Prowling up to Christmas

The Poetry Society’s Stoke Stanza which meets at The Leopard Hotel, Burslem, will resume its sessions in the New Year. Bo Crowder will read from his first collection Euphony on Tuesday 17th January at 7.30pm upstairs at this historic Potteries pub.

You can read a review here.

All welcome. Please bring 15 copies of a poem to share and discuss.


Meanwhile, along with festive greetings, here are some poems from the final Stanza meeting of 2016, on 22nd November when Oliver Leech read from his collection Threads and Patches.

Now to the blog: Leopard regular, Paul Freeman from Stafford has supplied his poem Life Breaks.


Then sit and watch
the life breaks happen,
impervious ritual.

being bewilded
by what you know.

Although the orders remain.
Is anything on the other channel
any less so?

From Paris, London,
through the violet
generations, life

breaks expectantly.
See dog days run
to the dog star.

Malcolm McMinn was in Fear of the Night.

Big boys aren’t frightened of the night.
But me? I find it such a fright.
I hope when I am somewhat older
I’ll not be scared when in the dark
And spooky tales be quite a lark
When I am eight and so much bolder.

But now I lie in bed and shiver,
In terror every nerve a’ quiver.
I don’t know what I fear the most!
Will it be long before I’m dead
With monsters hiding ‘neath my bed
And then will I become a ghost?

I know that Mum and Dad are near,
But that’s no good; they cannot hear
The bats that flit about the ceiling
As gremlins creep out from my drawer
And witches guard my bedroom door.
I lie transfixed, my senses reeling

Now it’s a bright and sunny dawn
And in relief I stretch and yawn,
No more with fear do I feel chilly,
These dreadful horrors the creation
Of just my young imagination,
So now I feel a silly Billy.

Phil Williams was unable to attend but here’s his poem In Certain Light which won third prize in the recent Nantwich Words & Music Festival competition.


During WW1 Shropshire damsons supplied the juice for khaki dye.

In certain light the damson seeps
through battle-dress:
behind chapel dust-motes,
on evening parade,
or when dubbing boots in hiss
of Tilley Lamps. The thick cloth fades
from sand to dunn to damson,
secretes the Shropshire juice
they steeped it in, presents the orchards,
hedges, cottage gardens,
the trucks from Lancashire
as they purr and sputter
down deep lanes,
the roar and rattle of the cotton gins.

The crimson gleam in jam jars comes
from beetle’s blood and khaki cochineals
and deepens as its wearers bleed.
In certain light it blooms to damson juice,
carries blossomed rumour on the breeze.

Leopard santa 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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