Monday, June 29, 2009


Somewhere between saffron and terracotta
but south of tangerine the patchouli of a smile
slips soft into this slowing evening
folds into a harmony of
synaptic electric blue
and dorian aquamarine
lifts the last hours of the day
out of the dove and the slate and the jet
up into amethyst cobalt
delphinium cornflower
the warmer blues of connection.

Reflections of barley lampshades
khaki washed Rodins float on
midnight indigo outside the
panoramic window whilst inside
champagne shadows blur into
the lamplight mute the knifed angles
the harsh ivory cornices
the razor-edged leaves of a plant
that hears everything in emerald
and the smile shimmers
reverberates golden through the night.

Short Story Comp Results

Bank Street Writers
International Short Story Competition 2009 Results
Judged by Gaye Gerrard
Well-known Lancashire writer, broadcaster and publisher

1st Prize: £75.00

‘Making Sense Of It,’ by Joan V. Park

Judge’s Comment
This is a powerful and poignant story of commonplace experiences told with intensity and clarity. It is enriched by the poetic style and a light touch of humour.

2nd Prize: £50.00

‘Talking to Maurice’ by Brindley Hallam Dennis

Judge’s Comment
The simplicity of this story is captivating. Gentle irony and pathos are combined beautifully in its unexpected ending

3rd Prize: £25.00

‘Cohen’s Legacy’ by Charlotte Matthews

Judge’s Comment
The structure is unusual and the reader is drawn quickly into this compelling piece. The ominous refrain contributes to the mounting tension as the story moves inexorably towards it disturbing conclusion

Highly Commended:

‘Still The same Old Catherine’ by Judy Walker

Judge’s Comment
Reversals of roles and emotional challenges within a mother/daughter relationship are explored in this story. It is both light-hearted and profound.

The above will be published in the Autumn edition of Current Accounts magazine.

A prizegiving celebration will be held at Tuesday 11th August at Sweetens Bookshop in Bolton to which all are invited. Our thanks to all who entered.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Poésie de foie gras

The voices of my education
cajoled coerced caned me until Yes
I remembered Adlebloodystrop and could
parrot a wet sheet and a flowing sea as
I walked beside the fag factory where
all our mothers worked
as I listened
with a host of phantom listeners
to gold flake accents on black and white TVs
on black and brown radios
as I repeated the lines of an
elegy in an outside toilet that left the
world to darkness and to me.

Such a pilgrimage were not sweet
it was the worst of times
facing the true north of cliché and predictability
in the old dispensation
with alien teachers clutching their gods
and us leaning cool on the wire fence
standing on our tongues
as the girls wiggled past
drinking anything
in pubs and cafés as we smoked our youth
spoke of novelists
musicians playwrights. But poets?

They were all dead and
would have conveniently remained so
if I had listened to the voices of
my accursed education:
understanding is clever
provided you understand
in one particular way which
in your particular case
will be denied to you.
So I struggled with
the naming of parts
had nightmares about vorpal blades
and wondered how the hell
eye could rhyme with symmetry.

Waiting is hardest when you are
all eager for the treat but not sure
what you are waiting for
but the weather as always
turned around I saw through
the folly of their understanding
missed fewer chances with the lords of life
realising that a cloud is never lonely
wrapping my tears in an ellum leaf
and delaying the deadly onset of
cyrrhosis of the ego.