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The Fringe Poetry Festival One











Published by SeaQuake Books

Copyright 2015. Individual contributors.


Smashwords Edition, License Notes


This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favourite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of these authors. Publisher contact: [email protected] Contributors contact: www.facebook.com/writinginsouthport













The Storytellers

Sing me the song of your homeland, the legend of dark Kare Kale,

Sing to me of basalt towers, of spiced lamb and apricot groves.

I’ll tell you the tale of my people, a fable of merchants and slaves,

I’ll talk of sea mists and rootling for blackberries in hedgerows.

Speak of grey minarets and your aunts washing clothes in the river,

And of worn men and women, protecting the land of their kin.

I’ll tell of echoing coalmines and sledding down hills in the forest,

As flames embolden your fingers and sandstorms veil my limbs.

Read from the book of your father, written in honour and blood,

Tell me of rhythmic drumbeats and the tournaments you won.

I’ll sing from the verse of my mother, a timeworn and sacred oath,

I’ll sing of rock pools and of crabbing in the afternoon sun.

We open our mouths but the words are gone, shattered like stars,

Hung aloft in the darkening sky like a map of our souls.

We lay, as embers fade and supple winds unclothe us, we sleep

As the crescent moon wanes and the sea shudders, wise and old.

(Jan Machin)





The Runaways

This tidal wave of lost souls

whose cries are captured

by mocking seagulls

against a gathering shoal of sorrow.

A discordance of severed dreams

and splintered hopes.

Disbelief they went without us knowing.

Those early days of searching

for excuses,

following trails that left us shivering in

sweat drenched corners.

Promises of well-meaning strangers

who tell us what we need to hear.

Hoping for a pearl in every ugly oyster.

Guilt tattooed through the pore

and fibre of existence.

Yearning to unsay,

undo, all that might have made a difference.

Bitterness that you are safe in knowledge

and we are not.

Wanting to tear apart the sanctuary

of your untouched room,

then scared to disturb the dust

of your being.

Sleeping with your faded pop star

T-shirt next to our skin.

Our secret shroud of sorrow.

(Jacky Pemberton)





The Fly That Skated

We sat in neat rows

behind smooth wooden desks

in our first week

at the new grammar school

and the teacher said use

your imagination

to write an original sentence.

I sought inspiration

in my two main sources

of reading matter:

the Dandy and the Beano:

Two horns stuck through the crust

of the cow pie.

Julius sneezed.

The strong-arm school marm

gave him the stick.

Dennis felt the weight

of Dad’s slipper.

Then I glanced across

at Simon’s desk and read

a sentence that I knew

I could not better:

The fly skated

on the man’s bald head.

(Bill Lythgoe)





Billy five sheds gets married

Bleary from the stag night,

we reintroduced each other

and introduced the wives,

swayed in church to the blessings,

crowded the bar back at the hotel,

bought rounds of drinks,

were polite through the reception

and listened to speeches.

The bride’s father, still drunk from last night,

made little sense,

but we all banged tables and applauded anyway.

Then the best man with his prepared wit and wisdom


‘Our Billy, the bridegroom,

is the owner of the greatest number

of temporary wooden structures

In Lancashire.’

Again we applauded.

To be fair he could have mentioned the ex wives,

but it wouldn’t have been right.

Because after each marriage,

Billy always got to keep the sheds.

After all,

a man’s shed is for life.

(Phil McNulty)




Back to the drawing board

This present placement where the human race is;

Could it have all occurred by accident,

Or by design, perhaps divine intent?

These youths in baseball caps, with vacant faces,

All uniformed in trainers, trailing laces.

The question is, can they be heaven sent

Or are they products of environment?

Dog-dirty streets and plastic fast-food places?

The world which has been wasted won’t come back

As we speed down a one-way Cul-de-sac.

Just like the dinosaurs, which came and went

Are we another failed experiment?

In some celestial place perhaps the lord

Is once more dusting off his drawing board.

(Mike Ratcliffe)





Fold me in your manly arms,

your constant strength,

your love and care,

your musky maleness – hold me;

hold me together – keep my parts safe.

I long to kiss your lips, for you to swallow me whole,

to fuse with you into one; melt into you

and lose myself in the holiness of your embrace.

(Linda Lewis)






We hope that you enjoyed ‘The Fringe Poetry Festival One’. For more information go to www.facebook.com/writinginsouthport

SeaQuake Books

The Fringe Poetry Festival One

'The Fringe Poetry Festival One' is a pamphlet of poetry from poets based in the North West of England. It is distributed in pubs, cafes, libraries, shops, buses and trains. In fact, anywhere the public may have time to read some interesting pieces of writing. The pamphlets and ebooks are published by SeaQuake Books. The idea behind the initiative is to bring poetry to a wider audience. The poets included in this particular pamphlet are Jan Machin, Jacky Pemberton, Bill Lythgoe, Phil McNulty, Mike Ratcliffe, Linda Lewis.

  • Author: SeaQuake Books
  • Published: 2015-09-24 15:05:06
  • Words: 862
The Fringe Poetry Festival One The Fringe Poetry Festival One