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Brighton Stanza Poets Anthology 2013

Brighton Stanza Poets Anthology 2013

A Mair, A Davidson, M Patrick eds.

The Poetry Library and the Poetry Café may be in London, and the Poetry Society itself headquartered in Covent Garden, but member poets are found throughout the United Kingdom. Run voluntarily by Poetry Society members, local Stanza groups bring writers together in local areas for discussions, workshops and readings.This anthology represents the diverse work of the Brighton Stanza, a fluid group that began in 2007 for monthly workshops, and has gone on to prosper. Its members include performers and prize winners.

The anthology includes contributions from 26 different poets in the Brighton area, ranging in age from 17 to 72, and from a wide variety of backgrounds.


of course there are thoughts

wordless in your unspeaking mouth,
throat lost to utterance, useless
in swallowing-

though sounds sink in

I cannot tell from your eyes

if you welcome this day—but I sit,
small in talk, infinitesimal
in listening—

measuring minutes

there is no next anything

maybe tomorrow—maybe I shall come
and talk in spaced words, tested
thoughts and all

that can’t be said

not even spelled by a finger, lifted

drawn against each stroke
resisting the ruin a consultant explains—

in these white sheets

© 2013 Andie Davidson

Silly Shoes

I rushed home from work for him
I went totally berserk for him
I wore silly shoes for him
I sat and had the blues for him
I laughed at all his jokes for him
I ignored all other blokes for him
I went with the flow for him
I stopped saying no to him
I opened my heart for him
I wrote a special part for him
I stopped being late for him
I laid awake for him
I went the extra mile for him
I wore special smiles for him
I stopped seeing my mates for him
I started baking cakes for him
I cleaned out my flat for him
I totally lost track for him
I danced drunk in the street for him
And I threw up and I reached for him
I gave thanks and praise for him
I thought I’d end my days with him
But it wasn’t really happening ...
It was just a fling to him.

© 2013 Susan Evans

Anzacs Memorial, Sydney, 1970

Scarf shadowing her face, she visits for the final time,
avoids the attendant wanting to explain.
The walls carry photographs-please, not one of him—
she almost leaves but no, this is as vital as the day
they first met in the County offices, the wonder
of stillness when he stopped, and turned, as though
the sheep he sheared, the mines he worked, were under
his control and he could, with a nod, still them, too.

She has his silk embroidered postcards, warm below
the crease of breast. Her skin, reddened from the heat,
pales underneath the dome of stars, his face drawn
in the patterns of the Milky Way. She takes an envelope,
places into it the postcards, letters, telegram, drops it
behind a cabinet, walks in the direction of the wharves.

© 2013 Joanna Grigg


Water juggles with silver
under a blue emptied
by the invading wind, save for

gulls cawing in the gusts—
Manhattan weather,
with fire-escapes and radio masts

etched by sunshine, flat
against retiring shadows;
or Australia, where the light

glares at eucalypts
—and in each place I’ve walked
in tunnels thick with dark, then stopped

and sensed a diamond horde
hurtle down passages,
glittering in the sluggish blood.

Today too there’s
an atavistic tug
responding to the light’s fierce call,

senior to the mind:
a primeval echo
behind the curtain of surrounding sound

but captured by the waiting
heart, instinctively.
Do you see how these simple gulls are floating

high in the turbulent air?
playing with the wind
with that freedom that we long for?

© 2013 Antony Mair


This book was designed and published by Bramley Press
Cover design and artwork: Doug Davidson