28th January

Hi All

What a busy week it’s been.  I’ve given talks on what went on behind the cameras in the making of some of our all-time favourite movies, such as Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and Some Like It Hot. 

I’ve also run two poetry writing workshops but perhaps most importantly, I hosted a Holocaust themed Open Mic event at Stanmore Library.  It was well attended and some of the poetry and readings will stay with me for a long time.

February’s subject for the competition will be The Sense of Smell.  I was on the train the other day when I caught a whiff of 4711 Eau de Cologne and immediately thought of my late grandmother.  I would go round to her little flat in Hackney and while she fed me Garibaldi (or dead fly) biscuits, she sang me old music hall songs, many of which I remember and now sing to my grandchildren.

Last month’s subject was A New Me.  Harrow’s winner is Sukriti Bisht and here’s her poem:


by Sukriti Bisht

When you are faced with a problem and don’t know what to do,

Breathe in and out slowly, then with a calm mind continue.

When you’re under lots of stress and there’s lots of work to get through,

Remember to spare time for those most important to you.

When anger kicks in and all is not well,

Stay composed, try not to yell.

When hope, joy and all is lost, although this may be a cliché

Believe in yourself, tomorrow can be better than today.

When your friends are upset, your friends need you most,

Don’t leave them in the dark, don’t say ‘Adios.’

When you see homeless people crying on the street,

This time don’t ignore them and donate a small treat.

When you’re left with a wrapper just smile, even grin,

Respect Mother Earth, walk over to the bin.

With these little rules, and these little laws,

I am determined to get rid of all my flaws.

Global warming, wars, poverty, betrayal and diseases too,

A new world starts with a new me and a new world starts with a new you.

Barnet’s winning poet is Marie-Géraldine Lauzier and her poem is:


by Marie-Géraldine Lauzier

Buy a pack of sweets

Just go to the shop

                        and leave

Just go

More than a page turned

Leave the book behind

Write a new one

                        can you?

Scenarios in your head

When your body moves

But your head steps back

Your life goes on

                        without you

Absent minded

                        take your body with you

You don’t need to smoke to leave

Just go

The end or

                        the beginning?


I met him on Trinder

Or was it Tinder

He told me he acted in a film or two

"O really is that what you do".

It was love at first sight

So we spent the night

I saw him on the box

And I was seeing him lots and lots

Will you marry me?

He went down on one knee.

"I've been offered a really big part".

A brand new start

Hollywood with the stars

Three new cars.

I said goodbye to M and S

The cafe on the corner, eggs and sausages the best

My rickety old fence

Pounds and pence

Sainsbury's and Tescos

And the Thames River that gallantly flows

The horrible rain

The underground train

Now I live in Hollywood

A swim in our garden pool feels so good

The sun is hot all day long

Madonna next door singing a song

Brad Pitt lives on the other side

Which new car shall I drive?

I've got over twenty pairs of silvery shoes

A two week holiday on a luxury cruise

I have lunches out which last for hours

And my home is filled with beautiful flowers

A new me is born and I'm having fun

No more wrinkles I feel so young!!


I was in a place with trees full of blossoms
Lazing under their boughs, feeling the sun
Streaming through the gaps between the leaves
Warming my body, as I closed my eyes
And enjoyed the feel, wishing it to last.
Suddenly I heard a voice say "It is a boy "
I drifted into sleep and woke up in a room
With a baby besides me, a little beautiful soul.
My joy knew no bound, that moment I felt a change
This was my baby, my son and belonged to me
This 'new me' gave me a thrill and I under the sun
Changed for the next thirty years  into a full time mum.
But at last the children found their wings and flew away
I did not have a place in their lives, from day to day.
With some sadness I turned away and looked around
At what life could offer me and this is what I found
Writing and painting made me happy and feel new
Which I never could imagine I would be, in my view
Yet again I think, Que Sera Sera what will the future be

A new me, a grandma to a babe, or just the old me

Incarnation by Derek Barretto

In my Beginning, before I sensed light

prior to Mum cradling me to her breasts

embryonic, wondrous so very bright

‘ere Nursery, School, Society’s behests

I learned chameleon-like

it’s better to compromise

blend into the crowd than to strike

out against The Establishment’s lies

Yet I will ever seek out the downtrodden

knowing I am one of them

brown face in a black and white Armageddon

there’s no relief from swallowed phlegm

I tell myself I can change

like a leopard changing its spots

coaxing my ego never to derange

a snake sheds its skin and it rots

Can I really turn over a new leaf

exchange old self for a new me

or would my efforts end in grief

like the Titanic a-floundering in the sea?

A New Me by H C Lambe

Today I awoke and what did I see

Something that looked like a brand new me

My face was young and my body taught

My, my what has happened was my first thought

So I sprang out of bed

Full of vim and vigour

Ready to face the day

My confidence bigger

I would save the world

And make everyone rich

There would be work for all

Without a hitch

I washed and shaved and ran down the stairs

For a hearty breakfast that I would prepare

Then suddenly nothing was what it seeemed

With great disappointment I realised it was just a dream!

A NEW ME by Jeffery A Edmunds

At first I was afraid. It was a step too far

The fire raged inside the furnace

It would consume me, but I could not stop this thing

It was happening and I moved as on a conveyer belt

But when I stepped inside, the fire was cold

I was not fried

The cold fire stripped away everything

There was no abrasion, no sting

I passed through wind and darkness into a long room

lined with mirrors

I feared to look. I imagined many terrors

I didn’t want to see. Surely the mirrors lied to me?

I saw a creature: a new model, a brand new me

Not a blemish, not a line of age. My body moved

perfectly. There was no fault to see

I fitted my skin like an Adonis, consummately

As I drank this intoxicating cup,

I woke up….


Time For Me Turn Over A New Leaf by Patricia J Tausz

At this year's end I've decided to turn over a new leaf

I'm trying to think of ways of becoming a new me

I'm about to let all my emotions run free

And hope they'll bring no one any grief.

I'll try new makeup, perhaps a new hair style

Perhaps I'll have in curls instead of keeping it straight

And then on the town I can remain until rather late

I want to be a different person to the one you keep on file.

I want to become full of fun

No longer so serious I wish to be

So that it's impossible for you to recognise me

And like never before I hope many heads will be spun

All because I've become a new me

As from the turn of the year that's all you'll see.

 THE NEW ME by Lisa Cohen

 Having reached your pension year

 Let me whisper in your ear

 Don't give up your daytime job

 To become a telly slob

 A new world awaits our Senior Cits

 To prevent the brain from losing bits

 Short Mat Bowls are worth a try

 To help the hours go slowly by

 Hey, what about discount passes

 For films, buses, fitness classes?

 Arms up, knees bend, ra-ra-ra

 tops us from getting ga-ga-ga

 So what if grey hairs are peeping through

 They look quite "now" on classy you

 Wrinkles and crinkles, no such sign

 You're maturing nicely like fine port wine

 It's up to you, to carry the torch 

 Never mind rocking to sleep on the porch

 Getting older is just a number

 Not for you, hours of slumber

 So get cracking, and leave your bed

 Think forward to what lies ahead

 Even the slowest  person shouts aloud

 I've achieved "getting there .  I'm so proud"

 Speaking from experience.  I'll never give in

 If I've got a pulse, can breathe, then I'll win.

A New Me by Elliot Lever

I being me with old me now escaping me

I being I with no one by my side

I being far but near

I being knowing finding longing to be me anew

I being new to me 

I being being being with me 

I being the me you you no longer know

I being you being me

I being being you with me

I being being me with you 

A new me being being being being. 

Hope you enjoyed this small selection of some the poems received this month.  Think you could do better about the sense of smell?  Then email me by the 22nd February.

Have a good month.

Judy Karbritz

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Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain about this article, contact us here