Week 55 – entries and results

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Photograph by Chris Sims

week 55

Thanks for all the poems submitted. The winner is Poem 5 – Waiting, by Angie Butler. Congratulations Angie!

Poem 1

A Storm is Coming My Way

It’s raining buckets, and my tears. No one sees them.
I chat on at the bus stop but drench in his insults.
Damp and flattened by the downpour,
cherry blossom drizzles onto the curve of my open umbrella.
Polka dots smudge into swirls as I spin it until I wobble.
The spike twists a hole in the sky where I imagine his mouth to be.
Rush hour blether floods my mind. Cats and dogs nip at my skin.
Drizzle falls. Buses splash. My world mashes into glop.
Tomorrow’s forecast might be for sun.

Maggie Mackay


Poem 2

People Watching

Under their canopies,apart they stood,
One young,one not so,
Each in their own space ,
With their own thoughts and secrets .
No greeting,no smile on the face .
A bus flashed by
She heard a sigh ,
Were there rain drops on her cheek,
Or were they teardrops?
The younger gave a peek
Did not speak.
There was sadness,bent over sadness
When shoulders sag
not by the bag on the shoulder .
The younger moved closer,
Brollies touched and bounced,
They laughed ,the bus rolled in,
They moved forward together.

Leela Gautam


Poem 3

Two People Waiting For a Bus


Two people waiting for a bus

Or are they?

Two people sheltering under umbrellas

Chatting together

I hope it is good news

Comedy not tragedy

But news must be transferred

A joy doubled

‘A trouble halved’

‘No man is an island’

For if he is, he will sink

We shelter from the rain

And also from solitude

That we may live joyfully


Barbara Tozer


Poem 4

An Opinion on Umbrellas


When I hold you, inspect you all over,

your colour, size, this sturdy handle

I think, I will not be wet. There will be puddles,

ducks will quack, birds will take to shelter

and the washing will be brought in.


But at first I must unfold you

pressing on this clip, your metal thin

spider hinged legs would open

the cobwebs would be the action – slowly,

pushing you towards the dark, stormy clouds.


Your canopy; a red trim, see-through clear plastic

would shout – come on rain, rage against me, take me on!

We’d make our way to the bus stop,

how gracefully you would move, bobbing

and greeting all the other umbrellas.


Joanna Boal


Poem 5


We’d never met before,

two strangers in the rain,



We may never meet again,

two women with a bus to catch,



Worlds apart but drawn together

on this one day, at this one time,



But a kind word, a shared space,

gave comfort to both, who were



When’s yours due and how are you?

You going my way? It’s hard, this



And thirty years on, we meet again

to share the stories of our daughters,


Angie Butler


Poem 6

Waiting for the Ninety-Nine


Peppered and pelted with rain:

Rain that drums and drenches—

And a raw April cold that (so unfeelingly!)

Turns my fingers into ice-poles

As we wait—we go on waiting—for a 99.


Along comes the 101

Bound for destinations

Outer suburban (outer Mongolian?)—

No use to me, that line,

And still no 99.


And soon the 72

With “Free Wi-Fi” on top

(No doubt known as the 72 because it’s at least

That many minutes overdue

Its daily running time)…but still no 99.


And now the Park & Ride stuffed full

Of pensioners inside comes splashing by.

No room for me, and anyway

There isn’t any car of mine

To park. And still no 99.


Umbrella’s leaking, shoes soaked through. Nothing’s running

But the gutter, kerb and pavement (now a swollen river).

Well, I haven’t got a fishing rod to try my hand,

Or even my old wading boots this time.

And still no longed-for 99.


Hey—what strange thing is this? Out pops a watery sun.

Between the raindrops’ steady patter

The voice of Ivan Ice-Man greets us, cheery

From under the tinkling ice-cream chimes:

“So, rain-soaked, weary folk, how about a 99?”


“Oh, yes,” we say.

“Blast that non-existent bus!

We’ll walk and never mind the rain.

A treat would do us very fine.

Yes, let us have your 99.”


Lizzie Ballagher


Poem 7



On that revealing, rainy day

We huddled, waited for a bus

Like we had places to go,

People to see. People like us

Are, it seems, whatever we may

Discover, come to know,


Always the waiting kind, not dry,

But muddled, watered by a wet

World. Wasn’t it always so,

Constant remorse, constant regret,

Where, it seems, no matter the why,

Never yes, always no?


We’ve kept on, though many times we,

Bedraggled, hated, unbelieved,

Never thought we’d ever know

Our due respect. Though still deceived,

Or, it seems, unflatteringly

Covered, we will not go


Away, not this or any day.

We struggled then, we struggle still,

Till someone can no longer go

Raining on, or till others will

Care (it seems, unwillingly)

Enough to say, to show


How everything was wet, not dry.

Though meddled with, though ill-concealed,

Though smeared with lies and long ago,

With half-regret then, slow, revealed,

The what, the where, the when, the why

Come out. And now we know.


The rain still falls; the bus comes, late.

Inside it’s dry. We clamber on.

We’re going home; where else to go?

The future’s ours, not theirs. Not gone,

The rain, (the disrespect, the hate),

But now we know; now we know.


Michael Docker