This page: Broken Biscuits by June Portlock Waltzing off from Hand-Me-Downs by Sylvia Forrest A Kind of Mink, by Heather Young White Lies by Jeanne Macdonald The Sugar Factory by Ann O'Neil The Potting Shed by Monica Cheale

The cover of 'Broken Biscuits'

Broken Biscuits by June Portlock,
ISBN 978-0-9520090-2-3

Broken Biscuits

My nose runs and my hot penny hand
wipes back the assault;
cuffing the mixed warm stink of
firewood, floury rice, curry powder and
Tom cat.

Mrs Fraser with her bosom
round her knees leans of piles of
The Reynolds News and crusty tops of loaves
"What'ja want hinny?"

I stand beneath wobbling heaps
of half-filled sacks and half-empty crates
staring unwilling at fly-blown cards of elastic,
buttons, and teats in rows
like feeding sows.

Extract from Broken Biscuits

"June's poems are inventive, reminiscence with a twist."


What June Did Next

Waited in vain for request for Broken Biscuits II - I thought I'd call it The Phantom Menace but somebody else beat me to it. Instead I've enjoyed sending my words to the winds. I've been fortunate to be accepted by some poetry magazines, Envoi and Other Poetry for example, but I've taken particular delight in having my poems published in less likely places. The Grocer for example, and an in-house magazine for Estate Agents called Negotiator, which sounds much more like something for the Secret Services. I really like the idea of someone reading my poems who wouldn't normally pick up a book of poetry. I also belong to a performance Poetry group - First Thursday - who meet in The Bridge pub in Newcastle on, you've guessed it, the first Thursday of each month, except that it's sometimes the second Thursday or even the third. We produced our own collection, Poets Like Us, which was so successful we had to reprint.

And now I have published a novel...

The cover of 'The Colour of Pegs'

To buy The Colour of Pegs, send a cheque for £12.40 (including £1.00 p&p) to:
Diamond Twig,
9 Eversley Place,

The Colour of Pegs

"The Colour of Pegs was at first a short story. When I bought coloured clothes pegs and found myself matching the pegs to the washing, I wondered what kind of person would do this? Maybe someone who had artistic flair but wasn't able to express themselves through more conventional means? More questions followed: why couldn't this individual follow their interest? Who or what was stopping them? This led to the creation of Annie, the heroine of the story and her bully of a husband Mike.

"The story won the Sid Chaplin Short Story Competition in 1998, and the judges Elizabeth Gill and Wendy Robertson advised me to attempt something longer. 'We want more,' they said. Well, more is what they got: The Colour of Pegs is now a full-length novel and you can buy it via Diamond Twig."