Seeing – Catriona Patience

Perhaps these are half shadows

I am an aspiring artist and occasional writer who usually lives in Edinburgh but sometimes lives on islands.

Seeing

Blinded by uncertainty

Carving half truths

Out of ephemeral

Fickle

Light

Seeing it clearly

Or at least you think you do,

Perhaps these are half shadows

Of that ever fickle

Truth?

Dreaming,

groping in the dark

You brush against the future

Then wake suddenly in the half light

Paralysed.

Catriona Patience

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.

Wave – Alan Pattison

The first is little more than a trickle

I am a semi-retired researcher and author of local history

Wave

The first is little more than a trickle

The second you can barely notice

The third pretends to break

The fourth makes you think about it’s wake

With the fifth you are wide awake

By the sixth standing up and being brave

To turn round and face the seventh wave

Alan Pattison

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.

Shazam – Grace Rafferty

Will anyone come from above?

My name is Grace Rafferty I am 11 years old and I go to Townsend church of England school.

Shazam

In the midst of the night, 

Darkness fills the air,

And Villans take flight.

No one can stop their reign,

Only one,

Someone so incredibly insane.

Where is the master?

The one who knows the way,

The one to fix this disaster.

Is there anyone out there,

To save all of us,

Someone to clear this wicked air.

We start to forget how to love,

How to be ourselves,

Will anyone come from above?

When all hope is gone,

When no one believes,

Something in the dawn.

Could this be the one?

The mighty leader,

Maybe he can fix what has been done.

He sweeps down,

And with one fist,

Repairs all the around. 

And with the snap of a finger,

All is done,

And the mighty silhouette is nowhere to be seen.

Grace Rafferty

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.

Fairy Tale – Lucy Savage

There once were sights of breathtaking beauty

I’ve always enjoyed writing and having dabbled with creative writing groups for years finally decided to concentrate on developing my poetic style by joining a class this year. Themes for me include the natural world and also the restrictions placed on disabled people by society’s attitudes and lack of inclusion.

Fairy Tale- 

There once was a princess with extraordinary dreams

There once was a castle that constrained her

There once was an ordinary village round the castle

There once was a real and enticing forest

There once were tracks leading nowhere and somewhere 

There once were sights of breathtaking beauty 

There once were traps all around to catch her

There once were surprises to be discovered 

And the princess longed to keep roaming 

There once were elves to accompany her

There once were goblins to frighten her back

And the princess did her best to ignore them

And she blocked out the sounds of their roaring 

There once were kings and queens telling her to stay home

There once was a prince who sometimes encouraged her

And sometimes the princess wandered out on her own 

There once were foreign courtiers lighting her way

There once were powers telling her the paths led nowhere 

There once was a voice encouraging her freedom 

And the princess sometimes thought it was unreal 

she sometimes felt like giving up her wandering

she sometimes felt too tired to keep walking

But somehow the princess knew roaming was right 

somehow she wanted to explore forever

somehow she thought she would get where she wanted

Lucy Savage

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.

Fate’s guiding star seems dimmed – Lukul Selavy

my love; a star who shines only for day?

I’m called Lukul Selavy. People often pronounce this weirdly. I am sixteen, I especially like the french symbolist poets. This poem is my first, and so this submission is not due to arrogance but due to hope. I hope it is liked.p.s. the subtitle is not irrelevant and is interconnected with the poem, as the subtitle’s logic (or illogic) would be with any poem of an emotional sort.

Fate’s guiding star seems dimmed

(41 lines – 5 quintains – 2 quatrains – 2 tercets – 1 couplet – Hope – Hope of love – she’s called Maybe)

the girl, that daydream gazes find, i call: Maybe

(lest she is explained as: imaginary).  

like a petulant child that tugs on coattails,

presentiments of her urge me, stubbornly

yearning; but, always at heart sadness prevails.

my love; a star who shines only for day?

a dove with feathers going grey?

a song for nobody?

summer night   rolls onto her belly   her shape

lies star-traced by astral veils from which escapes

cosmic rain  yes heaven’s flecked constellation      

glazed on my window     sultry night her arched nape

her raised chin   Fate’s girl of imagination!

outside of my window i see

rose garden roseate coloured

at last, from the earth they tug free

Slowly they start to fall upward 

Future knows how Present swoons   for what may be

so smooth sheets make jagged peaks   over my knee

and moonlight cascades   into these spectral deeps

wind whispers   through blooms yes   voices sing for me!

but hope wilts; mountains tilt; oceans drain; songs sleep.  

shall i discover love as the newborn discovers colours?

or be without?

who can love fleshless hope? a vile thief space is. 

such evil air, there instead of embraces.

heart – stop your beat. until to her it wakes,

‘till we cross in life’s web of times and places.

soul; to bed. sleep could fill the void waiting makes.          

see the full moon incandescent,

slowly growing the night’s black skin,

and so makes the moon a crescent

stretching into a jeering grin

can you hear? can you? Fate’s guiding star seems dimmed.

Future’s love, my star… this prayer’s not speech mark “winged”.

my life’s enjambment untangles through despair   

and hope. always   my pulse is . caesura pinned;

with hope, despair! and foul runes, wrought for thin air.

my love; a star who shines only for day?

a dove with feathers going grey?

a song for nobody.

Lukul Selavy

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.

Woodland Rite – Tina Pritchard

where the notes of lilting birdsong echo clear and pure

After a life dedicated to re-locating frequently, bringing up a family, taking a social science degree as a mature student, working as a college lecturer, a trainer and more recently a Celebrant, Tina Pritchard at last addressed her burning need to write her debut novel, The Sea Glass Beach. Although not autobiographical, the story reflects aspects of her childhood as the illegitimate daughter of a single mother in Ireland during the 1950’s. Tina believes scratching the surface of ordinary lives can reveal, a rich seam of material. Becoming a Celebrant further validated this view. She feels privileged to have been entrusted with writing unique ceremonies marking significant life events. She has also written a number of personalised poems for inclusion in ceremonies she has conducted. In 2016 one of her poems was selected for inclusion in The Great British Write Off anthology. She also won first prize in a 100 word story competition in 2015. As a member of a creative writing group, Tina has been encouraged by the feedback received from fellow writers during the process of writing her novel. She gains much of her inspiration from walking in the countryside with her badly behaved terrier Horace.

Woodland Rite

Take me to the woods
where the green gnarled boughs rise majestically
from scarred and riven trunks, braced and steadfast.
Noble sentinels, knee deep in fragmenting crumb,
rooted in leaf litter, old as time and humming with life.

Take me to the woods
where the sun glints through the spreading canopy
and sudden heavy raindrops bend flattened leaves.  
Shivering their burden, they send a rainbow cascade
of liquid light to beguile the unwary, in this kingdom of delights.

Take me to the woods
where the notes of lilting birdsong echo clear and pure,
borne aloft on a freshening breeze.
A trembling of finches dart through sheltering hedgerows,
tiny chirrups joining the sweet flute of the mistle thrush.

Will you take me to the woods
where the solitary oak serenely awaits my impending arrival,
branches outstretched in welcome.
White ash, fragments of stardust mingle with teeming loam,
a scattering of motes at journey’s end. Elemental as earth I will become.

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 Wheel of Time – Alex Kashko

Pan is alive again and his pipes sound

Edinburgh based poet Alex Kashko has been an engineer, Scientist, Mathematician, Academic, translator and Nomadic Software developer. His work has most recently bee accepted for Abyss and Apex.

The wheel of time

Alex Kashko

The year turns slowly and the green king 

of oak feels his strength wane. The winter king 

of holly stirs, his strength growing. Soon it will be

the season of wind and wet and a festival of folly

The people note the longer nights

the darkness and the cold.

Shiver and put on the lights

Scared they are getting old

The green king of oak rises to wrestle with the winter king of holly,

ponders the folly of a fight he knows he will lose and another

he knows he will win.

The people in their boxes put on the light

turn up the heat ignore the darker hours.

They don’t care about the fight

Their enemies are humans who took power.

In the dusky wolf light the fey, the elves and goblins play.

Pan is alive again and his pipes sound

through the streets, take over the buskers who stay

to enjoy his music, past the rush hour and the end of day

The cycle must go on. Once the holly king has 

won the two kings with a single crown shake hands and drink together

Rejoicing in the change of weather

that lets one sleep, the other sing.

The humans, still blind, who missed the fight,

shiver and, afraid of getting old, switch on another light.

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.

Leaving You, Looking Back – Sue Proffitt

I’m imagining crystals you said

I live in South Devon and am a poet / writer. Over the past 20 years there have been significant and hugely difficult challenges for me in facing life-threatening illness in those whom I love. My partner, mother and best friend have all struggled with cancer. I’ve looked at Maggie’s website and it reminds me so much of the Mustard Tree Macmillan Support Centre at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. That place was such a sanctuary for me at times. We all have to come to terms with our mortality; I’ve learned that. I’ve also learned how coming to terms with it makes me so thankful for the wonder of my embodied life, and the lives of those around me and the innumerable other life-forms inhabiting this planet.

Leaving you, looking back

for Hazel

It started with an alien thing 

tracked in the deep space of your body,

sucking a kidney. Expelled with its prize,

but not before a tumour-stream of stars

metastasises, bright on the screen.

I’m imagining crystals you said, 

weeks later, shining inside.  

Sitting with you at home, 

spring sunlight shifts the goldfish

in the pond, nuzzles out-nosing bulbs. 

The air around you inhales ​    

and stops.

You occupy silent space  

whilst sounds surround you –

kitchen-business, radio, birds. 

Nights dislocate. You finger fear 

along the edge of hours –  stay with me.

Oh, but you travelled wildly those nights. 

Barbados, Hawaii, memory’s miasma,

glittering fragments hijacking the dark.

In freefall now, in the half-light

of your hospital room the fragments 

of your still-embodied self unravel.

Help me stand you beg

but I can’t – your atrophied weight 

too great, – too frail

instead I press my palms 

into your soles hard, 

pushing my guilt against you.

I am your ground now.

It isn’t enough.

Sue Proffitt

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.

Fugitives – Dominic James

below a tall, stark sky

Dominic James lives in the Cotswolds and attends poetry meetings along the Thames Valley. His collection, Pilgrim Station, was published by SPM Publications in 2016.

Fugitives

With elder bloom and hawthorn sheaves
a better place found to grieve,
fresh in the morning sun:
let blossom shed by apple trees
bathe my eyes, let tears come. 

Troubles have I known.  Move on.
I still believe warm drops, dissolved
can separate the single soul 
from a wounded heart – a sleight of hand
bruising to the fragile ribs, 

pinches at soft tissue, muscle –
I could win back my willing half 
but after so much shared and lost,
to find another’s turned away, 
shrugged me off: I’m hollow.

Blue-finned, the magpie struts and hops 
his vine-entangled, fence’s row
much as he skips from love to love,
merciless, our native crow
contrasts zip to sorrow.

If charity lacks value then
the fugitive’s well understood:
once stolen off and gone for good
seeks brazen reassurances.
I offered those as well.

            Cock robin on a limb
pipe up and sing Poor Me, in shade
below a tall, stark sky
no sign of rain to prick my eyes,
make tears come, not me.

Dominic James

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.

Ashdown Forest to Oakhill – Ruth Gilchrist

I love the birth of an autumn day

Ruth Gilchrist is an award-winning poet who has lived in many beautiful places, but it was becoming a parent that made her write. Too tired to sleep poetry was the only voice she could find in the dark. Fortunately, as her children have grown so has her writing success, now it’s the poetry that keeps her awake. Ruth writes on a variety of subjects and experiments with different poetry forms. Her joint pamphlet “The Weather Looks Promising” is published by Black Agnes Press.

https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/authors/ruth-gilchrist

https://ruthgilchristpoet.blogspot.com/

Ashdown forest to Oakhill

I love the birth of an autumn day that kicks dew from your heels and plants gossamer webs on your face. The only time my fingers welcome the cold is when scooped beneath a field mushroom to pluck it with its damp umbilical. I tell the boys;“note in your mind this spot, there will be more here tomorrow.” But their thoughts are fireworks and their hunt will be just as wide every day they are here in Oakhill. I know they will come every morning, not just for the novelty of the velvet nosed foal eating my jumper, but because they cannot believe the flavour. I think there is something about the oak tree, that you taste in a field mushroom that they will never forget.

I remember my first taste, my sister and I gathered them in Ashdown forest. There wild mushrooms mine rich tones from the earth beneath the autumn leaves. There was a youth there I tasted too. He was fresh cologned with saddle soap, hands calloused from the reigns. Lips the flavour of rosehip, hawthorn, plum and elderberry. That season I was painted; all the fiery colours of autumn.

Ruth Gilchrist

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.