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Tuesday 28 September 2021

another poem for National Poetry Day 2021

Here is another poem written in my capacity as an Official Ambassador for National Poetry Day. The theme this year is 'Choice' 


Some clever people say

we have no choice at all,

that every decision we ever make

is predetermined by synapses,

genes, and things we can’t control. 

Others contest 

that god knows everything anyway,

that the things we choose were 

known by him before we reached out

our hand to pick them.

Me? I studied these theories

long ago. Turned them round

in my still-fresh mind, looked

for holes in the argument,

flaws in the logic.

Now I stand here at the river’s edge

and as I jump in

I refute it thus

with the heft and the heart

and the heat of my splash.

Saturday 25 September 2021


They’re panic buying poetry!

They stretch around the block. 

For Duffy, Heaney, Armitage

they queue around the clock. 

They’re set on buying Byron

and Neruda fuels their fire. 

They’ve got the hots for Walcott

and the zeal for Zephaniah. 

They’re panic buying poetry!

The shelves are running bare. 

They’re loading barrows by the tonne

with Donne and Keats and Clare. 

They’ve gone all hard for Hardy

and for Edgar Allan Poe. 

Cummings keeps them coming

and I don’t know when they’ll go. 

They’re panic buying poetry!

They’re stockin’ and they’re hoardin’. 

They’re barkin’ mad for Larkin 

and for W H Auden. 

For Dickinson and Rosen 

watch them clamour, hear them shout. 

They’re crackers for Baraka 

but the poetry’s run

Sunday 19 September 2021

'Choices' - a poem for National Poetry Day 2021

 I am an Official Poetry Ambassador for National Poetry Day, which this year is on 7th October ! I have had this role since 2016, and it involves going all around the country, either virtually or in real life, spreading the joy of poetry. Every year National Poetry Day has a theme. This year it is 'Choice'. Here is a little poem I wrote on that theme. I would LOVE it if teachers were to get in touch with their pupils' work, perhaps inspired by this poem. In particular, I would love to share some children's work on my blog, so do get writing!

CHOICES by Joshua Seigal


the choice is easy,

like picking pepperoni pizza

from the restaurant menu. 


the choice if tough,

like deciding which friend

to have for a sleepover. 


the choice is cowardly, 

like hiding behind the sofa

when the monster comes on telly.

And sometimes 

the choice is brave

like picking up the pen

and writing this poem.

Wednesday 8 September 2021


Last night you asked me

if I believed in an afterlife.

I said no.

You cried. 

I said, What do I know?

Far cleverer people than me

believe there is one. 

You said that if

there were no afterlife

it meant that we wouldn’t always

be together. 

I held you tight to me. 

The moon winked

in the window.

Thursday 2 September 2021


He gave the Remainers a sneer He said it was all 'Project Fear' He scoffed at the drama But how's this for karma... Tim Martin has run out of beer

Wetherspoons pub owner Tim Martin was an ardent and notorious Brexiteer. His firm is now hit by drinks shortages. 

Wednesday 1 September 2021


Johnny Keats famously said

“If poetry comes not as naturally

as the leaves to a tree

it had better not come at all.”

I come before you today

to say it’s not like that.

Sometimes poetry comes

about as naturally as the truth

to the lips of a politician;

as readily as a ripe strawberry

to a volcanic wasteland;

as easily as sanity

in a roaring pandemic.

And sometimes

just sometimes

it’s all the better

for the effort.