Leaveners would like to thank all our aspiring poets and curators for their input and efforts and for all those that have contributed in some way to offering such a creative platform. The project is now at an end. Please keep up-to-date with our website as we will be developing other exciting digital projects for artists in 2017.
Isn’t it strange,
How something so simple,
Can hold so much worth?
Like flying a kite:
My own bird on a string.
Tugging with the zephyrs and gusts,
Swooping the bright, blue skies.
Flapping with joy,
As it effortlessly glides,
With as much happiness as I have,
Stood looking up.
by Rebecca Kaur
Rebecca Kaur lives in Wolverhampton and is a member of Blakenhall Writers Group. She writes about childhood memories. “Kite” is a short poem about life’s little pleasures and those same memories. This poem was published in Blakenhall Writers Anthology – Poetry and Prose on Identity 2016.
Mummy, are you white?
Not really, my love.
More vanilla sponge or shortbread, almond, buttered toast,
Known for short as white.
And is my Daddy black?
Not really, my sweet.
More roast coffee, molasses, bitter chocolate, rum truffle,
Known for short as black.
Then what colour am I?
You, little one, are a delicious blend –
A warm cappuccino-cream, toffee-fudge-and-caramel,
Known for short as beautiful.
by Ros Woolner
Ros lives in Wolverhampton (UK) and is a member of Blakenhall Writers and Bilston Writers. This poem was written for her daughter and was published in Blakenhall Writers Anthology – Poetry and Prose on Identity 2016.
Waking up to the apricot baby
of a half born sky,
the orange peels and the
under layers of your skin,
the skin of your teeth and the
Drives head inches higher,
roots feet into autumnal grown,
frequencies squeak higher now like you decided
to wear your electric coat and everyone got excited
to see you.
We work this smile line,
our line together.
“Can you keep up or would you rather
Contemplate the lack of social desire,
contemplate the lack,
contemplate the self who designates the idea of
baseball pitch to dirt mound,
line of the rainbow trout goes taught.
I widen my stance for incidents arrival
glance at palms to see the goddess with her
aching feet and victorious belly
lying unclothed on a bed
waiting for goose bumps.
By Rosalie Wilmot
Rosalie Wilmot is an American living in Thailand. She has a chapbook, Portal published by Bottlecap Press in 2015 and self-published a micro chapbook, We Grew Weeds on Scrib’d the year prior.
“Who are you?”
calls the caterpillar.
For a second I cannot answer.
The words walk me home as I encounter
versions of myself eating peaches on public transport.
The armoured clouds come back to me, Estefania.
the blue wind wrapped around your yellow legs,
the blue wind biting your ankles,
the blue wind loving the white wind in the black desert,
the blue wind that flows up your skirt and moves,
mysteriously around the halls of your palace of blue.
Every night we bathe with fairies in the fountains of the Alhambra,
every night we dine on Federico Garcia-Lorca’s eyes,
we stroll around the wasteland of his dreams.
We see unicorns devoured by dogs.
No we are not unicorns. No, we are not dogs.
the blue wind dripping blue on the bluebells,
the bluebells dancing wildly in the blue wind,
the blue wind blowing over bruises of the blue moon.
Sometimes I find myself eating poems by the roadside,
sometimes I find myself in little pockets of gas.
where I cannot breath as there is no air.
But mostly, Estefania, I find myself in you.
I leave my answer for the caterpillar
though the caterpillar is gone.
by Charlie Baylis
Charlie Baylis lives in Spain. His critical writing has been published in Stride, Neon and Sabotage Reviews. His poetry has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, the Forward Prize and for Queen´s Ferry Press´s Best Small Fictions. He was (very briefly) a flash fiction editor for Litro. ´Elizabeth´, his debut pamphlet is out now on Agave Press. He spends his spare time completely adrift of reality .
It’s time for a square outfit
I look further in my agenda:
My apron is due,
Pizza Hut perfume.
I’m a wild cat
with lipstick, cherry red.
So many roles to play:
So many acronyms to wear:
When it’s time for me?
To wear I?
by Maja S. Todorovic
Maja is an educator and writer, currently living in the sunny Hague. When she is not busy with rhyme, she munches on the bowl of fruit and pretends to do some yoga – or at least that’s how she would like to spend her time.
I require an entirety of you,
A surfeit solution nothing else but
Later or sooner I will draw nearer
A vertical mile’s clear separation,
To watch ptarmigan cracked silences,
Before I dispatch the sky back to you.
Somehow these many years’ oscillations
Harmonise to condense in steady state.
No stuff anti stuff annihilation,
No empty horizon of absent light.
Is it an answer, or only a kludge,
To contain and constrain our universe?
No dark matter, just singular us, with
Time, the river, and that old bridge crossed.
By Steve Smart
Steve lives in Scotland and he says: “After five and a half decades the world only seems to become stranger. I am writing more poetry now. Aspiring seems like quite a big word.”
Lapping the deep waters
Of Indian Poetry
from the shores, I’m too scared
To venture further
The stalwarts, the stars
Twinkling loftily, they terrify
Armed with even larger and sharper.
Killer tools, complicated grammar
Sharpened arsenal of words
From an alien language
Circling in large schools
In dark interconnected waters.
I fear their power to team
To strike the unwary novice
I do not dare let go the anchor
Of shallow shores
I’m willing to forsake
The thrill of riding
Crashing waves of discovery
Cause I see shadows and fear
At times the pointed fin
Of a great white veteran
Circling out there to tear me
And mince me to pieces
With killer reviews and blurbs.
Let me be – the shadow
Who am – I ?
Shuffling in glass walled corridors
Mostly with downcast eyes
And if eyes do meet
I’ve learnt to quickly demure.
I don’t have a pretty face,
No Indian rebel appearances,
No lush dark cascading curly mane
To toss around in disdain
For the lesser erudite folks
No large bindis on my forehead
Making a visible statement
No khol lined eyes saucily
Promising reincarnated dreams,
No soft linen yards draped around
Exposed curvaceously sashaying Waist
Advertising boldly their elite Indian-ess
Mostly I’m just a plain Jane
Garbed in non descriptive Indian gown
Working hard to blend at best
with the grey glass walls or at worst
Like a yes man minus a thinking cap
Gasping on the mundane sans makeup
Covered in cotton comforts
No curves no drools no lisps exposed
No ah I told you so
In YouTube acquired foreign accents
Ah no sashaying,
No luscious ruby lips
To lull you while reading stark verdicts
I’ve no right to pretend and
Stake a claim that I write poems.
By Seema Jayaraman
Seema says “I am fledgling on the shores of creative writing, having jerked out of my self absorbed complacent life into compulsive writing through Poetry after coming across the images of a little boy washed up ashore the Aegean Sea – a victim of the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis and I found myself typing out A Father’s Grief which since then has appeared in a few anthologies and online sites.”
Seema is a Mumbai based writer who’s had a good exposure to international shores, thanks to an IT career and to the rich Indian culture.
Step one: ghee melts over a medium stove flame.
Fried onions, clinking bangles around my wrists,
A confetti of methi enhance and dance.
Red chilli jingles bhangra with wild ginger,
Peas and sweetcorn glisten like bindis.
Diced paneer claps with jeera,
Crystal sea salt keeps a sharp lookout,
Garam masala heats up the frying pan,
The cheerful fragrant coriander, living it up!
A dollop of spiced ingredients walloped together.
Step two: soft creamy sheets of pastry,
Firm wrapped saris, rock ‘n’ roll.
Tinted with a hint of mint, ready to stroll.
My skillful hands prepare and lift in humble pride.
Step three: shallow-fried, gold-plated then dried.
Lingering flavours, tingling noses,
Stomachs yearn as a crowd awaits…
Joyous smiles, a satisfied appetite.
I feel like Mother India with a secret recipe, home-made.
Shhhush… a secret is best kept close to my heart!
By Nirmal Orjally
Nirmal says that identity is closely linked with culture and what we wear and eat. She writes a poem about food and shows how close our identity is made up of what we cook and eat. This poem is published in Blakenhall Writers Anthology 2016. Nirmal has been member of Blakenhall Writers Group in Wolverhampton (UK) for over 8 years.
If you never see me again,
Look for me
in the tall grass that somebody loves far too much to cut,
swaying in the breeze,
along with the trees.
Look for me
in the gaps of the bark, I am hiding there
somewhere between roots and leaves.
Look for me
in the spots where the wildflowers grow
and new seeds sow
I am somewhere scattered amongst them (I will never stop growing).
Look for me
in the scattered sun rays,
that reflect upon the smallest stream,
like the twinkling eye
of the blackbird who watches nearby,
and when you sit
in the tall grass with the wildflowers brushing your tired legs and the trees creaking comforts behind as you and the blackbird watch the golden rays dance on the stream then
you have found me.
by Niamh Macdonald
Niamh was inspired to write this poem when questioning her own identity. She feels that there is an ever growing list of labels with which you can identify yourself. However, Niamh’s poem is about stripping back to the roots of her identity. In essence, how when it comes down to it, we are all just living beings and we may all identify as a part of nature. Through writing the poem she wanted to demonstrate the similarities which exist between us and elements of the natural world and the comfort in knowing that we can all identify and belong in that sense.