We meet at 7:30pm on
the first Thursday of
each month at
The Biffa Room,
St. Mark’s Church,
(off Avon Drive),
Bedford, MK41 7UY
Visitors (18 and older) and prospective members are VERY welcome, whether experienced writers, beginners, or just curious. Simply turn up on the night or contact us by clicking on the 'Get in Touch' icon for an interesting, enjoyable, and possibly instructive evening.
New Year at the Writing Group by Sue Barton
We’ve had the Christmas celebrations
Said goodbye to our relations
Cooked our goose, set ourselves loose
To gather up our words obtuse
And shape them into something worthy
Or throw them in the River Mersey.
Here is John whose poems call
Make us listen one and all.
Karl no doubt has something written
With expletives quite unfittin’.
And Dave will bring us genre noir
With sex and killing near and far.
Barry’s shown his second book
And we must give it careful look.
He cannot yet go out to play
‘til we’ve have had our thoughtful say.
Now that he has raised the bar
It’s up to others to go far.
Festivals have tested Naz
And she’s been given all the jazz
About her writing being tops.
We did tell you sweetie pops
That you will be the next sensation
With accolades around the nation.
Gill excels at Science Fic.
And treats us to a widespread pick
Of her otherworldly works
Where terror in each corner lurks.
Laura gives us added twist
Velvet tales in iron fist.
Mac entertains with good clear hand,
A valued member of our band.
Robert, our young academic, Writes of trains most dramatic.
And Clare, with lovely Irish lilt
Softly are her stories built.
Who next? Oh! yes Veronica
No easy rhyme for your monika
Stories penned for every age
From very small to bearded sage.
Fran comes along, when she’s able,
To entertain with latest fable.
For all of those who come and go
Let your inner writer flow.
The New Year’s with us everyone
There’s serious writing to be done.
So I must need a mental slap
For writing all this mindless crap.
Bedford writers keep on going,
Seeds of mystery always sowing.
Whether sex, death, war or peace,
Imagination just unleash.
Do have a happy writing year .
The New Year by Barrie Hyde
The New Year cometh and promises are made,
Let’s give up booze, give the needy some aid.
Time for a fresh start, don’t let your head rule your heart,
Let’s make the world better, let’s make the world smart.
Then you wake in the morning, your head throbs a bit,
And you smile at the pledges, they were all bullshit,
You take some aspirin, and go to the pub,
A couple of pints and some processed grub.
You look at the news and nothing has changed,
Tribal fighting by those clearly deranged,
The poor are still poor and the rich are still rich,
Politicians pontificate, twaddle is their pitch.
The world it keeps spinning,
With mankind in its way,
Is the legacy of today.
But when we’re all gone the leaves will return,
With a balance of life nature will learn,
One dominant species is bad for the rest,
And through natural selection,
The earth will be blessed.
Happy New Year!
A limerick with a twist by Robert Simmons
Somewhere, there’s a guy called Bastion,
Who struggles to get enough inspiration.
“Hey, I’ve got an idea!”
“I’ll just jot it down here…”
“Bugger. It’s gone out of my head again!”
Brick Creep by Veronica Sims
Our house is built where once before there was a farmyard,
A bolt for a barn door
We found, when we were planting a tree…
Rubble scattered long ago
To stem the tide of mud and dung, I expect.
Sometimes I try to imagine
Stables, (shire horses, oat munching)
A sty for the pigs (pungent)
A chicken or three,
Cockadoodledooing in the morning, a rooster,
A couple of outside cats (to catch the rats)
A shaggy dog (but that’s another story)
Now the farm is an estate.
Endless brick houses,
Neat hedges, (trimmed to boredom)
Grass verges, thoughtlessly cropped by machine,
And beyond the bright painted, closed front doors…
I Fell Into You by Nasreen Rafiq
I fell into you
And further still
The years of Us pool around bare soles
Seeping, inky and indigo
Rags mop and streak cold legs
The raven hops upon the sill
Cocking and lilting
No birdsong between us two
Gazing and falling, into you
Empty of nest
Life once lived
Empty and void
And further still
Stretching and wrapping scarf intact
Indigo steps venture out
I stride with the throng
As far as I can go
By dusk I turn back
Follow my tracks
I talk with a brother
Beneath a green dome
His words drift all around me
They fall and flutter
Leave me in peace.
There is hope he said
And so I return
Pace picking up
Your face dark and sunk
I don't want to go
The musk of Us lingers in here
Swallowing me whole
The raven returns
And pecks at the pane
Joined by another,
they all look the same.
Bearing witness to the end of Us
If only you knew
I fell in two.
And further still
The Old Man Slumbers by Dave Appleby
The old man slumbers in his arm chair
Dreaming of when, proudly not humbly he could
Stand without trembling,
Run without stumbling,
Dive without tumbling,
Shoot without fumbling,
Pick his way nimbly through the shambles,
Amble back to his base
Grumbling to his fellow soldiers
About the tumbrells dragging the condemned to death,
About the peeling paint in the damp and crumbling barracks,
About the rumbling thunder and the endless rain.
Life’s a gamble and the odds are stacked against us
And our souls are jumble sales of worthless tat.
The old man mumbles in his sleep.
Sea Shanty by John Broadhouse
Rolling to the sway of a temperate beast, waves lick a wooden hull,
Buoyant with treasures of the deep, silver slithers gasp at the sky,
Writhing for freedom they are trapped in a world that is not theirs,
Destiny for the many is beyond their command as nets deposit a bounty,
Gulls circle, waiting their chance to steal a morsel destined for London,
Their cries echo an eternity played through the seasons when Pilchards shoaled.
Sails flap, then fill expectant, propelling the bow, splitting waves to spray
A glowing mist tinged by the Sun coats the rigging with its salt breath
And drips its tears to wash the blood and scales back from whence they came.
Rough bronzed hands grasp the tiller guiding progress with experience
Handed down through generations who lived to challenge the sea,
Some who survived to teach their offspring, others who paid the price.
The harbour awaits, its arms open, protective it beckons sanctuary and home,
Scarred arms are a witness to the savagery of storms pounding destruction.
White washed cottages perched on outcrops joined by narrow lanes
Surrounds the harbour with families watching as boats glide past the outer arm,
Wives, children, widows and men to old to forget look from windows
And thank God for their return and the wealth the sea provides.
The quay becomes a throng of excited children and those who measure profit,
Boxes are loaded, crowds disperse, hung nets sparkle with sequin scales
The smell of fish lingers briefly as the washed cobbles dry in the afternoon Sun.
Fishermen wind their way home along the narrow cobbled lanes seeking sanctity,
A place to relax from the rigors of the day, a place occupied by loved ones
Who made each journey into the abyss a testament to provide as their fathers had.
Evening turns to night, oil lamps silhouette windows, smoke lazily drifts from chimneys,
Footsteps echo along the lanes as men stride to the inn to replenish the stories, shanties,
And wash away the taste of salt for another day with a pint or two drawn from the barrel,
Air becomes thick with smoke, pipes crammed with tobacco glow with each word
As tales unfold, debates gather momentum and shanties soften the tone.
The innkeeper shouts time, the lights dim, laughter and singing accompany their footsteps.
These times have gone, evaporated into the mist that swallowed Pilchard and boat,
Where goalposts changed the profits, pilchards overfished by foreigners,
Local demand depleted the village lost its vitality and faded but their memory
Lingers in the buildings as tourists buy history wrapped in a gift crafted by ancestors,
Some gaze at the buildings as they wish to escape the city and live with their dreams
Which they cannot afford for out of poverty was born a niche for the rich.
Limericks by John Broadhouse
There was a young girl called Dolly
Who sucked on an ice cream lolly
But the lolly so cold
That her tongue it did hold
Making her a first class wally.
On learning to drive his first car
He ventured to drive not that far
Perhaps it was chance
That he happened to glance
He’d backed into next doors parked car.
There was a young man who’d write
Three thousand words every night
But lacking in plot
No backing he got
From agents who fled in fright.
There was a young lad called Jim
Who was exceptionally dim
But when told to stop
He would skip and hop
So a trailer flattened him.
A writers group did complain
needlework noise was a pain
So they changed their night
Which made things all right
Parking was also a gain.
Human Resilience by John Broadhouse
In a world filled with turmoil you find latent strength,
Through war, terrorism, fire and flood, to the edge of sanity,
Those who have nothing find resilience to preserve their life,
A spark that lights a flicker of hope through a tunnel
Enclosed by the very edges of comprehension.
One feeble flickering light on the edge of extinction
Finds another, finds a million struggling souls
Their light now a beacon for the future,
Building a journey of cooperation for a common cause.
From nothing they rise above despair and poverty
Combined they are the personification of existence
The spirit of human resilience.
The Granite Giant by John Broadhouse
I stand upon a granite giant whose shoulders are wrinkled with age
That bars the passage of foaming sea midst howling wind and spray,
Pounding waves, churned phosphorus white, portray the elements’ rage,
And I a speck amongst such power witness another day.
Colossus boulders, ground smooth by Neptune’s mighty hands, Divide the tempest from sheltered cove,
While torn clouds race in ragged bands,
White wings mingle with spume filled air as seagulls glide and rove.
Winding through a jewelled crown the coastal footpath twists, Amongst amber stars on green gorse spikes stride heathers’ amethyst beads
Confetti clouds of butterflies search for their nectar gifts ...
Metallic black beetles glisten as they crawl past scattered seeds.
White capped waves, mellowed in amber light,
Carve the granite fortress on which I stand,
Jagged form, silhouetted bright,
Cast your shadow like a giant’s hand.
Evening light tinged pastel pink fades to a fiery red
Swirling spray and foaming wave are now a dragon’s breath
That cracks and tears this granite fort as if on rock it fed
While sheltered in your lofty crown the night owl offers death.
LOOK UP: Anne White
Why wobble beautiful earth, are you full of some kind of mirth
or do you tremble with downcast shame, that your earthly cycle is not the same
You've slung the moon from its usual place,
mysteriously she hides her illusive face,
Even the sun's not where it should be
Look on the horizon, and you will see.
I often struggle, ponder and pause, for reasons why and a cause.
The heavens seem to have lost the way, displacing the stars once held in its sway
Even earths mountains stand not as before.
Moved from their place, the seas rage and roar.
Earth quakes run riot across rivers and lands
Collapsing cities into sinking sands.
Wars increase everyday by the score.
Fighting now reaches every shore
People shout loud in the streets for peace
but anger shouts louder and there is no peace,
Power and greed want right of way
demanding every good citizen has to pay
Could it be the end is nigh
with questions of, how, where and why.
Then I remember Jesus words, faithful and true,
which he spoke to his loved ones like me and you,
The earth fades and withers like grass,
And all these things must come to pass
Yet be not afraid, look up high.
Such are the are signs - your redemption draws nigh.
By Anne White