And you walk home Under the A4 subway Cos there’s no other way
Footsteps behind you Might just be someone homeward bound like you Or maybe not
When you increase your pace Their pace quickens too And your heart quickens
Don’t turn round Don’t look, keep walking Out the other side now
Street lights. Houses. No sound behind you. Maybe they’ve gone Don’t turn round
Car door slams and engine starts Drives slowly. Doesn’t gain speed Slowly, slowly, just behind you
Will it be a chat-up line? Rehearse your clear response Or will you just be grabbed?
Check houses for friendly lights. Run up a driveway Any driveway. Safe haven. Heart pounds. Stand on step. Turn round. See the car speed off Breathe. Knees bend. Stifle sob Why?
Outcomes to think about As you continue on your way You can stay home and let the fear win, or You can prepare, with alarm, pepper spray, knuckle duster rings If you knew where to get such things. What you can’t do is tell your story Because nothing happened Except the pounding of your heart And the taste of blood in your throat as you ran. Nothing happened. This time.
Bios and Links
has lived in South Yorkshire most of her life except for a short time in London in her teens. She has enjoyed writing poetry from a young age and has self-published three booklets, the most recent being a poetry booklet recording her experience of the pandemic. Amanda is married with three children and six grandchildren. Amanda enjoys sudoku, crosswords, pub quizzes and karaoke. Since retiring, she has taken up acrylic and water colour painting, as well as spending more time in the garden.
My Mother Refuses to Speak the Language of the Modern Coffee-shop
My mother machiavellis the mocha and the macchiato, catapults the cappuccino into non-existence, pulls the trigger on double-shot espresso, insists on coffee, black and strong, none of that Americano stuff, buys me a coffee with milk and rubbishes flat white. As for barista – Bah! she says, Barbaric.
@Jundermilkwood & @r_vallen on the Faber Poetry Podcast — I heard they were coming back. I think we should be told. For the world’s dirtiest laugh Danez Smith and Franny Choi on The Poetry Magazine Podcast. BBC 3 — The Verb and @DaljitNagra4 with Poetry Extra.
First because I love the presenters and their insights. Second, I mentioned the dirty laugh plus an insight into US poetry. Third because IMM is fun and interesting to gauge what and who the BBC think are important poetry voices. Last one because it goes back into the archives
Generosity and breadth and warmth of attention—I’m always discovering a new author or new book via these podcasts. Also they each exist in the space of conversation rather than strict interview, and have helped keep me company in these long months of quarantine!
I’m interested in experimental and formally constrained poetry, and love the @PenteractPod! @Anthony_Etherin, @ClaraDaneri and their guests are so knowledgeable, not just about poetry but also how it relates to music and art, and the discussions are always informative and fun.
I don’t think I can pick which one has been a favourite so far, cos I’m internet-friendly with quite a few people who’ve read out their work on it! I love the guitar music and hearing all of the different accents from all over the world. I too now say “please enjoy”!
has worked with children with special educational needs since 1987. After 18 years of classroom practice in England and Hong kong, she investigated social communication issues and children with Autism, and then Attitudes of school principals towards inclusion in the Czech Republic. After a life threatening condition, she embraced her creativity and has ventured towards writing about her life experiences through poetry.
I went through the wood to the top of the hill I sat and I waited until everything was still I opened my heart to the mother of all I gave her my words and she heard my call
Her message was sent in dreams in the night Moon-lit… a medicine man… covered in light We sat down on the ground in a circle of trees He said “Listen. Hear our voice… please…
You mine and you dig you leach my substance away You strip and you burn my protection each day You cut and wound me, expose all that’s within Tread soft on my mantle, take care of my skin
You are not just living in Nature… …you are Living Nature
The blood in your veins is iron from my heart The flesh and your bones are me, every part We are all made from the substance of stars Take care where you step, you walk on your scars
You are the dawn, the morn and the midday sun You are the fading of the light when the day is done You are the rain, the storm and the streams that run You are the cry in the night and song at dawning light You are the whisper in the trees and the summer breeze You are the waves, the shore, you are so much more You are the mountains and the earth beneath your feet You are the cycle of life and you are complete You are not just a passenger we all have a role Listen to your voice, your heart and your soul”
With that we stood up all dressed in green skin The question on my lips “Where do we begin?”
I Spoke to Our Mother – Poetry for The Earth Responding to Liv Torc’s Siren Poets project and six amazing Challengers, 60 workshop participants went out into nature to have a conversation with the Earth. They then met at one of five online poetry workshops and shared their experiences. Many went and filmed their poetic responses outside somewhere they love. This is my response. I live on the lower slopes of Allington Hill in Bridport. For the first time in 14 years I climbed a hill and ‘I Spoke to Our Mother’. Her response came to me in dreams in the night. Sceptics may doubt… but when did you last listen to the Earth? Thank you to Earth Mother and Facilitator Liv Torc Peter Roe http://www.livtorc.co.ukhttp://www.capefarewell.com/sirenpoets#SirenPoets#ClimateIsCulture#TheJawboneCollective#WessexMedia
Springtime Isn’t Always Optimistic
Lush Green of spring, Humming Tree frogs have come
Early. Outside looks Good. Inside, worry.
An empty gas tank, Errands to run, Sweating from the already too hot sun, And they’re raffling off an assault rifle at the bank. -Samantha Terrell ((Previously published in DoveTales by Writing for Peace, and my collection Vision, and Other Things We Hide From)
Weep Now for Future Losses
We’re told It’s premature To weep for it; the Unwelcome gains, the unjust losses Brought upon us By reprehensible Acts of irresponsible “Stewards” Whose Publicity wars And plunder for more Have robbed the future Of our weeping, Our living and our breathing. So we must work harder, Adapt faster, Plan for then, Weep Now.
Plea (A Ghazal?)
Love to Mother Earth, you cherished us, nourished us, we repaid by stripping you, raping you, a sorry too late.
Steam, coal plumes, car emissions, meat methane We ruined nature, we need you now, nourish us, cherish us.
lives in Bridport on the Jurassic coast. He is a prize winning performance poet, artistic, autistic, computer geek and technology nerd. A former Bard of Dorchester and host of Bridport spoken word night Apothecary. Founding editor and publisher of the Jawbone Collective. A self confessed nerd and technology junkie who likes to shatter peoples misconceptions about Aspie computer geeks! In July 2021 Peter was Highly Commended for his forthcoming collection “About Time”. He has been published in ‘Siren Poets’ in 2020. Short listed In Blandford Poetry Prize 2019, Runner up in Bridport Short Story Slam 2018, Finalist in the Apples and Snakes South-West Slam 2018, long listed in ‘Writing Without Limits’ for The Yeovil Literary Prize 2017 and winner of The Western Gazette Best Local Writer 2017. He has been widely published online and in print. Has two published collections of poetry. His debut poetry collection ‘Technology Bytes Back’ (2018) comes from that place where technology meets people and the inevitable mayhem that follows. His second collection “i’m in Love with My Barista” came out in July 2019 to coincide with a series of Fringe events. and show ‘Jawbone’. His fringe event ‘North Verses South’ for 2020 was postponed…
is an Arizona native, a rare breed, who lives on a small farm raising chickens and ducks. Her love of writing goes back to elementary school when she discovered her parents’ old typewriter. She is a wife and mother of three children, one biological, and two whom she adopted from the Arizona Foster Care System.
Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Player FM, Radio Public, OverCast, PocketCast, CastBox, ITunes, Podbean and many more platforms.
This episode aired first on Saturday 25th September 2021. The guests were Liam Porter, Lannie Stabile, Paul Brookes, Sinead Griffin, Andy N, produced and hosted by Damien B. Donnelly. Below are details and links to all the guest stars…
Liam Porter is a writer, poet, and digital marketer from Merseyside, now residing in Chester. His poems have been published in 192, Independent Variable, Bloom and a range of other spaces. He was the co-editor and lead host of the 16th year of In The Red – LJMU’s poetry open mic night and annual anthology. He hopes his writing will provide an essence of calm and reflection in what is a very hectic world. He is the SEO & Content Strategist for Salience Search Marketing. His…
I am delighted to review this week a poet from that wonderful Scottish poetry publisher, Dreich. I’m a relative latecomer to the readership of Dreich publications, but they have rapidly become one of my favourite publishers. Kathleen Kenny and her Forbidden-by-the-sea is typical of the high quality of its output.
Kenny tells us that this collection is a product of ‘a year spent wrangling with love and life, whilst renting a shore-side cottage within spitting distance of the North Sea.’ A year in a cottage by the seaside sounds idyllic, but Kenny’s focus is on realities rather than on dreams, on the world as we experience it, rather than on the world as we would like it or imagine it to be. It’s not that she doesn’t deal with fantasy, but when she does she shows is to be distracting and destructive. For example, in House Hunting she describes the…
One of the most dramatic and controversial myths is revisited and thoughtfully explored in Mandy Pannett’sThe Daedalus Files. The roles of the actors in the story are investigated in the poems, from that of Daedalus, the maker of the labyrinth, to that of his son Icarus, who was the result of Daedalus’s marriage to a slave called Naucrate. Icarus later dies while he is trying to escape, falling from the sky into the Aegean Sea. The role of the monster, the Minotaur, is also explored in the poems; it was created following a sexual encounter between the adulteress queen, Pasiphaë, and the sacred white bull, a present from Poseidon to the king, Minos. Finally, the role of Theseus, the hero, is examined; his victory is tightly linked to the clever tricks of Ariadne, whom he eventually abandons on the island of Naxos. Death is the constant threat that…