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Acoustic rotherham


You felt that sense of ultimate gravity in the pit of you're stomach, Much more frequently than I would have expected someone to cope with. You felt each organ turn inwards, Then out wards, Then implode upon impact, And I couldn't watch, Not because of a matter of bearing, But a matter of the bearings not beginning to revolve within us both. You were caught by the tight-rope walking web centimetres off of the gravel, But that gravity kept on acting heavier than it should have. Marrow cracked through cages, And seeped out like resin on the lips, Through a tight wound piece of card between the teeth, Teeth that had worn down, To the nerve tips through years of gritting and landscape orientated pavement trips, You. You sat back in all white rooms. Fed rice without turmeric, In a dish to match the colour scheme, And hallucinated that everything was good because you were fed by the darkness you were deprived of in the lightness. And then you found the radio. You popped in some strung out cassette, and some how, Tore it up with enough eloquence that you could almost hear the felt head hammer hitting strings on tusks, You felt the lights turn off. And there was blood in the sheets you wrapped up in and smelt when they were off, and it sounds hard to believe that it was lighter than the light when it was darker, Because there was nothing on show, or exposed, You weren't exposed, Your sea was just misplaced, Because I asked you to ebb the tides that you belonged to, to bring back that sense of your own, But the waves you made just threatened to pull me further away, So I learned how to swim.

© Joe O’Brian

When I was a boy, I saw hostility like I saw my own fingertips,

When my hands were flat down on the table where I read Seuss.

I saw sense in the eyes of my own reflection, Because nothing was wrong.

I saw love like I saw the parts where clouds broke from clouds,

Up there where something cool must have gone on.

Because when I was a boy there were no filters,

No bodies, And no cancer filling the paper.

There was no poetry. To make sense of all things political,

Or beautiful, or anything in between.

When I was a boy knuckle hair wasn't a thing.

Self consciousness was an act that laid in the puddles

that I didn't jump in because my shoes were too nice.

When I was a boy my clothes were just clothes,

not an act against all things that sat and rolled

in a wagon with the word band painted on the wood

on the side like you'd see on a film with John Wayne.

Cowboys and Indians were a game, Not racial clashes,

And there was no race or gender, Just kids on the Tarmac,

seeing the white or slight yellow paint as boundaries

they would not cross, Just hop scotch, Like a hell of a lot

more times than I would in front of them.

When I was a boy, gods image wasn't an image

because he wasn't really there for me,

So it wasn't modelled around my own self being,

Because all I was being was the class clown,

To attempt to create some sense of anything to

escape the cage I didn't know I was in because I was only a boy.

I had no trace of neck hair or happy trails,

Because happy engulfed me and I had no clue as to why,

Because it was normal. Life was normal,

There was no need for panic, No need to panic,

Panic like I'd just sent a risky text or looked her in the eye,

because even as a boy, my sensitivity was more prominent

than my masculine side, Masculinity was not a measure,

dick size was irrelevant, because for all I knew everyone had one.

But there was no lump in my throat, Other than when

I grazed a knee or I saw her holding hands with him.

I would punch those girls on the arms to attempt

to make a purple blue love heart like the sweets

I would eat to gain compliments from someone

other than my mother because I was a complex

little soul with enough soul to power up a steam

train through Mississippi with a string tie to hold

myself upright, I watched the crossroads and saw sex

for the first time but off camera,

And still didn't catch on that

That was what you did when you were more than a boy, And I stayed like that when I was a boy, Because I was only a boy.

I would cross the road and imagine someone's

hand to hold because my dependence levels were up high,

There were no highs,

Unless I was picturing kites on a beach that I

would take my shoes off on, because I wasn't

agitated by the feeling of wet sand between my toes,

because it wasn't on my agenda. I had no agenda for it to be on,

I had no plans, no works in progress,

Other than my collection of original starwars

figures which I still have in the garage,

I thought nothing of the future because I was going to be a Jedi,

A cowboy, an Indiana jones, I was gonna be a palaeontologist

at the age of like 8, and at the age of just after I knew how to spell it,

I could spill it all into everything and nothing would change

other than the minutes I stayed focused on my title of Jedi Knight.

But when I was a boy, I saw things.

I saw more than your average boy,

and as a man now there is no way to express it.

But when I was a boy there was shit that could be left

to settle to the bottom of the Robinson's I drank.

But as a boy I found more of myself than when I turned a man.

But when I was a man I felt more than electrons

collide in my body, Because I focused on your eyes

and your eyes only, Every time that I saw Iris's

worth losing my sense to.

Because when I was a boy a week was a long time,

 two weeks was longer, three weeks was a life time,

and I'm still a boy inside of the hairiness,

Especially on the knuckles, Which is why when I lose myself inside of those lenses and I space out, Remember I'm spacing cause you're bringing me back.

© Joe O’Brian

The Word Pit Edited by Chris Bilton THE home of Rotherham verse 2 9 Parish notices SCARY

The Intro Outro

The Margaret Thatcher Voodoo corn dollies sold well. Wish I’d ordered more but I had a sneaking suspicion they were being made by 3 year olds in a Taiwanese sweat shop, Maggie would have been proud of the kids, laissez-faire at its best and their little fingers a blur of activity. I did hang on to a couple of them to throw at Nigel Farage – the voodoo dolls not the kids - unfortunately as he never made it to the front door of his Rotherham headquarters I pelted the TV showing an episode of Top Gear instead.

Talking of episodes, I had a bit of a do rummaging through my draws the other day. I discovered a leathery old object I’d not taken out in ages ... it was a cowboy boot. Not sure where the other was, last time I looked I had two legs, always have had; anyway it brought the memories flooding back when we all wanted to look like Jon Voight in the film Midnight Cowboy.

We all knew - or rather hoped - at the time that cowboy boots elongated the stubbiest, chunkiest legs, added inches to stature, made your gut look a stranger to beer and turned a flabby backside into tight, chick magnate buns.

The problem was I got a pair of pointed toes with Cuban heels, when everyone, except me, knew that square toes and flat heels were de rigueur at the time. Now the boot skulks at the back of my wardrobe, a life-long warning to heed the vagaries of fashion and dare I say, life.... if I can only find the other one its chick magnate time again. In the mean time dig in the latest literature magnate we call WORD PIT.


By the baking of my buns, something tasty this way comes!

Rotherham is about to have the buttercream frightened out of it this Easter.  A piping hot new play is about to be served, fresh out of the oven, baked with care at gas mark evil, my talented young-ish local playwright T. Rafiq.

THE SECRET HISTORY OF CAKE is a semi-autobiographical work.  It tells the terrifying and tragic tale of diabolical baker Dai Kneading….

Thrice spurned by The Great British Cake Off, Dai Kneading unleashes terrible retribution with cakes of monstrous calories. Ladies love his cakes, but they hate the fat that no amount of Zumba classes can shift. Vengeful, they lay siege to the bakery at the dreaded Castle Kipling, bent on dishing Dai his just ‘desserts ‘. Trapped, awaiting his doom, the tortured baker imparts his macabre life story to his faithful assistant; a tale of madness, murder and macaroons.

This project is funded by Grants for the Arts from Arts Council England.

2nd April- Rotherham College Studio Theatre – Eastwood Lane, S65 1EG

Doors Open – 5:45pm.

Performance – 6:30pm to 8pm including 20 minute interval

Question and Answer session with author and director Tair Rafiq – 8pm to 8:30pm

£6 full Price
£4 concession

To purchase your tickets, please visit Brown Paper Tickets at the following link



RAE in partnership with MyPlace are evolving a new Saturday afternoon Club for young people aged 12 - 24.   

The sessions are held fortnightly at MyPlace the next one being 11th April - and they start at 2:00pm.   


Another RAE development is the  Partnership with Something Special who are soon to move into larger premises.   

We will be running a series of Art Exhibitions, some themed, some concentrating upon an individual artist.  

Watch the Facebook Page for details HERE

They forgot but don't stop

On either side her rib cage lie

Purple smudges like clouds in the sky 

Hidden by clothes no eyes can get by

No matter how hard she fights and tries

It cannot be forgot.

The knuckles tensed ready and white

As she screams into the empty night

she begs and pleads with all her might

That it will eventually stop.

His arms once white stream red like a river

As he cries on the floor with a shake and a shiver

His lips that once smiled only tremble and quiver

The pills that he took slowly destroying his liver

He hopes that he'll be forgot.

He wants his grave to be covered in flowers

His headstone needs to be shaped like a tower

His father wished that he had the power

To have made his son think and stop.

She takes a deep breath but the air never comes

Once again to the panic attack she succumbs

She tries to calm herself, her lullaby she hums

Sweaty palms on her knees, her fingers drum

Her racing heart just won't stop.

Its the kids from school calling her names

Taking her self esteem straight to the flames

She looks in the mirror and feels only shame

She never ever forgot.

He locks the door then listens for a sound

He won't walk on cracks on the sidewalk or on the ground 

He likes his things to be exactly how they were found

It makes him sad that she didn't stick around

But his OCD won't stop.

Bacteria seeping into his skin is all he can think about 

He hates loud noises especially when people shout Stop, think, breathe in and breathe out

He got stuck on her, but she forgot.

On either side of our lives lie

The good the bad, a laugh and a cry

Life is hard but we still try

Even though we know that in the end we'll still die

But everything is worth it when I spend it with you

We lace our fingers together at night 

The moon pools onto your face so white 

Even in the darkness you are my light 

I love you

© Lisha Hirst


Spaghetti sounds good with bolognese, pasta and meatballs could be a winner, go vica versa
Have either one with either other,
I'm sure you'd have a very tasty dinner, if I could be the mayo on
Your salad, or the crackling on your pork well done and sticky, I could be the melody in your new love ballad, soothing balm on your skin when you find a hickey, have a blockage in your drain I think it's imminent I'll be your domestos, suffer a sprain I will readily be your liniment, you won't need a plaster if you scrape your knee, I'll be the protective scab help you heal , this I'll do and do quite happily! You have a liking for ice cream, I could be a cherry crowning your knickerbocker glory, when in bed I wonder what do you dream? Make me the happily ever after to your fairy story! I'll be the buttonhole to your button, the zip fastener on your trouser fly, as sheep go I suppose I'm more your cut of mutton, let me be the hanky for your tears should you need to cry, a bat and ball, the rise and the fall, I could be the clothes peg on your line, the label in your boxers,
The ones you like to wear, just don't call me, if you call me,
Kalvin Kline! Life can be a dream
In your coffee I'll be the cream,
You don't use sugar, but let me be
Your spoon, should you want to blast off into space, don't leave me with egg on my face,
Let me be your one - man rocket
To the moon!
©C.M.Turner. 22/2/2015

 Is it the boot or is it ya sock?
 Holds something feeling like a lump of rock,
 You stretch your foot try to wriggle ya toes,
 You're suffering such torture yet nobody knows,
 You can't take off the offending sock,
 Stood up on a bus,part of a human flock,
 Can't go upstairs the bus is chocker,
 "Breathe in love, let me squeeze past owd cocker!",
 A seat is vacated, oh to sit down,
 You sit, on your face there's a grin Like a clown,
 Is it possible, has the rock shifted,
 Without the torment your thoughts have drifted,
 Why did he say such a thing as he did?
 Made you feel hurt,almost like a kid,
 Time has come to get of this bloody bus,
 As you descend from the step, you emit a loud cuss!
 Something sharp embeds itself under your heel,
 Gritting your teeth subduing the squeal,
 You tear down the zip, rip off your sock,
 There's a patch of blood but no bleeding rock!
 You find the offending item and you chuckle,
 Tighten the strap on your boot at the buckle,
 The shiny cut glass stone that you lost from your ring,
 Just found now in your boot the f!!!!!g thing!


No use pretending,
It's just not there,
To admit otherwise
That wouldn't be fair,
I've tried again sure,
Wanted it to work,
Left at times even bluer,
Feeling like a jerk,
You can't get blood
Out of a stone true,
Would that I could
Get love outta you,
I never lied at the start
If I fall I share my heart,
I like to show affection,
Also have a little given,
Up to now its one direction
A one way street I'v driven,
Huggings good yes it's true,
It's been medically proved,
I wrap my arms about you,
Hoping you'll be moved,
Show mutual attraction,
Then like old Mick Jagger,
I can't get no satisfaction!
You wanted me when you
Thought I was another's,
It hurts to be ignored, I get
That from sisters & brothers,
Some people send you text,
You answer in a short while,
It's me that's sorely vexed,
Waiting sometimes for ages,
Maybe it's HIS company you seek
Maybe I should stop trying,
I may be sixty two as you know,
Not one for flying into rages,
Don't worry I won't be crying,
Life's a theatre with multiple stages!
© C. M. Turner.       

We live in murderous times:


Control said we had to kill all the poets

They see beauty in everything

It was a mistake not to blindfold them

They died smiling

At first I thought we were still winning

But even blindfold they died grinning

I had some counselling to help me forget then…

Control said the remaining poets were the worst

They had almost learned the truth

It was a mistake not to gag them

They died rhyming

At first I thought it’s nothing

They’re only words, although they did sing

I heard the refrain when I awoke now and then

Control said they had found the last poet

We can end this now they said

It was a mistake to believe them

They died screaming

At first I thought I had gone bad

Because some missions do drive us mad

But when the world ran out of poets

And people could no longer conceive of them

I was there to help them believe again.

© Rex 2/3/15



Look outside my third floor flat window, didn't know what i'd find...

Try and search for something exciting, it's driving me out of my mind...

Have another drink from the cup on my sink that's the way to get by...

Take another drag on my electronic fag and i'll die...


Whatever you do, hold on to what's true so be kind...

There's a knock at the door, I think it's the law, so i'm blind...

Go outside I stand in my shadow, it's a hell of a way to live...

Followed by invisible forces, just who's the captive....

Get a job sweeping up roses, from the lovers who've split....

Stand around waiting on tables, no one here so fag lit..

Whatever you do, hold on to what's true so be kind...

There's a knock at the door, I think it's the law, so i'm blind...

Mobile phone rings it's the girl who through things in the dark...

Flowers were thrown at the boyfriend alone in the park...

People walk on the petal strewn ground don't stare...

She walks past a crowd of people who simply don't care...

Whatever you do, hold on to what's true so be kind...

There's a knock at the door, I think it's the law, so i'm blind...

I speak in a tone that makes me feel prone to her voice...

My senses pick up when she speaks and offers a choice...

My place or hers the thought sends me into a dream...

Reality strikes when I realize I just want to scream...

Whatever you do, hold on to what's true so be kind...

There's a knock at the door, I think it's the law, so i'm blind...

Decide not to go time now goes too slow I flop down...

King for a night as dreams take my fight drop my crown...

Eyes start to close on the girl with the rose I'm alone...

No light to see as sleep seizes me now i'm blown

Whatever you do, hold on to what's true so be kind...

There's a knock at the door, I think it's the law, so i'm blind...

© Christopher Matthews

Gotta get out of here.

Capo on 2nd


Why I'm in a bar by the river,....I don't know....

It's one beer after another,....Time goes slow....


Gotta get out of here........You're the only one....

Gotta get out of here........it's time I was gone....


I'm Not always feeling sober,...when I drink....

Blurred mind sits on the sofa,...near the brink....


Gotta get out of here........You're the only one....

Gotta get out of here........it's time I was gone....


I just need to talk to someone,...who's not here....

All of the wrong can be undone,...shed no tear....


Gotta get out of here........You're the only one....

Gotta get out of here........it's time I was gone....



I pick up my coat and I wonder,...if you're home....

I struggle to dial your number,....I feel alone....


Gotta get out of here........You're the only one....

Gotta get out of here........it's time I was gone....


Try getting a taxi at midnight,...I don't care....

It's a short walk by starlight,....please be there....


Gotta get out of here........You're the only one....

Gotta get out of here........it's time I was gone....


Bright light shines in our window,....I'm let in....

Hold me close in the moon-glow,....feel your skin....


Gotta get out of here........You're the only one....

Gotta get out of here........it's time I was gone.... (OUT) G/Em/C/G

©Chris Matthews 28/01/15

No Lost Causes-by CAZMAZ

I sit waiting in this guilded cage that I created for myself,

Made rigid and impenetrable by blind faith and the reality

Of what never becomes.

The door is left ajar but I daren't leave it.

To fly away now would only bring me to a regretful life of sorrow

That would,

In turn,

Never allow flight again with my ever war ravaged wings.

They would be as broken as my heart and could never mend.

Once bitten twice shy, but then bitten again and again,

And each time the shyness strays and transforms into a rattlesnake,

Hell bent on making sure that I never glide again

And am never set free into the beauty of the real you.

And time ticks by.

On and on years pass and my shackles still hold firm.

When will I ever earn the right to wheel beside you instead of always in fear

Of the venom that drowns out sleep and makes weary minds?

Now you say you want your freedom and wish to also grant me mine.

...Who am I to drag you down?...

Even when the price of this is one I cannot afford,

For in the darkened hours, the hopelessness will consume me,

As it always does when teased with the notion.

Clip them off then, my love, I beg you, clip them off entirely,

Strike true and leave no feathery stump left to try.

For I would rather never soar again than to ever do so

In such weathered skies,

Without you.

I beg, don't abandon me in that place!

With my chilled back towards all things joyously living.

Better to leave me in suspended misery,

Dusted with your love and a hope,

Than to starve me of all my dreaming.

I beg you! See what larks there could prevail if you only try anew.

Hold out your hand, lift those heavy lids, invite me in and and see.

Glimpse what you cannot with such tightly shut contentions.

Let me grant YOU the freedom instead that comes with peace of mind.

Together, O dear one, together!

For you are my heart of hearts, and yours is entitled to such joy and wonder,

If allowed to feel the alleviation!


And See.


You are so special.

And no cause is lost if there is one left fighting for it.



The night sky

The night sky whispers to me 

 today is your day and tonight is your night

 so don't abide by the rules 

and do as you like

And I'm trying and I'm trying 

And the things are so bad 

As I try to remember the fun that I've had

Tonight is my night 

Today was my day 

But it's much more fun when the sun peels away 

Moonlight masks are the most real of them all 

As you're walking on air and trying not to fall

Tonight is my night 

And today is my day 

While the sun is out 

These stars will play 

Behind the vodka and mindless drinking 

Haunting the eyes of the drug less blinking 

Squinting in the pale light of the moon and it's sky 

As the teenagers act like they don't want to die 

The powders thrown into their bodies and the herbs and the leaves thrown into their cancers 

They suck them like the bottle that once did them so good 

But they don't care for you any more 

Because today was their day and tonight was their night but you ruined it - the teenagers and their fight. 

©Alex Bilton

The Loonies

I'm chained down 

On lockdown 

I'm here again

I Can't breathe 

My medicine is strong again

And it's taking a toll on me 

My muscles ache 

And my throat is screaming

My pills were meant to stop this dreaming 

Dreaming of a hundred eyes 

A  thousand miles 

A million lies

Four white walls 

And the same nurse 

Every day 

Shutters pulled down 

Artificial light to soothe us

Before you know it you're sat in the corner 

Watching and rocking because then the world is slightly clearer 

As the nurses approach with the same old bullshit 

It's only a scratch you won't feel a thing

But you're on enough meds as it already is 

And you decide breaking out will be worth whatever the punishment is 

You've been named a danger to all those you're around

But maybe this time you won't make a sound

Slip silently back into the sea 

They won't notice or make a thing out of me 

If your legs have cancer they cut them out

Start the chemo 

Bout after bout

It kills you really

Breaks all the cells 

So why are we given 

Therapists with bells


And whatever else they can find to kill  your mind 

They're telling you that it's okay 

Don't take the bullshit

Get out today 

The loonies revolution 

For years to come 

As we break society 

Teach you to be numb

Placed in with the ordinaries  

With simple cancers in simple places 

Cut them out and start the chemo 

Throw us in with therapists bells and whistles 

The hair on our neck beginning to bristle 

Sometimes the problem is too much knowledge 

And the facts whisper through our porridge 

But how the hell do you understand? 

You're not a loonie 

You're the nurse with kind eyes that puts us to

sleep and strokes our hair and pretends

that one day we'll get out of there 

©Alex Bilton

The Chemist

The door swings forward as I push on the handle

Luminous orange chairs facing away from each other

Because this isn't a place to make friends 

As the guy is the corner is sketchy as owt 

And the receptionist is waiting to put on her coat

The chemists is open past 9pm for those of us who go and never come back again

Dragged into the back room to gaze at pink elephants

 to read out the letters and announce what looks blurry

We are poked and prodded and upon eventual decision  

We're keeping you forever 

You need continual supervision 

He pushes his thick glasses up a bony nose 

To see you a little better - study you then disclose 

"Alex , we really think you're special 

And if you tell your mommy and daddy 

You can live here now 

And forever be happy !"


Pushed into a white room with a set of scales and a measure stick 

Figure your way out 

All the monkeys managed it 

I can't remember signing anything and before I know it my patience is wearing thin 

I shout and scream the others will hear me because I'm fine , I've done nothing 

Please come and help me

I go into classic asylum mode and hit the walls to let off a load 

Of what the shrinks are calling pent up anger 

Until they dose me with some extra fast calmer 

Pushed into a white night dress 

I accept my fate of being captured by the luminous chemist 

©Alex Bilton

Truth comes out of me like ripples in the tides that I lay my eyes inside of and open them beneath to feel the hundred salt water wasps sting, tear open my pupils and let them feed off of every anxiety that revolves around the whites until all of them are eaten up, stomached and vomited back out into the emptiness that remains there. Sometimes silence is what determines how far away we walk, guides the mind to lead us somewhere further. Sometimes silence makes tides ripple outwards from the point in which it falls in the centre, and sometimes within the truths that roll off of the tongue like syrup onto a housefly, you find that the more the silence stays with it you begin to find more similarities between your honesty and the housefly. Trust is lost just as easily when left out to dry in the downpour that follows me around, laid flat back on the driveway, parked up sideways, the wrong way, because that's what trust really is. It's distinguished by it's need to go against what it should do because it lacks trust itself, trust in the system it works in, so when trust lacks trust it just proves that these faulty systems are in need of some wire cutters and a soldering gun, because truth and trust both smoulder underneath the embers from the leaves of the trees that we as people burn, and we as people are hitting learning curves, wondering whether it's a better idea to walk away with our hands occupied, or with two fingers crossed on both hands hoping that the ashes don't blister our backs when we're keeled over soul searching for something more than truth.

© Joe O’Brian

Tonight at noon,

Pens will inhale ink

Suck image from paper.

The waves will run away from the moon.

Bins will spit chewing gum

And throw fag ends on the floor.

Shell suit wearers will be declared lawyers in Manchester job centres.

Chickens will shove rosemary up Gordon Ramsey’s arse, swear aimlessly

And then set to cook at 200°c.

Tonight at noon,

Cars on the right hand lane of the motorway will drive at strictly 60mph or less.

Books will turn their own pages, and do so backwards,

Apart from in Japan, where they’ll do so forwards.

A late 20’s dude, in unlaced kappa shoes,

With Trish tattooed behind his left ear

Will listen to Beethoven quietly at the “front” of the bus.

while the grandparents at the back will laugh at the fact

that they’re sat on the number 69.

And the OAP’s will drive home in their mark 2 fezza’s,

With drilled exhausts and bucket seats,

And wont give a flying shit about anyone else.

And the youths will sit back and gossip as the oldies walk past,

And tut, and roll their eyes into the gutters.

© Joe O’Brian

Frying Pan to Fire


They loved their image so much

How perfect they wanted to appear.

Avoiding a fight to please the right

When cuts came, they answered the call.

By cutting more and more

“As painless as possible cuts”, they said.

They joined in the chorus of it’s the fault of the poor.

Just to keep the Mail away from the door.

Just to look cool, they joined the attack on our good old unions

How shocking of us wanting to save jobs and lives.

They ignore the 1400 just like all the rest

The hungry, and food bank was for us and all our kin.

They ran to the hills when the swastika came calling

Left the fight to the ones they call Looney lefties.

But I guess in world of greed and austerity

They think anyone who cares is a Looney.

Off to the hills once more they go

As Pickles comes calling.

To destroy what’s left

Of my dear old town.

On a cut price excursion from

Frying Pan to Fire.

Martin Hickman©


What a bad parent you are

What a thought taking your kids on holiday.

You should pay the rip off fees in school holiday time, they scream

Just so they can be subsidized by you, to pay for their last minute dream.

They groan and moan how important education is.

But complain when unions are trying to save our schools.

Even though your kids are top of the shop in Maths and such.

Still you are to be condemned by the easily fooled.

It’s the haves against the have not’s

While you fight between yourselves.

They slyly sell off our kid’s future to the banker and wanker

The men in the pin stripe suits start to smirk.

They smirk so much it’s almost a metamorphosis of crime

Turning our kid’s future from butterfly to shit.

As they say thank you very much.

Bring on the next fools.

Martin Hickman©

It’s a Wonder

I wonder why they don’t stop thieving

I wonder why they don’t stop selling our world.

I wonder why collusion and scabbing does not stop

I wonder why some hate a difference.

I wonder why hate is the preference over love

I wonder why the vulnerable are invisible to many.

I wonder why strictly come dancing is the favourite.

I wonder why the dance of the ignorant rules.

I wonder why many are fooled into blaming the innocent.

I wonder why their lies become your truth.

I wonder why they turned people into sheep

I wonder why some of us still care.

I wonder why that many others don’t care.

I wonder why you moan so much.

I wonder why you fight back so little

To save the world for the ones we love.

It’s a wonder.

Martin Hickman©

The Tardis

Kids all grown

There is something missing

Could it be yearning for those days?

Storeys from my girl of pupa, caterpillar, and butterfly.

But my little plum cheeks

Has now become that beautiful butterfly.

Could be the story’s of daring adventure from the little fella

6 foot tall and growing, but always will be my little fella.

Could it be those snuggles times

All safe under the quilt wide eyed and amazed

At the sight of Dumbledore and another Harry adventure.

Strange this house now small on the outside

Huge now on the inside, the endless empty space.

Perhaps this Tardis of mine can whisk us all away

To those secret places, those happy places.

Those places were we once went

Those places in our dreams and memory's

Once again to live

In our very own isle of content

Martin Hickman©

Apple in thi eye

Quart to 4 and a fight at the old school gates

All eyes on you and your nemesis strange,

How he was always twice your size, ring of screaming kids

Shouting easy, easy, easy.

All fetch ar kid

Al fetch mi fatha, tha know’s he’s cock of the estate

Al fetch ma fatha he,s cock of the world.

Walking home after 10 minutes of fame

Black eye and bleeding nose.

Your attention turned to the cold in your feet

The hole in your shoe lets the snow seep in.

Your mam screams at you when she sees thi coyte torn.

You can’t understand why she starts to cry.

Until your older, street wiser and realise the months it took

Thi old mam to save for thi ripped coyte.

Those days when she skipped meals to put a shirt on you

The clock comes full circle as you play skip a meal.

So your babes don’t go without

In an Austerity dreamland.

That can never overcome

The love of a parent.

For that apple in thi eye

Martin Hickman©October 2014

An obscurity lies within,
A truth be told, I once behold,
A beginning of a sin.

To which I'm deeply torn,
I become your saviour, a flavour,
Buried deep and left unworn.

I take each step across the muddy lawn
I lose my tread, my thread,
Within my field of corn.

I see our bodies collide,
The touch, craved so much,
As one we bind.

©Rachel Fox

When you passed I fought so deep,
And only ever will I weep.
I miss your love,
I pray your above.
Why did you leave so young.
What have I now become.

I tried, I cried, I Loved.
I lost my only sense you resemble a dove.
Please pray, and say I will be there, I always care.
I wish I could say goodbye, all I ever do is cry,

©Rachel Fox


What happens when the light has gone
and darkness hits the ground
and where does all the noise vacate
when silence comes around.

Who returns the memories
back inside our head
and where did all the footsteps go
which once were dared to tread.

Where are all the images
we held back in our youth
and why does blood move faster
when words are spoke untruth.

Why is love so hard to catch
yet easily slips away
and who puts the stars back their box
at the dawn of every day

Questions…so many questions

©Darren Cleary


The words are encrypted
on manuscripts inside
Written not yet spoken
in the place where they hide
I struggle to find them
as I search for their mark
but they're etched in foundations
set deep in my dark
I reach for their guidance
to resound what I feel
but my speech becomes tarnished
and the moments surreal
I survey the light
with a blur in my eyes
as I stand here elevated
with no form of disguise
The lines I have written
I attempt to get out
but they're foreign in function
and embedded with doubt
My voice is uneasy
with a convulsive edge
when my balance is questioned
I saunter the ledge
I'm blank with expression
from my soul to my face
Once the pathway is fractured
then I'm fallen from grace

©Darren Cleary

Abandoned (CHO)

You injected me with rapture
to the point I forgot I was merely human.
I recall times we spent,
dancing with our shadows.
I miss your warmth,
your existence within mine.
How you made me feel,
as your design entwined around mine.
Suffocating my entire everything,
where nothing else was real,
and how I yearned for more.
But I have now forgotten
how togetherness made us individual,
and so I now say…

©Darren Cleary

Sports I understand or do I?

I’m not a cyclist, but I understand,

the freedom, the exercise, the sport.,

the excitement of the Grand Depart

the Tour De France, as a spectacle.

I’m not a footballer, but I understand,

the team sport, the team spirit,

the joy of playing for your local

the thrill of being a fan and being very vocal.

I’m not a cricketer, but I understand,

the team game, the team spirit.

I can watch the one day game and even Twenty20

can’t do any longer, my bladder I need to empty..

I’m not an athlete or a swimmer, but I understand

the exercise, the training, the thrill of winning.

The Olympics I can watch and feel the thrill,

especially the Paralympians, who I think are really brill.

I’m not a snooker player or even a fan, but I understand,

skill through practice finishes up at the Crucible,

but being there, or watching on TV, I can forego,

but alas, I remember, ‘the pink is next to the green’-Ted Lowe.

The allure of darts, I don’t understand

a projectile chucked by hand, a double finish that must land

Creating the proper movement of the elbow joint

Yet! I’m sorry darts I simply don’t see the point.

©Carol Robson 2014

I would love to be a fly on the wall in your house
What dubious things I would hear as I buzz around
I would love to be the mouse eyeballing the cheese
No trap can thwart me in my pursuit of brie
I would love to be the hand
that carves the beef of the beast you hunted and killed
How proud I would be
I would love to be the stereo on party night
So popular as you and your inebriated chums drink and forget at least until the sun rises
I would love to be the dog that chases away the cat that chases away the birds, who come to feed upon the bread my master throws out

I would love to be the oven and smell whatever's cooking
I would love to be the couch upon which you crash
Or the pillow you hide behind when watching Annabelle or The Babadook
I would love to be the picture on the wall, the one with faded memories
Or the hairs on the back of your neck
I would love to be the phone, I would forever be in your hand and the conversation would always have substance
I would love to be the lump in your throat, 'cause then I know it means something

I would love to be almost anything
Everything but the kitchen sink
But I've washed my hands of that

©Greg J Muscroft

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Love Is Never Mandatory

Love is never mandatory
It is a feeling, not a command
It is not a legal requirement
And you are under no obligation to lay with me
I am transparent but you transported me to a heavenly place
Where I didn't have to strive to be accepted
You understand my limitations
And I will not fake or imitate another
If I cannot impress you with good old fashioned truth and honesty
What chance do I have of acquiring that which I crave the most?

If you love to hate me
If you delight in my sorrow
Then you are not worthy of the entry fee
I will close the door of my heart and throw away the key
I haven't the time for disparagement
I need to rid my soul of discontent

Love is never mandatory
It is neither binding nor set in stone
Sometimes it isn't even worth the price of the paper it's written on
Sometimes we seek love and it escapes us
It is often my driving force but also a catalyst for so many unwanted thoughts
In my experience love is fleeting
I cannot tie it down
It is blinding and it is foolishly reckless
With the self same hand we give and we take away
Love is breathing
Love is life
And I cannot restrain myself from careering headfirst into each of it's chapters

©Greg J Muscroft

Take My Soul

To be without you is to have no lips
To never speak nor kiss
To have no eyes, to be blind or visually impaired
To wander aimlessly through incessant darkness
Would be my definition of purgatory
Am I an average soul, with a less than average life?
And will I earn purification when my soul leaves my body?
Or be little more than an empty shell?

To be without you is to be the loneliest of lonely ghosts
Or a precious pearl descending a frozen face
To not have the legs to walk forward or back or away
To not have hands with which I can stroke or embrace your young and tender skin
Or hold a pen and write as I do with genuine and unquestionable feeling
To be without you is to have no blood pumping through my veins
It is to plunge into the icy depths of the sea with weights tied to my feet

To be without you is to be minus my heart
To be emotionally and spiritually absent
And I run with scissors, feel like I'm always running with scissors
Running though never escaping
Or finding myself
And it was a monumental error in judgement
It was never plain sailing
And I have never had pangs so strong and so deep
For all my years of repressed life

If I hurt you, if I wronged you in any way shape or form
Take my eyes
I don't need them where I'm going and I'm all cried out, nothing more to see
If I make you angry, If your blood is boiled
Tear out my supposedly wicked tongue, take my unflattering lying lips
I have failed to successfully execute the delivery of my feelings
If your journey or adventure was less than worthwhile
Cut off my legs and feet, I don't deserve them
If I left you with a single ounce of regret
If I abused you or was guilty of any imposition
Take my soul

©Greg J Muscroft

Just dance

Its midnight

And all we are going to do is dance

We can’t drink anymore

We drank until we had our fill

Now the beat of the music controls us

We couldn’t be still even if we wanted to be

The rhythm has us in its grip

And all we can do is dance

Just dance – moves our bodies in time with the tune

Its to loud to make conversation

And there are no words that we need

We are in each other’s arms

We are cheek to cheek

I can smell your perfume

It ignites a fire in me that will burn all night

We are surrounded by hundreds of people

But it may as well just be the two of us

Because all of my energy is focused on you

I can shut everybody else out

And we dance – just sway too and fro

Wrapped in each others arms

And the music consumes us

And the beat controls us

Alone with you

In this crowded night club

Dancing, feeling so alive

Hoping this night never ends

Wishing I could dance with you forever

Just dance, all through the night

Dance, dance, just dance.

Andrew Bedell

Sailing ships

She watched the ships
from her room in the tower
as she waited for her rescue
for a hero to set her free
like he did in the storybooks
that she had read as a child.
The maiden in waiting
the knight in shining armour
coming to slay the dragons
and banish the demons
to break down the door
of this room where she slept alone
under lock and key.
These days that never seemed to end
and the nights that lasted forever
where her dreams always turned to nightmares
and she always awoke to the loneliness.
She longed for someone to hear her cries
longed to hear the gallop of hooves

and the swish of the sword.
Many years had passed
but time stood still, here in limbo
where nothing was real
and nobody knew her name
She stayed hidden behind this mask
locked in these chains, just a prisoner
waiting for someone to show her the way
show her how to stand on her own two feet
and walk through that locked door

that always held her here
in this world of chastity
this world without love
this world that she couldn't understand
she had read so many stories
of different worlds and far away places
tales of love and tales of joy
and she longed to know how it felt to breath
but every day she watched from her room in the tower
as the sailing ships went by.

Andrew Bedell

 Just a minute I need you,
 To adjust my land line clock,
 It's been 10 to 2 at 10 to 1
 Ever since we put time back,
 Hang on I need a helping hand
 There's something I just can't get,
 With you being over six feet tall,
 Reaching high you have a knack
 Will you wait so that I may see U?
 We really need to have a talk,
 Having probs with the tablet and it's apps you see,
 Taken my BP meds, but feel soon I may crack,
 Stick around if you need a cuppa,
 Maybe have a biccy or two?
 Oh that's right you can't eat sugar,
 I'll return them to the pack,
 Hold my hand for a moment?
 Your hand always made mine feel small,
 In yours my one felt protected,
 Something now that I sadly lack
 I've spent most of my life being needed, in one way or another,
By family and loved ones in crisis,
 Tried hard to keep things on track,
 I have loved and lost many times,
 Felt lost and unloved too often,
 Getting old but feel inside like a child,
 The odd one out in the pack,
 " I need you!" My late dad told my mum,
 When he felt like giving in,
 He should have told her he loved her,
 Both been gone for years now and time we can never get back!

C. M. Turner. 18/3/2015.

Finishing lines

I'm jogging my memory
writing it down
Running out of ideas
so I'm pacing the noun
The pages are empty
as the graves of lost men
The waterless fountain
and the ink from the pen
So I turn to the pencil
with reliable lead
but letters have vanished
and verses are dead
My breathing has deepened
My hearts at a pace
as words hit the paper
I'm back in the race
With trees all but vanished
I imprint the kerb
ahead of the timer
at one with the verb
The story now plotted
salvation is mine
the inkwell depleted
I'm crossing the line

©Darren Cleary

By Battersea Bridge

Clip clopping, I am not stopping.
Heart is thumping, heart is
Rats are wriggling, rats are sneaking.
Rats are scurrying, rats are squeaking.
I am a bird, free to fly.
Sunny and white in the big blue sky.
The rivers humming, the trees are swishing.
Boats are bobbing, the water is rippling.
The sparrow swooshes, the sirens shriek.
The offices tower above us, dreary and bleak.
But we're holding bags and holding hands.
"Keep away from the road, mind where you stand.
Although it's crazy I'm here so far away.
I'm cool, I'm calm on my Battersea Day.

 ©  Hadisa Afzaly  2015

Blank pages

A change of the bulb and visions burn bright
what’s out of mind is out of sight
yet thoughts are bound to the endless night
as the moon still shadows the candles light

Blocking out the untamed rage
the continued struggle to put pen to page
and return once again to the fustian stage
but instead remain twisted in the subdued cage

Words are inscribed but out of reach
a failure to grasp so unable to preach
so staggered the verb that yearns to teach
stolen from thought by the inarticulate leech

So pages are blank and obscured from view
in concealed passageways with no way through
and their words that are promised remain overdue
with reverberating echoes that failed to subdue

I changed the bulb but there is no page
the visions are there but entice the rage
words did appear but vanished again
washed from the paper as dirt in the rain

©Darren Cleary

A Merry Buggerment (or A Discourse on Governmental Sodomy)

After many a wine i took my stride
To a land called Britain I did arrive
I found people drinking and fucking in malcontent
Expressing discourse for the merry Buggerment!

I heard a good tale over ale and wine
Of how all were being buggered by swine
How Cameron and Clegg gave great head
And with load spent, founded the merry Buggerment!

To the Buggerment did Lib Dem and Tory aspire
But in Sodom's halls in lust they conspired
To disenfranchise the faithless masses,
To bend them over and fuck their asses

They were heard to say: what fools we make of them!
As we go merry and exchange semen
We'll protect our own forever more
So we can preen and fuck big business whores

With our impotent education reforms
We bankrupted daughters and sons
And with broken promises of Lib Dem whores
Swi'ved your children, all expenses paid for

We shall castrate the flow of our benefit tits
Pay off Bankers and play with their pricks
As the Plebs are shaken to the core
Our Big Penile Society will fuck them some more

Arse up! And take it you peasant whores
With title I sit on the House of Lords
When my privileged cock in your womb is spent
I won't give a fuck how you pay your rent!

I observed how the people could take no more member
And raised in protest their asses tender
Yet one wave of a Royal sceptre
Sent them back to be buggered by their betters

Five years now passed since I first walked this land
Cameron and Clegg look at one another with cock in hand
They sit in love and wonder at our malcontent
Why have we not enjoyed our merry Buggerment?

© Jack  Millard

The Intoxicated Lover

With eyes like Bacchus I was snared,
Her eyes frozen and without care,
As my love was upon her I was made aware,
Of false hope and drunken despair,

Beauty gazed upon and judged me failing,
My heart and head sunken and waning,
My wretched words spewed forth,
As idle drink sodden discourse,

All dignity and wit abandoned,
As my love was broken and trampled,
Hollow, lost and unsound,
To return to that which I find most profound,

With spirit and wine I wash away,
Cares, love and reason, drunk and led astray.

© Jack  Millard

The Jealous Tide

Fickle as Phyllis's withered flower,
A heart men have sought and desired,
Turned on a tide to another,
Lost, wrecked, never again together.

Her desires many failed to claim,
Despite lusts erupted and aflame,
Left cold, abandoned and spent,
To another her heart now frequents.

Eyes green as an ocean sky,
Wept fresh rivers as they did spy,
And cursed him to Hades alive,
Who took the cunt I meant to swive.

© Jack  Millard

The Heart I Most Frequent

I cannot behave as others act and think,
I drink to lie and lie to drink,
And hide from others reticent desires,
To see the love behind her radiant smiles.

Cindered, cropped and cut down,
In fields of lechery and lust abound,
Violations that make the very empyrean cry,
As I long to see love behind her eyes.

With sublimity and base desires spent,
I still need the heart I most frequent,
Masquerading intentions behind noble essence,
As I long to feel love once more in her presence.

© Jack  Millard

An Incestuous Throne

I wonder have you happened perchance,
Upon this land with a Monarchy of farce?
A celebration of incest and breed,
Our crowds cheer children born to a creed,
Marriage beds have become tabloid news,
As plebs snag Princes with dildo and noose,
Ensnaring in bondage those noble bred,
And entangling them with the promise of good head.

Third in line still lusts for the throne,
He's happy giving South African women his bone,
No doubt he was a hero in Afghanistan,
But niggling doubts he would still fuck his gran,
Very much his father's son,
If not by blood then by the love of blondes,
On incest lies and tabloids we are led,
To take cunts, pricks and Princes to bed.

A shambling corpse waving from her throne,
Any other woman her age would be in a home,
Her womb a conduit for German heir lines,
Charlie wishes she would just hurry up and resign,
He'll need rejuvenating treatment to get his sceptre to grow,
By the time he can bury his immortal mother below,
And what a King he will surely be,
A perfect figure head for an incestuous Monarchy.

© Jack  Millard