That Day – Jackie Kirman

From the back of the church, it might be a normal service,

Special thanks to Jackie Kirman who is a Creative Writing Teacher with a passion for producing both poems and short fiction. Jackie has had some of her work published in the past and we really appreciate her kind decision to share ‘That day…’ with us.

That day…   

we left in a hurry.

The rest in our wake,

break neck speed.

Holding hands, our three;

fingers enclosing fingers,

enclosing fingers.

Past the three

storey flats with

names scrawled

on dim-lit doorbells.

Past the long haired

cat, with its hanging

tail who circled

three times.

And our three

flowers, bruised

stems, bleeding.

From the back of the

church, it might

be a normal service,

but the congregation

slowly turned.

That morning…

I woke early,

the noise in my

head like a loose

storm door in a gale.

I dreamt

I had no legs,

just an old board

with wheels.

I thought I would

make a sign to hang

around my neck.

Jackie Kirman

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.

Come Home to the Hearth – Judith Bristow

Bathe in fire’s glow

We really appreciate Judith Bristow’s fantastic submission to Voices. Judith is an amateur musician and Early Years Practitioner living in Helston, Cornwall. She loves writing poetry ‘inspired by the sea, the art and gift of storytelling, and human compassion.’ Thank you Judith.

Come Home to the Hearth

Come home to the hearth

Where your ancestors wait

To embrace you in 

bearskin, wool, cotton and lace

 

The twilight seeks in

The day is all won

By you, or some other

No matter – it’s done

 

Sit down by the warmth

Bathe in fire’s glow

Tell your stories – or not;

No matter, they know

 

Rest your head on old shoulders

Feel your hearts beat in time

Trust in the wisdom

Of your constant guides

 

Open your hands

Let the love come back in

You are safe and beloved

Next the hearth with your kin

Judith Bristow

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.

 

Sonnet – Atmosphere Hayden Van Zeil

At the edge, space is drawing near

Hayden Van Zeil is from Hayling Island and enjoys sport and reading. As part of his Duke of Edinburgh award, Hayden has decided to create poetry. He enjoys experimenting with different styles and genres. Thank you very much Hayden for sharing your work with us!

Sonnet– Atmosphere 

The atmosphere contains many layers,

Closest to life is the troposphere,

The sight of it can answer people’s prayers,

Blue as the ocean, shining like a chandelier.

 

Next to come is the stratosphere,

12 to 50 Km from the earth’s brittle crust,

If you voyage there, you’ll require space gear,

And one immense spaceship thrust.

 

3rd out of the 5 is the mesosphere,

Its purpose is to burn up the deadly meteorites,

Thank god were safe! Hand us a beer,

Shooting stars! What a stunning sight.

 

The Thermosphere is where the northern lights arise,

It is the largest layer of the earth’s atmosphere,

Thermo means heat, its Greek, that’s a surprise!

The distance from earth is 1.0570008 x 10-10 of a light year.

 

The last layer, furthest from earth,

At the edge, space is drawing near,

This layer has many uses and lots of worth,

Its name?… Exosphere.

Hayden Van Zeil, 14, Hayling Island

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.

Anxiety – Robert Phillips

The battle may be long

Thank you to Robert Phillips for his poignant offering to Voices. Embarking on a course of Creative Writing has been a life-changing experience for Robert and we really appreciate his decision to share ‘Anxiety’ with us. A former lorry driver, Robert states that writing ‘has totally changed my life for the better and has opened up many new challenges and opportunities to me.’

Anxiety

Anxiety is not needed
It’s something you choose to allow
Pressure from outside you
Like a grenade waiting to blow

You build it up
Let it smoulder
Then some one else
Lobs another one 
Over your shoulder
It waits for you to reach 
Your lowest point
And primes your brain 
With constant doubt

It’s not liberating or expansive
Binding you in mental chains
It’s insular and destructive
Only anxiety chooses when 
The chains can be lifted

Try to talk to someone
Family or stranger
Try hard to converse
You need help to lift this 
Damned anxiety curse
Surely sharing can’t make 
Your life or feelings any worse

Anxiety makes you feel
Weak and very brittle
Knowing your supported
Builds your armour 
Just a little

The battle may be long
But fight with all your might
It’s you that must crusade
To find your shining light
Knowing you lead the charge
Not a spectator in the middle
Make it dance to your tune
Because many a good tune
Is played on an old fiddle

You control it 
Don’t let it control you

Robert Phillips, 56

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.

Senses of Music – Steve Fordington

Music harmonises the universe

Steve Fordington is a North Norfolk poet, lyricist, musician and teacher. He has written poetry all his life as well as playing and teaching several instruments. He is an active member of a Norfolk poetry circle and regularly performs in bands, groups and orchestras. He has published many compositions and was a schoolteacher and manager for nearly forty years.

Senses Of Music by Steve Fordington

Copyright 2019

 

Music – you can’t touch.

Yet music lets you feel.

It’s from imagination. 

Yet music is so real.

 

Music – you can’t taste.

And yet it stirs your soul.

One note, one chord, a passing phrase

Brings back what memory stole.

 

It helps recall the sights,

The smells and raw regrets.

It fixes a moment frozen –

A diary point time forgets.

 

For music is our backdrop,

Our wallpaper of being.

Our collective inspiration

Of loving, knowing, seeing.

 

Its entity exists alone,

Away from instruments and scores.

No crowded media imposed,

Nor locked away indoors.

 

And like an everlasting strain

Of all life meant and more,

Music harmonises the universe

For futures gone before.

Steve Fordington, North Norfolk

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.

The Tale of a Gentlewoman – Geraldine Tunstall

Her heart was sore

A special thanks to Geraldine Tunstall for her powerful submission to Voices and the poetry competition. Have you found your soul mate? The mysterious nature of love and the human need for companionship and appreciation is addressed masterfully in ‘Tale of a Gentlewoman’. We really appreciate Geraldine sharing this special poem with us.

The Tale of a Gentlewoman

All she ever wanted

was to give her heart to a deserving suitor

Her prized possession

had a little wear and tear

but was still fully functioning

Most wanted one with all the bells and whistles

but she was waiting for a man

that wanted an old antique with some charm

Her heart was sore

she didn’t know how to feel anymore

Lump in her throat, it was hard to breathe

wishing everyone would just leave

so much chatter in her head

trying not to see red

She heard the cries

and whispers in the wind

Not sure of which way she was going

she took a deep breath

and told herself it didn’t matter

as long as she didn’t stop

They met in a dark place

the shadows made it hard to see

So many times they stumbled

but patience and communication were key

She intently listened

held her hand out for him to find

Knew she should share her thoughts

as he couldn’t read her mind

Her face trembled

as the tears brimmed to the top

She’d been holding it together so long

she was ready to pop

She put on a brave face

as he pulled her close

Baby, what’s wrong?

tears streamed as if she’d just seen a ghost

Geraldine Tunstall

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.

Dancing Queen – Elizabeth Train-Brown

the world is a stage and the speakers are on

It is very special to celebrate the life someone special through the medium of poetry, and Elizabeth Train-Brown remembers her Nana, who ‘spent her century-long life dancing and teaching others’, in a magical way. We are very proud to present ‘Dancing Queen’ in the blog. Having had experience working with cancer charities, she was very keen to support this project. Elizabeth followed her parents into a life of performance, becoming the ‘fire breathing Phoenix on stage’ and has also pursued a career in writing. Find out more about Elizabeth at: Dancing on the Knife Point. Thanks again Elizabeth for sharing your exceptional poetry.

Dancing Queen

(for Violet)

Her legs are stiff with age; it’s been so long since she danced,

Twirled and chartered the floor, chanced

Each night with a new man on her arm

Now, she’s stuck in a chair, blanket warm

Over her knees and the sky went dark hours ago.

She’s been dreaming with her eyes open, you know,

Gazing at the wall with a smile on her face as music drifts

Through the air and partners fly around her like swifts

In the sky. There’s a band in the corner, playing louder and louder:

Sax and bass and drums and voices shower

The dancefloor in streams of light, bathe the room in

Tangible ribbons of sheet music. Her lips part to sing

And somewhere, in another life, her voice echoes

Through the room and not a soul dare go

When their ears catch those fluttering notes.

Here, the air circles with lazy dust motes

But there, the world is a stage and the speakers are on:

I’m here! She cries into the mic. Did you think I was gone?

Their whoops and cheers carry her like stretchers

Through the crowd, each brush of skin electric with embers

Of song and dance and excitement in her veins again.

She’s dancing the foxtrot through torrents of champagne,

The waltz, the jive, the rumba, the salsa,

The tango, the jitterbug, the cha cha cha—

Her legs are alive after an age of rest,

Awake and electrified and the best

You will ever see from all around. She’s whirling and spinning

Across the dancefloor as if she never stopped; she’s finally winning.

They’ll cry, she knows, in that other life

Damp on their cheeks, hearts of strife.

But one or two will smile, spare a grateful thought

That up there above, heaven has a dance floor.

Elizabeth Train-Brown

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.

When T Meets B – Erin Keeble

On a beach somewhere on a summer’s day…

We really appreciate Erin Keeble’s excellent submission to Voices and entry to the competition. This poem carries a very important message which comes as no surprise as Erin aims to move audiences and ‘capture their minds and hearts’. A student at the University of East Anglia, one of her poems was published in the prestigious ‘Armistice for Schools 100’ poetry competition (judged by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy) and her work has also appeared in UEA’s Art-History Magazine. Erin is a passionate and talented lyricist who often takes part in poetry slams too.

When T Meets B

When T meets B there are firework sparks

T’s eyes dilate, above his beating heart

As he gets closer he begins to see How glamorous B is,

floating free

Her tall, slim body bathes with grace

The radiant sunlight upon her face

T can feel his body begin to shake

His mind is spinning, he feels wide awake

B stretches in the water and turns around

That’s it, T’s heart is bound

As B reaches and beckons with her slim white hand

T swims closer to the sand

He’s nearly there

It’s all too much to bear

As he sees the sunlight coat her cheeks

He shivers and buckles, his knees feel weak

As B reaches out her slender arm

T is overcome by her charm

He is sure her expression is one of love

Her pale body floating like a dove

But when their hands lock her nails are sharp

Like the small jagged teeth of a carp

He struggles but now it is too late

The carp has won, it has its bait

Pain encircles him and he is overcome

His head is hurting, his legs feel numb

He looks once at the ocean before glancing with dread

At the white entrapper spinning her web.

On a beach somewhere on a summer’s day

Fate dropped B the bag and she washed away

There to stay

And not decay

Didn’t think of T the turtle swimming by

In the ocean, under the azure sky

It was dawn when he suddenly wondered why

There was something so beautiful floating by

But he had to die

Why?

Because this love he thought he’d felt so strong

He’d actually got it all very wrong

For B the bag was a web of lies

She had got T the turtle mystified

Her beautiful exterior and fantastic shape

Hid what lay under her pretty white cape

T the turtle had made a mistake

But he hadn’t realised until too late

But if B the bag had found B the bin

T wouldn’t have suffered what fate chose for him

And then T would still be swimming, and free

This was the story of when T met B.

Erin Keeble, University of East Anglia, Norwich

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.

The Way It Used to Be – Bernie Bickerton

I remember when only spiders had a Web

Special thanks to Bernie Bickerton for this sharp-witted and reflective offering. Can you remember those halcyon days before mobile phones and the internet? Bernie loves reading and writing poetry, and her passion certainly shines through in this brilliant piece – ‘a tongue in cheek view on the evolving use of language.’

The Way It Used To Be

I remember

When tweeting was only for birds,

When Kindle was only firewood,

When Windows were only looked through.

I remember

When dating required a meeting,

When Followers walked with Jesus,

When a hundred Friends was a demo.

I remember

When only spiders had a Web,

When only churches had an icon,

When only Hitchcock had Angry Birds.

I remember

When “to pin” was to prepare a hem,

When to Excel was to do well,

and I remember,

when you had a sunny Outlook.

© B Bickerton

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.

The Decimation – Xavier Coughlan

under the guise of playing saviours

We are extremely grateful for the talented Xavier Coughlan’s offering to Voices, and we appreciate his support. Xavier is a student who often chooses to address the theme of mental health within his poetry. Eloquent, profound and thought-provoking, we are very fortunate that he has decided to share ‘The Decimation’. Thank you Xavier.

The Decimation

Berkshire. A high-security psychiatric hospital designed by architect Joshua Jebb to accommodate Britain’s most elusive and intuitive.

An assembly of ten,

unburdened by morals,

gathered one fierce night

to float suggestions

of a solution –

to fabricate subtleties

in catastrophe

and solve

what makes you man.

These mighty ten

had been convened

by fate and a sectioning law,

and together round a table,

crafted by Joseph’s son himself,

the group disputed your future.

The Richest clanged

for an annihilation;

the demolition of a continent

blessed not by wealth,

but by culture,

and all the economics

heritage entails,

under the guise

of playing saviours.

One proposed a decimation

and advocated it by tying a noose

and swaying from the hands of

Our strongest

and jiggling to the pain of their

blood-crossed hands.

We were subdued by two thoughts

in watching him dangle:

admiration for not being formulaic

in not using the flush of lighting;

and the eulogizing of his manifesto

in watching its flair unfold.

He was right.

That night, we shared his Lithium,

grinding the pills

into equal amounts –

complying with the cadaver.

Decimation was the future.

The decision had been made.

They bid farewell and set off

to tackle the execution.

Pax vobiscum

Xavier Coughlan, Pewsey, Wiltshire

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.