Celebrating two great writers' groups... and introducing a third. Now read on.

Till death did us part

Some people settle best under the protective crown of parents. Others fly their own courses, flourish in distant freedom. I am the lonesome rolling stone more rare. No lines drawn for borders but unlimited white. Never could stand the bustle of brimming testosterone. Uncomfortable with women too but Connie. She was the sensitive shoulder for my weight of brittle moments. We had never been lovers. Yet, my feelings for her were the deepest I could wish for.

I found myself on a short break, again at the idyllic beach of old memories. The news bore down hard. My mind crimped instinctively, curled itself into its smallest lonely hollow. I was unaware of my streaming tears, the howling of burning sorrow. This was a world of nothingness. I only vaguely saw the orange sky stretching out ahead. My numb feet took me to the water’s edge, past breakers, to the suicide of open waters.

Our broken promise pounded my head, my ears, not ever to part. Ever. In a haze of unwillingness to live on I ran out, clambered across wild water, fought waves for their darkness, their ocean depth, till exhaustion took me. Futile I lay panting amongst fleeting, hurling shapes in soundless black night, realising that I could not, wouldn’t drown. 

When the silent night rage brought morning I stood, enclosed by overbearing horizons, again in the sickening nausea of impenetrable waves. Despair hadn't left me. I sleep-ran on, aimlessly, blindly, in devastating dizziness, to strangely find myself at the bottom of my road.

There stood my house, ambulances up front, front door open. Cautiously I called out. Then, back came the melting of Dr Connie’s voice. She was unhurt, forgiving. Now they grabbed me. The door shut behind me, locked, secured.

Again, all three of us drowning.


The above writers have either been previous members of the Minutemen or Vibe groups, or are current members or honorary members of the Firebird Writers' Group. Note that all work in all draft versions is copyrighted.

Jacques Groen: Prose Poet

5 Fatal Cases by Jacques Groen

I first came across Jacques Groen at Café Writers, Norwich, when he read 'One flat white, no sugar please' and Iimmediately fell under the spell of his style, its staccato sentences recalling the heyday of pulp fiction, its intense, shifting imagery conjuring deep and ethical themes. All this suffused his smile-inducing sense of humour. For Jacques no catastrophe is his anastrophe, which persuades the reader to look more deeply at what is being said.

Another self-effacing member of the Nine, he too has chosen (thus far) to supply no photograph or personal introduction. But as with all the group, it is the words that count.

'Six Extracts from the Johnny Hiscock Files'

'One flat white, no sugar please'

'Cottage for Sale'