Gladys Wilkinson

Like mad sad dog-boys in full blown twisting risking of nascent materialist bloom and fume and penny-pinching pomp, they ran, and she ran, and we ran ran ran
Run through the night and steal, feel rain wind folly at your heel, quick-jack and jump, bump, blimp's left standing, huffing, winded, window-framed
Trixie falls, scuffs shin, blooded chin, shouts to backs that fade in black, through cracks and narrow causeways, my name, again again and yet again

Gladys Wilkinson

Racing, inflagranté, with naught but one:two:three standing unopposed,
And stripped of fledgling rights.

Apostosé the fool, his beardless might
(Like petals fallen, stains and foot-sole imprints; nothing of substance)
Would be remembered in brief fleet instance;

Then no more.
Achilles, wear the head frame of Daedolus,
But look not kindly on mortal imprimatur

And fashion’s narrow gaze.
All is haze,
Evident in the phase,


And razor-slide to the reconstructive impotence of our days.

Gerard Pointon

Foresworn immortal enemy mine, the contemptible critic, secret and secreted in phallic towers of flacid pink pseudo-ivory, I beg you: Come down and dine.
My bearded father stroked my fever-slick head with fingers hewn of bark, gentle as a breeze. He wore his steel in silk.
You, and your nib-sharp teeth, spit inky gouts with random and wanton glee - to loathsome hollow and fawning applause.
The fleshy towers stand in circles, facing inward and teetering on foundations of sand.
You built yourself a fine rich little kingdom to quiver in, didn’t you? Spineless, stair-less, trapped in a two-up, three-down liminal cascade of wasted seed and hollow love.

Gerard Pointon

And so they sit in judgement,
 The lawyers, the oil men,
 the media men and thieves,
 Plucking numbers from a glass bowl With dirty fingernails.

Carry on,

For I have seen the end of times In each new fall of leaves.
Tears that seldom wet my cheeks,

Within such trails as these.
Bid me farewell my love, my child.

And I would wish thee well,  
But alas, far too far we fell.

by Sal LaRochelle
(Translated from the original French)

Dark with skin-dust,
Do unto the worm what faceless vice does to victim's of lust.
I trust the frugal harpy of sin to watch fatal flaws,
And to grin.

I dine on frugal morsels,
Bequeath my faith to choicer instances trodden by the paths that gloat in harmony,
But never flinch from Death's fealty.
Eat shit and die.
And in the golden morning of the Vixen Supermen
We rejoice!

Richard Everret-Hyde

Maybe a first lost over time is a last lost
Touched by the wind in your hair
And the glimpse of a lonely affair
And I lay down an old blame, dust the wind with an old name
And I with a wavering gaze
Passing by in a haze for an unanswered prayer

Maybe the wind doesn’t touch you at all

Maybe I missed the last queue for the things that I never knew

Maybe I missed the vacant acclaim

Like the time that you wrote my name
In the sand, and maybe I thought love was only there if you lost love
That feelings could only be shared
If they caught you unprepared with your unanswered prayers
You with your sheltered life, distant smile and your lost eyes
Raised with a brass spoon and love
By people who sought all their truth from above,
Don’t you recall now how they tried to make then now

And replace everything that was you

With a model they glued with their unanswered prayers
I hope the wind doesn’t touch you at all

Richard Everret-Hyde

The Magpies
In their shirt and tails

Caw rhapsodies
(the beauty of which they alone can hear)
and gathering like gentlemen tramps in the thorny trees
they spatter the cars that line Arboretum Rise.

The east is outlined in gold
When “Frankenstein” comes home
From nightly work
Whose purpose no one cares or knows-
Though likely it’s in engineering.

And it’s good the streets as yet are bare,
For he drives too fast,
Has little care of neighbours
whose lives and names remain strangers.
He’ll sleep his coughing, retching, twisting sleep this day
troubled by wasted years and loss,a family long gone away.
His damaged captive dog yet adoring.
And so starts another day

with one ending at 49 Arboretum Rise.

Albert Edmund
Methodist posty
Sets click-clacks from blakey heals dancing off red-brick walls
All the long way up Darwin’s Walk,
At the end of which -
Like a giant child’s discarded block set –
Squats The Three Peaks College.
By midday he’ll be supping tea
And enjoying the paper.
Annie Edmund
Mother of three
Will by then have a headache.
(For now, though, she dreams of hot tropical forests,
And apes in grass skirts
Their eyes alight with wisdom and passion.
So far, so very far away from 68 Arboretum Rise.)

It’s five thirty am precisely
When Eva Braddock-May
Age 3 Opens eyes sprung like traps
And launches
As if catapulted
From her half-size pink slumber
Into the dim promise of today.
A mound of fur
Cast in forms ursine and obscure
At once bursts and embraces
And finally buries her.
The house shakes.
Rising, reluctant and dream-drunk, her mother
Finds mechanical passage

To the kitchen
And the kettle.
Three hours yet before she opens the door of number 7

And steps out into Arboretum Rise.

The giant spider

Which adorns the window of number 51
Has beneath it a sign:
“Please post Harry a message."
Three students
This year’s custodians of Harry -

Sit in a spiral of smoke
And put the world to rights
Having stayed up all night




Such wisdom abides on Arboretum Rise.

The city stirs.

Night-chilled corners warm
As a higher sun
Beats glass
And central heating comes on

In two hundred thousand homes

Almost as one.
A Television on.Here
A bath run.
The radio news begun.
And so today
And so on and on.And here
Spread out beneath uncertain skies

On the rugged red road that’s Arboretum Rise.

Ed Moses
Of number 9
Balled by beer consumption
And bearded
(To lend a prophets gravitas to his proclamations)

Wakes to a familiar anger
And with it

No more his:

A lover’s kiss.
A daughter's little hand in his.
He’ll tell you, if you let him.

And opening hour is little more than a coffee away.
He pulls on trousers
An expensive shirt
(Carefully beer-stained to affect boho distain)
And sparks up a hand rolled cigarette.

“I’ll not forget”

He thinks
“Not yet. Not ever.Oh, I’ll not forget.”
And outside,

Through the picture frame pain of his window,
(Who in truth he pushed away)

Forgetful -

To school
Down Arboretum Rise.

The school casts wide high gates
For half an hour
It waits.

Like pin-ball-bearings Queue One two three Deep
And ready to fire themselves into the moment

Anxious at passing seconds.

Alongside the school,

beside the gates,

Runs Darwin’s Way -
Upon which throng:
A clumping of youthful walking tired,
Their wired-up ears buzzing with the sounds of today, Or the once zeitgeist-defining thud of a former generation. A pigeon flock of mothers, and buggies, and children - Barely attached by invisible straps – Waiting for their catches to be unlatched to run unleashed at last. Or huddling Or clinging, Fearful,Like wide-eyed aliens in frenzied foreign lands,To legs Or jackets Or hands.
Seven types of father:

A governor versed in playground law,
picking over the titbits.
Here,The businessman
Who throws open the passenger door of his BMW

And doesn’t turn his head when he says

“Have a nice day”
Today’s unwanted trials already at play in his mind.
The sensitive unemployed addict
Trying hard to hide his nerves
And secretly cursing his failure to do so.
The turbaned Sikh
With proud, penetrating eyes
And gentle hands.
The flirt, the watcher, the thief.
The fat red school
Dressed in cheers and fears and years,
Resounding with shouts,
The knell and bell of all they that,

For now,
Dwell without -
Welcomes all.
And just so
For half an hour
Every day
Arboretum Rise
Shouts it’s loudest

Then softly sighs.

Polly Peters hasn’t gone yet.
Rachel Grant, Pet Sheppard or June Haigh.
Conspiracy abounds,
And there are sacrifices to be made
Of a host of ready lambs.
Quips to moisten the eyes of once close,
Mostly male,
Fill the air.
Light ironic laughter bites.
And yet, behind the bitchy swipes,
Unspoken of bonds pepper their eyes with pin-points of light.

Polly Peters
Thin And strong
Old Young
A decade lost
And won
All in a day’s good
Or ill


A castaway

Born of romantic folly
The deluded epic of art
And it’s worth
And our worth
And your worth.

Sad happy in her love hate world

With number two still clinging
Sometimes battering
Often screaming.

Rachel Grant

Too long alone

Jolly and principled.
Only child of an only child with an only child
And no father at home.
Pet Sheppard
Paying her best lip service.
Laughing her blandest knowing laugh
Knowing nothing.

June Haigh
Whose husband drew many an envious eye
Pining for a stolen kiss
With a gym mistress.



Their planetary mass
Oblivious of the barbs
Flung his way
More or less

After all,Male)
Is Henry Hess.


And bald.

The cars negotiate,
And subside.
The sounds of the Magpies rude blurting,

The sparrow’s brief flurried fluting

Emerge again along Arboretum Rise.

The Singh daughters

Of number 76,

Admired by myriad fathers
Trusted by numerous grateful mothers,
Watch over swarming toddlers with ethereal calm.
Jewel,With monumental dental smile,
Trades flirtatious nothings with Alan Holmes,

Father of Alice,
(Who’s reluctant to go home.)


Changes Eric’s soiled pants

And somehow still smiles.

Without any effort,
They of all know best how the land lies
The length and breadth of Arboretum Rise.