Hi Everyone

It’s been a crazy month, not least running storytelling workshops with young children in various Harrow libraries.  Their parents and grandparents helped the children drawing pictures after we had told stories and then the children became stomping dinosaurs which surprised quite a few residents who had gone in for a quiet read!

My next open mic evening is at Stanmore library on the 26th September from 6 to 7.30 and the theme will be Freedom.  Afterwards we will probably go out for fish and chips, so please join us.

Delighted that we had another superb batch of poems entered for this month’s competition on A Cardboard Box.  If only we could more than one winner for each paper, but at least we get to share some of the other entries on this page.

Winners were: From Harrow

Memories By Marion Franses

The box is stored inside my head

It is a collection of memories

A thousand Arabian Nights

It is clasped in our arms

We are together again

and rocking in a lullaby of life

locked together as man and wife

The songs chant in my ear

You are so near

but still so far away

Just a memory until you are real again

And back in my arms

and from Barnet

Underneath the Arches

by Derek Barretto

Red Air Ambulance hovers up high

Rotors whirring, chopping the air

Trauma, crimson flesh, moaning sigh

Driver gives prone cyclist evil stare

Who is to blame?

It was her fate, gathered crowd seems to say

Bright blonde flower child in her youth

Had a pretty lover, had her own way

Perhaps she’ll die; the awful truth

Accident like that cyclist’s game?

Children sobbing, ‘twas their teacher

Driver snarls ‘road is for cars’

Pupils’ mothers call for a preacher

Rabbi, Imam, Priest try to heal scars

Of the psyche; all cry Shame!

Only her ‘ex’ knows the lady fell from grace

Divorced, no kids, house repossessed

Cruelly cut down, still smile creases her lovely face

All she owned in the pocket at her breast

Silver ring, tiny locket, picture frame!

A few of the runners-up were:

THE RED SHOES by Lisa Cohen

Bombs were raining down on The East End.  Fireballs extinguishing life

Waiting for Dad, a Medic in St Johns Ambulance. 

Will he make it home tonight?  Our hearts were in our mouths

He had to pull out the wounded in Valence Road.  Hell on earth.

Charred remains, the sight never left his soul

He stumbled in; soot and tears streaked his weary face

All clear sounded. We emptied the Anderson shelter

Calm reigned until the next blitz. Always waiting in fear.

We were the lucky ones. The holocaust massacred our kinfolk

The fifties were good times. And especially for me

Rations left us slimmer, healthier and love was in the air

In my house no hot water, TV or telephone. We wrote letters.

One such letter invited me to a special party. I was over the moon

He would be there and I had to look grown up not gawky

A dress was bought and paid for with my Saturday pay

Mum found high-heeled red shoes in a cardboard box

She had worn them on the first date with Dad

I carried on the tradition. The rest is our history.

THE CARDBOARD BOX by Peter Collins

I found a cardboard box in the attic, that had been there for many years,

That mystery box I took downstairs, now would it bring laughter or tears?

I got a rag, wiped away the dust, the lock on the box was broken,

The hinges crackled as I lifted the lid, and now the box was open!

There were papers and photos from years gone by, and, as I’d been adopted you see,

Maybe it was here, the mother of my blood, my long lost family?

I knew I was adopted from an early age, I always wondered where I had started,

My real mother had to give me up, and leave her broken hearted.

And there it was, my birth certificate, and my mother’s was there too,

My long lost family, I started to cry, there was something I had to do.

My adoptive parents I had since birth, they were wonderful parents to me,

I loved them deeply with all my heart, they were all that parents should be.

From that moment onwards I made enquires, after months, my wishes came true,

My real mother lived ten miles away, in a street near Waterloo.

A contact was made through my lawyer, and my birth mother agreed to a meeting,

I walked into the pub shaking like a leaf, my heart was loudly beating.

And there she sat so meek and mild, soon the tears began to flow,

We hugged and kissed, so much we had missed, so much I wanted to know.

I then thanked the Lord for my trip to the attic, as I glanced down at my cotton socks,

All my prayers, were finally answered, because………. of that cardboard box!

A CARDBOARD BOX by Nagendra Bisht

‘Sure, will be there in 15 minutes, Sir.’

Thunderbolt of fright before a resigned blur!

Strangely a lack of burden on my head

Was again the start of my journey to dead!

Atleast it smelt like a Margarita on-the-go,

No, never, not again, that drunken Joe!

Liberation – why do I keep missing it?

When every time I delivered as deliver did?

Screeching halt, ding dong, laughter, just a ladder

Petrified with unnerving thoughts of perilous Shredder!

Scissors criss-crossing, carefully carving

Painful but a sweet voice decorating.

‘Sure, will be ready in 15 minutes, Honey.’

Wondering home to a doll or a bunny?

I now wait each evening for a dear friend

'Sukriti’s Doll House' is my dream moksha end.   

A CARDBOARD BOX by Sukriti Bisht (11  years old)

It's my birthday- I've finally turned fifteen,

So far I've received money and a pair of jeans.

And now a cardboard box, beautiful and brown,

Will it beat all the others and claim its crown?

My mind plays an unceasing tape at great speed,

More, more, more: is this birthday present greed?

Slowly, slowly, I peel off the cello-tape,

Then rip open the box- the contents leaves me agape.

I've heard of a knitted jumper, broccoli, even a board game,

I should've known that all grannies are the same.

I had hoped for a new phone, clothes, or a game for my Xbox,

Not a lowly book delivered in a lowly cardboard box.

Sighing, I opened it with care,

On seeing the first page all I could do was stare.

Filled with beautiful memories untold,

Sepia pages as precious as gold.

As I flick through the album, the ups and downs,

The smiles and frowns.

Though it may not be a phone, clothes, or games for my Xbox,

It was the best treasure in the world in its lowly cardboard box.


A cardboard box is a handy gadget,

It can be used for storing or sending a packet.

The contents inside is very safe,

If the box is firmly strapped with tape.

And if the packet is registered,

Then you don't have to worry- even if it is tampered.

A myriad of things can be sent through these boxes,

Light as they are, they invite lighter taxes.

They are very useful for bringing your groceries,

Being so light they do not sap your energy.

Cardboard boxes therefore are useful items for our daily life,

Because it can be used for various tasks as we like.

A BOX by Kusum Hars

Six sided flat piece or 3D upright

Is "The cardboard box"

Comes in colours bold and bright

Often patterned with silver and gold

Square or round large or small

Gifts it carries for all

Order online  and it will bring

Parcels  for you and me.

Children use it to play and enjoy

But in the dead of night

Somewhere on the streets

of the city of joy"

Little homeless boys

Tired hungry and frightened

Aware of lurking dangers

Use it for a bed

To rest their heads

And sleep a few winks

Dreaming of love and comfort.


Our Robin was a handsome boy, was our Robin

He was full of hope and joy, was our Robin

His most expensive toy, should have had his best employ

If you could get him to play, well, you could try to coax

But our Robin wanted instead, a cardboard box

Our Robin was a cheeky boy, was our Robin

He was excitable, wanted to have his way, did our Robin

In his world, the simplest things gave his imagination wings

He filled his box with imaginary things and for kicks

He’d roll around inside his cardboard box

Our Robin was a solitary boy, was our Robin

He had his peccadilloes, his special ways, did our Robin

He would line up all his cars, his marbles and jam jars

And park them in his box, then tip them out in a vex

And forlornly cover his head with the cardboard box

PANDORA’S BOX by Naomi Caplin

In fact Zeus gave Pandora a giant urn rather than a box.

And he told her never to look inside it.

Of course she eventually looked inside, who wouldn’t?

And then all the evils of the world were unleashed.

Pestilence, famine, war, poverty, crime, suffering, death.

But lurking in the very bottom of her box or urn was hope.

Pandora was totally set up by Zeus. Maybe the myth is to scare

women and children to be silent and not ask awkward questions.

We all need curiosity especially when we are children growing up.

Why? Why? Why? How? How? How?

Healthy curiosity is a spirit of enquiry rather than nosiness.

Without it there wouldn’t be any scientific or medical discoveries.

I have a box. It looks like an ordinary cardboard box but it isn’t.

I open it and am surrounded by iridescent butterflies

of trust, love, loyalty, strength, friendship, laughter.

When I’m lonely a kitten pops out. And when frightened

a woman warrior with a sword leaps out to my aid.

And there are threads of hope to grip on to, always hope.

CARDBOARD BOXES by David Shamash

Most people associate Cardboard boxes with presents especially at Christmas.

Keeping too many Cardboard boxes in the home can be a fire hazard.

People keep more rubbish in their home nowadays as they have to sort out what to put in recycling.

There used to be Cardboard City in London up to 1998 when it was dismantled.

Some people still sadly sleep in cardboard boxes at night.

Those who sleep in Cardboard boxes do not associate  Cardboard boxes with pleasure.

On the other hand Cardboard boxes give pleasure to millions of children around the world at Christmas time.

A  CARDBOARD  BOX    by Michael Gerstein

Swirling in a breeze a cardboard box, innocent and empty.

I know not where it’s been;

Maybe sucked up from some rubbish bin.

Swooning like a lover’s sigh

The box dips down, then floats up high.

From the box, bewitched with love and hate,

Happy laughter emanates.

Flowers appear and fly around,

Like a scented dance in silent sound.

Birds join in this joyful throng,

And fill the air with beautiful song.

But then, from the box crawl  scary creatures

Hissing, snarling, and other grim features.

Black and brown and slimy green;

This the hate on earth is seen.

Then come evil people, screaming, arms flailing

The evil beings vanish and the box goes on sailing

The box is each moment of this life of ours.

Will it be love or hate that fill the hours.



I’m lling my cardboard box

But not as much as planned

I arrived here like an ox

But now I am unmanned

Rifling through cardboard boxes

Both hunting for our prey

Like two old, hungry foxes

But it has got away

Dealer wants to blame the Swedes

For messing up his stock

I want to berate those weeds

For moving every box

I came here to buy some toys

But now I feel fatigue

No wonder they’re meant for boys

With pep out of my league

Why did I start this hobby?

Fagged out, I cease to care

Fed-up and gettng gobby

I slump into a chair.


A Cardboard Box by Elliott Lever

Schrodinger Schrodinger Schrodinger

Inside that box 

I am or am not a cat.

Alive or dead 

My name is Fred and this is my bed.

Schrodinger Schrodinger Schrodinger

Inside the box

I can hear people thinking outside a lot.

Slumbering quietly through the day

There is just me to find this way.

Schrodinger Schrodinger Schrodinger

Inside this box 

Do I exist I feel at a loss.

My mind is clear I am not sure 

If I am going to get out of here.

Schrodinger Schrodinger Schrodinger

Inside a box

A surprise there is not.

Quantum theory finds to be

Only looking can tell thee.

Next month our subject is A Time Machine - you can go forwards as well as back in time.  There could well be some extremely interesting poems submitted - and I’ll be posting quite a few of them on next month’s blog.

Have a good month.

Best wishes