Check out The Poetry Society’s Stanza Poetry Competition on the theme ‘Walls’ this month. You can view the details here.
You’ll have to be a member to enter, but you don’t have to be one to attend the Stoke Stanza at The Leopard pub in Burslem each month. All welcome. Our next session is on Tuesday 18th July at 7.30pm.
If you can’t wait that long, then check out these poems which were shared at our last session on Tuesday 20th June.
Check-in Yishang airport | John Williams
In the database of eyeballs I say
what feminists have taught us all alike,
“wow,” just “wow” as my can of bronzer spray
trips the scan. Suddenly my heartbeats spike,
my retina can’t have changed. An armed guard
starts to pat-me-down, strokes my Sloggi jeans
and thinks he’s discovered a zap gun. Hard
flicks of his barrel against my chest seem
to satisfy him that my exit’s good,
no semi-automatics, no stash stowed.
Then the air turns sweet laced with sandalwood
as someone’s can of body-scrub explodes,
wipes out the screens and snarls the X-ray up.
My image, naked in the scan, cracks up.
Geoff Sutton’s been writing sonnets which take their cue from lines in Finnegan’s Wake. Someone has to …
Here’s a fine example:
Heavy Sugar at Uncle Foozle’s and Aunty Jack’s Geoff Sutton
once it was sweet enough to cheer Sunday
but rationed so you could not overdose
sprinkle some on your lettuce dad would say
he never was a man to be verbose
light brown dark brown lumps or granulated
handled with tongs delicately or a spoon
post war the glass bowl was re-instated
cut crystal glistened in the afternoon
one week it went missing from the table
it had been hidden in the sideboard drawer
I opened it as far as I was able
the whole caboodle crashed onto the floor
he’ll be a vandal, Tom I hear her shout
the door flings open I am bundled out
Meanwhile, Malcolm McMinn is in Apocalyptic mood:
The Four Horsemen | Malcolm McMinn
Four seals were broken by the Lamb.
Four times a thunderous voice cried, ‘Come!’
Each time a wondrous rider came
Whose purpose was to kill and lame.
A white horse first bore Pestilence,
The plague and many other ills.
He comes with stealth to those he kills,
Destroying them with virulence.
A horse as read as blood came next
And on its back rode savage War,
Perhaps the vilest of the four
But as decreed by holy text.
Then Famine came on his black steed,
No matter that men cry and sigh
Crops wither and all livestock die
And death arrives when men can’t feed.
The fourth and last rides on a grey
And takes the rich and poor alike.
None know the place where he will strike
And will he come by day or night?
Of all he has the greatest power.
Though pestilence may well be cured
And war and famine be endured
All fall at their appointed hour.
Men curse him but they waste their breath.
Though insubstantial like a wraith,
There’s no escaping from his wrath.
Dread enemy, his name is Death.
Mark Davenport is in seasonal, summer mood:
Full Sun | Mark Davenport
We want a full flame summer.
None of those spindrift glimpses
no peeps of sun behind cloud.
The sky blue and bare,
sheep and cows clamouring for shade.
The sun plump and red as a plum, hanging there,
those slip sloped meadows, five-foot high
bobbed and bursting with heavy-headed plumes.
Corn fields flourescent bright,
some Vincent room.
Hens hanging their heads
half asleep with the heat.
In suburban back yards
Eves half-free coating themselves in sun’s brown.
A long ermine hare, big as a cat
curled on some soil
trying to cool.
We who toil under that hot lamp,
bought to the boil
pink as a lobster’s coat,
under our panting breaths
praying for rain,
a cloud’s cooling cloak,
saturated pools for a cold soak.
Click and clack of seeds popping
spreading that fullness to the breeze’s fair hope.
Oh, too soon we’ll be thirsting for some sun blazing,
sick of shivering,
There’ll be more poems from The Potteries soon. Why not come along to a Stanza session and hear for yourself? All welcome, bring 15 copies of a poem to share or feel free to come and listen.