A Network of Writing and Community Publishers


May 2016


Toy Boy

I went disco dancing
it was wild as wild could be
he said “Twist it Granny”
and the one he meant was me,
so I got up on my rockers
and twirled the night away
I really had a ball
until the following day.

Now my back is aching
and my legs are aching too
my head is twisted up with pain
I don't know what to do,
I am bruised from the exertion
where I knocked myself about
and if the phone should ring
just tell them, I've gone out.

But wait until the evening
I'll be ready for my date
all dolled up and waiting
I mustn't keep him late,
wait until I tell the girls
down at the O.A.P.
that will cause a stir
and a touch of jealousy

Liz Taylor eat your heart out
Joan Collins leave the stage
A Toy Boy at sixty
and he's less than half my age,
at the moment I am resting
I'll be ready for the night,
So God Bless and pleasant dreams
Retirement is Allright

Sally Flood
Newham Writers Workshop

Even in a Twisted Time Beauty Rises

We have gathered with the People’s Organization for Progress
on this warm, sunny day besides the statue of Martin Luther King Jr in Newark
Like a window of life, lifting our voices
and rallying in honor of this historical moment
five thousand souls from West to East to South to North
The Poor People’s Campaign, from our love and our dreams,
we the people built our homes
from plywood and plastic
which became Resurrection City USA
and in spite of unbelievable rain, mud, and cold weather
they came in the spring
it became a warm, dry community
people painted the souls of the hunger wall
There was no jails, there was no landlords
It was just pure love
We were a constant living demonstration for human rights
for freedom, for justice, for food, and an end to the war in Vietnam
We held a 24-hour vigil on the Department of Agriculture
and all other departments of government
The Great Poor People’s Campaign even in a twisted time
The poor people created a beautiful rose
Since even the wise and the brave held our unity voices
with our banners of jobs, justice, and peace,
and an end to police brutality
We marched in solidarity with the Verizon workers
as it happened yesterday
it’s so hard to believe it was 48 years ago
and the winds of my youth for this soul of a poetic rhythm.

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 5/13/16
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

A Classroom Reading of Bertolt Brecht’s “The Mother”

Sometimes I have yet to know the voice I hear
It is not at all a new voice
The voice is before me
As a teacher
I have learned to hear
The student speaking profoundly loudly

What interpretations can a student who is struggling
at home, at work, and in the classroom
offer to poetic theatre?
More than I can ever imagine

She takes the page and makes the desk her stage
Taking a vision of class struggle during a lunch break
While I am certain the actress is hungry
coming from work – no break.

My student is a skillful protagonist
She can distill words to dissolve propaganda
into the heart

When she added her own line to Brecht’s own
Her Afro-Latina energy speaks:
“Don’t get it twisted!”
To make her point known
as to which side she is on.

© Ángel L. Martínez 27 may 16
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective


Can you still buy
Cotton candy
On the boardwalk
At Coney Island?
When, and if you do,
Sure looks like a lot,
Don’t it?
Just take a bite.
That great candy mass
Then dissolves,
And just a few drops
of sickeningly sweet liquid
That rot your teeth that remain.
Let’s focus this metaphor
On a homo-habilus
Named donald trump
Our new knight
Sent by the powers that be
To slay the dragons
Of progressive thought,
And action.
Big talk,
Big money,
And a big stomach.
Examine it/him
With just a little bit
Of objectivity!
That heaven-sent knight
With all his business
Just a paper-thin
Caricature of himself
With no substance
To define the, “donald.”
Consider American democracy:
“We the People”!
Choose our leaders
With the power of the vote.
Look more closely.
Now who really chooses?
Why it’s the Electoral College!
“We the People”
(Electronically speaking)
Don’t amount to
A four-letter word.
Sort-a like cotton candy,
Isn’t it?

© David Gordon
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective 




Twisted -
Time of truth
Find the sundial
It surrounds the stars,
the sky
It twists and turns
Shadows fade away
Yet time evolves
It dances to the tune -
Of the day

(c) 31.05.2016
Josie Lawson



A Recipe for Disaster

The wise men running the BBC
have decided that if you want a recipe
from those they have on their website
then from now on it is only right
that for that privilege you must pay
let's face it that's the Tory way.

Many thousands have now
attacked the BBC, and how,
online messaging has gone wild
and the telephone calls have not been mild,
as the good people of Sleepyville
have decided they're willing to kill

over the privatisation of recipes,
I have to ask "pinch me please,
am I living in the same land
where privatisation is at hand
for our precious NHS,
yet the same people couldn't care less?"

Tom Higgins 18/05/2016



Unaccompanied Child

I am child I am alone

Yearning for a place
To call my home
The view is dark
The nights are cold
I'd love a hand
To hold my own
What do they fear?
When they see me?
Am I not a child
Before refugee
Look at your child
Treasure their smiles
Let them play
Extend the childhood
Which from me
Was taken away
I wish you well
For I must go
You said to me come
But THEY said NO

Ibby 2016

A Poem on Night Duty

The Council just sent me a letter.
They said I must show I'm alive.
I replied: well I feel a lot better,
But all is not well deep inside!

I went to the mirror and asked it:
Are you sure this really is you?
The mirror just shook and then split
A bit of a problem: that's true.

So I asked a good friend if she saw me
When I knocked on the door of her flat
She said I was here, so I must be:
Alive and well. So that's that.

I told the council of my finding,
They replied: This is all very good,
But our contract is really quite binding.
You can't come in here with a hood.

I said I'm a kind of wall creeper:
Not a bush not a fern or a tree.
I even asked the park keeper
And he said: you are you: can't they see?

Davina Cross



I'm very pleased to welcome
Our special guest tonight
Let's show our appreciation
For the lovely winter's bride

Through trials and tribulations
She's come a long, long way
Past self-destructive love
To be with us today

She is here to tell us
How every woman can

Learn to find true happiness
Without their let-down man

Dressed in sparkling black
How fabulous she looked
With shining hair and painted lips
The gloss of Hollywood

And when she softly spoke
How the audience thrilled
At the graphic details of
The lover she had killed

They hung upon her every word
Eyes fixed upon her face
As she revealed the poisons
That wouldn't leave a trace

Scribbling toxic recipes
And gasping with surprise
They tutted disapproval
That didn't reach their eyes

And now we are just waiting
To read the news headlines
Of all the faithless partners
Who find they're out of time

We're sure that this new tactic
Will break the modern trend
Of husbands, boyfriends, fathers
Who'd rather be 'just men'

Ashley Jordan

The Frog
Cool and deep,
A well, a pool
From which I emerged,
Glistening, fresh,
Chilled in the early morning sun
Still surface, clear, reflecting
Shadows coiled in the depths
Twisted and confused
Amongst the lily stems
Around which
I used to play.

My parents, my siblings are all gone
Consumed by each other - and my guiltless self
Amoral, amphibian
I hop away

Ashley Jordan


A Bird's Song

With Spring times change from coldest winter.
And the days are getting warm:
I 'gota' loose this coat and get a
          better, lighter form.

I see the colours: yellow, blue and green,
I see the gilded too!
What I see, has now been seen,
And its all so very new.

Chirping, singing, flying, winging.
I can do it all.
Who gave this all to me I ask?
Was it before the fall?

My mother named me thus, Davina,
She said she thought me so divine!
She knew me very little then, but the,
Name remains as mine.

Though my song is often unbecoming.
And  may not stand the test of time.
They set my mind so often humming,
Perhaps the end will turn out fine?

As I fly above this land,
With sky so blue and cloud so white,
I see the pebbles on the sand,
Darken with the fall of night.

So if you see my need for pain at times,
And read about the other stuff I do,
Just read a little in between the lines.
What pleases me, may also please you too!

Davina Cross


I do not need to,
Strip you naked
You did that yourself.
I don’t need your finery
For even in jeans
I’m at ease with myself.
Silk does not a person make
Nor rags define a tramp.
It’s in our inner selves,
Where the truth lies
And your lies,
Expose the truth.

Jan Hedger

Twists Tattered Tatters Rafting

In This Tea case is twisted metal straps angled
The funeral home and arrangments went smoothly
It was the other confusing dialogue that twisted
The overall thinking it was going to end once over
The back and forward questions the backbone
It's in self was not the problem the arrangement fine
The inquisitive twisted questionable was upsetting
The time was mourning silent sad sorrowful fell
The purple heart twisting penetrating the broken
Few drops of rain came down then sun shone
It all went ahead no bother handkerchief outside
In the reception sat down still getting stick more prodding
Prodded confused about from twisted nattering
I took the tea bag operations tea chest brewing

John Joseph Sheehy



Artwork by John Joseph Sheehy


Artwork by John Joseph Sheehy  


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