Temporary suspension of monthly meetings

In the current situation, we will not be able to hold our monthly celebrations of poetry in the Vittle and Swig, but we will be holding them remotely by Zoom, for members only. An email will be sent out to members with the details ahead of each meeting.

Meantime, we are also going ahead with our monthly workshops on the first Tuesday of each month, also by Zoom. Members interested to take part should contact Eileen Morrissey at lobbed@btinternet.com

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Porcelain Bowl, by Sonia Lawrence

This poem, by our member Sonia Lawrence, was included in our 2019 publication, Folio#73.

Porcelain Bowl

Sitting in my kitchen
I see these things:
the kettle, silent, waiting to be boiled;
the radio that daily tells me news;
a jar of teaspoons just where I need them;
a deep blue eye warding off evil
my Kurdish friend gave me
when we first moved in;
an apron hanging on a hook;
a tea towel slung on a rail;
a timer to tell when the cake is cooked;
the pure white bowl, now filled with lemons,
I bought my daughter 
four decades ago when she left home.
She is still very fond of strawberry trifle.

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How Schrödinger Came Up With His Cat, by Graham Mummery

Graham is a psychotherapist, poet and translator, and a member of the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society. His collection Meeting My Inners was published by Pindrop Press. This poem featured in our 2019 anthology, Folio #73.

How Schrödinger Came Up With His Cat

I am more and more convinced
Schrödinger came up with his cat
from watching real cats -
the ones whose wave functions collapsed!

My cat waits by the door.
I open it to let him out.
It is cold outside.
He hesitates and does not move.

I tell him to make his mind up,
then shut the door.
It's not just cats who don't like cold!
Surely, he wants to stay in the house.

A few moments later the door is opened.
Now he goes out.
The wave function on this decision collapsed.
Two minutes later, he is squawking back.

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Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards Author

Our September meeting on Zoom will take place at 8.00 pm on September 22nd, which is the 4th. week of the month, and not on 15th. We are welcoming Jonathan Edwards and hope you will join us to give him an appreciative, if virtual, audience.

Jonathan Edwards was born and grew up in south Wales. He has an MA in Writing from the University of Warwick and currently works as an English teacher. He won the Terry Hetherington Award in 2010, was awarded a Literature Wales new writer’s bursary in 2011, and in 2012 won prizes in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition and the Basil Bunting Award. His poems have appeared in many magazines including The Poetry ReviewThe NorthPoetry Wales and New Welsh Review. His first collection My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014) was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize 2014 and was the Winner of  the Costa Poetry Prize 2014.

There will be an Open Mic at the beginning of the meeting, so let’s hear what you’ve been writing too!

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Fly, by Veronica Beedham

This poem by Society member Veronica Beedham was published in the Society’s Folio #73. Veronica’s Overton Prize winning pamphlet A Sense of Place is available from Loughborough University


It balances finely
on the fine edge
of the page,

its legs thinner
than print,
than ink.

Combs microscopic
dust from its eyes,
from tiny, hinged wings.

Its luminous body
is a finical artwork
in aquamarine,

studded with darkness,
almost Elizabethan.
Its antennae,

will keep it poised,
airborne in the space

just above this poem.

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A-level Philosophy & Ethics Paper 1, Question 4 – by Peppy Scott

Peppy Scott is a member of the Society who among many talents draws cartoons for the local paper. This timely poem was selected for our 2019 Folio #73.

A-level Philosophy & Ethics Paper 1, Question 4

Katie can't do anything nice without a public fuss.
Is "virtue-signalling" a vice? Discuss.

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Tintinhull, by Susan Wicks

Susan Wicks is one of the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society’s most widely published poets, with collections from Faber & Faber and Bloodaxe Books. Her forthcoming collection Dear Crane is due from Bloodaxe in 2021.


Less than two hundred miles and a few hours
for us to leave our own half-sleepless lives
for a flagstoned kitchen where the ghosts survive
to scratch their names into the windows' glass.

The children spread their toys across the rug
in what was once the parlour, by a coal fire's blaze,
their wooden railway threading between chairs.
Outside, the bones of winter trees and shrubs

and under them these clumps of bell-shaped flowers
hang silent; in the still rectangle of pond
our selves walk slowly upside-down like flies

towards the garden plot where cheerful volunteers
straighten their backs in welcome, just beyond
the eagles perched on pillars, their stone eyes.

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Asp Viper, By Clive Eastwood

Clive is the ex-chairman of the Society who 
now lives in Suffolk, but remains a member. 
This poem was selected for Folio #72 in 2018.

Asp Viper

It must be newly dead.
Its body turns, flexes
as I lift it. The tongue curls still
round a flake of scent -
or is that my unsteady hand
as I move it off the road?

I want the snake to be alive:
the kinked wishbones
patterning its back,
the taches like praying hands
either side of its skull. I want
to glimpse it disappearing,
to know by a rustle of leaves
that I am within inches.

I want unreasonably,
like a child, a townsman.
By day three, the corpse
is stiff, still looped
as I left it, with fire bugs
walking on its eyes.

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Second Chance, by Chris Renshaw

Chris Renshaw is a very active member of the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society’s committee. This poem was selected by our judge Tamar Yoseloff, for inclusion in the Folio #72 in 2018.

Second Chance

Suppose, then, knowing what you know,
you could leap back to the arms
of the first boy who loved you,
the boy with brown eyes, smiling for your photograph
in Wellington boots, camouflage jacket
and a prize carp heavy in his hands -
start again with
the boy your mother wanted you to marry,
who laughed a lot, whose kisses
were never quite exciting enough;

would you settle, now,
for the house by the river,
paddle with your children
in the soft brown shallows?

He might have stood back, then,
the dambreaker, homebuster,
seeing no way in,
turned his attention to wilder chases,
further along the stream.

Or would you again lose hold, let go
of the safe hands, slip downriver,
ride the fast current, end up again
as a homebreaker, hellraiser,
second time round? 

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Morning Swim in the North Sea, by Peppy Scott

This poem was published in Folio#72 in 2018. 
Peppy Scott is a member of the Kent and Sussex 
Poetry Society. Her website is at 
https://harridanswall.wordpress.com/ and on 
Twitter she is @PeppyScott, and describes herself 
as follows. Ex-waitress. Dabbles in poetry, 
humorous verse, illustration, cartoons, 
spoken word. Sometimes sings in public, badly. 
(Sings brilliantly in the car.)

Morning Swim in the North Sea

We picked a path across the pebbles
past the last high water mark
and popped the pods of bladder wrack
beneath our shingle-toughened feet
before, drawn East toward the shore
and morning's ritual immersion,
we bore the breathless shock of waves
that broke to wash our numbing skin,
baptised us with a salted sting,
called us, committed, deeper in.

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Cherry Blossom, by Geraldine Cousins

Geraldine’s poem was selected and published in our Folio #72, in 2018.

Cherry Blossom

On our doormat
my two shoes
made from lasts
and lasting thirty years
lie plastered with clay
one cast on its side
fraying laces loop
through eyelets
Tongues without speech

Through double glazing
and spattered rainbow droplets
I dream I see my father's shoes
neatly placed side by side
as it he wants to remind me
how his slender left hand
was inside one shoe
like a glove
while the right hand
brushed on cherry blossom
polish till they shone

Perhaps his pleasure
came from memories of years
dug into muddy trenches
I grieve to think
I can no longer 
reach him

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