Look after the line-breaks …

Martin FiguraThere’s an embarrassment of riches at The Leopard. On Tuesday 22nd October we welcome Martin Figuras and Helen Ivory en-route for the Chester Literary Festival. They’re breaking their journey with us then scooting off before we can cram them into the wicker-man we’re preparing in the yard …

bw_helenivory_dec11_8155We know how to give a warm welcome …

On Tuesday 15th we welcomed Roger Elkin who read from his extensive collections and gave detailed practical advice on everything from magazine submissions to line-breaks. You can read some of Roger’s observations on free-verse line-breaks here.

Someone who has immediately taken Roger’s advice on board is Andrew Phillips with his poem, Elegy.


It’s three in the morning and I’m awake again.
A fox’s yelp-bark sends up
A noteless song from somewhere I can’t see,
A harsh elegy for sleep, perhaps,
Or a desperate plea for sex.
I’ll take the elegy,
However sweetly sourly sung
It won’t please the sleep god,
That fickle bastard
Never listens to prayers
Never mind answering them.
He’ll make an atheist of me soon
But I’ll still be awake,
Still am awake.
Even the fox has given up.
Maurice Leyland also impressed with Vocabulary Games.


A brasive is very hard to get on with
and rubs people up the wrong way.
A colyte comes before the star
only in the OED.
A ddendum is never a starter.
It can follow the main course if you feel like extras.
A ffix hates to be alone
is only happy when in an attachment.
A gog never loses at cards.
It never misses a trick.
A hoy is always there
but only happy when coming to land.
A jar has a very open mind
but can’t be drawn into a close relationship.
A kimbo is a very spiky character
who can never stand to attention.
A llegory tells interesting stories
but can be secretive.
A mong is never alone
and loves to be one of the crowd.
An nodyne will sit on the fence
which can be a pain but he can alleviate it.
A percu is popular at parties.
Her mots are always bon if you like your wit stroked.
A quavit can raise your spirits
especially after consumption of its chippy ancestor.
A rise will not be caught lying down
and always responds to a sword on his shoulder.

A scetic doesn’t laugh a lot because he has got the sack
and doesn’t hear correctly
when it was suggested he try pole-vaulting
A tom has too much energy
and cannot take thepressure
when in the wrong company.
A vocado is not easy to get on with
being thick-skinned and stony-hearted.
A way is unsociable
and never at home.
A yah was a pillar
of the British Empire’s domestic policy.
A zygous dislikes company,
a born bachelor.

Talking about help and advice, it looks like we might need one here in order to display Maurice’s poem correctly … with the indentations in the right place. There will be a way on WordPress.  Until we’ve mastered that, you can still enjoy Maurice’s verbal virtuosity.

Why not comment, send feedback, or, better still, join us at one of the Stanza sessions at The Leopard? You’ll be very welcome.

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About theleopard66

I am a member of the Stoke Stanza of The Poetry Society and run a bi-monthly Poems & Pints event in Alsager.
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