Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Introduction by Jim Bennett


Hello.  Welcome to the next in the series of CITN featured poets.  We will be looking at the work of a different poet in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series.


You can join the CITN mailing list at - http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.



Choked to the lintels with briars,

rotten window-frames gape:

beyond dangling slates

a sycamore where rooks refuse to nest.

Forcing thorns apart, I step in

to the parlour.


                 from; Homestead by Paul Jeffcutt






Dad’s Bonfire

First Ascent

Abandoned Along La Ruta de Don Quijote

The Club

Habana Cabaret

Albie’s Phantom



Twilight Tjukurpa



1 – BIOGRAPHY:  Paul Jeffcutt


Paul Jeffcutt grew up in a hamlet near the border between England and Wales; after living and working in three different continents, he settled in Northern Ireland near the birthplace of Patrick Brönte.

During 2000 he started to write poems in his spare time, rekindling an interest in poetry that had lain dormant for decades. His first poem was published in 2003.

In 2006 Paul was selected by Poetry Ireland as an emerging writer of 'real talent'. He left full-time employment in 2008 to pursue a new career as a writer.


Paul’s poems have appeared in poetry journals from the UK, Ireland, Australia and the USA, including Aesthetica, The Cannon's Mouth, Carillon, Crannog, Decanto, The Frogmore Papers, Gold Dust, HQ, Markings, Mobius, Poetry Scotland, Revival, Sentinel, Silkworm and Stylus; his poems have also featured in anthologies from established poetry presses including Dedalus Press, Biscuit Publishing, Ragged Raven Press and Cinnamon Press.


Latch, his debut collection of poetry, was published by Lagan Press in November 2010.


Paul's work has been highly commended in international poetry competitions, including  the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize 2009, and has been broadcast by BBC Radio. He is a long-standing member of the Writer’s Group at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry in Belfast.


Contact: poetrypaul@gmail.com








At the end of the abandoned lane

among stubby fields of nettles,

couch-grass and docks,

the old house squats.

A muddied cattle-trail curves

to the empty gate and wanders on.


Choked to the lintels with briars,

rotten window-frames gape:

beyond dangling slates

a sycamore where rooks refuse to nest.

Forcing thorns apart, I step in

to the parlour.


A barren grate,

the tiled mantelpiece shrouded with cobwebs

and the drained bodies of insects

that kicked their last as Jim Reeves crooned on the radio:

filthy strands embrace a deserted soldier,

in the mildew beside him a teddy’s eye.


Broken tiles crunch to the thick, square sink

(where stains couldn’t be erased)

and a raddled enamel cooker

its oven door clasped by bramble spikes,

still guarding against

the ungrateful child who wanted.







Every weekend he attends

to the sacrifice:

weeds, sticks, newspapers and leaves

hauled to the site.

Torn elbow above smudged knee,

wellyboot stirruped on garden fork,

he drags on a Player's,

strides to the heap

and flicks a match.

She peers out and sighs.

He spits in his palm, grasps the haft

and forks debris to the pyre:

first a frown, then a lip

smoulders and cackles into flame.

At last, she’s ablaze.







Fighting a falling sky,

the raven soars

from the summit,

quivering ebony jibs

whirlscaped in azure.

Ocean of crag and wind,

my hoarse cry glides to you.


Spanning granite ledges,

the bright cord tautens:

you begin to climb the gully,

our umbilical drawing you in.

Perched, I peer below,

your face sparkles into view:

route done, we’re reunited.

The joy of a long way to go.






A dead kestrel,

the guts of a washing machine,

mule turds, single mattress

ripped, one black boot, carcass

of a computer monitor,

wide-brimmed wickerwork hat,

Barbie y Ken se Prometen

(box empty), olive stones,

a book on chivalry, whose name

I do not care to recall,

stamped Biblioteca de Toledo.







It’s exclusive, yet people join every day:

there’s no application form,

no interview and no fee.

Enrolment only happens at someone else’s behest,

it arrives unexpectedly

however much you might’ve prepared.


You enter an all-age community, for life.

Resignations are never accepted

as membership can only be passed

to family and close friends.

Renewals and extensions just come along

whether you’re looking for them or not.

You’re in the loss club:

soldiering on, day by day.







The guts of a grand hotel

stuffed with 50’s Americana,

yellow-finned Chevrolet convertible

and chromed maw of Buick sedan.

The dance-floor, a protruding glitterballed tongue:

Cuban octet stuck in the throat

(sharp white suits, red bow-ties)

swinging out ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’

to tables scattered like spittle.


In place of Lucky Luciano and the mob

indentured natives jump a generation or two,

lined white hands renting young mulattos.

A curtain call and the DJ starts,

jinetero waves across the floor to jinetera,

each confers with old, flatfooted squeeze:

sparkling, they join in ecstatic dance

and return to be yoked

to their owners.


jinetero / jinetera:  a young Cuban hustler (male/female)






                  for Justice Albie Sachs


Without me to steer it

the indigo arm of his suit flutters and swerves.

He’s speaking on truth and reconciliation:

that hand an anchor (trapping his notes to the desk)

this sleeve a flag of passion

the vacant space that’s rightly mine.


Long after the car bomb in Mozambique

he’s told the secret agent wants to confess.

At the Commission, a chance meeting:

the agent sheepishly makes to shake,

I scream

'you’ve already taken me, you bastard'.

Albie pauses, then proffers:

'here, I have another one'.






                for Gill Banks


 We begin to unload the garage,

a store-house crowded with leftovers

from my stranded years in rented rooms.

Nosing through piles of boxes,

the brother and I chuckle

at favourite shoes, scuffed

unfashionable and bent,

old albums (James Brown, Blondie,

T Rex) and, best of all,

the shirts I used to boogie in.


Under heaps for the jumble and debris for the dump

we reach the big red trunk.

In the bedroom of our house

I'd sat with it, the evening before the service,

a vigil with scraps and shreds that would not rest.


Hauled out into the light

it glowers.

I turn towards Robert

(but he must have slipped away)

then back to the trunk,

heavy with rivets

at reinforced corners in black.

I struggle forward,

grasp a stiff brass latch:

creaking, the lid cleaves open.


I kneel before the trove

and unwrap jewellery,

birthday cards, snaps, quirky souvenirs,

perfume, faded tickets:

a bundle of my love letters.


Those vital moments,

that fleeted and flew away,

return their precious cargo so gently…


Hushed, we’re talking

and I caress your skin.




MARAHAU (Wispy Cloud and Lantern Moon)


The eerie skin of a great giraffe

enfolds constellations in its hide.

Vellum mottles to Canis Major

and Aries patchworks into Leo:

firmament and parchment,

tonight the stars compose.


Dog-years of searching,

I rode foul beasts that bucked and skirled

through Orion and the Pleiades:

erratic gyrations

and obscure glimpses

sculpting the border of illumination.






In a lost ocean of terracotta sand

bulges the blood-red shoulder

of an ancestral being

at rest.

As visitors clamber like ants,

bright sun crawls across the tussocked plain

of yellow spinifex,

scattered groves of mulga trees

still their agile leaves.

The land offers up its warmth.


Crimson biceps gather

and stretch,

rippling from a great scapula

six kilometres across:

the ants scatter and snap.

Over scarlet flanks

sunfire pulses, flares:

a conflagration scorches to the summit

and soars into a glistening sky.


Haloed in ultramarine and violet,

Uluru stands serene:

a beacon of the spirit

rooted in the earth’s core.

This eager heart.



tjukurpa: foundational beliefs and spiritual truths (aboriginal)





Homestead - Aesthetica (Annual 2010)

Dad’s Bonfire - Cinnamon Press (Anthology 2006)

First Ascent - The Frogmore Papers (forthcoming)

Abandoned Along La Ruta de Don Quijote - Cinnamon Press (Anthology 2008)

The Club - Carillon (forthcoming)

Habana Cabaret - Markings No 30 (2010)

Unpacking - Cinnamon Press (Anthology 2006)

Twilight Tjukurpa - The Cannon's Mouth No 34 (2009)



Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -