Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A Renga by the Byker Writers' Group

Kaleidoscope: Flights of Fancy

We are sad today,
Watermelon moon hangs low:
Winter is coming.

Ghouls and ghosts are out abroad,
Bonfires blazing in the sky.

Placid pup looks sad,
Cats are tigers hunting mice:
Our toast is sticky.

Thorns, berries above mud, snow:
Clear blue skies assault noses.

What in life is true?
What around us is falsehood?
You need evidence!

Trees are out, the shoppers too,
Christmas time creates good will.

Tennis, a good game,
Football, the sport of nations:
This is not cricket.

First shoots of warmth and colour,
Longer days, shorter nights: hope.

The green creature smiles;
An extra-terrestrial,
Laughing at the earth.

Upside down in warmth, down tools,
Brush bench, pour drink, relax, bask.

On the beach laid back,
Sun shining, but not for long,
Down comes rain, run quick!

Colourful leaves drifting,
How sad to be rejected.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010



Monday, 15 March 2010

Poetry North East magazine - a selection from the archive


They have taken the marks and whorls
Of a universe which is purely personal
To the individual but common to all
And used it as a weapon against him.
Who else could think of taking the pattern of a snowflake,
No two identical,
Documenting it in a computer,
Letting the snowflake know,
Just in case it made a wrong move,
Totally oblivious to the beauty of snow?

Dave Howe

This Side of the Rainbow

Precarious farmsteads sitting
on the edges of their fells
jus balancing economies
across close contour lines.

We passed them by
when I was five
and climbing Chapel Fell to look
for "where the rainbows end".

Instead there stretched
dissected plateau
crouching to a neutral sky.

Like folks off now deserted farms,
we never found a rainbow's end.

Eleanor Makepeace

The Hoppings, Newcastle

Last night was the last: today
the lorries and dormobiles
are ready to go, the dodgems are stowed away,
dive bombers and ferris wheels
are packed as neat as biscuits. Jack the Ripper
is roping canvas, Dracula's Daughter brings
the baby's wind up, and the stripper
(naughty but nice) is clearing the breakfast things.

Where children play in the sun,
under the lights the servants of the Lord
advanced their placards against the Evil One;
they wake to Sunday, the promise of their reward
bright for another spell. But rich and poor
are points of refernce here, not body and soul:
loud engines jam the larksong over the moor,
and the big trailers roll.

Richard Kell

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


The alleyways where we’d hide
from prowling policemen.

The corners where tramps
could be comfortable.

All the meandering places
for twilight walks have gone.

At times the ghosts were real,
Carriages on Sundays at All Saints.

Voices shouting through arches.
The square of Holy Trinity
Now a place for quiet meditation.

This was my city
but now the concrete belies
all the tales and stories

now the earthdiggers defy
the rattling carriages.
Only the moon is left unchanged.

But not untouched.


Dorothy Neil

Star Over Lindisfarne

Cold star,
Winking down the rolling vertigo of sky,
Here I am, alone,
With nothing between us but the pulsating void of night.

Beneath the naked sky,
I have come to you.
Washed by waves of night,
Encircled by the heaving purple sea,
Bathed in spangled night-brightness across the jagged dunes
I have come,
And you don’t care

My eyes burn in the night wind;
My heart burns –
And you, cold star, inanimate,
need no love.
Yet you and I are intimate.

The great black castle lurches behind me:
Heaving, eerie, into the sky,
As if to weigh me to the Earth.
But you, star,
You and I are pulled together.
Forever apart, we hurtle through the universe.
You and I are intimate.

Roger Harvey