Friday, 29 February 2008

Pick Up A Bard

The Latest Pearl

Pick up a copy of Bard (Issue 63) from Atlantean Publishing; the latest issue features a poem by Mark Cantrell. In addition to the simple leaflet-form periodical, the small press publisher provides a number of poetry and fiction anthologies. For information, or to pick up a copy, visit Atlantean Publishing at its website:


Category: NEWS

Welcome To The Odeon

BORG Presents

The Bradford Odeon Rescue Group (BORG) has uploaded onto YouTube a pictorial tour film that shows the inside of the Odeon building.

Closed in 2000, the building was eventually bought by regeneration quango Yorkshire Forward as a regeneration opportunity. Urban regeneration agency Bradford Regeneration Company (BRC) has been pushing to have this structure demolished to free up a prime -- and profitable -- city centre location.

Saturday, 16 February 2008


Genesis of a created writer

In the beginning there was a warbling screech and a cry of ‘it’s crashed again!’ So the humble ZX Spectrum created literary life. Mark Cantrell confesses all – almost

Saturday, 2 February 2008

This Is My Body

Out Of Body Experience

By Mark Cantrell

Down at the doctor's surgery
My GP looks as though I am clearly invisible.
She talks, presumably to me, though possibly,
She's conversing with herself, or maybe just her PC.
The experience is. Discomfiting. But I observe.
I get the impression, I'm not quite all there,
That this is an out of body experience,
Where I watch two strangers from afar.
Then my mind convulses, I get an idea,
That says: my health is not really my concern,
But I'd damn well better look after it,
Since it belongs to someone else, and is merely left in my care.
This is not my body, it is not my flesh,
Why, even my thoughts are not supposed to be mine,
But as yet, fortunately, they cannot quite adjust the mindset.
For now.
Meanwhile, this shell, this form, this machine of meat and bone,
Is on loan to me; I might be granted license
To drive it, operate it, steer it through the program of somebody else's purpose,
But I must remember:
This object where I dwell is owned by the State,
Hired out, though it is,
To corporate greed, be that in office, mall or factory,
It's only on loan to me.
I am the useful squatter, residing in that bone shelled blob
Of temporary brain matter,
But they lie and call me free – to care for their property that is me.
Those of a religious frame, might say my flesh is
My Soul too: mine to serve His needs,
Not to do with as I will,
Spirit merely loaned, to drive this frame his Way.
The theologian, is at least, more honest,
For he will acknowledge
My blood and bone and flesh
Is not my own,
That I am not the master of my Self,
But slave to whim of some external force;
They call it Free Will,
They call it Divine Right,
They call it God's Love, whatever.
For all its 'truth', its honesty,
The line is a shell wrapped around a shell,
Designed to mask the meat of Truth,
That men of power and wealth and avarice
Claim dominion over all that I am.
We are made to become squatters,
Neurological programs running in a cortex processor,
Ghosts in the machine.
They cannot – yet – evict us from our shell,
No, not yet, not now,
So we become the tolerated occupants of our own biology,
We poor creatures that evolved upon this Earth,
That give haven to Mind and Awareness,
That became life fit to stare in wonder at the stars.
We exist, free in mind and soul,
If not Body and Heart,
For now.
So I write these words,
Bare my Soul,
Against those who claim ownership of my body.
To those who would be Proprietor of my flesh and spirit, I defy:
I claim ownership of this thought.
It is mine.
Not God's. Not Yours.
This is my body.
My blood,
My brain and my Mind.

Mark Cantrell,
21 January 2008

Copyright © January 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Category: POETRY

Knowing Courtesy

All together now

By Mark Cantrell

“ps/ Courtesy Orchis will have her revenge on..... ‘The first rule of any game, even before how do I play this game? is ‘know your opponent’’ – poet Courtesy Orchis.”

A postscript to a poem buried deep within a poetry collection is no doubt a strange way to begin a review of said poet’s work, but it proves to be apt advice not just for would-be games players, but for reviewers too. For surely, it’s equally apt to note that ‘ye who would delve into a poet’s work might do well to ponder – “who is the poet?”


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