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January 2017



I dedicate this day to freedom 
for this is a gift 
to the people 
for the people 

A day without freedom is, sa to say, everyday 
Each day with freedom is a fight to stay free

I dedicate this year love
It is the way 
Without hesitation 
Our only resolution 

(C) 1-2 feb 17 Ángel Martínez
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective 

Meriden Resolutions

We walk along the pathway of Lamentation Mountain
With chants of how many days before winter turns to ice
The crescent moon beams toward us
Besides Silver Lake
Planet Venus flashes toward the Earth
While breathing the air out
Donald Wighead seems to look down far below
But if I could see him opening his mouth
you could see that he comes out with rubbish
Hey, I’m the top dog, and every day, I will make life difficult
Gray clouds, daily suffering
Reports were not to me but to the fools that follow me
The poor know that the rich care less
And the corporate could care less for Standing Rock Sioux
And the Ramapough Lenape 
Respect for water is life
Let us make out resolution
On this Friday afternoon
Over the edge and into the water
Climbing the hill 
I could hear the people in the wilderness march
In harmony as Oscar López Rivera will dance in freedom
On May morning

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 1/1/17
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective


2016 was not a good year for some things.
Not good for lessening our impact on the temperature of this planet's atmosphere, so pushing Climate Change to greater excesses of 'Weather induced incidents'.

Not good for politics, elections giving the go-ahead for greater division in the world of politics just when human kind really needs more cohesion to tackle the problems of more people on the planet when the planet is quite disapproving of this.

Definitely not good for resolutions, since so many of them in the past have got us to where we are now? What have we been resolving over the past few, few tens of, few hundreds of, few thousands of years?

So, I hate it when people start sentences with 'so' when they have no need to, it's so annoying, but some things always seem to start with so, that's annoying too. So does sorry, so, sorry for digressing so, in this way, to such a wee pet hate…

Where was I? Ah! So, I resolved not make any resolutions in 2016, I mean, making all these resolutions seems to have lead us into some kind of real mess, and besides, most resolutions get broken so easily it makes me sometimes wonder if they were given a modicum of thought before their declaration. 

So, sorry, hang on a minute, another quick diversion. So, speaking of thought, even a modicum, or lack thereof, that's why I don't take any notice of twitter, peoples' tweets, whether they're celebs or even presidents, the opposite tweets are very likely to appear soon, from the very same tweeter, so you read it all again from the opposite point of view, why bother? Save your time, and all the energy spent on the infrastructure so that you can read what he/she's quote is today only to have to check every hour for the next few days to see how long it takes he/she to quote the exact opposite without disowning the earlier quote because they never make mistakes?

So-rry. Where was I? Ah! So, imagine my surprise then, when around the third or the fourth of 2017, when so-ber, I found myself saying, talking out loud to myself, (so, I often do that, talk to myself, I'm a good listener when I'm talking, not like when someone else is talking) “That's a good idea for a resolution, I think I'll visit this year, haven't been there since, when was it, '63, '64, at least fifty years ago, so I might just resolve to visit in '17”, so, breaking my resolution not to make any resolutions. I'm aware that some of you might think that the resolution not to make a resolution broke the resolution, but I don't think so.

Where was I? Ah! So, a resolution that breaks the already broken resolution, so does that mean that since it's already broken, therefore not in one piece, it cannot be broken again, or is there another break to go which means that it's not all broken, only a bit broken – so maybe there's still something to hang on to, some modicum of restitution of the resolution and resolve to gain some form of solution to the resolution.

It would be a first, well, the revisit, not the breaking of an already broken resolution, that's happened before, definitely not the revisit, I've already visited more than once but that was fifty years ago, so it's not that then. 

So, what is it then? – well, I've never before visited a UK City of Culture while it's been the actual UK City of Culture. No so surprising, there's only been one, Londonderry in 2013. There'll be another one in 2021.

There's a European Capital of Culture awarded annually and the very first was Athens in 1985. In 1990 Glasgow became European Capital of Culture and the Scots, having invested, actually spent, a load of money decided that it could last a bit longer so they named Glasgow as Scotland's City of Culture for a bit longer, so Glasgow became Scotland's City of Culture from 1990 to 2010. I've visited Glasgow once or twice, but not during that twenty years.

In 2008 European Capital of Culture was Liverpool, another one that I've visited once or twice and is really easy to get to, but I didn't get there during …  

So I guess you've guessed already. I'm thinking about visiting a 'City of Culture' when it's a city of culture. So what if it's UK instead of European or Scottish or anyone else's, it's a city and it's got culture, that'll do.

There's been thirty one European Capitals of Culture and although there's a few I've been to, I haven't been there when they had 'culture'.

So maybe I'll correct that this year, after all, Kingston-upon-Hull is the only place I know where the financial centre, the really busy bit, the real main drag, main street, goes by the name of 'The Land of Green Ginger', well it used to a while ago, so I was told last time I was there, and now they've got Culture too. 

So! Time for another visit … And, since I'm not sure I can afford the train fare, maybe I'll get to have another go over the Humber Bridge.  – £1.50 each way, three quid, plus another few hundred or more for the petrol, unless I visit before summer.

So – as the saying goes 
See you in Hull …

Dave Chambers
Newham Writers Workshop

Careful with the spell-checker …

New Year's Resolutions

In the final stages of this topic, may I offer my New Year's Resolution.

In fact it is a few of them:

To listen more and to speak less.

To care more and to show it.

To spend more time with older people: that's difficult for me as I'm 80 next week.

So let's make it - lonely people.

To find the time for this.

To care more for our world: I do care greatly right now though.

To see my grandchildren more ( even though they may be too busy)

To laugh more but not in the wrong place....or time.

To cry less as it's pathetic in a man of my age.

To walk more, even though it causes a little pain at times.

To read more good books, even the classics.

To try to understand them.

To see the beauty of our world in all it's seasons.

To eat less and get from 13 to 10 stones....I'm 5.8ins.

To look at the bus driver when I say, 'thanks'.

To do the same for store staff.

To not think I'm doing well when doing little.

To keep chucking out junk and not to become an old hoarder.

To always speak up against blood sports.

To remember I can do NOTHING by my own volition: 

I always need help.. so I must remember to give it too. 

David King

Crystal ball 2

I can see only fog.
It can be London's smog.
Where is my Dracanda?
She is sweet
and she can see
only nice things.
People laboring in the gym,
running with their dogs,
and they don't smoke.
Oh, Dracanda,
I am in the mall,
and I am lost.

Marie Neumann



Shut out the world
Music sounding
Stars of joy
Within my system
Shut out the world
The disabilities cry
The New Years Resolution
Write your way
Give yourself space to enjoy
The words within your system

(C) Josie Lawson
All Rights Reserved


Crystal ball

went to the mall
to look for its witch.
Where is my Dracanda,
where is she?
Without her
I can't read.

POW assignment.
Marie Neumann



Artwork by John Joseph Sheehy


Turning the other cheek chewing words

In the twelve months ahead the resolution
Is forgotten about the same thing as spooled
Spoon soon to see wheels are not adequate slipping
Enough was going through at least at work screams
The actions of others interfered with the resolution
Results dropped avoiding the question mark dropped
New Year fresh start turning over will stopping suddenly got the green light grinding slide
Discipline a disciple grounds to halt red alert
Turning the other cheek chewing words
Seven days battling in the resolution trail

John Joseph Sheehy

Seventeen -Twenty-Seventeen

Unforgettable the year twenty sixteen is fading fast
Twenty seventeen raising smiling face stars
In the fog it arrives counted in the music cherry tree
Settling in the well the world goes by on the hop
Oppertuinites rising taking wise risks in the heat dipping
A moving smile catch in the middle the morning street
No time to count what may come up shifts down insecure
In the present strike rotates onwards and upwards
Nothing waits for wants as well as sweet time goes
Moon rises sun goes down softly rainy day
Some nights ahead far off maybe laughter a little tear
Success effort new learning new job in the mystery 2017
New word London's gardens stance scent

John Joseph Sheehy


Composed movements

In the mill and music
All  life is formed
family community people
this is the essence
Strings sound soul
Wind reed instrument
In the radio waves
The show knits knots
Spirit sport connection
accomplished light
Switching season seeds
Deeds reeds bogs meadows brews
Composing breeds fruits ripening
Dinner plate shaped green ranger game

John Joseph Sheehy


It is strange now for me to recall how a New Years Resolution many years ago
changed my job and my life..

I worked at that time in a big typing pool at an office in the city of London.
All the typists in those day wore mini skirts and I attempted to out mini the other girls.

My mum called my skirt  a pelmet, as did most mothers in those days.
The dimensions of this tiny garment was as long as it was wide and was almost a square.
This attire guaranteed invitations to go on dates for a drink or coffee after office hours.
The young men who asked one out were too shy to invite us home etc.

The only problems were on busses and the tube train.
Some men seem to think we make ourselves appealing for any one, but they should know we wish to attract only those of our own choice.
On the bus going home you could see the middle aged men jostle to sit by my side,
raincoat and brief case held to place a hand on my leg by 'accident' ..
I had to get a long coat.  

I noticed the girls in the admin. office on the next floor, wore knee length skirts in black or grey.
That became my resolution and I gave up the mini skirts and wore those of the upper floor.
Within a month, I was called up for an interview with the manager.
He told me that my work was fast and accurate and that he would have called me up sooner
if I had not been given the nick name of 'legs eleven'.

He offered me employment in the admin. office and a date for dinner that night.
He said I could go home early to change into my former skirt, but not in the office.
We met for dinner and were soon married.
The marriage lasted for only two years and this all proves that physical attraction is not enough to make a good marriage ...


Monica Burns


Some people make New Years resolutions
I wonder if it's because they seek solutions
to a life that's not quite right
they think "Oh a resolution , it just might
bring me nearer to the truth
It'll open doors that have been closed
and make everything, in my life make sense"
but unfortunately, it don't work like that
it isn't like when you change your hat
your problems are the just the same
it's good you want to change your ways
but usually after a few days
things go back to normal

The picture that I paint is bleak
wait a minute let me speak !
I'm not telling you , to give up hope
pull a face and sit and mope
I'm just telling you the facts
It's up to you to act
I know that I'm a fighter in my heart
I've been down in the deepest dark

and if your new year resolution fails
next day board again and sail
and then again the next day
for that's the way
to beat the blues
and gasp for air when drowning
and soon the frowns will change
and your life will be re-arranged

my drowning days are over
in my soul , I fight and fight
my destination , paradise
it's not been easy
far from it
but faith will set me free

Katie Wilson
Stevenage Survivors

Resolutions sonnet

I made seven resolutions last year:
Did not keep one of them!
I'll make seven more right now, and so clear.
Don't look; I'll tell you when.

Last year I sold my sole, my shoe, my car.
I won't do that again....
This year, I'll take much greater care, by far.
I'll be much smarter then.

When I've done the deed, I will let you know.
I will not act with speed.
I will take my time: going really slow.
Yes: this is what I need.

A resolution fit for Two-seventeen.
I will get it right and not in between.

A Happy New Year

Andy Bloom


When we try to make these things,
We often try in vain.

We promise this and promise that,
No matter what the pain.

We hope to keep them
  that is true.

I know it's hard
   and so do you.

There are better ways
Or so they say.

Perhaps there are.
Please show the way.

I often have good intentions
They also seem so fine.

Are they just pretentions?
May be: but they are in time.

When others fail,
I pity them.

I do not laugh.
I don't condemn.

If they should succeed,
I then feel good.

I say God's speed.
Or so I should!
So let us all,
In this New Year.

Try not to fall,
Or live in fear.

Let's all walk tall:
let us be kind.

Fit body now
In a fit mind.




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