Summer Showcase – June 2024

Friday, 14 June 2024

Archive of all previous showcases

Edited by Susan Jane Sims

Painting : Canadian Rockies by Susan Jane Sims 










June 6th


Today’s sky is blue and clouds, wisp

thin, meander across above his head.

The sea calm, waves breaking not 

bitterly are gently returning sand to

the beach it borrowed from the night



His chair leaves thin tracks as they push

him, well wrapped, from the path toward

the water his hand rises, a thin bony finger

pointing at a long lost illusion. 


His lips are mouthing words and she bends

her head the better for to hear, he is talking

about the noise, something about a tank and

about a Sergeant Major..


and in his head a plane flies low overhead and

they crouch lower still moving forward, explosions

follow and his breathing quickens, the man in front 

is signalling and shouting words that no one can 

hear, they follow as best they can except for one

who falls choking back blood that won’t stop,

they can’t wait but keep running towards that which

they fear…


She holds his hand and prays to God that they can

return together next year, one more year, it is all

she can ask for now. One more time to lay flowers

on white tombstones and say prayers on sand that

erases everything in the end.


Andrew Scotson


Falls Of Dochart


Knelt by the slow wide river which receives its tribute

each day from the steep fields of the surrounding hills.

Watching as a Kingfisher, a flash of blue and sunburst

orange, stabs a small silver, wriggling fish before returning

to the dark bank.


Flat stones carry the gentle current to the old tourist

bridge and you make your barefoot way out into the

middle of the Tay. You can see Ben Lawers still christened

with snow and her angry sisters staring down on the black,

rippled water of the Loch.


From here the river will quickly pick up pace and become 

deeper and more hostile fighting the salmon as they jump

against cruel rocks. It rushes the two mile gap between the

sleepy village of Killin to Loch Tay. Your naked feet can feel

the chill born of melted snow which crosses the flattened

rocks and journeys ever on.


Andrew Scotson


Farm Garden


simplicity’s white snow-shift

heartbeat time before language 






a girl’s singing spring

for Daddy


and out over near the quarry in Whitemoor

massacre of the new-born lambs 

their eyes gorged out by scavenger crows,


and the Big Scattering 

the discombobulated teddy 

pulled apart 

they say, by foxes.


Julie Sampson


Singing with the Owls


We’re talking with the owls

talking with the conversing tawny owls

 high up

in the golden fir



Woo wooh.


Our elbows perch the ledge

in Michael’s room,

icicles dropping from the sill,



Woo woo.


Luna above,

her blues tonight

releasing bats 

in phantasmagorical


& high-pitched squeaks

from flowery clouds.



they call,

Woo huhuhuhoo

Tu whit tu whit.


Our breath a wisp

of winter mist

escaping from the hollow of our close-cupped palms – 






Julie Sampson


A life renewed 


The ocean 

gulps the sea, 

Man enters 

the open space, 

Finds a place, 

builds a castle, 

digs a moat, 

carves his story 

in the sand. 

Man sits back, 

pain slides down 

his cheeks, 

merges with the grain,

Eyes close,

he lies back. He is done. 

A pause,a stillness, 

The winds rise, 

currents reverse, 

The ocean regurgitates the sea,


then with force. 

Man’s construction 

disappears, his story clears. 

The waves hoist 

him high,carries him 

to shore and safely. 

Tides rise, recede, 

Man turns, walks away,


His burden divested,

his life renewed. 


Leela Gautam



We recognize the land as an act of reconciliation and gratitude to those

whose territory we reside on or are visiting and acknowledge

the many First Nations peoples who have lived in and cared for these lands for generations.


Frequently on our trip to Alberta and British Columbia,

we encounter notices like this.

In museums, in galleries, at the theatre

where we watch Guys and Dolls.


The announcer at the theatre is the most honest.

An acknowledgement is not support, but it’s a start.


At the hot springs in Banff we learn how this site

was discovered in the nineteenth

century by European settlers. Then used for leisure

by those with wealth.


At the museum we learn how those springs

were loved and respected for thousands of years.

How a people fought to keep them;

to keep a way of life in harmony

with nature.


We are told how a treaty was drawn up and never honoured.

how a multitude of lives were lost,

languages and culture swept away;

children separated from families and communities.


Yes a notice is no where near enough

But it’s a start.


Susan Jane Sims





Idly I watch three swallows 

soar over baked roofs.

One bounces its chest off

an invisible pillow of air  

that strings across my balcony, 

trampolining out of sight into 

the Wednesday morning breeze.


The latticed arm of a tower crane

swings across my view – 

a sundial notching 

each segment of time

with a metal pause. 


A black flag snaps 

above the crane’s jib.

A pirate ship – its Jolly Roger

warning it is primed to steal 

trinkets of time, 

medallions of minutes, 

hoards of hours.


As if it knows 

of my carelessness 

with the clock. 

How I will ignore its value

when others do not.


Marion Horton





Seeing into the future


I search for a stone, an island stone,
in its centre a hole.

I can see the sea and light,

blue and sparkle.

They say you can see the future
through its eye.


I am sitting on shingle,
wet from waves. I peer through

the eye, hope to see tomorrow
or next year.

The waves rumble and toss foam.

Light catches the high spray.


Will tomorrow be framed in

certainty, round as an egg?
hard and smooth or shiny
and obdurate?

Will next year glisten?

Will it toss and turn,
sharing secrets, wearing surprise?


Clouds mask the light.

Grey enters the frame.

Maybe tomorrow will come

in shades of gloom and doubt.

Maybe the rumble and roar are
warnings, dark voices?


I put the stone back on its shelf.

It wobbles, then settles.

It knows no more than me.


Judy Dinnen


A boy with a telescope


A boy with a telescope,

became what he saw. He

was alone, yet twinned with

the bay, waves, and inlet.


swooping birds, innocent waves

small boy with questions
in his head. Who am I?

he wondered, rocking slightly.


He spied the gaunt rock face,

frowning in the sun, staring

down on his small questions,

his long, stony future.


He turned his scope inland,

a village, tiny dwellings,
feather people. Saw mama

and papa a long way off


studied their silence and

mystery. Who am I? he

tried the waves or the
rocks? No one answered.


He recalled the classroom,

other children, their games,

he, alone, by the school gate.

Was he like them? He mused.


Through his telescope
he sees tomorrow, more

questions, stony faces, fights

flights, climbing

              over hills

                           towards a rainbow,

flowers, banners.


Judy Dinnen