Status: Food

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Congratulations to JBB upon publication of her new poem

Status: Food

Food all ordered, we’re at the table,
Chance to talk, now that we’re able,
Phone in her hand, ‘What are you doing?’
‘Connecting Mum!’ – An argument’s brewing!
I’ll join her then, where’s my phone?
Chatting with Mum, she’s clearly outgrown!
Now I’m on Facebook – what status to post?
A picture of ‘good food’, not coffee and toast.
Food arrives and it looks so pleasing,
Photo opportunity I’m certainly seizing!
Wait! The angle, the colour, effects or not?
Drinks in the picture? The cocktails we got?
Picture taken, I’ll post it now,
If I can just remember how.
Caption? – I need words too?
This is too stressful a thing to do!
What’s the time? Do I call it lunch?
Or is it too early, is it more ‘brunch’?
She’s finished her meal, I feel old!
Status is posted – but my food’s gone cold!

Jessie B Benjamin

Poetry Rivals 2016 – The Finalists

Northern Writes


‘the judge (poet Bob Beagrie) was impressed by the scale and quality of the entries … we were very much impressed by all of your submissions …’

Bev Briggs
Creative Producer

Congratulations to our own Ann Miller who was present for the Northern Writes Festival Finale in Stanley Civic Hall on Saturday 18th February when the new Northern Writes Anthology was launched. Ann’s poem The Dark Walk – entered for NW’s most recent poetry competition is included.

Templar Poetry Live

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Templar Poetry Live @ Keats House | 2017

Templar Poetry is delighted to present a new series of Poetry Live readings at Keats House in 2017. We begin on Tuesday 31st January with the launch of The Penguin Diaries, a unique collection of sonnets by Chris James.

The Penguin Diaries is a 65-poem sonnet sequence about the British Antarctic Expedition (1910-1913), better known as the Terra Nova Expedition. There is a sonnet for each member of the party, from Captain Robert Falcon Scott and ‘Titus’ Oates, to figures, such as Francis Drake, the secretary and Dennis Lillie, one of the biologists.

The poems serve as elegies, telling the human story of a journey which continues to hold the public imagination, against the haunting backdrop of Antarctica itself.

Tuesday 31st January | ADMISSION FREE | from 7pm

Further info’ on The Penguin Diaries, here

Going to the funeral

Photo at Pixabay

I first caught sight of you in my wing mirror
half way up the Sma’ Glen; high place, grey rock
smoothed and polished by four clean winds,
bog myrtle, sphagnum moss, bent over bushes
stunted, blunted down the years.
You were parked up in a layby,
about to get back in your old silver hatchback,
your kilt aswirl in the breeze.
Who knew we were going to the same place?
And when you stood later by the grave,
you and your fellow pipers resplendent
in black and red, the silver pins on your plaid shawls
glistening, the sharp point of Schiehallion poking the heavens behind,
I knew you’d filled your pipes with mountain air
for you blew all the wild wonder of the glen
into your pibroch lament.

Kirsty Hollings

Many congratulations to Kit who won 3rd prize at the 2016 Maryport LitFest – ‘Wild’ – for this evocative poem

– M&P

Mirehouse Poetry Prize 2014

Screenshot from Mirehouse

At Words by the Water Mirehouse Poetry Competition 2014, our resident tutor Angela Locke received a Highly Commended for her poem

Sanctuary of Aphrodite

Almost closing time, the fag-end of a winter’s day.
‘The Goddess has left, but her Sanctuary’s still here!’
The young curator smiles. There’s an imprint on his chin,
discus-shaped, as though at birth a god
had placed a thumb to mark him.
Copper pots, stone heads, a great clay urn,
stone baths for ritual washing.
Naked virgins parade unbidden in my head.
We got lost getting here, had a row.
I told him I was leaving. Now, sulking
in the village square, he reads his maps.
The curator’s black 4×4 goes past.
He waves. ‘Don’t worry. I won’t lock you in!’
I’m alone. Fallen olives lie on stony ground;
Sparrows rustle among dead leaves.
How lonely to be abandoned by your worshippers;
A beautiful goddess one minute, then cast aside
for the next best thing.
Among these fallen columns,
olive trees in a ruined sanctuary,
there are shadows, sky bruised after a storm,
always the sea, undimmed.

Perhaps the Goddess still waits in the grove
for Love, libations from the two-headed cup,
sacrifices; great kings landing in their black ships,
bees to nectar, along the golden sea-path.
From me, sprigs of rosemary, picked this morning
in the amphitheatre of Kourion, laid on this flat stone,
are small gifts for what may be an altar, still.

Angela Locke

– M&P