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in your flood

one step out the door
one step forward
one step closer
to the flood

one step backward
one step in reverse
one step away
from drowning

a punch to the gut
and tears streaming,
more than the smiles
more than the ‘i love you’s

and how many more years like this
how much can i take like this

i agreed to ever after
but this now, these lows
i can do without
i barely survive the cr...

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planning one's escape is never easy

even Steve McQueen found it hard

guilt made me especially queasy

I was writing your last birthday card


my escape strategy was meticulous

armed guards would have missed it

such carelessness left me incredulous

normally your vigilance took the biscuit


I timed your every movement with care

then I waited till you left for the gym


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Tenant Of The Sea

He witnessed the rise and fall of the tides

Of the sea that seemed so milky in the moonlight.

Gloating over its graceful strides,

The rumble of the colossal sea was all he could hear that silent night.

The stars twinkled in the darkness,

And the moon in the blackness

Gazed dotingly at him and his boat,

As the decrepit carrier carted its master swiftly afloat.

How long had he been at the ...

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She died in a

Care home before the

Pandemic, from

Complications after a broken hip.

She helped see off Hitler but

If granny had lived

Would she have

Seen off the virus?

During the War she worked in munitions

Her factory got bombed, she

Made ammunition for the boys at the


In the care home both her

War-time comrades

Choked to death for want of testing...

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bulletcare homeescapeoxygenpandemic


retreat, retreat

settle back down into your cave


retreat, retreat

settle back down into that space you crave


retreat, retreat

no more reaching out for company along the shore


retreat, retreat

no more reaching out for what’s beyond the door


retreat, retreat

the ghost killer haunts each of us


retreat, retreat

stay inside we must



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Green Frog with Gray Hair

Once there was a tree frog, green as green can be.  
He liked to sing on summer nights whenever it was wet.
His voice seemed much too loud for such a little frog. 
He spent his day seeking juicy bugs to eat; 
with his clever tongue he quickly found a meal. 

One October he was looking for adventure.
He climbed a large camellia bush 
and found a tiny opening in a window screen.  
He climbe...

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Come closer to me my friend.
We will escape this night.
We will run,
We will drive through the night.
We will find a way
To get our freedom back.
And fight for our heratige.
Come my friend wave your flag,
Remember our freedom,
Remember open borders.
Come my friend
Let us kiss when we cross these lines
When we leave these burdens there,
In this old place,
Now in the hands of far right...

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bonny and ClydebordersescapefightFreedomfighterslet's do itroad moviesexy


Come closer to me my friend.
We will escape this night.
We will run,
We will drive through the night.
We will find a way
To get our freedom back.
And fight for our heratige.
Come my friend wave your flag,
Remember our freedom,
Remember open borders.
Come my friend
Let us kiss when we cross these lines
When we leave these burdens there,
In this old place,
Now in the hands of far right...

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bonny and ClydebordersescapefightFreedomfighterslet's do itroad moviesexy

A Sea of Red

A sea of red lights

cars stopped


the hours of rush

is all hurry up 

and wait

they race against each other 

only to be home alone 

or tucked away with their lovers

they spent all day

dreaming of their escape 

now they must wait

a brief pause

the reason

the cause

only too much

in the way




what they long to see


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Into the Blue

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Never before had he known a colour touch him that way,

This indigo held a tenderness and cool warmth which confused him.

And yet,

As the neon lights dimmed and harsh sounds abated,

He felt drawn to the dark, to go in search of his liberty

And yet

Like a dimmed aquamarine siren, it called to and reassured him,

He would be safe, it would hold him in its arms, nothing could, woul...

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escapenight swimmingthe sea

Common Sense

entry picture

Mr Reel-Fogg came home exhausted after a hard day of talking. Those green leather benches were so confoundedly uncomfortable and one could never recline in peace.

After a brief attempt to assist Mrs. Reel-Fogg to achieve her ambition of having twelve children he fell into a deep sleep.

Around one thirty in the morning there was a confounded noise outside. He sent Mrs. Reel-Fogg to investigat...

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casualtiescommon senseescapefirefirefightingGrenfellinfernoLFBLondonRees-Moggtower

It was only ever fiction...

"It was only ever fiction..."

Growing up I was a lonely child, never quite fit in anywhere.

But I can remember it clearly, the day I found the solution.

The fix? BOOKS

They saved me then and continue to do so now.

Thanks to them I have visited distant worlds, gone on epic journeys and have made so many great friends.

And although they may seem to be only ever fiction, Books have ...

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The Siren

In silence

She stole his soul

In love

He gave his heart

What took him from his course

What gentle zephyr force

What brought him to the isle

What beauty did beguile

In silence

She sought his mind

In sorrow

He felt her tears

What held him to his aim

What subtle noble flame

What kept him on his deck

What held his lust in check

In silence

She tempted ...

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My mind is my prison, but I hold the key

My mind is my prison

when it should be my home

where I sit in front

of an open fire and

keep myself snug and warm.


Instead my prison guards

are my thoughts and

situations my bars,

together they keep me

in solitary confinement,

but I am always keeping

a close watch on my sentries

as they make their regular patrol

and I begin to see a pattern

to their s...

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Real Life Nightmare

Every moment to fear,

Forever holding back internal tears.

Life- so complicated,

forever indecisive.

The world too big, too scary,

my mind so full of queries.

Never certain, never happy,

each decision could be deadly.

An escapes impossible,

every outcomes implausible.

Sinking under water,

Always being taken for a martyr.

The pain runs so deep,

Barely able to ...

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anxietybattlecomplicateddangerdarkdeepdesperationdestructiondrowningemotional painemotiveescapefearFrom the hearthopeindecisiveinternal battlemental healthmental health issuesmindnightmarepoetrypoetry and mental healthsanitysinkingsubconsciouswar

Escaping the darkness

She has dark days and dark nights, and bright days and starry skies. He was diluting the darkness into brightness. But then he became annoyed at her darkness and started to see it all the time even when it wasn’t there. He would poke and prod for it, he was finding boxes of darkness that didn’t exist until he started creating them and suddenly she had more to carry than she realised. He was shouti...

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the depth

entry picture

You will fall
You will keep falling
Falling into the depth
The depth of the ocean
Without any doubt
You will reach the bottom
It will suck you up
Into its sticky environment 
You can not breathe
And want to escape 
You pannick 
And do not know what to do
You will keep falling
Falling into the underneath ocean
It feds you up 
You want to escape 
Escape from the fall
Falling into th...

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depthescapefallingoceanto fall


Speak to me like you speak,
in tongues, or in plain old English
dusted with a view of sparkly seas
or oceans, as you say, my owl.
My crow, my dove, my dolphin
plunging among the waves that roughen,
among the sands that graze and toughen
your skin and hair but soul untouched. 
Tell me of the call you heard
from a distance, from the depths 
of blue or green or blackened water,
the rover, ...

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escapeoceanromantic distance lovesea


There is one place of total privacy
To which you can escape and hide away
Your imagination.  Avoiding piracy
Your fears, for a while;  you can alay

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He Inhales

He inhales,

Yet again he finds himself feeling six feet under,

covered by life bearing soil

The life in which he ponders how he missed.

He inhales,

This time,

His sorrow and self loathing are lifted away

Into the clouds

This is where they remain

For a time that seems ever too short.

He inhales,

Hoping to never return

To his sad reality.

He can't escape.



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The Story of my Daydreams

entry picture

They came back
But the fantasy was gone

They were alive only at night
Frightened of daylight
Moon captured them as the stars

If you saw the stars tonight
Then know
They were my dreams once
Now all I have is ashes
Not from smoked cigarettes or burned houses
But from my bones
What became broken
While my heart was trying to escape.

Read more …


Always the same....

entry picture

Everyday for her is always the same.
All the struggles, all the pain,
all the hurtful words, and all the pressure
to be someone, and to be something.

And each day she wakes
to feel the hurt again, as it never changes.
And each day she breathes to longer her stay
no matter how much she wants to leave.
And each day she eats to feel whole and to not feel empty
like the way she feels about he...

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emptyescapehappyhurtlostnever changesame old stuff

Quietly, I

quietly, quietly sat a lie
arms outstretched
palms staked to the fierce eye
observing within
as, first, flesh mottles
closer still to see without
while blister
vermilion doubts
one apiece of each
seized mortal engine
dripped of framed wax
placed in a filleted whole
gas pored
for a hungry earth
this is all I wish today
let each word die in a dusty throat
a melt th...

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Cliché (reposted)

entry picture

calligraphy by: Kel C Ann Johnston 


"It is forgetfulness that makes life possible.” Romare Bearden 


We escape dogma


Textbook realities

Founding father visions




And plantations that hold stories

Made from brutal his-stories like


Forgetting captivity


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avant-garde playersDrapetomaniacescapehabit breakersimproviXing freedomKel-c-Ann




I’ve been on an eight mile hike with my mate, getting out of town.                                                               

Up roads, to the Waterworks to give a witch my Amelia Earhart spell.                                                                                    

Venturing through farmer’s fields, over dry stone walls and under barbed wire fences.      ...

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ESCAPE. Result


May's ESCAPE competition received 27 entries. Remarkably, 15 of these received votes. It was astonishing to me how varied people's preferences are. It's an encouragement to all of us – there is almost certainly someone out there who likes our poetry, even if others don't. We're all different.


Taking both first and second choices into account, four poems had the equal highest num...

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Escape. Last chance to vote.

There is just over one more day to vote for Escape poems - the details are at


The response has been surprisingly slow, particularly from those who've entered. Some people have hinted that reading 26 poems is a bit much. In that sense the competition may be a victim of its own success.

Be that as it may, voting closes...

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Escape. Time to Vote

Thank you everyone for your entries in the ESCAPE competition which ran during May. They encompass an extraordinary breadth of experience, from pleasure and beauty to sadness and suffering. To read them has been a privilege, albeit sometimes a painful one. The way we turn life into words never ceases to amaze me.


This is an invitation to vote in the competition. The poems are as liste...

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Houdini Song

Spitting it out in the hope of releasing
unlocking the cage stifling my growth
burning it all selfishly brightly
and the feeling is back again
pounding my head again
to just let go

Spewing it out with the aim of escaping
fleeing this habitual and too perfect a world
shedding the handcuffs worn in contentment
and the aching is back again
haunting my thoughts again
to just get out

Dreaming it up in the hope ...

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Every morning
while you sleep in my arms,
I try to avoid
looking at the dawn
been struck from the skies
like candles blown out
one by one.

Every morning
I try to avoid
looking at the dawn
while you sleep in my arms,
and the breeze
dances across the other side
of your spluttered curtains.

But every morning
I lie hidden beneath your hair
on the edge of ou...

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An Advice

entry picture


Don’t escape from the truth!

Escape the lies!

A truth can be bitter,

A lie can be sweet.

Do you think sweet lies are better?

It depends.

I sometimes accept the one who pretends.

But…I always appreciate the one

Who intends to be sincere.

That one for me is so dear.

Escape a betrayal!

That one can be even a royal.

Escape the dirt!

For me i...

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I Will Escape From You

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I will escape from the one I dislike.

My psych doesn’t need a strike.

I will better take a bike

And will go for a ride

Somewhere out of your site

To see the world wide noontide.

I don’t want to confide the one who lied.

Meeting with you was a misguide.

I will not allow you to deride my pride.

I will decide myself how to reside.

And I will not backsl...

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Where To Escape?

entry picture


You are running ahead

 Instead of thinking where.

Your heart is beating at a crazy speed,

 It has it’s own flair.

You are swallowing salty drops of tears,

You do not hear the jeers,

You do not feel the rain

But only the unfair pain.

Hurts tear your soul apart.

Who cares about your broken heart?

You want to scream, even to roar,

You can’t stand t...

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I’m floating on the turquoise sea,

I’m holidaying in Greece.

I’m clambering onto a speedboat

And heading off to Nice.

I’m shown round an ocean liner,

And settling by the pool.

Someone at the bar plays guitar.

I can sing in tune!  How cool!


Okay, so this must be a dream,

But I shall not wake up.

I’ll drink Tia Maria and Baileys

In a Pooh Bear cup...

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Stronghold lost

Windows that never wore glass
let the cold in more than ever.
Outside, the dried-up moat
offers no protection,
vulnerable, we suffer.
Cracked between the bricks
and crumbling fast,
these castle walls are falling.
Exposed, we shrivel,
shrink back against the cold, hard floor,
self-afflicted and pitiful,
resigned to ruin and shame.
Surrounded by walls that stand no more.


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consider my confusion

I cannot conceive the caption ‘escape’

as a coldly critical concept

I am quite incapable of articulating


the conundrum of  ‘escaping’

which must concur conclusively

with a ‘from what’ and a ‘to what’ question

correct me if I quibble

can I qualify curious contentment

at my conscious core

or am I in a vacuum


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She is a sweet doll, three tiers high,

a nipped in, ivory dumbbell.

Her nails, bitten down, flash in the crook

of his arm.


She looks duped, evangelical;

her face catching the icing underfoot

a little.  

There is communion.


She steps forward, pressing her hand into mine,

our fingerprints, lost in glass -

uniforms, shapes of dust,


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entry picture


I will escape from the built-up city

To the countryside,

Where all around are so pretty

And the fields are green and wide.

I will escape from the traffics and smog

To the nature’s lyrics and a croaking frog.

I will escape from concrete and power lines

To the breathtaking lights and signs,

To the place where field bells  ring

And free birds  merrily sing...

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entry picture



Once I followed a prophet

Step by step

He walked a little ahead.

Until I passed through a doorway

That was framed only for me,

no longer did I follow a prophet

he walked a little ahead

and I let him go.

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Through a mist of whirlpools, she surfaced.

No understanding would come.

In such unfamiliar surroundings,

From equipment nearby, a slight hum.

No recollection of occurrences,

Why she was in a hospital bed,

Who the man was that called her “hun”,

Just a jumble of nothing in her head.


Told that she had been in a coma,

An accident, some kind of a scrape,


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lucky escape

it’s that time of the month again

 - no, not that one,

the one where I wake up sweating

convinced that I’m turning into

an ugly fat middle-aged balding bastard


then I wake up for real

and it’s all true


still, coulda been worse

I could’ve been turning into a poet.

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Take my hand and together let's fly free.

Yield to the pull of the far off mountains

and to the salty smell of the cold sea.

Man made walls can't contain you and me,

this fake enclosure of faint fragile lines;

if I exhale the bricks will quiver and concede,

as you too can choose to freely surrender

and accept a filigree of pale shells as a gift,

give your consent...

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Deep rooted

Craven, i kneel at your feet,
crystal eyes implore you,
pathetic and needy.
Frigid disdain matches my gaze,
self disgust turns my eye to the ground
as you sneer with approval at my shame.
Satisfied with my agony and excited by control,
you play,

Puppet-master wins again.

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Escape Artist

entry picture

squeeeeeeezing my way
down this slimy tube no
doubt about it it needs
no lube happening so
fast voices I hear two
of them I’ve heard
before the rest I
do not know I
figured that
the way to
be was
just go






and what a change I feel
so cold it is and dryer than

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Amnesia haze

wander into mary's garden,
stroll amongst the weeds,
catch a rug to old morroco,
high above the trees
sink into the deepest ocean
lie among the wrecks,
let the stone-fish teach you how
to let your self forget.
drift along a tendril green
into a river jade,
wash away the fears you have and
past mistakes you made
sledge down slopes of ignorance
and land into the bliss

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Come now,
Our love is in the past,
so let me slip off to an Opera in Venice
without finding your face in the crowd.
Or walk down Saint Adams St. in the rain
and not smell your lilac perfume.
No mirror is safe for my hollow eyes.
they just serve to remind me that
tears from the heart stain pale cheeks
as surely as red wine stained your dress
at our wedding.

Let this be th...

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Escape. Prize Competition

First blogged this 26th April, but it should probably sit in this month's blogs as well as a reminder.

Many of us enjoyed the competitions which ran for a few months towards the end of last year. There may be some interest in trying again, so here goes. 




The theme is ESCAPE. The poem, or poems, have to have something, however tenuous, t...

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entry picture



This morning Samantha is building a bonfire

Down on the waste ground in rubbish and weeds

Ferrying armloads of boxes and bin-bags

Burning a life that she no longer needs.

Out of the cardboard seep velvets and spangles,

Hairpieces, handcuffs, impractical shoes,

Skimpy silk underwear, ropes and brass bangles -

The tools of a trade that she’ll no longer use.

Crimson red li...

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