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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Poems for Abney Park Cemetery

I recently did some work with the Hackney Pirates, a fantastic children's charity based in, erm, Hackney. Over half-term, the work involved using the nearby Abney Park cemetery as a stimulus for poetry. I wrote three especially commissioned poems for the project, and I am delighted to be able to share them here. Each poem was written in order to model specific writing techniques, such as personification, metaphor/simile, the five senses, rhythm and repetition. Here they are, along with pictures of the items in the cemetery they were inspired by.

Abney Park Chapel

I have seen the slow rolling
of the seasons, the cycle of life
and the ceaseless turning of the earth.

I have bridged the path from ground
to sky, my finger touching heaven
and my feet set in the soil.

I have heard the cries of widows
and the laughter of birds
taking flight to the stars.

I smell dust in my stone nostrils.
I taste ash in my toothless mouth.

Image result for abney park chapel



Lion

He’s watching you.

With eyes keener than guided arrows
and claws sharper than angry knives,
he’s watching you.

He’s waiting for you.

With a neck stronger than varnished oak
and a mane mightier than an ice-capped mountain,
he’s waiting for you.

He’s ready for you.

With teeth poised like soldiers
and limbs as agile as an acrobat,
he’s ready for you.

He’s protecting you.

With a heart as pure as fire
and courage as deep as the ocean,
he’s protecting you.

 Image result for bostock lion


A Tribute

Tommy,
you raced
through
the past,
weaving
your way
in and out
of years.

Tommy,
you dashed
across
centuries,
your bike
churning up
the dust
of memory.

Tommy,
you pursued
immortality
like a
two-wheeled fox
chasing
a hare.

Tommy, you lie in the ground.
Quiet. Still. Fading away. 

Image result for tommy hall cyclist

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