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The Red Rascal Strawberry An anthology of poetry from the Young Poets Network First Published in 2012 by Silkworms Ink 24 Wellington Avenue Worcester Park KT4 8TQ Published online by Issuu Typeset by Phil Brown All rights reserved Š Young Poets Network, 2012 The right of the named authors to be identified as creators of this work has been asserted in accordance with Section 77 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

Contents Introduction



Memories of a Storm by Hannah Lawrence I remember the other side of the wall by Bob Horton The House That Used to be Mine by Catherine Hodgson Untitled by Madelaine Hanson A Single Sparrow by Samantha Giles Memory: Another Day by Lucy Ann Smith Child’s Bed by Augustine Cerf Untitled by Angus Smith Nightmare by Ankita Saxena Souvenirs RappelÊ by Guntaj Arora


5 6 8 10 11 13 14 15 16 18

Introduction Welcome to The Red Rascal Strawberry an anthology of poems written in response to the Great Memory Animator challenge on the Young Poets Network. The poems all recall a vivid place and were written by 11-16 year olds in response to the challenge set by Daljit Nagra. This anthology will take you on a tour of homes and landscapes, from bright and luxurious gardens through to exciting and sinister buildings. The title of this collection is taken from the poem Souvenirs Rappelé by Guntaj Arora. Young Poets Network The Young Poets Network is a project from the Poetry Society and if:book, offering workshops, advice and support for readers and writers of poetry aged 1325.      

Memories of a storm I remember, Remember the day, The day when the beast came. I remember the lustrous claws that struck and destroyed, The bellow of its call. The fearsome grin, looking over the devastation it caused. I remember when the pack members came. Wanting their share of the feast. Their cackles of laughter and joy. I remember when the pack members danced, Leaping round, round and round. Celebrating catastrophe caused. I remember when I felt scared, Scared that they were going to chase me. Scared that they were going to eat me, I remember when they went away. Away from me. Away from here. Hannah Lawrence, 15

I Remember the other Side of the Wall The garden served little purpose It sprawled across the bored ground, despondent beneath the yawning sun My mother would wail her annual rage At the snarling weeds that softly smothered the flowers How I loved those flowers Rejected footballs perplexed the lawn Their obtuse hulks spoiling that ripple of green I found a four leafed clover there once He poked his obscure head above his brothers: a suicide mission to bring me luck They are all dead now I didn’t waste nearly enough time reclined on that jealous cushion Watching the lethargic clouds wobble on But most otiose of all in that seldom wandered paradise was the Wall That Wall was never high enough I see it from my back door Squat, depressed, sighing, each dusty clot of red brick seems so lifeless Doomed to live out the rest of its days as a failure: All flung balls that compressed their rubbery bodies against it would soon vault over It crudely bookended the busily neat hedge Simply because that was where the drunken soil ran out It failed too at its chief instruction: Be the purgatory bridge between Our heaven and Their hell But the Wall was never high enough

I remember the other side of the Wall How I crouched in filth Needless to be afraid of a cut from a single blade of grass Impoverished chickens clucked in the squalor How they survived such malnourishment awed me The friends I thought I had there cheated me And I ran from that disastrous place Where chaos twisted the agonised branches of the hedge we shared But it followed me like an age old Gypsy curse Even today, a writhing, mewing splodge of night will sit on the Wall Looking too fat for its own fur coat It will viciously attack the thin air for a while Perhaps accept a stroke but, seeing no morsel, wander home But I am not spared For I can see its wasteland kingdom from my window It was not an evil place But the Wall was never high enough Bob Horton, Aged 16

The House That Used to be Mine My bedroom has a star-weighted ceiling And a powder-purple bathroom. The study smells of hot wires and melting plastic And the garage, citied by spiders Neighbours the utility room, Humming a steady tune with its washing machine Opposite us, The council flats smell of old and mould. Their children scream out laughs Clogged with dust Like a vacuum cleaner spitting its contents back up And there’s a house at the end of the road It’s been empty for centuries, millennia The big, bad kids, I heard, Smoke weed in the living room And just round the corner from the weed-house Lies a convent, sleeping. It snores, but never wakes I never saw a single person come out of that place. The old school is a ghost building It howls in the winter and cackles in the summer But never opens its eyes. If I walk past, I can breathe in the chalk And the old laughter that emanates From the swings

The summerhouse in the garden Is housed by flies and beetles and I never touch it. It smells of damp, and The wood of the door softens at the Slightest brush of my hand. The ash tree that shades the grass Creaks on stormy nights It is summer-pressured, and expectant. When I was seven, I promised it a tree house And shook its smooth, baby-soft branch To seal the deal: When I was eight, We moved away And I never saw its towering trunk Again. Catherine Hodgson 15

Untitled I cast off The worn cocoons Of faded silk, The pale stream Of broken satin cascades to my heelsA vivid momentA perfect startA beautiful memoryAs I tie the laces of the perfect seams. I standNo longer

Do I wince and fallUp I rise, Tall and majesticHigh from thee floor and my weary heelsA reborn limb Rises and fallsA perfect lie Raw joy New hopeIn an empty room I dance alone Beside my now discarded shoes. Madelaine Hanson, 16

A single sparrow A small preious gem, Glazed, glistening like warm honey. A rich, sweet, comfort comprised between my finger and thumb. One single sparrow. Over time you chipped and fell. My mother wished to throw you away to the pits of a lonely, darken dustbin. But I kept you all the same. My comfort blanket consealing Treasures of my mind in your Old china eyes, pigmented black. You still stand tall and proud While the sun's raise beams off You mirrored shell. From one tender touch upon Your cold, smooth body, Like a pebble washed up from The sea's ruff rage upon satin sand, Unlocks my life before my eyes, Memory's wave floods my heart and mind once more. You are more than just a humble object,

You are my life, My sorrow, My joy, My grief, Comprised within One single sparrow. By Samantha Giles age 16

Memory: Another Day Leather smelling school bag Heavy with an immensity of books Soft welcoming handle, covered in black and invaded by large white colonies Grab a book from the dusty finger feeling bookshelf Grasp the cold golden handle Feel the soft beige carpet hugging in between my tiny toes Down the hard white wooden stairs, light below my feet but eccentric floor boardlike creaking Into the warm toast scented, salivary hugging kitchen Down on to the soft comforting chair Soon after Up again in fast uproar in the overbearingly warm room, gentle voices all in an accelerated pace Out the large double glazing glass door Observe Left, the gone off fruit smelling, thin and brown bins Right, the manure smelling vegetable patch, the warm and squidgy soil underneath waiting to be touched with the cold winter frost Down the grey cemented path, strong with the powerful smell of bleach Morning sun; dim pale yellow light Pull open the old, orange and wooden gate, rough with decayed wood against my soft peachy hands Out into another day. Lucy Ann Smith, 16

Child’s Bed. Bottom of the bunk bed, smothered in mother’s beige taste, where I arranged and rearranged fluffy company to engulf me. You used to sleep on top in all your superiority and scorn me as I squealed at incandescent flashed and fleeting engine growls I mistook for felons; I weeped for days when you left, you escaped me while I ached at the hospital, a silent creeping criminal, eager to grow up. I could see the board games from this very bed; they moaned at me with contempt in all my grief and puerile jealousy. I was tormented for months by these wailing voices, like my mother and her mother and all things paranoid. All sounds became distorted to bark at me in monotones; I should never have dismantled your possessions or broken your things. Because of this I could never sleep. I merely arranged and rearranged my precious toys with their absurd names and listened as you slept and wept. Augustine Cerf, 16

Untitled As the roses grow through the field, When I leave you I cannot cope apart. Radiant beauty you are my shield, You are the beautiful flame of warmth to my heart. Every day I doubt that I can be right, You hold the key of my heart at your will. As the sun sets the world shuts down for the night, But as I fall asleep, you are there still. I thought that true love was only for fairy tales, I never thought that the princess could love me. My love for you darling is off the scales, In the day you are all I want to see. Although I may and must ultimately die, My love for you is eternal you and I. Angus Smith, 11

Nightmare I remember darkness, being lost in a ghost-white sheet, too big for me; the feeling of atmosphere as I kicked at it, wriggling, wanting to escape to that place where I would be safe in my home-made cocoon. I must have sat there for an houror more, but time was no longer man-made, it was an invisible pulse, nocturnal, eternal, embedded in the darkness a silent predator with only one prey. I remember the moth- flickering side to side, making my eyes follow, hypnotized, like a pendulum hanging off an invisible string. All I see is the darknessswelling up like the moon-less sky I imagined it was. The darkness- creeping out of the agar bathroom door, ready to suck me into the land of cockroaches and bath monsters.

My fingers fumbled for filled space, but every time they moved, I remember their shadows- black as the darkness- making me numb, my own shadows making me cry. Black holes now make me forget; my own memory playing illusions on mebut I know that there was darkness that night over a decade ago. I know that the pale pink blinds which I always hid behind, now hid me from reality and light. I know that the ghost-white sheet, which always kept me warm, now haunted my shivering bones. I know that my own infant brain, which always told me stories, now left me alone to scramble through the darkness, with only the slow tick-tock of time to keep me company. Ankita Saxena, 16

Souvenirs RappelĂŠ I remember those sweet nauseous mangoes, Blustering in the sun's heat in the backyard. I remember the rascal red strawberries, My grams planted beside the tree lime. I remember the raspy cuckoo clock, Chattering after every quite round. I remember that stuffed off base young man, Whom I tend to cling every night. I remember dark chocolate brown table, Whom I tried to nosh as a toddler. And I remember every little souvenir, That takes me upon my first house. Guntaj Arora, 15

The Red Rascal Strawberry  

An Anthology of Poetry from The Young Poets Network

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