Poem of the Month - 2011 Collection

Poem of the Month December 2011

Leicester born and bred, Mombowie Starchild is a performance poet and emcee concerned primarily with everything: the cosmic and human experience, observations on society - our passions, fears and dreams.  But she really just likes telling stories in a rhythmical, musical way.  Mombowie has performed at ‘Brightside’; produced and directed ‘The Edge’ as part of Lyric Lounge Leicester in 2009.  She has hosted and performed in the ‘Beatroot’ poetry tent at ‘Big Session’ festival in recent years and is a regular compere and performer at WORD!


Oh! How they enjoy her – adore her!
Enthralled, a noiselessness falls
For all the auditorium’s caught
In inaudible awe at the adroit performance before them.
Gorging on her form forging effortless fouettes en tournant:
One-legged; upon points of toes;
Spinning her spirit’s finishing throes in this – her coda!

Though this moment’s decades ago,
These days her frail frame’s broke
In the wake of the stroke that held her in choke;
So now each day’s played out shamefully slow

No longer swathing the stage as she sinuously sways,
She exists imprisoned by physical fallibility;
With the additional, unequivocally more crippling disability
Of living within a system that’s intrinsically twisted;
So inevitably also her integrity’s tested;
Her dignity splintered,
As the personal aide who helped with her visits to the toilet
Is no more to be paid for by an NHS afflicted with budget cuts;
So the gloves are up
For this sixty-eight year old woman stood versus the government.
No need to wonder who won.
And when the ruling was done
It was considered economically more logical for her to wear pads for incontinence.
No matter that she saw it of some consequence she’s not, in fact, incontinent.

But must content.

For the coda’s over,
Bringing ever-closer - ever faster the everlasting curtain fall,
As a miasmic dust plasters the OBE plaque that hangs in her flat on the wall,
Where in her room at the back she lies in bed trying to detach
From the fact that tonight she: a Prima Ballerina in her past,
Shall have to recline in her own piss.

Bernice Reynolds

Born 1943 in S. Wales and brought up in Briton Ferry, attending Neath Girls Grammar School 1954-59. Worked for the Borough Council 59-61, trained as a teacher in Derby 1961-64 and has lived and worked in the Midlands, Surrey, Herts and Essex.  Divorced, she has two daughters and two grandsons and has lived in Leicester since 2007.  Started writing poetry in retirement and realises it is never too late to try something new.

I follow a frieze of footprints along the corridor wall
Multi coloured, labelled - Geraint, Gordon, Alice, Sian.
Passing a window voices ring out -

Mi a fi ffair yfore
I brynnu scudiau newydd
Medd a scudiau
Clonc clonc clonc clonc clonc clonc clonc clonc.

The children are going to the market  
to buy new shoes today.
The shoes clonk along.

Suddenly I’m four years old
wearing black patent leather
at Mr and Mrs Aazo’s wedding -
my adored  Estonian refugees
he a musician, she a linguist
with seven languages
not one of them Welsh.

Emerging from the Registry Office
a girl calls out, “Look at that child’s shoes!”
No mention of the bride, invoking
a memory never forgotten, bringing
a warming glow more than six decades on.

Silver shoes at Audrey’s  wedding
for a flower girl in azure blue
knowing she’s Ginger Rogers dancing to crowds
while the snap shows
a shy child in a simple dress.

Black canvas ‘daps’ for wandering in woods
and bowling along beaches;
‘best‘ shoes for chapel on Sundays -
which I wore to the beach and
left on the shore line.
They got washed out with the tide.
I got grounded.

Brown lace up shoes for Grammar school
with winter woollen knee high socks –
scratching my chilblained feet.

A working girl and my first pairs paid for – 
white leather thongs which eluded me
and black leather stilettos which tripped me up
in chapel at Harvest – my basket of fruit
rolling down the steps in the gallery
and my new red hat covering my red hot face.

Gorgeous green satins for a college ball
dyed to match my velvet and lame dress
and white high heels for my lace wedding suit
and very sixties flower petal hat..

Then joy – my first Eccos – boots and flats
They echoed Mam’s and auntie’s warning –
‘Look after your feet,
keep them comfy, don’t end up like us -
walking through Neath market
heading for the Welsh Produce Cafe
sighing, “Oh, our aching feet ……we’re
gasping for a cup of tea and a chance to forget them!

Poem of the Month August 2011

Boom boom, boom boom, boom boom

Listen to your beat

Poem of the Month May 2011

Poem of the Month April 2011

Roy MarshallRoy has been writing songs and poems since childhood. His first ever spoken word performance was at WORD! In 2009. He has since been published in a number of magazines and has a pamphlet forthcomming in 2012.
His website is roymarshall.wordpress.com

Poem of the Month February 2011

Kerry is Lecturer in Creative Writing at Loughborough University. He is currently working on a series of poems for a Museum Buddies project based at Alford Manor House, Lincolnshire. Other projects include a series of landscape poems and a translation of a novel by Ingrid Thobois. www.myspace/kerryorange

Kerry OrangeAutumn at the Bus Stop
The woman in the headscarf asks
(as the wind bangs three times on the 17B shelter):
“Is this bus going to the Universe?”
I’m sure I’ve not misheard
and turn to look
down on brimful eyes and bitten mac.

The letter she holds is pinched, the head is smudged,
her tan handbag open, the clasp... helpless.
And I say
“It hasn’t got much choice, has it?
What else is there?” 
And I... smile.

And she frowns, trying to get
The Question
understood, not sure if she’s misheard
and thinking it can’t get much worse,
asks again: “Does-this-bus-go- to THE UNIVERSE?”

The wind whips on, carrying my answer
college road mercilessly down.

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

Poem of the Month January 2011

The first WORD! of 2011 brought its usual collection of ecclectic poets showcasing their wonderful work. Baring this in mind is was practically impossible to chose only ONE poem of the month, so Pam Thompson & Tara Gatherer share with us their highlights of the evening below..

Jayne Stanton
Dear Diary

I’m sick of being a side wheel 
a cog wheel, a tread wheel.
I’m ready to cartwheel,
freewheel without a spare wheel.
I’m stepping out of my down-at-heel
flat heels.  I’ll take to my heels,

ditch the excess baggage:
social, parochial, filial, familial 
marital, parental, accidental
all things sentimental. 
I’ll shelve them 
somewhere compartmental 
try being truly experimental
maybe achieve something monumental.

I’m sick of feeling comfortable 
of acting the Little Miss Sensible 
predictable, adaptable
one hundred percent unflappable 
-or merely disposable.
I long to be adorable, delectable 
improbable, unstoppable
and much much less dependable.

I’ve had my fill of winter times
down times, bad times, war times
downright not-on-your-life times
-now they’re past times. 
This year I’ll work flexi-time
permit myself some fun time 
give myself a break time 
a blissful peace and quiet time

a doorstep slice of dream time 
It’s high time
I tossed my cares away
and took that long overdue breakaway. 
I’m making a super-swift getaway 
I’ll be a runaway stowaway
a desert island castaway
far, far away…

…maybe not straightaway
but sometime soon, anyway.

Conor Cantle
This year

This year I turn 21,
but you can still catch me doing childish things,
watching cartoons, reading comic books, going to laserquest...yeah,
and the last time I was there I met a child
his name was Nim and he was seven years old,
dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes, dark clothes,
he stood there like a shadow.
A shadow with a laser.

Our eyes met and I said Nim,
don't do this to me, don't make me feel old,I need you to do something for me Nim...
I need you to remember when there were only four channels,
when The Simpsons were on BBC2,
the first series on robot wars and the new BBC ident
with an aerial that went backwards,

He stared back at me with those cold,
cruel...mostly confused, eyes.
I cried Nim!
Can you remember when you had to choose between plugging in the phone or the internet,
...yes, you had to plug in the phone, you know, like a cassette player, or a VHS.
Oh please tell me you remember finishing a film and then rewinding it, tell me you remember that,
Tell you remember the dial up noise? 

I crouched down at eye level and I told him...dododododododobrrrrrrrbrrrrr...
How else would you know the internet was loading?
This year I turn 21, with so much left to remember, 
This year I turn 21, and one day Nim you will be where I am,
and I have no idea where I am.

David Pollak
Dark and White

You are dark brown and I am rosy white
It’s clear that we’re a quite divergent pair
But in my arms you feel completely right.
Although it feels so dreadful when we fight
In our contrasting ways we make things fair –
You are dark brown and I am rosy white.
You’d like to eat hot curry every night
And I prefer to dine on milder fare
But in my arms you feel completely right.
You credit Hindu gods with power and might;
Such faith is something I just cannot share -
You are dark brown and I am rosy white.
I rather like the difference in our height
And how we treat each other with such care
For in my arms you feel completely right.
My life has passed from darkness into light
And all my worldly goods with you I’ll share
You are dark brown and I am rosy white
And in my arms you feel completely right.

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