A Network of Writing and Community Publishers


March 2016


Collecting terms for madness

bananas, barking, barmy, bats in the belfry, batty, bedlamite, beside oneself, bonkers, crackers, crackpot, crazed, crazy, cuckoo, daft, deluded, demented, deranged, dippy, dotty, fool, fruitcake, gaga,
hare-brained, haywire, head case, idiot, insane, loco, loony, loopy, lunatic, mad, mad as a hatter, madcap, maniac, mental, moon-struck, nut case, nuts, nutter, off their head, off their trolley, out of their box,
out of their mind, potty, raving, schizo, psycho, psychotic, psychopath, touched, unhinged, wacky, with a screw loose.

Louise Glasscoe

I'm not mad for God's sake

I'm not mad for God's sake
I just slipped and banged my head.

Louise Glasscoe 



Overcome the Madness of Days

The suddenness of injustice
is a sonorous call
to stop with the forces
of all ages of struggle
Again, we must overcome
the madness of days
When again, hellfire masquerading as heaven
must be overcome with light

© Ángel L. Martínez 31 March 2016
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Out of Madness

Out of madness
there is something about the heat of the sun
that heals us
from the winter in the wilderness of North America
like waking up one morning and it’s warm as a midsummer dream
and waking up the next morning
and it’s bitter winter as in the North Pole
I hear Pachamama crying, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Across the field behind the trees
We are all dancing into a Moon Powwow
Watching from the monument of Harriet Tubman
on this beautiful Saturday at International Working Women’s Day
like an ancient chorus that sounds like human rights
life fills that gives us a beautiful delight
our mothers, our grandmothers, our aunts, our sisters,
our cousins, and our daughters
for life living compassion and wisdom
con Raimunda
We will not forget the voices of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions
blowing a beautiful sound of delight
People Get Ready
Help me to celebrate World Poetry Day of past and present
Leocadia Álvarez, Leon Dickinson, Julia de Burgos,
Victor Hernández Cruz, June Jordan, Jaime Hurtado, Sun Ra,
and Pedro Pietri
Our horizon comes into view
in a laughter of conscious spirit of our love
We should plant our seed close to the garden path
to uplift our voice
We shall be heard from West to East
from North to South and over the sea
and in our planet there are seven oceans
so that the working people shall see our dignity shine

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 3/24/16
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective 



Artwork by John Sheehy




Mad moments
The walk
Fly through the archives
The mind, still
Madness evokes
The grass is always greener
 Beyond -  the emotions

(C) Josie Lawson
All Rights Reserved
GROW member


I don't know,
what to say.
I don't
your language,
especially when
people whisper,
speak to fast,
or suddenly
use a different
to which my ears
are not adjusted
- yet.
I was taught
to have:
and acceptance.
I watch a man
playing a piano
in downtown.
He accepts beer
for his performance.
Another time
little kids
are trying to find
a tune.
I can't cure
sores of the World,
it would be crazy
to stick out.
What I understand now:
Cemeteries silently
when a procession
of cars
is passing by.
He was my knight.

Marie Neumann



Coded muttering on the mobile, overheard.
There is a noisy rush
Down the stairs.
The door slams.
The nightmare begins again.

It's happening again
Funds are secreted.
The sad sound and reality
Of taken, crumpled notes.
It is hope that is stolen.

There is desperation on both sides.
She flinches, hearing the tear of foil.
They're both in purgatory

Wanting the craving to end
Needing it all to stop.

In that dark, dark place:flame.
Several clicks of the lighter
Echo her frantic heartbeat.
As he inhales and relaxes
She crumples; falters.

Destroying trust, testing love
A huge price to pay
For temporary relief
Bitter payment for brief refrain
A fleeting fix for cavernous pain.

We are both suffering here
The mother of an addict
Has had the mother of all days.

Ellen Reardon
Newham Writers
March 2016

It's Madness...

To bring children up
In an atmosphere of hate and spite
Thinking they'll grow up all right.
For you to stay – not go
To allow the abuse
To destroy your soul.
For you to work and slave for years
Pay every single bill
Then be left - bereft (in tears)
To dedicate many years
To one who isn't yours
Who then just wants to be free.
To have so much pride
You will always walk alone
On that one way road.
To withdraw from family and friends
Paying a very costly price
For a sad and solitary end.
To just labour 'til you're dead
Not delight in nature's beauty
Hold magical moments in your head.
To constantly dance
On a double edged sword
Succumb to duel sharp blades.
To measure your worth
By the accumulation
Of insignificant things.
To look in the mirror
Be shocked at what you see,
And wonder whatever happened to me?
Not to understand and heed
That to express feelings matters
And that love IS all you need.

Ellen Reardon
Newham Writers

The Slatted Barn

Who could say who would be next?
For three actresses had previously fled the scene
The directors cry of ‘it was only an owl’
Had fallen on closed and deafened ears.
Seeking solace in the slatted barn
They had vanished forever in its depth
Replicating the saga of the bloody murder
Where no trace of blood was ever found.
A story that was all consuming to the author
And a hook for an ambitious, but blasé producer
After all actresses desperate for stardom were
Ten - a - penny and expendable. Granted, it is a
Very strange place, so achingly cold and damp
But perfect and atmospheric for the big screen.
They all felt it; the bone chilling silence
Words, learnt by rote, unspoken from painted lips
Her declaration of returning love left hanging
Halted by the sudden opaqueness of her lover’s eyes.
A guttural scream echoed in the stillness of the set
A scream, no owl’s throat could ever express.
Breaking out of character, she fled from the lights,
Into the swallowing darkness of the slatted barn.

Another one inspired from a Fed Fest Workshop!

Jan Hedger

Madness across March

Mad at weather torn apart raining drops goats milk
Running holding nose mad March hare toffee
Sweetness fleeting legs stretching straight turning
Abrasive words tongue side in cheek creamed cakes
Boiled coffee harping barking kettles chocolate chip
Loudness intoxication drugged fuelling strawberries
Too much milk asking for stronger penny tea bags
Watery weak unlawfully brewed tea leafs not read
Count down teller lottery numbers tomorrow night
Fortune making special numbers seeing amazing
Madness across March hare wind blowing echo
Occupied territories checked from outside fronting
Websites down errors downloaded flute briefly dream
Seed fingers crossed spirits spine connected contact call

John Sheehy


What some people find mind-boggling,
others consider banal, if your mind boggles
too much at the News or your latest bad
karma, that might be labeled Mental Illness.

If your cat takes up the alto saxophone
& you blog about the new Ornette Coleman,
or she reads a chapter from her new book,
which you publish as yours: no escape for you.

You could be medicated, assessed, sectioned,
& shanghaied to an NHS Colditz to be told,
this is only temporary, a safe harbour where
you can recover your equilibrium, not today,

but a notional date in Nurse Ratched’s calendar,
and meantime your medication will be adjusted,
you will see Dr. Benway for 8 minutes on a day
he is not playing golf, or moonlighting in Harley St.

You will be watched constantly by staff & inmates,
your outbreaks of Writing Behaviour discouraged,
you will be allowed into the garden under supervision,
learn to make lampshades in Occupational Therapy.

If your cat is published, wins the Booker Prize,
composes a film score or a TV theme tune,
you will not be told, nor will she share the royalties;
you’re not her mother, do not own her, she is free.



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