A Network of Writing and Community Publishers


September 2017


Nuestros Raices

Y cuando Inti brilla como un rayo del sol
Voz como melodía de la timba
Que escuchan el alma, el corazón en nuestra tierra
Altura de Machu Picchu – Abya Yala
En harmonía con Pachamama
y no con el veneno y el mismo enemigo
Que habla, Sorry, business is business
El planeta es nuestro raiz
Y un himno lleno en el mundo
Hoy fue de todo en la Tierra
Y después, yo amo la vida, la agua, y el sol
Como el Monte de Oso en el viaje
Por el fin vino Sun Ra
En este lugar de la tierra
Viajó el planeta con amor y la verdad
Y está bien, él tiene un nombre, Trane
Como un sufi en una sola gota de amor superior
Porque ahora flores y hojas para siempre
El Cacique Tupamaro, El Cacique Hatüey, y Cacique Agüeybaná
En un nuevo día de van a despertar
Monstruos y diablos que viven en lugar donde el sol no brilla
Nuestro amor nació a salvar el planeta
Y para creer la marcha
Y mira, fulano, con una boca de mentiras
Puerto Rico está sufriendo con hambre, sin agua, sin electricidad
Y no con tus mentiras

Our roots

And when Inti shines like a ray of the sun
The voice like timba melody
Who listens to the soul, the heart in our land
The height of Machu Picchu – Abya Yala
In harmony with Pachamama
and not with poison
and the same enemy saying, Sorry, business is business
The planet is our root
And a hymn full in the world
Today was everything on Earth

And then, I love life, water, and sun
Like Bear Mountain on the voyage
At the end came Sun Ra
In this place of the earth
He traveled the planet with love and truth
And yes, he has a name, Trane
Like a Sufi in a single drop of love supreme
Because now flowers and leaves forever
The Cacique Tupamaro, the Cacique Hatüey, and Cacique Agüeybaná
On a new day they will wake up
Monsters and devils living in place where the sun does not shine
Our love was born to save the planet
And to believe the march
And look, so-and- so, with a mouth of lies
Puerto Rico is suffering with hunger, without water, without electricity
And no to your lies

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective


Chinese Grandma spends hours going from store to store,
searching for her special roots and dried berries
and leaves and shrivelled up mushrooms
to make this drink or soup or some concoction for her eldest son.
We celebrate her purchases by sharing dim sum,
knowing we have so little time left with her,
picking out morsels of steamed buns and prawn parcels for her to taste,
her appetite has wavered with her cancer.
We tease her, Ruth and I,
"Seven stores a-ma and you go back to the first to buy that ginseng"
and she playfully slaps our hands scolding us like naughty children.
I pour her tea and place the small white porcelain bowl in front of her.
Ruth takes off her glasses and flirts with our waiter,
her baby turns inside her at the sound of our laughter,
whilst I rock you, my first born, gently back to sleep.

At night, a-ma pats the bed for me to lie beside her
and I listen as she softly sings, followed by her shallow breathing,
she awakes from a dream calling out for her youngest daughter, "Ruthie" but she's not there,
it's just us tonight, I fetch her water.
Tomorrow she will show me how to make this drink
which gives men strength when they are weak.
Her eldest son arrives at the door in the early hours from his mistress,
bearing the gift of her favourite chicken and sweetcorn soup.
But a-ma is angry, yells at Him to go home to his wife and children.
And when he leaves she throws the soup in the garbage and I make us tea.
We sit outside in the shadows of the garden,
wrapped in blankets against the Autumn chill.
And when you stir I go to feed you,
then bring you warmly dressed for
Chinese Grandma to hold and rock and pat your back
as we gaze up at the tracks of planes across the sky,
she softly sings and squeezes my hand for I am homesick.

Mary-Jane Ng
Poetry as Healing


The beginning, of the beginning
Time of choice
As the roots find a way of growing
Through the core of life
Roots give spice
It leaves the roots behind
As understanding brings forth intelligence,
As the star of education blossoms
And happiness
And smiles
And wisdom takes over
And then the end becomes the beginning -
And the triumph of choice is no more...

(C) Josie Lawson
All Rights Reserved


I am rooted in the shadow
of beginningless beginingness

Before time
Before history
Before the first

My roots were laid down

When the original dawn
bathed pure vacancy
in golden light
my roots were already wrapped
around the soul
of the Godhead
we had not yet created

I have walked the living Way
the Way of Heaven
and the Songless Song
the angels sing in silence
their magic rooted
in the echo of the future

I have seen my birth
I have been my truth

If you uncover my roots
you will know your heart

I am the God who made the God
who made the God you made

The fires of Eternity
have blessed my soul
with understanding
of pure and perfect light

We are family
and family is One

We carried the Outer Star
to its present resting-place

I am you
and you are me

We are rooted
in an unknowable symmetry

The universe pursues
its own held breath

We are rooted in that
which does not need to know its roots

It is enough

Roy Birch
Stevenage Survivors


Trees up rooted
Below the waters
Rooftops showing
Underwater, unseen
Roots of trees
Fear as IRMA the hurricane,
causes destruction
Families, friends, worried across the world
For their loved ones safety

Before HARVEY and IRMA, angelic places to have a holiday
But evacuation of millions, had to be sought
To help save the residents, of places hit, by HARVEY, then IRMA
The roots of our planet earth
Will they settle again? Will they become angelic?
Or destroy our planet, year by year...

(C) Josie Lawson
All Rights Reserved


Today, will I rise rooted and strong
Turn my face to the sun
Sing my eternal song
Will my feet reach deep
into the arms of the Mother
stretching into the comfortable darkness of new birth?

Will I dare to rise rooted
to grow wise in the ways that were walked before
of peace and war of hunger and love
weaving the fragrance of longing and hope?

If I rise rooted I will bend with the wind
I will comfort all my branches
Feel life in my bones and
River in my soul

I will rise rooted in this good earth
I will sing every song till they are all sung
I will dance on the grass and the hills and the sea
So the magic of life is never undone

A tiny seed of living light
A dream of stardust
I rise

Lucia Birch
Stevenage Survivors


The roots of trees and plants of Africa
Walking in the hot weather through forest
I sit and break from the root a big giant leaf
Use as a fan and cool myself down.

Listening to all the different sounds of animals
The roaring tigers. Elephants charging by
crush the plants right down
to the roots.The sounds crushing crunch.

Here I am looking out to what I see around me
The different trees around
Waving big leaves from the trees
Flapping about with the rush of the animals running by.

Sitting by the root of a tree.
The insects up and down the tree coming from the root
I have to stand, my ass is itchy with bites.
I need to walk on to get to my root place.

Cleo White
Stevenage Survivors

Roots Branching

Upheavals breaking warping leaving
Homelessness tearing trains tears
Torn families hostels addiction damage
Tooth canal roots nerved pain ache
Broken down rooted uprooting family
Crime shame cultural tradition seed
Deeds Ginger roots traveling routes
Evil roots tuning thoughts language
Latin roots apple soil earthen wire

Electric Greek lyrics poems roots

John Joseph Sheehy



John Joseph Sheehy has some postcard designs entered into the Great British Postcard Competition.  Take a look at all the amazing designs and vote for one design in each category.  The direct link is: https://www.prostudio.saxoprint.co.uk/the-great-british-postcard-competition/postcard-gallery/11733


He stands before me
Eye to Eye
Powerful …. yet his presence rests
Gently rests
Alive in all dimensions
His stance planted like a great oak
His steaming breath scented with sweet grass
His gaze reflecting depths of wisdom
Depth of Soul and skies full of sun and storm
His soft fur catches the winds of time
And his quietness sings in my heart

I sense his grace and power are gifts to me
And I know we have stood here forever
Gratitude is not required
Just expansion, acceptance
And the honouring of each other

I long to touch him
But hold my gaze
And open my heart

He stands before me now
Resting his gaze upon me
With power, passion and purpose

I leave awesomeness behind me
And step forward
My gaze steady and true.

Lucia Birch 6.01 2012
Stevenage Survivors


Ancient town - you call me still
To wander on St Catherine's Hill
To tread the maze in mystery
In tree-circled history
Where rabbits hole and sheep call
Amidst the skylark's song.

And standing here
On the old chalk down
I see church spires rise above the town,
The great Cathedral close
And leaning in it's watery bed
Beside St Swithun's Bridge
Where the Itchen flows
With trout and reed.

And the street's are choked
With traffic now
The old flint walls
Passed too fast
To see the depth and contours
So solidly made, so long ago.

And the old West Gate still stands
But rather lonely now...
Walk through and remember
Walk through and remember.

Lucia Birch 2006
Stevenage Survivors

I Come From

I come from slum clearance, waiting forever
for posterity and re-generation
the men at the bookies and the bar
and the women and kids just survived
washing day on Monday’s
and back to backs
I come from riddled streets, hammering,
woodbines and smog
I come from Co-op divi,
Clarks sandals, knitting
games of cards on a Sunday night
an inside bathroom when I was eight
I come from a Christmas annual
free school milk, skipping, Enid Blyton
and home-match football programmes
a family of hard labour and clocking on
a Welsh Nan and an unknown Grandmother
from the past before me
I come from a secret
I come from Sunday morning; Family Favourites
variety shows, party games, picnics
and days out from the bricks
I come from ants disappearing in cracks
and drunks to avoid on a Saturday night
except I nearly got caught once
I come from busyness
I come from a back-yard
from my dad cutting air, turning the knife on a stone
from tarmac, walls, gates and entries
street-games; British Bulldog 1-2-3
from the sound of demolition
of rubble, rubble, rubble

Author's Note
This poem was written as ‘homework’ (as I suggested) from a local writing group I have just joined (Chirk Writers Circle). One lady read a poem in this style – by Robert Seatter - Seren 2006 from ‘On the Beach with Chet Baker. The brief was to follow the poem style – of writing, of where one lived in the past – but ‘clipped’ without falling into nostalgia and rounding the poem off by linking the beginning lines to the end lines. Repeating the original poem – and repeating the words ‘I Come’.

Jan Hedger


Different shoes – one family

The first fellowship, we come into contact with, is our parents, siblings and immediate family members. I came into that fellowship as a late arrival – into a world of adults and their different shoes.
My father’s – neat, lined up and highly polished
Mother’s – ready to wear and comfortable, for carrying home the daily shopping and going to bingo; a best pair for weddings
Two sisters – kicked off stilettos, only the eldest having a sensible pair of working shoes
Aunty Ruby – visiting in court shoes – from the office
Aunty Oll – next door – shoes hardly worn down, as apart from one afternoon to get her pension, she remained indoors, caring for her youngest brother, my uncle Ray – Heavy, brogue like shoes, in support of the few steps he could walk
Uncles – with hobnail working boots, except Uncle Harry whose shoes complimented his sweeping overcoat
And I grew – into school shoes from the co-op divi – summer sandals with crepe soles – when I longed for football boots
Different shoes, different people, all protecting me, as they saw fit, with values to abide by, even though they stayed on the periphery of Faith and never fully embraced it, I was bought up right.
Yet I took a troubled path, with ill-fitting shoes, why, is a question I cannot answer. It wasn’t rebellion. At first there was a loss, aloneness, detachment; then a constant seeking.
Looking back, attributing blame - growing to accept, I had made my own choices and seeing my parents in a different light, the light that came with Jesus in my life.

Jan Hedger



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