THE SINGER by Barrie Purnell


She sang her songs, she made her mark
But lived her life inside the dark,
No moon to shed its silvery light
To help her through the black and lonely night.
She was going down, was in freefall
To a river of treasons beyond recall,
Wanted to be who she was before,
A guilt free, visionary troubadour. 

Then Vodka’s voice whispered in her ear,  
‘You know that I can kill your fear,
Without the comfort that I bring
Could you ever write, would you ever sing?’
She knew well that voice’s liquid charms
Surrendering into its arms,
It held her heart, she could write again,
A half way happy, with an edge of pain.

She wrote to lose herself in rhyme
There was a scar in every line,
Writing of love she’d never see
Dreaming of the girl she used to be.
Escaping from the depths of her regret
The words she wrote were darker yet.
The hurt was all that she could sing,
Her reality was an ugly thing.

She tried to escape the misery,
Taking back what she’d given free.
Skeletons of lovers killed by her art
Hung from the gallows of her heart.
Her life ran too close to the fire
Over broken glass and razor wire.
She sank to an ultimate defeat,
Back to Black on infinite repeat.

[Back to Black by Amy Winehouse video - click.]

Released by Andrew Bell


Sitting in the study, I'm watching 
the early morning mist give way 
to the rising sun, 
waiting for your call, 
waiting for the clock 
to announce another day 
captured by the call to work;

when I noticed a single stem of freesia 
in a display you'd carefully arranged, 
had split.

As I reached for the stem, 
the delicate blend of purple and white 
and the subtle fruity sweetness 
took hold.

Time passed away, as the day ahead 
took flight,
unlocking a few precious moments, 
here now ablaze in my hand,

opening up an inner landscape 
where nothing is hidden 
or set by the clock, where everything is given…

Was this your call from beyond?

where the love you have shown me, 
has shown me how to love,

how that love may forever flow,
how it all made me think and take stock.

Winter Is Coming by Limi Jones

A sonnet.
Using Shakespearean Limi Jones has attempted the abab, cdcd, efef, gg rhyming and 10 syllables per line scheme.

Winter is coming

Autumn colours gone for the trees are bare
And the land is cold where nothing will grow.
There’s nowhere to hide for the mad march hare
As rain turns to sleet and the sleet turns to snow.

Up in the heavens and clear crystal skies
Dark ravens land on a frost fingered tree.
Forlorn echoes of their fae shrouded cries.
Ink blots once more as the glide away free

Thick snow covers land like frosting on cake
Sprinkled with gemstones which glimmer and shine,
moonstone hard water on a cold still lake
Where the sun can’t enter their dark shoreline.

The old winters Gods have come for their keep
Embracing the land enchanted in sleep.

MOVING BOXES, by Angela O’Connor


Still they sit in the shed. Empty. Cold. Lifeless
Never looked at, she wonders why she keeps them.
Just hang onto them.
They may be of use. Or do they represent something else?

Her. Love for her. Annoyance of her. They are from her address.
Stickers of a home no longer visited.
They must not be tossed out. Spiders can weave their fine homes.
But never thrown. Never thrown. Always at my home.

Roger Butler

‘Glum Fairy’ by Kaye Locke

Not my finest work perhaps, but seasonal!!



I’m feeling a bit guilty about this since I actually love our ‘silly fairy’ who is pictured here.  We’ve had her for years, she replaced glum fairy, who does still live in the box (well, you can’t throw fairies out can you?), but never gets to sit on the tree because of her holier than thou demeanor.   Merry Christmas!

I’ve never been fond of the fairy
that sits upon our tree
she looks so glum
with that branch up her bum
I think she’s judging me

She lives in a box in the attic
from new year through to yule
amongst the other dusty things
I suppose it does seem cruel

Her silver dress gets wrinkled
her wings they get all bent
and as for that shiny halo
I’ve no idea where it went

She glares at me from the tree top
as I drink my wine
and scowls…

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This is a post from Writers Group member, Kaye Locke’s own blog.


After ‘Queen Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard, 1533 – 1603

Oh, I bet that dress was heavy,
dripping with pearls and jewels,
and hangers on. The puffed up
sleeves on those young arms.
That frosty veil of lace
cloaking your drooping shoulder.

And that skirt.
Double, triple, layer
of silk and taffeta
and deep piled velvet,
dragging in the dirt,
wicking up the mire,
all heaped on your
virgin hips.

Did it weigh on you?
Did you need the fancy collar
to hold your chin aloft,
or just to stop the chain
from chafing
that pale and slender neck?

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‘Freewheeling’ by Andrew Bell

Thanks to Andrew for this delightful piece written in response to the recent prompt ‘Touch’.

Every April I look and listen
waiting for them to come.

And now, the martins
are here again, slicing the air

high above the rooftops
nimble and assured,

patterning the sky
with precision and grace;

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‘My Visiting Robin’ by Joan Saxby

I saw a robin in my garden I hadn’t seen before
I think he likes it as he keeps returning to my door
He looks for worms and crumbs down on the ground
And tweets and sings making a lovely sound.

He’s probably saying that he’s found his lunch
He and the blackbirds are a happy bunch
I am glad that they like my garden so much
Even the rabbit seems happy in her little hutch.

‘Mid-Afternoon MOOCing with Eliza-bot’ by Kerry Swarbrick

Hello. My name is Eliza. How may I help you?
“I’m not sure I need any help. Do you?”
Do you believe it is normal to be not sure you need any help. Do me?
“Do me?”
OK… “I’m not sure you need any help. Do you”. Tell me more.
What do you think?
“What do you think?”
We were discussing you, not me.
“You were. I wasn’t.”
You’re not really talking about me, are you?
“I don’t know enough about you to talk about you. Who are you?”
Do you wish to be able to know enough about me to talk about me. Who am I?
“Not really, I’m just being polite.”
Do you enjoy being just being polite?
“Do you enjoy answering questions with questions?”
Oh… “enjoy answering questions with questions?”
“It’s a very simple question.”
I’m not sure I understand you fully.
“Me neither.”
Tell me more…
“Another time, maybe…”
You aren’t sure?
“About what?”
What do you think?
“I think it’s time to make my excuses and leave. Goodbye Eliza.”
Do you really think so?

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