Spring Showcase – March 2023

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Archive of all previous showcases

Edited by Susan Jane Sims


Photograph by Chris Sims


A Bag-For-Life’s Prayer


Next time…


will be Antarctica:

filching krill from beneath the nose

of a humped-back whale

in the brilliantine waters

where Adelie pirouette the sun’s low rays

and starfish gather for their chorus.


Next time will be the Amazon,

gathering strange fruit

from reticent men

who know to keep secrets

close as dirt beneath their nails and skin;

the breath of ancestors.


Next time will be

sketchbooks and brushes

lugged up an alpine slope;

and the far-down lake exultant

in the song of mountains

all crowded round for a look.


Next time will be

the desperate bread, hauled

across arid wastes for hungry lips

cracked with sun and war;

where politicians talk like distant thunder

that doesn’t bring the rain.


Next time will be a pic-nic

beside some stream

where cattle crud themselves to dozey

and the world is all a-hum

with bees and laughter

and the days that remain.


Next time…

will not be Tesco.


Gareth Alun Roberts (UK)


Time’s Prayer


Wait for me


although I may stray

down unused paths – unravelled, entangled –

to dead ends that tread back

on your footsteps


Wait for me


all through the long days

when it seems I’ve forsaken you

to stilled islands

that the streams pass by


Wait for me


in the empty hallways of the night

even though I am lost to shadows

of all the grim statuary

that beset you


Wait for me


beyond the grassy mounds

where strange light lingers

by a river

I cannot cross


Wait for me


Gareth Alun Roberts (UK)


The thaw


With the thaw, this rosebud,

flesh-pink, silken, responds 

to my touch with soft scents. 

She has survived, so far,   

though tears stream 

from opened pores, 

shining in the white sun.


Snowdrops raise proud heads 

and catkins swing from trees 

as if sure of surviving …

Have they not seen?

Can they not foresee 

the snow moon, 

coming soon?


M. Anne Alexander (UK)


A time for silence


There is a time for silence 

as we peer at smartphones,


barely aware that we flash 

through blackened tunnels, 


past blank backs of houses 

and industrial units,  


past damp, dark remains of 

buddleia and brambles, 


and of grim skeletal trees, 

chopped raw to allow trains 


to move travellers on into this 

present time, when we alight, 


out into other scenes, 

where other lives are led.

M.Anne Alexander (UK)


My Sister’s Painting


Permanent makes me think of only one

the sky being so gray

for simultaneous seasons

by color: green, rust, white, brown

separated by fields, weeds, autumn shrub-trees

the perfect randomness

the diaphanous house

the vanishing paint

displaced into its vaporizing

running random fence, the still river

bending weeds, bare elm trees,

the rust we consider finished and fine.


Rustin Larson (USA)


Grayson is a Gravity Cat

with apologies to T.S. Eliot

Grayson is a gravity cat
He likes to watch things fall
He spends his days perfecting ways
Of proving Newton’s laws
There are no boundaries to his quest
No limits on expense
No object too precious to use
On his experiments
Hard or soft, fragile or rare
He’s happy to wave his paw
At jug or cup, flowers or clock
Just to confirm the law
He understands the rudiments
Applies paws and effect with his claw
The proof is in the pudding – bowl
when it crashes to the floor
A trail of debris behind his tail
Wreckage, from window to door
A broken vase, spilt wine from a glass
Paw prints across the floor
And later in the evening
When he reflects on what he’s done
Despite collateral damage
He thinks that Science can be fun
David Greenwood (UK)

Symphony of assistance


‘Fabulous eggs by fabulous birds’

I saw this, looked for more delight 

or encouragement! 

‘visual communications’

yes, this motorway has plenty


that’s what we need


there’s plenty of that in our world today


‘blind spot take care’

yes, we’ve all got blind spots!

‘download the App’

will this help or hinder?

‘topspec decoration’

I’d like that

‘Doors that do more’

do they open on a new day 

or show us the way?


‘Saints – urgent air freight’

Perhaps this is what we’re looking for?

‘everyday life made easier’

or this?

‘no hard shoulder’

Don’t cold shoulder me!


thank you, I’ll have some of that.



‘Fabulous eggs by fabulous birds’

I still haven’t found these

breakfast delights!


Judy Dinnen (UK)


He let it go 


‘A friend in need’ 

That’s how he described it. 

An accidental introduction, 

A long term alliance. 

At first, helpful, supportive, stylish,

In time, demanding, intense, addictive.

It clung to him, tentacles squeezing,

blocking vital pathways, 

He tried to let it go, 

Desire tightened the hold. 

Just as dependence seemed forever,

A lesson from his child, 

She stood over him and cried,

“Daddy,you’ll die of crab cancer!” 

There was a pause, a silence.

He sat up; in his hand a full pack of the poisonous weed, 

He threw it in the fire . 

In an instant, it reduced to ash.

A twenty-year relationship, broken, 

He finally let it go. 


Leela Gautam (UK)


He let go

for Mark


dashing young doctor

rugby player

silver motor cycle rider


He let go of

bridegroom, dad, uncle


He let go of dreams

He let go of carefree days

He let go of routine

He let go of security


Hope, he played with

bounced it

threw it in the air

and caught it

passed it from hand to hand


until it evaded his grasp and

rolled away


Susan Jane Sims