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Songs and Stars
June 2015

Seeing Sun Ra on Saturn Over Scorpio – 6 June 2015

“Space is the place” – Sun Ra
When the rhythms are rings of our destiny
to look skyward and see where we must be
a flight to freedom guided by lights bearing witness
to truth and justice through song.
A longing to break my chains is a fight –
A longing to break all the chains is a path to precious unity
to travel toward the stars in melody.

© Ángel L. Martínez 1 jul 15

The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

A star is born

Shot to stardom, detonated from an inner void,
a sparkler that was once circled like a magic wand,
with a piercing inner light which later spluttered; fizzled out, spent;
became a dark dim shadow from intense public glare.

Pretence at happiness, smiling through cloying songs,
clutching the microphone, focussed by a lurid spot-light;
voice-wavered, manufactured tears
with a poignancy that resonates only with some;
dribbling make-up, glared back at the audience, drunk in by them,
their stealing thunder, elixir and mindless applause.

Louise Glasscoe


Canto y Estrella pa’ Oscar López Rivera

En este sábado en esta mañana
Que el sol nace a la patria antillana
Como una estrella
La gente se encuentran en la 125 y la Avenida Adam Clayton Powell
Abraza la marcha paso a paso escribiendo tu nombre a la otra vez
Con grito y la protesta
Alma libre el Hermano Oscar López Rivera
En su libertad ahora
Levanta conmigo el mundo
La bandera de Lares en la Fiesta de 116
Tristeza de la historia de sangre
Recuerda a los ladrones que nos odian tanto
Que se encuentra en frente de un televisor
Con un palo de mango, miles de versos en la calle 106
Y la Avenida Lexington para Oscar
La voz del pueblo para justicia cuando no hay justicia
Son al nombre del amor debajo de la luna
A un verano en el Barrio de Nueva York
Como cien mil voces para Oscar
Como una timba de la gente
Como una cosa buena

Song and Star for Oscar López Rivera

On this Saturday morning
That the sun rises in the Antillean nation
Like a star
People are at 125th and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard
Embrace the march step by step to writing your name again
With shout and protest
The free spirit of Brother Oscar Lopez Rivera
In his freedom now
Raise with me now the world
The flag of Lares on the Feast of 116th Street
Sadness of a bloody history
Remember the thieves who hate us so much
That is in front of a television
With a mango, thousands of verses in 106th Street
And Lexington Avenue for Oscar
The voice of the people for justice when there is no justice
They are the name of love under the moon
A summer in the neighborhood of New York
A hundred thousand voices for Oscar
As a timba of the people
As a beautiful thing

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 5/30/15
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

The Drum

There is a battered old drum called Mr Green. He has a long lifetime of experience in helping his players find their own beat/rhythm.

He is 12 years old and although this is very young in human years Mr Green wasn't always a drum. He has the skin of a Tibetan goat, wood from the branch of the oldest tree in Africa. His metal is from the parts of an aeroplane and before that it was a sword, so he has gathered a millennia of wisdom in his progress to becoming a drum. One day he hopes to be human, in fact he dreams about it whenever he is played, wishing he had arms and hands and especially a real heart that didn't need someone else to beat it. He wants true love so his heart can beat for her.

Mr Green has been donated to a music group for children. He's been polished up and put on display with the other instruments, for the children to choose from. An 8 year old boy named Ben noticed Mr Green seemingly to glow and he felt excited at the thought of loudly beating a drum. But he didn't know where this feeling came from as he was afraid of playing any instrument. Ben loved music but was far too shy and insecure to believe he had any musical talent. But mostly, he just didn't like being looked at.

Mr Green could see the sadness in Ben's eyes when he came into the room, he could see he was lost inside a nightmare of some kind. An inner battle of frustration at not being heard and/or felt. So he drew upon his connection to the God of Rock and Roll and made himself glow and draw Ben towards him, so that he could help him find his own beat/rhythm.

As Ben played Mr Green with the simple beat shown by the teacher, Mr Green could hear that Ben's heart was slowly breaking. As Ben tentatively tapped away, Mr Green could feel the pain in his heart and helped Ben to release the sadness through his own heart.

Mr Green could hear the sorrow in Ben's heart for his sick sister and over time Mr Green was able to draw this sadness out of Ben and very slowly Ben started to find himself again. He felt like he had a friend in the drum and slowly became more confident and competent with his beat. He found this had an amazing affect in other areas of his life too, he was better at making friends and even at standing up to bullies.

He started seeing the signs of others sadness and frustration and listened to their story, even if they were angry. Ben could see the anger go once they were heard, and that's when they were able to see clearly enough to fix whatever was making them sad in their own special way. Caroline created a fantasy mother after her physical one died in a car crash. Alexander decided his father, who had left them nearly a year ago, was in fact a superhero on a special mission to save the world.

Unknowingly, Ben became an inspiration to the young band of misfits and they started to write their
own songs.

The band found out about Ben's sick sister and that she was getting worse. They all decided to write a song especially for her. Ben wrote most of the words and a great beat for the song, but everyone put their own special magic into it. Using music and phrases that they liked, to show the depth of love they felt for Ben as well as his love for his sister.

They wrote a song called "What If" and practiced and practiced till they all were ready. They filmed themselves playing the song as a gift.

On Ben's sister's 11th birthday they surprised her by playing the song for her in front of all her friends and family. Diana was sooo moved by the depth of emotions expressed in the song, she cried and cried.

Diana played the song over and over every day, dancing her own dance, not caring what she looked like, she was in love with the song and the magic it seemed to bring out in her. Very slowly, she started to get better.

Diana never knew it was her brother's love that saved her life from terminal cancer, until she was completely better and able to look back and see that it was the song he and the band had written for her that kick started her recovery - What If!

And no-one knew it was really Mr Green who saved Diana's heart except the God of Rock and Roll.

It turns out that Diana was actually a Goddess, daughter of Zeus who had been kidnapped by a jealous rival. Zeus heard of the song and felt the love of Ben, the bodyguard sent to protect her, he was able to save his daughter and bring them back home. He was sooo happy to have his daughter back he granted Mr Green his wish to become human.

But Mr Green was now deeply in love with Diana and she with him.......though she didn't really know it.

So Zeus and the God of Rock and Roll (who goes by many names) put them back on earth and set Mr Green the task of proving his love for Diana by finding her, whilst staying true an faithful and unspoiled by another woman or man, in any way.

But that's another story........or is it?

Candy Alexander

From the Creative Writing Workshop at the Stevenage Survivors Therapy Day run by Michael Bungay on 27th June 2015.

Songs and Stars

Oh Glastonbury, 'your aim was true',
1984's near miss that somehow
hit the spot, between youth and old age.
'I was and wasn't there', (a tiresome adage),
but when Elvis Costello, sang to 'Alison',
nestling in a bowl beneath the stars,
'she', the all singing all of us, were
invisibly one, one muse in the dark.

Bruce Barnes

The soul

I gave you all my heart and soul and wrote it in the words of every song.
The words are still being heard all over, so many years, so long.
That was my heart my voice, my everything.
Now that I am gone, please keep her safe, shield her from pain.
She is my love, my heart, and my woman.
I knew you will all care for her because you love me too.
I know I am in heaven, I can go in peace.
Take all that I have given.
She is now in good hands, being cherished.... I am at peace.
Thank you Lord, for my friends................

Harinder Sehmi



Noam Livne


Soul card and wood

A Reverie of Song and Stars

I am here, yet far away
Soul sleeping
Resting in the woody shade
of forest glade
the scent of seasons
the touch of tree and leaf
Enfold me
Breath light into my dreaming soul
Sing soft songs of love to the child within

I am here, though far and wide
Expanding now
The love inside
Shaping earth and sunlit ways
Timeless swirling nights and days
Ancient footsteps
Root and branch
I follow in the spiral dance
Returning to stardust

Lucia Birch

Stevenage Survivors

From the Creative Writing Workshop at the Stevenage Survivors Therapy Day run by Lucia Birch on 27th June 2015.


Beginnings to End

In the foetus rolls the ball
Squeezed together not to fall
Legs akimbo, wrapped up tight
All around, dark as night
Future foretold by the stars
Jupiter, Mercury or Mars
Depending on the time of birth
Date and months here on Earth

So the foetus will unfold
Stretching out towards the cold
Eager arms will then embrace
Another being to this place
So the family of man expand
Upon this lush and fertile land
Nature provides what he needs
The will to live, to grow like seeds

To grow to adulthood, tall and strong
To earn his place to belong
A tree within a forest glade
His mark on Earth he has made
Then like a willow in its prime
He leaves his stamp within his time
Then withers, leaves his past behind
For other mortals then to find

Sally Flood
Newham Writers Workshop

From the Creative Writing Workshop at the Stevenage Survivors Therapy Day run by Lucia Birch on 27th June 2015.

Song to the Stars

All the emotions, the ingredients of life
I have poured into this earthen vase
Stirred up, until they blend
Deeper and deeper
I plunge my hands
Feeling rawness, roughness
Slipping through my fingers
Air, light and love worked in
Until my aching hands
Are open and relaxed.
My eyes are closed.
Sensations felt solely through
My skin, my nerves, my blood

The time has nearly come.
I open my eyes.
Staring but not seeing
Observing but not looking
No judgement or fear
I know it is done.
It is enough.
And I hope it will be good.

I hold the vase aloft
Rotating it slowly
Around the axis
Of my extended arms.

The contents rise
Like tendrils of smoke
Thickening and condensing
Waves of fragrance and colour
Pour out
Expanding over me
Taking on a new life
Apart from me.

I wait until
My arms and shoulders burn
My muscles protesting
This unaccustomed stance
But still my vase is not empty.

Fresh waves of fragrance and colour
Keep coming and coming
How did they ever fit inside?
How much longer?

The answer to my questioning sinews is given.
Eyes still open,  I finally look
When I see, I close my eyes
And only then do I know.

I have to sing.
Sing my song to the stars
Let the vibration of my spirit sound
Transport me.

I sway
And slip free
The smoke and I
Are one.
And I see that everything I ever did
Are what I have, so far, become.

The vase, the vessel are left behind.

In one a single piece of wood remains
The other is empty
All power, desire, effort
Has been expended
And life, once more,
Moves on

Ashley Jordan


From the Creative Writing Workshop at the Stevenage Survivors Therapy Day run by Lucia Birch on 27th June 2015.

With song and star

Staring blaze song
Songwriter writers who star
Pink dents scents blowing up
When the Pink star falls into line
Butterfly will speak constantly updated
On guidelines toned to maintain
A pool of pupils into line
Rhythm section routine
Singing song in the counsel
In the consent temperament reassuring
Those who are in chronic pains .suffering aches into rewarding forward position
In the rolling of stars and song
Where gurus have failed their role
To reach the root conclusion
Of this find, victims of the illnesses
Passing to take them out
Pink star in Butterfly wings
When pink star falls in line
With song and star

John Joseph Sheehy




Songs and Stars

I never have been one for songs
I never have been one that longs
to mark a song with an asterisk
for even one desert island disc

But when I look upon a star
I remember it's so far
away that what I'm seeing
is some historical being
light years in the distant past
after one incredible blast
defining not just the number three
but also all we'll ever be
and every single thing to come
well, that's clearly said by some.
It really started all we are
and - that twinkling blinking star.

So, when I'm on that isle alone
by day I'll certainly condone
listening to the song of the sea
will set me right, it'll get to me
until the coming of the storm
on those days it'll be the norm
to wind up the old gramophone
and hide away from the flying foam
and turn it up, drown out the noise
till complaints from the neighbours boys
I hear, e'en though there's a thousand miles
'tween them and my cacophonous smiles.

So I guess
I must press
upon my mind
what is the kind
of song I'd trust
to scare away the tempest thrust
and keep me cool and calm and dry:-
a drinking song – can't think why?

Maybe the storms, the stars, the sky
lets the songs put me on a high
so on my desert island lease
I'll have the means of making peace
with scary monsters of the deep
so they'll let me get some sleep
the luxury all this allows
will keep me happy till the cows,
or I, come home
never yet again to roam.

Except as far as the local pub
where I can try the local grub
and join the local drinking club
might even try a sillabub
or two, within the hubub
and have enough to fill a tub
then wear a smile like a wee cherub
the foam is now atop the beers
the whisky still gives right good cheers
as to the door the landlord steers
me, and points towards my home
and says “watch out for that ill-tempered garden gnome”...

Then I'll remember tranquil night
a thousand miles out of sight
of anything like artificial light
and while I stagger from the bars
and weave between the moving cars
I'll remember, I'll remember

my mind, it's twinkling
my eyes are blinking
help me out here
what rhymes with cars??

Dave Chambers
Newham Writers Workshop

Charisma stars

Diamond glares a star
Song wine hearts
Engaging leaves rose petals
Precious smiles a star
With laughter tears a song
Longing travel sad
To reach brief crystal ball
Above the astral tall
Blackbird he has a song
In stars
Glittering in turf bog fire

John Joseph Sheehy


Northern stars singing songs

Northern stars singing songs
When the barley will turn yellow to ripe
Songs and Stars will be heard and seen
Streams running playing the harmony
Meeting with the best guides in this case
Where lucky stars and songs start to swim
Shining shipping lighting swinging
Lights across the nights skyline wishing
Stars and songs that fall upon this finds
Boots and laces falling apart overnight
Overflowing rivers speak with hearts
Hungry for the lovely card is cooler star
Fussing upon the front shade brightness
Northern stars singing songs

John Joseph Sheehy

Big Issue Poem Songs and Stars

This will see the road up hill
Striking out the front shades of green
We're not going on meadows grass
Netting nettles brewing tea pots score
Pots pans sauce songs song stars
Starstruck voices stirring still pointing
Across the country side edgy Lily
From better than outing days
Big Issue Poem Songs and Stars
We're all the way down into hell before
The turning point for the road up hill
Now that the printing press release
Bluetooth headsets grips with update
Big Issue Poem Songs and Stars

John Joseph Sheehy


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