Summer Showcase – June 2020

Saturday, 6 June 2020

• Archive of all Poetry Space showcases


A varied selection of poems for this June Showcase; some exploring the beauty of this world and others its darkness and chaos. if you would like to submit for the next edition in September please send in to and mark your e-mail SHOWCASE. Please send by 10th August.


Photograph by Chris Sims





I’ll drive to a town

with no centre, no sign

where years ago we knew the skyline

(I’ll turn up and so will you, at the same time).


We’ll find the lane without a map

everything will be behind our backs

like outlaws, we’ll cover our tracks

to the house, like a standing stone

on the sand.


There we’ll lie without compromise

over a sea we’ll open our eyes

hold salt lips to sea light

our tongues will taste

without the lies.


We will unsee the tarnished teeth

nicotine feet, mortal eye

there will be no desire for the next life

we’ll wake up to breakfast

and take our time


convinced by courage

at the last view

we’ll find we’re immaterial

and you’ll love me and I’ll love you

from every single angle.


George Hopewell


The Last Day Out

(A visit to Howletts Wild Animal Park -Kent)

A sleepy day in my memory

The day we met baby Osh


He was small

Though 3ft tall

The first African bull elephant born in Britain,

On the 24th May 1994


Two elephants in the picture

One tall and proud, with raised trunk

Showing off her newborn.


The other seeking shelter,

Standing wobbly,

Unsure what to do with the long nose 

down to his toes,

that might be an extra foot


He stands underneath her protective bulk

And I recall how I too,

Once sought the protection of a parent.

He loved animals, my Dad

Hated exploitation, hunting, cruelty

And so we shared this incredible day

in June 1994,

saying hello to Osh


I recall his child like joy

His smile as Osh woodled his trunk in the sand

And struggled to stand

And got help from his Mum


I recall his smile

As we lingered a while 

Before going to see the Gorillas.


Weeks went by, then

On 5th July

A police car outside the house

Dad sitting comfortably in a chair,

Not actually there 

Never to stand up again.


This postcard means a lot to me

It encapsulates

The last day out,

I ever had,

with my Dad.


And Osh,

Well, last I knew,

No longer small,

Now 12 feet tall

He is living happily in sunny California.

Oh, and he likes pumpkins


Cathryn M. Spiller




I love you, all wrinkled and crotchety

With your beautiful eyes

Full of laughter and surprises

And your fixed ideas

And Contention

And tellings off


You go determinedly

to Fosse’s house

Your mother visited,

“Nothing could please her!

Her! Her! Her!”

You say, with your face


In crosspatch devilment


I love you

Cross and grumpy,

Smiling and knowing

Was there a piano in your past?

Someone was playing,

Tunes dimly remembered,

Tinkling in the background

The fire glimmering

How distant? 

Long ago


In charge you were awesome!

You knew what you wanted,

What was right.

No stranger to hard work.

Clean you wanted it.

Just so you wanted it.

“Nothing between her ears that one!”


I could sit and listen,

and smile and love

You took me to places.

I took you to the garden at Dunwood,

Ah Dunwood!

Tea at three,

Supper at half past four

Not cheese again!

Always cheese it seemed 

And they never knew you!

Though you took them to task



I remember the things we loved:

The sound of the fountain,

The beautiful trees,

The rabbits, animals,


Each other,

Irises, Rhododendrons,

How I used to take your hand.


You are behind the face.

You are deep and vulnerable.

Not old, difficult,




But beautiful, dignified,

Amazingly self-sufficient,

Self-contained, resilient,






And such is our parting.


Cathryn M. Spiller


A Thief in his Prayer


Leave the field to flourish 

by its own self 

so we can all eat from it

without warfare that stings 

rules that bite 

and fences policing unwholesome handshakes. 


And therefore, 

on this land beneath our feet, 

we possess with no goodbye dreams. 


a thief’s prayer~

witness food already made

in a powerless shade of disunity,

but the gods shall swallow their wrath

in the Karma of life

and make love lead again.


Michael Kwake Kesse Somuah


We are all a part of something wonderful that is the world


and when the wind is still and clouds rest in the sky,

still, we hear voices other than our own.


When ice grips the ground and birds cease to sing, still, they peck at the glass door,

bright-eyed, begging for crumbs, asking us to break the ice.


Then the water sizzles and gasps, glad to breathe again,

and swirls, thankful to be free, at the slightest touch of a hand.


Then the sun beams. It cannot be seen, but we know from the light and its changing colours

that the air is warming, kissing awake the princess in the ice.


Even the trees, though they seem to sleep, speak, sustain one another

beneath the frozen bed of earth, as root systems intertwine.


We know, from the emptiness we feel when the land is cleared of them,

that the trees’ murmurings merge with our own.


Clouds cover us and darkness will come, one day for the last time.

I accept this, thankful to have been


 a part of something wonderful that is the world ...


M. Anne Alexander





That evening you kept us from loving

by revving your engine

scrambling all over the air

ricocheting round the lampshade’s

wall of death.

I’ll crack your carapace

you boy racer

glue you to the wallpaper

with your own turbocharged



In the morning you’re waiting by the window

engine cold.

We outstare one another

my tai chi palm closes

on your fuel tank

a perfect petrol blue.

Your eyes crystallise me

in a thousand wing mirrors.


No more wheelies, no more fight.

I open the window

police you out.


George Hopewell


A Doll


This doll didn’t do anything bad.

Her torn out eye is replaced with a button,

her ear cut, and her mouth

stitched up with a shoemaker’s needle,

her ripped off arm, tossed for the cat to play with, 

a hole made between her legs,  

so she can give birth to more of her kind.


With her neck tied round with a pink bow,

she is fussed over, rocked in the cradle,

spoon-fed until the food 

falls down her chin and stains her dress

with something resembling soup or sperm.  

Blotches appear on the doll’s body,

her little owner doesn’t know why –

am I not taking a good care of you?!

you ungrateful thing!


At night the doll opens her eye,

unties the knot on her neck,

rips off the other ear and stuffs it 

between her legs

to fill the emptiness. 

Creeping close to those who brought her here

she lies in the bed between them. 


Hanna Komar



Died of wounds


Funny, no-one talked about him.

Not much anyway, his nephew says,

They say he shot down a Zeppelin

but we don’t know if this is true.

He shows me the sepia photograph

of a soldier, young, a little stern,

none too sure of himself, but clutching

his newly acquired officer’s baton.

Three years in France, years of shells

and mud and fear, until the message,

‘Regret to inform you, Lt. H Leater

died of wounds on 22 nd March 1918’,

six months before the guns fell silent,

only 25 years old. The King signed

the letter of condolence – not by hand,

of course. So many deaths, too many

to sign his name in ink time after time.


Moira Andrew





Your roots entwine

greatly revered

bodies buried

close to your trunk,

skeletons now,

drawn into your hollow trunk

till their spirits soared 

into the air

to take pride of place 

in the heavens,


Only, you’ve been around

long enough to know

that it’s not so.

Other bodies, 

less revered,

are left to rot.

Have they no place in the scheme 

of things to come?

How can the chaos we’re in resolve

until kinder values are evolved

than these?


M. Anne Alexander




Everything is Beautiful


Everything is beautiful

when you are around

I can feel my fotststeps

Back on stony ground


And when the stars come out

To light up the sky

I’m happy that you are about

Don’t ever say Goodbye


Keith Woodehouse