Wednesday, 25 November 2009


When, long ago, my friends and I decided
to time the world x-ennially, my hands
gave me the idea - a symbol for each one.
Now, two hundred and fifty octennia later,
I feel I am completely vindicated.

One friend was more astute and went for fingers,
but chose to use one of his hands to count.
Five symbols gave him sixteen celebrations.
But the system failed nomenclatively -
seemed a little, well - extravagant.

Our cleverest friend counted with his eyes,
and had five fingers on each hand to play with.
But perhaps he wasn’t clever after all:
two thousand years - and only two birthdays!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Act of Faith

Minds accumulate their own stores of belief
Harvesting words
To squeeze dry in the press
The kernel of hypothesis
To dress the salad of their joy or grief
And strange
The extreme unctions that accrue
The charms embraced
The flaring phlogiston of the untenable
The slick fiction
The wilful self-deception
The skewed view
Perhaps at times these drizzlings serve us well
Inspiring us
To think and act with grace
Reminding mortals to beware of vice
Or prompting oddness
Quaint and fanciful
But rancid oil embitters and pollutes
And hatred can ignite
Once holy balm
Releasing hellish fury like napalm
To raze
What it dogmatically refutes
For each established 'truth'
That we believe
Shouts crude anathema to other minds
Grant us the inner process that refines
The oils that we inherit and bequeathe

by Mike Ellwood

Saturday, 7 November 2009

My Story

I know this isn't poetry but may be of interest. The BBC are running a competition to tell your own (true) story. I think you can write it in any style so you could write it in a poetic fashion. I am planning to enter about a story from this year. Details are available here:

Winners get to be on a TV programme and publishing contracts etc.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Next Meeting

The next meeting is on 5th November and will include a poets' project with a theme of Poems of the Sea. Each member will be invited to have a short slot to read a poem relating to the sea and to make comments on the poem and/or the poet.

Wildlife Poetry

On 16th November the Preston Bird-Watching and Natural History Society have guest speaker Carole Thistlethwaite, a poet from Euxton. She will be reading some of her wildlife-inspired poems and illustrating with digitally projected images. The meeting is at St Mary's, Cop Lane, Penwortham at 7.30pm.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

201’s ajar, a slant of light:
the eye of a nightmare.
Giant sunflower broken
on the landing;
petals on the stairs.
Children traumatized:
8-year-old Mary
corkscrew golden hair,
torn dress; yellow
petal in hand -
leaning by the door:
washed out, blood drained.

Jane 7, ripped skirt;
hair rippling upwards:
no apples in the cheek -
just a face of grief.
The sunflower a crucified
Christ cut down from heaven.

Someone’s dying out
of frame in room 209.
In 207 a raven’s pecked
out teddy’s brown eyes.
Outside a snowstorm;
and the virgins are the
bone-chimes of tomorrow

by Peter Lewin