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Segway by Vanessa Wood

Image by Mabel Amber from Pixabay

Gliding through the forest
on my Segway.
Floating through the
yellow dappled trees.
Round muddy puddle
and over chalked hump.
Avoiding stones,
up, up and away.
Buzzing round
like helmeted robots.
My Segway beeps and blips,
flashes and zips.
Roll on ball of foot
as you mount the slope
passing dogs and children
at the side,
as the time traveller’s
heavenly glide.
Through the trees,
net ropes are attached.
Screeches as a net wall is met.
Zip wires going,
people flowing.
A group of helmeted wheels charges by,
mud splattered salt of the earth.
Back at the hub
Segways are yanked and prodded,
mended by technician
Key ready round neck,
for silent ignition.
Hunched boy on fence
sits and waits
while wheels gyrate.
It’s an act of balance
an act of faith,
until it’s time to go in line.
To up the ante,
increase the speed,
press the buttons
on the digital key.
Lean forward and…
….wheeeee!


Vanessa is a local poet based in Epsom.

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It’s Time by Daren Pearce

Image by Tim Hill from Pixabay 

I look in front of me
The sun shines
The sky so blue
It feels so new
Air so fresh
Grass so green
Trees so full
The flowers blossom
That’s where I’m going
To feel the warmth
To see the blue sky
To breathe the air
To smell the grass
The tree full of life
To find my flower
To feel that love
And breathe it in
So deep


Daren is a local poet, based in Surrey.

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Railways by Anna Banasiak

Image by Kevin Phillips from Pixabay 

today
we play with the train set
we build 
from non-existence
our world
unnamed
names collapse
father deletes tickets
changes timetables
rearranges railways
at the forgotten stops
we stand
in the queue
for life

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My Strangest Dream by Trevor Dunford

This gallery contains 1 photo.

When a child my dreams were nightmaresBorn of anxiety and hopeless caresFrom my safe home to school aloneTo such horrors was exposed and proneBut when older I slept so soundNothing disturbed me as I then foundRefreshing slumbers helped me thriveBut … Continue reading

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The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


14-20 June is Refugee Week.

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HOW NOT TO SWEAR WHEN ONE IS SWEARING by Dónall Dempsey

Photo by Dónall Dempsey, taken on the stairs of the Joyce Museum, Dublin

After I hit it
with a hammer

my old thumb takes on
a now cartoonish character

pulses and throbs
grows biggerandbiggerANDBIGGER.

My three year old
gasps in astonishment

that an adult would/could
do such a silly silly thing.

“Bold Daddy!” she scolds “Bold Daddy!”

My mind screams in silence but
my tongue longs

to utter in the demotic
a good old fashioned Anglo-Saxon

ffffffffffFFFFFFF…word!

I somehow( don’t
ask me how )

gaze into my little one’s
baby blues

delete the expletive
carefully in slow motion

substitute the first
thing that pops into the mind

the first( as it happens )
of Mr. Joyce’s thunderwords.

None of Eliot’s
” Shantih shantih shantih “

I had the presence of mind to
“Finnegans Wake” it!

“BABABADALGHARAGHTAKAMMINARRONNKONNBRONN
TONNERRONNTUONNTHUNNTROVARRHOUNAWNSKAN
TOOHOOHOORDENENTHURNUK!”

“Funny Daddy!” she chortles “Funny Daddy!”

Now whenever things
go wrong and

they will go wrong
( as sure as words is words )

she begs me
to “…do the thunder!”

Waits for her little
bit part so she can

chime in with her
“. . .TOOHOOHOO…”

and I gather her up
in my arms and we

both declaim
as one

“. . .THURNUK!”


Dónall is a local poet, based in Surrey.

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A Memory Of the Players In a Mirror at Midnight by James Joyce

They mouth love’s language. Gnash
The thirteen teeth
Your lean jaws grin with. Lash
Your itch and quailing, nude greed of the flesh.
Love’s breath in you is stale, worded or sung,
As sour as cat’s breath,
Harsh of tongue.

This grey that stares
Lies not, stark skin and bone.
Leave greasy lips their kissing. None
Will choose her what you see to mouth upon.
Dire hunger holds his hour.
Pluck forth your heart, saltblood, a fruit of tears:
Pluck and devour!


June 16 is ‘Bloomsday‘ – every year, on this day, the life of James Joyce is celebrated and the events of his novel ‘Ulysses’ are relived.

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Every Morning by Mary Oliver

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 

I read the papers,
I unfold them and examine them in the sunlight.
The way the red mortars, in photographs,
arc down into the neighborhoods
like stars, the way death
combs everything into a gray rubble before
the camera moves on. What
dark part of my soul
shivers: you don’t want to know more
about this. And then: you don’t know anything
unless you do. How the sleepers
wake and run to the cellars,
how the children scream, their tongues
trying to swim away–
how the morning itself appears
like a slow white rose


Read the full poem at poetryfoundation.org

This poem was recommended by Paul Lawless.

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Androgeus by Fiona Benson

The Trojans Defend Their City; They Kill Androgeos (Aeneid, Book II) MET; Source: Wikimedia

I died in Athens, thinking of my mother.
Or was I on my way to Thebes?
Difficult to say, this is a slow, forgetting place.
There was a competition, I had won –
something – a crown, a coin, a paper wreath?
Then stabbing pain – a bull’s two horns,
or a bar-tab brawl, or an Athenian lover
I hadn’t treated well – daggering my lower abdomen.
Can it have been my father’s white bull?
The one he bathed and preened? It doesn’t matter now.
After the wound, came dying: fast then slow, slow, slow.


Read the full poem at the-tls.co.uk

‘Androgeus’ has been shortlisted for The 2021 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem

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The Day The Snow Came by Daren Pearce

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay 

Such joy such fun
I’ll never forget that day
For it made me smile and laugh
Without a thought or care
I forgot
For a while
Oh how good it felt
To share the moment
To feel that warmth and love
People came out
Smiling too
For it made my day
To feel the coldness on my face
The snow in my hands
They burned with cold
But it warmed my heart so
In the after glow


Daren is a local poet, based in Surrey.

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