.day 25.

sonja benskin mesher

.day 25.

i like the music, i like things subtle

not explained

to listen with no preconcieved


my mum used to have a bike to

ride up to winton to shop it was

cheaper there

she said

i remember her bottle green coat

double breasted buttons

as was the fashion then

she balanced her bags from the handles

like you

i watched the film and remember

the boys doing some of that stuff

on the handlebars

one has a scar where he came off

the japanese knotweed man from

the next village was on the hill pushing

his bike

he told me that the shoots are edible

taste like rhubarb

i think i shall not bother

 i watched him glide down the next



i will like a bike

people tell you where they live local

these days

look at those folk on holiday

in penmachno

the police…

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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 7th


Forest Fire

When the sun burns too brightly and everything is rinsed dry,
The sparks spreads like gossip around an urban school gate.
Trees have lost their speech, stand silent witnesses to all.
Everything is going out, not in a two by two procession,
But in a rip of tooth and claw, flashing beneath a flame’s roar.
Everything is dwindled to ash, and rising isn’t a promise.
We do not always come back to the places we need to be,
The wheat grows thinner and the salmon do not leap.
Pain rises gently with the dawn, inviting, before it blinds, again.

– Ali Jones

Ever Upward

“As the deer pants for the water, so pants my soul for You, O God.” –Ps. 42:1

Remember when running with the deer
Was sufficient?
When carefree
Was not frowned upon?
When fleeing a fire to safety

Seemed a success?
Now, it’s not enough.
Once the world caught fire, it became
Inadequate to simply run.
Neither is it,
To stay

Staring helplessly
Into its flames, watching
Our global future go up in smoke,
Filling the air and our lungs With all-consuming dread.
But the spirit, too, is a flame,
an ever-changing,
constantly-lapping, bespoke

Force, striving upward
Against gravity.
Away from fear, yes.
But towards?
Towards also:
Towards health;
Towards clarity;
Towards restoration;
Towards the well-spring of life itself.


A Salamander’s Wool

Asbestos lobs my dad in the fire
to see him survive the scientific method.

Flames burn up all his oxygen,
fat slips off him. There is no rotted

log for him to escape consequences,
a miraculous lizard scarper from hollow and heat,

a life born from flicker and burn,
misconstrued into myth and legend.

Salamander’s Wool inside his lungs
left in his ashes a whiter remains.

-Paul Brookes


I always thought that burning
would be the worst way to die,
scorched and consumed
by mother nature’s rageful side.
In my dreams, rage is spattered in red
and monsters are made of flames,
throats of fire that swallow heartbeats
and pull the skin from trees
with voracious tongues.

Some nights I wake up screaming,
flames engulfing the stars and blossoms
that decorate my wrists.
Some nights I survive the fire,
marvel in the new breath of flowers
that rise from the ashen earth,
wake up feeling resurrected,
weightless and laughing.
Some nights, I don’t sleep at all.

-Susan Richardson


The antelopes are parched and pines are scorched;
The mother Zebra cries and canines howl,
tiny insects are dead and homes are burnt.
but all they want to know, who started the fire.

-Jay Gandhi

When this is all over: updates and moments

The Great Fogginzo's Cobweb

Thank you for all the poems that have arrived and the scores still to come.

I started on a whim. It’s grown like Topsy, and I need to get much more organised and keep you all in the loop.

First off: I’ll be delighted for you to ask for a letter of the alphabet if you haven’t already done so

Second: I’m setting a deadline of April 30th, and I’ll read no more that come in after that.

Third: After April 30th I’ll be involving other people to help me organise a sequence …. it won’t be random. I want to think of it as a properly edited online anthology; you deserve it.

Fourth: Everyone who submits will be published. If I have a problem I may ask for minor changes BUT your poem will appear on the blog.

Fifth: can I remind you that The Swineherd gets part…

View original post 800 more words

The Coronavirus Pandemic: Recording Your Everyday Experience

Wendy Pratt Writing

photo of person holding cup Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com


I felt like my last post was a bit self indulgent and pity party-ish. so to make myself feel better, I thought I’d write something that deals directly with the COVID-19, Coronavirus Pandemic and the importance of recording the everyday.

I’m a journal writer; a diary keeper, I have recorded my everyday life on and off since I was about nine years old. There are whole years in which I didn’t record anything, and although I aim to write a page in my journal every day, this doesn’t always work out. First rule of journal club is self forgiveness, if you were wondering. If you make it a chore you won’t stick to it, so don’t make it into a chore.

Why are journals and diaries important?

History is written by the people in charge. This isn’t necessarily because their opinion or their…

View original post 970 more words

Two Poems by Bunkong Tuon

IceFloe Press

Not Everything is About Racism

My friends say, it’s all in your head.
I tell them about Halloween ’85.
A bunch of kids cornered me,
kicked me around like hacky sack
and spat at me when done.
The hot streak of saliva still burns,
I say. And they say,
That’s just kids being kids.
I tell them about the teacher
who said I was a disappointment
to my people.
I was failing classes after
a letter from Cambodia announced
my father’s death.
My friends say, Some teachers are
plain ignoramus.
You’ve got to be more positive.
Change your attitude.

I think about their small high schools
where teachers
showed them how to argue in circles,
gaslight an opponent.
I tell them so,
and they come back with,
This is America.
It doesn’t matter where you go
to school. You can make something
of yourself through hard work.
Go to the…

View original post 301 more words

Good Monday Morning, Dear Poets and Friends

Jamie Dedes' THE POET BY DAY Webzine

Courtesy of Mark Stoop, Unsplash.

“BE LIKE THE BIRD who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.” Victor Hugo …

Keeping our spirits up: it’s not about blind optimism or heroics. It’s practical. It’s about protecting our autoimmune systems. Fear, anxiety and stress compromise our physical health whether or not we are immune-compromised. In doing our best to maintain our physical and mental health we remain asserts in this pandemic, people who don’t – at the very least – add to the systemic health crisis burden – and who can be available to help our families, friends, and communities. Do your best to find joy in this Monday! Celebrate the gift of life and another day. Celebrate the lives of those who have left or are leaving before us. They and you are valued. Love…

View original post 104 more words

..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…

View original post 14 more words

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