Cathy Bryant worked as a life model, civil servant and childminder before becoming a professional writer. She has won 22 literary awards, including the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Prize and the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, and her work has appeared in over 200 publications. Cathy's books are 'Contains Strong Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature' and 'Look at All the Women' (poetry), 'How to Win Writing Competitions' (nonfiction) and 'Pride & Regicide - a Mary Bennet Mystery' (a novel). See her listings for cash-strapped writers at www.compsandcalls.com , updated on the first of every month. Cathy lives in Cheshire, UK.
The Huge Paws of Country Fog
It hunts in packs, unseen until it roars
down the hillside, swallows you and kills you.
Today it ate us and the car and all
we could see was a fur of verge and grey
We did actually scream as oily paws
of panther-black fog tumbled over the road,
alive and young and fierce
against the immovable wall of paler mist.
It is unquestionably a living thing.
The car inched forward, terrified, crawling
- we had to speak in soothing voices,
then just touch it with the whip -
whimpering down Winnats Pass, glacier gorge,
to the hopeful village.
We knew it was there all the time,
the place of safety, with kettles
and lights and known roads.
Muffling our minds and scratching our eyes,
though, the fog does not go, not quite
and its feet are not small, but huge
and deadly, until the sunshine comes,
if it does.
Stephen Regan’s poems have appeared in: Envoi; Killing the Angel, Provo Canyon Review, Reach Poetry, and the Best of Manchester Poets anthology. His poem ‘Red-bricked’ is part of a permanent art exhibition at Wigan Wallgate railway station in Lancashire. He’s the founder of the Liver Bards poetry group in Liverpool.
Bright and earnest
He comes to the stand
proud of his leaflet;
invites us to admire
the glossy thing,
It outlines a ‘radical
new service delivery,
now gaining support’.
Can’t speak for the rest
but I’m not impressed
and my face shows it.
I shouldn’t be here
among these PR tarts.
I shouldn’t work in PR;
can’t admire on request;
can’t get excited about
leaflets – or PowerPoint.
My authentic distain
is out of place among
the stretchers of truth
and reality. Wan smiles
flash around as the leaflet
passes its test.
The bright and earnest
one insists his glossy
the way we do things
going forward’. I don’t
want to go forward.
I don’t want to be here.
Give, smile, lie
Go and give that man some money,
commanded Mum, pointing
across the way to a beggar.
We’d been watching him
while on a fag break from our
Mothering Sunday lunch in Manchester.
I’d taken Mum to the expensive
restaurant. She spotted
the ragged man and felt compassion.
She can barely walk, so asked me
to cross the street and give alms to he
sat on the pavement, smoking.
I fumbled for two quid, handed it over.
There was a pause. I passed him
a cigarette and proffered my hand.
He took the fag, tucked it behind
his ear. We shook hands, fairly normally,
then he stared up at me – harshly.
I must have seemed distracted to him.
Well, I was distracted and confused
for most of that year. The man said,
Look me in the eye if you shake my hand.
That shocked me. I clasped
his palm again, made eye contact.
I’m always prepared to look someone
in the eye, I said. I walked back to Mum.
She said, thanks love. What did he say
to you, that man? I looked at Mum,
not quite in the eye. I told her,
he just said thanks for the money.
She smiled at my lie. Mothers know how
to smile at lies. They get much practice.
It was from the beginning
uncomfortable being human;
being the beings between
the angels and the beasts.
We factored in gods
and moral law,
emanating from the ineffable,
interpreted by the f-able.
Make that work and survive!
We did, with big casualties
and many paradoxes,
including this …
to achieve peace and justice,
lasting long enough to be
worth the effort,
we sometimes had to go
Glad I mentioned justice.
It’s arguably more important than equality
in these revolutionary times,
as in earlier ones.
Try to enforce equality
among humans and de facto
you impose injustice.
Ask the libertarian socialists
about that. They’ll have many opinions
and arguments about it.
And look back; it’s always wise to do so,
even for revolutionaries.
We’ve survived so far under strong chieftains
and /or ethically-justified laws. In the West
it worked like this, theoretically;
we lived and died in freedom,
under the law, within nations.
I know, I know! We need to change
the paradigm and the power dime.
In the Year of Our Lord 2016
we can’t go on like this.
Oh God! I’ve mentioned Our Lord.
Well, I can’t help it; once a Catholic
and all that, and besides …
revolutionaries are in favour now,
and Jesus was one, and much more,
arguably, regarding the destiny
In this revolutionary era
‘arguably’ will be often said.
There will be no consensus.
Cilmate crises, capitalism, military suppression,
twisted faiths, widespread worship of the self,
and Evil emboldened to promenade –
it’s all in the mix with clamorous expression
of support for revolutionary impulses,
given by ‘The People’ digitally –
intemperate, hate-filled and stupid
most of it, as you expect
from social media.
Where will the revolutions lead to?
A new dawn? Apocalypse?
Rescue by intelligent extraterrestrials?
It’s hard to judge but doubtless
the arguments will
The dynamic of my love
Thought of her, smell of her,
sight of her, rooted for life.
Seeing her eye,
all that’s human in me
down from vision to throat,
down, down, flooding.
Her always, moving in me,
All I am,
Born 1964, (Liverpool, England) difficult birth, didn't find my voice until my youth. Years of thinking I was nobody and treated as such. However, hit the paper papering over the scars. Found understanding and belief through words. I have been published and performed widely from the BBC, The Tate, galleries and pubs and everything in between.
My poems autobiographical, others topical and several my take on life. Hope you enjoy reading as much as I have enjoyed writing. Please feel free to share your thoughts on links below.
Contact: David R Mellor firstname.lastname@example.org
Website (wix) The Poetry of David R. Mellor
(Facebook) The Poetry of David R. Mellor
(Twitter) “olunikat” The Poetry of David R. Mellor
This Life is Scaring The Life Out of Me
This life is scaring
Out of me
Whether it’s the neighbour banging
Or a bomb on the road
This world is
Taking the life
Out of me
Droplets of tears flow
From the screen
Whether from Pakistan
And all places in-between
Life out of me
Look at the stars
They abuse and titillate and make us
Think “what the fuck”
We follow their every word
And photo shoots
Bigger than Jesus and Allah combined
These stars and celebries
Mingle like trash in our minds
Bieber posted farting
Kylie looks a bit tired
Knightly lost a bit
Cowell put a few pounds on
And we bask in this insanity...
Buy copies of “Hello”
When we should be saying “Goodbye”
To these no marks
The real celebrities...
YOU STOP TIME
Over painful moments
At the moments
We want to last
It opens the day
And closes our eyes.
And I’m happy at
Every beat of our day
And the moments
In your eyes
our mourning fate
We grieve like melted snow
Nothing to hold on
And they will never know
How the warm tears gathered
On our mourning fate
To repeat this sad snow storm
On each and every face
Time wasted, time wasted, time wasted me
I didn't realise how bad life could be
Until I realised I was me
Naked in front of the mirror
Bulges where there shouldn't be
Time wasted, time wasted, time wasted me
I didn't realise how quickly the clock of time could
Cover me, leave me, breathless, and not
how it should be
Me up a tree
Me with you Carl creating Marvel figures before tea
Time wastes, time wasted, time wasted me
And you my father and mother feckless and insecure
Gave me a back bone of a cripple always to spend my life on the bottom of the sea, for sure
Time wasted, time wasted, time wasted you and me
Cathy Bryant worked as a life model, civil servant and childminder before becoming a professional writer. She has won 22 literary awards, including the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Prize and the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, and her work has appeared in over 200 publications. Cathy's books are 'Contains Strong Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature' and 'Look at All the Women' (poetry), 'How to Win Writing Competitions' (nonfiction) and 'Pride & Regicide - a Mary Bennet Mystery' (a novel). See her listings for cash-strapped writers atwww.compsandcalls.com , updated on the first of every month. Cathy lives in Cheshire, UK.
Greyway by Cathy Bryant
(a poem of the North of England)
A grey day, a misty, hazy day
as we follow the skeins of geese
heading south on the motorway.
'White Rose County'
A break in the gloom, and geometric shafts
of sunlight sink through clouds.
The mucky god of industry beams
down on his chosen, on slag heaps
stepped and greening.
Motorway forks on to Sheffield, engineered, proud.
Brown fields, white seagulls.
Green meadows, black crows.
Autumn is sniffing around.
Swallows go with us, and more geese,
flying, fleeing to cheat the frosts
nipping at their feet.
A squashed anonymous fur shape in the fast lane
won't see winter.
Faint nausea, then it's forgotten.
Tibshelf. Heanor. THE SOUTH.
Robin Hood County.
Fish signs on a blood-red Fiesta.
Sudden bodies of grave grey water,
golds and crimsons where the trees have grown
their own personal sunsets, mourned
by spotting tears of rain.
Electronic signs say 'queue' and then 'END'
amid balding trees by the hard shoulder.