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I hide

I hide behind my shine smile

I hide behind my ocd and cleaning haddits 

A addict that's me

Full of fear and a huge need to succeed but a great haddit of fucking it Al up

So complex and conflicted so willing to please 

Oh I hide behind by perfect Hazel eyes 

Behind my cigarette smoke 

Please don't get to close 

You might just find a boy with no piece feeling like his no plac...

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The comforting feel of a blued steel weapon does it every time

the solid trust you put in it.

the protection it affords

the ownership is where it starts

takes you all the way

we ain't gonna let that go, no way Jose. 


It's what we was brought up with

it's about what we won't put up with

it's a territorial thing we take up arms,

when a situation develops where others ...

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Also by ray pool:


The Chisel

I stood and watched my dad, entranced,

as he chiselled a hole into a table's leg.

The chisel was a wand in this strong man’s hand,

As he strove to make that table stand.


His hammer met the chisel’s head, precisely,

Time after time, and time after time again,

carving and slicing into the wood’s bright grain.

Until he brusquely brushed the shavings away,

Like a conjuror ...

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Also by John Botterill:

A Golf Lesson | History is Bunk | J.G.Barwell's Radio Show | An Elegy from a Malton Graveyard | Rillington Motorbike Club | Reunion | Early Learning |

Relatively Speaking

So many tragic events have occurred 

For reasons we cannot conjure a clue

That someone from the future has never intervened

Tells me time travel can never be true

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Late Knight Shopping

Late Knight Shopping

When the gallant, valiantly

Do battle with the crowds


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A disturbance

Enter my world,
your very presence,
changes everything.
Potentials and propensities
merge, mould, into: 
she is not a fixture,
she is a fitting
in my world,
She flutters, flings, flummoxes,
acquires the shape of the word.
eyes sparkle — 
as I burn the last volume
of poems.
Eternal signs sigh over the ashes.
Letters tell of nightmares,
stone slabs become monster-statues
created by a...

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Also by John E Marks:

SURVIVAL | Poetry or Philosophy? | A satire of sorts | A place of recovery |  SNOW WHITE STARS | Suti | Lotta Continua. | A loving heart is truest wisdom | Gérard Manley Hopkins SJ | Towards the year's midnight | The Unpurged Images of Day | A Victorian Saturday Night | Empty | Blank slate | Winter of my Heart | Broken vessel | A permanent loss of happiness | Another place, another time | DRINKING WHERE THE RIVER BED IS DRY | The Swan with two Nicks | icons of the sun | Al Andalusia | As I rise, so will I burn | DAY OF THE DEAD - November 2, 2022 |

A franchise on my soul


I felt that my life was diminished

My smallest of dreams, suppressed

There stood before me a man of conviction
Asserting that I need not feel oppressed.

Like the pied piper he whistled, I listened

Of ancient arcadia, his land of hope

Where I could escape the rigours of conformity

That hung around my neck like a rope

Simply cradle in the soft arms of Morpheus

Safe, fro...

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Also by JD Russell:

Hope For Our Love | The Hairdressers Tale | Anxiety | The Minder | RAF Swinderby | Stay with me | One, Two, Three, More | No more the fool |

A father for us all

‘You’ve got a bum and a tum now!’ Remarked an old flame,
who’d changed her profession from social worker to children’s magician.

‘You might be greyer of hair,’ she said with a wink,
‘but I remember when you were as thin as a lath,
and though your raggedy existence has aged you somewhat,
you’re now strong, like a put-out-to-grass ox, 
if you’ll forgive my back-handed compliment.’

She lau...

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Also by Kevin Vose:

A truly Christian daughter | Young Dan | What makes us human? | A dreaming man | Mary Lou wanders |

Day of Death

The neighbour's cat
brought a mouse into our garden
four limbs twitching
And from that jaw, those claws
I performed a rescue
but it was all for naught
and I tucked that little life
on the compost stack
hoping it found a comfy spot
to shuffle off

Out walking that same afternoon
on the pavement, on the path
a squirrel who'd tried to fly
but kissed the curb
such a sad sight
as I stro...

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Also by Tom:

If It Rains... | Gentleness |


Eons traversed

I have this feeling  I know you so.

But not from this life or time line no.

It must be from lifetimes past one or two.

On mystical timelines as we traveled the cosmos through.

You ask how I know well, just call it a hunch.

Every time we chat my heart beats faster and I start to miss you a bunch.

On this plane of existence in this linear timeline.

We meet as strangers, aware at...

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Also by Danny Giesbrecht:

the signs of a true leader |

Pictures in Frames

As I amble through my days

people I love are no longer here,

but they frequently return to me

in unexpected moments

The memories often repeating


These keepsakes of them 

alight in my thoughts

and find purchase in a smile


Keeping them close to me

on a cold seashore in winter,

in my dark hours with hit-and-run rain,

and in pictures in frames

still tellin...

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Also by Mike McPeek:

Early Morning in Yosemite | The Suitcase | If | Thanksgiving, 2009 |

Hallo Nederland!

In our Lancashire home, in our Lancashire home,
We speak with a Lanky Twang ever so rare,
We’ve got some wet moorlands exceedingly bare,
If you want a few Mountains, we've got some to spare,
In our Lancashire home.

En Vrolijk Kerstmis!

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Also by Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh:

Anti-Social-ist Behaviour Dis-Order | Nostalgia | Their Favourite Things | Na Gaotha (The Winds) | Gaslight Charade | Poppy Rocks Bollocks | Autumn Leaves Haiku 俳句 | Counting One to Ten in Irish |



Life is perfect but am not,

I just hope for the next big thing.

“This is perfect” is nothing but a theory,

A life on a TV screen is nothing but a lie too.

Show me a different perspective,

Where are mistakes accepted?

Irrespective of what I say

And do, is nothing but life

The next big thing to die for,

Is breathing my last breath.

Live for what you want, not

What yo...

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2022 Trev finally gets to Texas: A long time comin': Part 4 Midland to McAllen

Image: "The Beast" outside Clarks on arrival, I'd made really good time mainly due to the roads being surprisingly clear, and The Beast having plenty of power. In the background is The Royal Standard Clark flew to celebrate my arrival and let others know I was there. He is pictured in the backgound with his friend Blanca



23.11.22 – 88) Alarm rings I wake to find last nights events sti...

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Also by Trev the Road Poet:

2022 Trev finally gets to Texas: A long time comin': Part 4 Midland | 2022 Trev finally gets to Texas: A long time comin': Part 3 Austin to Midland | 2022 Trev finally gets to Texas: A long time comin': Part 2 Austin | 2022 Trev finally gets to Texas: A long time comin': Part 1 The Journey Out |

The Things I Carry

You told me once when we talked about the things we carried
That I was a little too vague
And I thought then, and still do now
That it's because I'm a little too vague
The things I carry aren't set in stone
They are abstract and unsure and hard to put to words
They are feelings and thoughts only half-formed
They are like lines of a poem never quite heard
So, I carry the snippets of long-he...

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Also by Key Snow:

This One Is For Every Friendship Lost |

the things I carryWho are YouWho am iSorting thoughtsresponse to a teacherschool dayscarry onResilienceangerhow do i articulate me


Serendipity found me

On this cold, lacklustre dawn

Her gracious hand reached out

And she wrapped me 

In good fortune


What  a gift she gave!

She followed me so joyously

As she sang her unexpected tune

Such that sent the clouds adrift 

And made the flowers bloom



She pushed away the night’s long slumber

She usurped the fading moon

Her arrival breathe...

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Also by Clare:

My Pen doesn't Flutter |

Country Life

Metropolitan Man wears the mask of the commuter.
Faces Today's challenges via trusty computer.

Odd, him looking down from a mountain top.

Wholely beautiful, there is a lake of silver
     perfectly still but for a distant man
          ant-busy at the edge.

A fisherman's son of an age
     with the work-wear swaddling him,
          the jumble of tired equipment
                and ...

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Also by Adam Whitworth:

The Musician's Bleeding Fingers | News | On The Plus Side | An Age Thing | Spanish Guitar | Wider World | Dreamer To Dreamer Speaks | Your Humble Poet | The Luminous Poets | Latest Developments | Piano |



clumsy wrong
insistent strong
quiet along
centre unfold
shedding collapse
feeling relapse
heart synapse
counting circles
cycles mooning
waiting hold
biting lips
biting teeth
biting you
bleeding me.




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Also by nicola van straaten:

circley | into it it | strength | V | you can breathe easy | don't despair | right here on the edge |

every night

it’s really hard to sleep in a cold bed.

with every move the cold screams , “you’re alone!”

no one to hold & no one holding you.

you don’t exist - you’re unknown

to this harsh world and ,

yet , full of love & warmth ,

every night , it’s the same pattern. 

every night , the cold shocks the skin.

every night , you recall the fact that you are alone. 

the bed laughs as you ...

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Hint Of Skullduggery

A beautiful, serene start to the day 
with the slightest hint of skullduggery 
Early, eerie mist paints a picture 
with the coral like silhouette of a tree 

The sun is simmering against the clouds
from the depths gentle wisps are reaching out
The most wonderful way to start the day
of that, I’m sure no one could ever doubt  

Photo credit Dr Amir Khan

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Also by julie callaghan:

Crimson Leaves | Recharge | Brain Freeze | Misty Sunrise | Robin | Soupy Abyss | Cumbrian Forest | Depths Of Autumn | Fiery Heavens | Delicate Sunrise | The Simple Things | Goldfinch | Last Hurrah | Standing Still | Gold Confetti |

No More War!

The generals fry in their fat,

The spokesman spouts his usual junk;

The sergeant’s barking will fall flat,

The new recruit has trashed his bunk.


The rumpus at the front is still;

Noise of mortal combat ceases.

Exhausted soldiers, trained to kill,

Break their weapons into pieces.


They hug their foes and swap their hopes

Of lives soon filled with joy and art;


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Also by Stephen Gospage:

The Lowest of the Low | Rough Sleeper | Przewodow | Luxury | Mykolaiv Zoo | A Song for Ukraine | Armageddon |



I don't know how to reach you

my darling

as you suffer & self-destruct

-- & so I turn to prayer.

I can't re-arrange this

I can't soften this

I can't solve this

--& so I turn to prayer.

How do I pray my darling?

Waves & waves of love,

waves & waves of forgiveness,

waves & waves of hope.

Oh may these waves reach you

my darling

& wash over you

with blessin...

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Also by Hélène:

Angel Wings | Getting Help | Like Water | Divine | Her Prayer Beads | Balance | Holiday Gathering | Meeting the Day | Live in the Light | Freedom | Learning to Shift | Oh How I Love! | Opening | Cocooned | Arriving & Leaving | Little Boat | Nap Time | Keep Trying | House to House | Winds | Good Enough | The Long Journey | In Our Hearts | This Moment | Learning to Sew | Movement | Break Through | Cleaning House | Rain | An Army of Angels | A Day | Cat | Silence of the Hummingbird | I Am (affirmation poem) | As Far Back As You Can | Morning Air |

Complainers Complaint


The complainers complaint
is a constant refrain

"Woe is me -points-
they're all to blame!
I'm squeezed in the middle
by those with no name
pity me not them
they're all to blame!

why don't they just send 'em  
all off to jail?
give to me not to them
coz they want the same,

give to me not to them
coz they're all to blame
them paki's and blacks
them poles and the lame
the u...

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Also by Tommy Carroll:

Ancient Ruin | Recollection |

always moving, dont get too attached.

immediately after i finish a book i have to start another. 


rinse and repeat. always moving. don’t get too attached. 


i worry that if i don’t pick up another book immediately i may never do so again

i fear i’ll become forever lost in the chasm 

grasping for characters who’s stories have ended and unable to move onto the next

if i didn’t fear the nothingness i could learn m...

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Irretrievably lost

Noxious gasses bleed the sun,
The gashes in arms feed the blossum,
Feathers fell and dug down deep,
Never more forgetting,
The cauldron falls in cornered lips,
The building bustle in the stream,
Castrated the cow and godless famine,
The death of the poor did bring a smile,
Another day and other shallow,
Wading in the depths of despair.

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Also by Alita Moore:

Imaginary Children |


Imagine freedom being tied

To how far you can run

Be it from a gun,

your mum

Running from expectations

You're acting like a bum

Someone's son

To succumb to banal pleasures

You bum

Experienced pleanty these few years

But yet still

A master of none


The cat has 9 lives

You live to tell one tale

You've been given plenty of opportunities

And yet you fai...

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Also by Jamal Buchanan:

Excess |



When I first saw my girlfriend naked

I knew there was something wrong,

although she'd taken her clothes off

she still had her wellingtons on!       


She kept them on while making love

and despite the increased friction

I saw it my duty to carry on,

to abstain was a dereliction


Bought online they were shocking pink

with tartan straps on the tops

She dyed her ...

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Also by Telboy:

I'm a Celebrity etc | House of Shrines |


Tainted words are like shadows

Amid your weak sunny days

Tainted dreams are like the mud

On your black patent leather shoes

You cannot walk towards your hope

Having these sorrowful feet

And with a barefaced kind

Of friend hidden on your mind

Tainted whispers are like a curse

With the promises you've broken

Maybe a thousand times

A sudden storm taints the breeze


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Wrong Spaces

I am, he thought, not where I want to be

Or should be, I feel misplaced
Lost, a missed opportunity.

My frame has drifted far away from me

The faded space is left to see,

The hook is still there, no hanging now, but empty.

My square peg has been hammered

Into this round hole.

My lines are stammered, fluffed my starring role

The curtain falls,

An open goal is scuffed,,


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Also by mike booth:

To be young again |

Don't Mess With Your Elders

Kidder?? your right wing commentary

Means nothing to me. 

I could metaphorically-

Punch out your teeth

With a single blow.


If you *see* that I'm middle aged

It should persuade 


To *not* think you can troll

This mid-50's Barbie doll.

You're an amoeba

Brained jerk

Who lurks

In 'moms' basement.

The encasement

Of your brain

With the hardened c...

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Also by Jo Callisto:

Elon Musk Smells Of Wee | Imprint | Tangles | Hideous Gomphidius | I'm In Hell | There's No YOU There | Can You Just Not | This Isn't The Way | Revenge Of Pancake Man | Hope | Why Is Donald Trump? | Wavelengths | Wavelengths |


Beware of short men in positions of power

Looking for ways to make their mean weeds flower.

Hurrying and harrying the gullible that we see go.....

Following the long legs of a monstrous ego.



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Also by M.C. Newberry:


Any other Winners of this particular competition on Write Out Loud?


In all my years of writing bad poetry and doggerel, never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that I would be one of the 5 winners in an Award Anthology but that is exactly what has happened and I was stopped by police (for this is a police state) running so fast to the Building Society to pay the cheque for ...

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Also by Red Button:

The Moon as a Fishing Buoy in Bermo |



Before you put them away neatly coiled last year you checked them and they worked.

You took them out this year and they have inextricably entangled themselves; and they don’t work.

You wonder why, but you needn’t.  The answer is in the name, Fairy Lights.  It is, of course, the fairies who make them work.

But where ever there are fairies there are hobgoblins and it is their work to s...

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Also by John Coopey:


The significance of a pillow

You adjusted the pillow so tenderly under my head while we fucked,

I had never experienced consideration like that before, it felt so intimate.

It was so humane.

You detected my discomfort and cared enough to act.

You cared.

You acted.

I admit, it was exactly what I was longing for.


I am terrified.


Now, I must wait with white knuckles, choking on my breath.


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Also by M. Smith:

Intentionality |

love poems


with the last lines borrowed from Kaveh Akbar


Tension begins here:

My bleed/my break

the line one curves over slopes

the crevice cascading two-pulicitous over an edge

the stream of over-consciousness squelched in bliss

Return with me now, 

wind humming honey

a touch filled with ache

when silence lingers in our throats 

You sit with me now

distance a year ...

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Also by Mel:

refusal is slow |

Quirkypoemlong poemsinterestingalternative

Gray Man

She holds her tongue for a gray man 
with a smoking jacket and whispered I love you’s. 
She holds her tongue for crumbs on countertops, 
hairs on bathroom sinks, unwashed hands 
and mornings with unbrushed teeth.

She holds on for passionate kisses and long embraces  
that heat up to a thousand degrees under the sheets. 

She presses on for those hard fought moments. 
She gasps for air b...

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Also by kimberly:

Under the Covers | Tossed Asides |

Mon amour, thy word

Mon amour, you make,
Restless; my heart,
Such things, it's heard,
Yet, what keeps me going...
Mon amour, thy word

Disguised as fine,
The Concealed jealousy,
Often seems absurd..
Yet, what keeps me going,
Mon amour, thy word

Servile ; i stayed 
Waiting for you,
as the memories blurred,
Yet, what kept me going,
Mon amour, thy word

Been too fragile, 
Hurt my feelings...
just as...

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The Rona Effect

The Rona Effect

Brain that feels like hollow

Night sweats and body aches

With mash potato body to follow


Ten hours sleep

But still so hazy

Unable to focus

Like I’m halfway between hungover and crazy


Hacking cough and congestion

Mental health in question


More sleep please

Oh wait— no— I’m wired

How is my body blocking my zzzz’s

When I’m so damn ...

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Black Sapote

is that chocolate?

Your wife is shocked that your fruit

is not chocolate.


(From a haiku poetry book 'Fruit Haiku' in development - likely to be finished in 2023 or 2024.  A Black Sapote is a species of persimmon. Common names include chocolate pudding fruit, black soapapple and zapote prieto. The tropical fruit tree is native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. The common name...

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Also by Andy N:

Charity Anthology Submissions Wanted |

Defy, decay

Defy, decay

I often wonder

About the last leaf on the tree

And whether there is a leaf

That refuses to wither

To decay, to die

To remain as soft

Lissome, and lithe

As the day it first grew

On the tree

And not just a memory

Of a memory

That we hold

In a photograph

Of a love

In the first bloom of spring

And days of light

And sun without end

Long ...

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The Wind

The sound of wind

The lights are dimmed

Watch the trees swaying side by side

Similar to an unpredictable tide

Let this wind erase your pain

Without leaving any harsh stains

The breeze brushing against your skin

Closing your eyes knowing you can win

Feeling the cold touch your body

Gazing at the clouds, since it isn’t foggy

Such a beautiful feeling inside out

Don’t ...

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Fence line

Doves on the fence line, shedding the morning rain
Sitting in this quiet fog with me
First sleepless night in a while, but I'm more awake now
Third cigarette down, shaking cups of hot black coffee
Mornings are the best, and the worst, sometimes both at once
The roof drips staccato in the garden, old friends shedding leaves
There is something peaceful in the birds, these dying peppers in the ...

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Also by scribble:

A river with no name |

The Ghosts of Qatar


Can you hear a sob and wail.
In this sorry World Cup tale.
Above the roar of every goal.
Listen out for every lost soul.

Beneath the sunny Qatari skies.
Listen to their desperate cries.
How many died, it's hard to tell?
Slave labour, in conditions of hell.

In the desert heat, toiling away.
Brutal conditions, pittance of pay.
Families left to mourn and weep.
Ghosts of Q...

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Also by Mike Bartram:

The Ugly Game | A Dangerous Man | One More To Begin | The Black Jelly Baby |

Jack & Jill

Jack, being a responsible lad, before going up the hill

took Jill to the clinic and put her on the pill.


But Jill, being a devious girl with her body clock ticking

didn't take the pill before she let him put his dick in,

four months down the line she felt the baby kicking.


Jack went mad and said you've ruined my bloody life.

Jill said you can fuck right off I'm not your...

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Also by Reggie's Ghost:

Keeping It Warm | Running Through the Silence |

A little girl that got lost

My dad gave me a pair of glasses when I was about 5

It confused me a little

He said, “This is the only thing you’ll ever need.” 

“This will keep you as my little girl,” he said

He put it on and looked at me with a smile

With a warm one, I could see he liked it this way

I wondered back then if the warmth would cool if I took it off

but I didn’t want to find out so soon

I cou...

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Also by Lisa Harris:

Close the door | Write a happy poem she said | The one with depression | Cause I Can't Remember | the 5th kitten | Rose | Colours | You Showed Me | The unattainable spark of life | How to love thyself? | Cause I remember |

FamilytraumasadnessDaddy issues


The surf gladly births

foolhardy Aphrodite, 

to be dressed 

in all the superlatives

of idolatry; yet

the same surf

swiftly buries Aegeus, 

to be forsaken

like a postscript 

within the waves 

that he names;

an elemental nascence

and death's dreaded cadence,

a dichotomy of the sea,

bathing the essence

of myth after myth...

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Also by Holden Moncrieff:

Ramshackle | Nobody. |

I need to see clearly now

I need to see clearly now


We are caught and entagled in a synthetic web

the recipients of fake news, the victims of deceit

Confused and bewlidered we stagger about

mentally dull and spiritually exhausted

We flounder and stumble from pillar to post

lost in a world, a web that entices and seduces us


My eyes are dimmed, my heart flags

yet resistence is only a step aw...

Read and leave comments (1)

Also by keith jeffries:

In the twinkling of an eye | The Edge of Emptiness | Quiet Desperation | The River of Babylon | This War |

Silent Wash

It’s a direct drive of fifty litres

From me to you.

Six hundred miles north

Until I’m resting my eyes on your face:

That soothing easy care

From the dial and touch

Of your features


The mixed fabric of your voice

Trickling through my cells.


I am freestanding

But will bloom

When you enter the room.


Until then,

I’m in this intensive


Read and leave comments (2)


Family Tree


Her wrinkled hand took hold of his

as she sang a grand old song

Her grandson  looked at it & said:

You've been in the bath too long!


She said, "Those creases are like  the circles 

within a wonderful tree!

It shows how long I've been around

How long that I've been me!"


There's a lot of creases there, Grandma

They've spread right up to your face!

I recko...

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Also by Stephen W Atkinson:

Jeepers creepers | Please Remember Me |


Show more entries …

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