No 142 - July 2010
‘THE BOX’ - READERS VOTE ISSUE 141 - RESULTS
1st And Some Other God, Unfinished - Graham High
2nd Turner’s Loch Coruisk, Skye - Caroline Gill
3rd Things I’m Too Familiar With - KV Skene
4th Better Than Butterflies - Ted Harriott
Heroes and Doves - Mary Anne Perkins
REACHERS NEWS AND VIEWS
Sad news I’m afraid with the death of Barbara Robinson’s partner last month. Please take the thoughts and love of all Reachers to help you through this, Barbara.
Our friend Les Merton from Poetry Cornwall has published a new poetry collection from Jenefer Ann Murray through his Palores Publications 21st Century Writers series. The Fifth Fifty is the latest from Jenefer, an octogenarian, and we wish her success with this. ISBN 978-1-906845-16-2 £8.50 68 pages, perfect bound.
It’s always a pleasure when the latest edition of Reach magazine drops through my letterbox. I was thrilled that my poem How to eat an avocado was appreciated by so many fellow Reachers. Your feedback is very valuable. My votes go to three very thoughtful poems:
1st – Echoes by Graham Woodall. This was beautifully written and I loved the idea of the sensation of touch being compared to an echo. Very original.
2nd – Tears by Peter Day. I really liked this “study” of tears. It is so true, they are our “currency”; they show we are human and capable of emotion.
3rd – The Waitress’ Earrings by Roger Harvey. A very sensuous poem. I can imagine the scene, the earring gleaming in the sunlight, the girl, and the day lifted from the mundane into the extraordinary by this moment
Susan Jane Sims
1. The Poet - Seema Gill
2. Carlotta - Margaret Whitaker
3. Her Ever-Boiling Brood - Ruth Sabath Rosenthal
4. White Silence - Joanna Lynham
Loved Ronnie’s poem Come Away She Said. I am really honoured to be part of the review pages and a special thank you to Ronnie and Bernard M Jackson, for taking on "in the geometric". In Valerie's poem Boundaries, which I did like, I wondered what had happened to my Hampshire, which is sandwiched between, Surrey, Sussex, Wiltshire and Dorset, which are boldly mentioned. Love Carol Ann Darling
1. Boundaries by Valerie Flatman
2. A Way Of Seeing by Pamela Constantine
3. To My Inconsistent Gas Fitter by Cedric Murcott. A very amusing poem.
Also particularly enjoyed Harvey by June White. An altogether enjoyable issue. Many thanks everyone. Peter Tomlinson
Thanks for particularly good issue this month, lots of good stuff sandwiched between the wholemeal slices provided by you and Dawn. I do like a good sonnet and you never get a bad one from the pen of Bernard Jackson so my first place vote goes to his Vestige Of A Shade. I don't care much for cricket but playing it is a hell of a lot better than going to war although the latter is a better subject for poems. Ben Mcnair combines the two in my second choice of The Village Cricket Team 1913. Some really clever lines such as 'in knocking out sixes and sevens'. Cricket fanatic Sir Tim Rice would love that echo of his own Evita lyrics. The comparison of willow hitting leather with bullets hitting blood is, with the use of just a touch of licence, brilliant. Boundaries by Valerie Flatman gets third place for me. It is well structured, uses some beautiful if nostalgic imagery and carries an Owen-inspired poet's warning. Many of the same comments apply to my fourth choice which is Souvenirs of Nancy by Norman Bissett. I don't know exactly who Nancy was, possibly a wife, but the sentiment that comes through to me resonates with thoughts of my late mother. Best wishes to all, Graham Woodall
1. The Village Cricket Team 1913 by Ben McNair
2. Where Canaries once sung by Carol Ann Darling
3. Carlotta by Margaret Whitaker
My other favourites are: To my Inconsistent Gas Fitter by Cedric Murcott and Heroes and Doves by Mary Anne Perkins. A little bird called Dawn has told me you are 60 on 25th June, Ronnie. Its official - you are now a golden oldie (!) and are eligible for a freedom pass. May you have many golden years to come. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement you have given me since I joined "the family of Reach"
Love and Blessings, Mala Mason
I've finally settled in my new home with new computer op. systems and all that - one day I'll write a poem about how to love your computer! Anyway, no more rambling. Here's my votes:
1. Things I'm too familiar with - K.V.Skene
2. Armada - Oz Hardwick
3. The Waitress's Earrings - Roger Harvey
Viva Indigo Dreams, Laurence Tierney
First a very happy birthday to you for the 25th June and congratulations on reaching 60, but please don't go whizzing across the countryside with the new bus pass and neglect Reach!! I've just read Reach 141 - the usual high quality cover, although I can't quite place the landscape. (It’s Loch Earn, Central Highlands, and it has a rare tidal ‘seiche’ effect due to winds) My favourite three this month are:
1. "Turner's Loch Coruisk, Skye" by Caroline Gill, it really captures the wildness of the place - I've been there!
2. And a very close second - Graham High's "And Some Other God Unfinished"
3. "Harvey" by June White
There were others I also liked a lot especially "Heroes and Doves" by Mary Anne Perkins and the touching "Through The Eyes of a Child" by Barbara Robinson. Many Happy Returns! Ron Woollard
1) Turner's 'Loch Coruisk, Skye.' - Caroline Gill paints this beautiful picture with well chosen words. 2) 'Things I'm Too Familiar With.'. - another haunting poem from K.V. Skene 'You help me Fly,' Mavis Gulliver, succinct and moving. Great cover, Soxx trying to hide again. Wonderful poems from Dawn and Ronnie, the ending of 'Come away She Said' baffled me a little, and it felt sad, (ah, ‘twas meant to be thus) whereas 'Catching Pears' was truly joyful. Thanks to the poets who voted for 'The Moon So Large.' Kate Edwards.
Thank you for Reach Poetry 141. Inside its lovely cover--perhaps the most beautiful to date--issue 141 provides another rich and varied feast of poetry. I felt like giving every contributor a vote, but after much pleasurable re-reading my number
1. You Help me Fly by Mavis Gulliver, proving that a true love poem-like a true love--is thoroughly sensible as well as utterly romantic.
2. Lorraine, aged 8 by David Norris-Kay
3. Through the Eyes of a Child by Barbara Robinson these two both 'childhood' poems interestingly juxtaposed on facing pages and revealing as much about the poets as about the children.
After my top three comes a bulky sheaf of poems all deserving high praise: Boundaries by Valerie Flatman, Better than Butterflies by Ted Harriott, Hospital Romance by Joan Sheridan Smith, and Souvenirs of Nancy by Norman Bissett to name only a few; not forgetting the clever and amusing Yorkshire Fish Cakes? by Christine May Turner. It was also good to find Richard Bonfield's collection highly praised in Claire Knight's excellent review. Richard is one of the great talents of our time and I am sure his book will do well.
Best wishes and happy birthday, Roger Harvey
Ronnie and Dawn's poems again set a fine example for us all. You ought to publish a collection of your (very accomplished) 'Cornwall' poems Ronnie. As usual, I found it impossible to pick single favourites out of the usual excellent offerings, so here are my 'Joints':
1. 'Harvey', by June White, and 'Carlotta" by Margaret Whitaker.
2. 'The Grass', by Albert Oxford, and 'Vestige of a Shade' by Bernard M. Jackson.
3. 'Through The Eyes Of a Child" by Barbara Robinson and 'A Way of Seeing" by Pamela Constantine.
Others which grabbed me are: 'Turner's 'Loch Coruisk, Skye', by Caroline Gill. 'My Home Place', by Angela Porter, and 'The Waitress's Earrings' by Roger Harvey, and all the others in another sparkling and impressive issue .. and what a great cover again, with Soxx pretending to be part of the tree! Best Wishes to all. David Norris-Kay
In 141 I am instantly engaged by the cover design of hinterland and moorland. There was an abundance of excellent poetry so with much thought I’d like to vote for the following:
1. Better Than Butterflies – Ted Harriott
2. The Village Cricket Team 1913 – Ben McNair
3. Gazing on Midnight – Wendy Webb
Best wishes, Christine Flowers
1. Carlotta – Margaret Whitaker
2. The Village Cricket team, 1913 – Ben Mcnair
3. Turner’s Loch Coruisk, Skye – Caroline Gill
Best wishes, Cavan Magner
It is clear to see that RP covers are an important and popular part of the whole. There is also the added element of the search for Soxx! Every cover creates an intended different mood, this time reflective. I must congratulate Dawn on her excellent poem. I had a pear tree in my garden once upon a very long time ago. Some great lines: “You are bent….wintering” and Later she will sleep…hands.”
1. Heroes and Doves – Mary Anne Perkins (I’m with you absolutely in this one)
2. The Grass – Albert Oxford
3. Stoic – Laurence Tierney
4. To My Inconsistent Gas Fitter – Cedric Murcott
Very closely followed by the work of Bernard M Jackson, Graham High, Graham Woodall, Oz Hardwick, Geoff Stevens, Eileen Carney Hulme, Caroline Gill and – for a laugh – Christine May Turner.
All good wishes, Josie Davies
I like the attractive cover of the 141st issue of RP and enjoyed catching Pears by Dawn and your own Come Away She Said.
1. Boundaries – Valerie Flatman. A rural list poem with a difference
2. Turner’s Loch Coruisk, Skye – Caroline Gill. Enchanting.
3. Lorraine, Aged 8 - David Norris-Kay and Scuppered – Geoff Stevens, two poems which are models of poetic craft.
Looking forward to next issue already, Happy Birthday, Peter Day
A surprise to receive Reach early again. Lovely cover, a place it would be good to visit in Summer, with Soxx looking on.
1. Better Than Butterflies - Ted Harriott
2. Home - Rosemary Whittingham
3. To My Inconsistent Gas Fitter - Cedric Murcott
4. Heroes and Doves - Mary Anne Perkins
Closely following: The Grass – Albert Oxford: A Way of Seeing - Pamela Constantine: Through the Eyes of a Child – Barbara Robinson: Hospital Romance – Joan Sheridan-Smith: Stoic – Laurence Tierney: Tears – Peter Day and Souvenirs of Nancy – Norman Bissett. I liked a lot of the others too. Yours, with its air of fantasy and Cornwall, and Dawn’s pear tree, another good place to be. All the very best for your big 60 Ronnie.
With good wishes, Valerie Flatman
1) The Poet - Seema Gill, lovely thoughtful lines in each stanza.
2) Things I'm Too Familiar With - K V Skene, liked the softness off the poem and the way it brought all the sense to the reader.
3) Yorkshire Fish-Cakes? - Christine May Turner, easy accent to read, great humour.
4) Armada - Oz Hardwick.
Best Wishes, Lynn Woollacott
1. To My Inconsistent Gas Fitter – Cedric Murcott. I love parodies!
2. Turner’s Loch Coruisk – Caroline Gill. I’ve been there. Your lovely cover looks like a Scottish loch – is it? (Spot on, Joan)
3. Boundaries – Valerie Flatman
Short letter – catching up on accumulated mail! Joan Sheridan Smith
I really had to laugh – after reading Dawn’s glowing tribute to you, Ronnie, as yet another prominent landmark in your tally of years is duly honoured. I was dreamily under the misguided impression that the first two verses of Dawn’s lovely poem, Catching Pears, was, in effect, a description of your goodself. Subsequent verses, however, soon assured me that the ‘craggy woodman’ was, after all, a well-loved, old pear tree. (Craggy woodman? Moi? Shurely Shome Mishtake!) Delightful poem though, Dawn! Voting, this time around, wasn’t easy, and perhaps my three nominations should form a Winners’ Coalition – if there is such a thing!. Well, be that as it may, here goes:
1. Better than Butterflies – Ted Harriott. A neatly-ordered, descriptive poem with a thoughtfully appropriate sting in its tail.
2. Stoic – Laurence Tierney. I love a good rhyming poem when I see one, and this one surely fits the bill.
3. The Poet – Seema Gill. Seema’s work is ever a pleasure to absorb. Her metaphorical content here, in this poem, is superb!
Sincere best wishes, Bernard M Jackson
RP 141 has another crop of super poems so the problem of choosing any as favourites is as difficult as ever. Consequently, I'll use the litmus test of my emotions to determine my vote as usual, which is as follows:-
1) Heroes and Doves by Mary Anne Perkins. What an elegant filtering of the important from the trivial, and how I agree with the writer's conclusion. May you always have space for heroes and doves, Mary - I'm sure that your guardianship of it will ensure that there are always heroes and doves to occupy it.
2) Lorraine, Aged 8 by David Norris-Kay. I have encountered a number of David's sensitive poems celebrating childhood. This is one of the most enchanting of the genre which reaches so easily into that innocent yet distant past. I believe this author will always 'grasp that pure song in the hidden dens of June.'
3) Tears by Peter Day. What a beautifully condensed description of that most powerful of human responses; '- the price of grief, - the sign of love.' How true.
My best regards to all. Albert Oxford
As usual, what a lovely cover – I’m sure Soxx feels more comfy beside the trees than on the spine!
1. Turner’s Loch Coruisk, Skye – Caroline Gill
2. Boundaries – Valerie Flatman
3. What are haiku? – Ron Woollard
4. A Way of Seeing – Pamela Constantine.
Also very much enjoyed The Last Performance, Tenants, Fish Tank, Tears, Carlotta, Home, Harvey Souvenirs of nanny and both haiku by Graham High.
Wishing good health and a good summer to all, Joan Corney
Many thanks for Reach 141. I look forward to each issue almost as much for your excellent covers as for what nestles between them. Lurking in the undergrowth, Soxx looked misty and mysterious this time, like a presence from The Turn of the Screw.
1) And Some Other God, Unfinished, by Graham High. Sympathetic portrait of the pavement artist and her precarious existence. Captures succinctly the snideness of the suited passer-by. Clever word-play throughout.
2) Better Than Butterflies, by Ted Harriott. Accurate observation expressed vividly: 'the jewelled confetti of the gods' / 'As aimless and indeterminate as/ The aerodynamically unsound bumblebee.' etc. The irony of the third stanza contributes to the poem's power.
3) You Help Me Fly, by Mavis Gulliver. A genuine love poem, no less heart-felt for being short, simple and dismissive of clichés.
Amid much else, I also greatly enjoyed your own Come Away She Said, Dawn's Catching Pears, Bernard's sonnet. Vestige of a Shade, and Joan Sheridan Smith's verse novelette, Hospital Romance.
Warmest regards, Yours aye, Norman Bissett
Dear fellow ‘Reachers’, thank you for putting me in ‘The Box’! Lit up the day for me as my little Yorkie’s pancreatitis is still on the warpath.
1. Echoes – Graham Woodall: You touched my heart.
2. Fish Tank – Mala Mason: Nice to read your clever ‘shortie’.
3. Stoic – Laurence Tierney: Your far, far away removed cousins send you ‘best-of-luck’ from Australia. And Things….- KV
Skene. I’ll have to purchase your collection…any chance of having it signed by you?
Many more great poems had to fall by the wayside, sorry. Etelka Marcel
What a nice surprise. Couldn't believe my eyes to come first in the voting, thank you all. Lovely selection once more, making it so difficult to choose. But here are my votes.
1. Albert Oxford's The Grass. This had me hooked from the first verse. Beautifully crafted poem with rhymes that echo but do not ever make the flow forced.
2. White Silence Joanna Lynham. Loved the imagery.
3. Joint Stoic and As Some Other God. I just couldn't choose between.
All the best, Daffni
A cracker this time - Reach 141 I mean, and of crackers, my dear cousin Graham has really gorn and dunnit this time. Not only that but he's been hiding this gem of a poem from me....so
1. G Woodall Esq. Echoes
2. KV Skene's Things I am familiar with - all that we have come to expect....
3. Mary Anne’s Horses and Doves - I do know what she means about cluttered brains! Love, Tina
I loved Ronnie's and Dawn's poems, both deceptively simple but saying so much. Again it was very hard to choose from such a rich variety. I could empathise with Heroes and Doves by Mary Anne Perkins, and I loved the thinking behind You Help Me Fly By Mavis Gulliver, but Norman Bissett's Souvenirs of Nancy came 1st for me followed by And Some other God, Unfinished by Graham High with Rowena M Love's This is for Ever, 3rd. Thank you again for such a good read, you are both amazing – producing 3 quality magazines, great collections and finding time to write great poetry. Very best wishes to all, Jenna Plewes
A very happy 60th birthday to our multi-talented editor Ronnie who has gone from strength since first stepping into bluechrome Reach in 2004 – long may he continue to work his magic! (Aw shucks, DMH…) The cover of 141 is so beautifully tranquil.
1. Heroes and Doves – Mary Anne Perkins
2. Petroglyphs of the Heart – Eileen Carney Hulme
3. Carlotta – Margaret Whitaker
4. And Some Other God, Unfinished – Graham High
Special mentions go to Mavis Gulliver’s You Help Me Fly, Angela Porter’s My Home Place, Ruth Sabath Rosenthal’s Her Ever-Boiling Brood and Mala Mason’s short but timely warning, Tenants. Wishing all Reachers the joy of a lovely summer. Denise Margaret Hargrave.
Your two poems are superb, the first so chilling and the second so cannily hopeful.
1st 'Things I'm Too Familiar With', K.V. Skene
2nd 'And Some Other God, Unfinished', Graham High
3rd 'Gazing on Midnight', Wendy Webb, esp. for the last line of verse 4.
I wish you wellness, and love, Ginny Sullivan
(Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Ginny)
Beautiful cover once again Ronnie and I'm glad to see Soxx is back in one piece!
Joint 1st: And Some Other God, unfinished by Graham High and Vestige of a Shade by Bernard M Jackson, the latter being a really lovely sonnet.
Joint 2nd: This is forever by Rowena M Love and Through the eyes of a child by Barbara Robinson;
Joint 3rd: Better than butterflies by Ted Harriott which contained some beautiful images, and The Last Performance by Jayne Stanton.
I also chuckled at To my inconsistent gas fitter by Cedric Murcott and Yorkshire Fishcakes by Christine May Turner, enjoying the latter’s dialect very much.
Best wishes to everyone with their writing. Barbara Greenall
I really enjoyed “Scuppered” by Geoff Stevens and “The Village Cricket Team, 1913” by Ben McNair, but my votes go as follows:
3rd Place: “My Home Place” by Angela Porter. I enjoyed the imagery of re-discovery in the first twelve lines of this, the first of my two sonnet choices. It made the poet’s feelings easy to tap into and share, which is why the final two lines “This is my home of memories of child-hood. / A place where dreams are now understood” are so effective. This is more than a statement by the poet for the reader, it is a truism the reader can recognise in themselves.
2nd Place: “And Some Other God, Unfinished” by Graham High.. The narrative is beautifully constructed around a woman artist rendering one of the great masters in chalk on the pavement outside the National Gallery. Some of the imagery is really wonderful, for example the last line describing the physical effect of rain on chalk whilst simultaneously implying tears and crying “The chalk smudges and runs like mascara”.
1st Place: “Armada” by Oz Hardwick. This is wonderful. The reality of the decaying assemblage of vessels set against the high expectation associated with the word “Armada” is great, and the description that the upturned boats “bob like helpless, legless beetles.” really conjures a picture in the minds eye. Excellent. Dave Costello
I am most grateful to all Reachers who commented on and appreciated Victorian Underlings. How very fortunate all of us are that we are not in their situation. I love your and dawn’s poems and the splendid cover – Soxx cleverly up a tree! I think the haiku scattered in the latest issue are of a really high quality and special mentions to Heroes and Doves and Harvey. First, And Some Other God, Unfinished; second, To My Inconsistent Gas Fitter and joint third, Turner’s Loch Coruisk, Skye and The Village Cricket Team 1913. Fourth, Carlotta.
Have a splendid summer everyone, Beryl Cross
Another lovely cover, such peaceful scenery. I would like to nominate for so many but am not permitted to do so:
1. Tears – Peter Day and Through The Eyes Of A Child – Barbara Robinson.
2. Carlotta – Margaret Whitaker and The Grass – Albert Oxford
3. Heroes and Doves – Mary Anne Perkins and Her Ever Boiling Brood – Ruth Rosenthal.
Also on my ‘short-list’: And Some Other God, Unfinished; This is Forever; You Help Me Fly; Hospital Romance; Echoes; Scuppered and The Village Cricket Team, 1913. Such a challenge this month, thank you Ronnie for J.W.D. (Job Well Done). Hap, Hap, Happy Birthday – at 60 you’re still a youngster!!!! Love, Rita Steward.
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