Prowling through summer

The Leopard’s on the prowl again, stalking poetry from The Potteries and the surrounding area.

The next Stoke Stanza session is at The Leopard Hotel, 21 Market Place, Burslem (ST6 3DS for those of you who rely on Sat-Nav to find your way round) will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday 21st June. All welcome. Please bring 15 copies of a poem to share and discuss or feel free to enjoy the company and listen.

To give you a flavour of what to expect, here’re some poems from the last session.

First up, our genial host, John Williams with a wry poem about the ubiquitous ball-point pen.


I fiddle with the cap, chew the end
and wait for words to come.
Its plastic body gleams
held at that angle where thought begins.
An inky blot gathers on the nib,
a thin trickle of the next big line.
The smell of leaky biro, fingertips,
a murky black line pushed out
from another world to enter ours
made from a twist of smoke,
the Faustus fire that forced his writing flow.
My nails turn white at pressure points.
I give a hasty twitch, restore the blood,
call someone from the Fates to give me words:
love advice, lonely hearts, a hook-up page.

Malcolm McMinn is both topical and alliterative (Black Bic … / Brexit) with a piece about the forthcoming Referendum.

It’s in or out; the voters must decide.
The arguments are problematical
And solving them may make us hollow-eyed
As passions rise, become hysterical.

Our politicians wax quite lyrical;
For and against the arguments divide
The parties something diabolical.
It’s in or out; the voters must decide.

Disastrous consequences are implied,
Or a new economic miracle;
Whatever solid reasons are applied
The arguments are problematical

The simple facts may be chimerical,
Men with self interests try hard to misguide.
The questions seem to us illogical
And solving them may make us hollow-eyed.

The great debate is raging nationwide,
With MPs ranting, evangelical,
Views polarize and cannot coincide.
As passions rise, become hysterical,
It’s in or out.


Whichever way you vote, we hope to see you at a Stanza Session soon.

Leopard logo


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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12 Responses to Prowling through summer

  1. mfuller810 says:


    Such brow of rock, huge and foreboding,
    indulging skyward, solid and old.

    Such terrain of solitude, edged by stars,
    lit by sunshine, with countenance bold.

    Such spirit eternal, silent and peaceful,
    the presence of rock held in beauty and time.

    Such simple enchantment, power and wonder,
    with views to the distance, romantic, sublime.

    Mike Fuller ( 1996 )
    Published in the ‘2009 Fireside Book’ by DC Thomson and Co. Ltd. ( 2008 )

  2. mfuller810 says:

    Without Fail

    As waves crash against the shore persistently,
    Pushed by the great expanse of sea.
    As darkness enshrouds the light
    And overwhelms the day with night.
    As rain follow sun and sun follows rain
    And continues to happen again and again.
    As the clock ticks without gladness or remorse
    On time’s invisible, unending course.
    As happiness and sorrow, love and hate,
    Meet our lives in continual fate.
    As people are born and fade away
    With the rise of each and every day.
    As much as all these things are true,
    So my heart remembers you!

    Accepted for publication on the rear cover of a ‘People’s Friend’ pocket novel. I turned the offer down as I did not think the poem was good enough. I was a damn fool?!

  3. mfuller810 says:

    Simple Delight

    Come again, simple delight;
    Let raptures in my heart be free;
    All I need’s a cloudless night
    And stars in the heavens for company.

    I dwell again on pleasant thought,
    That is as pure as beauty can be;
    What enormous pleasure the show has brought,
    By looking at stars in their eternity.

    Mike Fuller ( 1998 )

  4. mfuller810 says:

    Advent Calendar

    He will come like last leaf’s fall.
    One night when the November wind
    has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
    wakes choking on the mould,
    the soft shroud folding.

    He will come like frost.
    One morning when the shrinking earth
    open on mist, to find itself
    arrested in the net
    of alien, sword-set beauty.

    He will come like dark.
    One evenings when the bursting red
    December sun draws up the sheet
    and penny-masks its eye to yield
    the star-snowed fields of sky.

    He will come, will come,
    will come like crying in the night,
    like blood, like breaking,
    as the earth writhes to toss him free.
    He will come like child.

    Rowan Williams ( b.1950 )

  5. mfuller810 says:

    I’m A Loser

    Of all the love I have won or have lost,
    There is one love I should never have crossed;
    She was a girl in a million my friend,
    I should have known she would win in the end.

    Although I laugh and I act like a clown,
    Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown;
    My tears are falling like rain in the sky,
    Is it for her or myself that I cry.

    What have I done to deserve such a fate,
    I realise I have left it too late;
    My tears are falling like rain from the sky,
    Is it for her or myself that I cry?

    Lennon / McCartney ( 1964 )

    • mfuller810 says:

      There’s A Place

      There’s a place,
      Where I can go,
      When I feel low,
      When I feel blue,
      And it’s my mind,
      And there’s no time,
      When I’m alone.
      I think of you,
      And things you do,
      Go round my head,
      The things you’ve said,
      Like “I love
      Only you.”
      In my mind there’s no sorrow,
      Don’t you know that it’s so,
      There’ll be no sad tomorrow,
      Don’t you know that it’s so.
      There’s a place,
      Where I can go,
      When I feel low,
      When I feel blue,
      And it’s my mind,
      And there’s no time,
      When I’m alone.
      There’s a place,
      There’s a place,
      There’s a place…

      Lennon / McCartney ( 1963 )

  6. mfuller810 says:

    Loft Crag

    Loft crag, Loft Crag,
    You are not as high above sea level
    As Scar Fell Crag.
    And I am unfit to climb such a fell,
    Nor is it true that I know you well.
    But in my imagination I may sit,
    And view your view for a nice long bit
    Of a cool day in the ecstasy of breeze.
    And let my spirit wander where I please.
    You are 2287 feet high.
    You are not like Steeple in the Western Fells
    But you still soar quite well in the sky.
    Harrison Stickle is perhaps a finer peak
    And so are many others of which I could speak.
    But you have a lovely neat beauty as you cling
    On the edge of the Langdale pikes,
    And such joy to a poet you bring.
    I am not able to go 200 yards
    Without getting out of breath
    Like a fat lump of lard.
    But dreams are free, and being eccentric,
    I can daydream on ‘You Tube’ and like a magic trick,
    Be at one in feeling with a wild winter’s scene,
    And feel I am on Loft Crag and happily dream.
    Bow Fell out does the Langdale panorama,
    As it stands so boldly high and so magnificent in drama,
    Crinkle Crags too stands mighty and proud,
    As its majesty like Bow Fell’s is grand for miles around.
    Loft Crag you stand modest and underrated perhaps
    Where many a fell lover among good decent chaps
    Can find you quietly holding your own
    Between Harrison Stickle
    And Pike o’ Stickle, both better known.
    I like lesser regarded hills and mountains in the British isles.
    They are more for connoisseurs
    And to quite poets hearts they smile.
    And although Loft Crag you are just a piece of rock
    That forms a tooth on the mouth of
    The Langdale Fells, you are very beautiful romantic poetry stock.
    As the poet may dream and I as a poet does
    To watch your views on ‘You Tube’ and such scenes I love.
    And although I just like to dream, so fat in my chair
    I think you are truly great, as you modestly but yet quite nobly
    Rise rocky for fell lovers into the wild Lakeland air.

    Mike Fuller ( 23 / 6 / 2016 )

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