A Network of Writing and Community Publishers

February 2012

 03 March 2014

Nothin' special

you’re nothin’ special
I’d pass you in the street
hair colour indistinct
met girls like you before -
same eyes, same look
your smile is not unique

you think you’re special
when you look in the mirror
but you’re not to me, not to me
I’d pass you in the street

Louise Glasscoe

About Matter and the Absence of Matter (Continuing an Analogy)

Oh, the Universe
Of the absence
Of matter.
It surprises me
With its abundant variety:
There are
The endless promises
Made, by the leaders
Of mighty nations;
By the promoters
Of financial enterprises;
By your friendly
Insurance agent;
Your banker;
Your stock broker.
Your electable candidate
Telephone solicitors
And other amiable parasites.
But the universe
That we dwell in
Contains positive
As well as
Negative matter.
A simple blade of grass
From its good pod;
A butterfly
From its chrysalis
An infant, calf, or cub
From its imbrionic casing;
The eternal certainty
Of the renewal
Of new life;
Of the cycle
Of the seasons;
Of the volcanic gifts
Of new earth.
So in spite of
My limited range
Of perception,
I know that we all exist
Between the gaps
In negative matter.
It is our home,
So in that sense,
I guess,
Nothing is alright.

© David Gordon
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Un Marimbe Para Jaime Hurtado González

Las estrellas más altas y un lugar en este gran planeta
Como un viento por el cielo
Pasa nuestra historia
A una rosa preciosa
Zamora roja
En la agua del Pacífico hasta los capitanes de hoy
Siempre a confundir la civilización con el poder
Y la luz del sol por las lágrimas de mi pueblo
Y yo saludo los trabajadores en la patria y en el externo
Somos millones que buscan a la vida
Como las palabras de mi raiz
Y mi padre por ser ecuatoriano y yo tengo una memoria de amor
Sangre y risa a la verdadera vida
Como el viento del Caribe quimbambá la voz de Celia Cruz
Hoy tu y yo tomamos la conciencia y en la marcha
En la busca a paz y justicia
Y me rio como una avenida neoyorquina sin una salida

The most high star in this great planet
Like a wind in the sky passing our history
Of one precious rose, red blueberries, and the Pacific Ocean
Until the captains of today always confuse civilization with power
The light of the sun, the tears of the people
I greet the workers in the Motherland and in the external
We are millions searching for life
Like words of a root
Like my father who are Ecuadorians
Which have blood, love, and laughter
With a true life in the wings of the Caribbean
Quimbambá with the voice of Celia Cruz
Today you and I we’re taking conscience
Marching and looking for peace and justice
And laughing like a New York avenue without an exit

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 2/9/13
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Nearly Nothing – but Not Quite

Two ships passing in the night.
If one of them shows a little light
To say "I'm here" it might
Be a comforting fare
To the other one there
To know that there's two ships passing in the night

Two people passing in the street.
One of them smiles as if to greet
A hello as their eyes happen to meet
Showing a grace
Making a better place
Of the hard grey pavement of the lonely street

When people have to bear a great deal of pain
When all the world just seems to rain
More troubles more troubles more troubles more pain
'Til someone says "Hey, that rings a bell
I've been there as well
Here, take my hand, see the comfort you gain"

Two ships passing in the night.
If one of them smiles a little bright.
Through the dark stormy sea, it might
Be a comforting fare
To know that they share
The same tribulations all through that dark night.

Dave Chambers
Newham Writers Workshop

The Store in Shutters

I was seeking a familiar taste
I had not seen or smelled for years
thinking it would still be
in the space where I could
return to remember.
I walked by, missing the spot,
still seeking the bakery’s scent:
a “for rent” sign now in front of the door
and behind the shuttered windows – memories.
This story is too much told again
where people’s tastes need more to fill the space
and the spaces are now hidden
behind lowered aluminum gates.
It may not have been much,
or it may have been a treasure,
yet what it was
has been replaced
by nothing.

© Ángel L. Martínez 15 feb 14
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective


Nothing in my wallet
Nothing in my bank account
Nothing …
Nothing in the cupboard to eat
Nothing in the fridge to drink
Nothing in my heart to feel
Nothing in my head to think
Nothing to work for
Nothing to strive for
Nothing …
Nothing to aspire to
Nothing to hope for
Nothing to live for
Nothing to give…


Nothing in brief

othing to live for?
nly think of this …
here is always
n every awful event
ew Opportunities arise.
o for it.


Chicken eggs

Farmer's wife went early morning to collect chicken eggs. There was nothing in the chicken coop. She stopped in the barn, looked in all corners, under the machinery, and on the back. There was nothing either. Her next stop was at the cows. It happened before that chickens laid their eggs in the hay. She couldn't find anything. She even looked into cows' moths searching for broken egg shells and smeared egg yolks. Nothing. Did they stopped laying eggs? Why?

She came home empty handed and her husband was asking for the eggs sunny side up. She drove to the store, but the shelves, where the eggs usually are, were empty. Nothing was there.
“The farms in the country are snowed in. They couldn't deliver today, or yesterday.”
She borrowed couple of eggs from the neighbor. It wasn't wise to cross her husband in the morning.
“You are late.”
She quickly fried bacon and eggs. After her husband left she went to search again. This wasn't her first time she couldn't find a single egg. This was actually going on for about a month. She searched yard, flower beds, vegetable garden, under trees, by the fence.

The dog was in her doghouse. She was very quiet. What is going on with that dog? So she went to peek inside. The dog was keeping warm three nest full of eggs while the hens were pecking around.

There is always something. It only moves around.

Marie Neumann


I watch people pass me as I sit on the cold pavement, with my old green parka hugging my body. It smells of damp and has food stains down the front of it. I can feel the rain on my eyelashes, and I force my hands deeper into my pockets. I wonder, when I watch people go by, if they have jobs, families and loving homes waiting for them at the end of the day.

It's not my fault I am here living, grovelling, and sleeping on the streets.  It's through circumstances beyond my control that drove me here. I can't share it, it is still too raw.

 A lady drops a pound coin into the old woolly hat that lies at my feet and smiles at me as our eyes make contact. I look at her helplessly. I may have nothing but that smile reached deep within my heart, giving me hope.

Sue Rabbett


I feel something in the space between us
A sense of energy and life
In the emptiness before me
And the distance that is past
I can reach through air and touch you
Feel your breath upon my hair
Hold my arms around you
Touching earth and you are there
And I am here and we are one
Beneath the sky and caught in time
Yet each eternal moment
Holds a secret we unwind
As dreams and light and darkness
All circling and entwined
For nothing can be spoken
And nothing can be heard
Yet everything becomes itself
When you and I observe
Nothingness becomes itself
When you and I observe

Lucia Birch
January 2014
From a workshop at Stevenage Survivors

Smoke Rings in Guernsey

The soldier
stubbed out the cigarette
with the heel of his face
reflecting boots and quietly
watched the boy; shoulders hunched,
holes in the elbows of his jumper,
a cane fishing rod in his hand and
eyes fixated on the water

just occasionally the eyes focused
on a single piece of flotsam, but not
once did the boy turn his head and
meet the eyes of the soldier; who
by now had moved to within six feet
of his side. “Are they biting today?”

The boy
remained silent. “ I have a boy back home,
he likes fishing too. We used to go together,
but now he also fishes alone.
May I sit?” The boy shifted slightly,
appearing a little uneasy
“I’m supposed to hate you.”

The soldier
remained impassive except
for a sharpness of pain in his
blue eyes and an escaping
sadness of a drawn out sigh.
But it didn’t escape the boy,
who raised his head a little.
“ What’s your boy’s name?”

“ Gunter,
his name is Gunter, after my father.
And your name?” The boy lowered
his head again. “Do you miss him?
My father is away; he can’t come back
to the island, because you are here.
That is why I am supposed to hate you.”

The soldier
sat down beside the boy,
his long legs reaching down
the harbour wall. Heedfully he lit
a cigarette and with practised ease
blew smoke rings into the air
between them. “Yes I miss him.
It is hard no, to be separated.”

The boy
followed the smoke rings
with eyes as grey as the sea;
till they disappeared into a nothingness.
Is that what hate is; a nothingness?

“It’s Alan”
the boy responded,
slipping the fishing rod
into the soldiers free hand.

Not a fish was caught; in
that tangible afternoon,
when son and father
sat on the quayside, eyes
levelled on the horizon,
sharing the loneliness
and distance of war.

Jan Hedger


Well what can I say?  There you are
A whole bunch of nothing by far
A hole in the ground dug by cars
Or maybe even craters, settling on Mars
The hollow in the tree, where sparrows nest
Even the hole in the ozone, invivible at best
All these things are made of nothing
Each one gave cause for governments mouth-frothing
Do something, keep the trees for birds to rest
Get rid of cars, invent something new, be my guest
Down with factories, recycling is set
And bomb those asteroidsnot quite yet
There's nothing everywhere, maybe it's all made up
Just like the coffee I'm drinking in my cup
God said one day I'm alone, I want friends
And thought us all up, that's why the universe bends
A figment of imagination is what we think
Are they really dirty dishes in my kitchen sink?
You're born with nothing, take nothing when you die
Can even think of nothing while getting a little high
It was there yesterday, today and tomorrow
When I think of dying suns it brings me such sorrow
And in our universe one thing is sound
That someone gave us a thought to keep us around
Maybe that something is evolution, maybe it's god
One day I shall find out about this earth that I have trod.

Sarah Frodsham
Stevenage Survivors


Well all of nothing when think world is such a mess.  There you think Cameron think he good in all he doing nothing and destroying .  What such ass he is when he watched clips where other parties have given Cameron points of view to him.  Oh my I chuckled he should.  The world is going crazy.

Cleo White
Stevenage Survivors


Out of Nothing, always comes something
For, how did the universe begin?
It wasn't, on a bird of a wing
Or perhaps it was , because
Birds carry seeds upon their body and feet
Oh what a treat if the world began with a song
Where nothing, would go, possibly wrong
Where the birds and the bees could just tease
Amongst themselves, creating havoc amongst all
For wasn't it in Rome that did fall
Like the Berlin wall
To come tumbling down, or should I say crashing?
Like the stockmarket because of the bankers greed
For isn't it the people, that need
Stability in their lives?
As like bees dying, in their hives
Where will it all end? I say
Will we for once, have our day,
When everything falls together
In such a way that we all
Together will say "Hey!
Who started this all in the first place?
I mean the human race
For who had the grace, the manners,
The mind to begin, the spin
Of the world in its orb
The soace, rthe stars, the sky, the air,
I can only look up and wonder at it all
With my inner child, to just stare

Linda Colegrove
Stevenage Survivors

Nothing Known

Although I know a thing or two,
I know nothing more than you
Of how mankind came to be
Part divine, part chimpanzee.
Darwin told us of his theory,
Which a lot of people query.
They are called Creationists;
Suddenly, we just exist.
Darwin said we all evolved,
But his theory hasn’t solved
The question of how it all started
And where we go to when departed.
Best not to try to answer this
For maybe ignorance is bliss.

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers

Peeling an onion

I peel the onion,
first paper thin
protective brown skin.
Then layer after
layer of onion.
At this activity I cry.
It is a regular onion
and not Vidalia.
Layers are getting
smaller the same
as the onion.
What is inside
after I peel everything?
Nothing is left
but on the side
a small pile
of pungent onion skins.

Marie Neumann

All is Nothing

For awhile fotos turn out sunsets
In the shadow fires remembering
Burning deep in ashes grey silver
Hot coals cinders sparkle dust fist where the sods packed stacked in
Straw tops button burned home budget
Great flames in colours flared glens
Glare turned magically mysterious
All gracious lifting then nothing
Families laughed lunged in courts
Nothing left nomore note nothing

© John Joseph Sheehy


I am blind. I cannot see. There is nothing to guide me. No journey to take. no adventure to participate. I am lost alone with no place called home.

I am clutter. I am debris, floating around being a pain, getting in the way. I'm really annoying. People walk through me. They do not see me. It's as if I don't exist.

I am here all the time. My space is vast. I get to look in far off spaces, around crooks and crannies. Inside homes and even at stars. Supernovas, black holes,
As well as new galaxies.

Where there is pressure I exist. Where there is conflict I evolve. Where there is destruction I survive. It's like there is no place I can't go.
I live in the minds of people, who inspire great ideas. Like tonight watching the thinking person, describe who I am. Nothing. I am everywhere again.

Paul Evans
Stevenage Survivors


How can anyone write about absolutely nothing?
Now that would hardly be worth doing any writing!
What were the publishers of New Scientist thinking?
Now thanks to I and my family’s Christmas Shopping,
My tutor Paul Evans has the most ridiculous book,
That otherwise is somehow still worth having a look!
Is this book really about what the title claims it to be?
Or is it like a tin of RONSEAL, we are just not able to see?
It does make you think though of the wide-open space,
The vast expanse of such a huge and endless place,
The final frontier in all of its long and infinite glory,
That greatly inspired folks like Lucas and Roddenberry.
One great void that we humans have littered with junk,
Like the kind of things a scientist hid under his bunk!
The moon, the stars and space are each one thing,
But just for once, I decided to write about nothing!  

Michael C. Bungay
Stevenage Survivors

NOTHING - A poem

Nothing comes of nothing
So they say;
Though nothingness is bursting and full
Of possibility
Waiting; a vacant lot
Seeking something to enter
And 'happen'
An un-flowered flowerpot

Nothing awaits us all;
To become empty
Stripped, brainless skulls our
Bone and blood as earth
Food for the thorn

Maybe spirit inhabits our
Dead or alive
Floating like the mist
On the early cemetery morning
Smoking out of the eye sockets and
Between the grinning teeth of
Crosses and moss etched stone
A place of bells

What is at the end of nothing?
More nothing?
Even the empty regions of space
Are filled with a mysterious dark energy
More plentiful in fact than
All of the universes something’s

So something does come from nothing
Though nothing endures
Churning eternally in the struggle
Like the death twist of the crocodile
The smile of the vulture
And the empty eggs of the turtle broken by the fork-tongued lizard

A vast edifice
A black hole
A universe in waiting

Andrew Henry Smith
Stevenage Survivers


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