‘Newcastle Morning, Early September’ by Tracey Pearson

Had ya horses man, the day’s in no rush to start,
Mrs Kelly’s shooing next door’s cat oot the yard.

Morning still wears its dressing gown,
tied tight round the midriff,
grey and downy, soft and fluffy, Tyneside foggy.

September sighs in the back lanes,
bairns and mams bicker their way to school –

If I’ve telt yi once, I’ve telt yi a thoosand times,
don’t poke ya sister in the eye.

The weather changes when the bairns go back,
baking taties on offer at the Community Grocery,
a 45p tea, for me and Olenka, a Ukrainian refugee.

Meet the Poet!

Tracey Pearson is a poet and flash fiction writer from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Her work has been published in print anthologies, magazines and online. Tracey’s recent writing appears in Poetry WalesDreich, Culture Matters and Visual Verse, and is forthcoming in Briefly Write.

Translation Tuesday – Japanese Poetry

It’s almost November. The nights are cold, crisp, and brutal here in the North-East – but the skies are glorious, and the coloursOh! Join me for a cuppa whilst I share today’s autumnal offering: translated pieces from a volume called Japanese Poetry Now, remade into English by Thomas Fitzimmons.


Rue Collinge shares pieces from Japanese Poetry Now, 1971, trans. Thomas Fitzimmons

‘Experience’ by Gareth Culshaw 

There was a time inside a lettuce leaf 
I found the crinkles enjoyable to walk. 

I traipsed songs lost in headphones 
found trees upside down in winter. 

Heard birds in the yawn of a cat 
and caught a train for a bus for a hike. 

It led me to this, a place of rock and stone. 
Nothingness sits outside a window 

until you leave the vehicle and walk. 
Things appear in the nostril before 

your hands have left the crust. 
Your soup stays on the lips, cola burps 

a crow, and crisps wear away fence posts. 
But each walk brings you closer, closer 

to the life you live inside. The life you live 
before you found this place in the crunch 

of a carrot one salad afternoon. 
Watching a sun biscuit-dunk into a mountain 

wait for the warmth to leave you behind 
then see your fingerprints smudged 

on the moon, the end of your nose.

Meet the Poet!

Gareth Culshaw lives in North Wales. He has 4 poetry collections, most recent by Hendon Press called Memory Tree. He is a winner of Backlash Best Book Award 2022. 

‘Climate’ by Mike Doherty

That yellowing mould of surrender

Like soft vows

Subsides on the kerb as a light wind makes the leaves


With those most recently released from the bough

Falling through shafts of sunlight and forming, casually

A duvet against the stone, against the cold of a coming night

This heat has made the trees distress and shrug off their ornaments

Those leaves

Fluttering dependents in need of drink and so they are

Expendable. It is the rule of law. 

Long grass warped into dry and brittle threads

Susceptible to fire. All these indicators of change

Gather here in plain sight to form a queue of warning signs

Do Not Proceed. One Way Only. Danger of Death

Another turning point goes blind to history

All the common sights forgot and nothing left

But burning twigs

Meet the Poet!

Mike Doherty says: “I have always tried to express myself. School reports exhort you to “try harder”. Poetry is the only medium I have found to reach into the corners of my soul and shed some light. It’s never easy and often not terribly good. But, I love it.”

‘Canals of the Back Streets’ by Martin Potter

Glints in the city sun and
Town-breeze ripples rainbow
Touches in the oily film
Running behind and under-street
Brick-sided trough canals
Floated industry wall-screened
But inconspicuous door-gaps
Disguise steps down to the tight
Towpaths that shelve over
The patient loitering waters
Down-flow interrupted  
Waiting on sleeper levers
To be wrenched hinge-swing
Circulation rebooted
Veins in need of dredging
Drear-grime to dark heart’s blood

Meet the Poet!

Martin Potter (https://martinpotterpoet.home.blog) is a British-Colombian poet and academic, based in Manchester, and his poems have appeared in AcumenThe French Literary ReviewEborakonInk Sweat & TearsThe Poetry Village, and other journals. His pamphlet In the Particular was published by Eyewear in December, 2017.