Poem of the Month December 2010

This month our resident film maker Keith Allott chose his favourite poem from WORD!;

Fatima Al Matar

Originally from Kuwait, living in the UK in pursuit of her PhD at Warwick University, Fatima has a published a collection of poems "The Heart and the Subsidiary".Her poetry recitations have been described as: intense, captivating, enchanting, spellbinding, haunting, and hard-hitting.


How we’ve grown
you and I
you’ve shed your baby cheeks
abandoned your innocent wide eyes,
as I quickly learned to use you as my disguise.

It was so comfortable hiding behind you,
so easy, letting you carry my age.
I made you convey my every whim,
my every pleasure, my every loathing despise
my yawns, my despairs, my detesting belittling sighs.

I burdened you with years
and etched upon you
life’s fears and endless tears
and gave you shapes and names and persons.

Looking at the photos now;
I wish I didn’t make you smile when you didn’t really want to,
I wish I wiped off your resentful sneers, your knotted brows,
made you once forget your relentless vanity, loosen your unjustified frowns.

Every time I met you, in some unexpected reflection
or found you staring back at me through someone else’s eyes
It always takes me a second or two, to recognize you
how you’ve changed, against all my wishes,
my naive solid belief that the warmth of your youth
would never really someday fade. 

How we’ve grown, you and I,
and in between these lips, and these eyes
we’ve told incessant stories
unforgettable loves, unforgivable lies.

I taught you how to say, and indeed you’ve said
and when I commanded you to dishonestly express
you very faithfully, very obediently
said Yes.

We're scouting for YOUR work at WORD!  - next one January 2011

Poem of the Month - November 2010

The latest Poem of the Month for Novembers WORD! can be viewed below...

Nathen Lunt
Nathan Lunt is a regular at Word! and was a staunch volunteer behind the various Lyric Lounge projects recently. Nathan is also one of The Decadent Romantics .

Dirty Little Secret

You rush me out of your bedroom and down the stairs
In a flurry of electronic bleeping and hastily retrieved underwear,
Pushing through a haze of shower steam and last night’s

Signature Aromatic Blend

Of spliffs and scented candles.
Between a mouthful of half-boiled tea and quick-fire nicotine,

You pepper my cheek with the romantic equivalent of spare change
And thrust me blinking into the sunlight,
Offering an apology for being so very busy,
And promises of a weekend reunion –

Fallacies filtered through fibre-optic filaments of
First Hand Experience that suck the sugar coating from your words.

I lean in to leave a lingering reminder tingling on your lips,
Only to receive a rapid diversion into an awkward hug
As your housemates emerge from their bedrooms,

Slamming your shoulder into my throat to splutter out my compliments
And leave me literally speechless.

With a patronising smile that you think constitutes flirtation,
You file the memory of me away in a draw marked ‘Something for the Weekend’
And let the door swing closed with a resounding click,
The most definitive answer I could have expected.
I itch in yesterday’s clothing and search for gun in lieu of toothpaste,

Lamenting the tenner you borrowed for wine and promised to repay this morning.
I stand lost for words and out of pocket,
Haunted by the uncomfortable notion that I have, in essence, just paid for sex,
Lavishing you with gifts for just another part-time prophylactic dalliance.
This realisation lingers like the scent of you,
Transmuting memories of last night’s passions into
Leering gargoyles of sexual convenience,
Hunching my shoulders and mocking my attempts at sentimentality.
I cannot stand the tempo of this so-called ‘modern love’,
Convincing us that loving just one person’s not enough,
That we should keep our options open, stay flirtatious and available,
But only when it serves us not to act so unattainable,
You’d be excused presuming that romance is truly dead,
When a friend request is all it takes to get you into bed,
And even when you meet someone with whom you really can connect,
The intimacy’s instantaneously absent after sex,
Just another way to pass the time from one night to the next,
And so, I light a cigarette, and take what I suspect will be
My last long look at your front door,
Where I’ve stood countless times before,
When you were drunk or I was stoned and didn’t want to be alone,
Summoned by flirtatious texts I’d tug your hair and kiss your neck,
Caress your curves and grip your hips,
My lips a-drip with secret charms until you slumbered in my arms.
But now…? If this is all that we
Together can aspire to be –
Depriving me of peace of mind for casual fucks from time to time,
Your attitude that guarantees continued infedilities
And only coming out with me to places that you wont be seen
Incase the rumour gets around that someone’s made you ‘settle down’
And tamed the free-willed sexual beast that you present yourself to be?
As precious as you are to me, I’m gonna have to say goodbye,
As fun as all this may have been, I’ve told myself too many lies,
I may have gone along with it, but still, you treated me unkind
You know you could do better, and I’d lie to say I didn’t mind,
We could have made sweet music or had loving words to say,
But I guess we never did all that much talking anyway,
And once I leave this morning, well, I guess we’ll never know,
As I’ll be moving onwards down the dark side of the road,
You told me you could fall for me, but only when you’d need it.
And I won’t waste my precious time
To be your Dirty Little Secret.

We're scouting for YOUR work at WORD!  - next one December 2010

Poem of the Month - July 2010
Promoting talent is what WORD! is all about, and in July we were spoilt for choice!  And now, so are you; here are TWO works for your aural pleasure.  Enjoy.

Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor is Greek Cypriot in origin and has been published in the TLS, Coffeehouse and Under the Radar. She will be reading at the Southwell Poetry Festival with Nottingham Writers Studio with Nine Arches press in July. She will
also be reading at the launch of the forthcoming issue of Staple magazine in Leicester’s Phoenix theatre. She is currently guest editor of 'Hearing Voices,' a new literary magazine in the East Midlands.

Jack of the Mirrors

From across the park, you’d think he
was wearing a halo, light crisscrossing
over his head. But this is not heaven so
you think horns, antlers, blades.

Dressed in glass, no one knows why,
wasped and spiked with open stings,
a prized heart from a girl’s compact,
or a chipped wing, lifted from the cheek

of an insalubrious Fiat, third hand. His
mirrors catch silhouettes of passers-by,
bodies twisting like the discs of spinning
coins.  He will let them pass, blind.

Faces kindle, stares dagger, but then
an egg-shaped out-of-towner, dizzied sick
by trains, internal flights, reads the map
wrong, becomes the fly in Jack’s web.

Eyes lit by sudden flashes, the magnet of
his head pulls to the dazzle. His eyes lock
in his own, look up to the fleshed hollow
where Jack’s should be, the skull caverns.

Voyeurs nest in safe, grey towers
boxed guests at a public execution;
they sip, eat and stare, greedy for a bit
of blood with their morning coffee.

Wounded from unspoken wars, Jack has
no eyes but knows when eyes are upon him.
He asks the traveller, ‘Tell me who I am.
Tell me where I’m going.’

Charles Lauder

Charles Lauder Jr was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, attended to Boston University, and has lived in the UK with his wife and two children since 2000. He founded and runs the Poetry Society's South Leicestershire Stanza, as well as poetry workshops throughout the East Midlands. His poems have appeared in various magazines including Stand, Poetry Nottingham, Poetry Salzburg, Orbis, and Envoi, and have been recorded for the PoetCasting website.

Ring of Fire

She’s lost track of her many hiding places
winter coat pocket   trunk of summer outfits
under the stairs   behind the royal wedding plate
television or sofa cushions   amidst tins
of tomatoes and chicken soup   school pleats
and towels waiting to be washed and ironed.

She has tucked a poem into each bottle
like a cry for rescue washing up on shore
explaining why the house is mottled
in pink and green   why she’s pilfered
pocket money   why her man needs throttling
for all the promises he’s never delivered.

In hopes of quitting she tries weekly meetings
but each time leaves high off the fumes
the others have breathed. Back home she opens
another   the rhymes coming fast and furious
how the black ducks strut out of the pen
like a gaggle of aunties on their way to a funeral

how foxes prey upon the guinea fowl
each night while the cock keeps his hens
in line   fields are allowed to lie fallow
ponies unable to bear the children
are sold on   like a paper boat caught in the flow
of the stream to the canal and beyond   .

Giddy as a schoolgirl bouncing off walls
she has the sudden strength to muck out stables
and silage the grain  to write a poem that will
sell so well she can put aside this terrible
habit and live a peaceful life   no delay
to having dinner ready and waiting on the table.

Home from school the children find her
passed out on the floor encircled in an array
of bottles like a protective ring of fire.


We're scouting for YOUR work at WORD!  - next one August 2010