Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Introduction by Jim Bennett

Hello.  Welcome to a new series of CITN.  We will be looking at the work of individual poets 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.


CITN 50. This  edition features the poetry of PATRICK B. OSADA


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




He said that war was nothing more

than murder by another name –

this last man from that fading band

who fought at Ypres and Passchendaele.


                 from Last Man Standing by Patrick B. Osada

















Patrick B. Osada  lives in Warfield, Berkshire, England. He works as an editor, writes reviews of poetry for magazines and  is a member of the Management Team for SOUTH Poetry Magazine.

His first collection, Close to the Edge was published in 1996 & won the prestigious ROSEMARY ARTHUR AWARD.

His second collection, Short Stories : Suburban Lives and his current volume, Rough Music, have been published in England by BLUECHROME.

Patrick’s work has been widely published in magazines, anthologies and on the internet. His poetry has been broadcast on national & local radio. 


 Information about his work can be found at :









The consummate professional :

Chatting, to put me at my ease.

Gently he helps me to prepare :

Attentive - then deftly prompting,

Questioning - polishing my speech.


And I feel fine : with thoughts marshalled,

My favourite phrases practised , checked,

I’m eloquent and in control.


“I think we’re ready now,” he says,

We’re rolling when the red light shows.”


And on the red light thoughts escape,

Eloquence evaporates as

I become a stuttering wreck -

Tongue almost tied….


                                   Always on the

Red light it’s the same : confidence

Withers, lines are fluffed, the simplest

Truth stays lodged in my dry throat.

Always at these times I need my best -

Instead, thick tongued, I croak, whisper

All of life’s most important lines

Like….”I love you, love you, love you.”







For days late summer heat had built

Hazing first fields of corduroy

Where swallows climbed the heavy air

To shimmer over distant wheat.


Dense storm clouds mass as black night turns

And thunder stumbles round the hills

Until a brief fluorescent flash

Illuminates our airless room.


Then rain. First heavy drops explode

Unevenly in ones and twos,

Till suddenly a torrent grows -

Setting awash the window sill,

Racing down gullies, blocking drains,

Cascading from gutters, swamping

Lawns........everywhere is overfilled.

Later we hear the storm's last roll

As timpani begins to slow :

Rain shushes to a steady drip.


And under blankets of warm air

We lie and wait for ragged dawn -

Together, but with separate thoughts -

Aware, like love, that summer's gone.





Beneath trees heavy with fruit :

An apple, discarded in the grass,

Crimson, yellow streaked, speckled.

Viewed from this side, spherical and whole.

Here magical deception :

Fruit beguiles the eye but not the hand.

No solidity, weightless;

Leathery, light of skin : an empty husk.


Tree born, the apple endured

Through June when Codling caterpillar

Bored a home in this fruit's heart.

To the grass it fell, tiny grubhole

Soon enlarged as probing birds

Hunt moth's pink offspring. Crisp juiciness

Now exposed, white apple flesh

Attracts the earwig and wasp; the ants

Complete the job of stripping

To the skin this apple in the grass :

Crimson, yellow streaked, speckled.

Viewed from this side, spherical and whole.





We are not strangers now, black dog.

Others have known you too : slinking

From the shadows, snuffling and thin,

Persistent in your following.

Trotting along behind, biding

Your time, you are prepared to wait

To seize your opportunity –

Cleverly you ingratiate

Susceptible hearts, guileless minds.


Shouting never frightened you or

The hex sign. Closing eyes is fine

Until, opening them once more,

Finds you still here. Deep breathing calms

The mind, but then you sit and whine –

Nothing I do makes you disappear.


So finally the bottom line

Is knowing that you’re here to stay –

Best to ignore you, come what may.


Each cunning sidelong glance reveals

You resting, head on paws today,

Or idly sitting scratching fleas –

Each time you’re always watching me

With eyes half shut, never asleep :

Unwanted friend waits patiently.


Then sometimes, with the longer days,

You leave, abruptly disappear,

And I relax in summer’s sun

And savour this changed atmosphere.

Yet still I know it cannot last

‘Though I’ve escaped from time to time,

You’ll suddenly appear, black dog,

And nuzzle me as if you’re mine.


In autumn, with the falling leaves,

You come. When copper sun rests on

The trees I see you gliding through

The wood, knowing, with summer gone,

You’ll seek me out – it’s understood.






Japan is empty now! In every shot

Themselves — with Rome a backdrop to their time

On tour. Each monument becomes a dot,

An adjunct to their transient joy, no rhyme

Or thought for beauty’s past or ancient place

While they have cameras, smiles and Gucci bags.


And would The Steps still be to John Keats’ taste?…

This scrum of souls with all their national flags,

Costly, must have brands, posing — looking hot,

Trying to be cool — waiting for a sign

Of fabled fifteen minutes fame that’s not

Unlike name writ in water  — not sublime

Like Keats’s modest phrase — but more germane

To media fed obsessions that obtain…



Pension Day


After the weekly pilgrimage

There’s time to kill before the bus.

Slowly, with sticks and bags they come,

Following decal walkway signs

That point them to Café Revive.

It’s here these grey haired waiters wait,

Like patients at a surgery,

Sitting, heads bowed, on hard-backed chairs

Each with a coffee or sweet tea -

They stretch each minute, sip their drinks.

Close by ironic signs declare :

End of the Line and Last few Days,

A joke that they refuse to see -

They sit and fiddle with their cups.


Time drags so slowly sitting here -

Each week, another Groundhog Day -

Yet do some wish to break the mould?….

To ride without a travel pass

And make a journey, not by bus.





(At Barbara Hepworth's Trewyn Studios and Museum, St. Ives.)


They should place a sign here reading

"Back in five minutes." Here as left,

Your work smocks hang behind the door,

Tools still lie where they were dropped - work

Has only briefly stopped. It may

Be luck - or artifice, perhaps -

But it's as if you've slipped away.

"Gone out for lunch" or "Popped next door"

Are messages we might expect

Left propped against your last maquette.



Gone thirty years is near the truth,

Yet all seems well and life means all

It ever meant. Out of sight can

Never mean you're out of mind. Your

Garden flourishes as planned, where

Mute sculptures stand as monuments

To talent and to taste. And could

It be the same for everyone -

To slip away as you have done?

To tantalise and seemingly

To wait so close : ephemeral

As scent on air; in the next room

Perhaps, somewhere about the house?





Along the cliff edge -

Too far to safely reach -

These white bells tantalised

With their strange scent :

A pungent odour on the breeze

Their signature.


Later, in Roseland,

We saw them grown like weeds :

Filling meadows, smothering hedgerow grass,

Covering the roadside verge

Like gentle drifts of snow.


And at St. Just, filling the churchyard there,

Bluebells and ransoms like a haze

On every bank, round ancient graves.


And, through the palm

That grows where you now rest,

A solitary ransom flower had set.


Though far away in miles and time,

The smell of garlic takes me back -

Transports me instantaneously

To that Spring day :

The tiny church, the muddy creek,

The ransom flowers and you.    




(I.M. Harry Patch 17/06/1898 – 25/07/09)



The bugle sounds, the flags unfurl

in memory of a modest man

whose life was haunted by a dream

of clinging mud and fearful noise.


He’d heard the cries of injured men

while being marched to Pilchem Ridge,

then crawled through mud, turned red by blood,

and, to a random shell, lost friends.


He said that war was nothing more

than murder by another name –

this last man from that fading band

who fought at Ypres and Passchendaele.


The nation saw him as a link

to multitudes who gave their lives :

a living emblem for the lost –

an icon to be eulogised.


But Harry Patch eschewed his fame –

despised the glorying of war;

It’s just showbiz…Remembrance Day” –

he hated pomp and ritual.


A soldier’s send-off held at Wells –

but he’d not want an ornate tomb,

reluctant hero to the end

he’ll rest in peace at Monkton Combe.                



4 - Afterword

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 - http://www.poetrykit.org/