Sunday, 6 December 2009

There's Always Hope...

Hope Remains
By Mark Cantrell

Hope was always there,
Goading me on,
Always pushing, never letting go.
Hope was with me, a constant
Companion, whether I wanted Hope
Or not; wherever I went,
Whatever I did,
Hope was there, whispering in my ear,
Urging me on, never heeding
Hope wouldn’t let me go,
Never let me rest.
Hope, stifling, Hope,
Never any peace, no rest,
Just Hope,
Until I lost it, until the Rage
Finally said ‘ No more!’
That’s when I grabbed Hope, dragged Hope,
Down, into the cellar, dark,
Where I forced it, half-pleading,
Otherwise urging, pushing, nagging
Not to give up on Hope.
But I’d had enough,
Heard enough,
My anger flared, a bullet fired,
I shot Hope dead,
Buried the remains, then
Walked away.
There’s no such thing
As Hope...
Only stinking remains,
Rotting in an unmarked grave.

Mark Cantrell,
22 September 2009

This poem makes its first appearance here.

Copyright © September 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Category: POETRY

Sunday, 8 November 2009

The World Awaits...

Internet Publishing
By Mark Cantrell

Logged on to the labyrinth, looking for an audience,
Begins a journey through the maze of silent
Gloom-clogged corridors, all leading to endless virtual
Potential, so it says, so I follow,
The path of digital endeavour.
Reach out, search out, in these digital by-ways,
For eyes and minds
Worldwide, that might shed life on verbal art.
In time it leads, this path, to the deepest basement,
In the subterranean bowels
Of dereliction,
The building crumbling on the edge
Of a forgotten cyber-town, clad in cloying electron mist.
There in the dark, staggering by torchlight,
This author follows the spoor of hopeful
Anticipation, discovering the trail
Once blazed by Hope’s eager passage.
In that basement, the lowest level,
Where decay and mould make their nest,
The corridor at last meets destination’s end,
That place where public attention hides.
At the end, a room, dark,
Where words, pinned like dessicated bugs are stored
On the noticeboard of publication.
Forever unseen, it seems, still, the author adds his verse,
To the clamouring cacophony of silent, silenced voices.
Left amidst the yellowed scraps
Of paper, all born in forlorn hopes, yearning,
To complete their birth,
They wait, the words,
They wait.
They wait, and the damp blots ink,
The mildew stains, the heart chills, hope melts,
Dripping its decay to add substance
To ever-deepening shadows.
Here, in the world-wide catacombs,
In the vaults of digital dreaming,
The words cry out their muted squeals of pleading,
Need, for the reader
That never comes.

Mark Cantrell,
15 October 2009

Copyright © October 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Category: POETRY

Friday, 23 October 2009

For Nick Griffin

By Mark Cantrell

A land where the white man
Rules supreme,
Where no skin tone
Deemed too dark ever sullies
The eyes of Avalon’s
‘Aryan Race’.

Imagine this Albion,
Cleansed of foreign intrusion,
Where no multi-cultural
Taint will ever again stain
The grace of Anglo-Saxon

Consider this England,
Where no foreign race
Mingles its face,
Amidst the monotony of pale,
Where one people, one kind,
One nation,
Shouts it roar of triumphant regale.

Foresee this Sceptred Isle,
Where hatred stamps its feet
To the bitter tune
Of purity’s jackbooted march,
Where rage sings its song, dancing
A stomping frenzy on the relics
Of proud diversity, here at home
And abroad.

Consider this dream,
This England...

And shove it...

For it is not my dream,
It is not my hope,
To live in a future
Ethnically cleansed,
Brutalised and diminished,
So culturally eviscerated,
That it dies
To a state of wasteland.

This England – not!

Mark Cantrell,
23 September 2009

Copyright © September 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Category: POETRY

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Sample A Vampire

One For The Road

The above story features in the paperback anthology Isolation Space, available from Lulu. For more information about the book visit Book Marks.

Category: FICTION

Monday, 21 September 2009

Child's Play

Money for child fiction

Unpublished children’s authors are invited to submit their work to the 25th ‘write a story for children’ competition, run by the Academy of Children’s Writers (ACW).

The competition is open to UK writers over the age of 18, though self-published authors are welcome to try their hand. The deadline for entries is 31 March 2010, with the winners announced by the end of May.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Reviewed In Isolation

Fresh fiction is pure ‘golden’

Isolation Space,
By Mark Cantrell,
Published By Lulu
£9.99 | ISBN: 978-1-4092-7030-0 | Paperback (284 pages)

Available from Lulu

Mark Cantrell’s anthology Isolation Space gained some positive feedback in the latest issue of Writers Muse magazine. The bi-monthly publication features a review of the paperback collection in the current issue.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

New Labour Wants You...

Signing On For Social Control

An Essay By Mark Cantrell
Copyright © August 2009

To its critics, the Government’s proposed Welfare Reform Bill is the wrong bill at the wrong time; one that will transform the Welfare State into a punitive ‘workfare state’. Mark Cantrell argues that the imposition of such a draconian regime is perfectly fitted to an era of recession, as the ‘reform’ of the welfare system represents an overlooked theatre in the creation of an authoritarian ‘surveillance society’

Saturday, 15 August 2009

So, What Is It?

Can’t Win Either Way

“But what is the difference between literature and journalism? Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. That is all.”

Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist and poet (1854-1900)

Category: QUOTES

Free Sample

Free verse on Scribd sample

A selection of poems from the collection Deus Ex Insomnia was posted on the document exchange site Scribd to provide a revealing foretaste of the full paperback book.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Oh, I Do Like To Be Beside The...

Once more unto the beach

Drum rolls may not have accompanied the opening of Blackpool’s latest ‘exciting’ new development, but one certainly hopes the stupendous event was met with an array of rolled eyes.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Stony Offerings

Get stony in Limerick

As part of the preparations for the annual Cuisle – Limerick City International Poetry Festival – the editors of The Stony Thursday Book are calling for submissions from poets the world over.

The next issue of the journal is to be published as part of Cuisle in October and the deadline for receiving poetry submissions is 10 August 2009. The festival will run from the 14th to the 17 October 2009.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Reading With Fire

Yorkshire Monkey gets the verse

One of Barnsley’s oldest established country pubs is hoping that a regular fireside gathering of poets and poetry will entice a few extra punters out for a pint.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

A Little Something From The Day Job

Gordon’s last stand

After the turmoil of the last two months, Gordon Brown has come out fighting to build Britain’s future, with a programme that ‘green lights’ some long-cherished elements of the housing wish list, but is this the last stand of a punch-drunk PM or a concerted no-holds barred campaign to finally make a real difference? Mark Cantrell reports

Shared via AddThis


Saturday, 4 July 2009

Taste The Space

Blood sample free to taste

A free sample of Isolation Space, featuring the story One For The Road, is available to download or read online at Scribd, adding a new blood-curdling twist to vampire fiction.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Journalism Matters


Comedians in Greater Manchester will stand up for journalism in the North West on Sunday 5 July, in an NUJ stand up comedy benefit gig, fighting the recent cuts in weekly papers and other media across the region. It follows a similar successful event held in London back in April.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Better Late Than Never

First city of film

Bradford is no stranger on the international scene, but that was in its heyday as the centre of the global wool trade. Now it’s gained another 15 minutes in the limelight of the world stage, writes Mark Cantrell, thanks to its new status as the world’s first UNESCO City of Film

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Warm Welcome

First impressions

THERE are some warm words of praise for the anthology Isolation Space in the latest issue of literary journal the Writers’ Muse (#49)

Published by Lulu, the book is Mark Cantrell’s first paperback fiction collection. It presents a challenging and thought-provoking array of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, together with some more literary works, and has earned itself a quick thumbs up from the Muse.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Everything's Political

Hold the banners high for political poets

‘Living in 21st century Yorkshire’ is the theme of a political poetry competition held as part of the annual Raise Your Banners Political Song & Book Fair.

Poems entered to the competition must be original, unpublished works no longer than 50 lines long. The deadline for entries is 1st September 2009. Poems should not identify the author. Full details must instead be supplied on a separate page, providing full name, address, email, telephone number and the title of the entered poem.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Writing Wrongs

Another step on the paper trail of rights

Conventions guaranteeing rights are all very well, but at the end of day it is action by real human beings, at every level in society, that turns paper aspiration into the kind of fiery principles that burn in our hearts and minds, writes Mark Cantrell

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Ready Salted

Save our salt

The cold winds of recession are blowing through the pages of poetry after subsidy funding came to an end for Salt Publishing. However, the directors of the small press venture are seeking to hold out against the economic storm with an urgent SOS – 'Save Our Salt'.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Admission Confounded

“Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”

Mark Twain, US author (1835-1910)

Category: QUOTES

Out There

Wide Of The Mark
By Mark Cantrell

From my writing
You think
You might know me.
You feel you can get some kind
Of handle
On my sense and sensibility,
Some insight
Into the ticking clockwork of my mind’s
Maybe you feel you’ve got the gist
Of what I’m all about,
Well, let me tell you,
Nothing’s wider of the Mark.

Mark Cantrell,
15 February 2009

Copyright © February 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Category: POETRY

Saturday, 23 May 2009

More From Mars

The pens are out there

THE Martian fountain pens are out there, it seems, scribbling their way into the meme-sphere of the internet, as I discovered while randomly browsing my way around Google. My collection of short fiction and essays, Attack of the 50-Foot Verbose Mutant Killer Fountain Pens from Mars has turned up on a new site, with a nifty way of on-screen reading.

Cash Prize For Voters

Vote winner

One lucky participant in a poetry competition stands to win a £100 prize without writing a single verse – all they need to do is vote.

The winner will be selected at random from the online votes cast to determine the top three winning poems entered into the competition organised by Chapter One Promotions.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Mind How You Go

Many Me Is Making
By Mark Cantrell

It’s all of me
In here,
The entirety of me,
Every last one of me,
Bickering and squabbling,
Arguing and fighting,
Screaming fury, plain barking mad
Until I can’t hear
Just give me,
All of me,
Every last one of me,
Some peace and quiet in here,
Yes, you, you there at the back,
That means me,
You got me?

Mark Cantrell,
12 February 2009

Copyright © February 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Category: POETRY

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Bite The Book

Dining out will never be the same again, after you’ve read Isolation Space by Mark Cantrell

Putting the bite back into vampires
Meet the man who eats ‘em for breakfast

Published By Lulu | £9.99 | Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4092-7030-0

Friday, 10 April 2009

Work Ethics

"When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?'"

Don Marquis, US humorist (1878-1937)

Category: QUOTES

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Meaning Of...

By Mark Cantrell

It’s a walk in the park,
I got mugged

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Magazine Aims For Rebirth

Poems wanted for relaunch

A group of undergraduate students are in the process of resurrecting New CollAge magazine and are looking for poetry submissions.

A Professor A McA Miller originally founded the magazine in 1964 at the New College of Florida. The journal’s ethos was to welcome submissions from anyone, anywhere. When he retired in 2005, the magazine also folded. Now, it is looking to make a reappearance in the spring of 2009, complete with a new website.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Win 500 Quid

Collect your thoughts and enter

POETS are invited to submit small collections of their work to the 2009 Templar Poetry Pamphlet & Collection Competition to potentially win a cash prize of £500 and publication of their work.

The four winning collections will be published in pamphlet format and launched at the Derwent Poetry Festival in October 2009. The four winners will also receive the cash prize and have the opportunity to submit a full collection for publication.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Coming Out Of Isolation

Isolation Space

An Anthology Of Short Fiction By Mark Cantrell
Copyright © March 2009

ISOLATION Space is the first paperback anthology presenting 20 of Mark Cantrell’s short stories in one singular volume.

Most of the stories have appeared in small press magazines, while others have gained an airing on the author’s literary blog Tyke Script Redrafted [now defunct], but this is the first time they will have appeared together in one bound edition.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

When The Clock Strikes

Make a date with Midnight

Poets with a set-piece that strings together a narrative of work to create a coherent performance might like to try their hand at the Midnight Matinee organised by the Tristan Bates Theatre.

The matinees, described as pioneering, are as much a challenge for the audience as they are the performer; they endure by their name and it’s more than just a dull performance that risks putting the audience to sleep.

Saturday, 21 February 2009


Bit On The Side
By Mark Cantrell

Takes sides,
So, little wonder Truth is coy
And hard to find,
Yet strong and loyal
When her favour’s whim is thine,
Even so,
Never be so much the fool
To take her favour forever said,
Or make faith that she’s
Always by your side.
For in that folly will Truth
Turn and bite any hand that seeks
To bind her.
A powerful foe, she is, when provoked,
Just as her virtue is strength when
Justly invoked.
Truth will wear no chains willing.
She will rattle the bars of any cage,
And forever struggle to bare her all.
In light of day, and unblinkered vision,
Truth, holds no jealous
Courtier as her liege.
She is fickle, she is free,
No one holds her divine,
So seek her favour at your peril.
She is her own side.

Mark Cantrell,
17 September 2008

Copyright © September 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Category: POETRY

Friday, 6 February 2009

At A Cinema Near YouTube

BORG Presents...
The Battle For The Odeon

NEW video footage released by the Bradford Odeon Rescue Group (BORG) pertain to show the lie in claims that the former cinema is nothing but a derelict shell.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

In Gaza God Farms

Garden Of Weeds
By Mark Cantrell

Hate grows in the tended rows
Of coffins and body bags, all
Filled with its corpulent fruit.
Carefully planned,
The crop is
Meticulously nurtured
In the furrowed brows
And saline tears
Of despair’s thorny garden.
So flourish the tangled vines
Of petty prejudice, and
The foetid weeds of suspicion.
Foul rancour chokes
The lawns and flower beds of virtue,
Poison sours the becks and lakes
Of clarified reason,
Until the stench of bitter enmity
Reeks rank the air of sanity.
So we reap
The murdered harvest,
With crates of coffins, and fruits of bodies
Over-ripe to fertilise,
The next crop of hate and war...

Mark Cantrell,
25 July 2008

Copyright © July 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Category: POETRY

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Guineas From Frogmore

Sponsored by the Frogmore Press

THE winner of the Frogmore Poetry Prize for 2009 is set to win two hundred guineas and a two-year subscription to The Frogmore Papers. The first and second runners-up will receive seventy-five and fifty guineas respectively and a year’s subscription to The Frogmore Papers.

Poetry Prizes

Torriano Poetry Competition 2009
First Prize £250 Second Prize £150 Third Prize £75 Adjudicators: Nancy Mattson & Mike Bartholomew-Biggs
THE winning poets in the latest Torriano Poetry Competition will all be published in Brittle Star magazine. As if that's not enough, the first, second and third prize winners will be invited to read their work at the adjudication ceremony.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Swarming Up

"Swarm" at the Beehive

Bradford's Beehive Poets has announced that its latest anthology of members work, "Swarm", is ready for release. Copies will be available at its next gathering at the New Beehive pub, Westgate, on Monday 12th January 2009, from 8pm. The readers for the night are Nicholas Bielby and Jeremy Young.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

A Kiss Before

Presenting Valentine's Eve

THE Mad Chadd Word Club is daring poets to venture out on the dark night of Friday 13 -- and risk falling under the thrall of seductive verse on Valentine's Eve.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Private Poetry

New twists on David Lynch
THE Private Press seeks poetry contributions for its next anthology. Work submitted must explore the "twisted world" of David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Deadline for submissions is the 28th February 2009 and payment will be one copy of the chapbook. Poems will only be accepted through an on-line contribution form. 

Visit for further information and to access the submission form. 


Category: NEWS

Friday, 2 January 2009

Be Aware!

Hell, No
By Mark Cantrell

Is not a place,
Is it other people.
Is a state of mind.

Mark Cantrell,
3 December 2008

Copyright © December 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Category: POETRY

When Elections Come

Voting Rights
By Mark Cantrell

A vote is far too precious
To waste
Upon scoundrels.
Do our votes
Go disenfranchised,
Unless we are fools,
For no honest man
These days,
Is ever known
To stand.

Mark Cantrell,
29 November 2008

Copyright © November 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Category: POETRY


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