Summer Showcase 2013

Archive of all Poetry Space showcases

Chosen by guest editor Margaret Eddershaw.




Margaret Eddershaw: “This poem captures so clearly that moment and underlines the recurring thought with effective repetition”.


A sudden look

sending a frisson through my veins


coming from nowhere.

I missed you

when you were away.

Just friends we’ve been –

that’s all.

A sudden look

turns everything around,

no words, no sound,

a silent streak –


 from you to me

that cannot be explained –

that’s all.

June Moore

May morning

Margaret Eddershaw: “The dialogue form, with questions by a second voice, allows this poem to grow, and for the writer’s wonder at the increasing greenness to be experienced by the reader”.


Wake up one morning and

it’s wall-to-wall green – Green?

As in bottle, malachite, jade,

only the yellowing edge of cloud,

the grey of sky, a backdrop.

Eleanor Leonne Bennett, age 17

Overnight?  Absolutely true –

from bone-bare branches to

the blowsy richness of spring,

the plain-and-purl fields,

the unravelling of birdsong.

Impossible!  Look – green

as far as the eye can see,

grass luminescent in first light,

layer upon layer of leaves

softening every tree-shape.

You on speed, or something?

No need – simply open your

window, breathe the early air

and give free rein to colour,

as in lime, chartreuse, viridian.

You mean green?

Yes, green.


Moira Andrew



Pearl Mussels

Margaret Eddershaw: “This poem expresses so well the simplicity and power of the pearl itself”.

snap shut like a locket.

Eleanor Leonne Bennett, age 17

Unhinge them

and their inner surface

is Bizet-bright:

a single orb

of necklace glitter

cocooned like a babe



Neil Leadbeather


Deserted beach

(after ‘Beach umbrella’ by David Hockney)

Margaret Eddershaw: “This is a powerful response to the Hockney painting that goes beyond mere description (the downfall of many poems about art); the poet’s precise and effective
words evoke strong feelings”.

It’s one of those days

when fierce yellow heat

Eleanor Leonne Bennett, age 17

burns the soles of your feet

and takes your brain away.

Even the gulls are silent,

the sea a blink of blue

no boats at anchor, an

afternoon in lock-down.

A rush for shade leaves

footprints on the sand, a lone

umbrella gasps for breath, gaudy

stripes bleaching in the sun.

No laughter, no bickering

children – only the umbrella’s

shadow, a black arrow aimed

at the fevered shoreline.


Moira Andrew



Margaret Eddershaw: “The words here catch so precisely the marvel of the creature’s emergence from the chrysalis – the simple structure makes the reader hold her/his breath”.

like an autumn leaf

brittle crumpled grey

it’s trapped in sunlight

in the corner

Eleanor Leonne Bennett, age 17

of a classroom window

an eagle-eyed child

Look Miss, it’s moving!

the chrysalis trembles

tumbles splits

a tear in its carapace

one teacher five kids

breath stilled

to near-silence all eyes

on a shred of colour

one soggy wing – two

the creature shrugs

shivers pumps up

fiery wings flies off

into the afternoon

flaunting its warpaint


Moira Andrew


Tōhoku and Fukushima

Margaret Eddershaw: “This poem expresses so effectively, in explosive sequences of words, the power and significance of the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami”.


“The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


For six minutes underwater the earth shook

east of Tōhoku’s peninsula.

Then came a great wave,

rushed high towards Honshu,

swept envenomed ten miles across the land.

Eleanor Leonne Bennett, age 17

Fukushima Daiichi could not stand in its way

its paltry walls overrun,

systems swamped.

Came untimely explosions

and outpourings of fear

hot reactions let into the air

and into the teeming ocean.

Six feet the deep bed dropped in a seismic epileptic second

bred enough to power Osaka or Nagoya for a year,

a bolt six hundred million times ill-fated Hiroshima.

In this wise, tectonic plate shifted four score feet towards Tōhoku

Earth’s axis altered

its tilt

rate of rotation

diurnal circle micro-seconds shortened.

If this be allegory

let Fukushima plant be man’s high hubris,

Tōhoku’s motion, Heaven’s wrath.


Antony Johae


… not ours to see

Margaret Eddershaw: “This gains its strength from deceptively simple phrases and the deployment of colours”.
to create contrast with the suppression of the aunt’s painful feelings.


The aunt would sing,  Que Sera, Sera, Whatever will be will be,  And she’d answer the

phone,  Speedwell 1368, he’s dead  and go back to the untidy drawing room waving a

duster, flitting round the brightly coloured champagne glasses – never to be raised

again – always wearing this orange cardigan,

Eleanor Leonne Bennett, age 17

hole in the elbow of the right sleeve and a

faded red rose blouse. Things are never what they seem.

In a corner of this room, never

touched nor dusted, the uncle’s umbrella, heavy and black, rolled up.

A sacrament  to superstition. If he hadn’t left for his surgery

in such a hurry, if he hadn’t rushed back,

the sleet catching his voice, if he hadn’t opened it in the house

– she said he’d never have

had a cerebral haemorrhage, never have died that day. A straight spine with spokes.


Wendy French


Red Cracker

Margaret Eddershaw: “The poet brings this alive with all the ‘clicking’ consonants, that work against the notional softness of butterflies; and the echoes of human languages with ‘clicks’ (like
San, Hausa) cleverly enlarge the meaning”.

It’s the territorial display that sets them apart,

that curious “cracking” made by the male

to ward off other rivals.

In calico-butterfly-speak it says

“Keep off”

Eleanor Leonne Bennett, age 17

or, at least, that’s what the entomologists think

but no exact translation has yet been achieved.

All we know is that at the end of every

upward wing-stroke

-the moment when the wings are “clapped”-

so-called modified “r”-veins

meet at a speed of 1,420 millimetres per second

to produce the language of clicks.

It will take time to discover

if one click is much like another

or whether there is a dictionary of

red cracker sounds yet to be compiled.

This is where language begins.


Neil Leadbeater


The Procession

Margaret Eddershaw:”This slow, processional poem has the powerful quality of a beast-filled dream; it flows and reels in the reader”.

I push my grand-daughter to feed her air

Up down West Norwood Cemetery we walk

follow a West Indian procession

four Traditional Cob Stallions draw

a carriage with Joseph, cornflowers tell us

his name and mourners serious as clouds

overhead  Isabella squeals with delight  and shouts

Move faster  faster   faster    Come one   Move

Eleanor Leonne Bennett, age 17

so I have to draw back    drop back

back from the crowd

there’s no escape from dreams

days no longer wanted – skies drift    rains cease

tides catch the shore –

my long dead father pushes up his grave

Things happen or don’t happen, but

are there to be believed, dreams must tell something.

So what is this dream I hear when horses

don’t gallop away

stay nuzzling each other

as earth is dug   heaved   shovelled to one side

to finalise an ending

and then far away from the stallions here

are other horses who drift in and out

of dreams           these beasts

who graze behind the whitewashed house


once we lived forty odd years ago      hundreds

of miles from here         horses turned out to grass

at three pm daily who  if they could

see us coming  would jostle to be first

at the fence.


Wendy French


About Margaret Eddershaw: After 25 years as an actor, director and university teacher of theatre, Margaret Eddershaw moved in 1995 to Greece, where she began writing poems. Since then she has had 150 poems published in anthologies and magazines, and presented four suites of performance poems at festivals and venues in London, Manchester, Lancaster, Chester, Bridport and Helsinki. Her first full collection Catching Light will be published by Poetry Space later this year.