A Network of Writing and Community Publishers

August 2014


The store

Opens a store
early in the morning.
Stands behind a counter
whole day long.
For forty years
sells aspirin,
cough medicine,
feminine needs,
knows the store
like a palm
of her hand.
Sometimes arrives
something new.
Where are we going
to put it
for our customers?
Go back to school
are on the shelves.
She is married
to the store.
What about the store?
The store feels the same.

Marie Neumann

To Tim Hardin’s Original “If I Were a Carpenter”

The call of the working class
is a love song to be spoken between the beloved
quiet hearts speaking boldly, loudly:
a moment of plaintive joy
as a lesson of the hands
that hold the tools
and write the songs

© Ángel L. Martínez 28-30 aug 14
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Soul Mates

Me and my soulmate
we go out on a date
more than just a few times
more than just a few wines
always together
havin' a blether
just the two of us we are a pair
and though I know it isn't fair
I'm the one who's always right
if challenged I'm always ready to fight
at any time of the night
or day
I say
I'm right!
I know I'm right
and I'll fight
with all my might
if anyone says otherwise
whatever disguise
they use
they'll not disturb my muse
'cause I AM RIGHT

But my soulmate,
he polishes up well
we pair look swell
I can't help it being right
it's just the way I am
and even if we've had a dram
I'd never strike
the one who's so alike
my only soulmate

I guess it's not meant to be
my solemate and me
a real proper pair are we
but, well, it's like this see
I've seen the light
I know I'm right
'cause my partners really quite bereft
he's got the job of being LEFT

Dave Chambers
Newham Writers Workshop

Friends of Sole

North Utsire
South Utsire
- - - the far North East, just off the west coast of Norway
- - - the north of the North Sea
- - - east Coast of north Britain
- - - North Sea fishing banks
German Bight
- - - east coast of the North Sea
- - - east Coast of south Britain
- - - English Channel - - -
* * * Then
* * * that dangerous wartime battleground,
* * * the Western Approaches,
* * * became matey with many of us
- - - Bristol Channel
- - - south coast of Ireland
Irish Sea
- - - the waters surrounding the Isle of Man
- * - the northern part of the Western Approaches,
- - - the wilds north west of Ireland
- - - north of Ireland, west of southern Scotland
- - - Scottish Western isles
- - - farthest north of the SoleMates,
- - - gateway to the Iceland Passage
Fair Isle
- - - Orkney and Shetland, borders on Viking
- - - Last of the SoleMates, borders on Bailey
- - - - - - All of them very well weathered!!

Dave Chambers
Newham Writers Workshop

Alma de mi Vida

Mira Mamá, yo sueño contigo en la noche y en el día
Como una semilla de mi vida
En el jardín de amor
Yo sueño y sueño y me despierto contigo
A una nueva realidad
Un poema y un poema nuevo
En cada ojo
Yo me recuerdo bailando cha cha cha
Y que vive la Montaña
A la gran voz de Vicentico Valdés
Yo quiero vivir en el camino de mi corazón
Con una cara pasado
La verdad que yo recito la alma de paz
A los víctimas de contra el derecho humano
Eric Gardner y Michael Brown
En la casa sin justicia
Y que rico es
Vamos a celebrar el día de James Baldwin Place
En la Calle Este 128
Y en el Río Grande de Loíza Julia de Burgos habló con su alma
Cien años en tu honor
Yuca y quimbombó para todo en el mundo
Que Beny Moré cantó el viaje de amor
Y en la torre del Parque Gran Dormir
Y en el Río Quinnipiac
Oigo un gran sentimiento de Cacique Hatüey
Con un gran son montuno en la bahía de los mentirosos
Sí, Señor, en la tierra sin cariño

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 8/12/14
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Soul of My Life

Look Mamá, I dream of you at night and in the day
Like a seed in my life
In the garden of love
I dream and dream and wake up with you
A new reality
A poem and a new poem
In each eye
I remember me dancing cha cha cha
Living in “La Montaña”
A great voice Vicentico Valdés
I want to live in the way of my heart
With my face in the past
The truth that I recite the soul of peace
For the victims of human rights violations
Eric Gardner and Michael Brown
In a house without justice
How rich it is:
Let's celebrate the day of James Baldwin Place
In East 128 Street
And in the Rio Grande de Loiza Julia de Burgos spoke with her soul
One hundred years in your honor
Cassava and okra for all the world
Beny Moré sang the journey of love
And in the tower of Sleeping Giant Park
And in the Quinnipiac River
I hear a great feeling of Cacique Hatüey
With a great son montuno in the Bay of Liars
Yes, sir, in a land without affection

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 8/12/14
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Wogene Patterson

She was tall
She was beautiful
She had grace
She had
A spiritual radar scanner
That might
Have been designed
By Amencip.
She wrote poetry
Of the heart
Of the mind
Of the eye.
She could act
With the sensitivity
Of a stethoscope.
Like a chameleon
She could change hue
And texture
To match any
And all
Theatrical environments.
And she was my friend.
For six years
I was blessed
With her company.
We would talk about life
About cultural lunacies
About ourselves.
One day
I told her about Diane
My fiancée to be
The wide open cornucopia
And infinite spectrum
Of herself closed.
And I was fated
To spend
My remaining life span
Without her.

© David Gordon 8/28/14
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective


together we dance the night away
under sparkling stars that twinkle blooms
and a moon who sits on the horizon
watching as the two soul mates embrace
on the tips of grass like fairies
never bending or breaking a blade of grass
we twirl around spinning faster and faster
if only this joyous dance would last
but upon the night the moon has gone
and fire bugs come out to play
we wend our way along the path
merrily on our way
into bed we snuggle tight
spooning till sleep did come
then in our dreams we landed on the sun
and continue our dance on the corona
twirling away past Pluto and Mars
forever spinning out to the stars
until the morning we wake once more
and we smile at each other
knowing why our feet are sore
hand in hand we go downstairs
and find the spot in our comfy chairs
with tea and toast set for two
he can wait while I pop to the loo
I wash my hands and smooth my hair
to find he has left his comfy chair
I check each room to find he's gone
we have never been parted so long before
my heart is lost my sorrows abound
for my darling soulmate just can't be found
lo and behold but there he is
dancing a jig with some flowers at hand
that he has collected from this bountiful land
a moment more he shall be here
so I can wipe away my crocodile tears
along with all my lonely fears
my soulmate's back and be assured
he would never leave me even if he could

Sarah Frodsham
19 August 2014
Stevenage Survivors


In Birmingham lives a doctor
Who thinks he is a God,
If you are elderly he won’t give a sod,
“They have no quality of life” says he
“why keep them alive, do not resuscitate
Don’t let them survive”.

He hasn’t got a soul, mate
To think of death that way,
The years I have worked and slaved
I have always had to pay,
To raise a family and set them on their feet,
And now some bloody doctor says
“Too old for us to treat”.

Someday he might regret the fact
When he is old and grey,
When he will need a doctor
And they will shrug and turn away,
Then maybe doctor death will realise far too late
That he too will depend on the national health state.


The Crystal Ball

I stared into the crystal ball
As distant voices captured me
Dragon’s fire and mountains tall
A vast and unrelenting sea.

I felt pursued by unnamed foes
Goblins, Awks
A fearfull sound
A fading moon
The howl of wolves
And terror all around.

The Kraken woke and split the night
Dimensions opened wide
But deep within I answered him
The call of Light was not denied.

And in the distance dawn returned
And birdsong filled the air
My Hero on a pure white horse
With stardust in his hair.

The crystal vision faded
I awoke in my own bed
The bearded one beside me
(now a little white)
Held my hand and made me feel
That everything’s alright .

Lucia Birch
Stevenage Survivors

Dream Lover
I choose to live my life alone
I've learned my lesson well
The man that I'd be happy with
Lives in a fairy-tale

And if I have lost a dream
A hope unrealised
The independence I have won
Is worth the sacrifice

But I think of perfect eyes
Alight with love for me
Mirrors of our combined soul
Reflecting harmony

And I dream of perfect lips
Curved in a tender smile
Parted for the sweetest kiss
That lingers for a while

I also think of perfect hands
Soft, gentle and yet strong
Creative, caring, passionate
That in my hands belong

I yearn for the perfect mind
Articulate and fast
Filled with a sense of humour
A future and a past

Able to appreciate
The things we hear and see
Giving a new perspective
A shared philosophy

And then I feel quite wistful
How lovely it would be
If I could find the ideal man
The perfect man for me.

Ashley Jordan

Soul mating

Soul mating
is going alright.

Only other body parts
are getting rusty.

Marie Neumann

Soul mates

Soul mates
Inculcates, inseminating
Meeting in the dark
Eyes staring in each other’s
Jogging in the park

Seeking finding I
Look for you there
Warm in the conspiracy
Of our hidden lair

Spiritual magical
Farcical tragical,
Minds melding
Pipes welding
Soldered joints and twin pipe bong
Why we’ve even got
The very same T-shirts on

Behind a closed door
Laying on the floor
Smeared in butter
Laying together in the gutter
Cheap rate
Soul mate

Soul mates
Reincarnating in the same year
Soul mates down the pub sharing the same beer
Completing, competing
Spurring each other on
Drawing together
Same uniforms on

Driving the car
She goes in nose first
Though soul mates
Can often park in reverse
Soul mates walk reverently
Following the hearse

Decorate living room
Share tombstone
Walking together on the path
Pearly gates
Soul mates
Share water in the bath

Riding a tandem
A bicycle for two
Destined to stop at the same time to visit the Loo
I know what you’re thinking
I know what you like
I watched your arse wobbling
While hunched over the bike

We found each other
Nine billion to one
We share in common
Living under the same Sun

In quantum entanglement
We will surely exist in eternity
Atom to tiny atom and
Dust to tiny speck of dust
Eternal companions
Only in you
Can I trust

In paradise I wait
Soul mate

Andrew Henry Smith
Stevenage survivors poetry

Total shopping experience

Last Saturday, having popped the last packet of Alka-Seltzer into my shopping basket, I noticed a man of medium build with a trendy bouffant quiff and guessed that he had been to a salon. Wearing neon-lighted trainers he was studying the tomatoes whilst I was fingering a courgette and he cast his eyes in the direction, as did mine, of the sumptuous Spanish onions on special offer at 3 for a £1. It seemed that we both felt the instinctive urge to wander over to the potted herbs where he deeply inhaled the organic thyme; examined a large bunch of basil; and toyed with the rosemary labelled ‘romantic herb of the month’. I realised then that he was obviously a non-smoker, a cat-lover, rode a bicycle, lived in a terraced house and that one day we would make a great ratatouille together. I had finally found my soul-mate.

Louise Glasscoe


I have a soulmate
it’s lovely to see her
she smiles like a rainbow
her name is Lucia

A child and a woman
a song made from stardust
my wife and my lover
a truth I can always trust

The wind in the willows
the ocean, the shore
the stars in the heavens
and oh so much more

Life is for living
wherever we roam
Lucia, my soulmate
her love is my home

Roy Birch
Stevenage Survivors

For Max

He lays his head upon my chest;
He knows he needs to have a rest.
I stroke his head; his eyelids close
And he’s off on a little doze.
A tiny mite; not yet a year,
With painful mouth and painful ear,
He snuggles tightly in my arms,
Quietly, feeling safe and calm.
Not like he was yesterday
When he was full of fun and play
Until a virus laid him low,
With teething pains that come and go.
So as his Grandpa I sit still
And know that even though he’s ill,
Because I have him on my lap
He’ll grow into a healthy chap.

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers

Joy touches soul mate

Passing in the street that sweet sweet
Smile that opens wide wider eyes click
That lives and leaves touches in the heart
Words silent unspoken said
Understood in presence nods
Soul mate connected in empathy
Accepted in a smile of sweetness
Lifts both hearts in unity
Joy touches souls
Circling around heart beats

John Joseph Sheehy


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