Grass Roots Open Writers

Writing on the Wall


I often seem to invent things by accident: things which are no use at all.

I recently invented a knot making machine in my kitchen drawer.  You can have one too.  Just drop a few of your phone charger wires in and close the drawer.  In order to make the knots, wait till you need a charger in a hurry.  Simply pull out the required charger and you will discover a very complicated and original knot.  You can make it permanent if you get impatient and pull then shake it.  This knot is so original that it defies undoing and you will have to drag the unwanted charger with the one you want.

It's the same with wire coat hangers, (Oh yes we all know they breed in the secret of darkness)  You reach in and simply select the one you want, you know: the pink one for your in fashion dress.  It may come out, but two others come out with it trailing everything you don't want.

The automatic mustard spoon finder is in my kitchen drawer, as this tiny
and little used thing sits with six man sized tea spoons.  It will come out if you dare to feel for a real spoon which can scoop up a hot tea bag and not drop it on your bare foot.  I want to patent this finder as you will know, the thing you want least will come up automatically. 

The point I'm trying to make is that most of these things could never be invented even if we tried.  How often do we state this, yet it is so very true and I would love to hear of other things like this. Please.


Hat Workshop

Response in free writing to my thoughts;

I see my hat as a warm, soft comforter - gentle in its off white natural shade and texture. Woolly with a pom-pom, covering my ears, and fitting the contours of my head, tying under my chin.

It can be scrunched up and put in my pocket. It is brand new.

Yes, I can pick it up.  I would wear it, when it is very cold - out walking in the hills.  It is for no one but me - it's my expression of freedom.

What would I change? I would add a peak to help give it more shape. With short hair, when I wear this hat, none of my hair can be seen.

I see the hat in my mind always with the background of a mountain. I cannot separate the images.

The hat is like me because it offers comfort and warmth, this hat cares. It is not a fashion statement; it's practical like me, with its own identity. It expresses my love of the great outdoors, the hills, the mountains and the vast open space.

It is different in the way it ties under my chin - containing - I like to free, to feel the wind, the chill, a glimpse of sunlight, around my bare head. I struggle to wear a hat at all! But I imagined a hat so soft, it begged to be worn.

Innermost hopes and dreams - that once more, I shall tread the paths of hills and slopes of mountains. That by tying the hat, enclosing my head in its comfort, I shall feel secure enough in my self to be able to do this.

My fear would be for the ties to be undone and the hat lost in the wind carrying my innermost thoughts with it and losing my new found security.


Jan Hedger

A Lemon


I am a bright yellow lemon. People find me very tactile. I do like to be useful, now and again. When people are unwell and need my magic juice to cure a cold or ease a sore throat, especially with my girlfriend, Honey. Together we make a great team.


Frank Burnham


June watched the moon


June watched the moon as she entered the horizon

A minute after midnight her holiday was on

As she unpacked the hold-all she had hacked upstairs

Her shoes and socks she sorted into pairs


She then went to find food

Didn't want to appear rude

As she courteously said

"Is it too late for a bite

At this hour of the night?"


(c) Joan Dodkin

Hello Mrs Lamb


"Hello Mrs Lamb" said Mr Lion

As he roared through the wind

Mrs Lamb replied her greeting
With sunshine left behind

Then they each carried on their journey

Knowing they'd meet another day

As middle will turn them a different way

The children played as the sunshine stayed

The cruel wind blew like a blade

Leaves whooshed with a crackle

Walking was so hard to tackle

Windows clattered with a rattle

(c) Joan Dodkin


May's Visit

As May got awoken from her bed

She breathed in the aroma of fresh corn-bread

"Yum" she said to the cat

"I like the smell of that."

"You look happy today"

Dad is baling hay

The milk should be on its way

Cows you would milk didn't you say?

"Come on," Mum gave a shout

"Let's have you all out"

There's plenty of chores about

With that breakfast you should feel stout

The evening falls, the festive brawls

Old fashioned gowns and musical balls

As women are swept off their feet by men so tall

There's singing and laughter by one and all.

As merry May's stay draws to a close

Under a Maple tree men propose

Another farmer's wife is born

As all retire to bed with a yawn.

Another day in May will dawn

To the rustle of leaves by a tiny fawn

With routine of the month now passed

The nights are lighter at long last

Sun retires behind red sky

As the night falls nigh

This won't be the end of May's tale

As other times may prevail

Another visit will come next year

With other ventures of good cheer.

(c) Joan Dodkin

You, Me and Reflection

"You thinks you is better than Me," said Me "but Me is better than You."

"No" said You "You is better than Me."

"Let's ask Reflection." said You and Me. Reflection said

"You and Me look the same. Tidy up your appearance then you will look better."

"Why should You look better?" wailed Me. Reflection answered

"Because You is unique and has a stronger opinion of You than Me."

"Huh" said Me "Me is better than you because Me has a hard shell that can slide you off and leave You any time Me wants to."

So why should Me copy You and You copy Me?

Just accept You and Me individually and that makes Me feel good!

(c) Joan Dodkin



I like to sit out on my porch
And watch the traffic speeding by
The regulations they debauch
To get there first they always try  

Many who don't know where they are
Feel so lost that they never care
And wish they'd never bough the car
And stayed at home in their own air

Others who are behind schedule
Feel anger at school bus delay
They do not think that kids are cool
All frustrations they must belay

I sit there feeling really smug
No place out there I have to go
My sanctimonious feelings hug
Complacency I do not show!

(c) Henry Dallimore 10/09/2009

The Chain

I went on a ramble
Was scratched by a bramble
With vision so poor
I was feeling sore

'Come on' I heard a shout
We're here on a walkabout
If you're going to lay there in this sodden weather
I don't think that will be very clever

Look at the sky came a remark
As the clouds swept across so dark
Quick! Let's run along
And they did so in song
Ah to home where I belong

A nice mug of tea
Will satisfy me
My warm cosy bed is where I'll be
 won't do that in a hurry again

(c) Joan Dodkin


We had a very windy day yesterday, it was the first time that I can recollect such a thing in all the time I have been here. With wind speeds up to 60mph we were lucky that no trees got blown down around here but some did in other parts of the County causing power failures. 

Anyway, last autumn I had swept all the leaves in the garden up and put them in an empty dustbin intending to put them a bit at a time in with the trash, but so far had forgotten to do this. So thinking laterally (or so I thought) I reckoned that if they were to be scattered back in the garden, they would all dissipate along with all the others flying around.  

Clever eh?? Well not so as it turned out. Due to the various eddy currents around the buildings, and doubtless sheer perversity, they did not fly away but moved to a large heap outside the kitchen door! So I had to put them all back in the dustbin and must remember to get rid of them with the weekly trash!  

Speaking of the weather, most of the ice has melted and we are not promised anymore snow until the middle of next week with temperatures in the upper thirties which is the seasonal average for this time of year.

© Henry Dallimore



I feel the silkiness of its

fleeting touch upon my

bare exposed feet.

My linen skirt swishing

around my ankles

just teasingly

brushing its surface.

A straw hat is perched

upon my auburn hair

a living connection

to the earth.

I place my chequered rug

(as it invited me to do)

upon its textured skin

creating a perfect square

of intimate darkness.

Folding myself into its

sweet scented fragrance

I allow it to become

part of me, a channel

for my thoughts.

Taking out my pen

and trusty notebook

I begin to write...




I feel the silkiness...


(c) Jan Hedger





Shoulder to shoulder, stood

blades of sharpened silver

shrouded in the swirling mist

silently waiting for the morning

sun; to soften them.


(c) Jan Hedger





In my soul lives a spirit


He came to me one night

He told me, I don't know how

My father was safe in his land

This we all know as heaven.

I can still visualize

He came to me

He was floating like a mirage

He had a red cloak around his shoulders

And I had but one day on

Heard my father had died.

I lost my father when I needed him most

A Peacekeeper to me

I had just had my first eye operation

It was important

I was checked out on the day of his death.

Thank you to the eye department

At the Conquest for giving me an open day to visit -

15 years on....

I have had ups and downs in my faith

But faith is the ruler of my life


Words are written sometimes as a miracle.

In the past - I have written words in the middle

of the night - raised from my bed

Unknowingly until morning what has been written.

I changed my name as life changed

My new name was blessed.

I started to live again

But still the pen can be

A Master Tool...

Tears have come from my eyes uncontrollably

I sometimes don't know why

I just wipe them

But - the Spirit always lives in me -

But sometimes...

He lays dormant

and I -

Well, I continue - writing....


(c) 3.12.08 Josie Lawson

All Rights Reserved



Misty sea

Rambling waves

Vision I see

Whilst drinking tea -

Ghostly light

In window pane

Could it be?

Oh! No, not again.

Years ago

In this very place

I saw a man,

He loved the sea

A great swimmer was he.

Today, I remember

The ghosts of time have come to me

No longer sad

For they are glad, they are together again

My mother and father

It is their anniversary

They married 3rd November 1943

and parted when father died

30th November 1993.

Mother was sad, but all words - tell a story.

When mum found her heart again

She had left this world

11th February 2001

I still on occasion sense their spirits

For when love is born

It remains forever

But life is about moving on

and so, this misty look I see

Is of today - the weather

Associated with memory.

(c) 8.11.08 Josie Lawson

All Rights Reserved



The triumph of the tortoise

Was an experience to us

It clambered into his nest

And acted his very best

Who'd have believed it of the tortoise.


(c) 11.11.08 Josie Lawson

There was a new writing group

That wanted to grow unlike soup

It started as an acorn

It hoped for no scorn

The smiles and the laughter was a 'scoot'


(c) 11.11.08 Josie Lawson

The horse and the cart galloped the field

Thoughts of true 'Romany' revealed

They looked at each other

The people with no bother

and knew the horse and the cart was their 'seal'


(c) 11.11.08 Josie Lawson

All Rights Reserved




Ghosts. They live in the upper world
They fade when the human eye sees
They become a crowd when you dream
When you grab for the light, thinking they are real.


(c) 21.10.08 Josie Lawson
All Rights Reserved


In my fairy box my fairy cards are there.  When in distress I go to venture on my cards, to give part of my life back to me.  When negative thoughts overwhelm the positive sideof me, it shows the pathway back to reality.  Joy of this fairy box also contains my fairy companion set of letterheads and envelopes.  I get so much joy sending them my family and friends a letter from my special box.  They really get me back from all struggles in my life, at these present days.


Fairies flying in my box
Come to the top
They flutter their wings
And twinkle dust over
All things to make a better
Place for all of our dreams
And are a beautiful team.

(c) Jan Humphreys 06-10-2008




I can always stop a bullet

That is meant for someone else

That's what I told the Sergeant

At the recruiting office

You're too old said he

Go home, old man,

Sit by your fire

And think of us

No I said

I can always stop a bullet

That is meant for someone else

I mean to go and help the lads

The Sergeant said you will slow then down

Get in the way, stop the advance

But I said my life has run it's course

Someone younger than I must survive

I can always stop a bullet

That is meant for someone else

I want to help a father live

To see his children grow

I have lived life to the full

Now it's payback time

Alright the sergeant said, I'll let you go

If suicide be your aim

You can always stop a bullet

That is meant for someone else!


(c) Henry Dallimore



Well, so here I am sitting under a sun so red as to be like a beautiful sunset. Except it isn't low in the western sky. It is high up in a southerly direction.


I remember my Great Grandfather telling me of a time when the sun wasn't this red colour but was a bright yellow and also a whole lot smaller. He was born early in the present millennium, around a hundred and twenty years ago and had only died some eighteen months past.


He had told me of a far distant time when the Earth was green and water was plentiful; now it is a light tan colour and water is severely rationed.


It all goes back to the end of the last millennium when people thought that human activities were causing the planet's climate to change for the worse.


To cut down the greenhouse gases, numerous nuclear power stations had been built and when these became obsolete some bright spark had the idea of shooting all the radioactive debris into orbit. Fine - until the orbit became unstable and began to decay and there was the distinct possibility that several hundred thousand tons of hot debris would return to earth. So what did some wag come up with? Why not put it all in a trajectory that would allow it all to get burned up by the sun?


Ironically, it was around that time that the climate reverted to what it had been in the 1920's so it had all been a waste of time anyway. But what these bright sparks had not realised was the inherent instability of the sun which, upon the arrival of the debris, had effectively leapt forward several million years and started to become a red giant far earlier than anybody had expected.


Now it is estimated that the earth will only be able to sustain life for a further fifty to seventy years. As I sit out in what used to be Hyde park and is now one huge sandpit, I see the Moon rising, not a soft gentle silvery one but a fierce blood red one.


I reflect on the folly of the previous generations which allowed popular myth and culture to lead them down the road which has caused the present circumstances, those scientists trying to make names for themselves by proposing inappropriate solutions to a non-existent problem and all those politicians who, seeing that it was a vote winner, provided the funds to enable the scientists to carry out their outrageous plans.


The sun is now setting in the west but there is no relief from the omnipresent stultifying and oppressive red light, the bad moon rising will see to that, for this night and many others.

(c) Henry Dallimore



Mind still sleepless
in the lee of two tall stones;
wind enough to sweep the stars away;
moon faint in the hint of dawn.

No ease;

no murmured comfort from the past;
no magic circle.

Centuries gone
other men had set them here
as solids in an uncertain world,
had laboured these reluctant stones
to pattern the routine of seasons
and foretell of warmth after chill.

Arm-stretched, stand,
fingertip their bulk,
as others had surely done;
feel the mind rise
with their lifting sun.

Then leave,
birdsong lightening the step,
sunglow on the world
and a better season ahead. 


(c) Ken Baldwin


Sharp gusts tug
At the chestnut curls
Peeping out
From underneath
The dark grey knitted hat.
The gulls screech past
Tumbling in the wind
Circling the rocks below.
Huge, angry waves
Smashing suicidally
Into the base of the cliffs.
She breathes in the tempest
And smiles.


(c) Ashley Jordan 2008




Calm, still, beautiful sea

Horizon aglow

September and cars

Will it last for me?

I see from distance

Way in me

Calm at the moment

Waves and electricity

Brain activity

And me.

Words they calm

Like the still sea -

Stay with me Please...

And expand the reality  


(c) 2008 Josie Lawson

All Rights Reserved




Fashion attracts me
Blind eyes now see
Young women like I was

Back in the 60s

It seems to me

Similar to how I dressed

Mini-skirts, trousers

Stripes, Diamonds, long hair,

cycles, knee length socks

and a little puppy once in my arms

'Preppie' look they call it now

Be Happy, smiles, laughter to see

Memories of those past days gone by

I remember, I wanted to be a fashion designer

These days never came my way

But the picture inside me, I still see

As you see, the words tell the story

I became a poet, but I am also a writer

Publisher, Editor of my own non-profit magazine

Now my days are numbered

I am having my brain investigated

But still; it doesn't stop me

The Fashion I see in front of me.


(c) 19.9.08 Josie Lawson

All Rights Reserved




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