A Network of Writing and Community Publishers

The Labyrinth



Maze x 2

Writing about my last dream
Made me dream about it again.
Thinking about it would seem
To take away all the pain.

Many hands in white gloves
Lifted me high in the maze
The hands look a lot like white doves
With eyes looking down on my gaze.

The full moon shines down on my face
The leaves of the bush brush my legs
As I float along in full grace
Searching eyes plead and then begs.

As I’m lowered to run on my feet
The maze becomes narrow then wet
The eyes I don’t wish to meet
Not catching me now and not yet.

Soft tongues come out of the wall
One kisses my lips and I kiss too
I still keep on running then fall
The tongues still poke out: pink and blue.

Wet leaves wet the carpet of tongues
They writhe like a heaving snake pit
I slip on these slippery rogues
They lift  and my face is moon lit.

They drop me back on my bed
I look up to my eye laden ceiling
With writing upon it in red
This is really not too appealing,

It reads , “You’re NOT twenty-one now!
True: that was twenty-one years ago.
But how did they know this: just how?
What they know now is also what I know.

I go to the mirror and see
On the back of my legs to my back
Thin lines where the tongues were to be
They seem to be quite thin and quite red.

A shower removes most lines except three
 Some cold cream removes them the best
Greases on my bed seem to be
Where the marks came from, when at rest.

I get back in by bed and look up
All writing has gone, and the eyes
The dream ended now fills my cup
The memory now fades and then dies.




He thinks I sit so silently
But he doesn't know
I slip into a hollow
And there I dig a dream,
A labyrinth of tunnels luring inwards
Where, tempting, in the centre
Lies a jewel, whose beauty smiles for me
If not for him.

Louise Glasscoe



Show me a labyrinth
and you'll find a soul
a pilgrim, a journey, a way
not to be confused with a maze
hedges and caves and paths
twisting and turning
with darkness and light

searching for God, searching for love
searching for meaning, maybe I'm dreaming
underground rivers , forgotten tribes
higgledy, piggledy , words with no meaning

nothing discovered , monastery brothers
centuries old tales , keys passed to others
all topsy turvy , where will this lead us
pathway to heaven or spirits be leaden

passwords and secrets
mystical figures whose aim is to seek it
whatever it is
holy grails and spiritual trails

show me a labyrinth
and you'll find a soul
searching for freedom
a need to be whole

Katie Wilson
Stevenage Survivors


Mr. Goodbar Comes Out of a Bottle

What you heard is true in this country
He has been carried into the spotlight
He has been proclaimed the new emperor Mr. Goodbar
by the commercial tube
by his council of peers – the filthy rich
as he rides as a white knight out of a bottle of Thunderbird wine
and mickey d big mac, chips and a diet pepsi
in a joyful celebration
in the daily rag there’s some talk
it will be difficult to govern the natives
that daily live out of a lunchbox world
out of the window of his penthouse above Fifth Avenue
there is golden glass on the table
with his pet dog eating the crumbs from the floor
the parrot says hell no
and by the window as he looks down to his holy followers
hail from Staten Island
hoping to feel great again
but remember tomorrow is never promised
Hey, Mom, I’m on top of the world
even if I never finished school and dropped out
Hey, I’m not dumb, I’m smarter than everybody
even if I’m out of touch with myself
I hate the planet and no one who looks like me
even if my name is Mister Frankenkind
push the button and shoot the world
never ask questions
you see, the boss is my lord
and in my dark moments
the boss is my god
and when you turn it backwards, it’s dog
and in the College of Money, where the new captain of injustice will wear his crown
what will happen to democracy and human rights and health care?
and give the children a chance to live with education,
and in Washington, DC, where he will lay his eggs
as a mattachine in the cinema
Do not gently stand silent
Fight for democracy and human rights
and the end of xenophobia
Give more power to the people by The Chi Lites
and in the name of humanity you have to part with history
and history will only repeat itself
a Ghost Dance
they say it happened when it came out of the bottle
11 11 11 letter of the English language
fight the power
and today with the family
where sage is lighting up the smoke
in the National Day of Mourning Pawtuxet
as we gather and march to set Leonard Peltier and
let the eagle fly free
Indigenous Peoples Day in Solidarity with Standing Rock
Water is life
we fight to win peace

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 11/24/16
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

People's Labyrinth for People's Democracy

Artist's Statement: There are multiple paths to people's democracy (and beyond).

The point is to avoid the dead ends.

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

The Labyrinth

When he had no sense of direction
She led him through the winding paths.
When all he could see was high walls and darkness
She gave him hope and guiding brightness.
When he hit insurmountable hurdles
She showed him he could overcome his plight.
When he felt trapped in a dead end alley
She offered him options and voiced the choice.
When steps were winding and too confusing
She indicated the best conclusion.
Guiding him to escape the maze-
With enduring love, and with grace.
We are all within the labyrinth…
Navigating through life…
Trying to make sense of it and
Soul searching.

Ellen Reardon
Newham Writers


Labyrinth Ghosts

A wind, winds past my s
carried, concealed,
felt and inhaled
Unlearn the fates of worry
I turn
the breeze has dropped away
I turn
there is no colour
I turn
legs shift and seem unwilling

Fuzzy in my head
foot after foot after
shine from the floor
siren from the street

I turn
it is too fast
I turn
my breath flashes in and out again

not able to stop now
avoid chairs, ignore walls
close, too close
the electronic hum of an amplifier
I turn & turn and turn once more

Even as I sit
the turning is within me

after walking the Labyrinth as part of workshop at the Fed Festival 2016

Roger Drury                                

Walking the Labyrinth

So, I'm walking my way through life.
through memory, deep emotion, depths of sorrow
reflecting the glory of creation
the beingness of soul
Through storm and stillness
upon waves of truth and untold layers of confusion
There are tears in my eyes and my beating heart is telling me
it's ok ... keep walking

Emptiness is ok too
the quiet plains, endless flat lands
All go on, becoming new, enchanted with beauty
with life, with grass and trees
pavements and concrete floors
and there's a doorway...aahh...another time.
a new adventure - stairs to climb
The mountains call me
and longing is such a wondrous emotion

I love you
I am absolutely me
I am
I am dancing right here in my heart - in yours
our circle is my heart
around and around
dancing, whirling
till all is still.

From a workshop October '16

Lucia Birch
Stevenage Survivors

The Labyrinth Within

I walked the green ways
I walked the shadowlands
I walked the Abyss
I walked the deeps of space
I walked alone
yet multitudes were with me
I saw eagles
I saw vultures
I saw wolves in their wild perfection
and was humbled
I washed the feet of my enemies
and saw that each was me
I became the cross
on which the Saviour bled
and still I walked
I carried him
who oftentimes
had held and carried me
I learned my name
and that it was unsayable
I gave away my values
and in exchange
received what I was worth
I became as naught
and then became as everything
The honking of geese
reminded me that sunset
was but a shadow's length away
I came home flanked by angels
watched by God
and miracles received me
as a long-lost recollection of the dawn
I walked on water
my nail-holes betrayed me
yet still I did not drown
I walked the labyrinth within
came home as light
and all I chose to understand was love

(Written as part of the Labyrinth workshop at the 2016 FedFest)

Roy Birch
Stevenage Survivors


They call this a pass, a pass to where?
When there is no door, for the one’s issued in orange
I was too old for a blue, too young for a green
And not disabled in body for a yellow

The twenty to thirty year olds, they said
Were strong, needed to stay and defend

Defend what? All that is left,
Is dusty scrubland,
After the comet came

It came at night, caught us unawares
A technical hitch, in the technology, they said
A computer glitch

Well that’s what happens
When you employ monkeys
I said at the time
It wouldn’t work

Now all I have is a pass,
A pass to nowhere
Whilst the monkeys; go deluxe
First class
My world is theirs,
To reclaim at last

Jan Hedger


Artwork by John Joseph Sheehy

Palm Labyrinth   


Heavy Night in Camden Town

My Soul is Here

Christmas Day in London

The Labyrinth

My finger follows the lines, carefully tracing the spaces. I focus on the path ahead, with no idea of where it will take me. Almost there, but continuing past. Going away and coming back. Accepting all the changes of direction unquestioningly. I will get there in the end.

Time has ceased. The journey, not the destination is what matters.  I trace the petals of the flower within, like a child, exploring the curves and spaces. I feel the creation of a memory forming.

The others stand and walk but I sit still and wander. The beach, a wood, a river, a bridge. The long promenade leading me up and over the path on the cliff.  I breathe slowly, in and out with the tide. The shells and stones crunching and breaking beneath my feet. The wind ruffling through my hair.

A gull is paused in mid-flight in front of me. I step across from path to edge. One step more from edge to drop. A step I choose not to take.

I retrace my steps, slower, more carefully, looking down. My feet flexing, exploring the ground more intensely, more intimately, than my eyes are able to. I'm feeling, not seeing, my way back.

When my eyes open, my wander ends as it began. My finger moving slowly, calmly, patiently, across the page, leaving nothing behind to show where I have been.

(Written during Lucia and Roy Birch's workshop at the October 2016 TheFED Writing Festival.)

Ashley Jordan



Labyrinth soul passage ship

In the circle curling circling around home
Carnivals circus gosts eye third eye direct
Gusts breezing whirling winds through meadows
Numbers inscriptions headstone name dated
Fingerprints unique eyes lid contact deepen
Wild Wings salmon returned from abroad
Swallow woodpecker swallowing your pride
Pretty joy chasing rainbow birthday party
Cake baking soda clock goes back till later
Sun rise hope tale move money makes world round
Holding on to the path of question wise
Wishing within the next time keep—sake
Safe travels the soul sound spun soil ground
Floor span high school musical instrument

John Joseph Sheehy



I often had a dream when I was young that I was lost in a maze: a kind of labyrinth.
Walking for hours and being totally lost, I was never bothered in my dream.
It was strange in my recurring dream because I often looked forward to being in my secret maze: to being lost.
It is not possible to construct a dream or to make it enter your sleep on demand.

I found they came to me during the summer or when it was warm in my bed with just a sheet over me.
It could be possible if I made the bedroom warm in winter and I then had to keep naked in bed.
Only then could I get my special dream, but not always.
My state of mind had to be very calm and reading a good book till I fell asleep seemed to make it work.

The subject of the book did not seem to make any difference, but being very tired made it possible.
It was always the same maze and I was always alone in it and always naked.
I did not wish to meet any other person and I never did.
I wanted to be seen by an unseen eye and it was of no interest to me who saw me so long as I could never see  or hear them.

I would often do a kind of pose that I thought made me look very appealing to my secret observer.
I would dance and run as if being chased; then I would pin myself to the wall of bushes.
The dream was not very often and could be three months between.
I would act as if a prisoner being made to co operate…but only if it excited me.
It was no problem if I did not have my secret dream.

The next day after a dream I feel a little ashamed but never too much so.
This is the first time I have admitted to these dreams…it may be good for me.
I would not wish them to go for ever but they do make me feel exhausted.
The following night, I go to bed very early and then sleep very dreamless.

Monica Burns


Lurching, they bluster – ghouls into the chasm.

Fierce lava, blowing, nullifies their fall
And dissipates harsh gravity’s concussion,
Forces a seething screen of phoenix cowardice,
Leaping to swell
Into a fresh, mendacious crust,
Tripping and throttling the led
Into a smear upon pure metamorphic beauty.

The skeleton’s jaws yawn apart;
A stranded mountaineer was frozen
At his prime pinnacle,
Denied warm, compromised decay;
A calcium landmark now, but broken loose;
A boulder never neutral
To those in fear.
One gouged and bored –
New Sisyphus, with ever-sinking aspiration
For no stress, no fall –
For him the indefatigable light
Breathes limbo silicosis.

Can they combine? Eternity transcends the cheap ideal
Of mutual obliteration.

A mountaineer trapped in a submarine,
A miner in a satellite,
A megalomaniac performing his own precious lobotomy
Hoping the abolished question mark
Can keep things safe and solid.
Purgation’s smudged when bound to fire,
Denied release from fizzy process,
And even air can clog and sludge
The ultimate suction of life’s syllables
Into fatuous pinprick stars,
No line can break full circle.

David Russell

Work out of Progress

I suppose it must all go on indefinitely –
Just when I thought it had all been played out,
All become superfluous.

I am at the stage of universal discarding;
I suppose that many people see, through several decades,
What I pushed aside in a matter of months.

Discarding is basic to life: I am not dead,
So I must keep on discarding indefinitely;
It is also what keeps the others going –

Writing is a sort of discarding –
Some sense comes from putting something
Out into the void, the negative black

It may after all come to something –
Though not necessarily –
Not really necessary
Though nobody knew how to say so.

Childhood was a waterproof lining
Imprinted with the patterns of crossed fibres
Making jagged scratches on him
Who would have the perfect inside out
After folding it tidily and putting it in a drawer –

So many repetitions formed a furrow
In the musty darkness.

Wisps of ivy demarcating what was to be the next door
Levelled under a rubber cork corrugated roof –
All climbable, unlike the ivy climbed over.

David Russell

Power Kernels

Break down the elements, split them
To non-existence;
Then shatter all solidity’s illusions,
Free impulses
Beyond the viscous mind, still feeling hard
By vanity's gas upholstered.

And then, for happiness’s definition,
Shut the door;
Relax, and don't be squeamish;
For every grit of teeth, a pull of trigger,
A sear, a cloud . . .

Then, if the bacillus, the charge
Breaks through even your filter-screen,
Thin paper barrier that defines
Your victims and yourselves . . .

And you, amoebae, become specimens
Now that your brainchild ogres
Have outstepped the frames of will;

Oh super-brains! Limp, flapping squids;
Now that you’ve burst your cranial canisters,
Now that you’ve blundered on the combination
To open up the vault
Wherein you case your muffled
to soothing, doped oblivion;

Did you first conquer all remorse, all fear,
Destroy all that might have the power to save?

And will you now be laid low, by yourselves,
Even denied all retribution’s flames,
All instantaneous dignity?

Oh ones still solid, cynicism’s crust
Thickens and stifles, yet absorbs,
Driving life’s final spark to desperation;
No scope to flash
Without full-voiding all outside itself.

Oh loosen now your halters,
Clean growth, no fission-cancers,
Live now; be novae

David Russell

Visit TheFED GroupSpace
Community Web Kit provided free by BT