As we enter the pandemic’s second spring we applaud the NHS and all who work so hard to keep us safe. The lockdown continues but the stalwart poets of the Stoke Stanza continue to meet online. You can contact us through this site if you would like details of our Zoom meetings or contact John Williams on email@example.com.
It’s been a busy time for many of us but poetry continues. Phil Williams, who edits these pages, had a poem in the Winter 2020 edition of Poetry Wales and has three lined up for the February 2021 edition of Tears in the Fence.
Bert Flitcroft, a good friend of The Leopard based in South Staffordshire has a new collection out – Just Asking. Well worth a read.
Gill McAvoy, formerly of Chester and now in Devon also has a new collection out this month, Are You Listening?
We wish both of them continuing success both in their writing and their advocacy for poetry – and wildlife too in Gill’s case.
Here are some recent poems from The Potteries.
POWER LINES | John Williams
They fly above to avoid our deaths,
swerve and sail, string out, stretch down
pylon to pillar, field and flood.
They long to be seen, come close and touch,
speak in circuits where the biosphere glows
and head away to work and war,
to ignite neon and fake the dawn.
In rain they glint like snapped-off sunshine,
strike a hiss in the lost sound of steam.
In spring they forgive our air and ash,
dive underground to make a city bloom
and enter rooms though plasterboard and brick,
loved and feared with phones and fire alarms
that disarm the flame of angels with a fuse.
BEFORE AND AFTER | John Williams
The smart things lazy people do in adverts:
Lose weight fast. Comb out grey. Stand erect
with six-pack abs. Tear off the shrink wrap.
They love the questions: Tired of jams?
Embarrassed byy our nails?
Does fear hold out a flag in every hand?
And three-word diktats: Get rich quick.
Drop those bags. Pay by click.
Endorsed by testimonials, the fitness page:
Wise guys jog, punch and trim.
Fulfilment apps help memory loss, unlock the mind
and carry on where Einstein stopped.
Remember every card played in the pack.
Transform your life in the hook-up site,
the lonely hearts and love advice.
DownloadSappho’s blogsite on your browser bar,
hotthewayyoulikeit.Click for Therapy.
Blindness can be lasered from the eye.
Some poems from Geoff Sutton.
moon lends landing light
to returning travellers
touch down now switch off
june is sun no need
to leave a landing light on
in family homes
wanted on the flight
light weight suit luggage good night
soft landing darling
the fairy armadillo
hog louse chiggy pig
small gramersow doodlebug
granny grey menace
a crawley baker
carpenter or monkey pea
roll up bug cheese log
(with thanks to Wiki)
under bramleys laburnum
flowering currant beech
of ancient deciduous
woodland so thats what
our garden was once
buckrams bears garlic bear leek
loved by wild boar
no bear no boar here
just acidic moist moraine
left by the glacier
you have a drink on me john
english short greek long
epi oin och eu oi
i might pour out wine
its the optative
lets uncork a bottle now
heres your beaker
Finally, Malcolm McMinn invites us to share some BLUE SKY BLUES
Will there be something new to do today?
_ Three on the four, eight on the nine—
So tedious, these pathetic games we play.
__ Five on the six! Now this game’s going fine,
And that, I think, is “up”. One more game won,
But patience is boring, pardon the pun.
I’ve washed and waxed the car and mown the lawn,
Ah, there’s another corner piece
Papered the lounge which I started at dawn,
But from ennui there’s no release
And it’s so easy, sitting and stagnating.
Do something constructive and creative!
Perhaps I’ll try my hand at writing verse,
But inspiration’s hard to find
And writer’s block is such a cruel curse;
I’ve tried before, I call to mind.
So once again I’ll try to sort this sky,
A vast expanse of empty blue. I sigh.