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Monday 26 July 2021

A poem for my grandparents' sixtieth wedding anniversary

One of the occupational hazards of being a poet is that I often get called upon to produce a piece of work to celebrate family occasions. If I am lucky I can have a look through my back catalogue and find something that fits the bill, but I thought that my grandparents' sixtieth wedding anniversary was an event that truly warranted a new creation. I can't really even imagine being alive for sixty years, let alone married for that length of time. I believe love is the greatest achievement of which humans are capable, and to sustain love for this long is a feat every bit as magnificent as a Van Gogh painting or a Shakespeare play. Probably more so. Here is my poem, followed by the picture that inspired it. 

A Photo of My Grandparents’ Wedding

There he is: tall, handsome, smartly-dressed

and although he doesn’t know it yet

he’s embarking on a journey

he’ll still be on sixty years later. 

And next to him, petite and poised

his new wife is about to cut the cake,

her knife set to slash the ribbon

and commence the adventure.

How could they know

through this monochrome gauze

between them and their future

just what it is that they will encounter?

How could they comprehend

the abundance that will fill their lives

like parcels stacked in pyramids

under a wide-armed tree?

This duo will soon become three, 

then four, then gradually more, each new life

twisting tendrils round their trunk

and clasping them together.

This couple will go on to build,

brick on brick, an edifice held forever

with the cement of the shared memories

they couldn’t have fathomed then.

Yet, as I place their picture in front of me,

it’s almost as though I can sense

sixty years’ worth of love in their sepia smiles. 

And as I look up at them now

I can still see them as they were back then:

joining hands, linking hearts

and looking forward

to unknown wonders ahead.

Sunday 18 July 2021

Oh, come let us abhor him!


Silent night! Covid night!

All is screwed, all is shite

Round yon Boris venal and vile!

Knew of Delta all of the while!

Let this lunacy cease!

Let this lunacy cease!

Violent night! Covid night!

Shielders they quake at the sight!

Virus streams from near and far

Boozy louts five-deep at the bar

This manchild was warned!

This manchild was warned!

Silent night! Covid night!

His soul is dark but his hair is light

Ineptitude beams from his lowly face 

He’s the scourge of the human race 

Wiffle and piffle and mirth!

Give this git a wide berth!

[July 19th - 'Freedom Day' - marks the end of all Covid restrictions in England]

Wednesday 14 July 2021


Walking in from the lab

he finds a note on the table.

His wife is leaving him.

Flesh-machine tries

to compute the loss.

Monday 12 July 2021

Poem for Year 6 Leavers at Penn Wood Primary School

Later this week I am due to give a short poetry performance, for parents and pupils, at a Year 6 leavers' assembly at Penn Wood School, Slough. I have written them a special poem, which I am delighted to share on my blog. If any Year 6 teachers are reading this, please feel free to share the poem with your class!

LEAVERS’ POEM by Joshua Seigal


The times you laughed, the times you cried

The times you fell and skinned your knee

The times you shared, and cared, and tried

Unlocked your mind and found the key

The times you hugged, the times you fought

The times you filed in lines outside

The times your churned with nascent thoughts

And yearned and burned with sparks of pride

The times you learned, the times you strayed

The times you turned to see anew

The times you toiled, the times you played

And hold them close...

They’re part of you.