Manners Maketh Man

John Carroll

It’s a forgotten truth that
Manners Maketh Man
Not brains, nor brawn,
But heart and character,
The practice of virtue and chivalry.

It’s to show generosity, to be
Kind, even harshest of times,
To be the light during the
Darkest of days
That makes one Good

No wealth, nor gold
Nor sparkling jewels or
Shining gems can buy
True quality, for strong character
Is the most valuable fortune

Remember, my friend, it’s with
Heart, honesty and good intentions,
That’s what makes you a hero,
And all it takes to put words to actions,
Is a random act of kindness.

When one forgives their enemies,
Sets aside petty differences, forgets past grudges,
To hold the door to let the other go through,
To do even the simplest act of kind at any opportunity
One can say they do have manners

And that’s what makes us human,
It’s not about our physical strengths,
Our intelligence or our looks,
It’s the good heart pumping beneath the flesh
That makes us all unique

So, part this day, with this one message,
When your enemy throws insults, forgive them,
When they swing fists, keep moving forward,
Kill with kindness, not with sticks or stones,
For those who have manners, know through virtue

Colour-Blind

John Carroll

Many people come from many places,
Some are tall, others are short,
Some are ugly, while others handsome

Some come from the north, others from the south,
Some are pale, others are dark,
While many are somewhere in between

But, in the end, it doesn’t really matter, does it?
You can come from anywhere, be of any race,
Yet, in the end, Love still comes,

Because, in truth, Love is colour-blind.

When the Fire Takes the Day

Paul Swaine

With the ocean beset on your arrival,
You have sunken far below its depths.
It has claimed too many, drowned, slain, enraptured.
With three figures tense, for you’re all well met.
This Iron-clad, the gilded mare
You feel yourself give in and the atoms cheer at your demise.
The chains have held, only to hear
A bleak glimpse, as they fade into and out of this reality, nightmare.

Its time. No more confronting your vulnerabilities.
The three you see before you, one titan to your left, the hollowed eyes to your right, dripping with oil and fire to the touch.
And the void, Virgil is waiting bereft.
The steel in your hand imbued, cries for itself:

“You have given more, much more. Than this foul swamp ripe and lust with anger.
To decide who will take you, your fate, take your chance. To see you as nothing, brings pain and lost hope to this sanctum that I bare. I cannot leave you in this wretched state, your mortal glass is worth a thousand utterings of Soteria, of salvation, of ever-lasting courage. I beset you, look upon the golden scape of roses, of treasure and make sure to see yourself. In this daylight. In this moonlight, you are an ever-guiding star of no depletion, only elation.

This is the stasis. The only truth you’ll ever need. Those that all pass between these cinders, Tried or Trifle. But you will not fall. Let these fires be your weapon, your light, your maw at which the open mouth gazes and tell them ‘Get Out! Get Out of Here! You are nothing!’, with these, these leviathans in your way. I grant you, you may lay waste.”

And as the sword’s cry turns to roar,
Your wounds have healed through marvel of invention.
The steel is now yours, waging against the High Gods. The crowd can see this, they have mustered support from bare bones and lost veins. As you gain your legs to kneel, With one hand on hilt and the other beckons on.

You are standing. Commanding more, entrenched in your aura.
The air as fresh as it was the night before. The three stand in your way.
Only to find who you are. They know, once you’ve come this far.
To challenge, they only revel in defeat; but you dare not raise your sword.
Only to pass through. To never see them again as you move on.

As you feel the black rain hit your skin, this armor has shifted into your mortal being.
And in it you will find. A sacred teaching, that you are indispensable, you are unmatched and forever immortal.
This is your time, this is your land.
And whatever shall arrive, I shall be there.
Beside you…

Every Wednesday Night

John Carroll

I go to the same place every Wednesday night,
I sit in the same spot,
And talk to the same people.
Sometimes we talk about writing,
Sometimes we talk about complete and utter nonsense,
Who knows what could happen each week?
However, one thing is certain about the society;
About five minutes in, I will always ask the same question
“Does anyone want a biscuit?”

February 14th

Rebecca Joyce

February 14th – the worst date imaginable.
Merely a day PDA is forgiven;
Random gestures of love to your darling;
Revolting notes written in private
To be exchanged in public.

Why must we celebrate this day?
Why is there a need to remind
Those of what they do not have?
Sick, sad, twisted, tormenting, disgustingly
Undignified. Absolutely no purpose.

“Only a sad old sod would say such a thing.”
“A being that dares not to feel for fear of heartbreak”
“A being that’s heart is already torn”-
Arguable, of course.

Valentine’s day me eye!
February 14th, the day after yesterday
And the day before tomorrow.
I long for love no more today than yesterday
And less tomorrow than both.

Death’s Hourglass

Tadhg Flinter

Death studied the hourglass that lay on its side. The more it looked, the more unsettled and confused it felt. This wasn’t like normal, Death was usually so organised. Death went over to the hourglass and picked it up and looked at the sand sitting there, motionless. It was curious as to who’s hourglass it was. When Death looked, a wave of relief washed over it. It was Life’s hourglass. It lay sideways; if Life’s time came to end, so would Death’s. Placing the hourglass back the way it was found, Death left the room.

Defenceless

Anonymous

Waiflike wasting away by the waistline,
fine hair matted and pulled to the side.
Front door facing I’m tracing a lifetime, lockdown stops me before I can hide.

Wine over dinner you’re thinner than healthy,
shelter your innocence,
let yourself in.

These ribs will protect you
I cannot reject you
who pried through my door with no more than a grin.

Scarred and The Scholar

Paul Swaine

Make me Weak too. Drag, Drag through rivers lost. tan tan
Lines of Blacken’d Dirt. Dirt. I eat the morsel; foul few
Dare to Break me. Hurt…. Hurt; En lost Soldier. Man! Man!
Soul for Sword. I’ll Kill! You. The Reverent word woe.

Mark the Books few. Good Night. The Pharoah knew of no
Speakers Muzzle. Trite, Trite, Heard the Owl caw. met met
Lion’s in Halls left. Ruby, Red. My Mind’s own seat, gone froe
Arms and Legs Meek. Kill Me. The Voice utters death, death, death.

The Tempest grail does cease for those who try.
Their lives without the meaning. Truth, Of life.

These shaking lights, will never stop to cull.
“How Hollow You Are” makes me feel so full.

The Right Hand of the Enemy; The Righteous Hand of God

-Paul Swaine

Faith. The red wine tastes like blood,
The kindred sky takes no glance.
Each day, dyed with my shoes a flavored mud.
“Look through the pane”, just to see them dance and dance.
They call me the hindered, callous. I am the catered trance,
To secrete me a fool, find time for your trap.
Contribute to your charity, while dining in France.
“Lyon and Nice, Such a great place this time of” Oh crap,
The beggar dead. “Eat of his flesh while it’s still warm!” Don’t bat.
Not even once. Or I will show you your Papal. Your bull.

Don’t call me the hateful spirit. This is only me.
Oh Faith, your twists and shape are heavenly.
Divine. Comedy. For this place, rests where the final dwell
For this parade of colors, no quarter-light district. Dia de Muertos, ahh… just rat’s alley.
A dark, ever-changing Navy. A man, helpless, without contribution fell
Into……..O…….. The Dragon’s Sea. Its scales and shred are ceaseless,
Tear and maim, just to re-grow and re-arm with the Dunce’s fee.
A digression, “Do you hear this music Faith? Chopin…” I guess it’s just me.
That echo, that sweet song seems to call, from my ages. “Weakness!”

“Slave! Your iridescence! Endothermic! Void and shapeless!”
Faith… Those words you speak.. It’s not you.
This mechanoid, struggles for your release. As I put two…..
Straight into your knees (you slump down, draining), and in your shoulders (Brief agony, grown respite), and one finally in your head.
Fresh from my 1877, seems to burn my unblinking eye
Staring at you. In Wonderment. As I find
A wall to shelter my frayed spineless nature, with everyone
Leaping, emitting, trampling each other for survival of the fittest.
I Reload.
My older brothers have done much less harm but still can be blamed.
I don’t know how many more shells, I will hear hit the floor.
How many more will I taste? And when they’ve come for me.
And all the King’s horses and all the King’s men.
Destiny is the one, who I shall embrace…

Trainwreck

Saikeerthi Naidu
– This piece was written in around 10/15 minutes, inspired by a writing prompt during our weekly meetup

Something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I turned and immediately wished I hadn’t. It was too late now, and I couldn’t look away—she was a trainwreck. She looked like she crawled out of a Goodwill dumpster for a breath of fresh air, a monster emerging from the bog. Her jeans were faded, but not fashionably, and was that a hole in the inner thigh? The blue was mixed in with years of grime, so ingrained in the fabric it was as if she fell into a puddle running late to class every day of her life. Her fuzzy pullover smelled like sweat, strings lose and dangling, material shedding off like dandruff. Had she ever heard of a shower? Her middle school wardrobe needed an update. Her boots were caked with drying mud, light brown blades of grass stuck to them and splayed out like a craggly, veiny old hand reaching up to catch her ankle, and drag her into a ditch. Her hair was an abandoned rat’s nest, and the rat was going to be featured on Hoarders but then died underneath the tendrils. Her dark circles, the size of golf club bags, only made her sunken eyes look deeper in her skull. Veins branched out under the papery skin below her eyes—beady little marbles, skittish, shifting and scared, like she knew she didn’t belong. Scared of what? There was literally nothing here to be scared of. Ridiculous.
“Hey, are you okay?” my friend asked.
I blinked and my reflection, the sad creature, blinked back. “Yeah, let’s go.”