A Network of Writing and Community Publishers

June 2012
06 May 2012


I sit on the beach, waves crashing against the shore, stones clinking together as the waves head away. It's so peaceful my mind runs away. I'm in another world. The only sound I hear is the sea. The sun is beating down. It's very hot. The sky is bright blue and there's not a cloud in the sky. A huge turtle is right beside me. What's it doing? Oh it's digging. How clever to be able to dig with those flippers. Clumps of sand are flying through the air, landing in a heap of sand. Once the turtle had dug its hole I watch it lay little white eggs into the hole. This is amazing what i'm seeing here all on my own. Loads of eggs are soon clumped together before being covered by sand till they can be seen no more. The turtle then slides back into the sea and she's gone. All I hear is the sea, all I see is the sand. A child appears with a bucket and is dropping stones into it. Where's the sand? It's all stoney. I think I've been dreaming. Back to reality I suppose. Oh well..

Debbie Feltz

We Lost

I used to dream about my team, that they would win the cup;
But then they played the Germans and they went and screwed it up.
I really ought to change my sport, from football, where they kick it
To tennis with a racket or to cricket with a wicket.
If Shakespeare was alive I'm pretty sure what he would do.
He'd have written us a sequel, "Much ado 'bout nothing (2)."

Andrew Diamond
Newham Writers

Dreams of a World Cup

England's got a great team
But it would really seem
that not everyone agrees
They say Rooney's on his knees
the rest are not on form
that the goalie's a bit gorm-
less and the rest do not please
the manager.
Still, England's got a great chance
to advance
in the world standing
taking a commanding
lead over all but the last sixteen
then it's to be seen how far they go
but this is not a tale of woe
so stop the moaning
and the groaning
They have that chance
to advance

Spare a thought for me
because you see
I'm a Scotsman
Not a great fan
of the world cup
cause when you weigh it up
what's it done for Scotland?
except, with considerable power of will'
improved the nation's numerical skill
As part way through the qualifying
Scottish voices are all vying
singing as our football anthems specify
"mathematically we can still qualify"
and if you doubt that this is true
just ask the question and we'll tell you
"Ye see, it's like this -
and no, Ah'm no takin' the piss.
If Iceland win three nil
against Brazil -
and Liechtenstein get a draw
against those guys with Franz Beckenbauer -
Then all we have to do
is win no worse than seven-two
away from home
In Rome
and then we're through!"

England's got a great team
Stop moaning
And before you really curse
Just Think - it could be worse!

Dave Chambers
Newham Writers Workshop

A Tantalising Taste

Dazzling sunbeams
Carry dreams
of Summertime;

Barbeques and garden fetes
Home made cake on paper plates.
Cricket teas and homemade scones
Ninety-nines in ice-cream cones.
Ploughman's lunch and ice-cold beer
Fish and chips sat on the pier.
Picnics and towels on beaches
Fresh strawberries, mmm juicy peaches.
Vine tomatoes & fresh dressed salads
Brass bands, radio, sunshine ballads.

But the dream is shattered from illusion
As one is rudely awoken by a buzzing alarm
To yet another in - house day, where clouds,
are gathered; and rain stops play!

Jan Hedger

Love beyond riches
If wishes were dreams and dreams were wishes
If only we could share; pulling a wishbone in two
If dreams became real and wishes come true
If a coin in a well bought forth your kisses
I'd give away my fortune, for a moment with you.

Jan Hedger

The Bag Lady

In my dream I saw her sitting huddled on the steps of the church. She was old, very old. I was drawn to the way she sat , crouched over, as if she was looking intensely for something.

Her toes peeped out of the top of her shoes. The shoes were black, like mens army shoes, solid but not shiny. At her feet lay a blanket bag of many colours, with threads of wool that had become unwoven. The bag was open and I could see clothes or bedding that spilled over the top. The skin on her hands was translucent and I could see her blue veins sticking out.

I heard her weeping and I wanted to reach out and touch her. Her body heaved up and down and a tear dropped on to her light coloured raincoat, which was belted tightly around her small frame.

I looked at the tiny wet patch where the tear had dropped and wondered why she was crying. It had spread on the material like a splash of rain.

Why was she there in my dream?

I can see the s ide of her face, her pale yellow skin, her deep wrinkles that run down her cheek. Somebody's daughter, somebody's sister, or is she a spirit waiting to find something. She was so vivd, I had to give her name.

Sue Rabbett



For 'Rosie' at Newstead Abbey.  
Twenty- five years younger than me
yet in her eyes I saw reflected my dreams
Quietly spoken and shy,
Rosie was still the girl
with the light in her eyes.
Intoxicated like a drunkard,
my heart was filled full of love
My eyes gazed upon desire,
never had my arms felt so empty
nor my life so alone!
Sadly, I knew I could think only the words
I longed to send forth from my lips.
Opportunity may have chosen to tempt me
but circumstance and reality
stood fast in my way.
My love, however strong, was no match
for such gargantuan and esteemed opponents
and thus my lips spoke only in jest to her.
Not one word did I utter
of a love stillborn in all but name.
With the door closing behind me,
a final glance and a childlike wave
was all I could muster.
Rosie smiled kindly back through the glass -
she knew, she knew!
What could have been,
oh what could have been.

Antony May
Shorelink Community Writers and G.R.O.W.

It is nice to have dreams.
Sometimes they reflect
daily worries.
I prefer to live
than die
for my dreams.
Dreams are just dreams.
I have to get up
in the morning
and watch sunrise
painting whole horizon
with its pastel fingers
dipped in pink, yellow,
purple and blue.
Hills are still asleep.
I am awake now
and I don't want
to die for my dreams.

Marie Neumann


The night is dark, the road is long,
All travellers carry lanterns.
Ahead the gorge, break into song
Many are lost in taverns.
Stars shine bright, throughout the night,
Horses white are galloping.
Spare not a thought, there is no light
Maidens' gowns are flapping.
Cockerals fly up to the sky
Hens stay cluck, cluck, clucking
Mr Fox is on his way
All heads for the mounting.
Awake I lay, 'tis break of day
I doze, return to sleep
To dream again
Back into the deep of blackness.

Jackie Primeet
(Stevenage Survivers.)

A New Dream

All my dreams seemed so sad
Nothing there to make one glad
So I chose to dream anew
And guess what? - I dreamed of you!
You want the details? I'm not saying
But on my lips, a smile's still playing :-)

Ashley Jordan


I dream, or think I do. Dreams trick you twice;
that slippery world of see and tell should suffice,
but waking with a deception is a double
double cross. I muss in this drear one, troubled;
if I'm not convinced by the scam of dreams,
the world of pay-back lives beyond its means.
I call in the Fraud Squad; they take a statement:
"Yes, I've an alibi, I half meant
to be here but I was with the blackbird
as he flew to the treetop and sang afresh";
and like an open door, the song once heard
admits me freely to absent mindedness,
chicanery that I'm at least the master of.

Bruce Barnes

Olympic Dream

From hundred yards to marathon,
From rowing to the beam,
The young are here from round the world
For their Olympic dream.
The best have come, from Michael Phelps,
Chris Hoye and our Beth Tweddle,
All fighting for their Country
In pursuit of a gold medal.
The stadium in Stratford
Is the best the world has seen
And the rail links to the station
Are the best they've ever been.
And as it is the summer
Ice cream sales are sure to rocket.
We hope each foreign visitor
Has money in his pocket.
The national debt will be reduced
From selling to the tourist
And everyone will benefit,
From richest to the poorest.
And so I'm looking forward
To us lighting up the flame.
I've stocked up with umbrellas
And I'll sell them in the rain!

Andrew Diamond
Newham Writers (Monday Group)


Wearing last nights face,
yesterdays stale breath on his lips,
Traffic light eyes looking out
on his frosted window world.
A derelict soul in a re-development society.
He raises up on one elbow
to survey last nights pitch.
Wondering how he had reached this destination.
Wondering why?
Vaguely remembering a bed in a room.
The room in a house - Remembering vaguely.

Touching his pocket. Yes the bottle's still there.
Breakfast assured, he rolls up his cardboard bed.
And strolls to the bins where the picking is best.
A half can of fanta no fizz no taste,
just enough to mix with the meths.
He jump starts his brain with this sunshine brew and walks on.
Reaching a bank and stops.
Vaguely remembering a desk in an office.
The office in a bank - Remembering vaguely.

He catches his reflection in the window,
but a stranger looks back.
Ragged old coat, ragged old face
and shuffle along shoes.
He takes another swig of his sunshine breakfast.
A woman in a frock shows disgust
as she passes, a sniff of disdain.
Her cardboard complexion reflected in the window.
He just looks after her.
Vaguely remembering a woman in a room.
The room in a house - Remembering vaguely.

He walks to the benches at the end of the road
and sits down to wait.
He doesn't know why, but he knows he must wait.
People walking past drop some coins in his lap
Some kids start to taunt him
"Scruffy old tramp, clear off,"
Their faces are all laughter and ice cream happy.
He just stares.
Vaguely remembering a happy faced child in a room.
The room in a house - Remembering vaguely.

He lifted his coins and his bundle.
Enough for a sausage roll.
But he passes the chemists and stops to buy meths'.
He comes from the shop with his life in that bottle.
Anaesthetised dreams haunt a liverless soul.
He steps into the road as the car turns the corner.
No pain as he lies on the ground.
Vaguely remembering a car long ago.
A happy faced child and a woman in a frock -

Remembering clearly, too late.

By Jim White 11.11.99


Drifting Off

I'm daydreaming again
Today I am George
Feeling the salt laden spray
Stinging my face
As I pull on the oars
In rhythm with the waves
I'm on my way to Kirrin Island
My island!
Julian, Dick and Anne
Have been kidnapped!
By the evil witch
Masquerading as,
'Miss Jones'
And are being held prisoners,
In the deep dark caves,
Below Kirrin Island.
So, it's Timmy, my big brown,
Shaggy dog and I,
To the rescue!
We will be heroes,
Tim and I!
Where have you gone now?
And what is, 2 x 2 + 8 - 5?'
'Sorry Miss Jones, I was just'..
It's 7 Miss' I cried, grinning broadly,
Mustn't let her know, that,
I am on to her dastardly plan!
'Correct, but do try and stay,
With us, at least,
Until the bell'
'Yes Miss' I shouted, knowing
I would have the infamous but,
On my school report, again;

Her English is exceptional
Her Maths is coming on
Her needlework's a disaster
In Art she tries very hard

BUT - if only she would concentrate
She could achieve much more
BUT - she is so very easily distracted
By the stories in her head!

Now thirty years and nine have passed,
And I am trying to write,
A poem, for a treasured anthology
And I'm ... miles away!

Jan Hedger

Yes, this was me - was? Still is!


Dreams of all sorts of things, horrifying dreams, love dreams, horrid dreams, expressive dreams, revealing our past experiences. Dreams of babies, dreams of nature, music, disability, mental illness, school friends, our parents, brothers, sister, aunts, uncles, horror dreams, dreams of ambition, work, illness, unhappy feelings, revengeful dreams, dreams of jealousy, violence, police, crime, behaviour, children, disease, boyfriends, parents, animals.

Sue Horncastle

Diabetic Dreams

I'm craving for an ice cream; I'm told that it's pathetic.
I know I mustn't have one because I am diabetic.
I'd love a piece of chocolate or any other sweeties,
But I am not allowed them because of my diabetes.
I really ache to have some cake, a bun or an �clair,
But I must snack on celery; it really isn't fair.
And when it comes to afters, a crumble or a pie,
I just have cheese and biscuits; otherwise I'll die.
I insulate with insulin to help control my sugar.
Each time I stick the needle in, it really is a bugger.
But when I reach my eighties and I no longer care,
I'll have a box of chocolates which I'll refuse to share.
And then I'll scoff a gateau, drink lemonade galore,
Have pounds of coffee ice cream and then I'll have some more.
And after I have finished I won't give myself a prick,
I'll go up to the bathroom and I'll sick and sick and sick!

Andrew Diamond
Newham Writers (Monday Group)


I dream of the ocean
wet sand at my feet
a moment of freedom
and my mind moves with the tide
my body struggles with my mind
the dunes are like mountains before me
the waves are lost
I wish to swim - to float and flow
my mind struggles with my feet
slipping backwards with each step
I am like a fish out of water
I am like a child lost in an immense city
I cannot give up - the ocean is calling
this great expanse of water and sky
where gulls fly and soar the wind
and the wind hurls me back towards the dunes
back towards the concrete promenade and car parks
yet I cannot give up
my feet lift their magnetic weight
slowly - with great effort
back toward the golden curve of the beach
where my soul flutters - lost in the wind
waiting for the rest of me
waiting for another moment of freedom.

Lucia Birch
Stevenage Survivors


There is no future; in the past.
Memories of the mind
cannot be recreated
for nothing is the same twice.

Look to dreams of the future
for that is where destiny lies,
not in that, which is left behind.
Turn the key, lock the door
Archive it.

Jan Hedger


Pipe dreams spiral aromatically
Intoxicating false hopes; but
When brought into reality
They are tampered; into
Mind numbing predictability
Foresight abandoned.

Jan Hedger


(Jun 01, 10) Ashley Jordan said:

Wow - what a great start!
Andrew - can't wait to share your Diabetic Dreams with my mum!
Lucia - a beautiful, dreamy poem :-)
Jan - I'm looking forward to the next collection...

(Jun 01, 10) Jan Hedger said:

I agree Ashley - welcome the first of June!
Well done Sue on choosing dreams and your contribution!
Dreamy hiddden messages in Lucia's piece!
Andrew gets better on another outing for your Diabetic poem!
As for me, I shall continue to dream and hopefully commit to poetry!

(Jun 02, 10) Jan Hedger said:

Yesterdays dreams is an amazing and very sad but true account of life out on the streets. This poem really moved me, thanks for posting, one for me to save if that's okay Jim.

(Jun 07, 10) Jan Hedger said:

A very clever poem Bruce - the trickery of dreams, caught through your words here!

(Jun 15, 10) Tony May said:

A very emotive title and not hard to connect with. Everyone has or has had a dream after all.

(Jun 15, 10) Jan Hedger said:

Tony - an evocative poem - of something tangible but out of reach - lovely poem!

Debbie - I love the bag lady of your dream - great description - I could see her! I felt I was there!

(Jun 15, 10) Ashley Jordan said:

Sorry, the bag lady was written by Sue Rabbett - not Debbie! I've changed the name now. A brilliant piece of writing and I'm looking forward to reading the continuation...

(1 hour ago) Andrew Diamond said:

Your poem about the world cup was much better than mine Dave, but then you wrote it before England lost. I was a bit lost for words, but maybe I'll have more to say when Murray wins Wimbledon.


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