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.

The Greatest Mystery of All – Tyler Kershaw

In my heart they will always remain

Tyler Kershaw is a Film Student at Leeds Trinity University who has very kindly decided to submit his work to Voices. Tyler is extremely passionate about poetry and writing, and we thank him for his contribution.

The greatest mystery of all

As I sit here in modest reflection,

I think of the lives that fill my heart with affection,

Scottish neighbours down the road,

Nana and Grandad whose love they bestowed,

Benny, Izzy Lula dogs most faithful,

My feelings for them forever grateful,

 

In the folly of youth I thought them immortal,

Feeling their affection I forgot they were mortal,

So many sunny days and happy nights,

Their aura, their power shining so bright,

This fire they made lit me up like a lantern,

Brush strokes on my life left me with a pattern,

 

In my house I see their pictures,

The memories up there just fading fixtures,

My question to the cosmos the universe at large,

Are their spirits up their or just a mirage,

Do they watch from the heavens under Heimdallr’s eyes?

Or is this comforting thought a torrent of lies,

 

I think I understand this affronting mystery,

There is more that’s left than just plain history,

In my heart they will always remain,

Their existence was always more than a brain,

The power of the soul forever eternal,

The spark the fire forever infernal,

 

Although I weep at the physical loss,

I can’t help but smile they’ve passed across,

On to the boundaries of a new existence,

I will always remember them with all my persistence,

At times it makes me mellow it makes me sad,

But this feeling and force I’ll always be glad,

Tyler Kershaw, 21, Leeds

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.

 

We Are Blind – Caoilinn Hughes

It’s easy to ignore problems

Thank you Caoilinn Hughes for her potent and relevant offering to Voices. We appreciate her decision to share her work for a very good cause.

We Are Blind

We are blind to what we don’t want to see

And deaf to what we don’t want to hear

We accept the inequality in our world 

And ignore all the hatred and fear

Global warming, plastic pollution

Oceans filled with waste

Starvation, thirst and poverty

Yet we remain stone faced

It’s easy to ignore problems 

When helping is too hard

But if we open our eyes and ears to the world

At least that would be a start

 Caoillin Hughes, 17

 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.

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.

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.