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'Doors & Doorways'
December 2010

05 May 2012


THE KEY

I sought the key to the Universe, but it was denied me.  I pleaded

“I really want to know more, please trust me.” I was told

“The key is only given to believers.”

”But how can I believe what I do not know?” I protested. Clearly all my negativity about the Universe was contributing to my inability to gain access. I sat in despair at the gate to the Universe. A kindly soul came up to me, and offered

“Come, I will show you the way.”

“Have you a key?” I asked. They smiled

“The key to the universe is within you.”


Robert Brandon
GROW




THE DOOR

It stood (or rather, hung) imposingly before me.  Made of solid oak with lead fittings it was as though it was saying to me “No Entry!” I had been there all day, yet not one person had attempted to go through; nor approach it.

“What lay behind?” I asked myself. At either side were two strangely-dressed guardians, both bearing pikestaffs that dwarfed them. I plucked up the courage to speak to them. Using a language I thought they would understand, I enquired

“What lies behind this barrier?”

They did not know, for none had gone before. I was aware of someone close to me.  He gave me a penetrating look.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“I,” he paused to stroke his straggly beard, “am the keeper of the door.”

“Can you tell me what lies behind?”

“All I can say is no-one is expected to return.”

“This is ridiculous,” I protested. “I want it opened now!”

“As you wish; but remember, there is no way back.”  The door had four locks; they all had to be opened in the correct order. As it opened, a burst of cold air engulfed me.

“You still want to enter?”

“Yes, I have come this far.”

I trod cautiously; the door closed behind me. There were cables attached to
the door. Once unlocked, it had been electronically opened. A man sat at an empty desk.

“So, why are you here?”

“I wanted to see what was on the other side of the door.”

“There is only me; we are both trapped here.” I told him,

“I know how to open the door – we can go back. Will you join me?” Together we
approached the door. I had seen this circuitry before. I knew that I only had to connect two wires for the door to open.

“But what if they locked it after you came through?” asked the man.

“I still think I can open it.” Then, I did just that. The door moved and we were free….or were we?  For the guards moved inside and the door was locked again. We were now trapped on the outside. All the exits in the room had been securely sealed. The man laughed.

“You see what you have done?”

Oh yes, I knew exactly what I had done.


Robert Brandon
GROW



Doors and Doorways

Doors and Doorways
and paths and pathways
lead to where-ever it is you want to go
But you know, you might not know
which door or doorway
path or pathway
is the one you need
to speed
you on towards your goal
where content awaits your soul.

Instead you choose
using your muse
as fancy takes you
'cause you like the view
or you said heads or tails
and your luck, it never fails
at least not since last time
when the poem, (bugger), rhyme
didn't quite work out
so you had a big shout.

But now take care
before you swear
to keep a new resolution
join the green/teetotal/frugal revolution
for it's that scary time of year
the time when I fear
that all is not as it seems
'not what it deems
to be
you see:

A new rule holds sway
at Hogmanay
in the sky the number changers
act just like they're perfect strangers
and make it as an event horizon
so all those lovely drinks and pies an
celebrating and auld acquaints
an scarlet an red tins 'o paints
are not forgotten and as memory ranges
you can't go back to make any changes
to what you've done.
They won't even accept a bun
or cake or any thing
so have your fling
carefullee
is my plea

But still you can have a really good time
and I can still manage a rhyme
in time to get this posted before new year
so I can wish you all good cheer
and all the things you wish for yourselves
and have them brought by the Christmas elves
and you enjoy next years tours
as you visit around to you and yours
and you'll really think life is heaven
just being alive in two-thousand-eleven.


Dave Chambers
Newham Writers Workshop




'Put wood in oil'

Somewhere 'Up North' words warm to circumstance,
so that folk have a phrase, in their lingo to beg
that doors be closed. It's not that minds are warped
by drafts, more that wood expands to take
the native damp. And don't they know too well
those left out in the cold that closing door make.


Bruce




ALWAYS OPEN

There is a door that never closes
Keeps the winter winds at bay
When the cold is touching zero
I am prisoner of today.

My window becomes the doorway
Puffs of snow wave from the trees
Radiators turned on full
Images outside now freeze.

Watch the door slowly open
Pen and paper sidle through
Thoughts appear as if by magic
Doorways show another view.


© SALLY FLOOD
NEWHAM WRITERS




THE DOOR

I remembered clearly when I came face to face with the door. I hit it face on, the physical feeling as if I had actually been knocked over, by such force of something I was unable to see. I couldn’t pick myself up from the ground, I lay lifeless. I didn’t want to move, I wanted to embrace the darkness and quiet, I didn’t need anything else.

Only I could see the door from within. To everyone else it was invisible, why would they see it. I had tried many times to open it before it finally shut and locked. God how was I going to escape from the prison I found myself in. I couldn’t think of anything. I didn’t want to. I did not want to return to reality, of the over-riding pressure of life. The overwhelming feelings that over took me had exploded, like a bomb blowing up into the ocean.

The door finally remained CLOSED!!


Sue Rabbett
(GROW)




DIMENSIONS BEYOND

My cats name is Tiger lily
From the day she first appeared
The children shortened it to Lily
So the Tiger disappeared.

She loves to explore and wander
Has no fear of anyone
She’s a hunter, nose to ground
That’s my Lily having fun.

She doesn’t like the door shut
Watches birds upon the trees
She is a Social cat
Likes to sit upon my knees.

I have many rhymes and verses
Lily keeps me company
Never lets me out of sight
Lily always follows me.

She’s my doorway to adventure
Imagination is the key
Watching her, my inspiration
Flies beyond and sets me free.


© SALLY FLOOD
NEWHAM WRITERS




Doorway

Shut the door!
Do you have
a Christmas tree
sticking in your behind?
Please, close the door.
There is no door,
only a doorway,
but not the door.
Hang up beads,
or put a blanket
over the frame.
Wind is blowing
and brings
inside snow.

Move your butt
and go and buy the door.
Don't forget to bring
hinges.
Just cover the doorway.
In summer
there will be chickens
pecking on the floor.
Oh, you like a view
on the mountain
and the meadows.
They are there cows, too.

Go, and buy glass door,
so you can have your view.
Don't forget the hinges,
a lock, and the handle.
And what you will do?
just sit and tell me
what to do?
I am going to chase
these chickens out,
stitch something
to cover your glass door,
and make supper.
Something what you like,
so I'll know,
you are coming back.


Marie Neumann
POW! GROW




Doorway to the World

Such hurt and pain
Across the world
The breaking news
As lives are curled
Up and thrown away
Reporters seek a bright
New angle. A child
Has burned, a plane
Has crashed
A bomb exploded
And quakes have razed
A city to the ground
Killing hundreds,
Trapping many more
A ship has sunk
The crew all drowned
And a tornado has ripped
A family apart
The death toll is rising
While we complacently
Eat our baked beans on toast
And wait for the soaps to begin


Ashley Jordan
GROW




Doors

There are always doors.
Familiar doors
we use every day.
Coming in
and going out.
Close it quietly.
Some don't.
Some slam it shut.

There are doors
to tomorrow,
there are doors
to yesterday
and the doors
to the future.
Little flap doors
for the cats
and big doors
to the banks.

Doors with the doorknobs
and those with the handles
and the doors
where you have to
punch the numbers.

Door to the kitchen
and you think
you still can smell
tomato soup
you had for supper
yesterday.

Door to your parents bedroom
you don't open
when it is closed.
Huge door to the school,
when you are so small.
One day that door
closes behind you.
One day you own a key
to your first apartment
and it has your name on it.

The doors to your future,
the doors to unknown,
full of surprises,
we open every day.
One day you return
your card
to the door
you closed willingly
and open the door
to the quiet life.
You open it quizzically.
Here I come
my old age.

My neighbor died yesterday.
He had diabetes.
The illness which
will get you
soon or later
finger by finger,
toe by toe.
There is emptiness
and wet eyes
of his wife and children,
It was his last door
and now it's closed.


Marie Neumann
POW! GROW




THE WORLD OUTSIDE

There she stands and shakes her tail
The long mee-ow and then the wail,
She tugs me by my trouser leg
“Let me out” I hear her beg.

Behind the door the snow lies high
The birds are still and hardly fly,
While icicles decorate the wall
I watch snow flakes as they fall.

Still she begs with eyes aglow
I thought she wouldn’t like the snow?
Aren’t cats meant to hate the cold
Another fable I’ve been told.

So I open up the door
My cat is anxious to explore,
Like a fox, her nose held low
She looks enchanted by the snow.

I stand awhile and watch her play
The wind whistles shrill today,
The doorway to the world outside
Is one good reason why I hide.

I think my cat has had enough
The cold outside is really tough,
I’m glad to close the door once more
And wipe the snow from my cats paw.


© SALLY FLOOD
NEWHAM WRITERS




Battle of the Sexes

An entrance for boys
An entrance for girls
The boys with short haircuts
The girls with long curls
They used separate doors
But they met in the middle
Though went separate ways
When they needed to piddle
They had different clothes
And they played different games
In other respects
They seemed much the same
And no child would think
There was anything more
Than only these differences
When they were four
And so years ago
This is how our nation
Handled the start
Of its sex education
The rest was taboo
But as children grew
The more that they knew
The more they would do!


Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers




Soul Music

I write my psychic poetry
To show my spirituality
And like the music of the spheres
The spirits whisper in my ears
The words that they will have me say
To prove that we are on our way
To where, one day, we all will be,
The doorway to eternity.


Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers




An Unexpected Weekend

I didn’t mean to get separated from the tour group, only I’d lagged behind because I couldn’t take the incessant nasal tone of the pinched faced little man from York Tours by Moonlight a moment longer.

I wanted to be on my own for a while, to try to make sense of what I was feeling, or at least what I thought I felt. An instinct that I wasn’t alone, that something or someone was guiding my thoughts.

Why was I here? What had made me step over the threshold of the Travel Agents? I had no intention of taking a holiday; my diary had been full of appointments with not an inch to spare. I remember speaking with a voice, firm and with conviction,

‘I need to go to York, this weekend please, have you anything?’

The girl had been very helpful, my appointments had been re-scheduled, and here I am on a warm summer’s evening at the foot of the city wall, with the cathedral casting a deep shadow on the flagstones on which I stand; uncertain of which way to go.

‘You have been here before’ I whirled round in response, but found no one there, the tour group a distant blur in the gathering darkness.

‘You won’t recall the time of course, but trust me and I will help you to discover your past, a past that was buried long ago, before you were born’

My mind wanted to doubt, to disbelieve the voice, to question its existence, but how could I answer myself? For it felt as though the voice was speaking from deep within me, from my own subconscious. I felt unnerved, but strangely calm, as my feet of their own volition, turned off the main thoroughfare into the cobbled streets of The Shambles.

Passing the lighted window displays of the antiquated shops, my eyes only briefly registered their wares, such was the compulsion to keep moving. I made a mental note to return in daylight and explore their inner sanctum; of printed tea towels and gifts, aimed at tourists that now tread its path, boosting the income of this cultural city. Darkened cafés and tea shops hold no welcome now.

Feeling protected, by the proximity of its buildings and eager to explore more, I did not question my feet as they took me of the main thoroughfare, into the myriad of the adjoining alleyways; the voice, always there urging me on.

‘You’re here’ it said, breaking my trance like state. I tried to focus exactly where I was; strangely being aware that I had not met another soul, since parting from the tour group. I shivered, feeling the sudden chill in the air, an unnatural chill that had crept its way into my bones. The buildings here were different, paint peeling from their window frames, dusty and unoccupied. Except one, whose door lay slightly ajar, stood out from rest; its façade freshly painted. Above its bowed window, a metal sign hung, swinging to and fro in perfect symmetry.

‘ROLFE’S ANTIQUARIAN BOOKS’

So I was not altogether surprised, when the voice, stronger and clearer now, spoke from its inner depths,

‘Do come in, I’ve been waiting for you….’

I pushed the door tentatively, feeling little resistance from its hinges as it opened fully allowing me entry. Here the newness vanished. Damp musty air assailed my nostrils and I wrinkled my nose in distaste. The only light came from two rusty gas lamps, their flames flickering with a rhythmic hiss. I strained my eyes to locate the body from which the voice had spoken, but could see no one in the shadows

Running my fingers along the spines of the leather bound books that filled the wall to wall shelves, I felt part of a time long ago – a connection – I couldn’t describe, even to myself, and yet? My hand came to rest on a deep green, slim volume of collected poems. With heart pounding I slowly prised the book from its tightly packed neighbours. I stared at the gold block lettering on the front cover - more preserved than those on the dog eared spine – they were complete and unbroken. To confirm what my eyes were seeing in the poor light, I traced the letters with my finger;

The Cycle of Nature in Poetry by Mary Florence Bradley. 1912.

Every hair on my body bristled as a tress of hair briefly brushed my cheek, as if someone was resting their head on my shoulder. I heard the quietest of whispers, speak directly into my ear.

‘Open it, my sweet, dear girl. It is why you are here’

I found myself obeying without question and with shaking hands; I turned to the first page.

‘This book is dedicated to my grand-daughter, Janet Dearn, in the hope that one day she may gain as much pleasure as I myself have in the composing and love of the poetic word.’

The emotions, I had held in check, flowed freely now, my tears making a clean circle on the dusty floorboards.

‘Dry your eyes child, I am your comforter. There have been times, I’ve feared for you grand-daughter, sensed your confusion in your identity. Oh what joy I felt, when you picked up a pen and started to write as I did; nature at the heart of your words. But, then other words came; poetry with hidden meaning, thoughts in turmoil, from your own soul. I wanted to reach out to you then, but it was too soon. You needed to find your own way. So I watched you. I am proud of the woman you have become. The woman I never was, my life given for the first breath of your father, so you could be born.’

Such a gentle loving voice, soothing, stills my tears. ‘Grand-mother? Can I see you, touch you?’

‘No dear girl, for I am only a voice, a voice for your words.’

With a sense of clarity, I knew what she wanted me to do. I placed her book back upon the shelf, and removed another. Taking from my bag, my own first published book; Words in Imagination – poetry for all the family, I slotted it neatly beside hers, in the space I had created.

A relaxed sigh, tickled my neck. I reached back with my hand and felt the softest kiss, as the voice bade me goodbye.

One day, I knew I would read her book but for now I must continue to write my own words. I owed her that.

Footnote; this story arose from a workshop, with a short passage of writing, leading to the line ‘Do come in, I have been waiting for you’.

The brief was to include the line – somewhere - within a written piece of work.

The base of the story was written that night, from where in my mind, I do not know, but it was ‘just there’.

I never knew any of my grand-parents; they had died before I was born. Their were however photo’s and stories and I knew their names, so they were real. Except for my paternal grand-mother, who had died in or soon after child birth. She was never spoken of and I never knew her name, until my daughter started formulating her Family Tree. This moved me deeply, she was now real. This story is for her, and my father. The name of the bookshop stems from the fact that my father’s birth was registered as Rolfe St, Smethwick.

Ps since this story was written, it has been discovered, my father was two years old when my grand-mother died from TB. The above story will, however remain unchanged; as this was ‘the story’ I and my sisters were always told; that grand-mother died through childbirth and that was that.

Whatever the mystery or the truth it will remain unknown, some things are better that way.

jan hedger
GROW




SNOW BOUND

My door on the world
is blocked by snow
There isn’t a doorway
where I can go,
A prisoner of Winter
and that’s a fact
A wilderness of white,
How to re-act?

My heaters are up
it’s costing a bomb
Electricity prices
I text on dot.com,
So many woollens
I feel like a clone
Alice in Wonderland
trapped on my own.


© SALLY FLOOD
Newham Writers




The Soldier

He sits in the doorway
He fought for his country
Has cardboard for cover
But hasn't a door key

He was a bit shell shocked
He lost his best mate
He's aged twenty three
And he's riddled with hate

They gave him a discharge
He's lonely and cold
And this is a story
That needs to be told!


Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers




Behind the Closet Door

Hidden, secret, shut away
The love that dare not speak its name
Gay by nightfall, straight by day
Hidden, secret, shut away
Black nor white, but shades of grey
Checked between the guilt and shame
Hidden, secret, shut away
The love that dare not speak its name


Ashley Jordan
GROW




Amnesia's Door

Pictures from the past I see
Distant yet so close to me
A smile, a tear, an angry word
Should be forgotten, but still heard

Shouts of fury cries of pain
Festering within my brain
Another time, a different place
Who are you? I know your face

My day dreams seem to be the key
To set my painful memories free
Throwing wide Amnesia's door
So they can't hurt me anymore

All worries, doubts and fears exposed
For what was locked is now just closed
And now my past is clearly viewed
Faith in the future is renewed


Ashley Jordan
GROW




Injustice

Men of the city of London
Eat Marks and Spencer sandwiches
Visit the local sushi bar
And drink cool chardonnay
Under a striped parasol
Of a trendy street café

The homeless boys of London
Eat scraps from litter bins
A crust and half a sausage roll
A can of cheap cider, quenching
An ever growing thirst
In the heat of a July day

Men of the city of London
Go home to four bed roomed houses
Nestled in the Kent countryside
Home to their socialite wives
And four course dinner parties
Cigars and glasses of wine

The homeless boys of London
They have nowhere to go
Just a doorway as their haven
And a cardboard box or two
A sleeping bag wrapped round them
Alone they beg for food


jan hedger
GROW




Doors of Evolution

Once a long time ago
When it was so safe for you to go.
You didn't need a lock, you could trust anyone
But that was before crimes had begun.
The frame and the door needed more
You then needed a lock on that door.
Time passed locks were mounted, sometimes two
But even then this was not enough to protect you.
Next people had a second put in
A porch with more locks on the door than within.
If someone who tried to break through that door
A silent entrance would be possible no more.
Owners, Neighbours the Police would respond
The person who tried to get in will be gone.
Extra frames that's mounted and extra doors put in
But these cost a lot so the price is grim.
All should be included in every house that's here
So the people inside will have no fear.
Just think, extra door frames and doors on your house
Doors stop thieves things and are as quiet as a mouse.


By Jamie Fidgett




DOORS AND DOORWAYS

By the post office in Whitechapel
Pushed tight against the wall
Is bedding and blankets
Two people with no home at all.

There isn’t a door or a doorway
That they could call their own,
How could this old couple?
Like litter on this spot be thrown.

I passed them by on the care bus
I couldn’t believe my eyes,
Nobody took any notice
In East London, was no surprise.

A disgrace to any government
Is this what the future may hold
Without work or any protection?
While the rich, fill their pockets with gold.


© SALLY FLOOD
Newham Writers



Fine By Me

I stand by my window and stare at the door.
No curtains, no carpet to cover the floor.
The bailiffs have been and they've taken the lot
Because of the parking fine that I forgot.
So now I'll remember to pay all my fines,
Or better still, not to park on yellow lines.


Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers




Snow

I sit by my window and look at the snow;
My door firmly closed.
Inside, it's warm; outside, it's cold.
When I was young and I was more bold
I would be out in it, having some fun;
I'd slide and I'd run.
But I'm getting old
And now I am scared that I'll slip or I'll fall.
I might break a hip; I won't go out at all.
I'll wait for the thaw.
When you get to my age it's no fun any more.


Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers




Forgotten


I want to be

as tall as a mountain
as alive as the sea
as high as the sky,
I want to be free

Free to run

through fields of green
to bask in the sun
to dance in the rain,
Free to have fun

To sleep when I tire

in a bed soft and warm
in front of a fire
safe and secure,
Free from the wire

I want to be fed

know hunger no more
a stroke on the head
love, and a home,
not a cage in a shed

I lie here forlorn

cold and alone
waiting for dawn
for someone to come
Oh, why was I born?

A forgotten puppy is what I am

Brought for Christmas, name of Sam

Footnote:
Cages have doors too. Please think of this message this Christmas.


jan hedger
GROW




COMMENTS


Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Oh Dave you make me laugh! Great way to start 2011 - and a Happy One to one and all! Prosperity and Penship!

Your Name: Sally Flood

Your Comment: THIS IS TO WISH EVERYONE A MERRY XMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR LOVE SALLY.

Your Name: jan hedger

Your Comment: Nail on the head Ashley! We all seek 'the comfort zone'.
Marie, one word yet lots of different doors opened in your poem here.

Your Name: Andrew Diamond

Your Comment: How true to life your poem about watching the news is Ashley. It's the only way to eat beans on toast for many of us.
Marie, your poem about doors is a good summary of life.
Sally, I love the cat. So like my own. Again, what a wonderful collection of writing from everyone!

Your Name: jan hedger

Your Comment: Giggle Andrew - that was my school to a tee!

Your Name: Ashley Jordan

Your Comment: Sally - I loved exploring the snow through your cat's eyes... I think it would be nice to call her by name - especially in the last verse :-)
Andrew - what a great campaign slogan that would be :-)

Your Name: jan hedger

Your Comment: The doorway to our inner conciousness Andrew! Thanks for sharing your story.

Your Name: Andrew Diamond

Your Comment: Jan, I'll tell you a story about grandmothers.
Being the baby of my father's family I didn't know his mother's name. I was at a wedding recently and told this to a friend who claims to be psychic. She told me, there and then, that my grandmother's name was Sarah and when I checked the 1911 census I found out that it was.
My mother's mother died in 1967 and a few years ago I had a dream in which she told me off for not visiting her. It was so vivid that I went to her grave and found that all the headstones around hers had been vadalised. Hers was undamaged. Is that spooky, or what?

Your Name: jan hedger

Your Comment: Only Dec 3rd and the doorway has opened enough already to allow punchy and thoughtful poetry in to grace these pages.
How many doors will be opened before the New Year?
Excellent entries today from all contributors! And Sally I love it here too!

Your Name: zahida shah

Your Comment: cheer up Andrew!  It's only just begun.  The soldier,bought a lump to my throat.

Your Name: Ashley Jordan

Your Comment: Jamie - lovely to see that you are participating in TheFED Writing Challenge :-) I love the way your poem highlights that our doors can both protect and confine us in a state of fear and apprehension.
Sally - Great minds think alike! I was composing something very similar regarding the internet being a door into the world outside.  (Fancy a game of online scrabble, anyone?)
Jan - You can always be relied upon to give a voice to the oppressed and vulnerable :-)

Your Name: SALLY FLOOD

Your Comment: How wonderful, like a key to the doorway of thoughts hidden, the diversity continues to amaze me, I am proud to be part of a federation with so much talent to share, this page keeps me in touch, thank you Jan and Andrew for your comments, where I live I could write a book on injustice, it is sad to be young today.

Your Name: Andrew Diamond

Your Comment: Sally, how right you are. Homelessness and greed in this country is a disgrace!

Your Name: jan hedger

Your Comment: Ha,ha Andrew! Meals on wheels for you next?! Mind you even they struggled today down here! Love the door with no furniture!
Sally very observant and sadly true,I shall post my past thoughts on the same subject.

Your Name: Andrew Diamond

Your Comment: Lovely poem Jan. Even my cats would agree with the sentiment! Ashley, stay young and enjoy the snow!

Your Name: Ashley Jordan

Your Comment: Jan - a thoughtful reminder in the run-up to Christmas.
Andrew - I think I'm too young to agree with you so whole-heartedly :-(



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