On Platform 1, you will find some illustrated poems to delight, challenge, inspire and cheer you up on your journey...

Autumn 2016


‘A Place such as this’ by Lucy Stevens


This poem is a moving account of Lucy Stevens’ recent visit to the ‘Jungle’ camp for refugees and migrants in Calais.

 I asked my father
to break my heart
with what breaks His.

What then
shatters the heart of God?

A place such as this,
where men would build razor wire fences
in places where comfort should be.

Where people clear shit from poisoned land
to make room
for a home
that even the rats avoid.

And cast themselves instead on the fire.

Where a boy with yellowed skin
holds on to me so fiercely
I can only think
it's his mother he's gripping

His eyes are unforgettable.
Green. There when I close mine.

A place such as this

where a lawyer in hand me downs,
taut in his rage,
cites the human rights act
with fluid tongue,

then puts a hand on my arm
and says sorry
for getting cross.

Something breaks in my chest.

Where a man with nothing
smiles and nods
at a uniformed giant
who has only been taught
to sneer and spit and crush underfoot.

Where the trousers cast off
by well fed men
from overseas
can not be filled here
and are: Just. No. Use.

Where a deftly placed "sir"
lifts a man.
But can rarely be found in this filth.

Where a country

who has rejected and spat on them
is raised up on the lips of men:
The land where the sir is abundant!
Just over there!

Where the love of many has grown cold.
A place such as this
where confusion is naked,
etched on gaunt faces
"Why won't they help us?"

Where lawyers and teachers
and entrepreneurs,
academics and doctors
and men of the land

are driven by bulldozers
into the dark heart of this place.

Where tomorrow's men are forgotten,
made seedless.
Or fodder for sinister minds.

Where one oppressor
is replaced by another -
a ghastly medusa.
And refuge from her
remains elusive.

Where the eyes of a child who's seen too much
are bleached of life.
Until he smiles.

And you see the boy who was.
And the possibility of what could be.

In a place such as this
where hope pulses still

In the smiles and hellos.
In the invitations to tea.
In the rich smelling restaurant.
And cheery corner shop.
Where people call out greetings.

In the spirit of people who cannot give up.

In the coat that fits just right.
In the perfect tool for the job.
In the cleared scrub and pitched tent.
In the laughter of a boy on his bike,

wind in his hair.

In the kindness of a stranger.
In the handshake of a friend.
In the slap on your back.
In the sharing of a joke.
In the horseplay of teens.
In the music that draws them

In a softly spoken sir.
In an answered prayer.
In the love that burns brightly
in this place.
In the broken heart of God. 


Spring 2016


Autumn/Winter 2015

Change This
by Jonathan King
Climate change
Sea Change

Leader change
Lane change
Small change
Baby change

Spare change
Change change

Change dot org.

Change minds
Change hearts

Change seats
Change parts

Change channels
Change tunes

Changing rooms.

Change teams
Change times

Change rhythm
Change rhymes

Change for change sake.

Change plans
Change places

Change planes
Change spaces

Change trains.
All change please………..

Summer 2015


 'Untitled' by Candyce Lange

Photo provided by Charmaine McKissock 

In the dream, death was my
                         mother’s destination
                                      all the small packages
                                      and a hatbox

                        the house so quiet on
                        Sunday afternoon

It is the same as the night quiet

                       hold on to that thought
                        that quiet

                                      it will carry us through.

Winter 2015: John Morgan on Platform 1

Four poems by John Morgan:


George killed the dragon, so the fables say,
The fabled knight slew him in holy kind of way.

But I know a different story to what fable’s say,
The dragon really slew St George in a unholy kind of way.

George rode his great destria lance and sword in hand,
He charged at the dragon, but the dragon made his stand.

He melted Georges lance and poor horse, then burned St George to death.
Then smiling, he said “what a silly fool” under his fiery breath.

Despite calling the victor of this poem, of a male gender, her name was in fact Mildred, my humble apology to the good lady.


Blue eye’s ragged white down, a royal waggle minus the crown.
A gold regal beak serrated and worn, with similar webbed feet, one slightly torn.
He came over to greet us with a hiss and glare, nonchalantly gave us cold regal stare.
Who are these persons my realm intruded, no doubt this problem will soon be concluded.
Then he changed his mind and turned his back as to say,
Ignore these peasants they must go away.
Ho poor goose protecting your throne, where is your Gander why so alone
Did she pass on or take to the skies, do we see sadness in your majestic blue eyes.
You can cuss, hiss, threaten and strut but your imperial
Highness you cannot fool us.


To put on paper with quill and pen,
And to write the feelings I had then
To cry tears that run the ink,
Through pain and laughter to make me think.
To watch in stark reality,
In black and white my thoughts to see.
Then to put it away on a dusty shelf
And read it occasionally to please oneself.


With lighted front in green she came,
Through sulphurous steam and threatened rain.
She in pride and me in joy, of remembered times when a boy.
Pebbles dropped down blackened funnel, fire bright steam lighting tunnel.
Wave to the Driver, and Fireman, Guardsman at the rear,
Clitter, Clatter, Clitter, Clatter, whistle blowing loud and clear.
Phantom faces at the window’s carriages painted cream and red,
Engine towing, whistle blowing, signals green for go a head.
Just for a moment, the smell of burned coal ember,
The Bristolian steam train, Wivenhoe Station 1999, 5th of September.

Poet's statement: 'I love the depth and mystery of visual art, poetryand folksong.  Each in its own form tell a story,
true, false or elaborate, often depicting raw human
feeling and frailties.  I hope you enjoy what you
read and see.'

To Contact John: 07963 304046 orsassmog@gmail.com

Summer to Autumn 2014: Hilary Lazell and Martin Newell


Wivenhoe artist Hilary Lazell will be contributing a beautiful new illustrated poetry poster “Leaves Down the Line” on Platform 1. Hilary has been scribbling away with pens, pencils, ink and paper for most of her life.  The combination of words and pictures is fundamental to all her work and this poster is no exception.  “Leaves Down the Line” illustrates lines by poet Martin Newell.

The images with poetry are available as A1 posters and a very nifty little advent calendar in a jewel case. Ideal presents. Contact Hilary Lazell:  hilarylazell@hotmail.com



  Winter/Spring 2014

The Mice
by  Jo Gould

One night, when we were sleeping,
the mice got into the garage.
It’s easy to overlook such tiny trespassers.
They found the things we had chosen to forget,
things we had inherited.
My mother’s sewing patterns,
Vogue, Butterick, Simplicity, and Style.
A little history of fashion in a bin bag.

It begins in black and white,
elegant dresses with fitted jackets or little boleros.
Then hemlines rise and waistlines wander;
colour arrives in autumnal hues.
Narrow trousers grow wide then straight again.
There are pencil skirts and panelled skirts,
tiers and frills and gathered waists.
I recognise my childhood outfits,
the peter pan collars and puff sleeves.
A bridesmaid’s dress in lilac satin,
then all those teenage fashions.

So many damp Saturday afternoons,
windows misted, and the murmur of the radio.
The floor a big papery jigsaw, weighed down by
ash trays and displaced by the dog.
Then the friendly hum of the sewing machine
with its little guiding light;
the prick of pastel headed pins at the fitting.

So many years have passed,
and now I rediscover her dusty legacy.
The mice have made good use of it,
worked away and raised their little families.
Some things are so hard to part with,
but the mice carry no baggage.
If only I could learn from them

On Entering the Eel Catcher’s Workshop 
by  Alex Toms 

A bell jangles above your head. In the gloom
it sounds like shattered glass.

Invisible fingers stroke your face;
you brush them aside, realise it’s only

a spider’s zip wire. As your eyes adjust,
shrouded shapes reveal themselves:

round shouldered barrels bound for London,
an outboard motor

that’s stuttered itself into silence.
In the corner, an abandoned punting pole

puts down new roots. Unfinished willow traps
sprawl on the workbench, gaping mouths

already hungry. Beside them lies
a sly knife, its blade spotted with sap.

On the walls, former eel catchers
regard you sternly behind dust-grimed glass.

And right at the back of the shop,
glimpsed only for a second,

a look and a glittering smile
from the Eel Catcher’s lovely daughter

before her slender form
dives deeper into the darkness.

For Hilary (who watched for Kingfishers)

by  Patricia Bloom


Kindred spirit to

her chosen river god,

she darted silverquick

through shadow, shine.

No need of flame and cobalt,

her shy colours shone

with radiance of spirit

with gentleness

and grace.

Beloved friend,


to a bone-thin cage,

I held you, sensing

memory’s flutter
of how once it was
to fly.


  Winter/Spring 2014

'An Essex Calendar'  

Poems by Martin Newell and Illustrations by Hilary Lazell


September/October 2013


‘Insomnia’ by Jo Gould
Illustrated by C. McKissock

Suddenly waking in darkness I remember
I have forgotten to take the sleeping pill.
The digital clock glares red, three thirteen.
I seem to remember everything I ever wanted
to forget.
Thoughts follow thoughts.
I think about not thinking until too tired to
Time passes slowly, the red numbers gradually
Eventually darkness lightens.
A bird starts to sing.
I forget that I’ve forgotten to take the sleeping
Thoughts slur into emptiness.
The alarm goes off.
Trained artist, Jo Gould, loves living in Wivenhoe. She spends time writing poetry, painting from nature, getting dirty in the garden, and likes reading in the evening.



  July/August 2013


Poems by Jane Ostler


Sweet Orange

When your train leaves, close your eyes

and see the colour of oranges,

or the colour of the sunny sea.

The journey of the sweet orange,

a circumnavigation of the globe,

from California, Spain or Greece,

will fill your coat or pram with sunshine.

I can hold a planet in my hand,

peel it and share it with you. 


 This poem reflects the exhibition themes, crossing geographical and emotional borders. 


About Jane Ostler

"I was born in Tonbridge in 1958. I studied at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham 1976-1980 and Goldsmiths, London 1983-5.  In 1987 I was Printmaker in Residence at Peterborough General Hospital. My husband Paul and I moved to Essex with our three young children in 1996.  In 2003 I was Artist in Residence for National AIDS DAY at Colchester Borough Council and since 2007 I have worked as Art Development Officer at the Level Best ArtCafe, Colchester. My art studio is a small space in the back of our garage.   I work on large paintings in the garden in summer when the weather permits."

Contact Jane: 07941837433 email: janeostler@gmail.com



Poems by Judith Wolton


Dangerous flirtation 


Here’s  where the Essex girl dabbles her toes in the sea
flinging her marshy skirts carelessly wild and free,
trailing their reed fringed hems in the salt and the sand,
deep seamed rivulets gleam as they stitch through the land
embroidering purple sea lavender, horned poppy’s gold,
 soft spikes of samphire vividly green and bold.
 grey satin mud pierced by curlews and shanks,
while worm coils spiral and knot the length of its banks.

Be warned - its a dangerous flirtation to challenge the moon,
for the tides and the winds will conspire to tug at her skirts,
breach her defences and drown out her land at spring
and at neap, flooding the channels, the dykes and the ditches,
ripping apart with a moon-pull those fanciful stitches.

Guarding these acres of saline pasture, the farm
stands firm on the hilltop, way out of harm.



Egret at Dusk


White in the steel of the water;
white in the red of the marsh plants;
white in the green of the grasses;
white in his winter grazing.
Porcelain wings held
by the strength of his breast bone -
white his curving mantle.

With sand-eel neck and back-flung legs,
he floats on the dusk: a ghost
over the saltmarsh: landing
up to his black knees; standing
mirrored,  thin legs quivering,
long toes riddling:
he plunges the sword of his beak
through the pool’s surface –

his perfect reflection stirred
in the evening light.



May 2013

Poems by Martin Newell … Illustrated by Hilary Lazell

The Morning Train
The Hythe has had a shower today
Sluiced the weary night away
The platform, wet from recent rain
Is standing for the London train
In sight of automatic gates
The backbone of the nation waits
The clouds are hanging out to dry
For soon the sun will scale the sky

With gelled-up hair, the younger chaps
And too much aftershave, perhaps
In crumpled jackets, scruffy shoes
Go late to jobs, they'd hate to lose
Yawning then, they find a place
To hide themselves in cyber-space
Sequestered in a comfort zone
Of laptop, i-pod, mobile phone

Somewhere near to Seven Kings
A salesgirl thinks engagement rings
Drains her polystyrene cup
And then, reluctantly, moves up
Recalling waterfront estates
In seats not made for vertebrates
For in the hour or so it takes
The backbone of the nation aches.

The Evening Train

Past Ingatestone the wheels complain
A whine of brakes, the evening train
Has stopped in woods beside the line
Autumnal now but clear and fine
With heaters ticking under seats
The sleepers dream suburban streets
Pints of beer and pubs and home
On mattresses of memory foam

Near end of week, within an hour
At Colchester, the water tower
Informs them that they're almost back
With coats already off the rack
Impatient in the aisles, they'll wait
The backbone of the nation, late
Yet grateful for such welcome sights
As partners, buses, taxi lights

And those few travellers left behind
Can all stretch out and never mind
The last few empty miles somehow
The horse can smell the stable now
And farther up the Colne somewhere
A whiff of dampness in the air
Reminds them vaguely, on the way
The Hythe had had a shower today.

Martin Newell (b.1953) is a writer, poet and musician. First published in The Guardian in 1984, he wrote regularly for The Independent titles for 15 years, before taking up his current posts as resident poet for The Sunday Express,Saturday columnist for the East Anglian Daily Times and contributor to the Suffolk magazine. 

Hilary Lazell is an illustrator and children's author. As an illustrator of books, CD and DVD covers she has received a number of prestigious commissions, the most recent of which was from the Royal Opera House. 

March 2013

Poem by Alice Bell, a year 4 pupil in Broomgrove Junior School.

February 2013


Winter 2013

MW Bewick
MW Bewick lives in Wivenhoe. He is a journalist, writer and musician, but not always in that order. His Possible Fictions blog can be found at mwbewick.wordpress.com. He also presents the Strange Brew show on Radio Wivenhoe.

Autumn 2012

Laura Kirwan
Laura Kirwan writes poetry, short stories, and is now working on a novel. When stuck for ideas she loves to eat cake or go for walks in Wivenhoe bluebell woods.

August 2012

Mary McQueen

Mary McQueen lives in the North, but visits her daughter & grandsons in the South. She reads a lot, writes a little; cooks & bakes to feed her friends, who also love her home-made cards.

June 2012

Culpeper's remedies: background to Juliet Lockhart's work.

May 2012

Alex Toms
Alex is a regular contributor to OTR, a Wivenhoe poet and has had several of her poems published. If you fancy reading more, you can find another in the new 'Poetry Wivenhoe 2011' collection.

March 2012

Broomgrove School
Poetry by Phoebe Southgate and Seth Barlow, both  pupils of Broomgrove Junior School.

February 2012

Leanne Haynes & George McKissock

Dr Leanne Haynes is a photographer and poet, with a particular interest in St Lucien literature (she has just attained a Ph.D. on the subject).  Her poems have been published in a number of London magazines and her photographs have appeared on the Lonely planet website, as well as forming part of an exhibition at the University of Essex.

George McKissock is a station adopter, poet and an all round lovely person.

Christmas special 2012

Alex Toms
Alex is a Wivenhoe poet and has had several of her poems published. If you fancy reading more, you can find another in the new 'Poetry Wivenhoe 2011' collection.

December 2011

Hazel Humphreys
Unabridged version available to read in WDTL in December.

November 2011

Martin Newell
A poem by Martin Newell, also printed in November's edition of WDTL.

October 2011

Martin Malone
Winner of the Wivenhoe Poetry Prize 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment