Let’s be seriously playful. An occasional series for you.Let’s create a #Multiverseofverses. Take a poem from the canon, and take it in a different direction. Write an alternate version. Turn it upside down. I will feature the original and your variations.

Down in the Pleasant Valley

Down in the pleasant valley,
Miraculous and free,
She found the space where our true love
Would not despiséd be;
She built a safe abode there,
And we would spend each day
Beside the wishing river
Wiling time away.

Within our life of wonder,
My happiness could sing,
And she would even hint that I
Should make a rustic ring;
She showed me every hour
How the trees and meadows play,
And I was free forever
Wiling time away.

But life has many stories
For our soul before it ends,
One day we stopped pretending,
Matured to more than friends;
How could I not regret the love
That slowly went astray,
When I became another man
Wiling time away?

-Arthur L Wood (The canonised poem is Yeats’ Down by the Salley Gardens.)

down by the salley gardens by Yeats

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/50311/down-by-the-salley-gardens

Celebrate belatedly #NationalNumeracyDay. 18th May. I will feature your published/unpublished your numeracy poetry/short prose/artworks . Please include a short third person bio.

Elevenses by marian for National Numeracy Day

-Marian Christie (published in The Book of Penteract @PenteractPress)

 

Fibonacci sequence by David Cohen

-David Cohen


nine Numbers by Ian Richardson

-Ian Richardson

Bios and Links

-David Cohen

is a kindhearted weirdo and American physician who loves to make Scrabblegram poetry, where every entry uses each of the 100 Scrabble tiles exactly once.

-Ian Richardson

has been writing for many years and enjoys haiku and imagist poetry.

Jim Ward: Shades of Pencil Grey

The High Window

jim ward pic cropped

*****

Jim Ward has had three solo exhibitions of his artwork 20 Shades of Pencil Grey and some of these pieces are on display in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway, Club Áras na nGael, Galway and An Taibhdhearc, Galway (the Irish Language National Theatre). He has exhibited in the online magazine Dodging the Rain, Galway Cartoon Festival twice, 1916 by Local Artists and been a cartoonist in Ropesliterary journal (Magazine of Cúirt International Literary Festival), Culture Matters Anthology, in An Phoblacht and Village Magazine online under the pseudonym ‘Breacaire’ , the Irish for ‘Doodler’.

*****

Samuel Barclay Beckett
( 13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989)

Beckett2 JW cropped final

‘Any fool can turn a blind eye but who knows what the ostrich sees in the sand.’
(Murphy, 1938.)

‘There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the fault of his feet.’

‘We are all born mad. Some remain…

View original post 417 more words

Celebrate #NationalStationeryWeek Day Four. Celebrate #workhappy. Please join Dave Garbutt and I. Do you have any favourite ways of making notes with pen and paper at work? Post It Note poems? A favourite pen to write with? What joy in handwriting at work rather than typing? Still write letters at work? Your favourite work writing paper? Mon 16th: #makeanoteday, Tuesday 17th: #penandpencil,Wednesday 18th: #worldstationeryday,Thursday 19th: #workhappy, Friday 20th: #fountainpenfriday, Saturday 21st: #stationeryshopsaturday, Sunday 22nd: #sendaletterdaysunday. I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks Please include a 3rd person bio.

Day Four #WorkHappy


natstatweek

encapsulated postcard poem by Dave Garbutt

-Dave Garbutt postcard poem

Bios and Links

-Dave Garbutt

has been writing poems since he was 17 and has still not learned to give up. His poems have been published in The Brown Envelope Anthology, and magazines (Horizon, Writers & Readers) most recently on XRcreative and forthcoming in the Deronda review. His poem ‘ripped’ was long listed in the Rialto Nature & Place competition 2021. In August 2021 he took part in the Postcard Poetry Festival and the chap book that came from that is available at the postcard festival website. https://ppf.cascadiapoeticslab.org/2021/11/08/dave-garbutt-interview/.

He was born less than a mile from where Keats lived in N London and sometimes describes himself as ‘a failed biologist, like Keats’, in the 70’s he moved to Reading until till moving to Switzerland (in 1994), where he still lives. He has found the time since the pandemic very productive as many workshops and groups opened up to non-locals as they moved to Zoom. 

Dave retired from the science and IT world in 2016 and he is active on Twitter, FaceBook, Medium.com, Flickr (he had a solo exhibition of his photographs in March 2017). He leads monthly bird walks around the Birs river in NW Switzerland. His tag is @DavGar51.

#DementiaActionWeek #DementiaActionAwarenessWeek 2022. 16th-22nd May. Day Fur. Please join Barbara Leonhard, Beth Brooke and I in talking about dementia. Have you written unpublished/published work about dementia? Created artworks about dementia? Please contact me if you would like your work featured this week.

dementia action week 2022

Erosion

A garden once planted in spring,
bearing life in shade and sun,
now tangled with weeds and blight.

A hearty yield once sustained
by dew and noon rains,
now forgets in autumn light.

Basket of Gold, having bloomed
and stretched for sun,
now shrivel, scorched by drought.

Honeysuckle, a trespasser in flora,
once nurtured monarchs
and bees.

Once a bounty of bliss,
now wild bramble
on depleted soil.

Wisdom of soils and seedlings,
now crumbles to dust.
Her secret garden.

-Barbara Leonhard

Act V, Scene IV Of My Mother’s Life

My mother disintegrates;
little by little she sloughs off her skin,

sheds minute pieces of herself
into the sunlit shafts of spiralling air.

I watch as she dredges through the
sludge of memory for something solid,

something to serve as a handhold
to keep her balanced as she

navigates the slippery path
between one moment and the next.

Her eyes, half-closed, are obscured by
cobwebs; she struggles to focus,

the past too far away, things close to hand
inexplicably unfamiliar.

She is a house unoccupied, dust gathering
in the corners of the cooling rooms.

-Beth Brooke (Third of her series of poems. See earlier days for the other two)

Bios and Links

-Barbara Leonhard’s

work is published in Anti-Heroin Chic, Free Verse Revolution, October Hill Magazine, Vita Brevis, Silver Birch Press, Amethyst Review, PhoebeMD: Medicine & Poetry, among others. Barbara won prizes and awards for her poetry in the anthology Well Versed 2021 and Spillwords, where she was voted Author of the Month of October 2021, nominated Author of the Year for 2021, and recognized as a Spillwords Socialite of the Year in 2021. You can follow Barbara on her blog site, https://www.extraordinarysunshineweaver.com.

-Beth Brooke

was born and did important parts of her growing in the Middle East. The landscapes of both these places are strong influences on her writing. She has had work published in a number of online journals and has been placed in a couple of small poetry competitions. She loves writing poems and sharing them with other people.

#DementiaActionWeek #DementiaActionAwarenessWeek 2022. 16th-22nd May. Day Three. Please join Margaret Royall, Beth Brooke and I in talking about dementia. Have you written unpublished/published work about dementia? Created artworks about dementia? Please contact me if you would like your work featured this week.

src=”https://thewombwellrainbow.files.wordpress.com/2022/05/dementia-action-week-2022.jpg” alt=”dementia action week 2022″ width=”720″ height=”1331″ />

We Play Patience

Side by side we sit.
I shuffle the cards,
begin the business
of setting out,
a pattern programmed
into muscle memory
over years of boring Sunday afternoons,
injunctions to be quiet while Father slept.

Seven columns, each
one card longer
than the last
and each with one card turned.
We begin, she makes her survey:
Red queen on that black king, put the ace here,
I think that’s it.

I count the other cards in sets of three,
cheat a little so that the play continues.
How much she relishes
this small ability,
orders these fifty-two soldiers
into their four battalions,
graded and
under her command.
A moment of power where
there is otherwise none.

-Beth Brooke (Second in her series of poems on her mum’s dementia)

a dementia sufferer by Margaret Royall<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-31607"

-Margaret Royall

Screenshot_2022-05-16-09-27-25-16_9cb10307548f70a28c9f2b757e21424d

-Paul Brookes

Bios And Links

-Beth Brooke

is a recently retired teacher and education consultant. She lives in Dorset but was born and did important parts of her growing in the Middle East. The landscapes of both these places are strong influences on her writing. She has had work published in a number of online journals and has been placed in a couple of small poetry competitions. She loves writing poems and sharing them with other people.

-Margaret  Royall

has six books of poetry published. She has appeared widely in print, in webzines and  poetry anthologies. She has won or been short-listed in several competitions and her collection ‘Where Flora Sings’, published by Hedgehog Press, was nominated for the Laurel Prize in 2021. Her latest collection, ‘Immersed in Blue’ was published in January 2022 by Impspired Press. She leads a women’s poetry group in Nottinghamshire and takes part in open mic sessions online and in person. She is currently working on a third poetry collection.

Website: https://margaretroyall.com/ Twitter:@RoyallMargaret

Celebrate #NationalStationeryWeek Day Three. Celebrate #WorldStationeryDay. Please join Peter Donnelly and Dave Garbutt. Do you have any favourite ways of making notes with pen and paper. A favourite pen to write with? Pencil case poems, joy of handwriting rather than typing. Still write letters? Your favourite writing paper? Mon 16th: #makeanoteday, Tuesday 17th: #penandpencil,Wednesday 18th: #worldstationeryday,Thursday 19th: #workhappy, Friday 20th: #fountainpenfriday, Saturday 21st: #stationeryshopsaturday, Sunday 22nd: #sendaletterdaysunday. I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks Please include a 3rd person bio

natstatweekSeeking the Scent

Does anyone else do that, I wonder?
Sniff inside envelopes as soon they’re opened
for the scent of the letter-writer’s home?
I do – Great-Aunt Shirley’s near Exeter,
Grandma’s flat in Ripon;
my penfriend’s in Solihull
where l have never been,
whom I’ve not met.
Their soap, their perfume, their pot-pourri.

It isn’t there of course,
like the pot of gold
at the foot of the rainbow.
The letter has passed
through the postman’s hands
and many others before mine.
The only scent is of glue
which I can no longer tell myself
my correspondent will have licked.

-Peter J. ConnellyScreenshot_2022-05-18-09-13-55-02_a27b88515698e5a58d06d430da63049d

-Dave Garbutt Postcard Poem

Bios And Links

-Dave Garbutt

has been writing poems since he was 17 and has still not learned to give up. His poems have been published in The Brown Envelope Anthology, and magazines (Horizon, Writers & Readers) most recently on XRcreative and forthcoming in the Deronda review. His poem ‘ripped’ was long listed in the Rialto Nature & Place competition 2021. In August 2021 he took part in the Postcard Poetry Festival and the chap book that came from that is available at the postcard festival website. https://ppf.cascadiapoeticslab.org/2021/11/08/dave-garbutt-interview/.

He was born less than a mile from where Keats lived in N London and sometimes describes himself as ‘a failed biologist, like Keats’, in the 70’s he moved to Reading until till moving to Switzerland (in 1994), where he still lives. He has found the time since the pandemic very productive as many workshops and groups opened up to non-locals as they moved to Zoom.

Dave retired from the science and IT world in 2016 and he is active on Twitter, FaceBook, Medium.com, Flickr (he had a solo exhibition of his photographs in March 2017). He leads monthly bird walks around the Birs river in NW Switzerland. His tag is @DavGar51.

-Peter J Donnelly

lives in York where he works as a hospital secretary. He has a degree in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales Lampeter. He has been published in various magazines and anthologies including Dreich and Writer’s Egg, where some of these poems have previously appeared. Last year he won second prize in the Ripon Poetry Festival competition.

Winstanley by Simon Jenner (Waterloo Press)

Tears in the Fence

Here we are in the world of the 17thcentury reformers, post English civil war, of Christopher Hill’sThe World Turned Upside Down, of Leon Rosselson’s 20thcentury song of the same title, covered by Billy Bragg at a later date. Simon Jenner in a mood of democratic revival, generated by hope of a renewed radicalism in the Labour Party, has framed a series of poems based around the writings of Gerard Winstanley, leader of the Diggers whose failed attempt at setting up a democratic commune at St. George’s Hill in 1649 has inspired a multitude of radical movements ever since. These 36 poems are a mix of inspired experimentation, rich historical materials and intellectual curiosity typical of this poet’s considerable output.Winstanleyis a great read but one to be taken slowly, with relish, where careful re-reading will improve the response. There’s also plenty of emotional…

View original post 617 more words

Celebrate #NationalStationeryWeek Day Two. Celebrate #penandpencil. Please join Peter Donnelly and Dave Garbutt. Do you have any favourite ways of making notes with pen and paper. A favourite pen to write with? Pencil case poems, joy of handwriting rather than typing. Still write letters? Your favourite writing paper? Mon 16th: #makeanoteday, Tuesday 17th: #penandpencil,Wednesday 18th: #worldstationeryday,Thursday 19th: #workhappy, Friday 20th: #fountainpenfriday, Saturday 21st: #stationeryshopsaturday, Sunday 22nd: #sendaletterdaysunday. I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks Please include a 3rd person bio

Day Two
natstatweek

pen day by dave garbutt

-image by Dave Garbutt

Favourite pen(s) Pilot Capless, Twsbi Eco, and Cult Pens compact with a stub 1.1mm nib. Pencil: Uni Kuru Toga sleeve, Kokuyo enpitsu sharp MS P501, 1.3mm. I write my first drafts with them and edit before typing up.

TL;DR is capless is eminently practical, reservoir will last a day at a conference, writes beautifully with the gold nib, capless makes it great for whipping out of a pocket and just writing, no cap to lose,the stub gives a lovely sharp line.

…the Eco is much cheaper and almost as good. And it has a cap. The has more flex than is usual fir a steel nib. The Lamy studio I also use a nib with same width but it makes a wider line and the Lamy nibs I find too stiff.

dave garbutt pen 3dave garbutt pen 2

-images by Dave Garbutt

Pens

Some of them have stood for five years
in my purple Penguin mug
with a quote from Virginia Woolf
that I long ago stopped drinking from.

Grandad’s black and gold Paper Mate
I’ve never bothered to buy a refill for,
free gifts sent in the post by Red Cross,
leaving presents from temping jobs.

The blue Fountain Pentel I bought in Aberaeron,
used by a poet to sign my copy of her book.
It’s nearly run out but I’ll still have the ink
once I’ve thrown away the pen.

Others I’m sure I’ve never used,
maybe never will.
They make my guests think
I write more than I do

standing there like an artist’s paintbrushes,
befriended by a pencil that’s hardly ever sharpened
and a brass letter-opener
with a handle of the Welsh flag.

-Peter Donnelly

Bios and Links

-Dave Garbutt

has been writing poems since he was 17 and has still not learned to give up. His poems have been published in The Brown Envelope Anthology, and magazines (Horizon, Writers & Readers) most recently on XRcreative and forthcoming in the Deronda review. His poem ‘ripped’ was long listed in the Rialto Nature & Place competition 2021. In August 2021 he took part in the Postcard Poetry Festival and the chap book that came from that is available at the postcard festival website. https://ppf.cascadiapoeticslab.org/2021/11/08/dave-garbutt-interview/.

He was born less than a mile from where Keats lived in N London and sometimes describes himself as ‘a failed biologist, like Keats’, in the 70’s he moved to Reading until till moving to Switzerland (in 1994), where he still lives. He has found the time since the pandemic very productive as many workshops and groups opened up to non-locals as they moved to Zoom. 

Dave retired from the science and IT world in 2016 and he is active on Twitter, FaceBook, Medium.com, Flickr (he had a solo exhibition of his photographs in March 2017). He leads monthly bird walks around the Birs river in NW Switzerland. His tag is @DavGar51.

-Peter J Donnelly

lives in York where he works as a hospital secretary. He has a degree in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales Lampeter. He has been published in various magazines and anthologies including Dreich and Writer’s Egg, where some of these poems have previously appeared. Last year he won second prize in the Ripon Poetry Festival competition.

#DementiaActionWeek #DementiaActionAwarenessWeek 2022. 16th-22nd May. Day Two. Please join Lesley Curwen, Margaret Royall, Beth Brooke and I in talking about dementia. Have you written unpublished/published work about dementia? Created artworks about dementia? Please contact me if you would like your work featured this week.

Day Two
dementia action week 2022two lovers in wheelchairs, knee to knee

they’ve made me chairman of the board but I’m not up to it
you’ll be great at the job is your room warm enough
what happened to my first wife she was nice
we’ve been married sixty years the Queen sent a card
it’s so good to see you where is this
Magnolia Court you’ve been ill
I’m in London for the new job
Magnolia Court
I’ve only got a fiver for cabs can you lend me some
you’ve got all you need a room and meals
don’t want to be here
it’s all right
this isn’t funny
hold my hand
what’s going on
hush my love
can’t do this anymore
come here
I don’t want to
be

-Lesley Curwen (She says: A poem about my aunt and uncle in their two wheelchairs.)

mother's care home by beth brooke

-Beth Brooke (First in a series that I will post daily throughout the week)

Requiem for a Cellist

She rocks rhythmically in her chair,
Her eyes dulled by grief, skeletal fingers
clutching rosary beads, chanting over and over
‘Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine’

Dementia gnaws away at her brain
She clenches her fists, howls
like a caged wolf, searching
desperately for her beloved ‘cello

Then as if by magic it appears, a Stradivari,
propped up by the Steinway grand,
pleading to be picked up and played again
Its bow sprawled across the piano lid,
resin box still unopened

A sudden draft from the open window
breathes life back into the stale air.
Haunting sounds unlock iconic images,
transporting her to lovers’ beds, concert halls,
summer gardens and back-street alleys,
a heady rush of half-remembered liaisons,
ecstasy and pain intertwined

Final chords crescendo then trail away
into the invading gloom of a winter twilight
One last brave ‘da capo’- then finally silence

Her weary frame crumples in dismay
She attempts to rise from her chair, pleads
one last time: ‘Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine’

First published in my 2nd poetry collection, ‘Where Flora Sings’

-Margaret Royall

Bio and Links

-Beth Brooke

is a recently retired teacher and education consultant. She lives in Dorset but was born and did important parts of her growing in the Middle East. The landscapes of both these places are strong influences on her writing. She has had work published in a number of online journals and has been placed in a couple of small poetry competitions. She loves writing poems and sharing them with other people.

-Margaret Royall

is a Laurel Prize nominated poet. She has been shortlisted for several poetry prizes and won the Hedgehog Press’ collection competition 2020. She has two poetry collections:

Fording The Stream and Where Flora Sings, a memoir in prose and verse, The Road To Cleethorpes Pier and a new pamphlet, Earth Magicke out April 2021. She has been widely published online and in print, most recently: Hedgehog Press, The Blue Nib, Impspired & forthcoming in Sarasvati and Dreich.

She performs regularly at open mic events and facilitates a women’s poetry group in Nottinghamshire.

Website: https://margaretroyall.com

Twitter: RoyallMargaret

Instagram : meggiepoet

Facebook Author Page: Facebook.com/margaretbrowningroyall