NOT ENOUGH Mary Hartley
He held her close
And stroked her porcelain skin
He reached for a cigarette and lighter
And noticed her gossamer nightdress on the floor
She stirred and opened her eyes
‘Smile for me, please
You have a lovely smile,’ he said
‘Smile for me, please. Smile – please don’t cry
Not on our honeymoon.’
‘Have to leave, now.’
And gently kissed her
‘Stay in bed all warm and flushed with sleep
This is how I want to remember you
Just say I love you
Don’t ever say Goodbye’
She listened and shook with sorrow
As she clung to his pillow
And savoured the sweet odour of him
And her tears flowed again
She heard him dress and walk down the stairs
He was gone
He was not to be a soldier
Not a fighting man – not rough or tough
But quiet and shy and funny
One night was not enough
He had so much to offer
He had so much to give
And no, his 21 years was just not enough.
LOST ALONG THE WAY Sylvia Gartside
a ginger guinea-pig
five white mice
a green budgie called Peeko
lots of relatives
a million memories
DESERT SONGS Alex Marsh
Created and re-created
By windsongs too deep for human ears
Shifting and re-shaping
In slow time dances for a thousand years
SALT AND PEPPER Darby Walsh
She said I was Salt, and smiled.
We met on a blind date, through the net.
She was bright, bouncy, full of life,
going through the usual – friends, family,
hobbies, jobs, likes and dislikes – ping-pong.
She slid the salt across the polished table;
‘You’re Salt – steady, reliable, trustworthy.’
‘You’re Pepper.’ I slid the pepper swiftly to her.
She laughed loudly, stopping it falling on the tiled floor.
I was Salt – a slow waltz, a barn dance, potato pie.
She was Pepper, the rumba, the Paso Doblé, hot chilli,
opposites attracting, somehow mixing perfectly.
The pepper ran out, the salt went damp.
I’m still Salt, she’s still Pepper
but on different tables.
CREEPY CRAWLIES Stephen Albones
you think you’re safe
we are ghosts haunting your homes
playing silly games
so you question sanity
perhaps one day you’ll meet us
ALL THAT’S LEFT Laura Sheridan
a strand of hair
a button from a houndstooth coat
a small handkerchief, cotton
printed with yellow flowers
a crocheted bedspread
that must have taken months to make
and lies folded and crushed in a bed drawer
and a handful of photos
that I had enlarged so I could see her
in as much vivid detail
as she had in life
EPITAPH TO TOMMY TENPAST Mervyn Hadfield
In an age of double talk
with truth in short supply
Tommy Penpast stood apart,
a bloke who couldn’t lie.
Although it might be easier
and keep him out of strife
to lie, he’d answer honestly
– even to his wife.
It happened once too often
and caused his sad demise,
a life devoted to the truth,
yet here poor Tommy lies.