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Issue 52 2 9th Feb 20


Next RB Libra W Work ry sh Mond op a 12th F y eb 2018 1.30 s tart


FLASH FICTION Random Words: orange, drag, gone, maelstrom, mystery, allotment, modern, Chesterfield, spire Assignment: Wild Geese Memory Work: 500 words on markets/fairs/car boots etc

A warm welcome awaits. COME to WORKSHOP ... Rising Brook Library Workshops 1.30 start Mondays (closed on Bank Holidays)

are considering a s er p p o sh rk o W RBW project for 2018. FLASH FICTION ns of MARKETS tio o n e th ith w g n yi They are pla TOS emories and PHO m s, a e Id . S E L A S and CAR BOOT st ... would be of intere



Latest News: Helen Dunmore wins Costa Book of the Year | 31-Jan-18 Poet wins posthumous honour. Poetry Librarian joins jury for Forward Prizes 2018 | 29-Jan-18 Chris McCabe, Poetry Librarian at the National Poetry Library, joins judging panel. Who has published where this month? | 29-Jan-18 List of the poets and articles published in UK and Irish magazines received by The National Poetry Library January 2018 Ledbury Poetry Festival returns for 2018 | 17-Jan-18 The UK's biggest poetry festival will take place on 29 June - 8 July 2018. Ocean Vuong wins the TS Eliot Prize | 16-Jan-18 Vuong's debut collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds scoops the £25,000 prize. Latest Competitions: Coast to Coast to Coast Competition | Closing Date: 10-Feb-18 Would you like a small portfolio of your poems stitched between hand made covers and published by Coast to Coast to Coas... The York Literature Festival / Open Poetry Competition 2018 | Closing Date: 25-Feb-18 Andrew McMillan is the sole judge, and the prize money has been increased, with a £600 first prize on offer. A run... Christopher Tower Poetry Competition 2018 | Closing Date: 02-Mar-18 All UK students, between 16-18, are encouraged to enter the 2016 Christopher Tower poetry competition. This year?s theme... Jane Martin Poetry Prize 2018 | Closing Date: 19-Mar-18 Girton College, University of Cambridge, is delighted to invite entries for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize. Now in its eig... The Federation of Writers Scotland Vernal Equinox Competition 2018 | Closing Date: 31-Mar-18 Three categories, poetry (any number of poems, no more than 40 lines each), short stories (any number of stories between... New Magazines: Eye Flash Poetry Journal

Observation: Special treatment? How nice of Richard Branson to lay on a Virgin pendolino from London yesterday for me, which bore the name ‘Penny the Pendolino’. Not everyone has a train named after them! Random Words: flagpole, steadfast, Brittany, bread, elastic, bottle, ruse, cryptocurrency Charles was a banker and a steadfast Royalist, so that when his firm moved him to Brittany, the first thing he did was to put up a flagpole in his new garden, to fly the Union Jack. He didn’t like France at all, or anything French, and his new colleagues asked why he’d taken the job. “Money of course, old chaps. Cryptocurrency is where it’s at these days, and sadly, this place is where it’s all going on. One must be elastic in terms of employment and go where the work is.” His workmates were sad about his attitude and thought up a clever ruse to change Charles’s mind. They invited him to a staff get-together and laid on food which consisted of stale, white sliced bread and cheap plonk, which had been watered down, alongside crisp French sticks and a bottle or two of the finest Burgundy. Charles enjoyed several glasses and became quite mellow. “Some French things not so bad, eh?” they grinned. Charles was forced to agree. (PMW)


AT LAST, SUNSHINE Sun-shine has reached my garden, Overhead the sky is blue, Blackbirds call each other, Seagulls out there too! The lawn is strewn with wind-blown pots And evidence of dog! The grass not fit to walk on, Too much like a bog. Greenhouse has mildewed windows, The patio needs a clean, Snowdrops popping up everywhere Amidst the spikes of green. So many irksome jobs to do, To dig, to rake, to chop, To brush, to clean and put to rights, That straggly hedge to lop. But now that January’s over, Tiny hint of spring is there, It’s time to go outside And sit on a garden chair. Direct my own dear husband List the jobs he has to do, To make the garden experience, Fit for me to view. By August, we’ll be ready, All flowers we like in bloom. To entertain friends and family, On a summer’s afternoon!




Doors is the theme of the 2018 RBW Poetry Collection Have YOU sent in your Submission? This project will be closing very soon. If you intend to submit Please do so NOW ... Thank you.

The 12th international WELSH POETRY competition is now open and accepting entries! This year we shall be offering the following prizes: 1st Prize – £500 2nd Prize – £250 3rd Prize – £100 plus 17 runners up prizes of being published on our website and in a future anthology. Our judge for 2018 will be Sally Spedding. To enter just visit our website and download an entry form. Closing date: Sunday 27th May 2018


I From fairest creatures we desire increase, That thereby beauty's rose might never die, But as the riper should by time decease, His tender heir might bear his memory: But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes, Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel, Making a famine where abundance lies, Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel: Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament, And only herald to the gaudy spring, Within thine own bud buriest thy content, And tender churl mak'st waste in niggarding: Pity the world, or else this glutton be, To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

II When forty winters shall besiege thy brow, And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field, Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now, Will be a tatter'd weed of small worth held: Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies, Where all the treasure of thy lusty days; To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes, Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise. How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use, If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,' Proving his beauty by succession thine! This were to be new made when thou art old, And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.

The Shakespeare Sonnets series we ran in 2017 were very popular and some readers missed some of them. So by popular request we are going to run them again so those readers can fill in the blanks in their collections. These sonnets are to be found on PROJECT GUTENBURG and are reproduced here for educational purposes and nfp.


Captain’s Log Captain's Log: Things are looking bleak; we’re under attack from a foreign body. We’ve never faced anything like it. The commotion on deck sent a chill down my spine. Things are still warring on with no idea of when it will end, no reports of casualties as yet.. A knocking interrupted the captain’s musings. ‘Enter.’ ‘Captain,’ Knotquite starts, ‘Both crocodile and hatchlings are no longer on board and we should be afloat again shortly Sir.’ ‘Excellent news Knotquite, any casualties?’ ‘Only the ships bell Sir, the croc swallowed it before she went overboard.’ ‘I’d say that’s going a bit overboard, what was the point of that?’ asked Captain Pearmaine indignantly. Knotquite took a deep breath before continuing, ‘She was actually going for Mr Bacon’s head Sir, but he happened to fall out of her path.’ ‘Pity,’ the Captain mused, ‘I was rather fond of that bell; it had a nice tone to it.’ ‘Yes Sir. Anything else Captain?’ ‘Not now, Knotquite. Dismissed.’ Mr Knotquite saluted, turned on his heel and left without another word. Captain's Log Supplemental: The current threat has passed with minimal loss to the crew, the bell will be missed. We will be on high alert for a while but for now all is quiet. Right or Wrong Captain's Log: since leaving the jaws of the Amazon all has been smooth sailing. It’s rather strange though, I haven’t had any rum recently but there is still a constant ringing in my ears, oh and now there’s a knocking. ‘Captain!’ Mr Knotequite’s shout cut through the Captain’s thoughts. ‘Mr Knotquite, anything to report?’ ‘Yes Sir, Mr Bluddschott has spotted what appears to be a merchant vessel on the horizon.’ ‘At last.’ ‘It seems to be heading in a northerly direction.’ ‘More precisely please Mr Knotquite.’ Nearly knew the Captain’s sense of direction was a little wayward, ‘Ahead of us, slightly off to the right.’ ‘Ah, I see, are there any other vessels in the vicinity?’ ‘None reported as yet but we are keeping a lookout.’ ‘Very good, set the appropriate course and what not, dismissed!’ Nearly turned to make his exit and muttered ‘What not’ as he shook his head. Once there was a door between his Captain and himself he voiced the question that continually plagued him, ‘How that man ever made Captain I will never know.’ He went to the helm to set course. Captain's Log supplemental: at last some company in this forsaken place, it will be nice to see something other than water. Unfortunately, it was Hove Brighton's shift at the helm and his sense of direction was on a par with that of the Captain’s. It was as he was doing a round of the deck that he noticed, shouting up to Nigel Bluddschott in the crows’ nest, ‘Mr Bluddschott! Confirm direction!’ ‘We are heading back to shore Sir. Is there a problem?’ ‘There will be!’ Knotquite headed back to the helm. ‘Mr Brighton, can you explain why we are heading towards land when I specifically told you to head out towards the ship spotted by Mr Bluddschott?’


The final pieces of the X Marks the Spot tale.

‘I set the course starboard as stated Sir.’ The story is now being set and should be released shortly. ‘And which way is starboard Mr Brighton?’ ‘Left Sir?’ he questioned rather than answered. Mr Knotquite sighed, it was enough to drive a man to drink, ‘No Mr Brighton, starboard right, larboard left!’ Knotquite's patience was running out. ‘Change course immediately!’ ‘Aye Sir.’ Going back to the crows’ nest, ‘Mr Bluddschott, please confirm we are back on course to follow that merchant ship.’ ‘Unfortunately Sir we appear to be heading back whence we came.’ Nearly stood there like a statue bewildered by this contemplating what sins he must have committed to deserve this. His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by cries coming from Mr Bluddschott, ‘Sir, Sir, are you alright Sir?’ ‘No Mr Bluddschott, I am not alright and neither will Brighton be when I’m through with him!’ Thick as Pea Soup It had taken far too long for the Echo to get back on track and when they had done so a thick fog rapidly descended upon them. The call came from the crows’ nest, ‘Sound the foghorn Mr Leghorn!’ The shout also drew the attention of the Captain and his First Mate; then everything seemed to happen all at once and in slow motion. The Captain went to look over the starboard side. Mr Knotquite went to the helm and as the second sounding of the horn rang out it was immediately followed by a crunching sound. The Echo shook from the impact. Captain Pearmaine’s scream managed to cut through all of the other rumpus. It was followed by the shout of, ‘Captain Overboard!’ The crew scrambled to where the captain had been, looking over the side trying to find any sign of him but between the fog and the debris they were unable to locate him. Taking charge Mr Knotquite started barking orders; ‘Mr Bluddschott, take two others and board that ship. Keep things diplomatic and gather as much detail as possible!’ ‘Aye Sir.’ Nigel scrambled to get an away team together ready to board the Billy Ruffian, which he was reliable informed by the watch was the ship they had ploughed into. The acting Captain’s next job was to find Captain Pearmaine. ‘Mr Leghorn, get the ladders and hang them along the starboard side! Men get as close as possible to the water and find the captain!’ There was a round of ‘Aye Sir,’ as the crew set to work. Although the captain had fallen straight off the edge of his ship the waves created by the collision carried him out into open waters. Not being the strongest swimmer he wasn’t able to counter it so he just let himself be carried on the tide while trying to keep his head above water. Then the ringing started; ‘Must be the water in my ears’ he thought but then it seemed to be growing louder. ‘I would have thought more water would quieten it not make it worse.’ Next something brushed past his leg and the ringing seemed to be in just one ear, ‘I must have hit my head when I fell, things seem a little foggy,’ he laughed at his own pun. That’s when the biting pain ripped through the numbness caused by the cold water. The ringing got worse as suddenly he was spinning over and over, sinking further into the abyss. The cold disappeared and it all went black.


Starting The New Season. While it was still growing, and before Winter set in, I treated the Squitch on my Sea Kale bed with a Systemic Weed -killer. Hopefully, this action will have dealt with most of it, but completely getting rid of Squitch is never easy and takes perseverance. Now that we are into February it won’t be long until the new shoots start to come up from the Sea Kale Crowns, so I have covered them with upturned Buckets. This will not only keep the young shoots a bit warmer, but will “Force” and “Blanche” them making them suitable to harvest. I will keep inspecting them and at the first sign of growth I will scatter a few Slug Pellets round the plants as they are susceptible to damage. Again in the earlier part of Winter I dug up, and put in to root, a few offsets in an empty part of one of my beds. Looking the other day I was pleased to find that they already had some roots on, so I took them to work for potting. Unfortunately, they need really deep pots, as the thick underground root beneath the Crown is normally quite lengthy and goes straight down. Luckily, I had been given a number of pots that Rose bushes had been bought in and they are deep and narrow so were ideal. Elsewhere on my plot I finally cut down my “Late,” “Autumn Raspberries.” It is a bit early, but its one of those jobs that can be done any time about now. I was a bit lazy though, as this time I didn’t shred them, or compost them. Then I set to and tidied up the rows where straying canes were growing out of place. This doesn’t

seem to happen so much with the “Early” varieties, only the “Lates,” be they red, or yellow. Another difference seems to be that “Earlies” are generally “Thornless.” Of the canes that I dug up - some were roughly potted and given to another plot-holder. Another bit of pruning to do about now is to hard prune my grape vines. They can be cut right back to the main stems as they fruit directly form dormant buds on these and not on the younger shoots at all. I don’t really know when Kiwi Vines should be pruned, but mine had been devastated by the last storm with one of the supporting posts snapped off, so, I did some work on this. It has not fruited yet, but, I am still hopeful. Some types of fruit trees, bushes and vines take several years to mature and do not give an instant harvest like most vegetables. Having said that one friend had a cutting from my Kiwi vine a few years ago and this year he has had dozens of smallish, but perfect fruits. I think mine is in more direct sun, whereas his is in more shade, which may be the answer. It may seem like the middle of Winter with some of the weather that we had in late January, but Spring is not far away and it is time to start a few things into growth. I potted some Yacon buds, cut from Crowns that I had been harvesting, to start them off inside and I also potted a few Oca and Jerusalem Artichokes for work. I never eat all of the Artichokes, so I am going to reduce the quantity that I grow again next year. Last year I planted up half as many as previously, but they are such good croppers it was still too many.


Some seeds can go in now such as Onions and Shallots, although, it is getting a bit late and it is nearly time to put in the Sets. Red Cabbage and other varieties of Brassicas like the “All Year Round” green Cabbage can go in now, as well as other seeds that need a long growing season like Cape Gooseberry and Parsley, but these need to be in a heated greenhouse.

ten about during the Second World War. The flower stalks are generally quite short for Chrysanthemums, but more suitable for our climate outdoors. If I sow the seed indoors it will give early development and better flowering this year, although they can be sown outside later on in the season. The plants can then be left in situ the same as you would any Herbaceous Perennial. No more having to dig up the Stools to over Winter them! At I also bought some Hardy Korean Chry- least that is the plan, but as yet though, santhemum seeds that can go in under there is a limited range of varieties and heat. These were developed in America colours available, so I will persevere with in the 1930’s and are regaining a little of a few of the ordinary ones as well until I their popularity after being largely forgot- can get more types.

Wikipedia image and source data.

The red cabbage (purple-leaved varieties of Brassica oleracea Capitata Group) is also known as purple cabbage, red kraut, or blue kraut after preparation. Its leaves are coloured dark red/purple. However, the plant changes its colour according to the pH value of the soil, due to a pigment belonging to anthocyanins. In acidic soils, the leaves grow more reddish, in neutral soils they will grow more purple, while an alkaline soil will produce rather greenish-yellow coloured cabbages. This explains the fact that the same plant is known by different colours in various regions. Furthermore, the juice of red cabbage can be used as a home-made pH indicator, turning red in acid and green/yellow in basic solutions. It can be found in Northern Europe, throughout the Americas, in China and Africa. On cooking, red cabbage will normally turn blue. To retain the red colour it is necessary to add vinegar or acidic fruit to the pot.


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Issue 522 RBW Online  

Events, competitions, opportunities for flash fiction

Issue 522 RBW Online  

Events, competitions, opportunities for flash fiction