A Bus Shelter Near Here
Austerity carol made from bits of carols and songs

Here people don’t even know what a chav is. Everyone is a chav.There are no posh folk. Unemployment is rife.  ChavTowns website.

Once in
Away in
In the bleak

In a shelter mean and
Neighbours’ children

Drink a
Drink a
The holly and the

Have yourselves a
Deep Pan crisp and
We three:


Merry ,merry
We all like
We all like

So bring us
And lo

Westward proceeding
A poor youngling
Come all ye

And deck the
Let nothing you

We won’t go
Until we’ve got some
And he’s bleeding

On the snow.
Away! Away!
The running of the

All is calm.
What child?


*Joan Hewitt won the 2003 Northern Promise Poetry award.Her first, late-in-life collection is Missing the Eclipse (Cinnamon). She is a member of the Northern Poetry Workshop, chair Sean O'Brien. Their anthology In Your Own Time arrives in April(Shoestring).

All You Get For Christmas (Is A Caudate Sonnet)

Season of gifts and Brussel Sproutfulness!
The tree is trimmed, the presents all are wrapped –
There’s booze for breakfast (booze all day, in fact),
The kids are so excited, look! Aw, bless
I watch the family as they try to guess
What’s in those boxes cloaked in stars and tape,
Then Fools and Horses, then The Great Escape.
Do I like Christmas? Sometimes…
So, when I say this, I’m not being perverse –
You may believe these words or you may not;
My gift to you this year will be this verse –
I can’t go spending cash I haven’t got;
‘Cos if I join that retail Push-and-shove,
I might be forced to kill a thing I love.
And, since we don’t believe in God above,
We won’t waste time with “Happy Birthday Jesus”,
But spend our Christmas scoffing lovely cheeses.

*Andy Bennett is a stand-up comedian and a pot-smoking poet. He writes poetry that, two hundred years ago, would have got him rusticated. Andy also likes the word ‘rusticated’.

Setting the Scene

Beggars beg and someone
Blows a tin whistle
For that woman singing softly
To her just-born child
The world does not deserve

Hoping that powerful men
May still wisely kneel
Beside a cradle once again
To know themselves
Through others.

Peter Eustace
born in Birmingham, studied in Oxford and settled in Verona, Italy,
working as a translator. Has three books of poems (two in bilingual
editions)and contributes to many UK magazines.