The Quality of Mersey

Had the following poem in this anthology celebrating the river and its voices . It was inspired by Jon Gorman and edited by Barry Woods and is dedicated to the memory of the late Cheshire poet  Tonia Bevans.  Over 40 poets have poems in this celebratory anthology which was launched on National Poetry Day. Contact barrywwods221@hotmail.com for a copy £3.99 including postage.

Début
Carolyn O’ Connell

Your song beats beneath M60’s ring roads, Merseyway
bringing ballads of the Goyt and Tame, the colours
of long gone dyes, cloth woven, and the hint of heathers
held in water, murmurs from the moor’s high gorge.

Despite your ride beneath Stockport’s sixties concrete
here the drooping hands of urban trees catch your birth,
cradling you in industries track, concrete, rags of cotton
spun in the mills you and your daughters turned.

Your voice sings the strength of Mercia’s lost kings
Northumberland’s craving peaks and wild seas,
you hold strong the boundary trench between
Cheshire and Northumbria still.

Slim trace here of the anthems you’ll extol,
that rushing travellers hear – unmoved or
unheeding shoppers snub; Heaven’s Gift
begins its winding melody of life until

it rings abroad as your wide skirts dip the Atlantic
and Liverpool harmonizes your history with the sea  ©

 

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David Varley, On Reflection (September 2018)

Vale Royal Writers' Group Blog

Driven by long-burning feelings of guilt, I finally surrendered to the inevitable and volunteered to do the blog. But what to do? What could I possibly put here?

I decided it was time to lay out some reflections from a not-terribly-new-anymore member of VRWG, and consider what the group means to me and how it’s affected my approach to writing. I’m not sure how long I’ve been a member, but I dimly recall two summer parties and (through the alcohol fog) two Christmas binges. Long enough, then, to be trusted with the sacred duties attendant on being the Hot Drinks Monitor™, but not long enough to have penetrated all the group’s mysteries (such as how Bob remembers everybody’s name, or how Bill never gets a round in despite having access to the VRWG riches).

I have always been a writer for as long as I can remember, but before joining…

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Picaroon Poetry – Issue #13 – September 2018

Picaroon Poetry

Picaroon is back, with our last issue of 2018 – but don’t be sad. There will be a bit of a break, but we get back to our normal bi-monthly schedule in January. Also: we are now OPEN for submissions after our summer break, so please check our guidelines and send us your best rogue poems.

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a brief reflection on the disease known as Brexit, by Martin Hayes

Very clever

I am not a silent poet

28 cows in a field
in which 1 of the cows has contracted
multiple cell dysfunction order.

Like what can happen in a failed experiment.

Like what can happen to anything
caught on the sticky peripheries
of a spider web.

Like what can happen in a disconnected blender
that comes alive while your fingers are still inside
trying to clean away the unwanted pulp
from its rotors.

Or when you run your finger hard
over a cracked mirror
above an old milk bottle;
the hordes of bacteria having gathered
at the summit of the congealed shoulder-blade-shape of what’s left
charging, blood-stained now
up and down the shallows of the host’s spinal fluid,
the network of significant afterthoughts
and hindsights,
confused as a rat in an upturned bucket.

The signs of this cellular dysfunction are:
a little blood appearing at the nostrils
on a warm August evening
while watching paint dry,

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The Dizziness of Freedom / a poetry anthology on mental health, edited by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall

This is an an important anthology to have

I am not a silent poet

DizzinessOfFreedom_COVER

Fifty of contemporary poetry’s most exciting voices speak out about mental health in this groundbreaking anthology. Edited by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall. Foreword by Melissa Lee-Houghton. Supported by Arts Council England.

BUY NOW

Discounted copies available at our upcoming launch events.

Featuring work from Amy Acre, Raymond Antrobus, Mona Arshi, Dean Atta, Joel Auterson, Rob Auton, Dominic Berry, Mary Jean Chan, Sean Colletti, Iris Colomb, Jasmine Cooray, Dizraeli, Caleb Femi, Maria Ferguson, Kat François, Anne Gill, Salena Godden, Jackie Hagan, Jake Wild Hall, Emily Harrison, Nicki Heinen, Gabriel Jones, Anna Kahn, Malaika Kegode, Luke Kennard, Sean Wai Keung, Cecilia Knapp, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Amy León, Fran Lock, Rachel Long, Roddy Lumsden, Katie Metcalfe, Rachel Nwokoro, Kathryn O’Driscoll, Gboyega Odubanjo, Jolade Olusanya, Abi Palmer, Bobby Parker, Deanna Rodger, C.E. Shue, Lemn Sissay MBE, Ruth Sutoyé, Rebecca Tamás, Joelle Taylor, Claire Trévien, David Turner, R A Villanueva, Byron Vincent, Pascal Vine…

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Strix, Coast to Coast to Coast, new poems, Liverpool.

Interesting

Roy Marshall

I like to keep an eye out for new poetry magazines.  Not only is it interesting to see what sort of writing the editors favour, I’m also keen to see how the magazines are physically put together; what shape and format they take, the artwork and print quality and style, the type of materials used.  The response times for many of the established journals is quite lengthy and so it is also refreshing to receive a quicker response. At launches I’ve attended recently there has been a great buzz with enthusiastic editors, organisers and poets attending. Funds permitting (they do not) I would subscribe to several of the new small magazines that have come out in the last year or so.  Some of my favourites are the Leeds based Strix magazine,  wonderful East Anglian based Fenland Reed     and the unique hand-sown Coast to Coast to Coast produced by…

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