Category: poetry

Almost done

Seven years and my degree is almost complete. In just over a week my last ever project will be printed, bound and posted. Then it will be time to start writing for myself only. That is even more daunting. No deadlines to meet. No study books to read. No assignments to polish. No instructions, no marks and no feedback. Real author time. I won’t … Read More Almost done

Don’t keep your writing a secret

During the 18 months I have been studying Creative Writing, I have come across a number of people who claim that they write only for themselves. Whether it is poetry, short stories or a diary (I have to confess I have NEVER kept a diary), I don’t really understand this.  Why write if no-one is going to read it? It’s like painting a picture … Read More Don’t keep your writing a secret

In defence of poetry!

I love poetry, but I know there are lots of people out there who hate it. At best fit only for ‘old’ people and love-sick Romeos and at worst a load of old rubbish, poetry has come to signify something a bit high brow and not for the likes of mere mortals. Unless of course we include Pam Ayres and why not indeed! She … Read More In defence of poetry!

This is the childhood that I daily dreamed of

Another sonnet. I like the sonnet form! The name sonnet derives from the Occitan word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning ‘little song’. The form dates back centuries and has come to signify a poem of 14 lines with a strict rhyming scheme and specific structure. There is usually (traditionally anyway) a volta or turn more often than not after the first … Read More This is the childhood that I daily dreamed of

Saving the roses – a sestina for the environment

Saving the roses is a sestina. A sestina consists of 39 lines made up of six six-line stanzas and a tercet (or envoi) and is probably the most challeging poetic form there is. There are six end words which are used for every line, but in a different order which is referred to as retrogradatio cruciata (‘retrograde cross’). The sestina is reputed to have … Read More Saving the roses – a sestina for the environment

Outlandish Tales of Folklore

Outlandish Tales of Folklore is a series of three sonnets which uses traditional folktales and mythology as its subject. Cooking with Elves Around the campfire they sit and Squabble, the Dark Elves, the Svartálfar, Who capture babies in the night, While slumbering peacefully in their beds Tangling their hair in elflocks They squeal with horrid delight, Throw them in… Throw them in… No beauty … Read More Outlandish Tales of Folklore

Lost and found

Lost and found is a villanelle, a rather old-fashioned poetic form which is 19 lines long and consists of five tercets and a closing quatrain. It depends on the repeated use of two lines. These two lines appear four times each and again at the very end. The Villanelle originated in France and entered the English language in the 1800s. Lost and found I … Read More Lost and found


Sunday is a very short poem I wrote years ago. I have also included a couple of Haikus. A Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, consisting of three lines in the pattern 5, 7, 5 morae (or on). A morae is a sound unit, which characterizes Japanese poetry, unlike English poetry which is characterized by meter. Sunday You left on Sunday Now the … Read More Sunday


Circus You left to join the circus As it travelled through our town, You said you were a lion-tamer Not a lady’s clown. I didn’t mean to hurt you, I was trying to play it cool. I didn’t mean to be unkind Or treat you like a fool. The flat was cold and empty So I let it to a man Who was a … Read More Circus

It’s hard to iron

It’s hard to iron It’s hard to iron Without a hand No not a hand As in to help, But hand as in The five-fingered extension Of one’s arm It’s hard to climb Without a foot No not the measurement Of length, But foot as in The five-toed extension Of one’s leg It’s hard to think Without a head No not ahead As in … Read More It’s hard to iron

Childhood dreaming

Childhood dreaming I wished I was a Persian cat With long grey fur and amber eyes I wished I was a greyhound dog Fast and sleek with coat that shines I wished I was a jungle lion Smart and fierce and roaming wild I could have been all three of these If I had been a different child But I was timid as a … Read More Childhood dreaming

Poetically retentive

This is not really my usual sort of poetry, just a bit of fun. I am not good at free verse. Poetically retentive With mathematical precision I count every beat From beginning to end of each line They must be concise and perfect and true And every so often must rhyme No freedom of verse or lyrical waxing No skipping a meter or two … Read More Poetically retentive