Friday, 12 January 2018

punch drunk dreams

punch drunk dreams : SM Jenkin
punch drunk dreams

those languid peach dreams
recall light in petals
his honey drunk friends
sing deliriously
but never
could she have

Fridge poem by SM Jenkin

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Words of the month: Skull, Ghost, Twitch

The Veil Blinks by SM Jenkin

Photo:Pixabay (creative commons)
The veil blinks,
is noticed to twitch, 
once, from the other side
as children dance from
door to door,
cheap plastic caressing
their faces; 
skulls, green drowned
faces melting into innocent
necks. Tonight, it’s 
dad’s turn
and he is glad there have been
no sexy vampires, yet.
It was their game, 

And he watches from the gate,
as some other man’s child wobbles 
past in a dirty white duvet,
scissored holes for eyes.
And he chances a brief look
at his watch, feeling the 
hour hand spinning 
like a helicopter,
lifting his hand.
Until the veil twitches
shut again, for another year.
And he didn’t think of her

Inspired by Lisa Vigor’s Inspirational words of the month, Oct 2017  #Ghost #Twitch #Skull as posted by Lisa on youtube here

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Admiral's Tea Party

One thing that seems to slip many peoples minds is that the majority of Chatham dockyard is based in neighboring Gillingham (New Brompton).

From the beginnings of old Gillingham as a fishing village, there has been a strong naval tradition in the area. You can imagine there is a lot of naval history that is unknown about the area, or not widely known. One of the most surprising things that I have found out is that the Admiral of the whole British fleet held "fabulous" tea parties on the lawn of his residence on the lower lines park. (I'm still quite surprised that he lived in Gillingham).

Admiral's tea party

To celebrate and illuminate this history, Sam of Wordsmithery fame is helping local people create a show commissioned as part of the Paint The Town Festival to be performed at the Lower Lines Park in Gillingham on Saturday, 8 July.

A day-long workshop is planned at the Brook Theatre on Saturday, 24 June for people who would like to take part. To book or for further info contact

See this article about the Great Lines Admiral's Gardens by the Kent Gardens Trust

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Turning the tide at Turner

When did it happen? I was convinced that the Medway poets had moved on and for poetry now you had to look to London. But here we are - drowning in a sea of artistic talent in Medway. I was wrong. And now I've discovered the Thanet poets are giving it some.

Lava drips into the sea, Hawaii big island
Image credit: S.M Jenkin
My perception is that the Medway poets of the 70s moved around much in pubs. As much as I can admire pub culture - and frequently do - I've noticed that something has changed. We're being noticed outside of the pubs now.

Among the pub and cafe events, there's a regular poetry gig at the Turner Gallery, run by the extraordinarily energetic Neanderthal Bard. Does this mean we're respectable now? I'm not entirely convinced that poets should be. Aren't we supposed to say the unsayable? Are we anything more than an event that ticks some funding box?

Try the Neanderthal Bard's social media feed - his listing of events is not to be missed. It's one way of holding onto the horses neck on the current merry go round of open mics, poetry slams and gigs.

Either way I'm going to be reading at the poetry gig at the Turner on Sunday, 9 July. The event (please note the new date) will be part of the Margate Festival. The poetry starts at 1pm. See you there...?


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Where the Medway Delta meets The World....

Coming soon, Issue #4 of Confluence Medway... Where the Medway Delta Meets The World.

Portmeirion estuary in early morning
Portmeirion Estuary: S.M Jenkin
Issue #4 is shaping up well, prose and poems beautifully illustrated by Duncan Grant.

Submissions for Issue #5 are now open and the deadline is 12 July 2017. There is no theme so you can send any short stories/prose, short plays and poetry on any topic.

Only original unpublished work submitted by the author will be considered. If you would like your work to be considered for inclusion in the next edition, email your submission as an attachment to: confluencemedway(at) with ‘POETRY / PLAY / STORY TITLE by NAME’ in the subject line. (Eg ‘6 poems by Wanda Wax’ / ‘Waiting for Charlie by Herbert Berry’.)

In your email please include your full contact details including postcode, and a short biography, no more than 50 words

More details about how to submit work to Confluence are available from the Confluence Blog.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Inspirational Nights - Let's play!

Join Lisa Vigour at the one and only interactive open mic night in Medway. Come to perform or to appreciate the silken words and notes woven onstage for your pleasure.

Can't think of anything to say or to play? Pick one of the prompts on a peg and get going, you may surprise yourself...

Inspirational night open mic, Rochester
Inspirational Nights Rochester, Kent
Mics and PA are provided. There is a piano at the venue you'll be welcome to play. If you want to play another instrument please bring it. All performers at this event get a free drink...

The next Inspirational Night will be at the Northern Seaman on 18 May 2017, from 8.30pm onwards. The Northern Seaman is at 378 Rochester Highstreet, ME1 1DJ Rochester, Medway.

Inspirational Nights are held on the third Thursday of every month. It's a lovely relaxed atmosphere. Come and play.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Kochi Fish Cemetery - a warning

You will find a fish cemetery on display at Fort Kochi South Beach, behind the Dutch cemetary.

Image credit: SM Jenkin
It's a beautiful installation created by artists Manoj Brahmamangalam and Pramod Gopalakrishnanan, described as "a warning, for the sustenance of life". 

Dr V Kripa, head of Fishery Environmental and Management Division principal scientist at the CMFRI says. “Plastic has become one of the biggest threats to aquatic ecosystems and their resources...Large plastic sheets have been found in the stomach of mackerel, tuna, queen fish, ribbon fish and whale, which clearly indicates that plastic has entered our marine food chain"

It beautifully illustrates the damage done to our ecosystem by the dumping of plastic waste on land, but is it necessary? Don't we know this by now, or is it a case of a problem being seen as "out of sight, out of mind...?"

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Confluence Launch Party - 28 August

Confluence is being launched soon - where the Delta meets the world...

Come join us for a smorgasbord of verbal delights Sunday, 28 August at Only Connect 32 Cubitt Street, London, WC1X 0LR
Confluence Medway

It's FREE and with an open mic available on the night ready to be filled.

We'll be using material from our debut edition, but we'll be looking for contributions for our second edition, due October 2016...

Confluence Medway - online
Confluence Medway - Facebook

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Blogging and competitions

After a long break, I've started to send out work to competitions and for consideration for publication. I have come across some restrictions on what I can send out that I haven't encountered before, and I find it somewhat perplexing.

Computer and mouse

Some editors now consider work posted to blogs etc as self-published and therefore ineligible for their prize or their magazine. Others go further and consider work posted to social media as being "published". I can understand why editors will want to limit their input to material that has not been published elsewhere, avoiding the "I can get it free somewhere else so why bother buying". This also limits the possibility - perhaps - of plagiarism and the messy business of trying to put it right.

However, the restrictions on material published online in forums/ social media is proving difficult for people who want to workshop material, especially those facing barriers to joining the traditional ways of work shopping new material. For those of us without a suitable editor/ critical friend, or the chance to join a writers group, how do we access a suitable critique? If there aren't any writers groups meeting locally, or if our work pattern or caring responsibilities means we can't go, what then?

Writers don't work alone - we are a part of a community. How do you manage to get feedback from your friends without self publishing on shared sites?
Picture sourced from Pixabay

Friday, 17 June 2016

Confluence Medway - looking for submissions

Confluence, where the Delta meets The World

Confluence Medway Magazine

Do you have poetry, short plays or short stories that you would like to share?  A new online writing magazine from the fabulous team at Wordsmithery is looking for contributions. They will publish four times a year (August, October, February and May)

The team are looking for submissions from "the Delta and beyond" - within a shout of "the river"

The topic for Issue one is "memento fluvium" or "remember the river". Be as free with this as you wish - the deadline is midnight on 15 July 2016

More details on how to submit work can be found here confluence medway - submissions

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Tim Peake will be a changed man

Tim Peake's set to return to Earth on 18th June 2016. He's been a terrific ambassador, with frequent messages to the media and especially to schools.

When he returns it will be interesting to see how much of his changed perspective he will be able to share. It goes beyond the scientific ideas, the practical matters of living in such a stressful and noisy environment with the weight of expectation on his shoulders.

Tim Peace spacewalk selfie
Tim Peake's spacewalk selfie

Looking back at the planet, what kind of thoughts will he be having about the world he'll be returning to? He's mentioned before how very different space looks without any light pollution.   How many people are going to be prepared to listen to his ideas, once he's seen how fragile our little shared ball of of rock is? Oh, to be a fly on the wall during those conversations.

I think that there great capacity for space to help provide some solutions towards the need to secure a clean, sustainable energy source. One example is the space solar power project (SSP). The cost so set it up would seem to be a barrier - but compared to the cost of not exploring it's potential? With the right levels of co-operation this could become a reality. The question is, who is going to take that chance and begin to work together....?

Return date listed on the esa principia mission blog here