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We have only got one life to live,
But we all have something we can give
To make the world a better place for those we leave behind,
This means that we must take our chance
To use our best efforts to enhance
Conditions which prevail for the future of mankind.
We all have some skill that we can use,
To comfort, educate, or simply to amuse,
Remembering everyone’s needs are of a different kind,
                                                                                      It might be just a simple word,
But above the clamour it will be heard,
And could give someone peace of mind.
We cannot pick and choose what we should do,
This has been ordained for me and you,
We must ensure we do that to which we are assigned,
We must act before it is too late
For time will surely pass to seal our fate,
We must not wait until we feel so inclined.
Now is the time for us to show
Our love and care for those we know,
For love is something which should not be confined,
For we only have one life to live,
And now is the time for us to give
To make this world a better place for those we leave behind.
Ron Martin

I look to you

When I feel I can’t fight the world anymore

I look to you for an open door

Your shoulder to lean on

Your hand to stroke away my tears,

Your soft voice to console all of my fears,

Your reassurance that you will protect

Me from harm and neglect,

I look to you for an open door

When I feel I can’t fight anymore,

I need your gentle hand

To guide me through

The rough exterior of this land

I look to you for an open door,

Where I know I will be safe

Not lost anymore,

I know you will be there for me

When I feel I can’t fight the world anymore

I will be reassured

Once I have entered your open door

Gillian Sims

The Snow-Storm Ralph Waldo Emerson your favourite poem



Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century
Born: May 25, 1803, Boston
Died: April 27, 1882, Concord
Full name: Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Snow- Storm

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
Come see the north wind’s masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer’s lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer’s sighs; and, at the gate,
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

When The Tramp Met The King


In the post this morning was a pamphlet sized envelope. I wondered what I had ordered and forgotten, and was pleasantly surprised to find inside an anthology from Middlesbrough based poetry press called  Ek  Zuban,   ( Ek Zuban means one voice in Urdu) entitled ‘When the Tramp Meets The King , poems from a competition to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the deaths of Charlie Chaplin and Elvis Presley.’

I remember the day Elvis died. I was sitting in my best friend Adrian’s kitchen while his mum made us pizza’s for lunch (home-made, I don’t think you could buy them ready-made from the local shop in 1977), and we were sipping drinks from the Sodastream when the announcement of Elvis’s death came on the radio. Adrian’s mum had to stop what she was doing and have a little cry; the King of Rock n Roll had died, a figure who had loomed large over her childhood and teens.

Back to 2013 and the anthology.  I opened the envelope and found the well produced booklet of poems selected from the competiton entrants and remembered how I had seen the competition advertised  last year and, being intrigued and inspired by the idea of Elvis meeting Chaplin, I had written the poem, posted it, and forgotten about it until now. There’s some lovely stuff in there, poems exploring the possibilities suggested by a relationship between these two legendary figures of the 20th Century.

Seeing my own poem again in the anthology, I can tell it was a first or second draft. But I like the poem and would like to share it  so I’ve posted another version here.

The King meets the Tramp

Just who is who Charlie? You, dressed as the victim
of his age, or me in my cape and lame’ finery?
Your dignity shone in every attempt to help the orphan kid
or whoop the big guy’s ass.

Yessir, you made me laugh! You were regal, stepping so easily
from screen to celebrity. And me Charlie? I’m a kid
from a shotgun-shack in Mississippi, the one who sold his soul
for a Cadillac and a swimming pool full of girls.

I ask you Charlie, does holding court to a bunch of good ‘ol boys
change a trucker to a king? But it’s not so sad Charlie;
even as the phony pharaoh of  Vegas I could still sing with the voice
God and America gave me, the one I kept despite everything.

By Roy Marshall


Hello little robin
wearing your scarlet red vest
how dainty yet proud you are
seeking food for your nest

the feeders are flowing
fresh seed to the brim
so go call the others to come delve in

Now perched on the bird bath looking fully fed
surveying surroundings for your next daily bread
please  please visit again little bird for you
  bring comfort I feel safe
with thoughts of someone so loved and missed can’t come

      sends you to me in his place

By Sandra Cameron




unsung heroes 22222222222222222222222 

He was always at the forefront of the battle

That was where he chose to be

Directing his men hither and thither

Fighting hard to ensure a victory

His courage was something that could not be doubted

It was plain for all to see

To his men it was a source of inspiration

In return they repaid him with their loyalty

Who is the manof whom I speak today?

Just one of many who led their men in war

Who were prepared to give their lives to in conflict

So that we could live in peace for ever more

He was one of the unsung heroes of the war

Whose deeds are among those that never will be known

But who contributed to the final victory

By ensuring the seeds of victory were sown

Every year in November we celebrate the anniversary

When the great war came to an end

Let us never forget those who made the sacrifice

And what it was they were fighting to defend

Ron Martin

The city of Benares

Where is the City of Benares?
I’ve searched hard to find its location,
I’ve looked at maps and searched the index of my atlas,
Thinking that it might be the capital of a great nation.
India, South America or the Middle East,
Each of these sound likely places for it to be located,
Then suddenly my searching came to an end,
When I discovered it was the name of a ship that was ill fated.
It was sailing in a convoy from England to Canada,
Ninety children were being taken there for the duration of the war,
Their parents had thought this would ensure their safety,
But very soon the ship way lying on the ocean floor.
The ship had been torpedoed by a German U boat,
Eighty three of the children would never be seen again,
Only seven of the ninety children were rescued,
The parents of the eighty three were left to feel the pain.
During the war many of our ships were sunk,
Countless lives were lost in tragedies at sea,
The Ark Royal, The Prince of Wales and the Hood are still remembered,
The names of other ships are lost to our memory.
The City of Benares will always be remembered
By the families of the children who were lost,
But we have to remember all those other ships,
When we calculate how much our freedom really cost.
History tells us of many cities which have been destroyed,
Sodom, Gomorrah and Pompeii are three we might recall,
But for the parents of those eighty three children,
The loss of the City of Benares was the greatest disaster of them all
By Ron Martin

A mountain to climb


The first time something is done we may regard it as spectacular,

We can appreciate the effort, the dedication and the stress,

But soon the deed becomes quite common place and banal,

As it is repeated it impacts upon us less and less.


For many years man had tried to climb Mount Everest,

And then one day there was a photograph for all the world to see,

Edmond Hillary and Sherpa Tensing standing on the summit,

They had ensured that their names would go down in history.


Once man had reached the summit of that mountain,

Once it had been shown that man could ascend its height,

It seemed that the task was not so difficult,

And today people standing on the summit is a common sight.


The same is true about many of man’s achievements,

Once achieved they became easier to repeat,

But it is the name of the first who is remembered,

Theirs is the record which goes on the record sheet.


Down the ages there have been those seeking to be first,

To achieve something which has never been done before,

Many, many people have failed in their efforts,

But their efforts have inspired others to try even more.


Man had dreamt of travelling into space,

No on ever really thought it could be a reality,

But in the last century these dreams were fulfilled,

When man harnessed the power of rocketry.


Today man travels into space with regularity,

It still fills people’s mind with fascination,

Now we are told that in the future many men will go,

And that in the future space will be a holiday destination.


What mountain is it that you would like to climb,

What is it that you are hoping to achieve,

Is it something which has never been done before,

Or something in which you fervently believe.


It may well be that you will never fulfil this ambition,

But failure should not fill you with despair,

If you have done your best you can feel satisfied,

Knowing that to be the first to achieve something is very rare.

Ron Martin

Christmas eve



All was quite on Christmas Eve

Not a sound could be heard

For I was waiting for Santa

In the silence something stirred


I heard the sound of tinkling bells

Echoing through the night

Could this be Santa Clause?

On his sleigh all bathed in light


O please Santa don’t forget me

For I have been good and true

O Santa please don’t let me down

I would like something special from you


Instead of bringing me presents

I ask nothing at all for me

Just wrap all the spirit of Christmas

And deliver it for all to see


The spirit of Christmas is magical

Lets touch those in need

Let it touch those that are starving

Giving nourishment for all to feed


Let it comfort the lost and lonely

And to all those and their own

Bring the spirit of Christmas

As they sit alone at home


Bring laughter back into this world

Let it lift up and sustain

Shower it down on those that suffer

To bring peace into their life again


As the tinkling bells drew nearer

I hoped Santa heard my plea

That all my prayers would be answered

And the presents he’d leave for me



Malcolm G Bradshaw

Marry me that way – Promote Yourself


Come with me to my parents
Sit on an African stool
And stretch out your legs
Drink from a calabash
And refresh your soul
Marry me that way

Let the whole family see you
Let them ask you who you are
Tell them your intentions for me
Marry me that way

Set the drinks before my parents
Let them ask you why you are here
Let me watch your heart beat fast
Because you want to impress
Marry me that way

Watch as my family accepts your drinks
And welcome you to the family
Watch as they start calling you;
In-law, Son, uncle, brother and friend
Marry me that way

 By Sheila Chanase

I still miss you – promote Yourself









There are days,
When I miss you
With a sudden intensity
Which surprises me.

It aches, in a way I didn’t deem possible,
In a heart, I didn’t know I possessed.
And I lie in this room feigning sleep.
Pining away, struggling with my existence.
While I choke from these strange arms enveloping me.

Should I strive, in vain, for you, most divine?
Or should I instead, be miserably content with what’s mine?

– Sreshtha Sen


Baked ginger parkin with rhubarb, vanilla ice cream and hot spiced syrup


For the hot spiced syrup
For the rhubarb
To serve

Preparation method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.
  2. Grease a 20cm/8in square cake tin with butter.
  3. Sieve the flour, a pinch of salt, the ginger, nutmeg and mixed spice together into a large bowl.
  4. Mix in the oatflakes.
  5. Warm the tins of syrup and treacle in hot water to make it easier to measure them out accurately.
  6. Put the syrup, treacle, butter and soft brown sugar into a small saucepan and melt over a gentle heat, bring up to a simmer but do not boil.
  7. Stir into the flour mixture.
  8. Mix in the beaten egg and milk to create a soft, almost pouring, consistency.
  9. Pour into the buttered tin and bake for 1¼ hours, until firm in the centre.
  10. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5-10 minutes before turning out and cutting into squares.
  11. For the hot spiced syrup, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a small pan and warm, but don’t boil.
  12. Place the rhubarb into a saucepan with a little water and the sugar.
  13. Bring to a simmer and cook until just tender.
  14. To serve, place a spoonful of rhubarb in the centre of the plate, top with a ball of ice cream.
  15. Place a piece of parkin on the side and drizzle over the spiced syrup.

    Nutty toffee apples

    Nutty toffee apples

    Studded with crunchy nuts, these grown-up toffee apples work well for a Halloween or Bonfire Night party recipe.


    Preparation method

    1. Push the wooden sticks halfway into the apples at the stalk end.
    2. Dissolve the sugar and water in a thick-bottomed pan over a gentle heat.
    3. Add the butter and syrup to the mixture and bring to the boil. Continue to boil, without stirring, until the toffee reaches 140C/275F (use a sugar thermometer to measure this).
    4. Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the nuts.
    5. Carefully dip each apple into the toffee, making sure each apple is well coated, and set aside to harden on a baking try lined with non-stick parchment.
    6. Let them cool then eat


Dancing over piano keys


For six years
My fingers were trained
To build crescendos,
Sinking delicately into chords
Like Demi plies

I crumbled
In front of you
And you tried to rebuild me
But you still have me,
My missing pieces
In your back pocket
And I haven’t seen you
For eight months.

For six years, we raced each other
From one end of a scale
To the other, not once slipping
On the ivories,
Never did tears
Accompany the music
Until my fingers
Ran alone.

Even if we were
To meet again,
I couldn’t ask
For them back.

Now, six years later,
Stiff fingers and a heavy heart
Weigh on the yellowing keys
Like bad memories.
And even after all these
empty days,
I never miss a note.


They are (wo)men like us – Promote Yourself


   We call them selfless, freedom fighters,

people who revolutionised their societies

We talk about them with the deepest admiration

And utter their names in sheer awe and reverence

Forgetting that they are (wo)men just like you and I

Two hands, two legs

Ten fingers, ten toes

They too like us, face divers kinds of woes

They are lauded with the statuette awards

Praised by columnists with all the glittering accolades the language can afford

We put them on pedestals and are held in their thrall

Forgetting that they are (wo)men like us all

What set them apart

That which sequestered them other than their heart

The heart immersed in what’s right

Or one that’s willing to forgive a slight

They stand up for what they believe, consequence be damned

The courage to pursue justice and not condone what’s an obvious sham

Yet we speak of them like they are celestial

Similar to some kind of extraterrestrial

One head, two knees

Not with one more eye

Forgetting that they are (wo)men like you and I

Where others failed they succeed

Became the heroes their ailing society needed

Not swinging with the status quo

To oppression,  injustice and corruption, they said no

They stood out indeed

They faced the challenge squarely

And subdued what could be considered an insecurity

They chose to put truth first

Came to be worth ten men due to that peculiar mindset

Yes it’s all in the mind

Maintaining a good conscience while on your grind 

So be it Dr King or Yaa Asantewaa

Next time you think of Steinem and Mandela and in adulation sigh

Remember, they are (wo)men like you and I

[This piece is something i have been thinking about for a long time and i was partly inspired by an article I read written by Manasseh Azure Awuni. You can check it out at ]


     Setor Dzisenu

     Accra, Ghana

Malcolm Bradshaw

CHARACTER v. WORK – Promote Yourself


Okay so now there’s this dichotomy

Between a man and his conscience’s anatomy

What makes him greater?

His exploits or his character?

Some would argue, “what does it matter?”

The end justifies the means

The tasty pancake, the batter

The finish line, the short cut

The celebrity, the rut

Goodwill and good heart go out the window

All we care about is the gleaming end-product

There’s another thing imperative though

A subtle ingredient that thickens the dough

In the vineyard are delectable fruits

But what hold the desired succulence are the indispensable roots

Navigating through life, the reputation of our work precedes us

Albeit in the hearts of our guests,

To the audience of our person,

What remains indelible

Would be the inner you which to them was visible

That dazzling smile, the kindly heart

The spirit of your personality, that’s what’s more memorable

More than appellations, far exceeding the stellar

Your nature is rooted in their minds forever

So character versus work

Each having its perk

But rather,

Doesn’t have to be one or the other

Two rich potions that together

In the tub lather

I’m Setor Dzisenu, a new Ghanaian blogger currently living in Accra, Ghana. I’m also relatively new to poetry and look forward to learning more to better my work. Cheers!

D H Lawrence


d h lawrence xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Growing up in Eastwood

With mining all around

Was difficult for Lawrence

For his health was not sound

He was bullied at school

He failed to join in games

He preferred the company of girls

For they did not call him names

His father expected him to be a miner

But Lawrence was playing it cool

First in Eastwood to win a scholarship

He went to the Nottingham High School

Alas he didn’t distinguish himself

The other boys were a class apart

He left school in the summer of 1901

Started work in factory as a clerk

In 1904 Lawrence did very well

In the Kings scholarship examination

His mother wanted him to be a teacher

Which he did through his determination?

Lawrence went on to be asuccessful author

This brought success into his life

Poetry was also one of his passions

But controversy through his work was rife

But his work may have been controversial

His written work was good

As a great poet and a writer

Who live in his home in Eastwood?

Malcolm Bradshaw

The Steam engine

I remember the Steam engine

Thrashing out the wheat,

steamroller working

Laying out our street.

The Steam Trains,

Bellowing out their smoke.

Watching from the bridge,

Trains passing made me choke.

Steam boats on the river,

Chugging up and down,

Children smiling faces,

As they raced around.

Days spent by the embankment,

Paddling in the pool,

Children eating ice cream

Trying to keep them cool.

Trams clanking too and fro

Memories from the past

All these things I remember,

The years have gone so fast

Memories of Nottingham

Flowers that bloom in May

Memories I will treasure

Until my dying day

By Malcolm Bradshaw

9th Competition

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