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Tuesday 25 April 2017


If you can keep your voice when all about you
Are using theirs to bellow over you;
If you can dish out rules when all kids flout you
But see the humour in their flouting too;
If you can care and not get tired of caring
Or, being dissed, maintain a steady poise,
Or, being sworn at, not give way to swearing,
And see the stillness in amongst the noise;

If you can plan but not make plans your mistress;
If you can chill and have a nice weekend;
If you can still take care of all your business
And not let children drive you round the bend;
If you can bare to see the gifts you’ve given
Received by ingrates with a sullen grunt,
Or feel the fuel diminish, but stay driven
And smile when the Head is being a…difficult person to work with;

If you can make an ally of a parent
And both look out for what you think is best
For Little Johnny when he has been errant
And hasn’t done his work or passed his test;
If you can force your brain and heart and sinew
To teach the things that Ofsted says you should,
And so make sure the governors don’t bin you
And that the school maintains its place as ‘Good’;

If you can talk with yobs and keep composure
Or plug away when they don't give a damn;
If you can act when there’s been ‘a disclosure’
And not display the news on Instagram;
If you can keep calm while you have to wing it
With sixty minutes worth of ‘drama games’,
Yours is the class, and everything that’s in it
And – which is more – you might not go insane.

Wednesday 12 April 2017

The First Thing You Should Know

is that this poem won’t save you.
You won’t find what you’re looking for
among its little symbols.

You should know that this poem
was written on a manky notepad
with a half-empty biro. You can’t
stuff your soul with paper;
you can’t void the void with a pen. 

You are falling. This poem is just
something to read on the way down.
This poem won’t save you.
That’s the first thing you should know. 

The second thing you should know is

Thursday 6 April 2017


I shine like a diamond.
I rain like cats and dogs.
I’m not begging for change,
I’m begging for change.
I’m not doing this for my benefit.
I’m as soft as a feather,
as fierce as a lion,
as fast a cheetah
and as small as a mouse.
I am more than meets the eye.
I’m always a bridesmaid,
never a bride.
I am like a kid in a candy store.
Avoid me like the plague.

A: a cliché.