A Network of Writing and Community Publishers

Lost & Missing

September 2015


A Teacher Talks About the Ayotzinapa 43

We in trust of the future of the world
cannot sit silent
as others trusted with freedom
through the teacher’s pen
are silenced

How can we not speak
with so many young lives
cannot touch so many young lives

a teacher of consciousness
is a danger to injustice
and a friend to the rising world

© Ángel L. Martínez 29 sep 15
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Desaparecido y Perdido

Paso a paso al jardín de memoria a la gente de mi barrio
Raimunda, Carlos, y Ana María
amor mío en esta mañana hoy fue de todo a tierra cuando mis recuerdos
a los años de mi vida en la zona cubichi
como la gente hablan una linea de un poema a libertad para todos
Paso a paso caminando las calles con la familia y parando en la Bodega de Guillermo
y comprando frijoles, arroz, y papaya
ajo, cebolla, y pimiento verde
bistec, pollo, y bacalao
aguacate, plátano, y maduro
aceite de oliva, boniatos, guayaba, queso, y galleta
mango y mamey y jugo de naranja
y en todos los días en la Panadería de Valencia sirven todos nosotros con pan de agua, capuchino, pan de dulce, y una batida de mamey
y en la tienda de café por la Quinta Avenida, nació el Café Bustelo
en la comunidad de El Barrio
En en la Farmacia de Rendón y Botánica La Flor de la Vida Natural
El sono del gallo de este barrio en el año de mi juventud
en la esquina rosa de la Calle 116
el Club Cubano de Julio Antonio Mella
donde el sol brilla afuera de la palma real
el tiempo viejo en un domingo en el baile manzanillo
cuando el campeón Kid Gavilán bailó una rumba nueva entre nosotros
y en mi memoria de los años pasados de nuestra familia
Carlos, Raimunda, Pedro Carlos, Leocadia, Carmen, Rosendo, Ana María, Quiteria, Felipe, Franchesca, Francisco, Eugenia, Carlos Alberto,
la historia vive con sonrisa y lágrima
en una nostalgia muy grande porque éste es mi raiz

Desaparecido y Perdido

Step by step, the garden of memory to the people in my neighborhood:
Raimunda, Carlos and Ana María
this morning, my love was all in the ground today when my memories
of the years of my life in the cubichi zone
as people speak a line of a poem to freedom for all
Step by step, walking the streets with family and stopping at Guillermo’s Bodega
and buying beans, rice, and papaya
garlic, onion and green pepper
steak, chicken and cod
avocado, plantain, and banana
olive oil, sweet potatoes, guava, cheese, and crackers
mamey and mango and orange juice
and every day in Valencia Bakery we were all served with pan de agua, capuchino, pan de dulce and a mamey shake
and in the coffee shop on Fifth Avenue, there was born Café Bustelo
in the community of El Barrio
In the Rendón Pharmacy and the Flower of Natural Life Botánica
The rooster’s crow in this neighborhood in the year of my youth
in the rosa corner of 116th Street
Club Cubano Julio Antonio Mella
where the sun shines out of the royal palm
the old time on a Sunday in a Manzanillo dance
when the champion Kid Gavilán danced a new rumba with us
and in my memory of past years, our family:
Carlos, Raimunda, Pedro Carlos, Leocadia, Carmen, Rosendo, Ana María, Quiteria, Felipe, Franchesca, Francisco, Eugenia, Carlos Alberto
history lives with a smile and a tear
in the big nostalgic
because this is my root

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 9/9/15
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Lost and/or Missing

Where did they go:
My youth voices.
Where is Glenn Miller,
Big John, and Sparky,
Bobby Sherwood,
Speedy Alkaseltzer,
Gene Shepherd,
Josh White,
Charles Erskin, Scott Wood,
And Edward R. Murrow?
The echoes
Of their now silent voices
Lose definition
As they bounce off the walls
Of the deep inner grottos
Of my memory.
Where is the knock
That I once had
Of re-measuring
My concept of life
To fit the dimensions
Of a new reality?
I'm afraid that
It is almost lost
You see
I'm an involuntary student
Forced to take a course
In advanced maturation.
'Cause my once agile mind
Has developed arthritis.
In spite of the above
In our species ability
To re-invent itself
In new,
And maybe
Even better ways
Of existing
Thus assuring
That there will be
A future.

(c) David Gordon 9/28/15
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

The Painless Operation

Amputated a friend, felt like losing a limb
under general anesthetic; woke up,
touched the empty space where it had been:
I’d thought it was gangrene.

My limb had no warning,
the surgeon’s knife, razor-sharp,
no mess, no blood, a painless operation.
I shed no tears; left my hospital bed;
learned to use an artificial limb instead.

Louise Glasscoe

Missing or lost

I last saw my beloved smokey cat two weeks ago

Is she lost or is she missing?

I can't get the image of her walking through the woods crying, calling for me, cold and hungry, looking for home but not sure where it is the more she walks, the more lost she gets

I know its silly, but I cant help imagining how scared and lonely she must feel

I feel lost without her, like a piece of me is missing

I have lost so many tears, and spent many hours searching

I have made missing cat posters with pictures of her

I jump every time the phone rings, thinking someone might have found her

Then it occurs to me, what if someone has taken her?

She is a friendly cat, would apporach anyone, what if they started feeding her?

I am lost without her, but is she lost without me?

As long as she has got someone to feed her, is she happier there with them?

Is that why she hasnt come back?

She could have been sold on by now. She could be anywhere

My life has been put on hold for the last 2 weeks, time just seems to have stopped

I am missing meals, missing sleep, missing all my favourite tv shows

She was more than just a cat to me , she was my life long companion

At night, I swear I can hear her, but it's just my mind playing tricks on me

Nights are definitely the hardest time, I feel so lonely. I am used to her sleeping with me

One night I went to bed, my mind started playing tricks on me again

This time I was so sure could hear her I had to get up and check

The noise seemed to be coming from the room next door, but it is a spare room, no one ever goes in there

I got up and opened the door a crack

There was a flash of grey fur and a very indignant meow

I was overwhelmed with relief, which quickly turned to guilt and anger

How could i have been so stupid, all this time, she was in my house

Just meters from where I slept, no wonder i kept thinking I could hear her at night

Bad mummy of the year award. The poor cat was half starved

Lesson learned, never ever leave doors open even just for a minute

It came back to me now I had moved some things I never use, but didnt have the heart to throw out in there for storage

The smell was overpowering, how had i not noticed that

I realised then how ravenously hungry I was, but also how tired I was

I went down to the kitchen and made Smoke the biggest dinner ever, she wolfed it down followed by gulping down mouthfulls of water. I also made myself a midnight snack. Then I went straight back to bed

As for worrying about her missing me, I needent have worried about that, after her extra large dinner, i heard the familiar patter of her tiny paws coming up the stairs, then felt the thump as she delicately landed on my bed,

I realised how much I had missed this feeling of closeness, the deep relaxing resonating purr

Then she came up to my end, and she started kneading my hair
ok I hadnt missed this aspect

Still it felt so good to have her back, now I could get on with my life

I slept straight through to midday the next day, i hadnt done that for ages, I missed doing things like this since working full time

I could have stayed in my warm bed. But then, alarm bells started ringing,

I worked full time from home, and hadn't done anything for 2 weeks.

I had deadlines to meet. 

At least it would make a good story for the newspaper column I was writing

By Liz Jury


Lost in Thought

Secret dreams
Scatter themselves
In my minds eye
Provoking primary illusions
Creating shadows
Drifting by
Secret dreams
Scattered themselves
Yellow harvest
Ripened wheat
Golden colours
Ocean deep
Secret dreams
Scatter themselves
Imaginative illusions
Every corner
Every space
A beautiful place
To lull to sleep
Secret dreams
Scatter themselves
In my minds eye

Sue Rabbett



These arms are waiting, waiting for you,
This heart that's beating is waiting for you,
The voice within is waiting for you.
These eyes that shine are waiting for you,
The memories I hold are waiting for you,
The unspoken words are waiting for you,
The touch of my lips are waiting for you,
These tears that I weep are waiting for you.
The days and the nights are spent waiting for you.
Longingly I wait for you.


Sue Rabbett




It happened many years ago
I had a cat called Susie
A Russian Blue with eyes of gold
A coat so thick and furry,
She liked to sit upon the grass
And wallow in the sun
She watched me like a shadow
When the daily toil was done.

On Friday evening I recall
Her food was left untouched
I called and called but all in vain,
She didn’t answer back,
I called her in the garden
I looked upon the street
Rung the neighbours doorbells
Then listened for her feet.

For two whole days I searched
And looked just everywhere
She had vanished into space
And disappeared from view,
I wrote many messages
I pinned upon the post
I missed the daily purring
The cuddles I missed most.

Then early Sunday morning
I woke to her me-ow
I thought I must be dreaming
As I woke myself from sleep,
I opened up the drawer
To discover her within
She must have been exploring
My Susie felt small and thin.

Two whole days I had searched for her
And never thought to look
Within this drawer beneath my bed
A really cosy nook,
But now I am very careful
Before I close each door
I stop a while and take a look
For cats like to explore.



Nowadays I don’t tell people what I do.
Guys want the Boys Own Paper version,
women want the why did they do it stuff.

Of course it’s more than a job & I’m sorry
I put you off your dinner with the sordid;
finish the wine and I’ll call you a taxi.

Charity Shop clothes come from all sorts,
it’s all professionally cleaned, so don’t -
what - I should have thrown them away?

His family had to ID him, those 3 neat piles
laid out like a Gap display on the shingle
helped; his wallet & passport weren’t there.

No, I don’t know the What at the farmhouse,
Who sat round the Marie Celeste table with him,
nor does his grieving widow admit the Why,

She said they had the same Willow Pattern plates,
Habitat glasses & cutlery, bed & sofa at home,
but denied, on oath, ever setting foot on the Farm.

I’m not Grissom, I can’t explain the envelope,
the torn form, cigarillo stubbed out in saucer,
half-eaten risotto, half-drunk bottle of Barolo.

What do you mean - he led a double life?
Ask the Daily Mail, or Black Widow Insurance.
I stood on that cliff, thought of Lucky Lucan.

I saw a figure swimming out to sea,
I watched, it swam, a speedboat appeared.
No what happened next, no happy ending.




For over 200 years, Annie Aston’s ancestor Wellesley Aston’s fate had remained unknown. He, along with his two business partners and his young daughter had all mysteriously disappeared and were simply lost and missing. The rest of Wellesley’s family could not find any trace of them within the House of Aston or the grounds so his wife and widow Belle was left to bring up the rest of her family herself. The Aston family were very rich already from being the largest producers of jewellery, glassware and knitwear in Lancashire but life had never been the same. To this day, all who resided within the House of Aston sensed that somehow the lost and missing foursome were still present, but how that was possible, no-one had ever found out but young Annie was determined that was all about to change.

Michael C. Bungay
Stevenage Survivors

Lost and missing

I was also asked to submit a poem to a recovery newsletter published by HPfT
(Hertfordshire Partnership foundation trust) so i thought if I tidied up the piece
that I wrote in 20-25 minutes for the FED September challenge I could use that
and it would be interesting to compare the two versions. If anyone is out there
perhaps you would like to comment. Which version do you prefer??

Lost and missing Draft 2

I was lost; poor lost soul
Demons at the door so the voices said
The devil had my name in his book
I was caught; feet cold - hands red

All in my mind so it seems
Though I can still see their faces
The people of the Nephlium - the ruins
In their archaeological traces

I carelessly lost happiness
Joy had fled away
Bringing only emptiness in her wake
My soul dark
The storms of the west they
Just wouldn’t break

I had lost myself
I thought you had to go back
With patience uncover and follow the old track

To pick up and find
To gather it all
The discarded
Missing pieces of the mind before the fall
Lost to the east wind
Sown on the breeze
Carried by birds gathered by bees
In wastepaper baskets
Names carved on the trees
Foam tossed on the waves as they travel the seas

I had to find new places, new people and new ways
Like the spider renews its webs midst grasses that sway
And bends in the wind
And soon will for
The threatening storm
Raised in my name
Broke from the peaks of the north with the rain
I howled like the monsoon and cursed the clouds in the sky
As the lightning crackled in my hair and crashed closely nearby
Brown clay wet on the ground
Like a mirror to the godlike sun
What had been weaved tightly
Was now all un-done

Flowers appeared in its wake after the great storm had past
Animals came to me and
From my open hand fed
The sway of the river was inside of my head
Streams dry for years
Flowed in the southern ways
I moved to the hill
To see out my days

Andrew Henry Smith
Stevenage Survivors

Coin tossing

I thought maybe it wants to be lost
I couldn't find a razor sharp
I needed a clear close shave
Missed the bus took a wrong turning
Ending up in a chemist up Hornsey Road
Out of my pocket dropping my only coin
Couldn't see where it went down
Shopkeeper searching with me
Under cupboards and cabinets
The same coin I had found in the street
I came away without a razor or a blade
Missing the pound coin
I thought maybe it wants to be lost
coin tossing

John Joseph Sheehy

Lost and Missing

Tomorrow is miles away
Now I'm lost and missing
The breath I breathe slows my mind
I can't see. It's like I'm cast away at sea.

The ocean is vast
There's no one here
No people or life
just a speck being thrown
amidst the rolling waves
we are displaced, with no home

A mass migration of molecules and atoms
bursting, dipping, throwing our selves around
we have no purpose, just sediments of
earth, meteors life.

Paul Evans
Stevenage Survivors

Lost and missing 2 Costa Garvas

A government secret
they disappeared without a trace
an unelected military junta
supported by foreign intervention
The people fled, As curfews slaughtered down

Pinochet was the name. Allende tried in vain
the peoples movement crushed . All in the wrong name.

Even foreign reporters were slain, under this name
They call it missing. We know better.
This holocaust by any other name

Paul Evans
Stevenage Survivors


lost and found on this page

I have lost lines at the point where my musical sense
would have them stop, usually I find them
twanging at the end of an elasticated page.

Bruce Barnes
Friend of TheFED


Home and Abroad - 1939 - 1945                                       

In the last letter mummy had from France, daddy said he loved us and would be home soon.
Daddy lied; he didn’t come home and he must have lied about loving us, cos’ if he really loved us, he would have come home, wouldn’t he - if he could.
Mummy said he was just missing - well I’m missing too. I wonder if mummy has pain in her heart because I’m missing;
like the pain, that squeezes my chest so tight my tears are trapped, because my daddy lied; and lies are bad and not good.
I’m on the bridge where I said goodbye to my daddy. I thought he might still be here and hadn’t gone anywhere at all;
but there is no-one here and it’s lonely and quiet - not even any trains screaming and screeching their brakes.
So I shall be quiet and not even cry. You don’t cry when you're missing.
He’s not coming is he?
That’s why there is no screaming trains; because he’s dead and when you are dead;
everything is quiet and your not missing anymore.

Jan Hedger
Footnote - Inspired by a past FED Workshop



(after Tango Couple, Philip Hood, & Somewhere in Time No5, Alan Mellowship)

So there we were, performing the big love,
to our young amigo Astor Piazzolla, when wham!
bam! alakazam! we were halfway round the world,
in one of the lower circles of Hell. Yes, yes, you
can say the Tango bars in Buenos Aires docks
are their own special sort of Hell, but it was our
Hell, but this, it was nothing like the newsreels
of London, or those stupid Ealing comedies,
so much noise of the cars, the red buses, trucks,
this must have been one of God’s afterthoughts.

Maybe He was tired, or running low on paint,
everything old & grimy or just washed out,
a sky with no real colour, neither white nor grey,
I could not tell the season, not Summer please!
Maria was shivering, the miserable light fading,
bare bulbs in the parlours of the little cottages,
what were these houses anyway, I would expect
fisherman or miners to live here, surely London
is not by the sea & does not have coal mines,
how little I really know of London or England.

Now their curtains twitch but the doors do not open,
surely there is a dancehall somewhere round here,
and they know why we are dressed like this, surely
they have seen a zoot suit & fishnets before, or perhaps
they are the respectable poor who go to church &
disapprove of people like us, and beat their children
if they suspect them of straying into our barrio,
my money is no good here, my English not so well,
but let us march, find a dancehall, or the famous
English pub, we will make exhibition of ourselves.



On the Brink

I am a pressure cooker, ready to blow
I am an eleastic band, ready to snap
I am a balloon, ready to pop

When I will blow, I don't know
When I will snap, I don't know
When I will pop, I don't know

It will happen, but when?

Or will I die before it happens?

By Duncan S
Stevenage Survivors


Who are they?
Companions, mates, call them what you want
To cuddle, hug, when you are elated
Shoulder to cry on when sad or low
Grateful to have, whatever the mood
Who are friends?

By Duncan S
Stevenage Survivors

Lost or Missing

Am I lost or am I missing
Which I am, I do not know
Lost could be forever
Missing could be temporary
Somethings could be missing when lost

Search, search, search where are my specs?
Don't know.  Blind as a bat without them.
Suddenly my wife has found them on a chair
Probably I glanced there but missed seeing them

Dilemma over until next time
I know there will be another time
When, I don't know
Lost or Missing.

Duncan L
Stevenage Survivors

Lost / Missing

I was lost: lost soul
Demons at the door, or so
I thought.  And the devil had my name in his book
But only in my mind it seems
Though I still see the tormented ones about the city

I carelessly lost happiness
Joy had fled away leaving emptiness in its wake
The night terrors had come to stay, clouds moved in from the west
To cover the sun, my soul was dark and the storm wouldn't break

I lost myself
So I had to go back
Following my tracks to pick them up and patch
The missing pieces of my mind
Sown to the east wind
I had to find new places
New people, new ways
Then the threatening storm, dark in the north, I howled
Monsoon blue, as it rained for a hundred days

Flowers appeared in its wake
Animals came to me
And stream by for years
Flowed in the southern valleys

Andy Smith
Stevenage Survivors

Lost and Missing

Tom the cat on a walk through the field. Straw so high, lost in it, wondering where to go.  So Tom carries on going through field of straw and it's brushing against Tom.  He finds himself going towards a mouse running away from him.

Mouse running with fright, seeing big, green, glowing eyes getting closer, then decides to stop.

Tom says to the mouse "Don't be afraid. Just to know where.  I am lost .  Don't know where I am."

Mouse says "You be ok.  I find you your way home."

Cleo White
Stevenage Survivors

Lost and Missing

Well I lost my mind years ago
Even though, like a tide, it has ebb and flow
In my younger days it ran like the wind
But over the years its starting to rescind
Growing up it's confused and dazed
When everything doesn't shine, not so amazed
A prediction here, a cry over there
Sometimes it's more than I can bear
But now I've grown old and nothing's as it seems
My mind it ran away, following its dreams
It wrote a book, and then another, The third one came on top
I'm just praying to My Lord thatthey certainly don't flop
A memory lost is sad in deed
When you can't remember there's people in need
A memory found is sometimes fun, but often scary
Find I lost the plot and become quite leary
I wonder what old age will be like for me
As most days I'm chasing my thoughts and what to see
Maybe I won't have any and wander all around
Run out naked and sit on the ground
Fussing and fussing and stubborn I'll be
Just like I was when I was aged three
Maybe I will forget and wet the bed
Or going to the shops, I will have to be led
Just maybe I will find it in the lost and found
So I've made my decision, I'm going to stick around

Sarah Frodsham
Stevenage Survivors

The Photograph

I saw the picture that should have made the whole world cry.

But it did not.

It splintered facebook into jagged shards of opinion.

Us and Them
Ours and Theirs
Do Somethings
Do Nothings
Do Mores
Do Lesses
Blames and Shames
Likes and Shares
Comments on Comments on Comments

Emotions unleashed in all directions
Donations flood in,
From those who have the least to share.  
They both know, and feel, the need.

Others grimly hanging on
To what they have
Waiting for the axe to fall
The next sanction to bite

The desperation of others
Enrages them.
Reminds them.
It lies in wait for them
Just outside the door
Waiting to sweep them away too.

We are all of us standing on that beach.
And we shouldn't throw stones
The tide is on the turn
Soon nothing will look the same

I saw the picture that should have made the whole world cry.

But it has not.

Not yet, not yet.

Ashley Jordan




After 10 days drinking in every Hemingway theme bar,
meeting the last survivors of Buena Vista Social Club
& hearing one too many Che Guevara anecdotes,
I took the music, the pigs, the heat, the candy-coloured
vintage Cadillacs for granted. So when I woke up
in the epicentre of silence, walked onto an empty street
with Cadillacs turned psychedelic, then into a bar
with no staff, no patrons, a jumble of tables & chairs,
I was the wrong side of laid back. Marie Celeste? Fable.
Revolutionaries at the other end of the street & escape
through the back door? Heard that one in Miami.
Then a pig pushed through the kitchen door,
looked at me & slowly walked away up the street.
A flapping newspaper told me I had lost a day,
something about a huge tropical storm, seemed
to say in big black letters GET OFF or GET OUT.
My Spanish falters after Otra cerveza por favor,
so when two very tall men in cobalt blue uniforms,
& a man in a bespoke suit & Gucci loafers entered,
I knew this was not business as usual. Senor Suit
shouted Hijo de la Flauta, Cabron, & more,
was cut short by the blue men, who looked at
each other, spoke at Senor Suit in very flat slow
Spanish, then to me in very flat slow English;
Welcome to the Revolution. That was 20 years ago.
I think I am the only human here, all the others
are robots or cyborgs, I cannot speak to them
or anyone else, cannot make any TVs or radios
I find work, & there are no computers or mobile
phones in Havana. There are Cadillacs, pigs,
Salsa in clubs, cigar factories, but it all happens
to another rhythm, the sun sets at the same time
every day. I could tell you exactly what will happen
next Tuesday, but not what is going on outside Havana.

Tomorrow I will send another postcard home.



The Netting

Lost and missing in hazel netting
Where in boxes,cardboard dirty blankets,damp beds,violent scenes,foul play
In the rolling nets allowed
To perform the works employed to so
Briefed to carry out others dirty work
Not the employment of owns nature
The net will not last for ever
The straps holding it around the border
Will break from the atmosphere and weight
Circle the environments to your true nature
When the net breaks it's several feet down years downwards long lingering long-term
Down below into the mud
Like roses and leafs fall down turn into mud
Can the lost and missing be freed rescuers
The trees trying to comfort the torn souls
The missing in the mission missing out
The net holding is severely limited
Mistakes unwisely turned over overnight
Caught on the streets netting reports
Lost and missing those perished
Frozen froze frost freezing
Long story short lived
Tragedy Sorrow

John Joseph Sheehy


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