Week 5 – poems for voting

Friday, 15 November 2013

Thank you to all seventeen poets who entered this week in response to the delightful photograph by Kate Blair. Mushrooms were explored from pretty much every angle and we had thought provoking, humorous and nostalgic poems.

Every one had merit and I enjoyed reading them all however I am offering you just ten here to vote on.

If your poem is not here please don’t be too disappointed. There will be lots more opportunities to submit work to Poetry Space.

It is very pleasing to see poets new to Poetry Space coming on board each week – though I am asking you to judge anonymously. Names will appear after the voting.

Photograph by Kate Blair


Poem 1

Out of Darkness


Pretty umbrellas

or sustenance through war.

I am in Sarajevo

a tourist

in the rain-

late afternoon coffee shops

shuffle language and laughter

I cannot write

about the mortar and bullet

scars on the buildings

across the street.

On my iPad I read

the siege lasted

one thousand four hundred

and twenty five days

that mushrooms helped

starving families and soldiers


pretty umbrellas in the rain.


Eileen Carney Hulme


Poem 2

Sipping Dreams


Sipping dreams

Off fairy lashes

Spicy nibbles

Soft soft lips

Quenches all

My lonely thirst

Of days when I

Was fairy queen

With blossom peaks

And fragrance wild.

You can live

For just today

And never want for more.


Oh let me drink

Of that rare wonder

And hear the sound

Of another



Anita Pinto


Poem 3

We are the unwanted,



useless breasts,

symbols of motherhood

searching for succour

flaunting and teasing,


the sightless

eyes of the


gazing skywards.


the smell

of decay

of hopes and dreams

dying with the stench

of old age


but searching

the fields and the woods

in the dark places


we will appear




and again.


Angie Butler


Poem 4


Running from the exhibition hall , limping and running never a good look
in a fat man
For Gods sake she’d had all day why now ?
So at five twenty five she had needed a pee.

Then as soon as she disappeared
Out of the murk of a wet Cardiff night
Emerged a red bus with “Car Parks 4-20 ” emblazoned on the front
in Neon Gold light .

All day long they had looked at “craft”
At pretty buttons and bows
At rags of material
At brushes and pens
Blocks to print with
And stardust to sprinkle with

The only bit he had really enjoyed was the pie hall
Chicken and cheese
Cinnamon buns to follow
Now that is what he calls craft

They left late and had to rush for the last shuttle bus
Now at last out she comes
And he is running
And as he heads toward the outer red door she calls to him

“Is there mushroom?”


William Jones


Poem 5

Mushroom Magic


I let you see

cap, stem, gills.

But not my best trick.

Behind a curtain of leaves

I’m dealing with decay,

decomposing debris,

conjuring carbon into oak woods.


Sarah Lewis


Poem 6

Gospel Music


Out of nowhere, the choir appears

in the woods like fruitflies on a compote.

And we hear them sing of the storm in the valley,

sing Halleluja when mama’s gone—

as I sit me down and cry.


They sing of heaviness on their shoulders,

sway, bend, arc, and wave toward the treetops,

as if something’s up there that can help.

It’s the wind, breezes that’ll carry them along

when they come to their final Amen.


Come walk with us, they sing,

as they move on to sow themselves

in another leafy-rich and perfect place.


Anne Harding Woodworth


Poem 7



waiting in a dark place

for that first shudder

of sunlight

like waiting

for the warmth

of a shoulder to lean on

in the night

living with

the woody smell

from underground spaces

like the breath of after-sex

poised for the thrust

into clear daylight

like the unexpected joy

of foot on naked foot

struggling into fairy rings

in the dampness of morning

like the memory

of squelching boot on moss

as we trample the forest floor

sketch book in hand


Moira Andrew



Poem 8


Woodland walks. . .


when you could walk,

were wonderful.

In love, hand in hand,

youth on our side.


Then came the children

and galumphing dogs

followed by middle-age

and time to ourselves again.


But we weren’t ready

for the catastrophe

of a wheelchair

and pain in your life.


Our walks became shorter.

You couldn’t bear the stones

beneath your wheels,

I couldn’t push you over


the roots of trees.

So we said goodbye

to woodland walks

and made do with our garden.


But it wasn’t the same.


Di Coffey

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-Poem 9



It isn’t spring;

no April showers

when toadstools

quicken  the earth,


nudge soil, rise,

and are upstanding

like someone sleepy

arriving at a window.


It would be so cool

to rest beneath

their cryptic umbrellas

and wait in their wise ways,


wait for spores,

filed in pale gills,

to fall. It is damp, late.

It’s autumn.


Mary Maher


Poem 10


I’m brought back to the bank of an ox-bow lake

and doesn’t Bracken, that incessant

land dwelling lichen,

always fill the valley with cumin?

Pushed over the mist and moor.

Heavy in the nose,

bullying the air.

Bracken fronds the pasture, clinging

to the hill-side and rocks,

rough, above, under,


maybe adders shudder there.


Christy Hall