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The final poetry competition since January at our  Open Mic's resulted in a joint presentation of Highly Commended

certificates for Ellen McKenna and Joe McGinley with the overall winner and cash prise of £30 Jay Rafferty.

Below are their respective entries. See notice of a 'Winner's take All'  competition also.


Winner of June's competition Jay Rafferty's entry. 

In Italy they Serve Beer at McDonald’s

We spent January in an intimate city,

a haunted city, where the old brick

buildings are made of the grave

-stones that once stood in their place,

a city burned and built up more times

than Micky D’s have served Happy Meals,

a city with more antiquities in its river

than in most countries national museums.

So, naturally, we found the nearest Irish bar.

At four AM, we spilled out to the street,

half cut and stumbling and starving.

The pubs poured us last dregs out.

We learned who was with who

by the metronome sync of their legs.

You and I, poor pilgrims in the Holy city,

went to find God or the Golden Arches.

Whichever showed up first.

It was the latter. We ate nuggets and burgers

(no pickles grazie) at the Trevi Fountain, tossed

fries to the hungry pennies in its pools, got some odd stares

from the carabinieri, neither of whom offered to help me back

to my feet once I fell flat on my face. I wonder

if there’s a paving-gravestone with an impression

of my mug yet, like a fresco, a silhouette

in ketchup. Or if there’s stale fries floating still

in the fountain’s tank, too far from

a pigeon’s beak or a tourist’s belly.


Ellen McKenna's Highly Commended entry.

Life is What You Make It.


Our existence can be so boring.

The same routine, day after day,

Treading the hamster wheel of life.

We start off,

We get up, go to school, sleep, repeat.

We mature,

We get up, go to work, sleep, repeat.

We retire,

We get up, do nothing, sleep, repeat.

Yet we are told that variety is the spice of life,

So that is my remedy for the banality of life.

I try to

Do something different each week,

Plan things to look forward to,

Learn something new, that takes a bit of effort,

Open my mind to fresh ideas.

Life is too short to be curtailed

By petty restrictions of our own making.

So, we should all break out of our boxes,

Add variety to our lives,

Then enjoy them to the full. 


Joe McGinley's Highly Commended entry. 

The spice of life

It’s said that variety is the spice of life, but me I’m not so certain

Just yesterday I went to buy a coat and came home with a pair of curtains

Why o why is there so much choice, it’s enough to drive you up the wall, the day’s of small, medium & large are gone, & so is one size fits all

The lady behind the counter said I don’t think we have them in stock, I said it’s either me or the moths but I’m down to my last pair of socks.

Her reply was very quick she said when I get home I should check online, see I remember hanging them out & I’m dam sure they’re not all mine

So if you want to make your life more interesting & it’s variety your after,

Get yourself down to the open mic for it’s jam packed with fun & laughter.



A big thank you for all who entered our competition over the last months. The quality and variety of writing was a treat to read and at times

difficult for the judges to agree on. It offers those writers a chance to read their poetry, soak up the live reaction from the audience and get some recognition for their efforts. Hopefully this will spur you on to and keep poetry live! 

We are to hold a 'Winner takes All' competition for all those who received Highly Commended cert's or who won outright over the  last months. This will be judged by an invited and well know poet and the winning prize of £100 presented at September's Open Mic. 

Previous winners and HC certificate winners will be notified by email  with all the details to enter. Check your junk in the coming days. Good luck!