Sunday, 10 April 2011

The April Food Poetry Competition's Winner is...

Hugh Metcalf!

Congratulations! £50 will be on the way to him shortly.

Please see his poem below:

Fruit and Veg is a graveyard
of barren totes - two weeks
and the pillow of snow has smothered
the breath from the earth.
Grocery shopping with my mother
has become a matter of preservation.
The tins make her nostalgic,
she remembers the cuboid of corned beef
being carved at the table like a brisket.
We'll look at it as broadening our palates,
savour the trip of the tongue
over the strange new adjectives - creamed
mushrooms and marrow-fat processed
peas. Our fruit bowl won't be glut
with apples and satsumas, we'll have
the peach segments' aluminium tinge,
the alien shapes of lychees and guava halves.
The frozen aisle has a fairer offering -
a scattering of broccoli, Black-forest berries,
but my mother insists there's no space
in the freezer. I wonder
if we couldn't keep them in the garden.
Maybe we'd lose them in the snow-drift
until the sky thawed and the first shoots
of spring were unkernelling.

Hugh Metcalf

National Poetry Month: Day Eight and Day Nine

Day Eight


All you've got is now.
This poem. My voice
and you. That is all.

No yesterday, tomorrow.
All you've got is right now.
Get up. Go.

Day Nine

A New Bathroom Moves In

But the old one is left on the grass,
rejected, empty, alone.
It looks like an abstract painting
by a surrealist; Dali or Magritte.

The sink is on its back- little birds
drink from the water that remains.
It's the inside looking out,
and the outside looking in.

The avocado-green bath blends in
with spring grass and closed buds.
Mud starts to settle in the hole
where bodies liked to slow down.

A poppy has sprouted
through the toilet;
and, somehow, nature makes
our waste beautiful.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Essentials...

I was giving some thought into 'Kitchen Essentials' and what a cook should have to create good food, (this doesn't include major things like saucepans and roasting tins etc., because everyone should have those), and I came up with my Top 10, which so far contains (in no particular order):
  1. Wooden Spoon
  2. Microplane Grater
  3. Large Mixing Bowl
  4. Balloon Whisk
  5. Decent Knives
  6. Y Shaped Peeler
  7. Tongs
  8. Wooden Cutting Board
  9. Multi-tool Hand Blender
  10. Mortar and Pestle

This list got me thinking about the 'Essentials of Poetry'; what do we need for good poetry? Well, I came up with my Top 10...

  1. Diction
  2. A Title
  3. Euphony (Tempo, Tone)
  4. Rhythm
  5. Rhyme (not necessarily full rhyme, internal or half rhyme should be there somewhere)
  6. Good Line Breaks
  7. Clarity
  8. Imagery
  9. Volta
  10. A Resolution, surrendering to a silence.

Do you agree? What would you add to either list?

National Poetry Month: Day Six and Seven

Hello all, I am now writing this on a big screen which is a great comfort to that of a mobile phone's tiny screen I was using. It's been a wonderful day in Oxford today, the sun has been shining and my university work was put on hold so I could indulge in some rays. I hope everyone that is trying out the National Poetry Month is getting some decent poems written, or if not, try going for a walk to clear your head, or a bike ride to get the creative thoughts flowing. I wasn't that productive today but a few poems cropped up, albeit very under developed!

Day Six

Tide Line

Our bodies move
like two pebbles

that roll up and down
a tide line,

rocking with motion,
grinding to sand,

and weaving
in and out

until one wave
pulls us far out

and in to sea
where we can

still for a second
and then settle.

Day Seven

Right Now

is the fine line
past and present,
dark and light,
floatation and gravity –

the exact second of
right now
will rapidly be
into the past,

where the future waits
to be swallowed
and yesterday
is inhaled
by tomorrow.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

National Poetry Month: Day Five

The List

I've done everything on the list
and ticked them off, one by one.
Washing, ironing, cooking.
Writing, researching, reading. Done.

I've even exercised for an hour,
had a bath for a while with poetry,
made dinner for Dad who popped by,
but nowhere on the list was you.

You've been in bed all day,
I've been your nurse.
You ate two rich tea's
but no hope, still sick.

I've done everything on my list,
yet you still lie there, asleep,
unable to be helped, I watch you
weaken into something I can't fix.

Monday, 4 April 2011

National Poetry Month: Day Four

The Bat Cave

His mother has waited months,
starved of any daylight,
for his wings to grow by moonshine.
He grows while clawed feet
grip onto the ceiling, holding on
to fly in tomorrow's sunbeams.
In the dark, he weakens and falls.
The hundreds left up there
are helpless and can only squeal.
The bottom of the cave is alive.
They crawl up to the weak to nip
at his flesh; the softest juice
their only chance of survival.
They suck up all his wings,
every inch explored and foraged.
While his mother has to hang on
and cry for her only son.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

National Poetry Month: Day Three


You roll over to me,
hug me from behind
and reach round to rub
circles on my belly.

Circles of turmoil
have occurred under
your fingertips –

our dreams thinned
in one single day,
one single moment.

Mummy's Day!

Mothering Sunday has been hectic to say the least. I baked and cooked all day yesterday in preperation for the buffet I put on for the family. It was wonderful to relax in my new kitchen. I will begin with the sausage rolls:

Makes 28 Rolls
Puff Pastry sheets or block to roll out (or even homemade if you've got hours of spare time!)
Sausage Meat (I used Pork and Apple ones I had in the freezer)
1 Egg


1. Pre-heat oven to 200'C
2. Take the sausage meat out of the skins and roll into fifty pence balls.
3. Lay out the pastry. Measure so that the pastry fits the width of meat and can wrap around it once:

4. Egg wash the end part of the pastry so each end can stick together:
5. Roll up and egg wash the entire top of the roll:

Cook for 20-25 mins until golden.


Next, Mini Pavlova's. My Mum can't eat dairy so I created them for her so we could have dessert together.

Makes 10 Pavlova's:

2 Egg Whites
4 tablespoons of sugar (icing usually, but I had to use granulated because I've run out!)
teaspoon of red wine vinegar

Double Cream
Any berries that you fancy.


1. Pre-heat oven to 150'C
2. Whisk up the egg whites, either by hand or with electric mixers.
3. Add the sugar, towards the end of the beating when the egg whites whiten and start to stiffen, spoonful by spoonful until you can make peaks:

4. Spread onto a baking sheet (either non-stick or with a baking sheet on.)

5. Bake in a cool oven for an hour and a half then turn oven off and leave the meringues to completly cool down inside the oven:

6.Spread with whipped double cream (with a little sugar in if preferred) and top with sliced strawberries:


Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

National Poetry Month: Day One and Two

My internet failed last night so I am attempting to type up my first two poems via my mobile phone. This is a first for me so I hope it works!

Here goes...

1st April

22 Mill Street

It's the time of night
when lightbulbs are warm
from an evenings glow,
where eyes are closing,
and the only light
is the flickering streetlamp
or when the clouds
part for the moon.

The houses quietly hum,
awaiting the morning sun.
I stroll streets in grey light,
patrolling your pavements,
until I find you alone.
The knife tucked up
inside my sleeve
is twitching.

2nd April

House not yet a Home

Bricks and Mortar,
Drills and Drillbits,
Walls and Timber,
Windows and Paint.

Sofa and Cushions,
Cups and Kettles,
Chairs and Tables,
Books and Bedsheets.

You and Me.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

National Poetry Month: April 2011

I have been asked to join in with National Poetry Month by Carrie Etter where I shall be attempting to write one poem per day in the month of April. It is an American tradition (from the Academy of American Poets) and it's a time when all poets can come together and write, so everyone who wants to be involved, get involved! I will be attempting this with many other poets and friends and I invite you to follow my progress. Of course, my poems will be food related and I shall combine them with any recipes that I create along the way.

I think it will be a fascinating journey and anyone that wants to join in...please send me your daily poems and I'll post them with mine every day.

So...tomorrow it begins...good luck everyone!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New Seasonal Recipe for Spring!

I visited my local shop and bought some local seasonal treats to make for my dinner. As promised, I shall show you my new recipe. The seasonal produce I have used are: lettuce, chicory, radishes and pomegranates.
With these in mind, I'd thought I'd make a salad. Also, in relation to my last post on Artichokes, I found some Jerusalem Artichokes so I thought I could use them too:

Spring Salad


Serves 2 rather hungry people

Vension, Duck breasts or Rump Steak of Beef (I have rump steak today)
1 head of Lettuce
2 heads of Chicory
Handful of Dill
1 Pomegranate
Pack of Radishes
4 Jerusalem Artichokes
Salt, Pepper
6 Bay Leaves
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Teaspoon of sugar
A Lemon
Half a teaspoon of Wholegrain Mustard
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Knob of Butter

Peel and chop Artichokes to inch cube pieces and throw in a hot pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Fry for a few minutes then place a lid on and leave for 20-25 mins, tossing every few minutes.
Coat Beef Steak with remaining oil, and some salt and pepper. Fry in another frying pan to your taste (I suggest Medium-rare). Rest meat in foil for ten minutes while you prepare the salad:
Tear salad leaves and chicory onto bowl, slice radishes very thinly, roughly chop dill. Mix together on serving plate.
In a little bowl mix together the mustard, half the juice of a lemon, 5 tablespoons of oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
Sprinkle as much dressing as you like onto the leaves and toss through with hands.
Slice open pomegranate and bang (very hard) on the back of the halves to empty the pips out. Then sprinkle on top of salad.

Add warm artichoke.
Place beef on top.
Sprinkle with more dressing if desired and keep the rest in the fridge for your next salad.


New Discoveries!

I have recently discovered that I can publish contemporary published poets! Although I have been publishing students that have entered the monthly competition, I think my readers would become better writers if they read what food poetry is being published right now. When I started the blog, I searched through antique book shops, flea markets and car boot sales to try and find old poetry books where copyright no longer matters. I have struggled to find any relevance with the old poems I have found, as food poetry is reflective to the culture it was written in, so I have struggled to connect it to recipes I create in today's world. The discovery of being able to publish contemporary poetry was music to my ears, and I am able to do it because this is an educational blog trying to help others with poetry and food. I hope that the following poem by Robin Robertson helps my readers to broaden their horizons with line break, asyndetic listing (listing with commas) and accurate word choices. Artichokes are one of the most intriguing vegetables and they will soon be in season in May/June time.


The nubbed leaves
come away
in a tease of green, thinning
down to the membrane:
the quick, purpled,
beginnings of the male.

Then the slow hairs of the heart:
the choke that guards its trophy,
its vegetable goblet.
The meat of it lies, displayed,
up-ended, al dente,
the stub-root aching in its oil.

Robin Robertson

With Robin's poem in mind, I am off to the farmer's market in Bath to get some seasonal treats, then I shall be back to cook dinner tonight. I will post my new recipe with my new seasonal food! I hope the poem inspires you to cook with new ingredients and discover new ideas on your poetry.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Latest News!

The NEW April Food Poetry Competition!

1st Prize: £50

April’s entry requirements:

  • 40 lines max
  • Theme: ‘Spring'.
  • Maximum of 4 poems.
  • Entry Fee: FREE!
CLOSING DATE: 5th April 2011.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Winner of the March Food Poetry Competition!

Congratulations to Zaina Budaly who has won March's Food Poetry Competition! I hope the following poem inspires my reader's to pick up a pen and send in some food poetry! Well done to Zaina again, here is her poem:

The Sugar Tong Collector

There was something about them
picking up clustered sweetness
then set free in the perfervid
liquid.  Many times I watched
him behind net curtains, torn
by my longing, wild fingers.

They could have been Georgian
or once stroked by Her Majesty’s
painted fingernails; silver plated,
imbedded in skin and shiny as
mirrors.  Snaked writhed

like long hair in water meeting
a diamond ball at its peak.  Priceless
it was, the catastrophic way diamonds
crumbled when compressed; granulated, once
cast from a mould.  “Elizabeth I,” he sighed.

Even an oval-shaped sun, once cast from a tong
could not stun me.  I cried for attention, punching
 the sprinkled floorboards.  His words took
hold like water, soothed the burning coal,
left me fumbling for my own.

Zaina Budaly

Please look out for the next update informing you of the April's competition.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Pizza Day!

After Pancake Day, I am still in the mood for a rounded flat object to eat: pizza is the only cure! Here is the proof of the successful pancakes:

The therapy of kneading out pizza dough (or mixing pancake mix) is similar to the therapy I receive from some of the poetry I read. It's therapy to eat and also to read other people's food or poetry but the creative process of making it yourself is what I think I revel in; by providing pleasure and comfort to other people (is there anything more heart-warming?!) Also, I think I'm saving a lot of money in therapy by using food and poetry to cure my worries. Try it: it might work for you too! The easy pizza recipe is below:

One Sachet of Sainsbury's Pizza Base Mix (a cheap cheat!)
Ketchup or Tomato Puree or BBQ Sauce
Mozzarella or any cheese you love
Toppings (I prefer vegetables to keep it healthy, or parma ham and mushrooms)

Preheat oven to the highest temp your oven will go (usually 240'C)

Mix warm water with sachet ingredients until (170ml)
Bring to a ball in the bowl
Sprinkle surface with flour and knead the ball for 5 minutes
Leave for 10 mins in a bowl with clingfilm on top
Roll out and spread sauce, cheese then toppings on top.
Cook for 10 mins.

One of the quickest and most satisfying dinners I have discovered:


p.s TOP TIP: Scissors are the easiest way to cut a pizza (see above!)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Springtime is nearly here...

The snowbells are brightening the dullest of grass-strewn pavements and the daffodils are waiting to flower. I love this time of year. I have started to use my bicycle again after the harsh winter. I find it a wonderful way to pick up fresh vegetables from the Covered Market in my basket, and I also love the fresh air as it gives me new ideas for poems. I spent the weekend away from my student house in Bath, to go back to my hometown in Oxford. I love exploring the city centre and taking pictures. I hope you like this picture of the Radcliffe Camera, part of the Bodleian Library. The sunlight was beautiful that day.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Ideas about Connections...

I have recently been thinking what would interest readers about the connection between Food and Poetry. I began to look deeply into the structure of how a recipe and a poem can talk to each other. It's interesting to think of each ingredient to be like each line of a poem. Each ingredient is just as important as the next and if you don't include it, there is a chance that the recipe, and therefore the overall dish, may falter. It's exactly the same as a poem; if you don't secure the exact words in correct order in the exact line then the poem will struggle to be concise and therefore the poetry you write will suffer. This sounds very broad thinking, but it has made me understand how intricate the art of poetry is. It has made me realise that each word and each beat in music of poem, must be in tune with the rest; each line must sing to every other line. I've been told this by many of my poetry tutors but I have never truly understood what they meant. I love discovering new connections with poetry, and especially if food has helped me discover it.

I have perfected my Mum's Stew, dauphonoise potatoes, hollandaise sauce, a poached egg and many more since I started to cook at twelve. Now, I can see how each of these recipes can represent the form of a poem and how long it takes to perfect, and what it needs is practise, practise, and more practise.


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

March Food Poetry Competition!

Welcome to another month of the competition!  There has been a new addition and you can now recieve cash rewards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place! See below for all the information you need:

The Cuisine of Poetry presents:

The NEW March Food Poetry Competition!

Prizes: 1st: £20
              2nd: £10
             3rd: £5

March’s entry requirements:
  • 40 lines max
  • Theme: ‘Food and the Senses’.
  • Maximum of 4 poems.
  • Entry Fee: FREE!
  • Send to:

CLOSING DATE: 5th March 2011.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Winners of February's Food Poetry Competition!

Congratulations to Kate Silvester, Tom Stone (twice monthly winner!) and an anonymous entry. Please read the following and enjoy!

February's Theme: Vegetables


Sliced beefsteak tomatoes
on a bed of crisp spinach.
A sprinkle of fresh basil
and a dribble of extra virgin olive oil.
Add generous slabs of buffalo mozzarella
and a sheen of balsamic vinegar.

A thin, crisp dough base
covered in freshly beaten tomatoes.
Crushed garlic cloves, just picked oregano.
Slices of local goats cheese melt
accompanied by a helping of aged prosciutto.
Add rocket tossed in olive oil once cooked
for a tingle on your taste buds.

Linguine pasta, freshly made,
bubbling for five minutes.
Add some salt and pepper,
some crushed tomatoes.
Introduce clams, prawns, tuna
and lashings of garlic.
Flavours exploding; your perfect pasta dish.

Kate Silvester


Sharpened Carrots
Frozen Peas
All my favourite
Edible weapons
Clara won’t
Eat her vegetables
So now she must die
Before she gets fat
She'll be picked on at school
I can't let that happen
So I'm going to kill her
Frozen peas to the forehead
Should do it
Oh dear
I’ve dropped one of
the carrots
It’s sticking out of my knee
Along with
Lots of blood
I can’t walk
Oh the irony
For now I am
The vegetable

Tom Stone

The Onion

I usually halve it,
cut it through the root
and roughly chop:

It could get tossed in a salad,
fried with bangers and mash
or thrown in a cheese roll –

but when I cook for you,
I take my time;
I leave the root whole
and slice slowly,
each piece exactly even,
then add to a stew
and leave it to simmer.


Please look out for March's Competition with the new Monthly theme.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Wine, wine, glorious wine!

As experiments go, this one has been one of my favourites. I have been trying out wine in a few recipes and each one has gone down extremely well. I picked up a few old cookery books in my local antique centre and found a few poems inside them. Just my sort of book! I found this inside:

There's nothing like the blood of grapes
To give escapes
From care's infesting festering apes,
To set the wit upon probation,
To give an edge to conversation,
To make a friend of a relation;
There's nothing like the blood of grapes.

From One Thousand and One Nights
Powys Mathers

There's also nothing like the blood of grapes to help flavour your food! I used it last night in a sausage casserole with my flatmate and it was amazing. I threw everything into my pan and let it simmer away for 45 minutes. Try it, it was so easy:

Venison Sausage Casserole with Butter Beans


6 pack of Sausages, each sausage cut into thirds. (can be whatever you fancy but I found the vension sausages on offer and wanted to try something new. Make sure they are more than 70% meat.)
1 large onion, diced.
Knob of Butter
Few Bay leaves
Glass of Red Wine (good quality- wine you would drink!)
Thyme, chopped.
Peppers, diced. (or whatever vegetables you have left over and want to throw in)
Small tin of Butter Beans
Few cherry tomatoes, quartered.
Beef Stock
Any Chutneys in the fridge that would sweeten it up (i.e tomato chutney, caramelised red onion chutney)
Salt and Pepper

  1. Add knob of butter to pan and then throw in onions. Fry off for about 10 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the glass of red wine and leave to reduce with the onions until nearly gone.
  3. Next, fry off sausages for a few minutes to brown with the onions.
  4. Scatter bay leaves on top.
  5. Add the stock and turn down to low.
  6. Now add in all the vegetable (in my case, peppers, butter beans and tomatoes).
  7. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme.
  8. Add any chutneys you have lying around, even mustard if you wish.
  9. Simmer for half an hour until the wine and stock and thickened and serve with buttery mashed potatoes.
  10. Serve with the rest of your red wine and enjoy!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Join the Fish Fight!

Recently, in the media, there has been a lot of attention on the type of fish that we are eating. A third of the fish we eat are either Salmon, Prawns or Tuna. This needs to change to keep the fishing levels afloat. We need to explore our supermarket providers and local markets to find different fish we have not tried before. This way we can give the popular fish a break, and allow them to flourish in the sea again, otherwise our supply of them will run out. So buy some new fish this weekend and save the sea!

Please spend a few moments by signing up on this link and support Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's campaign in this international food fight. An EU law keeps the fishermen throwing dead fish (that we can eat) back into the sea. Please help to change this law and save the fish!

Do your bit by stopping to buy the common fish and go for something different. I picked up a fillet of Whiting at my local deli counter for £1 a fillet: a cheap and easy meal. Being a member of the Gadidae family, which also includes the Cod, Whiting is widely underused. Cod is being over fished in our seas (mainly due to the Fish 'n' Chip shops) so by picking a similar fish in the same family, I hoped it would be just as flaky and delicious, but also trying to be resourceful.

Even Mr. Swift himself was fond of delicate seafood:


Charming Oysters I cry,
My Masters come buy,
So plump and so fresh,
So sweet is their Flesh,
    No Colchester Oyster
    Is sweeter and moyster,
    Your Stomach they settle,
    And rouse up your Mettle,
    They'll make you a Dad
    Of a Lass or a Lad;
    And, Madam your Wife
    They'll please to the Life;
Be she barren, be she old,
Be she Slut, or be she Scold,
Eat my Oysters, and lye near her,
She'll be fruitful, never fear her.

Jonathon Swift

Not everyone can afford Oysters for supper so my recipe below is one of my quick, cheap and satisfying dinners that can be adapted with any white fish.

Fish and Cream Sauce

White Fish (try Whiting, Pollock, Hake, Coley or ask your fishmonger or deli for what they have)
Shallot or small onion
Dash od white wine
Soft Herbs (Parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil work well here but choose any two you like)
Flour to dust fish
Salt and Pepper
Double Cream

  1. Start by getting a medium frying pan medium-hot.
  2. Season the fillet with salt and pepper. Dust with flour and pat the excess off.
  3. Drop a tablespoon of butter into the pan and once foaming, place the fish skin side down.
  4. Fry for a few minutes until golden and turn off the heat. Flip the fish over and the remaining heat in the pan will cook the fish.
  5. Whilst the fish is finishing off, slice one shallot/onion and a handful of your two herbs.
  6. Remove the fish and wrap in foil to keep warm (it might fall apart like my one below but don't worry!)
  7.  Add the shallot/onions to the used frying pan and cook until opaque.
  8. Add the dash of white wine (half a glass) and sweat off until only a slight amount remains.
  9. Add cream (200ml per person) and allow to bubble and thicken for a minute or so.
  10. Add chopped herbs, lemon (this will thin it slightly) and salt and pepper to finish off the sauce.
  11. Serve with mashed sweet potato, a green vegetable and a glass of white!
  12. Enjoy and feel good for helping our fish!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Ancient Food Poetry

What else still exists from 500 BC? Not a lot but this does...

To roast some beef, to carve a joint with neatness,
To boil up sauces, and to blow the fire,
Is anybody's task; he who does this
Is but a seasoner and broth-maker;
A cook is quite another thing. His mind
Must comprehend all facts and circumstances;
Where is the place, and what the time of supper;
Who are the guests, and who the entertainer;
What fish he ought to buy and where to buy it.

Quoted by Athenaeus
From Dionysius

Monday, 10 January 2011

And the winners are...

Congratulations to Richard Falkus, Tom Stone and Rachel Beckwith who have won the January Food Poetry Competition! Please read and enjoy their poems!

Restaurant de Sanctuaire

I yearn for the days I held up my head,
Before my principles were left for dead,
I was born in 1806 and since have grown,
Remaining modest yet proud of my skin of stone.

I was once a restaurant where many would dine,
Heartily sharing their memories whilst sipping vintage wine.
Whether they were in group, on a date or on their own,
They felt safe within my body of stone.

Wars and developments rattled my friends,
Yet I thought not once to change, not once to amend.
People would retain or regain with me their lost smile,
Whilst the tragedies of the world would unpredictably compile.

As decades passed my wrinkles were noticed and removed,
Keeping arguments against change consistently proved,
I barely survived as my neighbours were forced to convert,
The values of drugs and alcohol took over, regardless of who or what was hurt.

As long as my customers kept coming in on more than occasion,
We'd hold on longer against the new generation,
I inevitably aged and gradually lost my appeal,
All it took was an offer to sign my last meal.

With no voice to scream nor the human expression to frown.
I stood still as they climbed me and stripped me completely down.
For years my futile tears flowed from my gutter,
As my skin of stone melted down like a reluctant butter.

My modest name was kept in the past,
As my wishes were lost to make my dignity last,
I was refurbished with white walls and glamorous lights,
Soon to be labelled like my friends, open merely at night.

I was now a repulsive setting of sin,
As the broken bottles grazed my once invulnerable skin,
I was tortured with sights I'll never escape,
The end of relationships, the beginnings of rape.

My privilege to see the patient development of a kiss,
From the first date peck to the instinctively passionate bliss.
Empty meaning is now all people bring.
As stumbling tongues aim and carelessly swing.

Post-humiliation all I can do is remain humble,
As I watch society's values become corrupt as they crumble.
Humanity has removed it's meaning and removed my skin of stone.
Marching over me indifferently, singing in a different tone.

by Richard Falkus

New Beginnings

I look out my window
For somewhere out there
A child is crying
I have left
So very many
Nails in its crib.
I'm no parent
It's time
For a new beginning
First, I shall
Head to
the nearest orphanage.

Tom Stone


You said my way of cooking
was decisively slapdash.
You couldn’t understand why
I didn’t weigh and measure flour
like I weigh and measure words.

You were surprised, I think,
at what a kitchen does to me.
Jealous of the way my head
tilts back at the smell of yeast;
jealous of the way I touch the dough.

You said that I write poems
that I couldn’t show my mother,
but I would cook for strangers,
and how did that make sense?

You stepped closer. Brushed the flour from my hair.
I licked a dab of honey from my thumb.
I explain that in my life
many things must be laboured,
but food should only ever be for love.

Rachel Beckwith

February's competition is now up and running! Please see my previous post for more details. I look forward to hearing from you and reading your poems!