“Poets and Pints”, The Lodge, Alsager

Just to say that there’s a “Poets and Pints” open mike event at the Lodge, Crewe Road, Alsager this Thursday, 3rd. December at 8 pm, run as usual by Phil Williams. If you’re within striking distance of Alsager, hope to see you there. The guest poet is Congleton’s excellent Roger Elkin.


Who Gives A Toss?

Who Gives a Toss?

Two captains stride out to the square.

A coin is tossed into the air.

Away Skip calls out, “Heads” or “Tails,”

whilst umpires check they have the bails,

new ball and spare and counting aid,

essential tools to ply their trade.

But that tradition soon may be

a distant, fading memory.


To aid the game, it’s now thought best

to give a trial – and then a Test –

to putting in away Skip’s hand

(thus foiling what the home side’s planned)

which side makes first use of the track,

goes out to face that fierce attack,

when quickies first exploit conditions

and headlines make for first editions.


Once weighed up weather pros and cons,

each opener pads and helmet dons.

The toss may go, but same old story:

take two legs guard and head for glory.



                 This morning

it towered 50 feet above the Leylandii fronds.

             Last year,

                                      rooks had nested in its canopy and swayed precariously

                  – like today –

    as if full sail on choppy seas, running before a


                            On such a day,

                                            surely the only danger is ceding to the gusting gale,

                     tearing and tugging at those roots.

                             Ah, not so,

            for swarming up like a rigging monkey,

                                                      roped and helmeted, with chain-saw dangling,

                                                      comes the arboreal nemesis of standing proud.


              from one pitch to another, he picks off

                  branch after branch, each carefully lowered or crashing down

                        according to its girth, then metre lengths of trunk

                                                       and skull-busting slices, thudding to earth,

                                          till  just  the

                                          bare  stump

                                            r e m a i n s,

                                           s   t   a   r   k

                                             reminder of


                                                 former  glory.

A second poem from Karen Ross’ workshop (12/11/2015)


Phoebe looks so very sweet,

wags her tail as if to greet

us when we’re back with shopping,

haul in bags. Our arms are dropping off.


We see the postman’s been and gone

and Phoebe’s opened every one:

letters; bills; menus; and cheques

are tatters, shreds which Phoebe wrecks.


She’s tried to inwardly digest,

spat out some, swallowed the rest,

but now she sits, her brown eyes pools.

Come on, Phoebe, we’re no fools.


In her mouth, a poppy clenched,

though no thought gives to those entrenched.

For her, it’s one more toy for play.

Dogs don’t do Remembrance Day.

Written in Karen Ross’ workshop and based on a sketch of her dog, Phoebe, created from newspaper cuttings. The dog is clutching a red ball on a string (her favourite toy), but it might just be taken for a poppy!

A new poem from the workshop at Macclesfield Library run by Karen Ross (12/11/2015)

Sugar Bollocks?


“Successful entrepreneurs are givers not takers of positive energy”

It sounds like Alan Sugar on “Apprentice”.

‘cos Successful Entrepreneurs is what his bent is,

but I go more with what common sense is.

Just give everyone the right incentives.

That phrase of Alan Sugar’s really grates.

Listen, Sugar, you are not Bill Gates.

“Positive Energy” is a phrase I hates.

It sums up business speak and modern traits.