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Entries in original poems (5)


Andrew talks to gulls - by George Roberts, for his son

standing on a string of grey rocks
reaching out into the clear water
andrew talks to gulls

his voice     sliding through octave cries
light as time    lifts in clouds of gulls
and draws their tiny black eyes

he thinks those pure white birds come
out of the sky and across years of water
for the pieces of bread he scatters to them

i know the sun dancing on their yellow beaks
is in honor of this small boy
whose voice remembers

he too    once wore
white feathers


From Brother Songs, A Male Anthology of Poetry


Return of the wolf - by Peter Neary-Chaplin

From the time of his freshest young imagining,
the earliest conjectures,
the first tug of horizon-longing
to the hewing and working of sweet wood
into a squat cabin,
to the dragging of rocks to clear a way for the ploughcut,
the sparkle and rush of mountain water
and the sudden dash of birds around the tiller,
the thrum of bugs in a warm sundown ,
the sculpting of ferocious land,
the carving of order and setting of boundary marks,
the wolf was always there,
present in half-shadow,
near enough to snatch scraps of meat and bone,
pale eyes made orange by the licking flame.

Soon the woman came,
the fire went indoors.
The tiller looked away,
took baths,
embraced the soft joy of her.
There was always much to do,
the summers bloomed and they were full.

Soon long winter took more than summer gave.

I have loved you, loved this, she spoke,
but this is not the love I crave.
This is my best, he sighed, my best.
This is what I have. 

One day she took a nap,
woke after two long days.
The doctor puffed his cheeks,
stared at the floor. 

While the earth mound was still fresh,
even before the wooden cross,
the wolf returned by night.
Scenting where she lay he howled her loss.


The fire came back outside
and neither made a sound,
pale eyes made orange by the licking flame,
red muscles stretching on the dusty ground.

From Steady, Pilgrim by Peter Neary-Chaplin


Jericho Road - by Peter Neary-Chaplin

Pour the wine back in the tall stone jars
and draw some water out.

Unleaven your bread.
Remove your robes,
take out the gold and crimson thread.

Dress in the clothes of every day.
Let celebrations fade away.
Be once more single and alone.

Strap on your sandals
and recommence your walk.
Move beyond the comfortable talk.

The answer is not here
but in your feet,
in the robber
and the saint you’ve yet to meet.


From Steady, Pilgrim by Peter Neary-Chaplin



Initiation - by Adrian G R Scott

The hug you gave me in that first moment
of diagnosis was vice like, sob racked.

Type one diabetes, at sixteen
a hammer blow and a terrible fear
realised in the time it takes
to go and out of the surgery door.

Now you prick your fingers every day,
that sharp droplet touched to the blue strip,
a trill pronouncing the amount
of sugar sweetening your blood.

Then the second wound, insulin in,
to the flesh of your stomach,
a place I once made raspberries
with my lips to make you laugh.

Initiation the ancient art
of wounding the boy,
teaching him that his bleeding could
become a place of wisdom,
that he needed to learn to weep out loud,
to wield his new found strength
in the service of something larger,
that he was part of a greater story.

What kind of a Dad do you need now?

One who has done his own bleeding,
who is not frightened by his own shadow,
who can call time on his own ego.

A man ready to start the next chapter called your story,
an on-going narrative that he will leave before it ends.

But Son, in the time we have left
can we embrace again like on that day?

Connected as men, sharing our pain
at sea on a strange ocean,
initiated by all this unasked for suffering.

Distinct - your journey not mine,
yet for a time in the same boat.

Carried by the true tide of courage to a shore
I want to reach first and wait for you to join me.

From Arriving In Magic, by Adrian G R Scott.


10-minute poems

Take a pen,
set your minute timer to ten
and catch your words like fleeing dreams,
new butterflies in this child's gentle net 
meeting for the first time friend to friend,
already beautifully grown
but not quite finished yet,
still awkward,
still a little wet,
summoned to your party unprepared;
even you don't know what you intend.
And when the clock runs down
play darts or walk the dog.
Come back tomorrow to redact.
Let today's words dry in warming sun,
the introductions over,
the hardest part now done.