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.




Your face so close to mine I cannot see you

but for furry colours

a wide line of pink for mouth

set in a peachy frame

I breathe your breath

you mine



                 from; "Lucy" by Rachel McGladdery






Little Clock

Up The Tops



Man Overboard

Remembering The Scharnhorst


Jelly Babies

Philip and Me




1 - BIOGRAPHY:  Rachel McGladdery


Rachel McGladdery began writing seriously just over a year ago. In that time, she has performed at several live literature venues around the North West, was recently interviewed by Radio Lancashire and was the winner of the NXNW 2010 Poetry Slam. She has had poems published online at The Pygmy Giant, in Preston Is My Paris Zine literary edition, Mental Virus Arts magazine and in an anthology, Word Soup, Year One. She writes in an intimate and confessional style. She dislikes talking about herself in the third person.








Once, in a frank moment,

She'd confided

That she'd come

this close

To sleeping with another man,

it was


by the discovery of a condom


in the inside pocket

of my Granddad's suit.

Later, in a rare instant of lucidity

he explained to me,

deathbed confessional

That on one of those

bone aching dog watch

nights, as the sea slid past, oily and frigid

he'd taken the Golden Rivet

from a bloke called Blossom.

Neither shocked


more than a mild

bump, but rather warmed.


Both had chosen me to tell,

each had unencumbered

to a grand-daughter



They judged,

Would not.




Little Clock


Her eyes fast forward through the scenes she's played.

A warm and milk rimmed baby boy, sleep slack against her shoulder as she hefts him for a burp.

A sturdy legged toddler kicking round a ball, skenning against the sun

A leggy youth awkward in his best shirt smiling, shoulder shelfing on his mum,

A son to grow, to outgrow her.

All halted like the stopping of a little clock.

She shyly shows the card they gave her on the ward.

I marvel, tears rising like fear in my throat to see the tiny print they made.

Who unfurled the fingers?

Of a hand no bigger than my nail.

His weight five ounces

His length that of his mummies hand.

She wouldn't hold him though

But she's glad she has the polaroids they took.

She won't show them, they are for her alone.

Grief rises from her like a stink.




Up The Tops


The dints of last week's walk

still scar the turf

a white scratch

which raised sparks

last Sunday

a scrape, a scuff of ill planned heel

on rock.

The frog had gone,

an obscenity of frogspawn in it's place

gazing blandly up

with a thousand jelly eyes.

The hare

was still there

the long thigh bones

the scraps of fur

an eye, black and shiny and congealed with flies last Sunday

empty this one,

not a bit of meat remained.

Stopping. Shielding eyes from  the sudden glare of sun-out-of-cloud

we saw a line

of Minis

stretched along the road,

Something solemn,


despite the Smartie colours

car on car on car

forty or so

when they had processed from sight

and a hen harrier

arcing above the ragged crows

caught our attention

the sudden stillness

and the silence

but for the wind in rushes.

But for the ticking of a pipit.

But for the baleful growl of a Pheasant, nesting low,

made me catch my breath

like an ice cold gulp of water.







 When you,

my darling of three spring times

climb in with me, in the morning early

when woke from dreaming or from birdies chorus

And I fold you into me.

 The coldest parts of you,

though torture to my sleep warm flesh,

 I suffer gladly

to make you warm again.

 Your frozen feet allowed to

kick into my doughy tum

your hands, reach for my armpits

 this I allow.

Your face so close to mine I cannot see you

but for furry colours

a wide line of pink for mouth

set in a peachy frame

I breathe your breath

you mine

it clogs my lungs and makes

me roll my eyes in panic

but then,

as I open my lids and look and you, hearing the ungluing too

open yours,

little slits, showing sleepy sloes

the pink spreads slowly o'er your face

you smile.








Vinyl bright, wipe-clean tea cloths of names,

women in technicolour dresses,

arms soft and round and brown,

a basketful of fruit for you,

a promise in a full red lip and white, wet teeth.


Oh how mis-named

for seal grey bullets

smaller than a trawler.

Like tiny things

upon a board of battleships.

Just 2 squares,

just 2 co-ordinates

and you'd be lost.

sailing small

on a vast frozen ocean,

gun metal grey

like the bobbing toy above.


We have a model in the middle room,

you can see the gun he manned,

it's housed in glass

on blue green white tipped plasticine.





Man Overboard


After laughter

ribbing over The Golden Rivet

and who was Blossom giving it to tonight?

A sudden screech

and thirty sunbrowned arms

shielding Pale Northern Eyes

from the burning sun.

And sommat's comin'

Sommat's comin'

kicking the fanny over

sluice with soapy bubble of

rum and oil and water.

And man the fuckin' gun Tom.

Man the fuckin' gun.

but Roy, sliding stupid

On the rinse, feet dancing

knocked his face off the post

and slid, slipped over

Slipped under

off into the.


Clear blue sky.


The shielding arms come down

they plant their 58 feet.

Dum dum

and look and wonder.






Remembering The Scharnhorst


The sunken, frosted chest that once hung meat

Weighed down with metal on Remembrance Day

Frail tortoise necked and rheumy eyed

He couldn't watch the

Sea Cadets Band,


watch the Jacks

Lollipopping on the Glockenspiel

 Faint tash

And cocky eyes

White gaiters flashing


Without nodding back the tears remembrance brings

"They were kids,

They were just bloody kids,"

We looked away,

Embarrassed by the show.

With straight line grin

And Grim, we

Shouldered him back to his memories.







 In the drab walled room in the attic

I peer from the spotted mirror

in the cavernous dressing table.

Ochre lit.

Out of the sooty window

the ice of muslin flapping wetly

the street  all oil cloth and patent rooves

I am corset bound and flesh-pinched

white and soft above and below

all singed curls and droppered earrings,

peeping coyly

hiding the disease and wrapping myself in virtue.

But when you leave with your stare and tut and all the dead relatives

withdraw to their paintings

I claw myself bloody.







Jelly Babies


We braved the wasps and nettles,

feet fearing the moist scrabble of tiny frogs

and came home


with bags of dripping berries.

Elicited nods from sweet old ladies

and questions of recipes.

Oh I scored points for making jam not pies.

To see my babies lined up

neatly labelled

little bonnets


To see the sun slant through

the ruby

and feel that female pride

of storing bounty up for winter,

anticipating spooning scented jelly

on toast on steaming cold mornings

before school

negates the quarrelling,

the carping,

the thorns on fingers

and dresses ruined with purple.

I am,

in some small fragrant way

that kind of mother.






Philip and Me


We had an intellectual interest in sex

not the gush of solitary undercover stuff, we knew that well

but, unhealthy as we were, though I had the upper hand,

we were both quite new to this.

 Of an age where our peers were allegedly rutting like bunnies

We, of the turned up collars and walks on the beach,

of studied melancholy, seemed at a distance.

 So, in the dying firelight, on the studio couch while my grandma slept upstairs,

we peeled each other, lay like white sticks

I rubbed and pulled you, tied you up in ribbons

but it was obvious your interest lay somewhere else

and instead, we sat like naked cross-leg children and I did your make up.







Rolling in one night on sea legs

made entirely from White Lightning,

He bowled up at mine and fell in through the door.


I helped him up and sat him down

and once propped upon a chair with a cup of tea he told me he had AIDS.

"Oh Dad" I said and went to hug him.

He held his hand out like a nicotine stained starfish.


" you don't have to bleach the cup"


I held him sadly as he sobbed into my shoulder,


"Don't treat me like a leopard"




3 - Publishing History


Little Clock was published in 'Word Soup Year One' in July 2010

Dad' was first published by The Pygmy Giant in August 2009 and then again in 'Mental Virus Arts' magazine in August 2010,

the others are all un-published but are either on my facebook page or my Write Out Loud profile.


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 -