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The Arkive
|| Year Gamma: London: Tuesday: July 03: 2018 ||
First Published: September 24: 2015
The Humanion




London Poetry Festivals: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009














East to Nowhere: Briony Dennis
Poet in Residence at III London Poetry Festival 2007


Take me into the earth.
Smelling the dark soil.
Breathing the dew-damp dark.
Will I have left samsara then?
Every sign representing another
and another and neither representing
a real thing.
Take me back.
There is no going back
or forwards
or standing still,
there is no direction.
Merely correction,
rumbling in these catacombs.
The truth is now. This second. This instant,
the heart of mind, is brought home
in an instant, by the drowning of the telephone,
the destruction of the doorbell,
the demolition of 2.4 and the dinner party.
It's brought home for an instantÖ
Somewhere along the way to finding something,
to keep us from thinking about that which we should not lose,
whilst we distracted ourselves from that which we were losing.
We forgot to breathe.
To bring it home.
Sit, as the world wheels about you,
Ride the bus, as the universe flounders
and what will we leave?
Empty promises and shiny cars,
we didn't so much as look at the world,
or touch it with a curious finger.


In the stretched second before dawn.
In the final breath of frost before spring.
In the blast of August during May.
Then it is only the reflection of an instant.
Mirrored in a pool of dust.
It stands alone on an expanse of ice,
towering down a sprawling look over the cold.
Spinning about the pole.
Invoking our intercession.
But we have no time for contemplation.
It terrifies. Creeps into your heart.
The stone-still dusk
whisper of the real you.

I am me: Katherine Michaud

Of everything, a little stayed.
The world, vast and unexplored by my eyes,
never called my name.
The office, seemingly always open.
The groceries, seemingly always gone.
I am here.

Coming Together : Claire Askew
Poet in Residence at the IV London Poetry Festival 2008

In the early days, when your feet still struggled,
each morning, to find themselves, you inhabited a city
that only made sense on paper. I, the flitting
white cane that guided you, steered us
through espresso daydreams on yawning streets,
beneath bus-shelters Ė we were both blind Ė
doe-eyed and awe-full among stricken gallery frames.
I remember you burning curls of incense
in a paper cup, scrawling on yourself Ė
your veins seemed to run on the outside of your skin,
liquidising your heart into the palm of your hand.
It was from there that your ash fell in the rain Ė
you started to smoke like an army man, that night,
as we sheltered against the steel doors
under scaffolding.

We took turns at artistic hysteria. I was your
Dorothy Wordsworth, your emotional proof-reader Ė
a writer of long-winded, comforting notes; a patient,
smiling model for myriad screwed-up sketches. In turn,
you suggested adjectives from behind newspaper folds;
filled the bathtub with autumn leaves Ė you fitted
stubborn typewriter ribbons, cursing, and blackened
to the wrist.

Soon, you solved the conundrum of your new
existence Ė turned correctly at the lights
without my prompt. Just like your escape from a life
lived between the pages of an A Ė Z, you began
to solve me; recognised my bad traits in the identity parade
of our love. Stupidly, I never thought to try
and trick you; simply buttoned you up with revelations Ė
talismans for the expedition ahead.
And so, we find ourselves cover-snatching under the jaws
of the night Ė I wear your shirts, confuse you
with my inexplicable scent. You read aloud to me,
memorise the poetic names of the beers I drink, insist
on paying for groceries. Somewhere, it seems, between the lost
and the finding, we scooped out a mould for ourselves
where the sky touches ground; a groove in the wood Ė
and somehow, with hands locked like puzzle-pieces, unnoticed,
we fit.


If I Donít Write A Great Poem Before I Die: Nnorom Azuonye
Poet in Residence at IV London Poetry Festival 2008

If I donít write a great poem before I die,
no wings of music to bear you home after earth
eater of mighty meat has eaten me, you will have
nothing to show off at your friends with,
nothing to prove you witnessed the exit of a poet.
Death that ordinary frightens poets to death.

If I donít write a great poem before I die,
fetch a voice like silk rubbing against a black manís hair,
to recite ĎA Kinder Cullí by Griselda Scott,
let it console they who mourn me, they who will miss me,
that they may understand, lifeís mill must do without
this gristÖbut only if I died old and happy.

If I donít write a great poem before I die,
high-horse riders may gallop down here to sneer;
they will claim I ignored the heartache of storms,
say that I was numb to the pain of volcanoes,
they will show me tears in the eyes of a giant,
and share the fear in growls of a tropical thunder.

If I do write a great poem before I die,
release masquerades, pound drums, bring out flutes.
Let every voice recite its favourite line,
say it shows darkness cannot be the fruit of light
and when it mattered, jaws unlocked, I spoke out loud,
about fires, about flowers, about war and about peace.

A poetic statement: Gracia Iglesias

It consisted of wisely arranging the silence
the hours
sometimes as well
the night with its choir of beasts.
It consisted of not fearing starvation
and of learning the cold from broken birds
In order to unwrite ourselves in their feathers.
It consisted of boiling stones of smoke
and drinking the dregs of wait
before sunrise.
It consisted of dying all the deaths
living on tiptoe
correcting heaven and hell.
It consisted, after all,
of being only thirst.

: Sunset over the Savannah with blue tree: Translation from
Spanish original: Dr Natalia Carbajosa:

Able: Tomas Sanchez Santiago

Join the precise valour to initiate the day.
The formulae of sleep, with the first bells,
start burning; and you begin the morningís
hard slopes, shining and restless
like summer honey left upon your shoulders.
Besides you, heavily fall names and numbers.
And the street noise: a cruel commodity
you cannot grasp today.

You follow with the sweet storm
of another name in your lips.
And you start coming
down the evening end, where walls with sun
from certain last streets that leave you sleepless
when looked straight are awaiting you.

Eventually, overcome and simple, you will learn
how to conform to endings: night and its offers.
And when forsaken by modesty sabres
you will believe to have been, at least, able of deserving
the negative rose the day drops at the door
of those who do not yield, and know there is relief
traversing on their own the frozen palaces
of thought, where are no summons,
nor eagerness, nor company: a length only
of terrible visits leaping over the window
to replace the world there, in the cold
stores of the customary, where somebody has lit
 Ė able, unauthorized Ė the light of strangeness.

: Translation from Spanish original : Dr Natalia Carbajosa:

The Beauty in the Dark: Tony Fernandez
Poet in Residence at 5th London Poetry Festival 2009

Last night I felt The Beauty in The Dark,
Warm whispers felt upon the mystery of a stream,
And in the stillness of the night,
I kissed the moon,
for lost children wonder upon the valleys of this earth.
Last night I swayed amongst the rivers of a life,
And through the thunders I found your smile,
But in the silence of your eyes you said goodnight,
And in the richness of your grasp I felt a cry.
But Africa,
In the spirit of your song,
I knew your shadow,
And in the richness of your grace I took that train,
for the howling drums in my mother's backyard
Awakes my spirit,
And in the corners of your eyes,
I have shared a story ....
A dream ... A Life ...
But now it is dark, and I cannot see you,
And the voices from my elders begin to drown,
Now it is late and I cannot hear you,
For time seperates the marshlands of this open forest,
Where the breasts of this earth
Feeds the souls of my many brothers.

Tonight I drank music in a foreign lake,
I sang history on an empty shore,
And when I danced the trees began to shiver,
For the voices in my dark
Became too dark ... too firm ... too real ...
The night is young and beautiful,
The shadows are still wandering in their hundreds,
From a distance I hear the crows of the cock.
And so I danced,
For in your story,
Life found a new voice
And in your glory hope found a new song.  

Paradox: Isobel Dixon

Thereís no telling what
will make the heart leap, frog-
like, landing with a soggy plop.
Love startles, makes a mockery
of us, and yet we lie awake
at night and croak and croak for it.

Copyrights remain with the authors


Treasure: Claire Askew
Poet in Residence at IV London Poetry Festival 2008

Tonight, as I drive along a purple lane
under the swallow-tail of the evening,
I will think of you.  I can picture you -
your delicate skirts like the petals of a poppy,
stalk legs, black, with heels clicking -
your quick-step, on cobbles in a lamp-lit square.

In the cavernous chapel of my mind's eye,
I will watch you emerge, moth-like
in soft reams of white - watch as you waltz
between pews, take the arm of a man
I recognise.  I will think of your smile

behind a newspaper counter, the sound of silver
against the rings on your hand - I will think
of your pearls, like a cold, smoothed spine
across your neck, of your thumbs, turned black
with newsprint.  I am reminded

of your best teaset, the tall, slim coffeepot;
the Welsh dresser, full of porcelain horses
and silver spoons.  In my mind I will pass
the lake you loved, glimpse its shimmer between trees,
then speed away.  I will wander through

the rooms of your house, still heavy
with flower-scent and the breath of your cigarette -
finding your knitting and handkerchiefs,
the secret bottle of whisky, your stockings
and letters in the coffin of a drawer.

I will fold you away in crackling tissue,
carefully, with the yellow photographs
of soldiers you knew.  I will fold up your image,
to carry with me - white, brittle and dry,
like a word, a whisper, always on my tongue.

Floating beside shoulders: Philip Ruthen
Poet in Residence at II London Poetry Festival 2006


To make you
of memory
is all I have
after being close enough
to kiss your tousled smile

as you lay your breath
in place
here, I pull the sheets around
then into me
legs wound to forearms

you I sense are naked
arms flung behind your head Ė
this artifice; I canít do justice
to the touch of you
an invitation

to living holding within
our dancing fingertips
your nape our liberty
the call Ė the caress
that asks for now.

The Address: Sharon Harriott

Number 00 Fortune Raw, Tooting,
London, SW00 OHL,
United Kingdom,
The Universe

Tree green, dotted with tiny white flowers,
The large roomed imitated a forest glade.
So different to outside, the grey, and the red.
The cars, the shops and the school run.

The bed dominated its vast centre,
Its Barbie pink beckoned comfy nights.
No more bars, only the rumple of PVC.
And no more bruises on elbows and shins.

If I looked right, from the sash window,
I could see the park, and imagine the slides.
Beyond, a hospital chimney spewed soot,
And the leisure centre with D.I.S.C.O at 8pm.

The magic cupboard had a brass-handled door,
I could crouch and hide with Humpty.
Until I realised the dark had crept in,
Then jump the small divide to mumís.


Helen Long

Water Cycle

vapours of the voice
formation and reflection
understanding parcels crystallise

kaleidoscopic patterns
of milieu emerge
memories and faith its self repeats

sustainable inconstancy

as particles spin partners
receptors to be tickled in the flux

the cloud is non material
and mounting in tactility
It lets steam

Rains sovereignless in sight
Sipping a lightning strike

Kerry-Fleur Schleifer

Out of Interwoven Mess

Shadows mingle
and create an interwoven mess.

'I am your lover.' he said,
caught by the half shadow, half light.

'Will you wax and wane upon
my motionless

My elegant contoured figure
gives enough detail...in a
single flat mood

A black mind
upon a white imagination

Give me your outline
I give you my depth
of surface

An ocean's clarity
quite plainly speaks
with the quivering of
a swelling tongue

I am me     

Katherine Michaud
Poets' Letter First Ever Featured Poet

Of everything, a little stayed.
The world, vast and unexplored by my eyes,
never called my name.
The office, seemingly always open.
The groceries, seemingly always gone.
I am here.

Of everything, a little changed.
Universities, with all their pull,
still call my name.
Salisbury, suburban and friendly.
Baltimore, a strange city, full of strangers.
I always answer.

Of everyone, a few stayed.
Sisters, with all of their goals,
moved far away.
The older, conferencing in Switzerland.
The other, studying in Boston.
I am here.

Of everyone, a few changed.
Mother, with her singsong tone,
still calls my name.
Her calls, seemingly always echo.
Her needs, seemingly always unfulfilled.
I always answer.

Of everything, a little stayed.
A little changed.
Of everyone, a few stayed.
A few changed.
The world keeps turning and
I am still me.

Rachel Finn

Fairies and Fireflies    

Chariot-bearing heroes race the landscape
For this is make believe land
And you are my centre-piece

The world is essentially
A tableau of glitter
Of love and adventure, forever and ever
Where a feeling spans the universe
And you make my dream
I like to believe
I fall and I see

The thousands, the number of possibilities
Of fairies
Of fireflies
Of flying with wings
Of sun that is bright
And snow that is pale
Loosing life in paradise
Never loosing the way
Forever and ever
Part of my fairytale.

Aiko Harman

Poet in Residence at 5th London Poetry Festival 2009

Castle Rabbits, Edinburgh

Down the slope of castle crag, a family of cottontails
duck into the close of fallen rock, a warren
of underground homes. At dawn, as the tourist buses
line the castle-side of Johnston Terrace, the rabbits rest.

Jackdaws caw and peck at the after-trail of hare.
Men in dark suits sit at benches, face the fortress
on lunch breaks, stare blankly at mobile phones,
the last pages of a book Ė have forgotten the castle,
the rabbits, in all their daily toxic repetition.

But as the summer sun wanes in the sky, past six,
past seven, still bright, the rabbits make their runs,
zag through yellow wildflowers across the old slope
the castle guards, and stop only to sniff at the cameras.

Sun and Moon: Holly New

What am I supposed to say?
Cover it up by moving you in the way,
Then replace you when Iím afraid
Didnít you know, Iím not the same

Serve me and do to impress,
But I praise only to repress,
You remind me of a love that was lost
Iíve been turned to ice, whatever I touch is frost.

But I think you may have made me ignite,
Something set off when you held me tight,
You make me melt when in those arms,
I think you could be breaking my charm.

My blue heart feels like velvet wrapped in you
I think youíre the sun and I am the moon
I donít shiver, or hold up the night
I can sleep under thundering skies.

The white in the dark is me and you
Itís so wrong but so right too.
My face like snow and you let me know
That you will never ever let me go

The boats not rocking the tide is fine
But if you jolt it Iíll turn you to ice,
I canít admit Iíll properly change,
No-one can differ from their inner ways.

Dedalus: Natalia Carbajosa

Translated from her original Spanish by the poet herself

Iím still not ready for them.

I havenít designed devices which caress their faces
further than a drop from the shore which would seek my lips
and burst at my ankles

further than the mosquito which I crush between my fingers
without further reason than the childish will
of human scale versus insect scale.

I count the sand grains and I know
that I will die before they feel the gentle touch of my wing
against the firmament.

Copyrights remain with the authors
















Arkived Images of the Past Festivals

















Sarah Wardle at the V London Poetry Festival and Her Poem Turquoise





















VI London Poetry Festival 2017: October 14-17



















The V London Poetry Festival 2009

The Candle Won't Blow Out Celebration of William Shakespeare 2016

There is no better way to celebrate William Shakespeare than reading his life's works



What a piece of work
is a ''man''! How noble in reason! how infinite in
faculties! in form and moving, how express and
admirable! in action, how like an angel! in
apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the
world! The paragon of animals!


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments; love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

400 years since the passing of William Shakespeare this year, yet he seems as young by as many years...................




























The Candle Won't Blow Out Celebration of William Shakespeare 2016

            Sarah Wardle and Claire Askew at The IV London Poetry Festival 2008                   I London Poetry Festival : Isobel Dixon among other poets starting the LPF in 2005

Poets' Letter Magazine Archives Poetry Pearl

Festival Arkive




















Katherine Michaud

Sharon Harriott

Claire Askew

Isobel Dixon

Sara L. Russell

Victoria Valentine

Leanne O'Sullivan

Victoria Heath

Briony Dennis

Girija Shettar

Mary Ann Lily Philip Ruthen

 Molara Wood 

Isabel White

Aiko Harman

Laura Bartholomew

Bryan Oliver

Deema K Shihabi Nathalie Handal

Laura Solomon

Notting Hill St John's Church





































Festival Arkive




















Bryan Oliver: Tony Fernandez, Laura Bartholomew: Anna T: Musician: Naomi Woodis




















Festival Arkive














Front Row: Bryan Oliver: Tony Fernandez: Kathleen Van Geete: Christian Ward: Aiko Harman: Second Row: Laura Bartholomew: Sarah Wardle: Richard Deakin














Richard Deakin: Rowena Knight: Sarah Wardle: Aiko Harman: Christian Ward and a Young Poet Whose Name We are Still Researching






















Festival Arkive



















That Young Poet One of the Wonderful Volunteers and Cheryl Champbell













An Audience with Poetry











An Audience with Poetry: Poets Visible Here are Bryan Oliver: Laura Bartholomew: Sarah Wardle: Richard Deakin: Rowena Knight















Festival Arkive

















Poet Kathleen Van Geete: She was the 'Organisation' of the V Festival















Festival Arkive

















Festival Arkive



















Here Sharon Harriot and Kathleen Van Geete















The Elleesium Rose: The English-Language Rose: The Isfahan Rose: The Elsewhere Rose: The Humanion Rose: The Elleesian Rose: We Call Her By So Many a Name for She Bloomed on October 14 in the Year The Humanion Began Its Journey



























The Elleesium Beautiful London Everything London









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