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Sunday, 9 May 2021

POEM FOR MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 2021

CIRCLE TIME


We have it every Friday.

We go round one by one

taking turns to say

what’s on our mind. 


Yesterday James discussed

visiting France this summer. 

Ahmad talked about his new baby sister;

Ruth spoke of her kitten. 


I said nothing. Again. 

Just stared at the swirls

on the carpet and shrugged.

Miss Ellis said I didn’t have to talk

if I didn’t want. 


And I wish I could tell them.

I wish I could explain

how Dad and Laura

fight in the night

when they think I’m sleeping. 


I wish I could talk

of that tangled twine

that tightens round my torso

when they fire those poison arrows. 


But I said nothing. Again. 

Just kept my eyes down

as that still small voice 

murmured once more

how it’s all my fault.


Monday, 3 May 2021

TWO SHORT POLITICAL POEMS

 The Conservative government is currently mired in corruption, inadequacy and misplaced values. Firstly Boris Johnson is facing tough questions on the refurbishment of his abode. Thus:


FLAT

 

Having been

steamrollered

by cronyism

incompetence

inadequacy

and failure

I think it's

fair to say

Boris Johnson's flat.


These cretins also want to spunk much wonga on a new boat for her madge. I don't like this idea. Hence:


YACHT


I am nacht 

Too hacht 

On the Royal yacht;

I dislike the idea

A lacht.


Up the workers! Solidarity!

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

POEM FOR PERIVALE PRIMARY SCHOOL

When I visit schools, I am sometimes asked to write a bespoke poem, on a theme of the school's choosing. I love doing this! Here is a special poem written for the fantastic Perivale Primary School, whom I am visiting on Friday 28th April. I was asked to write them a poem centred around their core school values of respect, resilience, enjoyment, kindness and excellence, and this is my effort. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

THIS IS US


Warming smiles on Monday mornings

Classrooms filled with dedication

Doors opening into worlds of colour 


Pens poised in eager hands

Arms linked tightly across the playground

A kaleidoscope of swirling inspiration


A tissue to the eye when the tears flow

A tender word in a tired ear

A scuffed shoe ready to run again


Bubbling brews of heady potential 

A flag standing proudly in shifting sands

Differences united in diversity 


Respect

Resilience

Enjoyment

Kindness

Excellence


We will prevail entirely

We are Perivale Primary


Monday, 26 April 2021

POEM FOR BORIS

BODIES


Social distance

Quarantine

Clap for Carers

New vaccine

Hands and faces

All kept clean…

Bodies piled high. 


Furloughted workers

PPE

SAGE and

Herd Immunity

It’s a new

Normality…

Bodies piled high.


Barnard Castle

Isolation

Ventilators

Intubation

Cronyism

Ravaged nation…

Bodies piled high.


Friday, 23 April 2021

NEW POEM: 'THAT DOG'

That Dog


skulks away and cowers

in his corner. Trembling, there is nothing

we can do to coax him out. 

For some reason he’s scared.


He’s scared and we don’t know why.

There’s nothing we can do to tell him

that there’s nothing to be scared of.

We don’t speak his language.


What if we all are dogs like him,

huddled up in the corners of our lives?

What if the things we shrink from are akin

to whatever it is the dog fears?


So let us turn upwards, to the still

space above that holds us tight, tickles

behind our ears and if it could would tell

us we’re good, we’re loved, that everything


is all right.


Wednesday, 21 April 2021

POEM FOR EARTH DAY 2021

Earth Day is on the 22nd April. The poem below was written in anticipation of this, and I was up until recently excited to share it with you all. I shared it in a group on Facebook yesterday, where it was generally well received. However, one of the group members drew my attention to the fact that the poem is extremely similar to one written by Roger McGough, which you can read here. I genuinely do not remember reading this poem before writing my own, but I am obviously struck by the similarity. So struck, in fact, that I can only conclude that I must have read McGough's poem at some point in the past, and I must have thus imbibed it in some kind of subliminal way. Anyway, with this preamble out of the way, here is my poem for Earth Day 2021. I hope you will agree that I have at least done an OK job of taking McGough's original idea and taking it in my own direction.