Hi All

Hope you’ve had a fun August and perhaps made time for a little poetry, either reading or writing it.

This month’s winning poet for Harrow is Richard Adam with his The Real Thing and on the same subject David Hyams is our Barnet champion.

I will hope to meet some of you in Gayton Library for our next Open Mic on Tuesday 25th September, two days before the final date for our September competition with the subject Pets.  Perhaps you could give me your entries in person. 

Here are the winning poems and some of the runners up:

THE REAL THING by Richard Adam

When I'm in a taxi
Coming back from the supermarket
I think of the staff who've left
I miss them so much
I watch the tired summer rain
Collecting in the drains
We've lost touch
You sent me a photo of a homeless man
Outside a pie shop in February.
That was then
But this is the real thing

Staring at the supermarket door
I think of Tariq and John
Stacey and Harry and Oliver and Ben
Hundreds and hundreds of the same items
Yet no copies of all these staff,
No sight of these helpful and kind women and men.
A prison of foods and clothes
A place full of strangers
It could be a nightmare during the daytime
But it’s not
It’s the real thing

Rain never stops all day
And continues through the night
Cars race and splash the homeless
Night brings the tolling
Of a dim bell
In the dim black summer night of hell.
Two women watch a man undress in his flat
Whilst they eat the last of their KFC
Blonde women giggling
Now they push the greasy chicken box
Into a dustbin
And run for cover
Out of the taxi a homeless man steps out
Without his dog
He muses on where he will sleep
He imagines a man with a dog
Being knocked down by a speeding racer in a Citroen
He imagines the sight of a suitcase full
Of Big Macs, large fries and apple pie
And a capful of rain
This is the real thing


THE REAL THING by David Hyman

She passes me

in a swirling ethereal motion

A heavenly beauty

endowed with nature’s best features

But wait

She is not what she seems

Peel away the thick makeup

the botoxed and face-lifted effigy

Her surgically enhanced body image

She is just an average person

timid and reticent

All her refinements are but camouflage

to the real beauty

that resides in her soul.



THE REAL THING by Kusum Hars

Rush rush rush, rush here rush there

Not a moment we can spare

On the trains the buses, home or shops

Life is one big rush without a stop

Homes or shops are always lit bright

Whether it is the time of the day or night

Most of our lives are spent indoors

In the dazzle of the beautiful tube lights

If we could spare  moments of our daytime

We could enjoy the different shades of sunshine

Which nature gives us at different times of day and year

The light of the morning Sun bright as ever to greet us here

The calm light of fresh silent mornings, you can hear the birds sing

The light of the blue sky with white clouds floating by

Or the beautiful colours of the setting sun

Bringing our day to an end.

The light of the Sun brightens up our day in summer

But caresses  our bodies with its warmth in winter

The real things go unnoticed in our daily strife

Such is our day to day busy life.

THE REAL THING by Lisa Cohen

Body Language is a genuine gift

Giving those around a positive lift

Whenever meeting, a nod and a wink

Is the way to make others think

That they on the whole and in the round

They feel solidly safe and sound

A radiant smile filling your eyes

Shows a sincerity yo cannot disguise

Although I’m old, yet in my prime

I really cant afford the time

To seek out misery, such a fuss

A smiling face nurtures us


Derek Barretto

She sang to me softly

almost in a whisper, lips hardly moving

on the strobe-lit floor dancers were grooving

I bought her a drink ever so costly

Sonic vibes, sweet music, heady cocktails

intoxicated us both for a while

impeding not my ‘gangnam-style’

like a fair wind rising, billowing our sails

We writhed and  whirled nearly ecstatic

all eyes were on us, entranced

how freely, how rhythmically we danced

each step and gesture serenely emphatic

Then sat down, pausing for breath

limbs tired like drained dervishes

weary foot-soldiers post-skirmishes

pondering temporary demise, even death

I sang her a little ditty, giving thanks

for an amazing, crazy night

everything seemed to turn out right

could this really be love gyrating  ‘twixt our shanks?


THE REAL THING by Jeff Edmunds

“It’s the real thing” but what is it?

It has so many ingredients

It’s dark and impenetrable

What exactly makes it “real?”


Surely, the ‘real thing’ to me

is pure and clear and flows free

There’s nothing hidden and it

tastes only of what it is


It falls from the sky and flows

in tides, bringing salt and life

It gives us snow and frost and

is the basis of all living things


It makes up seventy percent

of our bodies

It bathes our cells and keeps

us functioning


We need to drink two to three

litres daily

Without it we don’t exist…

Surely this is the ‘real thing?’






THE RIGHT THING - Trying To Brush The Tears Away

©Patricia J Tausz

I can feel the tears are eager to run down my cheeks

Now it's almost seven hectic and long weeks

Since you passed away -

I miss you more and more each day.

Writing out exactly how I feel

Helps me much more than a great deal

It helps settle the rawness I feel inside

For in some ways my tears I have had to hide.

I accept you didn't want me to feel sad

But in your long fulfilling life I should rejoice and be glad

You've left me with a whole world to inherit

So many places to explore and visit.

So now I must wipe any tears that well in my eyes

And enjoy every day from sunrise

Fulfil my dreams, achieve what I want to achieve

But in God's wonders make sure I always believe

Knowing you're up there somewhere guiding me

And so from tears of grief I can now be set free.

THE REAL THING Bernard Pizer

Obviously we all prepare for eventualities

Love or maybe theft

seems appropriate for the very very sad times

given from above or even below

Today exists, for how long?

Mom and Dad are dead

So there

If anybody is listening

Thank you


by Tony Christoforou

I am a snowman built with snowflakes

By a girl and her dad and some of her mates.

They made me look smart with bowler and brolly

Quite unlike my snow friend they named Miss Molly.        

We stood there together, so brave in the cold  

I just wish I could face her and be very bold.

Then I would embrace her and be ever-so-kind

Perhaps even try to read what's in her mind.

“Daughter” -  said her dad  “I’ve already been told”

t’s not going to be really all that cold

But just as our builders began to disperse

Molly let out a sorrowful urse.

Then I soon realised what was in her mind

It would not take long before we became blind

For the first things to go when the temperature rose

Were her tomato eyes and my carrot nose

Our makers had taken an opportunity so rare   

To put us together at the wrong time of year.

It was like winter in August for a flash in time

But for us it was not a very good sign

Then fortunately for us two I soon lost my brolly

And heaved over to join up with my friend Miss Molly.

Looking more like a heap than a sister and brother

We were found next morning embracing each other.

                  Look forward to reading your poems on Pets