Summer Showcase – June 1st 2014

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Archive of all Poetry Space showcases

Editor – Susan Jane Sims

Poems by  Rachael Clyne, Claire Coleman, Moira Andrew, Carolyn O’Connell, Moira Andrew, Ndaba Sibanda, Maureen Weldon, Andy Scotson, Aldrin Aditya and Kevan Taplin

Photographs by Chris Sims


When faced with over forty poems it is always hard to choose.The poems that have made it into my top ten all spoke to me in some way. They created vivid images that I could imagine in my mind as I entered the world of the poem.

Dear Doe by Rachael Clyne I love for its beautiful natural imagery. Inside her bedroom, the poet looks out on a deer mothering her fawn and finds a connection, both enjoying the calm of the evening as the sun goes down.

In Carolyn O’Connell’s poem Nest I liked the sense of drama and intrigue created and the idea of longing for something you cannot have.

I have featured two poems from Claire Coleman. One that explores the heartbreak of a parent going into a nursing home (Packing for the Nursing Home) and the other that tackles the aftermath of the parent’s death (Saturday’s Clearance). At the heart of each are the subject’s belongings and the deep reverence the poet has for these things and for their owner. The second poem highlights the stark differences in how two siblings handle a death.

Winter – watercolours by Moira Andrew is another poem that uses natural imagery to good effect.In fact this vivid poem is full of sounds, sights and smells which infuse colour into the poet’s drab grey day.

In Missing, the poet uses a mixture of the ordinary and the extraordinary to convey desire in an amusing way.

Of Heaven and a Million Flowers  is breathtakingly economical; heartbreaking yet comforting. It needs no more to covey its meaning.

Andy Scotson’s On New York Days is another economic poem that hits the jugular. Andy quickly takes us from that ordinary sunny morning with its promise of bagels to horror and tragedy.

The man who paints a yellow flower and a starry night is a story we are all familiar with. The poet Aldrin Aditya shows compassion and empathy for the subject.

Finally Billy doesn’t do, is a portrait of a dysfunctional lifestyle. The repetition of the phrase Billy doesn’t do adds to its sense of hopelessness.


Dear Doe


Can’t stop thinking about you

me in my bedroom

looking out

you in the far field

your russet gleam

in a buttercup sea

where my gaze

won’t disturb you.


Lazy from mothering

your fawn now grazing

we both savour

the evening

the swallows

cool air, pink sky-glow

spring light’s slow fade

to monochrome.


Rachael Clyne



Packing for the Nursing Home


She has no need for all these shoes.

I will keep the clothes that are too small

in a suitcase. I know

how the last part of this

journey may shrink her

down to hatchling fragility;

how bones reveal themselves.


I am her shadow

whatever the weather,

however rough the terrain.

The conditions  haphazard,

fluctuating, rocky, lead

prevailingly downhill,

with glimpses of strange, brief



Claire Coleman




She has flown to the cliff of his

shadow, selected a ledge

from cliffs of tulle falling

from dark arms.


Fate unknown, she’s pinned

her future to his phantom

his unique song.


Silver bird, theatre pin

reality or prop, only

when the curtain’s dark


will we know his aria.

Transit tulle air your

domain, the phantom’s

partner in this waltz


silver bird spellbound

you’re pinned upon

by fate’s caprice

to watch his arias.


Carolyn O’Connell


Winter water-colours


I do my best

on this day

of thin grey rain,

buy two bunches

of tight-fisted buds

from the daffodil man,

scarlet tulips from M&S.


I chop onions

skin tomatoes

squeeze an orange

add pepper, stock, rice.

The red-rich smell

of simmering soup

fills the kitchen.


I try Radio 4

its earnest discussions

its wars – switch off,

listen to Brubeck

to Sachmo’s blues

willing jazz notes

to do the trick.


Rain rattles

against the window

rinses birds

and restless branches

in grizzled grey. It takes

a voice on the phone

to colour-wash the day.


Moira Andrew


Saturday’s clearance


The day after she died he travels up,

not to see our mother dead, but to clear

her room of clothes. He was not there

to weep as I wept yesterday. We meet

in a rare hug; a small mending.

He is methodical. Far too soon

big black bags eat up loss.

It is one thing he can do

to save me from myself; he knows

how, alone, I would draw out each unfolding

memory; I gave her this V neck

turquoise top, that soft pink cardigan, gone.

Gone the blue Velcro fastened slippers, gone

the Bon Marche cotton nightgowns easy

to slip on or off. It is his small act

of mercy to be so coldly practical.

Her death has not yet got its certificate

but all is emptied. I save for her final clothing

one last, lace trimmed button-up dress.

Claire Coleman




She said

it loudly and



I miss you like

bees miss

their honey


Want to take

to you like

duck to water


You draw me

to you like

moth to light


You are my cake

my cup of tea

my hot ice-cream


At night my moon

daytime my sun

your love my light


Take a seat

I sold that heater

for your heat


You bathe in milk

just your presence

a sublime quench


Ndaba Sibanda


Of Heaven and a Million Flowers


She asked me,

‘Will there be flowers in heaven,

beautiful flowers?’


Tonight I see

the clear Winter sky

with ten million, million stars.


Yes, there are flowers

in heaven.


Maureen Weldon


On New York Days 

Sunny day
towers tall, facile monuments
blue Simpsons skies, city draws breath
bagel from a vendor
suit clutches paper and bites deep.

From above a jet so low, so fast
all heads tilt
shattering, staggering impact
thud that shakes the feet of the nation.

High aloft smoke leaks from an open wound
sirens scream alarum
his throat dries, bagel drops to sidewalk
mouth agape, spittle string glistens on shiny teeth

Andy Scotson



The Man Who Paints A Yellow Flower And A Starry Night


It is never before

The beauty of flower is like this

The crown is a little sun

He puts it just like that, his loneliness is its loneliness too

Their loneliness is so deathly, but also so beautiful


It is never before

The beauty of night is like this

The sky is pouring stars

He catch them just like that, his loneliness is its loneliness too

Their loneliness is so mislead, but also so beautiful


Loneliness screams loudly on his ears

He did not need his ears, right?

He is loneliness’s magnum opus


Aldrin Aditya


Billy doesn’t do

(The song of: acceptance of the socially unacceptable)


Sitting, slouching shoulders.

Never talks just sits and smoulders.

Billy doesn’t do talking.


‘HATE’ encircles glass

Sipping, then gulping pint

Billy doesn’t do, polite.


Then moving through the estate

as if in some computer game.

A game where the outcome is always the same.


Always frowning , always short.

From the flat-screen he had brought.

Now there’s nothing coming in,

and she gets nothing for the tin

…Yet the food is still expected

Billy doesn’t do, reason


He rolls away relived

She lies in the dark awake

Staring as her body aches

Tomorrow she must hide the bruises

On the body that he uses

Billy doesn’t do, love

And so the cycle limps round again

“Billy has a temper see…

and sometimes he takes it on me”

Billy doesn’t do, control


Tomorrow, life goes on

Back to normal.

Whatever that maybe

“If anyone comes they mustn’t see

Billy says. They’]] take the kids away from me…”

Billy does do. Emotional blackmail.


Kevan Taplin