I wish

I was a lantern,

you would let me go



Watch me rise bright

twinkling, beautiful

until I disappear


 you would walk away


 content and knowing

in that moment

it was worth

letting me go.

Letting me go shining;

By Melissa Walters    
Follow me on Facebook and Instagram    


to our spot on the globe------

Cant go out------locked in.

Lost...... alone... telly and phone.

Booze, crisps, pot noodles---things like that

Its cold. Extra coats. Wooly hat.

zoom---------life has changed---empty room.

Anger. Addiction. Self harm. Sad. 

Previous distractions now banned------leading to mad


Lockdown. Shutdown. Spy on your neighbours.

Call the police.......

Order online. destroy the shops.

Work from home. destroy the shops.

Bread and butter jobs gone---forever? destroy the shops.

Zero hours folk...forgotten 3million...No furlough? where do they go? their hard work ignored.their tax paid-ignored ..... destroy the shops.


Injections, objections, persuasion and tales

filtered censored media views feeding---feeding---feeding---feeding---feeding----feeding

C is me choosing good over evil

H is me hoping I’ve made the right choice

O is me being open and civil

I is me inspiring others to rejoice in positive

Change for the better and

Equality for all.


Mindful walk in Moseley Park

Debbie let us in to the gated private park

A secret tranquil place just opposite the supermarket

And as we ambled around the beautiful unlittered space

We found it calming and relaxing.  A peaceful place of stillness

Ideal for a mindful walk.


There were carvings and willow sculptures,     

A mysterious icehouse and historical details

To engage our thoughts and inspire imagination 

But though springlike, it was cold and fresh even muddy in places.


Among the woodchippy fungussy secret garden 

We entwined bark, berries and blossom

And launched artistic, colourful rafts onto the lake

Winter sailing away, heralding the spring equinox. 


This poem is ‘curated’ from words given to Cathy Crossley by the group who participated in the mindful walk on 19th March 2021, led by Autumn Aldous 

Mr Dusk Comes To Visit Us!


There’s something comforting going on deep inside of me

Every now and then Mr Dusk comes to visit me 

After we have tea drinking up all our bubbling thoughts

Not knowing our distorted reality is merging with hallucinated fantasies

Mr Dusk turns to me and asks 

“I wonder if they know about those blueberry bruises 

Or raspberry ripple slits and scars?”

I reply in a hurried rapid tone 

“No! They are not aware of the blood I spill.” 

As I eat a thousand more chocolate bars


There are blue caterpillars everywhere we go 

That hide under millions of bags of snow 

Just so they can perform the tiniest of shows

By the end of it they all have us blowing up are thrones

As we see music in vibrant lights 

Hearing words that are more violent than knives

Halfway through our trips 

The giant mushrooms start to vanish 

As we try to crawl back to Alice


I lose myself within the chatter 

By the time I get back I don’t see anybody to flatter

Realising I’ve got a sign that says ‘no trespassing inside’

I suppose that fits with these crisp cold breezes and these closed off evenings

A deep smooth voice as luxurious as chocolate fondue fills the room

Toxins leave my system or so I thought 

As I get hooked on loneliness after dark

He’s tall and he’s sharp knows all the right sparks 

To warm the dance floor with souls that will never trust somebody else with their hearts 


I turn to Mr Dusk as we part and say this as I walk away not fulfilled with what happened today;


 “Maybe it was clumsy of me to fall for you

Knowing very well you can make such dreadful marks

Knowing very well those scars will never fade away not even one day

You stepped into my life when I couldn’t feel any pain 

You were the reason in this society I was seen as insane 

You say you didn’t realise the damage you caused 

Well how come you masked the fragmented parts of you 

To the point glue sticks couldn’t even make sense of you?

You say that you wanted to leave me soon

Well if you wanted to so badly why didn’t you?

You told me I was shit at things even when I was considered unique 

You told me lie after lie giving me no chance to breathe 

The funny thing is you looked like the friendliest being I had ever seen

Taking me in with every ounce of your enchanting fragrance that pulled me in

I was gullible from the start or is that you speaking? 

You tend to do that an awful lot…

You even make me twist the whole letterings in my brain just so you can be entertained!

Gosh! You are so frustrating!”


But in the end they will be judging me not you 

They don’t see the chains wrapped around my bed 

They just see my yellow teeth as I struggle to get out of my head

They don’t see you stopping me from getting by 

They see me lying telling them that “I’m fine or I’m alright” as I dim my light

They don’t see me when I feel sick due to you whispering false lies into my mind

They see me paranoid over what I look like in the mirror as I shake and I quiver


My body isn’t trapped my soul is just collapsed 

I could scream that “I’M EXHAUSTED” but you would just laugh

With the most haunting eyes looking deep inside

You are capable of making those smirks pass around a crowded room

As they echo to the point I can’t even hear my own howl for help

I feel myself withering away 

This is the reason I don’t go outside and play

Self-conscious of every move I make 

Making me aware that my ligaments ache

Clothing making my body itch and scratch 

Due to uncalled for dirty looks that deem down my path 


As I wipe my eyes 

No longer blurred by those pearly tears 

And non-stop white lies that despise my cries

That cause silver puddles to appear in my eyes


Mr Dusk comes closer to me as he bends over my shoulder and

Whispers to me for the grand finale;

“You have won this battle my dear  

But it’s what happens after this that you should fear!

Living can be the scariest part of them all 

Feeling the healing and agony of the no longer guarded crystal frames 

As the panes start to slowly decapitate your pathways

After all of this you won’t ever be the same

There will be days when living will drive you back knocking at my door

Looking into my windows with reflections that will haunt you till’ the day you pass those haunted floorboards!”


While he murmured some more

I wasn’t afraid of the flaws that would be unleashed 

I looked up at the moonlight realising I could tell that so much was going to be released


Mr Dusk turned around once more as he opened his mouth for the last thread;

“One last thing, before I go on my way to meet some other soul to cast them over with my spells that will cause their memory to decay away.

 Good luck! Call me again when you need to numb the pain…”

He winked at me as he walked off into the distance so gracefully with an eerie aura 

As he caught up to his next victim who was gliding peacefully 

Having sweet dreams full of brown honey eyes and money that would not repair the damage of the loss that he would fine them 

As he sung them a song about the cost of being lost in their own bed full of bloody thorns

Full from the thousands of nights before 

Where they would get scorn every day for being in human form


Everyday humans get belittled for feelings that make our souls refreshed 

Society can’t take the idea of even such little tears

They never seem to be able to rest

We are what they fear 

As they undress back stage in the hopes we won’t see their flowing river of baby blue droplets 

Hanging from thick black lines acting like bridges to close their minds 

While lashing out in front of us 

Telling us that it’s bad to be ourselves 

Making us feel ashamed to be connected with the human genes that have been buried deep inside of us for centuries of years

Bashing us into negative mental health    

Dowsing us in doses full with uncalled for names 

Calling us things like the “CrAzY parade”

Over an ounce of empathy 

Do they realise anger is an emotion too?

They get pent up and lash out at us for exposing the truth

That such subtle significant emotions can set fireworks off in our mind sets

That wreaks havoc on the sameness 

We are the cherry bombs they couldn’t detonate

We are the ones that expose those bellyaches 

We tell it how it is not what they want to hear


But when will society finally look in the mirror and realise we are what makes these naturally flowing tears the monsters that they are reflected as

After all we are society 

I hope I haven’t scared you 

I just needed to let it out about those doubts 

As our nightmares are filled with teeth falling out 


As a society we have a responsibility to make others feel a little bit lighter 

Like freshly baked red velvet cupcake batter

To assist with the rising of downfalls 

That our minds can never brace for the pain or the lack of rest

Due to you and me being visited by the uncalled for depression that trespasses our streets 

That hits society so vigorously that you never fully have a goodnights sleep in peace

Sometimes all people need is a cinnamon kiss 

Or a hug full of the joys of Christmas wishes 

Perhaps some “I love you’s” and “We need you’s” wouldn’t go a miss

We just need something refreshing in our minds such as peppermint peace 

So we can release are nasty thoughts and taunts 

Before we can leave are past behind us


These are the cast out spells that leave us overwhelmed 

Or are theses just the tales we can’t openly tell

Or even admit to ourselves?

Niamh Duffy

Wednesday 9th June, 2021

My Shadows Hymn


As I try to understand 

this present state

that has left 

an unsatisfied voice

bellowing deep within.


I attempt to mute it out

between blaring bass and beats

booming my thoughts like waves 

equalizing my vibration 

and flows me into 

the bliss and peace 

of a meditative state.


Until my past unites the present

and memories flood my eyes

some things still weigh hefty

even after all this time.



I lay upon my bed,

stuck in rewind   

I am lost in my head

spiralling into reverberation 

I consult with the darkness.


Too Many times 

this familiarity

has found me here

wrapped me up tight

and seduced me.


But I refuse to revert

to my old self,

all the drinking 

and drug taking

Cutting n Self-hating.

So please don’t be alarmed

as I zone out, shut down

and I struggle to let you in,

My soul is just off dancing

to my shadows hymn.

By Melissa Walters    
Follow me on Facebook and Instagram    @Melissawalterspoetry

My sorrows masterpiece


My sorrow is a masterpiece

a misery masquerade

seduced by darkness

day by day.


Dressed me up in death

hauntings and screams

whispers in my ear

of things I’ll never be.


My sorrow walks

fields of failed dreams,

Dances the flames of

passions gone to waste

combusting to dust.


I attempt 

to talk it out

but I am hushed

My sorrow is a masterpiece

but I have had enough.

By Melissa Walters    
Follow me on Facebook and Instagram    @Melissawalterspoetry

No Moses Child

I.M. Mike Costello


In the rushes he was found. No Moses child

Face down in brown water. Troubled mind

Watery crucifixion for a broken will

His dolla rosa, the boreen down the hill


The transport box brought him back

past a kitchen garden Gethsemane

to the waking station, under

the far off *Croagh, his Calvary


*Croagh Patrick, County Mayo


Brendan O’Neill

One Driver Escaped Uninjured


a straggle of a line

arms folded back

reverential contortions

hunched crow-black

from the sweep of the rain

a grasp

"Sorry for your trouble"

poor comfort that

the clink of glasses

striking a tinder heart


the crazed cuckoo croak

of the clock

ticking off

the first hour

of a life without her

those others whose blood was spilt

the rain battered box

gift wrapped

wreaths and flowers blooming

on a life of guilt


Brendan O’Neill


Summer sensations

Footfall on soft warm grass

Seed heads tickle

Flatten and bend underfoot

Spring up. Grow strong, renew

Brush against skin

Breezes send grasses shimmering purple


Stones wear away

Untouched by human hand

Shaped by winter winds 



Pushchairs, dogs. Bikes pass by 



Playground of the Rich

With a ten pound note, creased between my fingers, I buy my friends both a tea and a lemon and lime for myself. 

I have stolen a Medusa Pearl (in theory as an actor)

I have held up a security guard 

I have smirked knowingly in front of a camera,

I twiddle my drink between my fingers, in an effort to look opulent.

Others have beautifully fried eggs and sausages, so glazed and mouth-watering,

A fit gift for any wealthy lady.

My fun is only just starting at 6.00 in the evening,

And I’ll be playing all the way to the bus stop.

My chips are down.

On the way, I look at beautifully designed tapestries at the library, with creatures of the sea,and land,

Carefully depicted marine life, and animals., 

all sewn in rich colours


And later, on returning to cook, I play with the dishcloth, singing it, while mopping up mushroom juice.                            Were they shitake mushrooms?

Why do I need to cook?

His royal apartment, my penthouse flat,

I own my kingdom,

This is my domain.

With it’s beautiful plants.

Its white tiled, clean kitchen, with its retro kettle,

My holding, my venture, my reward,

Judith Fleetwood Walker 

Handsworth Park  21.06.21 

On the longest day

 A group stroll around a grand old park

With lakes and a bandstand

An old church adjoins, with graveyard

A railway runs through it.

The leisure centre is now open, 

but only to 10 people who have booked to swim! 

A painted bear guards the entrance 

A blue motorbike leans casually by the door, arousing envy 


Its  a park for people

There are children playing on colourful equipment

And in the distance, the youth have their basketball court

There’s an art trail with fascinating pieces, to enter and gaze upwards

Fragrant roses perfume the air

And whirlygigs flutter down

Conkers are forming, ready for autumn battles 

 Some words of wisdom end our gathering

“God is here”

 “Expectations lead to disappointment”


 We were not disappointed in the park and the gathering.


Collated from a group walk  by Cathy Crossley 


Gathering together

Under heavy rain soaked clouds

Sheltering under brollies

Huge golfing, wonky tie & dye, tiny goldfish bowl, exotic oriental, plain and flowery


Gathering together

Under rain soaked trees

Sheltering under a canopy of dark brown branches

and bright green leaves


Each raindrop has a secret to share with you

Go quietly, take a look, be still, just be


Gathering together

Sharing our treasures,

Heart, mind and body refreshed,





                        Rainbow of Hope


Tempests must come before rainbows appear

Lit up by sunbeams, a gossamer ghost;

The thunder clouds` moisture, vapour at most

But they symbolise hope that storms will clear.

Peace and love after the bitterest tears,

Refraction of sunlight sensed through the eyes,

Magical moments in clearing blue skies – 

The promise of calm after doubts and fears.


In darkness, rainbow`s beauty blocked from sight:

Colours are shattered, buffeted by gales

Looking for a rainbow, courage assailed

Cast adrift in the storm, lost to the night.

Bleakness the weather, no stars shining bright:

Wind-battered, filled with heartache and dismay,

Clinging on to hope, clouds the darkest grey – 

The rainbow is coming – in all its might.


By Ian Henery

                               Rainbows Follow

Rainbows follow storms after rain

And sunshine on the weather vane.

They`re not just colours in the sky,

Mere refractions, sensed through the eye

But a sign of peace after pain.


A rainbow is the prize we gain

When hope was lost and darkness reigned;

We held on, never asking why 

                                       Rainbows follow.


Struck by tempest, life down the drain:

Souls engulfed, hope begins to wane.

Bleakness, waves heave, the seagulls cry;

Trust in hope, no time for goodbye

                                       Rainbows follow.


By Ian Henery



The time 


seems right

and there


is the right time

just the moments, 

of courage


low moods

the highs

and a war


the very foundations

of all you knew;

But rebuild 

on shaky ground

and when the war

is over

stand tall

still and calm

knowing you fought


near death

trying to 

catch your breath

no cowering


doing nothing



Anything is better

than just 


for the war

to be


By Melissa Walters    
Follow me on Facebook and Instagram    @Melissawalterspoetry


Sleeping Demons reawakening,

Desperation burning,

Running through my veins,

Thoughts and feelings I can't contain.

Roots disconnected,

My voice, my breath silenced,

My path to safety,

A frowned upon secret,

Forced Hidden beneath ground,

No light to be found.

Time, became my friend,

Shaping a belief in my heart,

The strength to survive was within,

The darkness began to crack,

New found pleasures able to thrive.

Finally, my wings untied.

Old roots re energised.

Vibrant colour all around,

The world awakes with joyous sound.

By Samantha Creghan

‘Self Doubt’ - Lib Oration 


I want to squeeze out your self doubt so we’re not devout to Chaos

Thought out not caught out with minds which betray us

Traps, Tricks, and Niggles hijacking Riddles, and Rhymes

Access the oppressed bring freedom to mind

Let your words flow onto a page as though you were in compulsive convulsions

Glossolalic emulsions, colliding colloidal bulletins

Headlines and footnotes, bodies of texts; throats that won’t choke


Just to find relationals, spatials, nascent thoughts beyond abortions

Grey matter of batter baking into pancake proportions

Contortions of meaning just to find feeling

Mind is a tape loop reeling. Reeling. 


Really? Without fear see no one need fear me 

Speak freely and let clearly be secondary

Fluency is the flow you see in unadulterated reality

It’s intense, compense-ates for all societal flaws

Through a sense and lense of loneliness we seek something more


Decisions are the laser incisions of possibility

Pathways that divide the shock in every body

To think that they could be in liberty

Not wondering whether our choices are supposed to be

Close to ‘me’

Like flipping a coin as tails or heads

It lands right upon its side instead

Says make mistakes to break the self doubt

Don’t have to work it all out

Move in direction to direct indirection

Perfection is a defect of the intellect

Built to protect the pretext of  the imposter

Foster not the syndrome, but a freedom, free from a queendom of indecisions

Schisms and prisms of second guesses

Spill across and gloss the floor in messes

Don’t doubt! Believe, retrieve the reprieve, Achieve!


Freed to move along, I get nervous with almost anyone

How can I speak so much now?

I wrote it down

I typed in hieroglyphs of self-analysis

To therapize and metamorphosize this

The Spiral of Life

Swirling around from start to finish 

Completing the loop of the never ending story


Weaving about

This way and that

Taking us in directions we’d never thought about


Spiraling us out into an unknown world

Helping us to experience, grow and mature

Make better and bolder versions of ourselves 


Testing us, stretching us and challenging us

To blend and mold our thoughts and feelings

Into a greater spiritual awareness

For mankind and the universe

Spreading love, hope and joy in our footsteps 

 As we walk into a bright, new future


Karen Collins 

Inspired by a snail shell 14/06/21 

Spirals with spirals. 


A spiral of positivity for some. 

A world filled with Light

Freedom given to fly, with doors open wide.

A spiral of negativity for others. 

A world filled with darkness and terror  

Trapped in chains, closed doors all around.

Others sometimes a rollercoaster path. 

Shades of light and dark, twists and turns, ups and downs.

Immersed in a world filled with kind hearts, inspirational nature and artitistic creativity. 

Explosions of colour and music all around, flooding my senses.  

A path filled with discovery, opportunity and growth.

That's what positive wellbeing looks like for me

Samantha Cregan

Sweet Thing


Drunk again, drunk before

Knocking at an open door

Giving you things to keep

Things that I had buried deep

Placing my heart in the traction

Of bipolar distraction


Listening for imagined deceit

Feelings that run counterfeit

The smallest bird can sing a tune

And puppy dogs howl at the moon

But my dog died and I found Jesus

Riding a horse away from Texas


Strike a light! It’s England’s Glory

Listening to your Jackanory

Feeling frail, I then rail

Pavement bouncing - evening’s tale

Gave me a First in misbehaviour

Sleeping with a perplexed stranger


Vertigo gives fear to stumble

Hope's sustained with apple crumble

I salute, my soldiers drill

But war is lost and I am killed


So I park my clogs in bawdy houses

Imagining your sweet caress

But visions falter in the porter

No substitutes for your sweetness


Brendan O’Neill

     The Seeds of Hope (You Are Not Alone)

 By Ian Henery

Planting flower seeds beneath COVID skies

In the pandemic, seeds of hope in rows,

Solidarity with those who have cried.


Buried snugly in the soil, the seeds lie,

Bursting with rebirth, promise and gusto;

Planting flower seeds beneath COVID skies.


Community garden, no place to hide,

Watch seeds of hope flower, blossom and grow;

Solidarity with those who have cried.


Lockdown is ended, freedom from “inside”, 

Sit in the sun and watch the flowers blow;

Planting flower seeds beneath COVID skies.


Neighbours, gatherings that have been denied,

Human contact seems like so long ago;

Solidarity with those who have cried.


Flowers for the living and those who have died,

Seeds of hope and new life, replacing woe;

Planting flower seeds beneath COVID skies,

Solidarity with those who have cried.

A Cumbrian's Last Request

Just once more

Let me see that Cumberland shore

With the backdrop of mountains high,

And before me floating

Above the mist on the Irish sea

The Viking Isle with her twin peaks

Piercing a cloudless sky.

It's not much to ask before I go,

To see for one last time

Her natural beauty

That I came to know and love,

And to feel her rhythms,

And hear her rhymes.

Let me breathe deeply this land

Of my ancestors’ birth,

The secret green jewel

Of our Mother Earth.

The starkness of her great grey battlements,

Commanding lush valleys of emerald green

With her sparkling clusters of diamonds,

Scattered in between.

This is the last desire

I have, and need to fulfil

To set me free,

And if you, like me were born here,

Then you'll understand this

Just like me.


Tom Higgins 16/05/2015



I am – the stardust
sleepwalker tip-
toeing rainfalls of

surfing into auroras
dolphin dancers fading to
ghostly geishas –

climbing again – into crest-
falls of spirit fire thought
forms – sigils

grappling from grimoires

– now –

a smouldering tulpa –

I – was –


Elaine Christie

The Dawn is Broken 

The Dawn is broken

 A glimpse of the morning

 Begins to peep through

 The vanishing clouds

 To let the sun come 

 Out and shine

 And a new day is upon us


 The birds are singing in the sky

 And what unforgettable moments 

 Today will bring


Katherine Skinner 

The family friend


You forced yourself on me,

 along with your touch. 

I pleaded for you to stop, 

but you still never got off.

I closed my eyes tightly, 

wishing I was somewhere else, 

wishing someone had been there to help me.


But I was on my own,

with you as company. 

As a child, 

I figured I must of done something wrong 

to deserve this, 

to have been punished that way.


Since then, 

much time has passed, 

yet I can still see it in my head, 

tattooed to my brain.

Why did you do this to me, 

all those years ago? 

I trusted you; 

the family friend



‘Tis a Cold Winter’s Morning


‘Tis a cold winter’s morning that greets the eye

Shrouded in hazy mist

I plod on without a sigh

As the foggy mist sets adrift


The damp soil makes for easy work

Tending my plot with spade and fork

‘Tis indeed a labour’s love I toil

Digging and turning the soil


Pausing I spot a fleeting visitor

With a chest of orange red colour

Perched upon a sapling bough

He’s come to watch me plough


And though wintery days are short

I’m filled with festive thought

Oh what joy when work is such play

For the robin has joined me today!


Eugen Egan 

Just Asking, Again

In the blink of an eye,

Or so it seems,

A whole life becomes

Just like one of life's dreams,

A dream of an existence

Which is fleeting, yet real,

In the conscious hours

Physically and emotionally, I feel.

My senses are with me

They help me to find

The answers I need

To untangle my mind

They work hard together

They work as a team

To try and decipher

This coded life's dream.

Yet still I can't fathom

The deep pool of doubt

Which questions so often

What my life's all about,

Why were these atoms

From the great eternity

Accidentally merged together

In order to be me?

Tom Higgins 29/12/2020

Some days it will rain on you.

The rain will settle in your soul like an old wine stain you’ve been trying
to clean forever.

Strangely, you will enjoy the rush of innocence coming to your life.

This beautiful arising.

Washing the mistakes away and making space for new dreams to grow.

Natural, beautiful – just like you.


Vivienne Verse

Today I decided

 “pull your finger out Sue” 


There is a world out there

With people to meet

And plenty to do


 And so I decided on “Meet up”

To see where it would take me

To a park

Where the welcome was free

A greeting so warm was such a pleasure

To have a wonderful walk round 

Highbury Park all at our leisure


 Sue Moseley

On Friday 18th June, Autumn arranged for a group of us to meet for a mindful walk at Warstone Cemetery in the Jewellery Quarter. We were lucky that Josie Wall, the cemetery researcher was able to talk to us and give us some interesting, if grim, facts about the history of the place, and the 90 thousand skeletons there! Somewhat appropriately it was a drizzly day, so after an hour we escaped the damp and spotted a nearby café. We hadn’t realised it was focused on female customers, as we had a couple of chaps with us, who were fine with the pinkness of it all. We sheltered and had hot food and cold drinks and relished being together in a group. Jackie drew gravestones surrounded by pink, and Keith wrote a poem and we all felt better for the whole experience.  Thanks to community Lottery funding. 


Warstone Cemetery

It was deadly serious

We met at a graveyard

Josie Wall told us all

It was no longer a mystery

As we learned all of the history

John Baskerville, buried three times

Now in the catacombs to be found

An Amphitheater  was created

Graveyard Closures were debated

But future use was for us to decide

Raise money by having Music live? 


Keith Shelley