Category Archives: Poems

One Night I Slept On Land That Isn’t There

by MARK TOTTERDELL

One night I slept on land that isn’t there,
the cliff now tumbled to the beach below.
So much that once was firm has turned to air.

I was so cocksure then, so free from care,
I had no better place to sleep, and so
one night I slept on land that isn’t there.

The music carried on, sweet, wild and rare.
I heard it float up from the town’s bright glow.
So much that once was firm has turned to air.

The warm turf cushioned me, the stars were fair.
Why should it matter now that you should know
one night I slept on land that isn’t there?

And when the early sun caressed my hair,
I knew for certain which way I should go.
So much that once was firm has turned to air.

My maps are ashes now, so who knows where
the paths went? I’m impelled to tell you, though,
one night I slept on land that isn’t there,
so much that once was firm has turned to air.


‘One Night I Slept On Land That Isn’t There’ by Mark Totterdell was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones.


SLQ Daily 4 September 2020

In SLQ Daily on the 4th of September 2020, our Read of the Day is ‘Materfamilias’ by Gail Wright which received a Special Mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones. Our Blast from the Past today is ‘Fishing’ by Alison Chisholm, our Guest Poet in August 2003.

Something to look forward to, our Blast from the Past tomorrow 5th of September will be ‘My eConversation with Alison Chisholm’ by Nnorom Azuonye.


GAIL WRIGHT
Materfamilias

When I clean my teeth, there are only two toothbrushes in the holder.
They are orange and lime green; bright,
but not so conspicuous as
the two empty slots in-between them.

The washing machine has only been on twice
this week.
Only twice.
In a full week.

The shopping bill is half what it used to be
and the fridge is never full.
Stuff would get thrown away
if it was.

Only the top two placemats of the pile in the middle of the table
get used.
They are of the wipe-clean kind,
but I don’t really need to any more.

The television isn’t set to MTV or Netflix
when I turn it on,
and the volume is never higher than
eighteen.

Cushions remain in place on the sofas.
The cupboards are full of clean cups,
the drawers of forks,
and teaspoons.

‘The dream!’ everyone says. ‘Bliss!’
‘Yes!’ I say. ‘Time for us at last!’
And I go home to defrost two pork chops in the microwave
just so I can hear the ping.


‘Materfamilias’ by Gail Wright received a Special Mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones.



ALISON CHISHOLM
Fishing

I cast the line, let my hook dip
to settle above stirred sand
until mud flurries still. Sharp in green depths
it waits, watches ripples break on stone,
reaches when a hint of fish gleams.

The bait is snatched; float bobs, and I
reel in a glittering wedge
that spins and dances, writhes and flaps.
I catch it, cold and slithering,
ease the hook, feel it thrashing.

Its silver glistens early summer days
of paddling in the stream, of reed and rush
and willow catkins. Chill and splash
made small legs shiver; grass scent
tickled nostrils; frog percussion throbbed.

And there were picnics,
tomato sandwiches and lemonade,
races through dandelion and clover;
then home for tea, warm baths and tales
of prince and witch and once-upon-a-time.

The small fish flickers. I throw it back,
watch as its movements synchronise
with water’s rhythm. I cast another line,
trawl for another flash of silver, gather
fresh harvest from memory’s drenched stores.


‘Fishing’ by Alison Chisholm was published in Sentinel Poetry (Online) Magazine, August 2003. Chisholm has written eleven collections, six books on poetry writing including Crafting Poetry, and also the distance learning poetry course for The Writers Bureau. Her poems have won numerous competitions in Britain and America, and been broadcast on TV and radio. She has taught creative writing and poetry writing to adults since 1983, and has given workshops in schools and libraries, and at conferences in Britain and overseas, including The Writers’ Holiday, Fishguard, The Writers’ Summer School, and Relax and Write weekends. She is a regular columnist for Writing Magazine.



Materfamilias

by GAIL WRIGHT

When I clean my teeth, there are only two toothbrushes in the holder.
They are orange and lime green; bright,
but not so conspicuous as
the two empty slots in-between them.

The washing machine has only been on twice
this week.
Only twice.
In a full week.

The shopping bill is half what it used to be
and the fridge is never full.
Stuff would get thrown away
if it was.

Only the top two placemats of the pile in the middle of the table
get used.
They are of the wipe-clean kind,
but I don’t really need to any more.

The television isn’t set to MTV or Netflix
when I turn it on,
and the volume is never higher than
eighteen.

Cushions remain in place on the sofas.
The cupboards are full of clean cups,
the drawers of forks,
and teaspoons.

‘The dream!’ everyone says. ‘Bliss!’
‘Yes!’ I say. ‘Time for us at last!’
And I go home to defrost two pork chops in the microwave
just so I can hear the ping.


‘Materfamilias’ by Gail Wright received a Special Mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones.