Hi All

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and now you’re heading to New Year with its festivities and resolutions to not do what you did in 2017 and try to do what you didn’t do in 2018!

The next Open Mic I will be hosting is at Stanmore Library on Thursday 25th January from 6/7.30. It is to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and I hope to see you at this significant event with a few poems, not necessarily penned by you.

There’s been lots of new poets entering the competition in both the Harrow Times and the Barnet Borough Times. What a joy and privilege it’s been to read the great influx of poems and I hope you agree with my choice of winners, as the runners-up were also of a high standard.

The subject was The Gift and Harrow’s winner was Babs Lee who wrote:

THE GIFT by Babs Lee

You are the child of the bright colours of a rainbow shower

You are the child of the petals of a daffodil flower

You are the child of the bird in the sky

You are the child with wings that can fly

You are the child that dreams pretty things

You are the child that smiles and sings

You are the child that just reaches for a hug

You are the child that just wants to be loved

You are the child that I read bedtime stories to

You are the child that likes to tell me everything you do

You are the child that I whisper all the places I have been

Beauty and sunsets that I have seen.

You are the child who one day I will show paintings of old

Museums of sculpture and Crown Jewels of gold

And I will tell you about your family tree

And things about me, your Granny B

And I will pass on to you a life that made me what I am

And I will say go out and do the best you can

For my dear grandchild who can do no wrong

I pass onto you a gift of my life's history song.

Marion Whistle, a first time entrant, won the Barnet Borough competition with:

THE GIFT by Marion Whistle

The gift of music, our blessing and boon

Sheer life-force, like the sun and the moon

From dawn chorus’s first throaty call

Mother’s lullaby to babe in shawl

What else binds us so - one to another?

(Woos so gracefully, for tongue-tied lover?)

All our calendar-moments enhancing

Souls remembrances; or joyful dancing

Quiet twosome ‘They’re playing our song’

Epic Orchestras toe-tapping throng

Music penetrates fraught, troubled minds

Bringing solace, hope, of purest kinds

How did this gift start - who did begin it?

Ask the nightingale or the sweet linnet

Will it ever just dwindle and end

Does deep love of a parent or friend?

Tunes that resonate, tunes that just kiss

Are they foretaste of heavenly bliss?

As always, I like to include some of our runners-up, so please enjoy

THE GIFT by Kusum Hars

Beautiful thoughts in my mind

Creating stories of all kind

Waiting to be penned

Expressing the feelings they would send.

Alas when pen to paper I took as such

Thoughts lost their magic touch

And I was left with a blank field

Try as I would I could not succeed.

Then one day I found the platform and the will

To transfer thoughts into words to my heart's fill

To express my feelings and creativity

In the form of a poem, to share with all.

Then came the urge to do some art

Catch the colours of nature around me

Of the trees and grass in autumn and spring

And the waterfalls white as foam, the stream

Like a snake flowing in and out among the trees.

Thanks to nature for these wonderful skills

I wouldn't wish for any other 'gift' than this.

ONE SINGLE TOY by Marie-Géraldine Lauzier

My father said

Wait and you’ll see

What fun can bring

One single toy

With sparkly eyes

My father’s hands

So big and strong

One single toy

Wrapping and bow

His love for me

Will never go


Time for most people, is a scarce commodity

With our lifestyles in the 21st Century

The opposite was the case for me

Which initially was just a bind

But being forced recently to retire early due to ill-health

Clearly required me to then take stock of myself

So realising that I was a person of wealth

As measured in time I needed to quickly reconcile myself to now having

A medical condition that was quite debilitating

Which combined with no longer working

In life, could leave me behind

With no real structure to the day, and new-found freedom

Of time, after much thought, I made a firm decision

That this situation would not be a prescription

To neglect my mind I discovered having a literary bent

as my mind began to drift Nonfiction material, fiction and poetry –

all gave me a lift

With two books published already, I appreciate the gift Of time.

THE GIFT by Jeff Edmunds

The gift is in the art of giving

It’s in the sense of knowing what to give

It’s in discerning what’s too big or too small,

what the recipient can handle

It’s not only in the packaging, but that’s important too

Making a gift intriguing to guess is part of the magic, the fun, the jest

But the best gift is when someone gives themselves to you

and you give yourself in return

It‘s true, the gift of a loved one is very special

But at Christmas, even more,

there is the wonderful gift of a holy child for all to share

THE GIFT by Howard Lambe

A gift is a special and wonderful thing

It is what we expect Santa Claus to bring

On Christmas day under the tree

The children's presents I'm sure you agree

Is the highlight of this festive time

Delight and happiness on faces sublime

But the greatest gift one can give

Is organ donation that others may live

THE GIFT by Elliott Lever

A special something for that day

That is many months away

I saw it in that shop and just had to have it

Sparkling and new with a price to good to be true

The surprise on her face

It was as if it was the wrong colour or a mistake

Then a chuckle of laughter and the moment passed

It was the gift of giving that will last.


Who am I talking to? Actually, Daisy the cat.

Conversation over. She scratches the mat

Am I going insane? Is this normal behaviour?

Animal lovers agree. Daisy's my saviour

Names, faces, remembering , Comes and goes

But, hidden pockets of words still hopefully flows

Poetry group today. Ladies here for tea

We share poems. Who else would listen to me.

Our poems are earnest. . Emotions, haunting

We open our hearts . Understanding?, Daunting.

Why do we write? Have to. Helps dry a tear

Laugh. Feel better. Trust each other. Quieten fear.

What's this poem all about? You may well ask

If I can write, so can you. Not a feat. Not a task

Let ideas and words fly to our Community News

Open up. Whatever it is the editor won't refuse,

I've just realised. This poem is about filling a need

It's not for you? You're okay.? Lucky indeed

Some golden oldies want to mix. Often despair.

Give them a gift. Give them a lift. Especially from here to there


Lines of verse soon are created

My brain power can't be underestimated

For days I have waited To write like this.

Pen races across the page New ideas take centre stage

The words - their power I can't gauge:

An opportunity to write I mustn't miss.

Lines quickly form again So active is my brain

I would become insane If I didn't write.

Writing gives me pleasure A talent I treasure

Something I can do at my leisure: It's such a delight.

THE GIFT by Don Reuben

The gift of life is the gift from God

The gift of love The gift of wife with no strife

The gift of marriage The gift of birth The gift of children

The gift of wealth With no health is a worthless gift

Fit for agony, pain and strain This gift comes with rift

Fit for the cliff The creative gift brightens lives

The gift brings laughter and happiness

The gift can bring sadness and jealousy

Yet the gift can be beautiful Who is responsible for the gift?

How do we value the gift of life?

What will we do with this gift?

Is the gift of life love and peace?

If it is lets cherish it forever

I hope you have enjoyed these poems, just a few of the ones that have been submitted and I look forward to receiving yours before the 25th January.

If you want to hand it to me in person, come to the Open Mic at Stanmore Library on the 25th January.

And all that’s left for me to do is to wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2018.

Best wishes Judy Karbritz