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.

Here For A Season – Jess Streeting

Your autumn came too swiftly

I am a community nurse and teacher and write for pleasure and for the nursing press.

I recently published a novel on Amazon, Last Summer in Soho,  primarily to help raise the profile of school nursing. I have been asked to speak at many nursing conferences about my work, including most recently the International School Nursing Conference in Stockholm. I enjoy evoking the complexities of nursing, with affection and humour.

In my poetry and prose I  explore themes of childhood, loss and trauma.

Here for a Season

There have been other autumn days,

A morning when I looked out over Oxford trees quietly dropping their fruit and leaves

Joyful and exhausted, holding our new son

And you brought me one of every kind of apple from the Tesco in Cowley Road,

Confusing the lady at the till and not caring, of course, about that.

Our boy had fallen, like a ripe, ruddy apple into our lives

Abruptly, appropriately, on the day expected.

Coming home to flowers, cards and whisky warmth to wrap our baby in, we

Retreated from the world and churches, 

Keeping stillness in one room.

This autumn morning

Our grown babes sleep, exhausted.

Outside, some dry gold leaves from great old trees drift down past stone church walls.

You brought such love and music into our unusual lives

Borne proudly in like apple gifts for us to take or leave.

Colour that most people would not think to blend all in one jumper or sock. 

Not caring about that at all, of course.

Your autumn came too swiftly then your winter.

And we all, dazed and heavy, with no music for this autumn day

Keep stillness in one room.

Jessica Streeting

21.10.2015

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.

Tomorrow – Bonnie Cheuk

What will it bring? 

Bonnie is from London, UK. She writes poetry to complement her piano playing as a way of expressing unspoken thoughts and feelings. Her writing takes inspiration from personal experiences coupled with creative depiction of stories that derive from imagination. The fragility of life and the expanse of astronomy are themes she likes to include throughout her work. 

A little bit about the poem – Tomorrow: 
It was written as part of a three-part poem (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow) and is about looking forward to Tomorrow and what it will bring, whilst remembering and reminiscing a loved one who has gone to the skies. 

TOMORROW [明天]

Tomorrow 

What will it bring? 

Will songbirds still sing?

Maybe a change in human nature

Discovery of a new creature

Let us write historical scripture 

For tomorrow and our future

Can you still hear me talking?

In times of lonesome walking

I wish you were still here

To wipe away today’s tears

Yesterday was difficult 

It brought me to a halt 

A time capsule is what I need 

To plant more memory seeds

I don’t want them to fade 

Willing to put tomorrow up for trade

Just to see you once again.

Bonnie Cheuk

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.

TXT SPK – Joyce Walker

Don’t b l8

Joyce is a retired administrator who has had poetry and stories published in a number of magazines. She won 1stprize in the Writers Brew story competition in 2002 and was runner up in the Erewash Writers Burst Flash fiction competition in 2013. Her most recent win was 1st prize in the Writers Forum Poetry competition in the July 2016 issue of Writers Forum. She loves the First World War Poets.

TXT SPK

I ave 2cu

It can’t w8

2 o’clock now

Don’t b l8

If ur

U’ll leave me cryn

4 I’ll think

Our luv is dyin

Joyce Walker

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.

What Memory Tastes Like – Sasha Saben Callaghan

we drank sweet, black coffee, flavoured with orange peel

Sasha Saben Callaghan is a writer and digital artist. She was a winner of the 2016 ‘A Public Space’ Emerging Writer Fellowship and the 2019 Pen to Paper Awards. Her poetry, short stories and illustrations have been published in a wide range of magazines and journals.

Sasha’s lived experience of disability and impairment is a major influence on her work.

What Memory Tastes Like

Yes, I know what memory tastes like.

It’s a triple espresso from Las Violetas,

a coffee house in downtown Buenos Aires,

with terrazzo floors and marbled Corinthian columns.

Now, when the smell of arabica or dark cerrada

hangs between flurries of snow in the wintery air

I go sailing away, down the Rio Grande 

Due southerly, from Colorado to the Gulf of Cazones

to dance the tango in some basement jazz bar.

Mocha means riding a sleek, black horse across Patagonia.

cantering over the pampas in distant Tierra del Fuego,

where two great oceans collide.

Blue Haitian reminds me of watching from the veranda 

of an estancia near del Santiago Estero, 

as a charm of humming birds, tiny living jewels,

darted between barberry thorns, frangipani flowers.

Blue throated goldentails. Collared Incas. Sparkling violetears.

On the first night climbing the Andes,

we drank sweet, black coffee, flavoured with orange peel.

Star anise melya, poured straight over ice,

like the heat and the breeze in the mountains.

Sasha Saben Callaghan

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.

Lo(nley)ve – Anu

Until one night you said you’ll be back and I never saw you again

My name is Anu and I am 16 year old girl from South London, Bromley. I wrote poetry as a way to communicate, as an outlet, it’s my therapy and I enjoy sharing that with people.


Lo(nley)ve

The feeling you’re holding tightly onto something you feel you want and need.

The fact I can have you to myself and you’re my only excuse for greed.

To be with you, not without was my one hearts wish, to share with you that beautiful true loves kiss.

Because that’s what I thought you were, my one true love.

But you started to lose interest and ‘I love you’ became a phrase, is it something I did or didn’t do that got us into this phase?

After time went on I raised my concern and your reassurance would surely lead me on.

Until one night you said you’ll be back and I never saw you again,

So I sat and there to remain,

Ceased to complain.

Just got out a bottle of wine and drank the pain away.

Because I knew it would happen 

I knew we’d get here to the end of this rollercoaster of emotion.

I never knew what love was until my Kingdom had no King.

the butterflies became bees and my heart began to sting 

It was nice that for 5 minutes I endured love from someone, it’s bad it ended so quick.

So to never love again or never love the same?

Is what I have to pick.

Anu, Bromley

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 Autistic Princess – Melanie Jeffs

The love grows stronger, day by day

My name is Melanie Jeffs and I am 15 years old. I am in the process of a diagnosis for ASD and wanted to write a poem about how my boyfriend has helped me come to terms with who I am and own it rather than be ashamed of it.

The Autistic Princess

A lonely princess cries herself to sleep

Alone, nobody understands her ways

Her brain inside is like a puzzle or maze

Nobody can catch those tears she will weep


Food, lots of it, a new way to cope

The pounds pile on and clothes grow tight

It becomes an addiction, one she cannot fight

Nobody understands her, she’s lost all hope


But wait, a prince, with that same mind maze

Climbs up the tower with loving open arms

He reassures the princess with a voice that calms

And helps her escape the tower where she lays


He opens her up to a new way of life

Showing her what living is all about

She proudly speaks, and is never in doubt

The two fall in love and become man and wife


The love grows stronger, day by day

The princess hardly feels sad since,

She is accepting of who she is, thanks to the prince

She knows her true love will always stay


A journey of happiness has only just begun

Soulmates, two hearts, joint as one.

Melanie Jeffs

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.

Acquiesce – Anne Victoria Westwood

Life’s tides envelope me and try to drown

Anne Victoria Westwood is a primary school teacher who lives in Derbyshire. In her spare time, she enjoys penning verse, and we really appreciate her decision to share ‘Acquiesce’ with us. Thank you Anne.

Acquiesce

I am cast adrift but still afloat,
just hanging alone, low remote.
Life’s tides envelope me and try to drown,
but I’m still head up when I’m down.
For in the sky I see a sun,
one day when all of this is done.
I’ll be back on dry land for all to see,
but will it be the real me?
Could, should, would have to be. 

Anne Victoria Westwood, 43, Derbyshire

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.

Pink or Blue? – Katie Bagg

That was the first time you’d been put in a box, but it wouldn’t be the last

Many thanks to Katie Bagg for a very thoughtful and topical entry to Voices. Katie is very passionate about poetry and ‘Pink or Blue?’ focuses on the struggles of a transgender man.

Pink or Blue?

“Pink or blue?” Your parents asked

“Pink” he replied 

That was the first time you’d been put in a box, but it wouldn’t be the last


A pink home, with pink walls and pink floors,

Pink clothes and pink shoes, a pink bed you did not choose, 

pink food and pink drink, a pink bath and pink sink  

A pink life, a pink world, a pink baby – maybe?


A pink school, with pink friends and pink teachers,

Pink uniform and pink hair, a pink chair – that didn’t seem fair,

Pink toilets and pink toys, a pink playground full of pink noise

A pink life, a pink world, a pink child – maybe?

 

A pink textbook, with pink words and pink pictures,

Blue brain and blue imagination, a blue head full of frustration 

Green friends and green hair, a pink world that started to stare 

A pink life, a pink world, a blue teenager – maybe?


Pink words from a pink parent leave pink scars on a blue heart

A blue wish from a blue body goes unnoticed in this pink world 


Forced time and time again into pink boxes:

College applications – pink

Drivers license – pink

Social media accounts – pink

Email – pink


But, blue boxes were just waiting to be filled,

And a blue life was just waiting to begin. 

A blue world – ready for you to embrace it. 


Pink or blue? 


Blue. 

Katie Bagg, 16

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.

Becoming – Amanda Steel

And now I’m changing From the little girl you knew

Becoming

Amanda Steel is the author of the poetry collection “Pieces of Me” and several novels. She is also the editor of Printed Words and co-host of the podcast “Reading in Bed”. Her website is www.amandasteelwriter.com We really appreciate Amanda’s support.

Becoming

I was still talking

Even though I had paused

And had more I wanted to say

I only blinked and missed 

What you wanted to say

Now you’re missing it all

I haven’t turned out yet

I’ve still got a way to go

 

I was still talking

There was more to say

Even though I had paused

And now you won’t get to see

But I hope that you know

I hope you hear now

So that when we meet again

I won’t be a stranger to you

 

I was still talking

And now I’m changing

From the little girl you knew

I don’t know what I’ll become

But I’ve plenty more to share

And I can’t be who I was

I’m still turning out

Into whatever I’ll come

Amanda Steel

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.