Category Archives: New Poetry

Untitled by Peter Francis

The Pulse at your neck is a caged bird
That has no way to sing.
And hardly perceptible now
The movement of your lips.

Yet you attempt a smile
That once was all the world
For one who tentatively followed you
Into a harvest field of wheat.

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Alcohol by John Hurley

Ten past twelve, the phone kept ringing,
“We must catch up”, that’s what she said.
Half-asleep, I agreed to meet her.
Perhaps the past wasn’t really dead.

Then again, I began to wonder,
There had been two husbands in between.
Would I have to listen to the shortcomings
Of two men I had never seen?

I took camphor balls from an old tuxedo,
Polished black shoes until they gleamed,
Arrived at seven in the hotel foyer.
Years fell away, or so it seemed.

She swayed a little walking towards me,
No air-kissing, but a sexy hug.
Tinkling laughter and a smell of brandy,
Then almost tripped on a fireside rug.

A waiter said “Take care, señora.”
She said “Don’t be a bloody fool!”
A quick exchange of knowing glances,
He flapped his towel but kept his cool.

She said “John, it’s so nice to meet you…
You were nicer when you took a drink…
Our time together, so much laughter…
A hazy of booze, that’s what I think.

I sipped coffee, she drank branmdy,
Discomfort grew with her maudlin tears.
Decades ago, I loved this woman…
I cried inside for the wasted years.

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Tiger-Hawker by Martin Choules

Zigger-buzzing, flitter-flying,
To and fro and fro and to –
A dragonfly is zagging-by,
His body shiny-new.
Ready for the slaughter,
With his goggles on and paint-job dry –
For three years, underwater,
He has somehow learned to fly.

A fighter jet, a microlight,
With wings of cellophane –
Drunk yet nimble in his flight,
He circles round, and round again.
A regal blur, a day-glow streak,
Who never rests from his deploy –
But when he does, he’s plastic-sleek:
This summer’s latest toy.

I meet him, though, in hot July,
Some distance from the river bank.
So jealous in his patch of sky,
He watches for a rival’s flank –
But they won’t come, and neither will
The ladies that he’s longing for.
So here he is, patrolling still:
A soldier who’s misplaced his war

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Alpha-Better Lovers – Gillian Spragg

Alpha-Better Lovers


Aching for the consummation
Between luxurious smooth-pressed sheets,
Seething, roused in expectation,
Deepening wild delight comes, greets
Eternal love and cosmic bliss, so
Effervescent, sighing, squeezing
Genius for that one last kiss, though
Aitch-shaped, happy motifs teasing
Eiderdown with damask touch,
Jade and turquoise décor spell, how
Came the lady quite so much.
Elusive though betimes she seems,
Embraces in four-poster style,
End coyness, fling the door ajar,
Open wide to welcome virile
Peen – no, no, that goes too far! –
Cutely up-turned, says enough,
Ardent, burning perfumed oils and
Essences to do the stuff.
Teeny mattress, lumpy bunk,
You head for trouble – going for red hot
Venal acts in these beds or not
Double, you go all awry,
Exclaim in whingeing, childish fashion:
‘Why won’t you?’ Tartly, she’ll reply:
‘Zed-beds just don’t move a girl to passion.’
Gillian Spragg

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Address to the Haggis in England – With apologies to Robert Burns – by Nick Barth

Address to the Haggis in England

Fair priced, your honest jolly face,
Great symbol of the Scottish race,
When first I saw you take your place
In the deli-cabinet’s glittering selection
Well, you are worthy of space
Said I; in my home’s refrigeration!

The groaning trolley there you fill
A generous portion like a distant hill,
Despite a Sassenach I have the will
To start a tradition; call it a need
To gather a party with water of life distilled
And these ancient lines to read.

With knife; (I hope I’m doing this right)
I’ll cut you up into pieces slight,
My guests look wary of the gushing entrails bright;
Shining like mud in a ditch.
We hope that this is Robbie’s glorious sight
How’d he put it? Warm-reekin’, rich?

Fork by slim, reluctant forkful they strive
To peck; ‘To keep my dream of a flat stomach alive’
And sip; ‘The devil take your Single Malt, I have to drive!’
‘More? My tum is stretched taut like a drum!’
And so excuse, by cautious excuse contrive
To imply my Scottish specialities hum.

Is there one who would not prefer a French ragout,
Or a cassoulet or Hungarian stew?
A fricassee would not make them spew;
And yet they’re already sconner’d
Refusing neeps and tatties with disdainful view
Of such a voluminous dinner.

Poor devils! Must it go for trash?
As if Burns Night parties are all so rash.
It’s an evening out and we’re low on cash;
But when it comes down to it
My guests all homeward early dash
The pudding chieftain is not so fit.

They fear the stereotype, the haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
The broken veins, the hairless head;
The bronchial whistle
Of Scotsmen marked as early dead,
The irony of the hardened thistle.

You powers that make the tastes of Waitrose your care
And dish us up our weekly shop; beware!
Middle England merely feigns to like your oaty fare.
For no matter how trendy a Burns night is
Faced with an invite, they mouth a silent prayer;
Please don’t present me with the Haggis!

Nick Barth ©2015

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Caroline Maldonado – What They Say in Avenale

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate new Pitshanger Poet Caroline Maldonado on the publication of her latest pamphlet ‘What They Say in Avenale’.

Caroline divides her time between London and Le Merche, Italy and it is her experience in Italy that has informed this new collection of poems.

Please take a look at the publishers blurb-site, which will give you the opportunity to purchase said work:

http://www.indigodreamsbookshop.com/#/caroline-maldonado/4587309899

If you have been, thank you for reading.

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Two Minute Silence – Martin Choules

Two Minute Silence

Ordered by social convention into inaction,
I sit at my desk and abstain –
I keep my head down and stare at my pen till I hear
The murmur of morning again.
Like most, I start on my shutdown at ten-fifty-eight,
And end at eleven-oh-four,
To cover the randomly-synchronised watches of colleagues –
And never mind minding the store.

Across the room, someone is typing.  (Is that still allowed ?)
Their rat-a-tat keystokes clatter.
A phone rings out the alarm, which nobody answers,
Till voicemail settles the matter.
I ought to be thinking, I know, of tommies and trenches,
Of birdsong, bombardments and screams –
Instead, I just notice this shuffling silence-by-rote –
My thoughts are deserters, it seems.

Martin Choules

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