Saturday, 30 May 2020


JUNE 2020 


 Welcome to the second virtual show from Dodo Modern Poets. The success of the first has inspired more participants, with around 30 open mic poets supporting our featured performers..

:Later in the show I'm including a new poem that's literally out of this world but first we begin with our featured acts.

They are:

HEATHER MOULSON - wry accounts of adolescent angst are among the highlights of Heather's work. She won the Brian Dempsey Memorial competition in March and her pamphlet, Bunty I Miss You, is out now. More information:  

PROJECT ADORNO - veterans of many an Edinburgh Festival the group present a one-off lockdown special featuring a selection of snap, crackle and pop songs. Themes include 8 bit computer games, Mark Twain, and the Eurovision Song Contest. Think of it as Top of The Pops, only with the same act on all the way through. .More information: 

 We hope you enjoy the show

 All the best,

 Patric Cunnane 
PR Murry 






 Sue Johns 

 Nicola Baker

 Nick Alldridge

 PR Murry

 Graham Buchan

 Isabel Bermudez 

Lantern Carrier

 Robert Drury 

Max Fishel 

  Eddie Forde 

Sophia Bradner

  Paul Gander 

John Greatrex

 Frank Crocker

 Joseph Healy

  Christine Eales

 Mark Holihan 

 Julian Mann

 Aidan Nutbrown

 Kate B Hall

 Pauline Sewards 

 Roger Stephenson 

 Wendy Young 

 Emile Sercombe 

 Stuart Larner

POEMS ON THE PAGE Our show continues with poems on the page from 13 poets.

 Patric Cunnane 

Hey sky, I am coming!
Valentina greeted the heavens
As she roared  into space

Call sign, Seagull
The first woman cosmonaut
Wedged in a capsule with
Only confidence for company

When navigation failed
She fixed it
Sharp and funny, Valentina
Blazed her own trail to the stars

She landed in a Kazakhstan  field
Startling the villagers
Emerging thirsty and smiling
They loved her!

She married a spaceman
Two gulls together
Became a politician
Shrugged off the past

But nothing would match
The thrill of that moment
Hey Sky, I am coming!
Years pass
The seagull has yet to land

On 15th June 1963, 26-year-old Russian cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova, became the first woman in space.  Her mission lasted three days. Her call sign was 'Seagull' and as she took off she declared, "Hey sky, I am coming."

Django Moon

I’m stuck
Where I want to be
But still I’m stuck
With me

I’m stuck
No one here
But me, myself, and I

I’m stuck 
In solitude 
Just the three of us

We’re stuck
Me, Ego, and Higher Self

We’re stuck 
The good fight
A war of peace 

We’re stuck
Getting along
Going nowhere
Always ‘now here’

We’re stuck
All of us
In the moment
The only place... to be.

 Ruth O’Callaghan

 It is February. From the tracks beyond the cemetery the last train defies the dark, defies the dark 

 beyond the cemetery. It is February. Onto the tracks a body may fall, fall from the bridge 

 the bridge that springs over the tracks, the tracks on which a body may span, horizontal

 east to west or west to east, never north to south south to north. Horizontal. 

 Too late, too late to grind the brakes, the brakes too late if a body breaks on the tracks. 

 The woman at the window sees the man on the bridge to the man on the bridge the woman at the window

 cries                                                                                                  Wait.

 Spanning the tracks that the driver can see but not a body spanning the tracks

 there is no body spanning the tracks as he moves on, moves on defying the dark

 beyond the cemetery. It is February. The rails are sharp the night is clear, he is on time.

 The driver’s on time. All is ordered in this dark. He’s taken advice. He can implement procedures. Procedures. 

 Vera climbs the stairs of the bridge, sees the man on the bridge hears the cry of the woman at the window but not the word. 

 She is alone.

 He cuts a swathe towards the tunnel. He is on time he is a man who defies the dark 

 he is a man moving on, moving on through the night the night is ordered, he is ordered 

 the driver’s on time. He’s taken advice. He keeps his hand he stays his hand, he can implement... 

 The boy asleep under the bridge hears shuffling on the bridge hears a woman’s cry. He doesn’t move. It could be a ploy. 

 Procedures. He knows procedures. He knows this track. He knows the exact, the exact point 

 to release, to release pressure. The driver’s taken advice. The air is clear. The rails are sharp. He is a man defying the dark.

 The man on the bridge hears the train on the track, hears a voice calling, footsteps dragging. He turns. She is cardigan-ed not white-coated. 


 It is February. They are beyond the cemetery. Beyond fear. The fear on the face of the man in the train of the man in the air. 

I’ll Stay Home Now
By Yan Li

I know what I’m doing.
I’ll look after myself.
We just don’t’ have enough hands.
Nor enough gloves.

Make me another mask.
If you have to.
And a few gowns.
I’ll share them.

Sure, I’m scared.
I could bring it home.
I know you’re worried for me.
I’m also worried for you.

Patients are dying.
Some of us, too.
Alone. Loved ones aren’t allowed to come.
They say I love you on the phone.

Don’t cry.
This is what I do.
When it gets me,
Do not enter my room.

I’ll stay home now.
I’ll listen to you instead.
Don’t take me to hospital.
Don’t want to take up a bed.

Barry Coidan
Dog Rose

A white scented dog rose.
An  insignificant flower
five petals hanging limp.
An intruder.

 A mere bramble,
 uncalled for child of
 bastard stock opening
into  shocking whiteness.

In this period of
distancing I held it in
my hands; bringing it close
Inhaling its nectar droplets.

Bastard rose scent
so fragrant. I cup its endless
possibility lost in
a child like reverie.

A white scented dog rose
a perfect rejoinder to
this out of joint age. We need

such sweet smelling bastards.

Claire Booker

Still you do not wake,
though your back is a strait
all fleeted up with turquoise sails:
square-rigged, lace-fine grapplers
sunk in your brine.
Even now, when the wind lifts
and each fluttering vessel weighs anchor,
hauls you up
into night-drenched blue, swaying
on the hammock
of your own mortal weight,
a drunk ship
listing through constellations,
still, you do not wake -
pitching and plunging
in Cassiopeia's pleats, dazzled
by light from her bold moons,
distance, like air, keeling
around you.

(from 'Later There Will Be Postcards')

EXCHANGE (after Hans Tisdall, Fishermans Hut, 1946)

They call me the Birdman of Hastings, but I never
set out to collect them, or offer them a home; after
the first few, I built them little houses from driftwood.

So they come, keep me company, and I am glad.
I spend my life taking fish from their element,
and never regret it, because that is my mission.

But seagulls are not welcome here, they are louder
and greedier than the Exciseman, and will rip open
every bag just to see what is there, and never stop.

My birds ask nothing of me, take nothing from me,
give me peace in return, the sort of exchange I like,
they bless my boat, never follow me out to sea.

They could, if they chose, live in a garden in town,
or try their luck with any other fisherman, but no,
here they are, all around my little hut, here to stay.

Yet how short our lives, between tides and moons,
so many friends I can never name aloud again,
empty chairs in the pub, obituaries I can never read.

If one day I am lost at sea, or fall asleep in my chair,
I hope my birds will stay here, and be welcomed
by whoever takes my boat, my hut, and my chair.

When This Virus War is Over
Lizzie Shirley

When this virus war is over,
Workers wave goodbye to food banks,
There will be no zero hour contracts
And everyone will earn a proper wack.

There will be no homeless people
No humans lying in the street.
All will have a lovely council home,
And healthy meals to eat.

Children won’t go to school hungry
On their work they will fully concentrate,
Teachers won’t be overworked and grumpy
And schools will open five days a week.

We’ll bring back bursaries for nurses
We’ll train new doctors galore,
We’ll do away with outsourcing
And hospital workers won’t be poor.
The NHS’s sill loved by everyone
We won’t sell it off stealthily
Back to being fully nationalised
No more stealing it by the wealthy.

The Tories have made this crisis worse
This tardy government is a con
We won’t have people dead by their mishandling
Profiteering for their mates is simply wrong.
For years they have been incompetent,
Not investing, but ripping us off,
The scales will tip in our favour
And nobody again will be a Toff.

Harrow and Eaton will both close down
Their privilege will all go down the drain
They will stop thinking they are superior
We’ll tax them, for Corona they will pay.

We owe them absolutely nothing
Their privilege is sick and out of date.
We will be working for each other,

Together we will all seize the day.

taxi driver
John Sephton

Lone rider haunting the darkness,
Roaming the underworld,
The crooked sidewalks,
The shadows at the edge,
The lost highways of life.

. Inspired by Martin Scorcese’s 1976 movie about a deranged former US Marine returned from Vietnam.

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.

Hugh Shrapnel

Blank paper                                                                                                                                                               No hoper.                                                                                                                                                                      Inspiration nowt                                                                                                                                                                      What’s it all about?
Put it off                                                                                                                                                                           (Got a cough).                                                                                                                                                                      What’s the worry?                                                                                                                                                             There’s no hurry.                                                                                                                                                                    
Have an aim,                                                                                                                                                                     Make a name.                                                                                                                                                                   What the hell                                                                                                                                                            Damn it – tell!
Give it the most,                                                                                                                                                        Send in the post.                                                                                                                                                          Good reply?                                                                                                                                                                                      Huh, I would die!
What then, fake it?                                                                                                                                            Yes - if you’re to make it!                                                                                                                    Not a deep testament                                                                                                                                                                          But a good investment. 
Eureka, now I’ve got it!                                                                                                                                                               Hey, wow, could be a hit!                                                                                                                            Oh dear this is sub;                                                                                                                                                                         Never mind, off to the pub.
Will nothing work?                                                                                                                                                                               It’s all a bad joke.                                                                                                                                          Deep in trite -                                                                                                                                                                Is there no respite?   
‘Be original’ they cry;                                                                                                                                                             No, nothing new under the sky.                                                                                                                                     What style (they’re all old)?                                                                                                                                                                     Forge a new one – be bold!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
No ‘isms’-                                                                                                                                            They’re all prisons;                                                                                                                                                                ‘Art for art’s sake’?                                                                                                                                                                   Such a mistake.
Now something new                                                                                                                                                                   For all the world and you.                                                                                                                        Never say die -                                                                                                                                                                                 ‘The New Music World’? Fie!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Kevin Morris

An Autumn Bird:

I heard

An autumn bird


'Ere the sky

Grew Bright.

And I

Thought of spring,

And eternal night.

Written in Marbella after the 2019 British general election
Greg Freeman

the last hope gone, we find ourselves in sunshine
with family in Marbella beside a fountain sculpture
of beauty and unity, reflecting civic pride,
what might have been, playing with our

Anglo-Spanish grandchild on the swings and slides.
She careers across the pavement on a little bike,
I struggle to keep up with her, and as I screw
my features into laughter-faces, she mimics every one.

She calls the motorway tunnels along the Costa del Sol
‘the big dark’.  That evening the people
of the barrio sing carols beneath our flat, with guitars,
harmonies, their brazier a beckoning beacon, bright.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff everyone ... hope to see you all in the real world soon Sue Johns xxxxx