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Stepping Stones

*
A publication of work produced by members of Survivors Writing Workshop.
Poems by Robert Crookham, Eveline Paulson, Harold Lamb, Mary Jones, John Clarke and Bato

The booklet also features stories by Alice Crookham, David McTigue, Mari Williams and Olga Shooter



Survivors Writing Workshop

meets on the second Monday of every month
2.00pm - 4.00pm at Allerton Library
junction of Allerton Road, Mather Avenue and Rose Lane : Liverpool L18 6HG.
For details contact
The Windows Project: 0151-709 3688
or Allerton Library: 0151-724 2987






STEPPING STONES

Skipping was considered cissy
To someone like Geronimo, yet
Medicine Mam told him,
"It's good for you, it'll keep you fit, Bob."
His efforts with a rope
Sometimes left him in a tangle, yet
He surpassed everyone when
Skipping from rock to rock
Without getting his feet wet,
Even more so when escaping from
Old Nick the parkie across the stream.

ROBERT CROOKHAM




HELEN

Helen twirled to show off her
new dress to her mother.
"It's lovely, darling. You look
gorgeous. Men will be
queuing up to take you
home tonight."

Later that evening Helen
reflected on her mother's words
as she walked alone
to the long line of taxis
waiting at the rank.

JOHN CLARKE


MUM'S THE WORD

Life is a jigsaw, a personal quest,
Everything had a place, a blunder made
A lesson learned as we strive to keep
The pace. We don't get instructions
Though we're given certain rules and
Thrown in at the deep end, it's probably
Par for the course no doubt, sometimes
Its hard to fend.

Then we come to a point for some reason
Or other, when we wonder what life's
All about, start sifting our priorities
And dealing with our doubts. We stop
Pursuing insignificant aims, begin
To look within. I wouldn't deny that it's
Difficult first, gradually it starts
To sink in.

We cannot crack it unless we let go
And hang in there with trust. Slowly
The pattern emerges, while a good sense
Of humour's a must. Don't attempt to
Compete this puzzle on earth, just
Appreciate your lot; thank God for all
Your treasures and everything you've got.
I've finally realised how special
I am, I must be, as I'm our Pat's Mam.

MARY JONES




**

In the park a small
dog with wet front paws barking
at Canada geese.


The last bus now gone
That moon trapped in a puddle
Gosh! No taxi fare.

BATO





UNDER THE BRIDGE

The wind howled, the rain lashed
With bitter force, as the youth crashed
Into his box, under the bridge,
And with others crammed on the ridge
Against the blackness of the night
He prayed to God with all his might
That he and they might live or die,
But, if living, with means to raise them high
Out of the gutter, the hunger and fear,
The soulless apathy which is here
Under the bridge, among the poor
Of this great city, whose dwellers ignore
The plight of those without hope, and pose
A problem which can be solved by those
With power, and kindness, and love,
And perhaps a miracle from God above.

EVELINE PAULSON



THE PENSIONERS' DO

I was cleaning the window on my pensioner's flat
When along came my neighbour - the nice Mr Platt.
"Good-day Mrs Moore," he gave a shy glance,
"I wonder if you'd like to come to a dance?

I've got an invite to my old firm's do.
I can take a friend. I thought immediately of you."
He stood all coy with his hat in his hand.
He said, "There'll be turns as well as a band.

It's only for pensioners, would you like to go?"
I had to say, "Yes." I couldn't say, "No."
Then passing Roy Castle's Charity shop
I saw what I wanted and came to a stop.

I spotted a two-piece and a blue and white hat.
I thought, for the night out, I would like that.
I went in the shop to have a look round
A notice said, Everything's going for a pound.

So, I bought the suit and also the hat -
I wanted to look good for the nice Mr Platt.
The moment arrived with a knock on the door
I opened it up and he gasped, "Mrs Moore."

He took my hand, kissed me on the cheek
I felt my knees go suddenly weak.
I'll always remember that special night -
The night I danced with my Mr Right.

Next morning a knock. It sounded so bold.
He stood there, in his hand a box of "Old Gold."
He said, "Shall we marry?" I nodded my head
And ever since then I've had breakfast in bed.


HAROLD LAMB



POCKET FULL OF BRASS

By the roadside in the grass -
Gold!
It was bigger then his fist,
Parts of it were rough and knobbly
Yet the smooth head felt cool to his cheek.
He rubbed it on his trousers till it gleamed,
Till he saw his own grinning distorted reflection.
For a few days he felt the weight in his pocket,
Thinking often what it would be worth.
Enough to buy a bike or a pair of roller skates,
Perhaps he could buy them both and a big bag of sweets.
"Day dreaming again boy," said the teacher.
Later the headmaster entered the classroom,
With him was the village bus driver
Who asked if anyone had found
A brass radiator cap.

ROBERT CROOKHAM

Stepping Stones © The Windows Project 2003 : ISBN: 0 946057 14 1
The right of the individual writers to be identified as the authors of these poems and this book has been asserted by them under Section 77 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
The Windows Project acknowledges financial support for Survivors Writing Workshop from:
Arts Council England: North West, Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Mental Health Awareness Project.