Monthly Archives: August 2020

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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