A Network of Writing and Community Publishers

'The Limelight'
January 2015



in the light is a voice
waiting to shine
there is no schoolbook
that can tell of its power
but let that voice
touch a book
and let the promise be known

© 31 jan-1 feb 15 Ángel L. Martínez
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective


Creeping out from the wings, curtains open on the lime-light,
full focus of eery spotlight and then action, smile, bow,
no matter the performance, even if shoddy: tragedy or comedy,
craving an applause, then curtains close, blackout, back behind stage,
smile disappeared, rub off make-up, rub off smile, cruel glare of a dressing-room light-bulb:
a spot of attention, chequered flag moment, Emerson Fiittipaldi, Murray Walker commentating;
Red Rum bleeding, spurred on by Brian Fletcher, full throttle for the winning;
Olga Korbut, a human boomerang flipping triple somersaults,
arms flung back in an arch with a perfect landing and forced smile for Soviet TV.

Louise Glasscoe


The audience awaits, the curtains, the limelight illuminates as E.S.P.A College prepares to put on shows from all three of its main units. This is an experience I went through five times during my time at E.S.P.A (Education and Services for People with Autism), specifically Tasker House. The performance was always held at the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It was hard tiring doing all that rehearsing and learning all those lines, especially for what was always a one-off performance that would last no longer than three quarters of an hour.

The most demanding part I ever played was Riff-Raff in The Rocky Horror Show in my 3rd year and so I regard that as my best performance. I previously played one of the brothers and one of Pharaoh’s dancers in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in my first year as I felt I needed more experience before I could consider playing a bigger role. In my 2nd year, I played the part of Mr. Mushnick in Little Shop of Horrors. This was a part I was worried I could not handle as I did not even audition for it. At least I did not have to stick my head in the giant plant’s mouth and pretend to be eaten as that part was cut out due to time restraints.

My 4th performance stands out as my least favourite as I was reduced to playing the minor role of the Unconscious Argentinian in Moulin Rouge while the main parts went to the newer students. The opportunity to experience the limelight can affect people in different ways and it turned these particular newbies into condescending egotists. They bragged, boasted, showed off and argued with the tutors and they looked down their noses at other performers, myself included. I just tried to focus on learning my lines and moves, most of which involved pretending to faint and then regain consciousness which was risky. To make matters worse, while rehearsing my moves, I lost my balance and injured my wrist. After that, I lost all motivation and just wanted the Performance to come and go. I just did not care anymore.

After this, I graduated from E.S.P.A College and moved into one their residential units, specifically Forest Hall, so the following year, I was a spectator watching Tasker House perform Chicago. I felt no better than I had the previous year as the main parts once again went to the egotistical students and they were none the wiser.

My 2nd year at Forest Hall was my last with E.S.P.A during which I was recalled to Tasker House to help with the performance as there were not enough students. This time, I was directing as well as performing as we devised our own show, an Autism-themed mockumentary of which I was the host. This was more fun than spectating and certainly made up for all that I felt had gone wrong with my performance in Moulin Rouge. This is my experience of the limelight.

By Michael C. Bungay
Stevenage Survivors

A Las Estrellas

Las estrellas son más altas en la montaña del Castillo de Gillette
El aire y el sol y el frío es más hermosa lejo del Río de Connecticut
como en tu boca encanto nuestro nombre de amor
tierra por tierra o dulce dulce mío cambia a primavera
cuando en tu momento en paz en alegría en el estado del exilio
de la manzana podrida y en toda la ciudad es de la desgracia
a los obreros y pobre porque la vida es una gran venta
cada segundo y cada minuto y del tiempo grande por la historia
oye, Chano Pozo el Rey del Son, de Batá, hijo de Abakuá
un gran timbalero de tu fuerza callejón
mira, Chico, nadie te va a olvidar en el 7 de enero 2015
cien años de tu nacimiento baila Manteca pa’ ti y Manteca pa’ mi
oiga, Chano Pozo
y en mi alma yo saludo a las estrellas
Ella Baker, Jesús Colón, John Henrik Clarke, Ahmed Ben Bella, Bill Epton,
Nazim Hikmet, Khalil Gibran, and Patricio Lumumba
día a día en el otro camino del Dr. Martin Luther King
con miles en la marcha en el Barrio de Harlem
hasta las Naciones Unidas
grito y protesta en los huesos de cada muerte de los inocentes
que viven la vida en la paz y justicia
y en la última noticia yo saludo a mi hermano de ayer
Reies Tijerina Presente

To the Stars

The stars are higher in the mountain of Gillette Castle
The air and the sun, and the cold is more beautiful
far from the Connecticut River
as in your mouth charms our name of love
land for land or my sweet sweet changes into spring
when in your moment of peace of joy in the state of exile
in the rotten apple and citywide is of disgrace
for the workers and poor because life is a big sale
every second and every minute and the big time in history
Hey, Chano Pozo, King of Son, of Batá, son of Abakuá
a great timbalero of your strength in the alley
Look, Chico, nobody will forget you on January 7, 2015
one hundred years of your birth
dancing Manteca for you and Manteca for me
Listen, Chano Pozo
and in my soul I greet the stars
Ella Baker, Jesús Colón, John Henrik Clarke, Ahmed Ben Bella, Bill Epton,
Nazim Hikmet, Khalil Gibran, and Patrice Lumumba
every day in the other road of Dr. Martin Luther King
with thousands marching in the neighborhood of Harlem
to the United Nations
cry and protest in the bones of every death of the innocent
living life in peace and justice
and in the latest news I greet my brother yesterday
Reies Tijerina Preente

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 1/1/15
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Lime light

Standing in the lime light?
I have a stage fright!
I was taught to pick
one friendly face
and talk to her.
Yes, I could do that,
but I prefer
to sit on the back,
listen and watch.
In the small circle
sometimes I get an urge to talk.
Sometimes I even make a sense,
other times
I make a fool of myself.
No, thank you,
I'd rather listen today.
To be famous?
What for?
For an idea
to wish to be famous.
Patting on the back,
shaking hands,
to be on TV screen
and nervously pulling
to short skirt
over my knees …
I have a strong accent
in English.
If you will excuse me …
Lets get over it
and then to go
to a restaurant
and have a quiet talk
over meal.
Pizza will be fine.

Marie Neumann

Believe in Self Belief (Rondel)

Take a risk and leave the shadows
With vibrant clothes that sing out loud
Be yourself in rhythmic echoes
Emerge with strength, discard the shroud.

Draw your breath as the music grows
Play your cards, to the captive crowd
Take a risk and leave the shadows
With vibrant clothes that sing out loud.

Hail! The gift of melodic vows
With which we are richly endowed
Blow the whistle silvery proud
Hear the applause, embrace the bows
Take a risk and leave the shadows
With vibrant clothes that sing out loud.

Jan Hedger

From Poetry Forms - the first GROW calendar!
Dedicated to Tony May - the Hollington Crooner!

The Trees discarded.

From 'The Limelight' glare
Brotherly love the cake the cards
Good-will merry times the table
Boxes presents wrapping colours
The Crib straw on lime light on top.
This is the king at the stable
At this end of the rainbow candle
Pudding heavenly in raisins currants
The Trees discarded sidewalks
Weather conditions wearing bites
Bitterly breaking down the limelight
New numbers full moon mood this
The Trees The Limelight swaggering

John Joseph Sheehy

Bird and The Cloud

Once upon a time there w
as a little brown bird that lived at the top of the tallest tree in the forest. Every morning she flew down to the ground and played with her friends, the forest animals. Every evening she flew up to her nest and watched the stars, the moon and the clouds until the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves of her tree lulled her to sleep.

One day a little grey cloud saw all the fluffy white clouds were playing together in the sky, each of them pretending to be something they were not. One looked like an dragon, one looked like a crocodile and one looked like a funny little gnome holding a fishing rod.

The little grey cloud thought they were ridiculous - why couldn't they just look like clouds, like they were supposed to. However, after watching them for some time, he grudgingly admitted to himself that they did seem to be having a lot more fun than he was. So he puffed himself up and took the form of a magnificent sailing ship, complete with sails, and rudder and crew. He sailed towards them and told them that he wanted to play the pretending game too.

But the fluffy white clouds turned their backs on him and said they didn't want to play with him because he was too grey and ugly.

The magnificent sailing ship collapsed back into a little grey cloud - in fact it was even littler and greyer now. He crept away by himself and as his anger grew and grew inside him he became darker and darker and darker. Before long he was as black as the night sky and angry thunder rumbled in his tummy. The fluffy white clouds noticed this and pointed at him. This enraged him so much that hot, angry little sparks of lightning flashed inside him. Then he heard the fluffy white clouds laughing at him.  This made him so furious that he hurled a huge bolt of lightning down to the forest far below.

The lightning hit a small dry bush, which quickly caught fire. The fire burned the grass around the bush and then spread to the nearby trees. Pretty soon half the forest was blazing. Most of the animals were able to run away to the safety of the river, but a few were trapped in a ring of fire. They had nowhere to run and they were terrified. The little brown bird saw what was happening but felt helpless. She was so little - how could she possibly help her friends? But then she had an idea. She flew to the river and swooped down into the water, soaking up as much water as she could carry in her wings.

She flew carefully back to the forest and flapped her wings until all the water on them dropped down to the fire. She kept flying to the river and back, dropping more water each time. The eagle saw what she was trying to do and advised her to stop, saying
"Little brown bird, what you are doing is not going to help those animals. It is not enough. Fly away to safety so that you don't burn in the fire as well" But the little brown bird said
"I have to keep trying because they are my friends." The eagle watched the brave little bird and thought to himself. "My wings are much bigger and could carry a lot more water than hers do." He decided at once to help her and so now they flew back and forth between the river and the fire, dropping as much water as they could carry between them onto the flames below. Although some flames were extinguished, more rose to replace them almost immediately, and the trapped animals were no closer to being saved.

But then the elephant, who had made it safely to the river, saw what the little brown bird and the eagle were doing and he thought to himself. "what they are doing is not enough - but I could fill up my long trunk with water and help them pour much more water upon the fire." So the three of them worked together, each of them taking as much water from the river as they could carry. For a while it looked as if they might be able to put out enough of the fire to allow the trapped animals to escape to the river, but then the wind changed direction and the flames burned even hotter and higher.

By now the angry cloud had seen the consequences of the lightning he had thrown down in his rage but he thought to himself "No-one cares about me so why should I feel sorry for those animals?" He was just about to float away when he noticed the little brown bird, the eagle and the elephant going from the fire to the river and back as fast as they could, trying to put out the flames.

The little black cloud watched and watched. And as he watched the friends working together, he started to realise that he wasn't angry any more, he just felt very sad and lonely. As he felt sadder and sadder, his eyes welled up with tears and they fell down to the ground. Soon he was crying so hard that the fire was completely extinguished and all the animals were saved.

But the little grey cloud did not stop crying.  And as he continued to cry, he became lighter and lighter until eventually he was so light that the sun was able to shine right through him and make him as white and fluffy as all the other clouds.

But, even though he looked just like the other clouds, he did not want to play with them any more, because they had been mean to him.  The little brown bird saw him crying, all by himself, and she flew up to him to find out what the matter was.  
The lonely little cloud said

"I'm feeling sad because I don't have any friends to play with." The little brown bird replied

"Don't worry little cloud.  I have lots and lots of friends and I can share them all with you."  So after that the little cloud didn't feel lonely any more, and they all played together happily ever after.

Ashley Jordan


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