Monday, December 31, 2012

Poem of the Week ~ Owl Night

Our Poem of the Week this week is Owl Night, from Wolfsrosebud's blog. The mood and imagery are wonderfully steeped in winter chill. Do peek at it on Patricia's blog, as the photo accompanying this piece is breathtaking. I could hear the owls calling, all the way through this poem. 



OWL NIGHT

As soothing, solitary, arctic moon shines,
shooting stars sprinkle a twilight bitter sky;
while phantoms are looting local forest floor…
high hooting, hooting heard an epistle cry.

Winter winds also cry whistling secret words
past pond laden with stinging frosty crystals,
as burdened branches are somberly swaying
stiff too the waters clinging, clinging to earth.

Waiting, waiting alert bulky downy head,
since her mating ritual has left her full.
Wings stretched wide skating across moon-lit billows;
hating to bear her pale, secret nesting site.

January’s invading, infernal snows;
there’ll not be trading atop towing tree
with the aid of God’s eternal holy hands.
No raiding, raiding of last breath this raw night.

It’s there I hear the hooting, hooting in still night
clinging, clinging to this rare twinkling moment.
Hands numb, toes frozen I stand waiting, waiting
to make sure there’s no raiding, raiding this night!


Come January, when the holidays have past, is when I can hear the lone cry of Mama Owl who waits long frosty nights protecting her nest. It’s those nights I appreciate my warm bed.

-Patricia Wolf

     ***     ***     ***     ***

Thank you so much, Patricia, for participating in our community. We so enjoy your unique view of the world. Kids, wasn't this the perfect poem for a dark and chilly New Year's Eve? I do hope all of you are having a lovely day and evening. We're counting down the hours now, until the brand new year. How on earth did 2012 fly by so fast?


Happy New Year, kids!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Poetry Pantry - #130

Times Square New Years Ball 2009
Wikimedia Commons
 
The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Hello, Friends - Happy  Sunday before New Year.  Where did the year go?. 

I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very Happy New Year from all of us at Poets United.  Thank you for gifting us with your participation, poetry, and your selves during the year. We appreciate YOU.

I do know this is still a busy time for everyone; but the Pantry will be here for those who would like to share a poem, as well as spend time visiting the poems of others who share....in the spirit of friendship with fellow poets.  I look forward to seeing what many of you share this week. 

And, as always, please leave a comment in the comment section for us...and if you are an early poster, perhaps check back later and see what others have said!

The Pantry will close  at 12 noon Central Time on Monday.  I think that should give people enough time to link their poem, and you can always make visits to other poems even AFTER Mr. Linky is closed. 

Even if you wrote your poem for another site originally, consider also including a link back to Poetry Pantry to spread the word and the joy of poetry and help others to discover our site.

Also, if you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And now...here is the procedure:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.


There 3 simple rules:

1. Link only 1 poem per week.  If you link more than one, anything after #1 will be removed.

2. Please visit several other poems linked here when you link to yours. Please
don't just link and run, waiting for others to visit you. 


3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.  I find that people who leave comments tend to be more participatory.  They wish to be part of the community.  A little of this goes a long way.  It feels good for all.





Saturday, December 29, 2012

Classic Poetry ~ "Meeting at Night " by Robert Browning



                           Robert Browning

                                 1812–1889


Meeting at Night

The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

Robert Browning, born in England in 1812, was not formally educated. He learned, instead, at home from his father’s 6,000-book library. For most of his writing career Browning was considered a failure among his peers, who unfavorably compared him to his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This standing changed late in his life when he developed and expanded on his use of dramatic monologue and lengthy poems. Today, he is most commonly known as one-half of a romantic poet duo. His most widely read work is Men and Women, a collection of dramatic monologues dedicated to his wife.


Friday, December 28, 2012

I Wish I'd Written This


After hitting you with a heavy one right on Christmas, here's a change of pace — a heart-warmer.

The Creek  
By Nan Doyle

Do you remember when we were young, Tom?
We’d scarper away to the creek,
On Sundays at one, before Church had begun
And the treasures of nature we’d seek.

We knew where the birds had their nests, Tom
We knew where the fish liked to hide
We knew where the maidenhair grew, Tom
And we knew where the bees had a hive.

We used to laugh at the world, Tom
As we merrily hunted for frogs.
We ate lilly pillies and called them wild cherries
And crossed over the creek on a log.

Then we’d go back to the house, Tom
As the clock was striking three.
We had the primeval instinct of kids, Tom
To be home for afternoon tea.

Then the lectures would start, Tom
After the parson had gone,
Our souls must be headed for Hell, Tom,
if wagging church was so wrong.

I remember the day you protested,
In tones begrudgingly meek,
‘If God wants to talk to a bloke, Dad,
Why don’t he come down to the creek?

‘It’s hard to sit still in church, Dad,
When you’re only a boy like me.
We don’t make much noise at the creek, Dad,
And there’s interesting things to see.

‘Why does God live in a church, Dad?
Where an hour seems more like a week?
If God wants to talk yo a bloke, Dad,
He oughta live down at the creek.’

I went there today for a walk, Tom,
And nothing has changed very much.
I sat there and breathed in the peace, Tom,
And memories came back with a rush.

I found something good there today, Tom,
And I’ll give you this secret to keep.
He was there with us all of the time, Tom.
He’s always lived down at the creek.


This is a very famous poem in Australia, although not in literary circles so much as with the general public.  Nan wrote it years ago, and lately rediscovered it and sent it to 'Australia All Over', a Sunday morning radio program hosted by one Ian McNamara and presented from a different part of the country each week. There are chats with the locals, special guests, and an airing of various pieces of Australiana which listeners send in, whether stories, anecdotes, verses or music. It is listened to all over the country, too, an audience of thousands. It's one of the most popular radio programs in this country. Andrew and I used to hear it on the car radio when we were driving to set up our stall at various Sunday markets around our region (always sorry to arrive and have to stop listening; it goes for several hours). Nan's poem was so popular with listeners — I'm sure you can see why — that it has been read on air more than once, and she receives many letters requesting a copy. (She always obliges.) We should all be so lucky as to get this kind of exposure!

Nan doesn't consider herself a poet, really. Mostly she writes short stories, some in series that could be put together as short novels. They are often very funny, and always insightful about human nature. Last year two were highly commended in the annual Stringybark anthology of humorous fiction, and a number of others have been published in various magazines over the years and/or placed in competitions. 

I know Nan through her participation in the WordsFlow Writers' Group.  The link leads to our blog; scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the tag for her name, and click on that to find some more of her writings (and this poem again). She's not mad keen on cyberspace, and she has not yet compiled a book even though the rest of us in the group keep urging her to do so — so I'm afraid I can't supply a lot of links to more of her work. Which is a pity! A modest person in her private life, in her writing Nan will go where angels fear to tread, though always with great humanity. I'm inclined to tell newcomers to the group, 'Some of us are disguised as little old ladies, but don't be fooled.' Nan is one I am thinking of when I say that. (I myself am another.)



Need I add that she hates having her photo taken? So the best I can do is this blurry newspaper photo of WordsFlow from some years ago. Nan is seated on the left, wearing blue and white and holding up a sheet of paper. (I'm at the far end of the table, also holding up a sheet of paper, with my head tilted back. (Yes we do also have men in the group, but in the minority and none were present that day.))

Anyway — I hope you agree with thousands of Aussies who love this poem.


Any poem or photo used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remains the property of the copyright holder (usually its author).



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wonder Wednesday

Wonder Wednesday will return next week. We are going to take a break and allow everyone, to enjoy their holiday season.  We hope everyone is safe n' warm and enjoying time out with their loved ones~

We will return on January 2nd, with a bit of chicken soup for your soul.   Yes, poems that will warm your heart or challenge you to make a wish.  That is your hint, for now ;D



 photo via ***







Happy New Year poets!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Poem of the Week ~ Sola, and Ordinary Saints



Kids, in the spirit of the season, I have chosen Peggy Goetz's inspiring poem, Sola, as our Poem of the Week. Do click over to Peggy's site to read about this wonderful woman, who devoted her life to helping others in Africa.



Sola

She was a cheeky girl she said
before the German army and
Dresden and walking
home. She searched. Had to do
something good with her life.
Discovered a convent, stayed, didn't
like the name they gave her, Sola.
Became a nurse, went to
Africa, been there
more than 50 years, caring and caring
and caring. Still works
every day keeping traditional
beadwork alive now in an
AIDS ravaged land. 
Happy 93rd birthday, Sola.


What a fantastic human being! Ordinary Saints, which follows,  was in the same post. It speaks of the "small kindnesses" which warm the heart. I include it here, in keeping with the spirit of the season. 


Ordinary Saints

Its the small acts of kindness,

the mailman who carries dog biscuits
and stoops to talk to every child,

the gardener who cuts a rose
for the woman with Alzheimers
who sits alone each day,

the teacher who cries
with joy when the struggling boy
finally can read his first book,

the police officer who buys
boots for a homeless man,

the clerk who always
listens and
has a kind word.

It's those small acts of kindness
that keep the world going.

It is indeed, Peggy. This old world needs all the kindness it can get. Thank you for your inspiring contribution to the season, and for your participation at Poets United. We appreciate you!

Have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones, kids, and may the love and joy of the season rest happily in your hearts.



Merry Christmas!
Happy Hanukkah!
Happy Kwaanza!
Happy Solstice!

Celebrate Life!

Merry Christmas

Wikimeida Commons


Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas from Poets United!  
 
Hoping that your holiday is filled with joy.
 
Thank you so much for the poetry
you have gifted us with this year!
 
 
Mary,   Sherry,   Ella,   Kim, and   Rosemary


Wikimedia Commons
 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Poetry Pantry #129

The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Hello, Friends - Happy  Sunday before Christmas to you all. 

I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah from all of us at Poets United.  Thank you for gifting us with your participation, poetry, and your selves during the year. We appreciate YOU.

 I do wonder how many people we will see today, as it is the Sunday before Christmas, but we are here for those of you who interested in sharing poetry.  I personally will be having a very busy Sunday, but I will eventually have time to spend time in the Pantry....later Sunday...so though I may not comment immediately, I will be there.  I look forward to seeing what many of you share this week. 

And, as always, please leave a comment in the comment section for us...and if you are an early poster, perhaps check back later and see what others have said!

 I have decided to continue to close the Pantry at 12 noon Central Time on Monday.  I think that should give people enough time to link their poem, and you can always make visits to other poems even AFTER Mr. Linky is closed. 

Please, if you link, plan on doing some reciprocating.  'Tis the season.  Fa La la la la!  Try to visit as many poets as you can, and if someone comments on your poem a reciprocal visit is a positive response.

Even if you wrote your poem for another site originally, consider also including a link back to Poetry Pantry to spread the word and the joy of poetry and help others to discover our site.

Also, if you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And now...here is the procedure:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.


There 3 simple rules:

1. Link only 1 poem per week.  If you link more than one, anything after #1 will be removed.

2. Please visit several other poems linked here when you link to yours. Please
don't just link and run, waiting for others to visit you. 
3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.  I find that people who leave comments tend to be more participatory.  They wish to be part of the community.  A little of this goes a long way.  It feels good for all.




Friday, December 21, 2012

I Wish I'd Written This

Collective

roads have many beginnings
many unnoticed steps
stones we shuffle through an indistinct dark
towards a certain failure that lies between
the hopeful and slowly the inevitable.

here, at the End of the Road

America seems to tilt sharply down;
Her highways from the heartland
bleed out through wheat fields and corn stalks;
arteries of hard luck and broken choices

          that drain slowly their dust into the sea

and if you open your eyes,
you will see them

the ones who still have color on their clothes
the ones who don’t pull their madness around them like a Mac:

2 new arrivals

the contents of their former lives lying askew;
spilling from a contrivance of the familiar
still far less trash bag than backpack

one rocking slowly into his own grey
reality clearing long lines down his face
whispering a shout no louder than the passing cars

the other, frantically searching
the shallow pits they made in the rocks
to keep the December trades off them;

learning why the homeless never sleep at night

no no not her picture
not her picture

the wallet lies open on the concrete: money has no worth to the homeless

but home;
     that is worth your soul

no no no no no no

we’ll find it… we will. 
                      I promise we’ll find it

all those things you can't buy back
with a careless five dollar bill and change
panhandled from their curbside haunts

no

 please no

please

I know his choices were never mine, but they are certainly my sadness

passing by
at the precise moment when
       homeless
reaches straight through the heart
to pierce the dark

and eyes
dull as the freeway dust that covers them

finally see

but even this is not an ending;
this road doesn’t fall into the sea
          a meandering story to sorrows;
no: they continue on into endlessly the cold

a collective of the cast off:
a collective guilt
a collective responsibility,
a plausible deniability;
every grey-man-of words
who wants your vote
so they can total them up

and the road is all that's left to us;


II


streets that click-clack with countless pairs of feet marching to the bonanza and the crippled beat.

Though docilely titillated, the feet are too haughty with the slickness of socio-economic self-awareness to tap-dance, or throw down their things, and join the throng of Harikrishnas who thrum along at one with gods, sky and street.

I myself am not observing from no mount, cloud nor tower; nor am I leaving the museum nor library. No: I'm propelled homewards by carrier bags.

I'll not stoop to mention the tyrannical logos, but you can imagine the all-sorted shapes, sizes, textures and colours; square and oblong enigmas containing further enigmas, charms, beauty and power.

One homeless guy - tramp, bum, hobo - stands out, though he's asprawl on the pavement, in that he resembles Alan Ginsberg, the American poet.

I and all the other feet - wise to the city, and as cold as the sleet that's starting to fall - like one niggard divided into ten thousand pairs, do not condescend eye-contact, let alone spare change.

A conscience cannot be salved by contrasting a junkie, too hurt for action, with a 'third-world' child.

Homelessness is a concept alien to 'primitive' societies.

The sunlight dims and a spectrum of electric lights strike incantational on the neo-classical and 'postmodern' streets.

I arrive home and can't decide whether to put the kettle on or open wine.


III


Passed bitter apples spit and cussed,
here morning stings.
Dawn brings rest to clingy ghosts;
coffee roasts steep the breeze,
rich with omens
kick start the hearty,

My View Carre rising
My Wash Tub on Rampart
Under Cosmo Matassa's
Where Fats, Ray and Lil Richard
Keep the vibes clean with a back beat,
These lean times folks bleeding
Still needing fresh laundry,
The tawdry and maids waiting, hustlers and servants
Keep quarters and soap,
Wash, press and I fold

Assessing a pound, two fifity
I know them. They trust me.

But see please
An episode of squint and splendor
Ripe with fear and loathe of longing,
Kissed a tear bunching up on my lip
Flipped down,
Globe of laugh covered pity filling a comet
Smash a crater in the tender silk I imprint on

Yes Officer he was a friend I'd say
Murdered today? That park beyond the bridge
For what? For nothing he wouldn't give
He had an orange; half was yours.
He shared the bareness of his being,
Chose to loose his check on finer things,
Beyond a roof and piece of sand.

Urban outdoorsman he proclaimed
And knew his mail would come with mine,
In the winter time,
Spring he wandered north beneath the snow geese
Said the heat released his banshee
And the rot he got in 'Nam.

He was a kind man.
He called a niece back east on Christmas,
All he ever had, never named her.
She could claim him maybe.

He kept his fortune in his pocket;
Head busted with a rock,
For a sock chocked with change;
Drank and smoked exchanging disabilities,

Till he was free, was all he tried to be,
Real to me,

Cleansed from memory
Fast as he passed their high hats,
His plump aroma second lined,
He thought it fine and called it French.
They curse his stench and prayed for pity on our city.

He truly lived here. Teaching without preaching,
Through the screams still dared to dream here
Quoted Clemons, Looked like Whitman,
A Navy Cross, blue book mark ribbon

Glib before the hitman I'm sure

His simple censure feeds the mean
Between the gentle and obscene;
High righteous heads shake at the scene,
Claiming the street more serene
Each bloody litter taken back
And black taking a black,
Katrina gleaned Angola youth
Strangled blue.

I lack the gifts to tell you
Truth balloon puppy bent.
He was a friend who lived a tom cat's deal
But lived for real.

and of roads there may be many
and all of them we can't not travel
choosing one 200 years ago
brought the European to the Ohio valley

the buckeye forest almost hid the
pounding river.....

but when i walked there
40 summers ago
only strip-mined
mountain sides collapsed in to coal stained valleys

these roads that brought us into
a third millennium encircle the planet
becoming electrons
or into space as rockets or planes
humanity cast the future

each one a person
the old Hopi informs

embrace the spirit
forsake the road

but sometimes it seems
the road is all that's left to us.....


IV


but America is not the world
nor the only road.

How can I walk a mile
in the shoes he does not have?
Already I felt out of place
ivory towered
fed and showered
posh hotel in the city
on a work trip.
Almost dark in the park
seeking the breath of trees
against the smog
I saw the jolly swagman camping
not beside the Billabong
but Parramatta Road.
He did not return my greeting
but settled underneath a bench
underneath a street light
underneath the tattered remains of his dignity
pulling close about him
a polite invisibility
resting his head
on the stones of forgetfulness.

But I saw
and I remember:


V


I watched them come from the coasts,
floating in like some leaving of forsaken cargo, 
as flotsam, the jettisoned of humanity, 
marked for a drop off to nowhere-in-particular

they carried with them history in the making,
asking little but for safe haven from tornadoes
and snow as they spanned a continent, coast-to-coast,
this nation supposedly indivisible,

but always divided by rank and class

this one which calls all other "pots" black
melting together faces from all points on the globe,
confined to a track of migration, spinning in a milky
way, never transparent and just as opaque 

They drag in the pitch, the black and heated of asphalt,
finding comfort in the meeting places unspoken,
unmarked but intimated by tradition
of those who came and went before 

This is their road wound through the middle like a belt,
(holding two halves of a country and coasts
neatly pulled together,)?, a familiar old footpath
worn through (center?)(heartland?), and solid (as hardwood ?)
from the east coast heat to the west coast lull
and sweet pacifist breezes, he and she prefer
to carry knapsack and backpack while bearing 
little conformity to dreams spun in America's sleepfulness 

they walk among the awake and aware,
that life is rarely ever fair, and fairy tales
are for children and for dreamers 
with one eye on the sky and the other on the road 
with thumbs up and signs out, I watched them 
sign out of the standard issue, make a pact with 
the road less traveled, form a community of
compassionate companions and pray for a kind sun: 

 VI


A new day had begun,
she found herself
among the collective.

Watched, and watching him
from her booth, the only place
she lived these days...

Beneath pools of black coffee
between cracks of maroon
pleather upholstery,

She spied him surreptitiously
with her little eye - those childhood
games played on continual loop,

ooops... did he catch her glance?

Now smiling into her compact,
the blush of her mirror reflecting
hope as often reapplied as her lipstick
in shades of Apple Pie in the Sky Red.
A Maybelline bestseller

America, America....
God paint his face on me.
Me was the new black.
It's the century of the Me, yet
Everyone thought they
were so down with empathy.

E to the M to pathy.
was that spoonful of sugar
helping bitter truth go down as we
Fed on the holy host, its communion
formed by states of a union
where the dissolute and the destitute
sat side by side - Some eating their fill
of themselves, and others rummaging
through garbage bins hungry
for any scraps of attention


VII


as he sits in front of the Safeway
with no shoes and a broken soul

muttering to himself quietly
staring obsessively at grains and gravel
in the breaks in the cement.

The thermometer dips below zero
but there is no place to go;
the shelters are boarded and planked
not a penny in their coffers;

a blanket would be a kindness
but there's no blanket to spare.

He mutters to himself delusions
hopeless yet hopeful
waiting for a savior.

She sits wasted
bloated arm and dirty needle
barely breathing
glazed eyes and vacant stare.

What is left of hope?

Bitter memories with no prospects.

She mutters to herself quietly
as she fills a syringe
hoping that this time
this time it will work,
this time a solution will come
as she shoots up with
other blood sacrifice
for the fleeting forgetfulness:


VIII


and so it is with a preferential blindness we all turn
consumed instead with the hustle and bustle of acquiring
Gifts, we tell ourselves, gluttonous eyes covered
with the blinders of green, silver and gold

cold with hypnotic blinking,
a crumpling and tinkling ringing in our ears
bills and coins deny the beat of empathy,
defy our sensibilities and swallowed down
with guilt - a gulp of tears at injustice and inequity

Where sailed the mercies found in winter?
Did they flee on a sled with a jolly old myth?
Did they run in the rain or the flurry of snow
when storming the gates, doors mauled
with competition, acquisitions to keep up with

the Joneses

We display the jovial in lights with frivolous abandon
obstructing the view of the first Passion 
when Love asked nothing for the giving 
and the reason for this season lays like that crucifix
empty but trumped by an insistence to obscure the ugly and the real 

So where fled the mission of justice?
That cry from the manger, the cross 
or the lady standing in a harbor  
all hoarse with the years of neglect and ignorance

We hoarded our impotence in pursuit of the shining
emerging from the catacombs of commercial- search for treasure
but failed to carry one small shovel loaded with the golden rule,
or fire for the censors of frankincensal prayers
or apply the myrrh of soothing, salve for the wounds of the outcast


IX


I turned off the engine of the machine,
turned over the keys of wanton collection
and in the stillness of no rush and sweet hush
learned the sanctity of the true language of love
which flows from the mouth of God's broken heart

Compassionate deeds are the proofs that confess
not the decking of halls with holly and guests,
to convey in a mission of mercy and cheer
that hope's 'round the corner in the turn of a year
and that peace for our fellows is a tangible gift
and that good will to all is as simple as this
a present to others that Christmas had missed: 


X


a collective of the cast off:
a collective guilt
a collective responsibility,
a plausible deniability;
every grey-man-of words
who wants your vote
so they can total them up
to more of the same inane blindness,
a deliberate unseeing of loss
not giving a toss, no coin,
just a kick in the balls
and a night sleeping rough.

england, a weeping sore
scratched by thoughts of empire
and being the ones who once won the war,
a wistful longing
for a land that never was,

"the past is a foreign country
they do things differently there"

england a weeping sore
kids in care "groomed and raped"
state sponsored bankers
get a hundred grand knocked off a ten mill pension
and cry foul,
howl at them, at all the opium-of-the-people TV
x-factoring us in to blindness
it's a kindness really,
not to see the paucity of our lives

divide and rule
divide and rule,

and so at last, drowning in our silence
we take one last gasp of humanity
and grasp again for the road,
take to the road, and walk it with me
take to the road

the road is all that's left to us.....


a long grey-dust road that’s left to us,

                                             each and all


the Writers of Alabaster & Mercury
All Rights Reserved, 2012

Frater Rodderz
Peter Doyle
Marty Smith
Lori Gomez
Deborah Trimble
Debra Webb Roberts
Yes, this is unusually long compared with my other posts here, but I found it rivetting from start to finish. And of course could not have written it, as it is the work of a collective, and focuses on homelessness as observed in different places — but I would love to be capable of every section. Even though the poem is long and the subject matter confronting, the lead-up to Christmas seems the perfect time for us all to be reminded.

I republish this with permission.  One of the contributors, Peter Doyle, who has been featured here before, posted it in his facebook notes. That led me to Larry Kuechlin, who is listed as the Publisher of Alabaster and Mercury. And what is Alabaster and Mercury? 
(Great name, don't you agree?) The information supplied to me says:
Alabaster & Mercury was established by Larry Kuechlin in 2007 as a private and hidden group that would allow writers to confidently workshop their poetry in a positive, constructive atmosphere. The group features authors published by major publishing houses and published poets from all around the world, but is structured for both the accomplished writer and the absolute beginner, one of which is just 12 years old.
Alabaster & Mercury is also a publishing house in its own right, with 10 titles published to date. 

Although the workshop group is hidden, the publishing house is more public, so check out the website. As well as individual titles in the book store, there is advance news of a new anthology:





Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).