INSIDE OUT  was launched in July 2010 and has 26 contributors









To the best of our knowledge and belief all the material included in this publication is in the public domain or has been reproduced with permission and/or source  acknowledgement. We have researched the rights where possible. RBW is a community organisation, whose aims are purely educational, and is entirely non-profit making. If using material from this collection for educational purposes please be so kind as to acknowledge RBW as the source. Contributors retain the copyright to their own work. Names, characters, places and incidents are imaginary or are used in a fictitious way. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead is entirely coincidental.



SCC’s Your Library Team at Rising Brook Branch


PUBLISHED BY:  Rising Brook Writers

RBW is a voluntary charitable trust. RCN: 1117227

© Rising Brook Writers 2010

The right of Rising Brook Writers to be identified as the

author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections  77 & 78 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988



This collection is dedicated to the inspiring poet and playwright, Anne Picken.



First Edition


ISBN  978-0-9557086-6-4





























Message from our patron, Ian McMillan.





Step into these pages and take a look

At the talent that’s assembled in Rising Brook!

You won’t be disappointed so come and get stuck

Into the poems and the verses from Rising Brook!

This is a box of delights, this marvellous book

Put together by the poets from Rising Brook!

It should sell by the bucketload, you should have to fill a truck

With the copies of this volume from Rising Brook!

So let me take this opportunity to say Good Luck

To the amazing writers of Rising Brook!


 IM Adrian Mealing palm 1.3MB WEB.jpg 



Photo credit Adrian Mealing







Contributing Poets



Mel Booker

Sue Cantrill

Countryman (Fred Waterfall)

Judy Davies

Phil Emery

 Isabel Gillard

Beti Hands

Stephen Harvey

Martin Haywood

Edith Holland

Martin Hulme

Elizabeth Leaper

Yasmin Lewis

John Price

Lin Priest

Anne Picken

Audrey Rainbow

Peter Shilston

Stephanie Spiers

Barbara Stockham

Sally Sullivan

Joy Tilley

Pauline Walden

John Weaver

Liz Whitehouse

Gill Whitehurst

















Mel Booker     


There’s no one to rescue

No knight on fine steed

There’s no one to turn to,

Or warnings to


No one has

The answers to

Make it ok.

The world is my


And here I must stay.

When my eyes

They do close

And my dreams become


In this world

I am safe

I can really feel.

I can reach out

And touch

The dawn of the day,

Embrace and enjoy

In every way.

In the land of the


When I land once again,

I pray for more sunshine

to banish the rain.











Mel Booker





Staring at the pictures

Of days and times gone by

Lost in maze of memories,

My heart is pounding


Time has no concept

No constraints

It just keeps moving on

Taking with it all I am

And all I may become  






















Mel Booker





         My mind is an abyss                   

         Of brimstone and fire

         My life is contorted by

         Need and desire.

         From depths below hidden

         I enter the zone

         The silent watcher

         He says,

         Your mind

         It is known.

         You can have no secret

         I see and know All

         From depths below hidden

         Your mask reveals All.

         There is no escape

         From the thoughts in

         Your mind,

         Suppress and repress

         But the ego will


         Denial, distortion

         Masked well

         It is true

         But the watcher he Sees











Our Family Tree


A family tree we’re working on, to see from where we came,

Of people who we never knew, we all have the same name,

We all remember our own grandma and grandpa as well,

But they remember their old folk, a tale of old to tell.


Big families of eight or nine, and some they lost quite young,

Some they stayed as spinsters or bachelors unsung,

Working on estates and farms, in houses cold and damp

Some on their own farms on land their mark to stamp.


Looking back on old grave stones, name chiselled bold and clear,

Got to look where they’re christened who their parents were,

Who they met and married, the families joined and spread,

The kids that came along so quick, along same paths we tread.


We scour along old census records from many years gone by,

See the age of head of household, and all who lived and why,

Some left home at early age, for to find some work,

Spread around the villages, none of them to shirk.


Need a bigger sheet of paper, as the families spread and grow,

William, Thomas, Charles and John, reoccur in all the lines we know.

Now we’re back to where were found, back to 1753 we tow,

Following all the records of, the church and census as we go.


Our turn will come soon enough, as time it flashes by,

Never know when that will be, it’s better laugh than cry,

Name of date of birth and death, chiselled into stone,

A patch of good old England, ‘neath turf that’s our last home.



(Countryman — Fred Waterfall)












Numbers Galore



Phone numbers and the mobile, bank sort codes n’ accounts,

Credit card that can be skimmed, all ya savings trounce,

Car numbers and engine numbers and chassis numbers too,

Model numbers part numbers, colour codes pursue.


House numbers street numbers, area post codes an all,

All across the country, codes for counties large and small,

Field numbers, map numbers, parish number long,

Acres turned to hectares, if ya know where they belong.  


Gallons turned to litres, pounds and ounces gone to grams,

Miles turned to kilometres, and foot to millimetre crammed

Therms have turned to MJs, power in hp turned to watts,

Heat is B.t.u. to lbs, is now into joules per kilogram it jots.


The money’s gone to euros, bank rate measures that,

Information all in plastic, and it’s in your wallet sat

Converted into bar codes, so computers read the lot,

Nothing ever private now, they know all of what you’ve got.











Sue Cantrill


A Young Girl’s Thoughts


         The safest place in the world to be

         Is curled up tight on my Dad’s knee

         Dreaming dreams and thinking things

         In fantasy lands with kings and queens

         Where a handsome prince, a gallant knight

         Will win your honour in a fight

         Dragons fly, shy unicorns roam

         To find a place they can call home

         Here am I, a tiny ball

         With the bravest knight of all












Sue Cantrill




I have perfected the art of being invisible

Within a crowded room

Sitting or standing it’s always the same

The talking goes on around me

My corner is my own

How is your job, wife, kids, car

The neighbour’s cat is very strange

The words reach me, go round and through me

Then disappear into the ether, never to return

How to interact without rejection

What to do, what to say

Panic rises, breath quickens

If someone looks my way

I have perfected the art of being invisible

Within a crowded room

The problem is no one else’s

The problem is my own











Sue Cantrill



         A hug can say so much

         More than words alone

         I’m there for you

         I care for you

         Please do not despair

         A simple touch

         A soft caress

         Can meet our deepest need

         A worry shared

         Though nothing said or spoken

         We were not created islands

         Standing on our own


         Side by side

         Arm in arm

         Hand in hand

         Going forward together

         So do something special today

         Help someone now  

                 Give them a hug - PLEASE













Judy Davies                                                          



Edge of The Blues



Gulls hover

Soprano wails over thrumming downbeats

Semaphore wings

Soaring sentinels shadowing flotsam prey.


Scattered pebbles

Bedded down in sandy slumber

Rubbed and teased

Tickled by ocean’s lingering fingers.


Seaweed clusters

Flung forward in primeval unison

Strummed then plucked

Nomadic fronds sucked in by salty pulse.


Proud white horses

Relentless beat with front line crescendo

Furled flanks

Strut out prodigious riff in deep sea blues.

















Judy Davies       



Love Trap


Ma name’s Slick Rick

I’m a private dick

An’ I wanna trappa slapper make ‘er turn ma trick

She kiss me quick

Do me fantastic

Build me brick by brick

‘Til she givvin’ me a rise, make me twice ma size

She hypnotise, we synchronise

We make like clickety clickety click, Slick Rick


But when I chillin’ wi’ da guys

Then she wrigglin’ ‘er thighs

‘N’ she givvin out ‘er prize to any man who tries

When I look inta ‘er eyes

See I just get wise

She lead me on wivver tricky dicky lies


She denies, tries to harmonize

Rolls ‘er eyes and sighs

But I give ‘er little lickin’ wi’ ma hanky, panky, spanky stick

She hysteric, she beat it quick

She give a lotta grief ‘n she lie, cry me “Why?” wanta die,

Say “Goodbye!”


So my girl Lin

Now she livin’ in sin

She think she gonna win

She scratch ‘n rub ‘er itch wivva bitch called Min


But I callin’ favours in

Isay y’all walk my way, then we make ‘er pretty pay

She pray to stay ‘n pay me, not betray me, beg to lay me

I turn ‘er round in ‘er track, tricky nack, Ricky back...


cuttin' slack, gotta knack, back on track...



Judy Davies



     Jet White              



Say what mischief dallies here

Lurks then squats on swaying haunch

To mind the wheel where guile spins

The vivid palette of my days.


Tell me who rubs sticky fingers,

Now draws out the short white threads

Has swiftly banished vibrant colours

To merge in sycophantic praise.


What his measured tread conspires

Short inconsequential lies

Draining hues from life’s bold pattern

To dazzle in a mourning blaze.























Phil Emery





         The shaper streams

         and I follow - join

         crawlclaw,  squeeze,  s t r e t

               c h,  scrawl and lever,  gasp-


         parody of flow,

         splaying shafts of sight

         through Giant's Hole and Ghost's Rift,

         a mythic anatomy of petrified time,

         ferociously vast and unyielding to the palm.

         Only the shaper has the rushing

         boneless patience to sculpt here.

























Isabel Gillard





‘Grey as a badger – Phyllis – when she died.’


I thought of Phyllis in the general view,

Hair bristly as a shaving brush,

Teeth bared in welcome or derision –

Who could tell!

And held in mind the badger

Newly dead

On the blue tarmac’s verge,

Dwarfed now in isolation

By the traffic’s surge,

Naked as a baby and as small.


His grey, like wisps of seaweed in the tide

Of brushwood softening the further view

Of an amazing world

Or fog between the seeker and the truth,

Had done its service and no longer hid

The mortal corpse of a night visitor;

The inheld life,

The small, keen hopes,

The tender, luminous pink

Unseen beneath the grey.


















Isabel Gillard





He hadn’t shaved, explaining

That his skin felt tender

Like a baby’s and

He’d burned his mouth forgetting

That the soup was hot.


For this and other reasons he preferred

To pass the main course by,

Existing, like a butterfly,

On sugared drinks;

Horlicks with added calories,

Tea with two spoonfuls,

And the whisky glass.


It is too late now to compile

The family history that we’re making still

Simply by being. He does not remember.

Parting is painful as I dissemble,

Leaning to kiss the withered cheek,

Skirting the drool that he seems unaware of,

The eyes, boggy with unshed tears.


Suddenly, from his ‘stick’ hand he produces,

Like Prospero, a present for my child,

A basket painted with butterflies.


The wings, not baby-blue or pink or yellow,

Have taken colour from the whisky glass.

A tender amber, fragile at the edge

Deepens to red, to crimson at the heart

As they spread, fluttering,

Flying up.









Isabel Gillard



Gazebo Poet


Snailed in my wedge-shaped box, I muse.

No jet-propulsion this  -

more of a gentle urging from behind,

where wooden walls close in.

No possible retreat, but no road either.

Full-frontal visibility, but not yet nude.

What will exposure do?

The whole world -

five whole worlds of this sphere

lie straight ahead.


Carpenter in my wooden world,

what should I make of it?

Circled by ocean I could make an ark

and sail through rain and rowans

to the nearby thatch

or fly on pen-and-paper wings to perch

peering in windows at those other worlds.


But even rain must end sometime

and then I’ll fashion wooden wellingtons

for walking through the shoe-high grass,

scaring the grass-hoppers,


sending the raindrops flying.













Beti Hands



That’s not me


         Am I the steelwork in concrete,

         Which reveals itself in reddish stains

         And when all else fails,

         The building’s skeleton remains?


         Remember when the morning

         Dawned, and airplanes turned

         To smash those money beehives,

         And the steelwork burned?


         Where is the truth of you, or I,

         If it can flow, like white hot metal,

         And take another shape and role,

         Like Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll.























Stephen Harvey




The Pen



         The pen caressed the paper

         It was calling for the lost

         A lifetime fraught with anguish

         In a story thought forgot

         Those childhood tales of sorrow

         Pour freely from its nib

         With memories much too painful

         That time will not forgive

         It whispered things unspoken

         From voices in the dusk

         That wake the sleeping siblings

         When maternal eyes are shut

         They cry out loud in darkness

         With screams securely bound

         A tourniquet of silence

         Where only hate is found.
















Stephen Harvey 






         Ordinary People

         Hidden from scene

         Never been heard

         With fabulous dreams







         Mary Jane tells lies

         Don't believe what she said

         Her fantasies are fake

         They belong in her head













Stephen Harvey


My heart just died                  


         I don’t believe it
         I never will
         Why must you tell lies?
         What’s in this for you?
         It could never have happened
         You could be mistaken
         You must be confused
         My heart is still breaking
         Please think again
         I am sure that you’re wrong
         Forget that you said it
         We can go back in time
         Can we try to forget?
         Those childhood memories
         Is it too late?                                                

         for my heart to die of regret.













Martin Haywood






I lie down and know it’s on its way

It is strange how it seems to pick this time of day

No light only dark it’s the middle of the night

And once again I am going to have to fight.


The pain starts on the left of my spine

A couple of minutes ago I was feeling fine

I grab my tablets with a curse

Sometimes I think I may need a hearse.


I have the water waiting by my bed

I take the tablets and nothing more is said

My mouth goes dry and I begin to feel high

I lie on my back with a great big sigh.


I float around the room and wonder why

I always feel like this when I am high

I look down on my body with a great big sigh

And wonder if I can really fly.


The pain is at last receding and I am feeling good

But it will come back that is understood

But when will the pain go forever

I can only lie and hope and wonder.












Edith Holland



Slipping Away                                         



When you came and took my hand

I said, Stay awhile

Your eyes are full of tears

Your voice is soft and gentle.


Stay awhile and tell me again of our nearness

And the love we have shared.

Make no promises, just stay awhile.


No words now, just the pressure of your hand

And your smile,


Stay awhile as I slip away.






















Edith Holland



View From The Flyover



Held up again in their glass and metal boxes

Each face viewed in a windscreen frame,

Isolated travellers each one has a story

Anxious to know or not know what lies ahead.


Little Lucy put to bed and no goodnight kiss,

There’s a broken date and a disappointed lover,

What a good excuse for missing the in-laws

Dinner will be ruined and binned instead.


There’s a touch of humour children pulling faces,

There’s a sour face and fingers drumming on the wheel

He’ll be late for keep fit class and 2012 is looming,

What about new daddy missing the first wail.


They may never know them, those upended bodies

Cared for in death by the yellow jacket aid,

Helicopters hovering, the rise and fall of sirens.

Let in the clutch, there’s a journey to be made.


















Edith Holland



From My Window                          


Between the houses I saw the giant skip

Slowly filled with the lives of two people

They’ll not see this final act

They have moved on

Decisions now made by others.


I watched as their lives were unwound.

Books, the luxury of reading lost and laid by.

The vandalism of breaking glass and china

Softened a little by old rugs and eiderdowns.

No longer fashionable chairs and sofa

Split cushions oozing stuffing like a wound,

covered quickly with a tartan rug... more books.


I felt the tears, so looked away.

It is their memories gone, not mine... not mine,

But it will happen again and again.





















Martin Hulme

Reg's suicide note)  Hold out your hand, Oh giver of light
                               Peace too!
                               My life uphold.
                               Reveal these men of steel, who

                               point their finger
                               Go fight! (pause)
                               Ten Million lost souls,
                               Silenced screams cast aside to roam

                               no mans land without fear.
                               Only now can tears of joy stream,                                                 

                               And with your light

                               sparkle from the dead man’s eye.
                               Healed hearts, arms outstretched,

                               With patience, through the thin veil                    

                               Of light they gaze
                               Oh giver of light
                               Be a friend (kisses photo of mum)
                               No longer shall you wait.

                               I dare my thoughts, I quiver at the

                               to take a peep and smell the void

                               beyond the parapet
                               I dare my thoughts, my heart can’t

                               take the lies that wait ahead
                               hard men, brave, cowards not
                               again will gather to haunt their sons
                               Millions will join me………………………


(Extract from a play about the Great War)





Elizabeth Leaper



Creature of the Night


         All along the fence she’s prowling,

         Feline creature of the night.

         Listen to her softly growling.

         All along the fence she’s prowling,

         The volume now increased to yowling,

         Putting trespassers to flight.

         All along the fence she’s prowling –

         Feline. Creature of the night!



Elizabeth Leaper



The Wind Through the Trees


         The leaves on the trees

         Are dying, dying,

         Now the summer suns are gone.

         The wind through the trees

         Is sighing, sighing,

         Plucking them gently, one by one.


         The wind through the trees

         Blows stronger, stronger.

         The leaves on the trees flutter and fall.

         Each gust of the wind

         Sends them dancing, dancing.

         Until at last it has gathered them all.


         The wind through the trees

         Blows colder, colder.

         No more the leaves are fluttering there.

         The wind as it blows

         Whispers “winter, winter”,

         And all the branches now are bare.

























Elizabeth Leaper



On The Hill



         wind-angled, on the hill

         the tree stands desolate.



         mutant from a nether world.

         Gnarled clawing roots grasp

         and clutch forbidden footholds, resist

         the ravages of primeval power.


         Nightmare creature,

         bereft of flesh,

         bare bones bleached by burning suns,

         petrified torso etched by scouring storms.


         Skeletal fingers scrabble at the air,

         pleading with implacable gods –



         all mercy denied.



















Yasmin Lewis        




Chain Letters


E-Mail chain letters, very scary

So pleases do be very wary,

Of sending me another tonight

Promising me yet another fright.


The last person to break the chain

Died, and was never seen again

That’s what it said when I scrolled across

Said my family would feel the loss.


Debbie’s mail promised to make me rich

Said it would all happen without a hitch

Just twenty minutes to pass it round

Or Death would come creeping, without a sound.


Marsha’s mail, sent out to entice

New house, new car, all very nice

Tempting, but I’ll risk getting sick

And push the delete button extra quick.




















Yasmin Lewis



The Dark Years


Puberty entered like a slithering snake

There from birth, but years did it take

To turn this child, this wonderful soul

Into a tormented demon, with a heart as black as coal.


Hating her life, you, me, or any other

No longer in need of a father or mother

Hormones raging, taking away all control

Burrowing furiously, like an unwanted mole.


It seems unfair that when her friends come round

Music and laughter from her bedroom abound

Caught off guard, you suddenly see

Snatches of the child that used to be.


This is one ride we didn’t bargain for

And just as you feel you can take no more

Remember. She will grow up; there is an end in sight

A young woman will emerge encompassed in light.























Yasmin Lewis



My Mother’s Hands


         Much younger once

                 my hands unlined

         Much older now

             what do I find?


         I have my mother’s hands.



         I reach for an apple

             tears sting my eyes.

         Once smooth hands

             now aged, I realise.


         I have my mother’s hands.



         No longer around

             to see me growing old.

         Wherever she sits now,

             I hope she’s been told.


         I have my mother’s hands.




















Lin Priest



SONNET Untitled


Farewell to you, I whisper fond goodbye,

Through cloying mist you stride away from me.

Watery sun fails to light a darkening sky,

Soft breeze sighs through branches of each tree.


Marching forth, with hope now in your heart,

No backward glance to witness tear stained face,

Each step means freedom, hail a brand new start,

Leave nothing, let there be no single trace.


Yet those bonds you thought easily untied

Grasp with firmness to halt your wayward flight.

Those special times, refuse to be denied,

Turn around to see the blinding light.


No-one can compare with that summer’s day

Nor will that lady let you walk away!























John Price




(on hearing this rediscovered lost word means a depression of spirits)


One question’s asked in our gardening clubs;

They say it’s why members pay their yearly subs.

Over this puzzle each gardener his head rubs:

What on earth is the point of mulligrubs?

Mulligrubs are fat and green and rarely seen grubs;

They can be big or small but never tall grubs.

No good in races but they’ve faces like cherubs.

Some say grubs are here to make more grubs.

Others say they’re just one part of nature’s hubs.

I saw them once behind some strawberry tubs

and can confirm what I’ve oft heard in pubs.

Mulligrubs are greedy but never weedy grubs,

they eat and eat but are rarely replete grubs.

In passing mulligrubs turn branches to stubs.

So gardeners lying in your bathtubs,

sipping fine wine amid occasional scrubs

and asking yourselves, ‘Why, oh why mulligrubs?’

Think on this and you’ll see the real nub’s

because of them your shrubs aren’t trees but shrubs.






















John Price


‘Twas the night before Christmas 2009

(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)



‘Twas the night before Christmas, when through the Chamber

No creature was stirring, no single Member.

All Westminster’s rooms were now empty and bare,

Festive holly and ivy were no longer there.


The Members were nestled all snug in their beds,

With crystal chandeliers hanging over their heads

And oriental rugs all strewn on the floor,

From the John Lewis catalogue, page forty-four.


Their plasma TVs were now all quiet as well.

Every luxury kitchen and antique doorbell,

Every moat and duck house and marble bidet

That were claimed on expenses now in silence lay.


Then down from the night sky with the soft falling snow

There came a jingling sound that every child would know.

In seconds the sleigh and eight reindeer appeared

The driver sporting scarlet coat and long white beard.



The team flew round a mansion of classic  grandeur,

Over gardens treated with five grand of manure.

Up on the roof-top the reindeer then halted.

With a leap from his seat the old driver vaulted.



All the reindeer stood quietly now they’d landed

But the sleigh it was bare, they’d come empty-


And the driver climbing over the dormer?

Not St Nick but Sir Chris, expenses reformer.


In silence the old man just got on with his work,

Determined that night he would remove every perk.

So armchairs and hi-fis, loo seats and fridges,

He hauled from the mansion all over the ridges.



In no time at all Sir Chris was back on his sleigh.

With more Members to see he was off on his way.

But he smiled to himself as he flew out of sight,

‘Happy Christmas to you all, you know that it’s right.’





John Price


Boyhood Heroes


Stanley Matthews, Stoke City and England wizard

Played seven hundred games and never a yellow card

With his trickery he left defenders all undone.

His dad, Hanley’s Fighting Barber, had boxed my granddad and won.<