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Stephen Gospage

Updated: Sun, 24 Jan 2021 04:08 pm


Contact via WOL


Stephen Gospage, who sometimes writes under the name of Charly Bishop, is an enthusiastic writer of poetry and short stories. He was born in West Ham, London, in 1953, but has spent most of his working life in Brussels and is proud to call himself a citizen of Europe. His 2019 poetry collection “Bedside Days” is published by Lulu and is available on Amazon. He has recently published a new poetry book entitled "The Shape of the Trees, Poems for 2020" which includes poems about Life, Brexit and the Pandemic. Some of the poems in the book have been shared on the WOL blog and a sample poem "Memory Tax" is included below. Several of his poems have been published in the 'New European' newspaper, including "Brexit Happy Hour" from 2018, which is reproduced here.

The pavements of Europe

In years like nineteen eighty-five, The pavements, through their long, nocturnal sleep, Were viewed at all times with distrust. Dawn: soles of freezing workers clatter past, To jump aboard the belching queues Of buses, lined up ten or twenty deep. A brave new world stirred, some years on, Stuffed with gold teeth and overpriced flash cars. Once more the pavements stole the show. They sprouted worlds with tall chairs stacked outside, Within which, furred and fast-tracked, lounged A rising class with merchandise in tow. In certain disinfected spots Sidewalks could play host to gala dinners. But much foul footfall had passed here, Which gave the rich too many tales to tell. For all the loudly touted boom, The poor had just their roadside wares to sell. Somewhere on the edge of Europe, On warm nights, pavements, bloated with excess, Drew veils to cover up their faults. First light brought women, trading in stale loaves (From gaudy kitchen towels unpacked); Soon heading home, their fondest dreams intact.


Each time he climbed another mountain peak, He took a slice home as a souvenir; Nothing too big, just a vanishing scrape. One day, on cue, he heard the mountain speak, And through dawn’s modest light, it shed a tear At such a violation of its shape. This act would likely finish his career.

A dying breed

He was one of a cultured few; We never guessed how much he knew. He told us why there’s hot and cold, Explained the aches of Great Aunt Jill, The nature of the spots of mould Encrusted on the windowsill. He knew his Wagner from his Brahms; Devoured Housman’s hills and farms. And as for paintings, he preferred Impressionists to modern stuff; His wrath could sometimes be incurred By poems written off the cuff. His sporting greats were in the past, With reputations built to last. He aced Von Cramm before the war. With Hogan he once practised drives; Reached distances not seen before. We smiled sometimes, but he touched lives.

Land of opportunity

They talk a lot about the level playing field; But who exactly is playing on it? Am I? Are you? No. So what’s new?

Memory Tax

The tax on memory will be increased, Effective from next Saturday at ten. An extra five per cent will be applied To every word remembered after then. Stuff from the past will weigh our system down; We’ll give a rebate for your future thoughts. Provided they conform to what we like, Your polished teeth may feature in reports. Don’t think that we can promise, though; we can’t. Our fiscal line depends upon supply Of out-of-date ideas to bring in cash And punters having other fish to fry. And in the end, does it really matter? Our archives will be slimmed down to a dearth. Memories in time attain their limit, Once their possessors lie beneath the earth.

Brexit Happy Hour

‘I don’t recognise my country!’ Say men around the bar, While just next door a world awakes In time zones near and far. ‘We have to bring back Empire!’ Cry men behind their glass, As groups amassed in camps are told To keep clear of the grass. ‘We must respect the people’s will!’ Shout men propped up on stools, Haranguing loudly on their phones Those who clean out their pools. ‘This is our independence day!’ Men spit from their punch bowl; Outside, long queues of surplus staff Prepare to join the dole. ‘We’re free at last from foreigners!’ Men splutter through their beer; There’s talent all around the world, But it’s not wanted here. ‘Take back the pound, take back control!’ The men have made their pitch. They grab the wheel, take bends too fast And end up in a ditch.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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Mon 1st Mar 2021 04:14

A dog will sniff
anything that moves
the gist is that
it so behooves!


Wed 17th Feb 2021 10:19

you nailed it Stephen,
"helplessness" is the word
and the feeling.

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Scattered Sun

Sun 7th Feb 2021 00:03

Thank you for the comment on my poem!


Sun 24th Jan 2021 03:17

Thank you Stephen.
You are too kind.

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Stephen Gospage

Thu 14th Jan 2021 17:01

Looking forward to it, Tommy

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Tommy Carroll

Wed 13th Jan 2021 13:22

Thanks Stephen.

Re "Planning her Escape"

I have a separate piece done with the woman alone in the bedroom.
I'm still pondering.


Sat 9th Jan 2021 00:36

nothing to it!!



Wed 6th Jan 2021 12:28

I don't know what it is about you
that makes me like you so much.
It could be the fact that
you always think my poems are brilliant!


Wed 30th Dec 2020 02:29

thanks for your comment on the "Stumpy" poem.
It is very kind of you.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 21st Dec 2020 17:33

Brilliantly dull


Sun 20th Dec 2020 01:12

hardly brilliant-
more like


Sun 6th Dec 2020 02:51

I had a hard time thinking of it myself! hahaha

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Stephen Gospage

Fri 4th Dec 2020 17:16

Older than I look in the photo, but yes, not quite.


Fri 4th Dec 2020 04:48

you are still young
you do not know
the second part.....yet!

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Stephen Gospage

Fri 27th Nov 2020 16:47

I really appreciate your kind words. It's part of a series called, rather pretentiously, 'Poems of time and place'. I'll put some more on the profile.

Not a catholic, even part-time. I did once have a mitre. It was a football signed by Bobby Moore.

More power to your pen.


Wed 25th Nov 2020 18:43

I don't usually read poets or poetry.
I'm just different that way.
But I read this and was impressed.

Each time he climbed another mountain peak,
He took a slice home as a souvenir;
Nothing too big, just a vanishing scrape.
One day, on cue, he heard the mountain speak,
And through dawn’s modest light, it shed a tear
At such a violation of its shape.
This act would likely finish his career.


Wed 25th Nov 2020 18:40

Thanks Charley Bishop-
are you Catholic?
Do you have a Mitre?


Wed 21st Oct 2020 03:56

a stream of thoughts
and the stream
is delightful
cool and refreshing-
hope I am not
in over my head.

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Stephen Gospage

Wed 14th Oct 2020 16:52

No objection.


Wed 14th Oct 2020 03:11

the Gospage
according to Stephen!

well it sounded like that to me.

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Stephen Gospage

Thu 8th Oct 2020 17:44

I used it first. It must be catching. Oh no, don't say that...

Good word, though, and good poem.


Thu 8th Oct 2020 03:57

You used the same term, "Atmospheric"
that the other guy used.
Is this a new thing?
Is it caused by Global Warming?
As I think about it,
My pressure is rising.

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Thu 24th Sep 2020 18:48

I thoroughly enjoyed this thank you. 😄

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Stephen Gospage

Thu 24th Sep 2020 16:47

Dear Tommy

Thanks for the message. It was a real treat to read the poem, and to come back and read it again.


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Tommy Carroll

Wed 23rd Sep 2020 11:37

Cheers Stephen for your like of "Broken Masonry"
Tommy 🙂

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Stephen Gospage

Sat 12th Sep 2020 17:47

It was my pleasure, Robert. I really enjoyed it.

Robert Haigh

Fri 11th Sep 2020 20:57

Thank you, Stephen, for reading and liking my poem, "The Man Inside My Head." Much appreciated.


Wed 12th Aug 2020 23:34

or when you can't find the right Remote.
then the accusations start.
you had it last!

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Stephen Gospage

Sun 9th Aug 2020 16:53

Who knows? He may become Matt Hancock next time. OK, maybe not.
All the best


Sat 8th Aug 2020 13:01

Paul Sayer is even in here.
He is everywhere.
I think he may be an anarchist
trying to infiltrate each site for devious purposes.
He even changed his name to disguise his real identity.
I think he may be a double agent poet.

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