Tuesday, 24 November 2020




 Welcome to the fourth virtual show from Dodo Modern Poets, coming at the end of a year which has brought sadness and loss to people across the world. Through these shows we've endeavoured to keep the flame of poetry alive. We're grateful to our contributors for their enthusiastic support since our first outing in April. The current show takes the tally of performances to nearly 120 across the four events. We thank viewers for their time and their positive comments, including one who watched the last show several times. Many have sent messages encouraging us to continue. 

 The new show begins with two excellent featured acts, so please welcome Stuart Larner and Racheal 


STUART LARNER lives in Scarborough. A chartered psychologist, he has written scientific papers, articles, stories, poems and novels and plays. Works include an ebook in verse, Jack Daw and the Cat; a novel about cricket entitled Guile and Spin and with Rosie Larner as Rosy Stewart, the novel, Hope: Stories from a Women’s Refuge. He wrote the illustrated sonnet sequence The Car in 2016. His plays have had rehearsed readings and performances in York and Scarborough. 

He has stories in Bridgehouse anthologies: 'A Real Gem' in Baubles, 2016; 'Pictures at an Exhibition' in Glit-er-ary ,2017; 'The Flaw' in Crackers 2018; 'The Sound of Love' in Mulling it Over, Dec 2020. 

Stuart's blog: https://stuartlarner.blogspot.com/p/stuff-you-can-access-now.html
 Website https://slarner5.wixsite.com/hope
 Link to The Car: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Car-sonnet-sequence-illustrations-ebook/dp/B01M0ACP

RACHEAL JOSEPH is an actress, poet and story-teller. Having spent many years working in theatre, Racheal decided to try her hand at writing. Her first poetry collection Little Brown Girl took inspiration from her childhood experiences growing up mixed race in 1950s-1960s London. Encouraged by the success of the poetry collection, she has recently published a book of short stories, Tales From A West Indian Childhood. The stories relate to her experience of being taken from her mother and sent to her father's homeland, Antigua where it was believed life would be better.

 Both collections are available from www.rachealjosephpoet.co.uk 

 We hope you enjoy the show and wish you the very best for 2021.

 Patric Cunnane, PR Murry: DODO MODERN POETS
Sue Johns PR Murry Aidan Nutbrown Emile Sercombe Lantern Carrier Django Moon Elizabeth Parker Eddie Forde Frabk Crocker Kevin Morris Julie Stevens Roger Stephenson Graham Buchan Paul Gander 

 Our show continues with poems on the page

Patric Cunnane






This is the America that didn't need making great again

With its open spaces, hungry hearts ,bracing optimism


This is the America that welcomed the world                                                                                                                                                                                                    

That fuelled art and poetry, music and expression


This is the America that accepted its past

Knew that good guys don't need white hats


This is the America of Ginsberg and Kerouac, Martin and Angela, Plath and Dylan, Aretha and Berry

This is the America of the Sioux, Cheyenne and Cherokee nations


This is the America I loved                                                                 

Boarding a Greyhound in Miami, disembarking in San Francisco

Eggs & potatoes in New York, chilling with jazzers in Preservation Hall


This is the America that didn't need making great again

Out on the road where moonlight shines on endless highways

And the ghosts of buffaloes roam the plains




Inspired by David Hockney's painting, Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica 1990.

Barry Coidan 

Bruegel’s “Icarus”


North Cornwall, mid-October,

the coast road into Bude.

On a bend


a sloping ploughed field

framed by sea, cliffs,

a cloudless sky.


Beyond the field,

the crumbling rocks,

out of the cloudless sky


a young man plunges into

the sea. The moment’s gone.

We drive on.

By Alan the Poet Therapeutic

21 November 2020

© 2020 by Alan Raymond Wheatley

Everybody's Got Talent

 This poem is toward introducing the poem 'The Arts Manager' as one of my open mic contributions for Amnesty International Worcester Group's Human Rights Day Poetry presentation, a Zoom event for the evening of Thursday, 10 December 2020.

Everybody’s Got Talent

While Zen Buddhists pose the question:
“What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
I propose an image for you to imagine:

“Imagine a scene that I have witnessed,
Of a spoon-fed woman’s joyousness
Upon being given a musical shaker
Toward her fuller participation.”

Some adjustments are more delightful
Than ‘reasonable,’ and no-one
Is truly ‘ineducable’.

 John Sephton

Please find a very short but topical poem below:


The Carbuncle


Washed up and wasted,


the carbuncle clings to the wreckage.

Luigi Marchini

Closing the Gate


Not in a garden, nor a house,

I shift worlds in the dig for home.

April, the cruellest month.

A dog barks, a baby cries

a dustbin clatters, all against the dawn

and then the rain falls. 


My fickle conscience riots against

the burden of ego. It is the dog, the baby,

and the dustbin that matter.


Another night and the displaced take shelter,

unravelling, with stern faces, in the dent

of concrete. This is new to me. 

Somewhere else my country awakens

at this hour to a sky of mottled blue tiles

and donkeys will bray.

John Hurley



With old skills dying and craftsmen gone

Old ben had pride and still clung on

He cut willow rods down by the lakes

Knowing bog sally bends but never breaks

Those plants that thrive in boggy lands

Became works of art in his strong hands



On his belt a sheath with one sharp  “scian”

At fairs and fetes old ben was seen

With “skibs “ to be used as potato dishes

And square peat containers he called “kishes”

On his donkeys back,, as he had no wheels

Wicker panniers balanced known as “creels”



When demand for baskets got so few

He must have wondered what to do

Fish no longer sold in “crans”

As plastic containers won over fans

Cheap imports were now the lure

Ben made celtic crosses for the poor

Alan Gleave



The Old Man in his Garden

At last his garden is supremely here, if misty                                    

As colours pulse, forms flex, in meditation.

Against a lawn as plush a green as once

The parkland of the big house, stand his trees,

Their branches figuring the ideal grace                                                  

Of gestures which are neither giving nor taking,

But fill the air with swish and twitterings

Beyond desire and meaning, as he is.                                                              


But to drift among flowerbeds is the pain

Of rediscovered darlings pushing back

From earth. Returning as soft ponderables:    

Those garish, jagged outbursts of his youth    

Pure flower now, there for fruit not symbol                    ,

The weakening fingers crush to faintest scent.      

Joseph Healy


The Owl and the Christmas Tree


A wide eyed owl sat in his tree in a forest of spruce trees in upstate New York

This was Rip Van Winkle country where owls and old men had slept among the forests for centuries seeing the world pass from a vantage point among the thick branches.


The roaring shrieks of chainsaws woke him from his reverie as his tree was torn up and fell among its fellows with a sound like thunder

Branches twigs and leaves fell in all directions but the owl hung on

It was his tree and his world and he would not depart it now


The tree was hauled to the banks of the wide flowing Hudson River

The owl still clinging to his branch found himself on a huge river barge

Wending its way through the bluffs and passing pretty painted villages and

Holiday homes set high above the river with their white clapperboard walls

Reflecting the November sun which fell across the shimmering river waters


The great metropolis of New York was reached and the tree hauled yet again from the barge

And placed upon a truck with great dexterity its extra passenger still puzzled as to their final destination.

Outside the gigantic Rockerfeller Centre the tree was hauled upright and stood again as it had once stood in the snow covered forests of the uplands

It was the Christmas Tree for the plague year of 2020

its lights would help dispel the demon of the virus and create again a winter oasis of gemutlichkeit


The owl flew from a branch to catch a juicy insect drawn by the lights and

Alerted the tree’s guardians who full of amazement took him down and placed him for safety in a nearby animal protection centre

Could not this wild owl have stayed in that tree and looked down each night at the foolish humans who worshipped at its lights and drank in its beauty?

He had made his pilgrimage to bring his wisdom to the skyscaper dwellers and would not return.       

Migrating Children

By Yan Li


Age? Eight, five, and one.

They float on English Channel.

In waves their boat sank.

Max Fishel

a falling out































Sunday, 13 September 2020



Welcome to the third virtual show from Dodo Modern Poets. The latest production takes our tally to more than 90 performances and contributions since the first outing in April this year. We thank all contributors for taking part in a project which keeps keep Dodo alive until we can return to live performances. And, of course, we thank viewers who take the time to enjoy the shows and have often responded with such positive comments.

 As ever, the show begins with two fine featured acts, so please welcome Camilla Reeve and Steve Tasane.

We hope you enjoy the show 

All the best

Patric Cunnane 
PR Murry 

CAMILLA REEVE is a writer, independent publisher and organic gardener camilla_reeve@yahoo.co.uk. She has written four poetry collections: Travels of a Spider, 2006; Travelling East by Road and Soul (flipped eye publishing, 2009); Raft of Puffins, 2016; and Tales from Two Cities, 2018. She enjoys performing live. Her young adult futuristic fantasy, The Cloud Singer, is about global warming and a sequel is planned. In 2016, after 30 years in IT, she founded Palewell Press, publishing books on justice, equality and sustainability http://www.palewellpress.co.uk. Palewell Press is a founding member of the Changing Wor(l)ds Network of cultural activists.


STEVE TASANE Pre-lockdown, Steve was poet-in-residence at the Chocolate Poetry Club and now co-runs and co-hosts the online open mic event Poetry From The Grassroots. He was one of six poets selected for Edalia Day’s first animated poetry slam https://homemcr.org/production/animation-slam/ and he has many videos on YouTube,including poems for children. He regularly works with The Poetry Society, often hosting slams for primary schools. As a novelist, he has three children’s books published. The latest, Child I (Faber) has been translated into 11 languages and is shortlisted for the German Youth Literature Award. 

Open mic videos:

PR Murry


 Pauline Sewards


 Stuart Larner


 Lantern Carrier

Lofe (featuring Zolan Quobble)

LOFE is Stephen Elwell, (Bass Guitar, FX)
 Nik the Deks (Beats, Synth, FX)
 Zolan Quobble (Words & Voice)
Production, Nik the Deks
Mastering, Max Quirk max@cutsville.net  

Kate B. Hall


 Django Moon


 Christine Eales

Frank Crocker


 Dino Mahoney

Joseph Healy


 Max Fishel

Heather Moulson

Kevin Morris

Helen Nattrass

Robert Drury

Graham Buchan

Harriet Truscott

Isabel Bermudez

Roger Stephenson

Emile Sercombe

Sue Johns

Page poems:




It began well enough

Glad to get Christmas out of the way

Kick start a new year, catch a play

Meet up with friends, enjoy a gig

Take a spring break by train


Then the year went missing

Everything replaced by a blank

Sickness stalking the land

Lockdown entering the language


Everything closed and life closing in

The missing year creeping away

Each day copying the last

Phone calls with nothing to say


During the year that went missing

Nothings pile up - plans are banned


How did we mislay this year?  

Where was it seen?

Blank as snow, each morning

Insists it must be lived through


Time will restore the hours and days

The year will pop back into place

Diaries will fill, something to do all the time


Though not for those who didn't make it

Snatched away like the hours and days

Of the year that went missing

Not revealing its destination

Was it just pantomime?

It's behind you! Oh no it isn't...


 Patric Cunnane



I cut you

I chop you

I saw you

I pour hot water over you


I pull you

I drag you

I dig you out

I dry you up under the sun


I curse you

I scold you

I shout at you

I burn you to ashes


Still you grow

Tough and strong

You even flower

I give up


Wild you keep growing

Gleeful and green

And you bear berries

Black and shiny


Spelt I pluck you

And put you in my mouth

Sweet juice dribbles on my tongue

 Yan Li


a bright log fire   heat induced euphoria

a man stares at the curling flames

pictures once more   his native shore

friends of his youth  and their childish games

foam flecked waves from a restless ocean

red sailed trawlers put to sea

from winter gales they  then trim sails

like the ancients  in gallilee

he can hear the scream of the herring gull

the soft tune  when a blackbird sings

and all around there’s a mellow sound

when a distant church bell rings

the pungent smell of new mown hay

he breathes ozone like port wine

he can almost feel his senses reel

when he sniffs the wild woodbine

he tastes soda bread when its still warm

feasts on mackeral caught to day

from gleaming shoals cooked on glowing coals

this manna from our bay

he plaits rushes with their silky feel

walks bare foot on warm sand

holds seaweed fronds  neptunes fairy wands

to cast spells  in his dreamlike land

John Hurley



If you’ve harkened to rumours and fairy tales –
      with the usual infusion of farfetched details –
           one fable grew roots,
                when some rambling recruits,
                    who’d had failed to stockpile,
                           found they were trapped in a desert exile!

The chap at the lead bade them put down their tools,
      while he’d just scale Mount Sinai for some trendy new rules;
           Moses climbed up and down six or seven times,
                fearful his flock enjoyed some petty crimes,
                    his suspected disgrace, was their sculpted gold calf,
                           at which his Supremo was loath to laugh!

He stayed at the helm while the herd sought their land,
      generations wandering – all still on remand –
           they’d lived forty years on glucose molecules,
                but manna alone is the nectar of fools;
                    this food had a hint of Shipham’s fish paste,
                           but there was ne’er a call for defecating waste.

Aches and pains from the weight, saw him crack the concrete,
      so, once more, he staggered, to his apex retreat,
           where exchange was conferred, without a receipt,
                but there was added engraving his eyes did not meet;
                    on the reverse of the covenant blue-print,
                           no-one bothered to turn it over and squint.

Thereon etched, in eight point Italic text,
      guaranteeing the nomads to be confused and vexed,
           hieroglyphics confirmed milk and honey a-plenty,
                but a rare shock would arrive in two thousand and twenty.

Lorraine Saacks



Lemons in a bowl, illuminating

this room closed with dust.


Slicing a lemon, mist scents my hands.

Pouring sunshine into a long glass


in Italian small-town squares

we feasted on wild rabbit and fennel.


Citrus fruit strips the moisture

from my lips. See you I said.

Barry Coidan

pandemonium nitrate


angels swarming


banshees wailing


tombstones fuming in the blackened sky





John Sephton




John Sephton