A River’s Journey – Savannah Williston

waves like splashing lava

A special thanks to Savannah who has submitted an excellent poem about a very magical river journey. Savannah’s poem is so good that it is now proudly displayed in the ‘Hall of Fame’ in her school. We are sure you will enjoy reading this as much as we did – Savannah is a very imaginative and talented writer.

A River’s Journey

One cold and wet day I saw a river passing my way.
It had waves like splashing lava but I started to think I’d rather…..


Be floating on that river in a golden boat,
and then start to think to play a note.


The river would be floating in the breeze,
as I start to pass many trees.


Suddenly I go into the dark part of the jungle and then I hear something starting to rumble.


Out of the jungle comes a big hippo,
As he jumps into the water like a speeding limo.


He splashes me with the water, maybe about a quarter.
When the hippo went away the river was nice and calm, nothing to be near me, nothing to harm.


When I open my eyes again I am back in my bedroom still gazing out at the sleeping city. I also think I can see my golden boat saying goodbye now.


Just as I’m about to go to sleep I can see the river splitting out into the ocean,
And my golden boat with it too…..

Savannah, aged 8

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.

Bones – Beth Ascott

let me doze on onlys, ifs, and maybes

We appreciate Beth Ascott’s decision to share ‘Bones’ with us, and we are sure there are many readers who will be able to relate to this powerful poem. Thank you Beth.

Bones

My bones swell from aching and blood vessels fuse to their skin soothing them like red wine; intoxicate them until they cry marrow through their cracks and my bones bend, only to snap back when ventilated airseeps into my lungs. Hang me on a drip and let me doze on onlys, ifs, and maybes. Take my blood for yours, mix the double helix, pull the stems apart and let me feel the tear. Ease my feeble frame into a slumber of drunkenness and wake only if you are there.

Beth Ascott

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.

Grey – Gill Garrett

she wept a winter for her loss

Thank you Gill Garrett for her decision to submit ‘Grey’ to Voices. Gill taught nursing and health care for thirty five years. She currently writes poetry and creative non-fiction.

Grey

It grew back grey.

Chemo sapped her strength,

stole colour from her life and hair.

She wept a winter

for her loss.

It grew back grey.

Soft beneath a hand’s caress,

sleek silver under April sun –

spring and love

restored her.

Gill Garrett

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.

Am I Selkie – Molly Owen

She calls to you with the voices of faeries

Molly Owen is a trainee primary teacher and therapeutic horsemanship practitioner from Wales who now resides in Bath. Water often features in Molly’s work and she feels a great affinity with it. Thank you Molly for kindly sharing your talents with us.

Am I Selkie

She always welcomes you back.

She calls to you with the voices of faeries

And it’s enchanting but

Still you hear the quiet song of danger ringing in your ears.

One by one the swans turn their backs to you.

The gulls explode in angry flight and then

You are alone.

And she beckons.

The land is screaming its protest to your naked back.

Your feet bleed over her rocks.

You glance, once, to the trees

And then you walk.

You do not resist each other.

The cold pain of a heart returning home creeps upwards from your soles.

The screams of the returning gulls fade to an echoing hum.

And your body, soft and solid, melts into the rhythm of the waves as she welcomes you back.

Molly Owen, Bath

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.

1000 Leagues Under The Sea – Michael Howe

Is anybody coming to save me

Thank you Michael Howe for his vivid entry to our competition and Voices. Michael is passionate about poetry and has kindly decided to share his talents with us for a good cause.

1000 Leagues Under The Sea

I’m making this my last message
From 1000 leagues under the sea
I’m stuck in a vessel floating
Because of the death of humanity

Can anybody hear me out there
I set off in June or May 
I’ve lost my escape pod
Are my wife and children okay

I’m making this my last message
I have enough food and air for a day
My health has started sliding 
And the main Hull has blown away

I haven’t seen outside for a while
I remember help being on the way
Is anybody coming to save me
Am I locked here to stay

If you manage to find this message
And the bombs didn’t end humanity
Then look 1000 leagues under the sea
For a lonely man, you’ll find me 

Michael Howe

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.

Our Forgotten Lives – Elijah Leonard

Stop worrying about how you look

Many thanks to Elijah Leonard for a poem with a powerful message. As the pace of life accelerates with the rise of technology and social media, we should certainly take time to heed Elijah’s very wise words.

Our Forgotten Lives

Forgetting,

You do it everyday,

Every week,

Every month,

Every year.

 

It’s the insignificant things that slip; for example ,

What you ate for dinner two weeks ago,

The fact that feeding ducks bread is in fact dangerous for their health,

Where the spare back door key is.

 

I for one, am afraid of being forgotten,

I am afraid that with time,

I’ll be another gravestone half sunken into the ground covered in moss and overgrown weeds. 

 

No one will know my name,

Who my family was,

Where I came from or what I did.

I will be, quite simply: forgotten with time. 

 

Inevitably we will all be forgotten with time, 

Including our monarchs, politicians and celebrities of today.

 

We will be nothing but that gravestone half sunken into the ground covered in moss and overgrown weeds,

Stop worrying about making your mark on social media, 

Stop worrying about how you look, 

Or how you act. 

Just enjoy your life, be happy, live it to the fullest, 

Because if not, 

You’ll have nothing nice to remember before you forget, just regrets about wasting your life. 

And you will forget. 

Everything will be forgotten.

Elijah Leonard

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.

Our Paradox – Liam Connolly

When years we treasured weigh me down

Liam Connolly is a Genealogist from Yorkshire who has very kindly decided to submit ‘Our Paradox’ to Voices. Liam is very passionate about writing fantasy novels and poetry, and more of his work can be found at: amomentseized.wordpress.com. Thank you Liam for sharing your talent and time.

Our Paradox

The times your breathing rattles or you snore

and shift, I grouch, and grind my teeth.

But in the silence, strain my eyes upon

those coalescing curves for rise and fall

that promises you have not left me yet.

 

When years we treasured weigh me down,

this half light hides our age.

But in the dark, some tender touch

will test your weight is more and

reassure – you have not left me yet?

 

Forgive me if I stare when you’re asleep.

I only trouble yours to know that peace.

Liam Connolly, 27, Yorkshire

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 Mother That Murdered – Emilie Mendham

The day of the dark creeps close


Dark House

Special thanks to Emilie Mendham for her fantastic contribution to Voices and the competition. Emily is a student at Nottingham Trent University, and has very bravely decided to submit her first ever entry to a contest. We really appreciate her decision, and we are sure you will enjoy reading her work.

The Mother that Murdered

My House was made of sugar paper

And the floor was coated with silk,

When my walls felt thin like wafer,

I then noticed my flowers begin to wilt.

Now a stranger sits on my chair,

And our eyes are the same pink blur,

The stranger glitters, knowing they’re rare.        

I know outside will soon start to stir. 

The stranger beats with the hum of my heart.

And the outsiders drum with force,

“The stranger needs your support”

Their throats grow hoarse,

“But the stranger will steal and bite”

The outsiders scream and bang

And the Stranger looks for me

But my eyes look for safety of the sun. 

My house cannot save us see?

As I only have until tomorrow night,

Before the outsiders find out who wun. 

The stranger scrapes under the veins in my hourglass,

Tipping and then smashing fine tissue.

Whilst outsiders loudly tap on my glass,

Flecks and shards speckle through.

Warning me of what the stranger will do.

How could I decide? When even the outside,

Fails to let me choose.

I just stare at this unwelcome stranger

And wonder, if maybe this person,

Will only let me lose.

I beg them to tell me what to do, 

The stranger that lies across my floor, 

They tell me the only who knows is you. 

And their eyes glint and don’t let me question more. 

“Is it odd to say I could love you?

Stranger that never knocked on my door.

“Is it odd to say I could want you?”

Then abandon you outdoors.

The day of the dark creeps close,

And my stranger is swollen for more,

I feel for the stranger the most,

Or ache for somebody’s deplore.

A direction for my feeling,

As I feel so alone,

How is it I could ever be healing,

When it is me doing what I will have done. 

I know when I go upstairs the stranger will go,

I will not be there to see them leave. 

My eyes drift and the gates splay open,

And the underbelly of the house begins to heave.

My doors are gushing like oceans,

And my curtains ripped from the poles.

I knew it would be painful.

But this? Even so. 

I thought I was ready,

For this strange invader to assent,

But here my dreaming body,

Is sickly with that copper scent,

And my house is remoulded and unsteady.

As the shutters blink awake,

And my house is destroyed. 

I clutch at my searing aches,

For my stranger to help this void.

Yet it is just me,

Bleeding my stranger and alone.

I walk on dead leaves of a birch tree, 

As the outside bangs and throws stones.

Each day the floor is still weeping,

As I peel the wood back for my stranger.

My fingernails cracking and grieving.

Now I grow tired and crippled and sore.

As they yell I have defied nature. 

I thought now the outsiders would be happy.

But somehow they scream even more.

Now each layer of my perfectly clean rooms, 

Is coated with the past of my stranger. 

Then a brick smashes and intrudes, 

With a note from my outside dangers:

Naming me the “Mother that murdered”

And the mirror I look into crumbles in my hands,

Splintering my eyes and my pain is furthered.

I cry and wait them to stop their demands,

For revenge that belongs not to them.

My eyes regrow technicolour,

Battered and scarred but they’re there. 

My nose meets a new smell of summer,

But I am unable to care. 

I flick the scars on my skin, 

I writhe salt on my body and watch it in pain, 

But my house remains quiet.

Never to see my stranger again.

This day I can see the truth between my wounds, 

And I notice my garden door never grew shut.

I clamber through the warped gate, 

And the air is soft on my smashed skin,

But my heart aches to feel, even hate,

And shaking in my own self-beaten sin,

 I curse myself as nothing but

“Mother that murdered.” 

Yet the flowers grow from my beaten touch,

And warm to me like those who have suffered, 

and show me what gifts they have bought.

A gift from my stranger 

That is not all blood and sores.

But it is forgiveness for “her”

And it is bravery and hope with new laws.

It is kindness with a new eclipse,

It is the promise of finding beauty, 

And it is a whisper between the tulips

That something will grow from this cruelty.

My stranger loved me.

As I loved them.

And feels no hatred for the home, 

That couldn’t house them.

They caress me with rose thorned truths

 Not gentle lily lies,

That soothe me like supple fruits,

I stroke the words and the cries, 

Against my torn and bitten tongue

And pours cold water on my sore eyes.

The flowers give life to my bruised lungs.

My house is greeted with a warm breeze.

And the shouts of the outsiders are mellow,

As I rise off the ground from my knees.

And as I touch my new wall, I learn of the echo.

That sends cries from my house to the garden,

Showing me what I need to know- 

That I am worthy of my pardon, 

As I am both the insider, outsider voice,

And despite believing my childhood was stolen,

That all along I had choice,

And that once I’m no longer swollen

I can repaint my milky pink walls,

And replaster the torn rules. 

Emilie Mendham, Nottingham

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.