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Last week I had the chance to attend an online poetry workshop with Kate Clanchy. Her book How to Grow Your Own Poem is great as it encourages you to borrow structures from other poems to develop your skills and voice. Anyway, though most of my own poems revolve around nature and our relationship with the natural world, during the workshop I ended up with my version of a praise poem about my mum. I don’t quite dare send it to her, so I’ll share it here instead 😊 

My mother, surrounded by stacks of detective novels, to be read and forgotten,

My mother, always waiting for our calls so as not to disturb us,

Mother, researcher of anything, from 17th century garden designers to family ailments,

My mother who taught me life is not fair and low expectations cannot be disappointed,

Mother of microwaved meals and my handknit socks, kind on swollen ankles,

Mother of emergency biscuits in handbags and a dining table covered in papers and plant pots,

Mother who takes risks in her garden, fears the consequences and carries on anyway,

Mother of never-say-sorry and a thermostat set too high for my comfort,

Mum who makes friends slowly but keeps them for decades,

Mother who used lockdown to learn birdsong so her walks had a purpose,

Mother who deserves to visit all the gardens she’s ever wished to see.

  • Send it, send it.  Even if she bites your head off or - worse - laughs she'll treasure it

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    • Agree with Jaye. I wrote poems for my Mum, Dad and brother and never passed them on. Wish I had. I also wrote a silly and not very good sonnet for my wife and gave it to her. She framed it and put it on a wall. Go figure, as our American cousins say.

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