A selection of poems by participants in our Poetic Justice Open Mic Nights.


A Flight of Fancy

In my dream of flying,
It’s the golden age of flight
In a wood and canvas biplane
I’m floating through the night

Standing at the airfield gate
She’s in fur coat and muff
In my oily leather jacket,
I’m her bit of rough

In her silken ball gown
A dance that night is planned
In bow tie, tux and hat
I’ll be her fancy man.

By Simon King

My Hemingway poem

Oh Hemingway. Hem. Papa.
You were such an asshole.
An inconsiderate, petulant, self-important
asshole. You treated your women like shit.
You made your wife apologise for screaming
during childbirth – then you wrote about it.
They said you were lousy in bed.
I think you wanted to kiss F Scott Fitzgerald
square on his full, sweet lips.
You compensated for this
by killing lions, bulls, the biggest of fish
and drinking all the men under the table.
As if this made up for it all,
you egocentric prick.
But Jesus, you could write.

By Laura Williamson

Tea with Granddad

I remember as a child
Our visits to his Dickensian shop
He sold everything made of stainless steel
The wonder material of the age.

Canyons of brown cardboard boxes
Stacked with gleaming pots and bowls
A brass bell rung by the opening door
Dark wooden floorboards and walls

He made his tea in a little kitchen –
Stained sink and stained cups
Customers always interrupted
The tea was always cold before they left

Later in life, in a fog of confusion,
Enraged by a stranger mowing his lawn
He threatened to call the cops
And have me arrested for trespass

But I remember his dry cockney wit
A man who kept his counsel
A man who came to always let
His tea get cold before he drank it.

By Simon King

mother’s day 2011

write it all on water & wind
taste the wine & see the wool
mountains are known to come & go
but blood bleeds breath & snow

art is coffee-froth’d silver ferns,
sculpture is dukkah-dipped bread:
catch the shadow of old landowners
turning corners as you mothered

beneath the veneer of recent griefs
farmers’ wives still milk by hand, &
flowers once picked for family tables
now wreathe on mountaineer graves

do you want sense?  that harmonic
we all reach for…  I fine none,
though peace is Lake Hawea
on a calm & coloured autumn afternoon

Pip Sheehan Lowther

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