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Poetry Critique Group – Amsterdam

Categories: Amsterdam, Expat Poetry, Poetry, To do in Amsterdam
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Our Friends at the language poetry critique group are looking for new members.

We are an English language poetry critique group based in Amsterdam. We meet twice monthly on a Thursday evening from 6.30 till around 8.30. No experience is necessary, but you would need to write poetry in English and give and receive critique in a supportive environment. We are a friendly open group and welcome anyone who is interested. Membership is free, but there may be a small charge for the venue.

The next meeting is on 8th October.

For further details contact Robin Winkel at

Summer Poetry

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Three summer poems with sand between each stanza



by Sally Johnson


 You comin’ mate for a pint o’ beer? 

Can’t mate, got a bloomin’ pain in me left ear. 

It’s givin’ me ‘avoc n makin’ me queer; 

Gonna ‘ave to see the doc tomorro’ I fear. 

Awright, take care mate, n we’ll send you some cheer 

From the pub round the corner, The Laughin’ Cavalier. 

Wonder ‘ow many ‘e ‘ad; ‘e’s got quite a leer! 

Yeah, booze, girls n gold; a geezer to revere! 

Have a good ‘un mate n keep your ‘ead clear. 

You know what ‘appened last time when you couldn’t steer. 

Smack into those bushes, didn’t you veer? 

Take it easy mate, ‘cos life’s too fuckin’ dear.


by Sally Johnson


 Surrounded by your perfectly cast silk, 

Your geometric precision can be matched by few. 

Your spatial shrewdness and daring are more than opportunist; 

You are an engineer of nature. 

As you bask suspended in the centre of your creation, 

You seem docile in the soft autumnal sun. 

Your body rests as motionless as today’s windless air; 

You are a responsive creature. 

As an engineer you, too, have a strategy, 

While your striped body and silk glisten delicately in the light. 

It is more than fine thread you weave – it is a genius’s trap; 

You are a perceptive inventor. 

Your stance is an intriguing illusion to the ignorant, 

Since at the slightest vibration, a light insect’s wing or a man’s sneeze, 

Your alertness is triggered, and you pounce eagerly to consume; 

You are a subtle warrior.



by Dave Thomas © 2016



new line dissects backdrop
cultural landscape
musings displaced

embankment shields teeming ditch
slender reeds
dragonfly’s hum

modern erection
new halt
bleak contrast
old line station

on-board, different rhythm
rural conformity
city vitality
tensions unleashed


Expat Poetry | Impoverished conversation by Dave Thomas

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Impoverished conversation

spaghetti letters tumble

jumble in Tetris

Letris falling

appalling, bereft of emotion

commotion, passing through the motions

of oceans

of scalding verboseness

closeness, sentiments starched

parched, tapioca still talking

hawking in a

ratcheted rut


© Dave Thomas

Expat Poetry | Ghent by Dave Thomas

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shrouded in naked silence

Van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb

scarcely attracts a visitor

at the Museum of Fine Art


a mile away a heaving throng

gawps at leftover Christmas trinkets

purveyed from converted garden sheds

nestled between medieval churches


tourists step into these religious bulwarks

to gaze at a former world

oblivious to a faithful few

who gather seeking the divine



the masses instinctively congregate

and process fitfully through ware-laden streets

in a carnival without effigies or masks


Dave Thomas


(c) 2015


Expat Poetry |Our darkest fears have washed ashore

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Our darkest fears have washed ashore


This time it’s not a whale

washed ashore by ungovernable forces


There is no twitch

in the body lifeless


Sharp as a dagger of silent horror

we collectively scream


Unfathomable sadness

too deep to contemplate


Our fingers point in the easiest direction

to those responsible


They have mothers who come to their rescue

from the crowd seeking unspeakable revenge


We all have mothers

but it’s the father’s open mouth caught in a silent scream…


John Richardson

Expat Poetry | Feral Nuns

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By John Richardson, copywriter

Feral Nuns





unvirgin Mary and her 20 dogs of war

running towards me

convent hens out for a bit of prenuptial yoke

piercing blackened eyes with unreligious intent


a black boy collapses to his knees

“Save me sister” he cries

“Fuck off you cunt” howls the pregnant sister

wedding veil on top go her habit

fag in mouth

fags in all their mouths






their unrestrained joy leaves a boiling wake

it tosses me like an ungovernable emotion on to the wall

it’s depth crushes my lizard loins






they pass

I never recover


© John Richardson 2015

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Expat Poetry | Hardknott pass

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Hardknott pass

Audis, Minis, battered Fords,

snake toward me

as their male occupants

invariably succumb to my allure


gears grind

frustration bites

adrenlin flows full  throttle

and  expletives  hit  the  dust

as brash egos in steel stallions

stare failure in the eye


let them revel in their achievement

on soft summer days

as when winter comes   and I

glisten in my prime

none dare caress me


© Dave Thomas 2015


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