Thanet Poetry Journal Voume 3: Thanet Writers Takeover Edition – October 2017


We’re back for another spectacular showcasing of Thanet’s writing talent. For this issue we at Neanderthal Beard reached out to Thanet Writers, a local CIC that we work with on various projects. They’re great people who put a lot of time and effort into building and maintaining our local writing community, not just for poets but writers of all disciplines.

Fittingly, as we’ve just celebrated Hallowe’en, this volume dwells on the macabre and ethereal, almost casting Margate as a land of the dead. The name Thanet, it is sometimes said, comes from the “Ynys Thanatos” in Ancient Greek myths. Though there are many tales on how this Island got its name, that’s always been my favourite. On the foggy nights recently, you can almost see the boats, rowing the dead to their final resting place.

Though this may sound dark and gloomy, I think ultimately this is a collection of love, as many things are.

Thanet Writers have been, and continue to be, a blast to work with and I sincerely hope you enjoy this volume of the Thanet Poetry Journal, edited by The Thanet Writers Editorial Team. I hope many of you will find your way to their website and submit content, whether story, poem or even articles on the subject of writing. It’s all part of Thanet Writers mission to build, promote and educate the writer’s of Thanet.

For the next volume, we are proud to welcome Setareh Ebrahimi to the editors chair. Until then, curl up by a fire with this collection and look out over the water and try to find the pale oarsman bringing the dead home on the shores of Thanet.



Quantum Love Notes From A Typewriter Attached to a Phone

Sometimes I think I am writing messages in a bottle
made of ones and zeroes
like there is and isn’t meaning
behind the words I’m using
and I’m throwing them in an ocean
waiting to see if anyone gets back to me

Just because our social media
says we are in sync
doesn’t mean we can feel each other
across this distance
but when we stay up all night,
sharing pictures via wifi
of our pyjamas
it seems like the whole wide world
is just another, big round zero
and we are two ones
on different points of its curve
When I was at school
I was told than an infinite line with a slight bend
would eventually come all the way back round
and touch itself
but the phone lines between us
have been broken by satellites,
so each time we say “I miss you”
it is literally a voice from heaven
made up of ones and zeroes
like there both is and isn’t meaning in it


My girlfriend doesn’t live that far away but it’s far enough that sometimes I can miss her. Recently I went on holiday, away from the internet. It was only a few days but I missed her still and I thought of those people in long distance relationships with people on the otherside of the planey and the role the internet plays in their lives. This made me think of all the people who might be in a relationships if only they were a little closer, for whom that distance is the only thing keep them apart but it still seems so great that neither one will admit they want more than whatever they share with this person.

Another lost rockstar…

With so many deaths

I am starting to grow bored.

I remember when rock stars did heroin

And died gracefully, in their sleep.


Now everyone has to make a noise

To cut through to the evening news

Where stiff white men in ties

Will remember what the music meant to them

When they wore ripped jeans

And stayed up all night.


There is one I follow,

Without a shelf of Grammys

And amidst the stream of

Repeated memories, he writes

“All my friends are dying”

And for him,

I worry.


Perhaps it’s the curse of a twenty-four hour news cycle and exposure to all stories via social media but in the wake of Chester Bennington’s suicide, I don’t feel sad. I feel empty. I know there is lose but I think it’s one I knew would come.

With Chris Cornell, he seemed like he had defeated his demons and so, that shook me. With Chester, I never thought he was finished fighting, so when the news broke that he had committed suicide, all I could feel was a sense of bitterness.

In the wake of Chris Cornell’s death, I read the feed from Richard Patrick of Filter as he shared Chris’s impact on his journey to sobriety. In that, I knew the humanity and I was saddened. Again, Richard loses another friend and he shares five words that cut deep: “all my friends are dying.”

Maybe right now, all I can do is repost the same message about how Hybrid Theory was one of the first albums I owned. Maybe I could be angry. Maybe I could be sad. Maybe I don’t care anymore, as I watch another teenage hero of mine pass away at their own hand. Maybe I’m angry at the legions of people who have nothing to say except that they owned an album of his and that grants them a ticket to take part in the grieving.

I know people are entitled to their own sadness. I won’t chase them down to tell them they own no part of this. I just wish people did more. I hate the statues of “my door is always open” or the same old suicide hotlines that are shared in the wake of these tragedies. Suicidal people don’t need open doors, they need long-term support, not drama hungry platitudes. One day, I may call these out but for now, I suppose I am angry and this is my grieving.

#365daysof Haiku – February

Wow this is late. When I wrote the post for January I marvelled at how much time I can spend on poetry. Now it seems I spend too much time on it, while my editing works piles on.

By the time march approached, I couldn’t find the time to get writing every day. I also moved house which didn’t help, that month without internet killed me. So, it seems I failed, 2 months in. I’m toying if I want to try it every year and see where I go. It’s a lot of discipline to reel off poetry on any kind of consistent basis. Continue reading “#365daysof Haiku – February”

What Big Poppa E Means To Me

I can remember finding Saul Williams, king of slam poetry, through his collaboration with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust. I was blown away by the lyricism. It wasn’t long after I’d found Sage Francis and Scroobius Pip and my love of hip-hop returned. Saul Williams was a part of my great tapestry of rap lyricism. The common thread to me seemed to be slam poetry.

Slam poetry seemed to breed these wonderful talents so I embarked to check out as many of the big names that I could find and study them. That never really happened. I opened the category for slam poets on Wikipedia and clicked the first name that seemed appealing to me: Big Poppa E. Continue reading “What Big Poppa E Means To Me”

Getting Better: Performing & overperforming

I’ve seen actors fling themselves around the stage in desperate grips of heart wrenching sorrow and I’ve seen poets bring in props and costumes and shout to high heaven…and I hate them.

Not like “I hate this person”, rather I think of this disservice done to the poetry (Nothing against props, but the point of a poet is poetry, first and foremost), It’s easy to think that performance means being as loud and powerful and all over the place to capture the audience. In reality, you’re overpowering your words and they get lost in the image of you as a clown. Reservation and subtlety are two of poetry’s most powerful tools over stand-up and music and acting, and if we’re gathered to hear poetry, we’re there to see and hear poetry.

So how do you balance performance with the dreaded overperformance? Continue reading “Getting Better: Performing & overperforming”

Thanet Poetry Journal Volume 1

Thanet Poetry Journal Volume 1

Click to download ThanetPoetryJournalVol1

I’m really proud to announce that Thanet finally has it’s own poetry journal.

A few months ago, I was having a chat with Stefan Gambrell (Neanderthal Bard) about what could be done to help take poetry in Thanet to the next level. We came up with a few ideas, and our CIC NeanderthalBeard was born.

We’re still finalising things but I couldn’t wait to show you our first project.

We’ve taken submissions from all over the place; the poets who didn’t know they were poets, those who have yet to make it to the stage, those who were born and bred here and those who come to Thanet to visit our events. Everyone deserves the chance to be a poet, and that’s what we intend to see happen, by providing every possible oppurtunity to help and develop new writers, from every angle.

To submit to future volumes of Thanet Poetry Journal, email submissions to



We’ve created a Patreon to support the printing of the journal.