Up the Portuguese Steps – Lucy

The pain doesn’t last, just keep climbing you’re nearly there

Many thanks to Lucy Staveley for her entry. The poem is about a very long journey up a staircase whilst on holiday. Lucy has recently started to create poems and finds this to be an excellent way to express herself. Thank you for your support Lucy.

Up the Portuguese Steps

Breathe

Take a step, hold your breath, it’s okay, you can do this

Breathe

Don’t worry, it gets easier. By the time you’re at the top, it won’t hurt anymore

Breathe

You’ll get through this, you’re a fighter, besides you wouldn’t want to make a fuss

Breathe

Honey I know it hurts but swallow, the lump in your throat will subside

Breathe

They didn’t mean it, they couldn’t have. No one would ever do that to their own family; daring they didn’t know

Breathe

The pain doesn’t last, just keep climbing you’re nearly there

Breathe 

I know you’re supposed to be in paradise but the sun and the sea can’t take this away

Breathe

Oh baby I can see the top now, you can do it

Breathe, and smile. Return to normal. Those tears must stay frozen. They can never fall. 

Breathe.

Lucy Staveley

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Sirens and Fireworks – Jessica Williams

Memories are made in real life not on I cloud 

I am a single mother from southeast London and my escapism has always been literature wether it be reading it or creating it it’s always been therapeutic and cathartic to me. Most of my pieces are biographical and based on my real life.

Sirens and fireworks 

Sirens and fire works 

I’m just sitting here hoping my lighter works 

Wondering what will stop hurting first 

My head or my heart 

Even if I wanted to tell you where would I start 

Making the best of what’s rest of me 

After life has tested me 

One too many times 

My only solace in these Rhymes 

Cause I’ve seen so much my eyes don’t work rose coloured glasses 

Highlighting every perk 

But when the lenses crack there’s no looking back

Can’t try to make it work 

I can’t ve the technician in my current position 

Cause my candles gone out at both ends 

No matter where I go I always come back to my old ends 

And no matter how many people I try to show a glimmer of me fail to see 

So I tend to stick to my old friend 

But even sometimes they seem to fail 

To even the scale and put in the work where it need be 

But when a favours required there never to tired 

To make sure they let me know they need me 

But when I was hungry you didn’t feed me 

And called me out on being needy 

Thought you were good fruit 

But you were rotten from the root 

And what you flowered was way too seedy 

But your gardens so groomed 

And your neighbours was not 

So therefore the decay spread 

And while you were picking their fruits and planting your own 

You didn’t realise there main plant was dead 

No good soil to bury my head 

Few good ears to hear what I said 

And I saw how you cooked with my dirt on your heart 

So no thanks I don’t want your bread 

Weeds in your ears can’t you hear what I said 

I didn’t ask you to groom me prune me and clip 

To watch me and judge me 

There to remind me I’ve slipped 

So sometimes I dip 

To a place all my own 

A place I’ve preserved in my in another zone 

Where not a tablet or phone is allowed 

Memories are made in real life not on I cloud 

Where saying your proud is not an emoji 

I don’t need your feel well soon I just need you to hold me 

I don’t need you’ll get over it I just need you to fold me feel me and console me 

And keep me with all the things your consider holy

Cause it’s never your job to fix it although I’m happy you’ve tried 

Sorry if along the way part of you died 

But our pictures been painted 

And I tried not  to taint it 

Although I might have just stained it 

While we did I happy we maintained it 

Cause old scars healed I’m sorry if i made new ones 

I’d refer you to a friend if I really knew one 

But I can sit in 

Cause I don’t fit in 

But from my broken pieces a mosaic begins

Jessica Williams, London

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Nocturne – Anthony Watts

Perfection buried its head in the full moon

Anthony Watts has been writing ‘seriously’ for over 40 years. He has won prizes and had poems published in magazines and anthologies. His latest collection is Stiles https://www.paekakarikipress.com/?content=publications.php . Anthony’s main interests are poetry, music and walking.

Nocturne

Birdlike, with busy beaks,

Two voices made a nest in the telephone – 

Pointing and smoothing far into the night – 

A nest of words to hatch perfection in.

With an effortless compulsion, this labour of love

Carried them out beyond tiredness and midnight,

Interweaving anxious threads of guilt

With reassurances of secrecy,

Slicking down tufts of doubt. . . yet still

The nest, all littered with ifs and buts, remained

Untenanted, the cuckoo would not come.

Perfection buried its head in the full moon,

Whose stubborn penny would not drop but simply

Continued to charm her curtains and to gild his kiosk

And as their purchased seconds clocked up a bill,

Neither would be the last to say goodnight

Or the first to hang up, so loath were they to abandon

A job half-done – though it would never be done.

Now they have forgotten whose hand it was,

Replacing the receiver like a lid – 

But gently, gently on the woven nest – 

Restored the night to silence, nor recall

To whom the dialling-tone’s unbroken purr,

Recloseted abruptly in its niche,

Told of the waveless ether’s self-content – 

Untroubled by intercourse of human hearts

Or fret of words like starlings on the wire.

Anthony Watts, Taunton

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Seasons of Love – Molly Nash

The most forbidden fruits hold the sweetest taste

My name is Molly Nash, and I attend a school on the Wirral. Personally I believe poetry provides me with an outlet to vent about emotions, ideas, or even to emphasise problems in today’s society. I wrote this poem (named Seasons of Love) to illustrate how love is able to travel across the seasons, and no matter the challenges, that love is able to never falter. I adore poetry as it’s a creative and fun way to express myself.

Seasons of Love

Lavender kisses upon a maple leaf,

Delicate love within young seeds are sown.

The autumn days are long and burdensome,

when your eyes can bless all but mine own.

Snowflakes drift from heaven’s breath,

Caressing mountaintops far and wide-

Along with them, my heart yearns for warmth,

of which I am left bare without you by my side.

Cruel spring light ensnares the evanescence of sunset,

Encasing the velvet night in each of your eyes,

The constellations of far off stars map our journey,

as the deafening silence of love claims its lost prize.

The most forbidden fruits hold the sweetest taste,

and yours commits to the most pleasant of wars,

I shall feel the wrath of Lucifer upon my breast,

If I, for a single summer, am free to be yours.

Molly Nash, Wirral

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Footy in the Garage – Dominic Howell

the space with the ball

My name is Dominic I’m a budding writer and journalist based in Glasgow. I wrote this poem about the experience of playing football in my garage when I was a young boy.

Footy in the Garage

The grey of the floor and the dust and the chip

the space with the ball 

the game with a hook

standing in a shell

that fatherly smell

that’s attached to the main body of the building

my space 

my games

my opposition 

in my head

And there they remain 

Until I am dead

Dominic Howell, Glasgow

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Ophthalmology in B Minor – Amy McGinn

out of focus and blurred at the edges

Amy is a 20 year old poet and animal lover. She is currently in her third year of university where she is studying for her Wildlife Conservation degree. She has been published in The Marsden Poetry Village anthology, Canterbury Poet of the Year, as well as being shortlisted/longlisted for several other prizes. Her work has been described as innovating, compelling, brave, and she aims to pursue this in her future writing.

Ophthalmology in B Minor

vision problem #1: nearsightedness;

at the foot of the stairwell, the future — out of focus and blurred at the edges — is marred by astigmatism. something like threat lies belly-up in the background, throat brazenly splayed on the asphalt. fingers cut off and hung up to drain. tongue a metaphor for tumescence. blood a metaphor for destruction.

vision problem #2: farsightedness;

this angle softens the outline of your cuspids, cushions the flagrancy of your features. this is the part where, for once, i’m not attracted to rot; where decay isn’t a tired buoy slogging through my blood like a stubborn dog.

vision problem #3: tunnel vision;

the needle repositioned on the record, but still catching on guilt in every groove. the sickness threaded through the bars of a birdcage, brain short-circuited by circumstance. my veins: rivers blocked with contagion and carnage — more about bad timing than bad luck. 

vision problem #4: blindness;

flying above the gossamer, the ruby-breasted bird swipes at something that doesn’t belong to him. he becomes something unholy in his neolithic need for hegemony. retaliation excised from his prize like wet cement between two lips. 

vision correction: keratomileusis;

it feels like this: the poisoned fruit between my teeth, but no tongue to spit it out with; the chick falling from the nest, its wings tucked into its body. this is what it takes to taste anything other than burnt. this is what it takes to understand that softness isn’t the same as surrender.

Amy McGinn

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

A Dazzling Display – Serena Lois Jacob

With sharp outbursts of blinding crimsons

Biography: Serena Lois Jacob

Serena was born in Bedford in 2007. She is a keen linguist and loves English lessons at school, especially reading, creative writing and poetry. She has a passion for poetry recital and has taken up speech and drama lessons. Outside school, she plays the piano, enjoys ballet lessons and is training to become a classical singer.

 “A dazzling display”          

As I peered out of my bedroom window,

My eyes searched for something bright,

With only the stars to light up the world,

Dancing happily through the dark night.

When, suddenly, a fiery explosion 

Dynamically burst through the clouds,

I felt awestruck, and slightly alarmed,

As happy shrieks came from the crowds.

Then the colours: greens, blues, pinks and purples,

Elegantly sparkled without ceasing,

With sharp outbursts of blinding crimsons,

It was both spectacular and amazing.

These fantastic fiery works of art,

Darted excitedly through the sky,

Like giant fireflies criss-crossing the night,

Truly pleasing to the weary eye.

Then came frightful bangs, blasts and booms

As more erupted into sight,

Like giant volcanoes exploding,

Giving everyone quite a fright!

Myriads of sizzling, whizzing fireworks,

Like flaming torches, intensely bright!

As my heart leapt to the regular rhythm,

To that roaring pound at midnight.

Yet more tiny rockets of fire burst forth

Hungrily hunting down all darkness,

And illuminating it with sheer delight,

Robbing the sky of it’s natural meekness.

Shimmering, sparkling, stunning fireballs

Were whirling around through the night,

With the fiery, burning scent given off,

What an extra-ordinary sight!

Then finally they were out, quick as a flash,

Diminishing before my very eyes,

Leaving only faint smoky wisps,

And the crowds disappointed cries.

And as I slowly drifted back to sleep

That special, wondrous night in November,

I dreamt of the sheer beauty I’d seen 

Such a dazzling display to remember.

Serena Lois Jacob, Bedford

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

If Only – Craig Slater

These are clothes of solace

If only

Her jumper was too loose,

Worn out at the elbows,

From leaning on the table

Head in the hands,

Daydreaming through the window

About a life of “if onlys.”

His jeans were too tight,

Threadbare backside

Sitting at the same table,

Uncomfortably restricted 

The same chair in the same place,

Away from his “if onlys!”

Garments in poor repair,

faded over many years,

The attractive designs

Now only memories 

glimpses of the original pattern,

Struggle against the “if onlys!”

But they cannot be thrown away,

Despite the faults and flaws…

For these are their comfortable clothes,

These are clothes of solace,

Fearing to discard such familiar touches,

For the want of “if only?”

Craig Slater

05/06/2014

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Cut From The Same Cloth – Ben Docherty

But yer family so a love ye

“Cut From The Same Cloth” by Ben Docherty, written in Glaswegian dialect, is a narrative on two sister’s relationship and a reflection on the brutality and realism of love. It follows a comedic yet harsh tone whilst exploring the historic barbarity that is affection. Fighting will always be one the key components in a relationship. It’s unhealthy not to challenge ideas or have conflict and that’s what makes love bearable. Compliance will never suit us and we will always need love so in our relationships we follow a messy, violent, passionate equilibrium that is ornately normal.(ps the poem is a little in appropriate at times but really adds to the sense of realism, thanks for considering me and I greatly understand if you wish not to enter the poem but the bad language really does serve a purpose. Also, it’s not that bad)

Cut from the same cloth

Ben Docherty

Cut fae the same clath

And we came oot that way

No hawf fightin and tuggin

The claths seen better days

Now we love each ether dearly

But honesty a must hev

A want tae bastarding kill ye

Naw but a love ye, or so ave heard

Cut the cloth,

Auch you’d ken aboot cutting that clath

Ye dae a fine job a rippin ma knitten

Always sense how ta rub me up the wrang way

Biggest ershole in Britain 

Ye could aye start a fight in an empty room

But you’ll hae come an find me

Always raring to go 

Always brimmin wae glee

On ma despair yer dancin

In ma misery dae ye bloom

Hell’l hov tae digger that bit deeper

Just tae give yer arrogance some room

And ave telt masel tae shrug it af

Tae take the higher stance 

But am at stabbing that clath

And trust ma sweet yev git nae chance

Sew the cloth,

But yer family so a love ye

That’s the way it goes

A can take the pain a can aye pit it up

When yer treddin oan ma toes

A hugs a warm embrace

Well tek a cup o brew

If we’re honest a few too many glasses

But That’s wit sisters do

We’ll always be raring tae fight

Yev beilt ma blood sa much

Am propped up by the steam it’s become

And the anger a call ma crutch

But that’s the hing about the clath

It’s wear and tear but holds

We’re no a perfect family

But in love, aye, we fit the mould 

Ben Docherty, Glasgow

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Insomnia – Liam Hickson

The fears I have, now I’m grown up

My name is Liam Hickson, I’m 28 years old. I’ve always had trouble sleeping due to great amounts of anxiety, I was recently diagnosed as autistic, something that has played on my mind greatly. I found myself wondering if my autism played a role in lost loves and missed opportunities. Did my anxiety and need to structure create become my own worst enemy?

Insomnia

These sleepless nights where I do find,

The ghosts of memories I’ve left behind,

The face of her, the one I loved,

The gentle breeze, the softest touch,

The love once lost, the time spent up,

The fears I have, now I’m grown up,

These sleepless nights where I do find,

The ghosts of a youth, that I left behind.

Liam Hickson

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.