And here’s to Mr. Darwin


Lunch time in Aigburth Vale and the Tizer boys are kicking off.

Stripped to the waist and oiled by labour they roll the ball;

set their goals, piled crates of bottles,

their crude orange shafts packed like explosives.

Liquid fizzes to rough handling – primed.


In the grammar school opposite, the dinner bell buzzes.

The concrete well of the playground fills with girls

lying cat-like in the heat, eyes narrowed, lips parted.

The teacher hisses at the effervescent air, ‘Sit up.’

She passes, they sigh and go down like dominoes,

pheromones flow in a Mexican wave.


Singled minded, single sex, feminist crusaders—

But the surge of electricity as the Tizer boys kicked off.


By Mrs E Parkes

This poem won 2nd prize in the FRP Open Poetry Competition 2016 

Liz Parkes lives in Stourbridge, West Midlands. A former teacher, she now runs a writing group and takes the occasional writer’s workshop for other groups. She is a member of Cucumber, a playwriting group based at Birmingham Rep. She writes plays, which are performed at local venues; short stories for a blog and both page and performance poetry. She has enjoyed master classes at Ty Newydd in 2014 and 2015. She has had some work published by Offa’s press and in Cannon’s Mouth. Her writing time is, “Punctuated by bouts of frenetic physical activity in a vain effort to throw off the pounds weight and stave off the Grim Reaper.”

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