Consiglio Cittadino: A Dantean Journey Through Portsmouth City Council

By Simon Sykes   At one point some way along our path in life, I woke in Verge’s place, Amongst the dark wood, within the city, a wilderness, harsh and brute. Verge, having saved me from wolf or leopard; I forget – at first mute, then spoke; ‘Tea?’  I replied only to provoke his wise Read more

Magnolia Flowering in Cold Spring in Albany Road

Superior the knowing human glance that dreams, in lightly jostling verticals, ideas that make the candelabras dance, the whitened tips of candle flames that call   to mind a burning icy chalice raised beneath the sky’s acceptance. Over time these flowers were led in evolution’s ways to make their fine survival death-defying.   A blind Read more

STAR POems: Guildhall, Portsmouth

i.m. Edward King (1862-1951)   The painting looks a bit off, wonky walls splay from the vertical, the roof is gone. Light streams from between colonnades like flames. It might be sunbeams through the guildhall’s ribs.   Six incendiaries torched the building, so hot the copper cupola melted. Records, art work, furniture: all gutted, The Read more

STAR POems: Destruction of Oyster Street, Portsmouth

i.m. Edward King (1862-1951)   You’d hope, so close to St Thomas’s church it would be safer, but they bombed it flat, straight up.  Edward King had time to paint it, like those Western film stages, all frontage but nothing behind, except the rubble. He painted quick, before they tore it down.   It’s a Read more

STAR POems: All of Me

By Helen Larham   I have always loved him despite his neglect so when I stepped out onto the sea he bore my full weight, everything: All those times I had ventured in and they had laughed at my frantic back stroking and butterflying like a frog. My woollen costume expanding in the water corrugating, Read more

STAR POems: The Hammock

By John Pearson I am the man-length canvas pulled out of store, strung between grey bulkheads ready to still the pitch and roll of any ship. I am a solitary place a cocoon to relieve the last watch’s weariness. I am a lying sick bed and even a second skin wrapped around a dead sailor. Read more

STAR POems: 100 Ways to Lose Yourself

By Suzanne Toogood   Drink wine, beer, spirits that cheer, go on a bike ride, watch the tide, admire Gay Pride, read a book, be spooked by a spook, try not to look, don’t get hooked.   Go to the zoo, catch flu, listen to the blues, sew, cook, spy a rook, or a crow, Read more

STAR POem: New Road – a la Kelly’s Directory, 1972

By John Pearson   New Road, place of the Doll’s Hospital with Jack Grant Racing to Parham and Sons furniture removals shifting towards Marriott’s, upholsterers, lino and carpet dealers.   Mile End School of Motoring driving people to the New Road Wine Store and the Salutation taking in the sweet scent of Madam’s Blooms.   Read more

STAR POems: Quixotic Revelations

By Dale M Chatwin The cold chills my bones like hypodermic needles scratching stone. I rose from the gutter, thoughts fractured and cluttered, made my way back home, uninterrupted. The streets were deserted, the wind howled. The sound was a choir of souls, lamenting their former selves, anguished they roam, through purgatory, their home. Now it Read more

STAR POems: Poem Composed while doing a Headstand

By Maggie Sawkins, Star & Crescent’s Poetry Editor. The fir cone I picked from a Corsican forest, carried across an ocean nestled between balls of socks, has fallen from the grate and rests where it meets my gaze as I pose upside down in my daily practice. I notice how it makes the perfect mandala, Read more