A tough audience

Here’s a little something from Jim Webster…

Tallis Steelyard

A tough audience

In my mind, part of being a poet is in the performance. I know that there are technically excellent poets who write fine verse who never venture from their garrets. But I feel that to get your work known you have to perform it. So I feel that a poet ought to be willing to read their own verse. Indeed I’d go further, I believe that being a poet is, in itself, a performance. You have to play the part, so that folk know, constantly, that they are in the presence of a poet.

Perhaps because of this I have often been asked to give readings in public. If the occasion is suitably remunerative I have no false modesty, indeed I have been known to present the work of other poets as well. Obviously only if I think their work can stand comparison with mine own, but frankly it never…

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Poems for the Quiet Hours

Poems for the Quiet Hours

More poetry. This time from Justin…

The Champagne Epicurean

Lights on the Horizon


When the air is heavy with change

Keep the horizon in the corner of your eye.

When love breaks and tears you in two

Keep the horizon in the corner of your eye.

When plans are re-designed in failure’s image

Keep the horizon in the corner of your eye.

Even in the sickest darkness

The horizon is full of lights;

Boats, cities, stars and moonlight.

In the lights flickering

Among the blackened waves,

Go ahead and lay your dreams.

City of Living

Life pulses by

Like a demented city.

Getting older by the hour

In an orgy of traffic.

Losing faith in love

Under crowded traffic lights.

Having Fate thrust upon you

As offices vomit humanity.

For the sake of sanity:

Turn to stealing.

Steal from the city of life

An hour of slowness.

Steal a poem in a park;

Steal a drink in a…

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…decimal currency?… not a patch on the old Bank of England ten-bob note…

Remember when the Pound actually was worth something close to its weight in gold?

Seumas Gallacher

…the post-groat currency in the UK included farthings, halfpennies, pence, threepenny bits, tanners (sixpence pieces), shillings, florins, half-crowns, ten-shilling notes, and one- , five-, and ten-pound notes…

…this complicated range of hard cash and notes sufficed for the British population for centuries… complementing the standard coinage were crowns, half-sovereigns and sovereigns, plus guineas… for foreign visitors, the confusion was rife, while the locals smirked at the consternation it caused non-Brits… the financial powers-that-be decided to switch to a totally decimal currency, beginning on February 14th, 1971… sensibly, it was announced that a ‘cash-in’exchange period would be  extended for some time after that particular Valentine’s Day… at the end of that period, all old currency would have to be surrendered at any bank offices within the British Isles, for further surrender to the Bank of England… so far so good, right?… however, human beings generally have an inherent resistance to…

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Gunboat Diplomacy

Its high time we (the West) stopped meddling in other countries affairs!!!


The BBC has just reported the arrival of a British warship in Ukraine. A government defence minister has been shown driving a Ukrainian navy patrol boat, and speaking to relatives of the sailors recently detained by the Russian navy. He has said that the presence of our warship is to send a ‘message’ to the Russian government, and to show British support for the Ukrainian position in this dispute. My response is simple. Why?

The turbulent history of this now-sovereign nation is the subject of record. Part of Russia until the 1917 revolution, they attempted to create an independent country outside of the control of the Soviet Union, and failed. It was broken up, with parts under the control of Poland, The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. After the German invasion in WW2, many Ukrainians welcomed the occupying Nazis. They fought alongside them, acted as guards in concentration camps, and…

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The Bismark Class Battleship Tirpitz

Yesterday I watched one of my favorite World War II films – Above Us the Waves, starring John Mills. It purports to tell the story of how three Xclass  Image result for Xcraft pics

submarines sank the battleship, each carrying four tons of Amatex housed in two side cargo pods. Even though RN Xclass submarines did attempt to sink her, it was the Lancaster bombers of the Royal Airforce’s Dam Buster squadron that finally put paid to Tirpitz using 12,000lb Tallboy earthquake bombs designed by Barnes Wallis.

Despite all of this Above Us the Waves (1955) is still a damned good film…

Beautiful word of “LOVE”|کلمه زیبای “عشق”

Beautiful word of “LOVE”|کلمه زیبای “عشق”

More from Laleh. Happy Christmas everyone. 🙂

A Voice from Iran

He was supposed to become a doctor. But of course this was what his father told him to do.


His father said: “Study hard and become a doctor. Doctors make good money, you’d be able to buy a great house, buy wonderful gifts for your wife, and have a great life.”


He was a little boy so he didn’t know what exactly “study hard to have a great life” meant but he could see in his father’s eyes that it was inordinate.

Eventually the boy fell in love with their neighbor’s daughter and every night he would stand at his window and look at her.


The boy often wrote letters to the girl explaining that he would become a doctor, buy a house for her along with great gifts. But he never gave her the letters, he just kept them in a box.


One day, when the boy was now…

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Can Words Be Dangerous?

Lovely Jo is back 😉

Jo Robinson

Writers all have their own quirks. They all have different ways of coping with stress or “writers block”. For me, writers block has never been a real thing in a way that I couldn’t write anything at all, but it has been a thing insofar as what I could write joyfully. I love writing non-fiction and I love research, but writing fiction has always been the thing that I do that makes me happier than doing anything else. Fiction writers hold the universe in their hands, and they can literally do anything with it. I think it comes with a responsibility though. Good fiction can change minds, and sometimes it can change lives.

I’ve always had a broad spectrum of genres that I enjoy to read in both fiction and non-fiction. History, good literary works, humour, and horror. In my teens there was a short sojourn into soppy romances but…

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Hello–How Are You?

Who can say for sure?


An obligatory greeting, we’ve said thousands of times. When someone truthfully answers, it’s an awkward moment. Because, “nobody’s got time for that.”

There’s not much we really know about those outside our close circle of friends. Relatives pass away and are eulogized with a few pretty words. Did their cries for help go unanswered? Perceived as eternal blackness, for which there was no way out?  Some refuse help, even when it’s available.

My brother-in-law passed away suddenly yesterday. He was a quiet, sensitive man. No one will ever know what went through his mind in the months before his death. Two years previous, he survived another near-fatal health crises.

He bounced back, seemed to be on the mend. This summer and fall, signs were there–his personal demons were back. Emotions are still raw, but there is peace, because my friend’s soul is free.

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Fever Dreams

God save us all from scary dreams!!!


As whatever has me in its grip continues, something new has appeared. Spending much of each day in bed can be tiring in itself, but despite that, I am still managing to sleep at night. I have been waking up around 5 am, after deep sleeps lasting almost seven hours. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmingly hot as I wake, and freezing cold at other times, even though I am under a thick duvet.

That feverish condition brings with it some very unusual dreams.

Recent weird and wonderful dreams have been bizarre, and sometimes upsetting. I had one where Ollie ran across a busy road, and was hit by a huge tractor that was towing a trailer full of turnips. The turnips were all over the road surface, and I scooped Ollie up and put him in my car, driving over the crunchy turnips as I left. I drove the twelve miles…

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