Crowd by Chris South

(Based on ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ by William Wordsworth)

I wandered lonely in a crowd
That drifted by like whirls of smoke
When all at once within its shroud
A voice I heard and thus it spoke…
“Beside yourself and ill at ease,
clutching straws on human seas?” Continue reading

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Tonight’s the night!

All the write pieces cover imageYes, it’s time to put on make-up, it’s time to light the lights*…  The official launch of our anthology is just a few hours away, so we’re all busy rehearsing and preparing.  I do hope you’ll be able to join us for this celebration of the talented Retford Writers.  The launch will take place in Retford Library, at 6:00 p.m. this evening (9th May 2019).  The writers will be reading excerpts from some of their contributions, and there will be a chance to chat, buy copies of the book, and enjoy some celebratory drinks and nibbles. Do come along, and of course, if you are an aspiring Retford Writer join our group and maybe your piece will be published in the next anthology!

* thanks to the muppets for the quote!!

All the Write Pieces

All the write pieces cover imageWe are all getting very excited about the upcoming launch of our super dooper anthology which is taking place this Thursday (9th May, 2019) 18:00 at Retford Library.

To give you a taster of the contents, members will be reading some of their contributions to the publication, and there will be time for a chat, some celebratory drinks and of course, to buy a copy (or two!) of the book.

It’s our first joint publication, so a very special occasion for Retford Writers.  Hope to see you there!

‘I Remember’ by Pete Brammer

I remember what they said,
At the outbreak of the war,
‘It will be all over come Christmas’
Yet I can recall with such horror,
How our lads were slaughtered,
Thousands and thousands, en mass.

I remember signing on, with workmates,
All eager to do our bit.
“Your country needs you.” old Kitchener said.
I remember we proudly marched through town,
People cheered, waving Union flags,
For they could not envisage, most would end up dead.

I remember the years in sludgy trenches,
As we struggled, to keep our sanity,
Suffering trench foot, fleas and mites,
Waiting for the shout, “Over the top.”
With the accompanying shrilled whistles,
Instantly obeying, we set off to fight.

I remember too, mustard gas clouds,
Drifting across ‘No Man’s Land’
Donning the life saving gas masks,
As shells whistled over our heads,
All wondering where they would land,
To be followed, by deafening blasts.

I remember the mud, changing colour,
As it clung to out boots and putties,
A nerve tingling scarlet red,
Skin and bone flying everywhere,
With life blood from innocent lads,
Some wounded, but most of them dead.

I remember thinking, about my wife,
Upset, to be missing my child,
You see, I had walked away from the conflict,
Now I stand before the firing squad,
Their rifles, pointing at my heart,

Please God, forgive me…

Leave by Rachel Hilton

They had only been together for a matter of weeks when Cecil asked if Hayley would accompany him on a visit to his parents.  He wanted to introduce her to them and thought it would be a good idea to go for a weekend.  She wasn’t so enthusiastic and told him so.

“It’s too soon, we need to know each other better before we meet each other’s parents.”

“Nonsense, you’ll like my parents and they’ll like you.  They are so easy to get along with.”

He kept on and on at her and eventually she relented.  She didn’t want to go, it was more to shut him up than anything. Continue reading

WRITING by Pete Brammer

Encouraging acrostic from Pete

WRITING
Words make sentences, a jewel,
R? The 3 R’s, so confusing at school.
Ink we had in ink wells.
Thesaurus gives alternate words.
Index what you have written.
Nouns are living things like kittens.
Grammar a system of writing rules.

So Retford Writers, just stay cool!

POET ON TRIAL by Barrie Purnell

POET ON TRIAL

I am a human by birth but am a poet by choice,
My poetry gives this artist’s abstraction a voice.
But now when I write of the beauty of stars in the sky
Or of the pain in the heart born of saying goodbye
They condemn my use of order, rhyme and repetition,
On the slippery foundation of perfidious opinion.
They say that I’m guilty but do they have proof,
They must know that I only ever wrote down the truth.
I have spent many hours just searching for beauty
As a poet I was surely just doing my duty.
You disciples of Elliot, you lovers of Ginsberg and Pound,
You have contempt for the past and for lyrical sound.
You are literature zealots, who seek to destroy,
All those past compositions that many others enjoy.
You blame me for exposing your pride and pretense,
My words are my weapons they are my only defense.
You put me on trial, but failed to get a conviction,
My ballads and sonnets were outside your courts’ jurisdiction.
You asked me was I guilty? You asked did I transgress
Against your perceived wisdom? My answer was yes.
You wrote me a confession which you asked me to sign,
Because I valued the truth, I was forced to decline.

You keepers of disrupted syntax and experimentation,
You killers of rhyme, you lovers of prose fragmentation,
You don’t like my words but even ideologues must see,
The fact I can write them is what it means to be free.
I think you’re pretentious, you think my work is absurd,
But I’ve only ever been trying to cast a tune down in words.
Trying to find hidden ideas that my mind has caught,
Releasing them from impenetrable thickets of thought
Maybe I could be wrong, and you may prove to be right,
That I’ve been ensnared by the very words that I write.
You say my poetry is obsolete, observing outmoded rules,
But I write for the believers and not for proselyte fools.
You subvert my intentions, punctuating all of my lines,
With meaningless phrases, as revenge for my crimes.
You have confiscated my Sonnets you are shredding them fast,
In your desperation to break all links with the past.
All of our previous beliefs you’ve overturned,
Disregarding all the earlier rules that we’ve learned.
We yearn for the poetry of Hardy, Longfellow and Poe,
And all those lyrical poems penned a long time ago.
But you crucified romantic tradition on Elliot’s cross,
Burying Coleridge, the Mariner and the Albatross.

We’re now emerging from your self-serving sententious gloom,
We have rolled that boulder away from the tomb.
With brains that are hardwired to rhyme and repetition
Lyrical poetry is written to enhance the human condition.
It survives in the remembered verses of a million songs
Your work lies in a void beyond recall, where it belongs.
I now write in secret my sonnets and verses,
That you say are traditional and therefore subversive.
You thought you had won but we were never defeated,
Those lines now rewritten which you had deleted.
You’re conforming non-conformists, loving your own reflection,
Our army is now growing through your disciple’s defection.
I have started a petition, I’ve got ten thousand names,
Very soon other poets will join in our campaign.
So now in the back rooms of backstreet cafes we lurk,
Still fighting the war against all your modernist work.
My disciples are gathering, they meet in the night,
They will soon be re-armed and ready to fight,
To fight for that poetry that sings to your soul,
Replacing all those rhythms and rhymes you Modernists stole.
I have gone underground, I am biding my time,
Waiting for the poetry elite to return to order and rhyme.