Face Value by Ruthie Adamson AKA Wonky Wordsmith – On World Mental Health Day 10/10/2019

On World Mental Health Day I give you my mental health-themed performance poem Face Value (Rhymes in capital letters for ease of reading)… Face Value by Ruthie Adamson AKA Wonky Wordsmith By poetic proclamation I hereby CONFESSmy mental DISTRESS so … Continue reading Face Value by Ruthie Adamson AKA Wonky Wordsmith – On World Mental Health Day 10/10/2019

Christopher Hopkins, The Shape of a Tulip Bird, reviewed by Shirley Bell

ISBN 978-1-947653-72-6 Clare Songbirds Publishing House I have followed the work of Christopher Hopkins, from his first collection onwards. His work always dealt with great sensitivity with landscape, emotion and what it means to be formed from a Welsh heritage and land, and he has always shown a great gift for strong and poignant imagery. In this new collection, however, I feel he has made a massive leap forwards, as he now deals with the trauma and heartbreak of miscarriage with such sensitivity. It is a sad irony that Hopkins’ work has grown so much from out of such loss. … Continue reading Christopher Hopkins, The Shape of a Tulip Bird, reviewed by Shirley Bell

Samantha Maw

A Lizard in my Bra: A Memoir I ‘I love my wife, but she has an odour problem.’ I clutched the Red Pepper Newspaper in my sweaty, ink-stained fingers while travelling down the road from Entebbe airport towards Kampala. Travelling at lip-quivering speed and feeling somewhat fragile, I smiled at the bizarre article. Not only because it was a little too much information, but also because it reminded me that from now on my world had changed. Frank had met me in arrivals that morning with an energetic smile and a piece of crumpled cardboard reminding me who I was.  … Continue reading Samantha Maw

Mal Leicester

The Meaning Of Words  Words are mysterious. How do they carry meaning? Does meaning live inside a word, like the spirit in a body, or ride upon the word like a jockey on a horse? In speech or on the page, how do words convey their ghostly meanings from my mind to yours? How do words change their meaning in different contexts? How do they, like a chameleon, take colour from their surroundings and yet remain the same chameleon? Words are magical as well as mysterious. You can conjure poems and stories seemingly out of thin air just with words … Continue reading Mal Leicester

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

Before The Birds Have  Fled     I knew a woman once whose belly swelled. She joked she was expecting. I’m blown up tight as a drum, she said. Her GP ordered tests.   Without complaint she went, tight-lipped on shabby Green Line buses. She told us she was coping fine. She was hoping for the best.   All the listless days of a fierce July she rested in a chair by the window. Bluebottles buzzed through the breathless nets, hovered like dark jewels above her hair.   Then late in September she took to her bed. She was whiter … Continue reading Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

Aoife Reilly

Ode to the Past   Now that you’ve moved further afield, I miss your quirky ways. I can’t say I long for you, but certainly your efforts causing mixed up measures of havoc and joy in The Present won’t be forgotten. Detangled from your ivy now, the horizon is clear and light with hindsight laughing at your wrong track premonitions. Impossible to see then, how the current pulls on the river carrying our lives along to this precise moment at the desk looking out on the giant ash swirling in south westerlies.   Past, you are something between ever changing … Continue reading Aoife Reilly

K.T. Slattery

If Only My Mother   If only my mother had been a pimp, Raised me with no self-respect, I could have been a reality star With extensions and still upright breasts.   If only my mother had taught me my worth Was tied to Gucci and Prada I could have inspired a million young girls To fill their head with nada.   If only my mother had explained success- That it starts and ends with Twitter. A million followers I could have had, Applauding my useless titter.   If only my mother had not Introduced me to Dickens and Poe … Continue reading K.T. Slattery