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poetry Issue 22 extracts now online

Poets of the Month:
Jan 20

poetry latest Issue, 23

poetry Guidelines

2019 Competition RESULTS & poems

Latest recording:
Daphne Gloag

latest Remote Workshop Perceptions of Time



Hylda Sims 1932-2020

We will all greatly miss Hylda Sims who died on January 15, 2020. She was a generous friend to many of us and for many years a member of Second Light Network’s Committee. She lived a very full life as a folk-singer, songwriter and poet, a teacher for many years, the author of three novels and a superb organiser of music and poetry events. She ran Poetry and Jazz at the Poetry Café, followed by Fourth Friday, a monthly event which only ended weeks before her death. She published two full poetry collections, Reaching Peckham (Left Bank Press, 1996) and Sayling the Babel (Hearing Eye, 2000). Her novels, all available from Amazon Books, are Inspecting the Island, 2000; Waterloo Roses, 2013; Peckham in Person, 2014.
                    Dilys Wood

Need help with travel to Second Light events? See Second Light Mary MacRae ‘Access to Poetry’ Fund

Poets of the Month (& see sample poem below, by Marg Roberts)

Featured Poets, January 2020 straight to poems

Jean Atkin, The Children of Lir
Simone Mansell Broome, Five Changes
Jamie Dedes, One Lifetime after Another
Jill Gardiner, At the Opera
Danielle Hope, In the kitchen
Pauline Kirk, Horned Animals, Mesolithic – possibly handles
Fokkina McDonnell, The twins have set up a tattoo parlour
Jennie Osborne, Salmon
Marg Roberts, Question
Joan Sheridan Smith, Tenderness
Sue Wallace-Shaddad, Under watching angels


Sample poem (selected at random)


This hard, upholstered chair is not mine.
Through the windows men and women
get out of cars to go shopping.
The door is not our door.
In the corner of the room is an aquarium
Angel fish, Zebra fish and glints of colour.
We have a dog called Roger; we aren’t keen on fish.
Perfume fills the air like a disguise.
Two women
In uniform step into the room
Though no one is ill.
You frown.
You pat my hand.
I ask, ‘How are you?’
You do not answer.
In the palm of my hand a biscuit is melting.
I lick the chocolate
As delicately as a kitten.
Next to me, an elderly couple sit close on a settee.
She slips a hand into the front of his trousers.
Off the trees.
You are frowning. Your lips move.
A woman says, ‘Time for tea.’
I get up from my chair and follow her.
A voice inside me, asks,
‘How did you know I was here?’
Author’s note: I wrote this poem as a way of trying to understand my mother’s experience of dementia.

Marg Roberts

Question, displayed in Wilde’s Wine Bar, the Parade, Leamington Spa


Second Light Network – a network for women poets.