in my working life, except my husband who is also working from home now, is putting me to shame with his strict routine and enthusiasm. I have seen a version of him, the work version, that I haven’t really seen before. Work-Husband is a very slick, confident person…

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