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February 2016


Ojo de Mi Alma

En la bodega se vende papaya
en el cielo azul, como una taza de café
hecha mi amor porque la luz es mi sonido de mi alma
y de tu nombre es una hoja de amante hecho un verso
en la punta del universo
quiero dar una rosa en la MontaƄa de Roca
Yo con mi corazón pa’tocar una trompeta
y quiero recitar una poesía
para cantar un bolero
escuchar y levantar los muertos vivo
y para seguir de Guantánamo
volver a la madre tierra
oye, mi socio

Eye of My Soul

In the bodega, they sell papaya
in the blue sky, like a cup of coffee
made my love, for light is my sound of my soul
and your name is a lover’s leaf made into verse
at the edge of the universe
I want to give a rose of the Rocky Mountain
I, with my heart, to play a trumpet
and I want to recite a poem
to sing a bolero
to listen and raise the dead to life
and to return Guantánamo
back to Mother Earth
Hey, associate

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 2/7/16

The Bread is Rising




Everything she knows, she tells me.
You’re beautiful, you are -
You don’t mind my saying?
You know already, don’t you?
You know it before I say it.
I’m sorry for my moods, my black dog moods
My father used to call them.
Bu you forgive me, don’t you?

I keep a record.
I write things down; make lists:
things that you owe me;
things I know about you.
I analyse every moment.
You wouldn’t ever hurt me, would you?
You wouldn’t do that, would you?
I like it when we’re alone.
We don’t need anyone else.
I’d like to make love to you.
I’d like to take care of you.
I want to be with you, always,
together entwined,
Just the two of us.

Louise Glasscoe

Love is an Alphabet

Awakening to the sun’s weak rays; only just managing to filter through the voile curtain, draped gypsy style, covering the expanse of cheap double glazing – Leah let the music wash over her. ‘Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone...’
Choking back the lump forming in her dry throat, Leah scolded herself; it’s only a song, with words written by someone who didn’t even know her. Didn’t know how longingly, she had, as a young girl, stared through a single pane of glass, as the cycle of the moon, rotated with the passing into womanhood.
Echoing the dulcet tone.. ‘Without a dream in my heart..’ Leah stayed one beat behind, her cognitive skills, a little slower now. Feeling for the volume switch, she allowed the song to rise, to lift her back, to the night she saw him across the dance floor. Gracefully the couples had swept between them and she had longed to join in, to feel the freedom of lifting feet, in pulsating abeyance to the singer, crooning his tune in time with the band ‘you knew just what I was there for...’ Heady from the two glasses of Champagne, she had found herself smiling openly at him, as he returned her gaze, through the moving bodies.
Ill at ease, with the fabric of her frock, not falling below her knees, Leah recalled trying to pull it down against all its stiffened resistance. Just like her mother, the material hadn’t given an inch.
Keeping her wandering mind focused was challenging, but she must get to the end of the song, or else she may have lost him forever.
Leah once more let the only remaining clear memories engulf her frail mind.
‘May I have the pleasure of asking you to dance?’ Nervously, his tremulous voice had caused her to lift her eyes from the fixation of seeing her shapely calves encased only in sheer nylon.
Oh, the temerity of saying yes ‘of course you may’ caused her heart to leap, even now – as the song continued ‘and then there suddenly appeared before me, the only one my arms will ever hold...’
Putting her slim hand into his, she had allowed him to lead her directly under the rotating glitter ball, its twinkling light illuminating dancing patches of fairy dust on the polished floor. Quivering, at first, like two birds in new flight, they had let the music lead them, melting into the 4/4 time of the Foxtrot. Rotating together, two as one combined, eyes locked, her blue moon had turned to gold.
She remembered getting home late, her mother waiting for her, the hand across the face, not even in her grave; which would come soon enough; would she ever forget that - the sheer humiliation, and the hand that had shattered her beautiful evening.
Uselessly, she had pleaded, and locked in her room, the only moonlight, came through the unchanging single pane of glass. Vacant years followed, till her mother breathed her last, releasing her, but it was too late.
‘Without a dream in my heart – without a love of my own...’
“But I had a love once, real love” Leah’s broken voice cried at the radio. “Xavier, I want to dance, are you there?”
Yellow sunlight, a mellow shade of gold fell upon the coverlet, embracing Leah’s cold face. Zephyr wind, warm from the west, carried his answer and putting her wrinkled hand into his, she allowed him to lead her directly under the rotating glitter ball.

Footnote - a challenge a while ago by Pottsville Open Writers USA - to do a Flash Fiction story following the sequence of the alphabet.

Jan Hedger



A few years ago I had a lovely friend. He was so nice and I loved him very much. It was in the 8os, when I was living in Orpington in Surrey on the estate. After I moved and came to Hastings I lost touch with him.

Then I found another friend. He was very nice but he is now living in a residential home. I do go and see him when I can. The day before valentines day I went and saw him he was very pleased to see me I bought him a lovely valentine card and some presents. The place where he is staying is lovely and he loves me.

Marion Alleyne




Love is something that surpasses any dislike or disdain.
When everyone else falls by the way side
Love is standing there – and remains.
When everything in life becomes too much
Love reminds you, you are safe,
With a reassuring touch.
When all around are laughing, loud
Love lets you cry, and quietly, be.
Love is wanting to understand,
Wanting to make it all better
Wanting just to be here.

Love is in the arms that enfold,
In fingers that gently caress...
In eyes that see, ears that hear,
In a heart that cares
And knows you best.
Love is, actually


Ellen Reardon
February 2016
Newham Writers


The heart pounding fear
That almost makes you flee
A nagging yearning
That you cannot appease
Breathe taking beauty
That continues to please
A staggering connection
That brings you to your knees.
The meeting of minds and hearts,
On a Summer's breeze
Your perfect other half
That continues to please
The kindred soul
That meet all your needs
An enduring love
That remains beneath.

Ellen Reardon
February 2016
Newham Writers


Making things alright...
Making things better.
Making 'out',
Making up,
Making dinner,
Making love,
Making plans.
Making a home,
Making babies
Making it safe,
king happiness,
Making contentment.
Making it work
Making it last,
Making a happy ending.

Ellen Reardon
February 2016
Newham Writers

love is in...

Love is in...
A parent that feeds and cleans, provides and sustain,
A child's evolving in joy and trust (with just small growing pains)
And in a sibling's synogy and support, throughout the years.

Love is in...
A colleague's nod to acknowledge shared work stress,
An elder wise one, who shows you the good old ways,
And in one to share the sorrows with – and the happy days.

Love is in …
A neighbour who offers help, when they know what you're going through
A precious pet, that paws and purrs, and gives you so much pleasure,
And in a peer that competes – and cares- both in equal measure.

Love is in...
An almost lost friend who calls-as they 'just thought of you'
A teacher who gives direction and your tools to know -
And in a kindred spirit who understands your woes.

Love is in...
A lone but fellow traveller who knows just where to go,
An angel who protects you when you're fearful in the night-
And in a mate who wipes tear stained cheeks and helps you feel alright.

Love is in...
A partner who holds you when you are close to collapse,
A soul mate who just knows you, and helps you to relax -
And in a spouse who knows all about you and loves you anyway...

And yes, love is all around us, in each and every day.

Ellen Reardon February 2016
Newham Writers

Her Wedding

On the eve of her wedding, she reflected, but did not step back
On the morn of her wedding; she knew who she truly was
At the time of her wedding, she walked forward, and
Placed her trust in his love.

Jan Hedger

For David & Gwen (Cinquain)

Flowing sweetly
Gorgeous auburn river
Carried battered soldier away

Jan Hedger

Poem inspired by AR Lewis's true story, Wartime Romance and I dedicate this cinquain to a truly wonderful couple.

Wartime Romance

Standing on the beach on the French coast at Dunkirk, dirty, hungry and totally exhausted, being alternately machine gunned by German aeroplanes and shelled by German Artillery, in that part of the war in 1940 when all seemed lost, I was completely unaware that I would soon meet someone who would prove to be the one great love of my life and would even now be my constant companion, friend, lover, wife.

Eventually being picked up by a boat, transferred to a Ship, then shipped back to England, there followed a few days of hanging about, waiting for the War Cabinet to decide what to do with an Army of mixed up, disorientated soldiers. Eventually orders were received to proceed to Wimbledon in South London, to be billeted in the large unoccupied houses on the south side of Wimbledon Common. There to rest, retrain and form part of the defence of London. This was to prove the most important posting of my Military career, which would change my life completely.

Marching down the High Street in Wimbledon on our way to our new quarters, people lined the pavements, smiling, waving, some were even crying for they knew that we were recently back from the hell of Dunkirk. Then I noticed the staff of a very high-class hairdressing salon,and there leaning out of the first floor window, waving and cheering was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen, her enchanting face, encircled by the most gorgeous auburn curls. A Goddess right here in the High Street. I was captivated and knew that I just had to meet her. I resorted to hanging around the shop at closing time, even lunch times and whenever I had any free time, all to no avail. The enchanting creature seemed to have vanished.

Then one day on Guard Duty outside the large house, which was now my temporary home, I saw this vision riding her bicycle toward me, her beautiful hair outshining the sun and a contented smile brightening that beautiful face, she was obviously enjoying her ride.

At last after days of constant searching, here she was on a bicycle riding toward me. This was my chance; I must not fail, so I stepped out, held my hand up requesting she stop. She looked furious. How dare a member of the Military stop an innocent Civilian, peacefully enjoying a ride on a lovely sunny day. I thought I had completely blown my chance. Mumbling an apology, I made some excuse about thinking I knew her, but now realised my mistake as that other person did not have such personal beauty. In view of my mistake could I please make amends for my stupidity by taking her for Tea, Coffee, The Cinema, anything?. I was devastated when she snapped "Damn cheek" and rode off. Then she looked back and with that dazzling smile said "I'm free tomorrow, Leave the shop at one O'clock." That was when Gwendoline, Kathleen, Gandy entered my life.

We met the next afternoon, had tea in a little cafe and arranged to meet that evening on the corner of the common where the main road met the long row of large imposing houses, each one surrounded by a tall brisk wall. All seemed to be going well, Hitler's bombers were either late or not coming. With about ten minutes to our meeting time all hell broke loose, sirens wailed, sounds of heavy bombers droning overhead and a constant stream of anti-aircraft fire seemed to fill the sky. The shrapnel fell like rain.

As I walked toward our meeting place, I saw her walking toward me, head held high, never faltering, this was not just a beautiful Lady, she also possessed considerable courage. When we were about ten yards apart I heard that awful whistling sound of a falling object; experience told me it was not a bomb, but an unexploded anti-aircraft shell and just as dangerous. Wanting to shout a warning to get down and take cover, I just couldn't; my voice had gone. All sorts of thoughts flashed through my mind, what had I done? This Angel was in grave danger due to my negligence in not selecting a safe place to meet. Perhaps we were both due to meet our maker, how selfish can you get?

Then just as we met, the shell, for that is what it was, screamed down about ten or twelve feet above our heads, slammed down on the roadway in a shower of sparks, the ricocheted off across the common.

We sat on a wooden seat under a chestnut tree, ignoring falling shrapnel, and Hitler's bombers, chatting away, getting to know each other, as though it was a most natural thing on one's first date to be shelled by some far distant anti-aircraft gun.

I remember feeling very "Macho", walking towards her that evening, ignoring all my instincts to dive for cover near that big garden wall. Years later I heard my wife, for of course we were madly in love, and married as soon as we were able, telling a friend about that first meeting, saying that she would have dived for cover, but that would have looked as though she were throwing herself at my feet on that very first meeting. She never ceases to surprise me.

Two years into our marriage my son, Richard was born, now he tells me that he is thinking of retiring. He like me, was lucky enough to marry a beautiful girl; They have three children, all grown up and making their own way in the world.

Those Auburn curls are greying now, but I still see that image of a young Goddess looking down from a first floor window, waving to me.

After all these years it seems as yesterday that we met, fell in love, married and raised a family. Yes we can say that some good things did happen during those dark days of World War 2.


Jan Hedger

Artwork by John Sheehy




I Love You

I love you, what more can I say
And that’s how it’s been since the day

That someone suggested I ask you out.
How could it be that someone like you would go out with me?
But I plucked up the courage; had tickets to a wrestling match,
Though you wouldn’t go, you firmly said, “No.”
Then there was a dance and I took a chance to ask you to that
And you said, “Yes.” More appropriate I guess.
One of the nicest teas I had was when I met your mum and dad.
My parents approved, so that was okay and we started to plan our wedding day.
We went on from there, more than forty years.
Engagement and marriage, shared hopes, shared fears.
Two kids, umpteen cats, lots of fun, lots of spats.
I haven’t been easy, not always a joy,
Perhaps you should have gone for a different boy.
I know that I’ve sometimes been an embarrassment;
Technically, you could have done me for harassment.
But you stood beside me through thick and through thin
At times when you just should have thrown the towel in.
You saw it through, because that’s what you do.
I love you, there’s nothing more I can say
And that’s how it will be till my dying day.

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers


As you sleep I cup your face,
A precious jewel in my hand
And as you lay in my embrace
I feel the wealthiest in the land;
Secure and sure that in the day
When we each go upon our way,
Though we’re apart we share a heart
To beat together, come what may.

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers


Have you ever been in love
With the girl along the street
Who you usually see each day
But don’t get the chance to meet.

Do you think she likes you too
From the twinkle in her eye,
Or is she only laughing
Each time you pass her by.

Why not send her a valentine,
You’ve found out her address.
She’s sure to know it came from you,
It won’t be hard to guess.

Express your message tenderly
To show her that you care
And then, maybe, surprisingly,
Your feelings she may share.

So be polite in what you write,
Then if you see her in the night
As home from work you go,
Perhaps she’ll say, “Hello.”

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers

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


passion love world

Water rain falling running moving fog
Tiny seeds sprouting growing producing
Whirling swirling winds blowing high and low
Weddings the bride and the groom entwined tide
Children in birth in growth laughter
Ocean waves landing and leaving music beat
The spirit of seed and of weed alive in need
Swirling sea sparks a soul to set rise in the darkest
The scented the flavours writing a song
The love making a poem shaking hands
Consoling pathway for someone who's down forlorn
Celebrating success praise and supporting
Love is so strong in the moon in the sun
The voice the vocal the musical instrument
The spade the shovels digging for turnips and gold
Animals instincts flight in speed pearls
Love is so strong proud dignity and hold
Loss tears gifts life full of mystery  
eating seeing the moment that's passed
The air breathing world love in the mountains
Survival determination weaknesses strength
Love is so strong in kind word in deeds

John Joseph Sheehy



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