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Having noticed a few profiles that refer to poetry I thought it might be a good idea to have a group in  which we could share or comment on each other offerings or just discuss the subject of what often seems to be the Marmite of literary forms.

Ode to the Moon

By Pamela Locke

Sometimes round and

Sometimes hollow

Or sliver thin with

Luminescent skin.

Sometimes black and

Sometimes silver

Into the night that

Always wills her.

Eastern rising amidst

Heavenly beings

Bringing peace and calm and

Thoughtful feelings.

Ruling the tides and

Enchanting the masses

Evoking true dreams and

Pursuing romances.

Shimmering beacon in the sky

You are the constant

To live a life by.

Until I see you on the eve of the morrow

I bid you goodnight

With a touch of sorrow. 

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The Significance of Love

Yes you delightful mystery of mine:

You wild unmapped terrain, ideas and flesh,

Your lips and talking, smiles uncharted, fresh

In mood and attitude, in means and mien:

I long to graph your altitude, to trace

Your flame against our passion's arc of skies,

Discover in a moment in your eyes,

Decipher in an instant on your face:

Love, or the significance of love,

Perhaps that you and all things true and sweet

Are one, perhaps that there's nothing to prove

Except that you are here with me complete.

So nuzzling in the tumble of your hair,

I find you here, I find you everywhere.

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I showed up at an inconvenient time

When you had stuff to do -- important stuff!

And now I write this inconvenient rhyme

Of love for you.  Haven't you had enough?

I send it to your office email -- yikes!

Someone might know that you are loved so deep,

That someone wants to see you -- jeezy crikes!

Like overnight!  Like lovers!  What a creep!

And plus I fart, and interrupt your jokes,

I sweat when I am with you sometimes -- ick!

When we make love, into your sheets it soaks

And ruins them!  It ought to make you sick!

And look at this!  This poem is a rant!

You're better off trading me for a plant.

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Having read the poem that Catherine Dj posted about her mother prompted me to look back at one that I wrote some years ago for my Dad.No rhyme or metre, just a bit of flow of consciousness.

I have also posted this as a reading on the 'Telling tales' group, if anyone wants to take a look.


My Dad came back again last night
as if he’d never been away.
We sat out on the deck, drank whiskey,
cut with ice from the hard edged moon.
We talked about Marmite and Oscar Wilde,
the state of the nation and how to recognise good steak.

Looking at him in that light
I saw the man I knew for just a while,
before his memories
outweighed his future.
His eyes claimed back their laughter,
our hands were steady as we raised a glass.

Waning with the moon
towards the horizon
he left me to myself,
to chink his empty glass,
say ‘Cheers’
and seek the warmth indoors.

Just spotted this great opportunity for emerging poets: https://endoftheworldpodcast.com/apply

It reads: 

We're looking for 9 emerging poets to join the forthcoming series of Bedtime Stories for the End of the World and feature alongside our lead poets.

Bedtime Stories for the End of the World is a podcast series examining the power of myth in a time of political, social and ecological crisis. Our second series will launch in Spring 2021 and will feature poets including: Momtaza Mehri, Mona Arshi, Fiona Benson and Joe Dunthorne.

We want you to think about which myth, folk tale or fairy story you would save for future generations - protecting it from nuclear disaster, global apocalypse, or human forgetfulness. Why is it so important? What is its relevance today? How can rewriting it transform its meaning?

You will receive a paid commission to produce a 5-7 minute poem (or poem sequence) based on a myth of your choosing, to be broadcast during the new series. As part of this opportunity, you'll get to take part in a workshop and recording session with a lead artist, as well as receiving feedback on your work.


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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.

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Performance poetry

Anne made a very good point about 'finding the rhythm' in a poem. What one hears in ones own head when writing is not necessarily what the reader may hear in their head when reading (actually that is one of the things I love about poetry, you can often take from it what you bring to it).

I mentioned that it was a shame that we could not post sound files to this forum, only to find out that I had maligned Jericho and we actually have the ability to post video. Just as an experiment I have recorded a poem and posted it here. In the process of recording I have discovered that I am never likely to make it as a performance poet but I have been told that I have a good face for radio, so that's encouraging.

Let's see if it works...

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Hi JPK, I've just read your poem on Spillwords 'The stone in the soup'.  I loved the idea, the story, the characters. Dare I say that I found the five lines a little disconcerting (one line too many, for me) as I couldn't find the rhythm when reading it aloud. I'm used to iambic pentemetre and other such monstrosities learnt at university although I do realise that modern poetry doesn't always follow these precepts.  Here's what I found on a site called Literay Devices.  It's about Meter (rhythm due to the number of syllables in a line) :

"Meter is considered a formal writing tool, particularly as it applies to poetry. It can enhance the rhythmic quality of poetic writing. However, its purpose is to set steady timing in poetic lines with metrical feet, just as a time signature and metronome might set steady timing in a musical work." 

Oh, sorry, this sounds pompous. I'm not giving any lessons. I don't know much about poetry myself. Just thought that you might be interested.  Please feel free to criticise my children's poetry, if you have time. 

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Does anyone web publish?

I put quite a lot on my own blog but also have had a few pieces published on a site called 'Spillwords' (had one yesterday https://spillwords.com/the-stone-in-the-soup/)

Quite nice to have something published on a wider forum, although one gets limited feedback.

Anyone else use this or other sites?

Peter Hill
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This is based (loosely) on a real event.

The Black Bridge 

It’s just before dawn as I venture out for the very first time across the meadow at the rear of my new home. I clamber over a rickety wooden stile, and wander warily down the unfamiliar holloway beyond. Down, down, along a steep narrow path clasped between low sandstone cliffs topped by holly, willow, yew, and scrawny oaks, whose roots thrust through the slabs of soft rock, like the arms of the dead stretching out into the half-light, from the village churchyard just a few yards distant.

Don’t be silly. Enjoy the stroll. It’s an adventure.

I’m now at the bottom of the incline, in a broad, flat clearing created over millennia by the scouring actions of the nearby brook. The trees are different here: tall silver birches and slender upright poplars stand like sentinels in a quiet glade carpeted by swathes of wild garlic – while patches of nettles crouch ready to assault the unwary.

Don’t be silly. Enjoy the stroll. It’s an adventure.

It is, as yet, very early and a grey near-stillness carries a light mist just inches above the brook. The soft burbling of the water gambolling over stones competes for attention with the gentle babbling of early risers: a thrush, a robin, a cheerful chaffinch and … oh … what was that?

Come on! Don’t be silly. Enjoy the stroll. It’s an adventure.

The edge of the clearing narrows like a funnel sucking me inward, and there’s no option, but to follow the path as it runs alongside the brook towards a small bridge. Apparently, it’s called New Bridge, but I can see already that it’s no recent construction. As the rays of the sun rising pierce the trees beyond, it stands in shadow, in silhouette. A black bridge. It’s smothered with moss and several bricks have been dislodged by tatty twiglets of buddleia aided by the tough twisted tendrils of ivy. Like the fingers of the dead. And the dead have a long reach.

Don’t be silly. Enjoy the stroll. It’s an adventure.

It seems that there is, indeed, no option, but to follow the path. But wait! Yes! An alternative. I turn around. I re-trace my steps. It’s almost time for breakfast …

Peter Hill
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Hi. I've just joined this group although, I confess, I'm more of a line dabbler than a poet. I tend to write short stories and have also self-published a couple of romances under the pseudonym of Mel Alanson. My poetry, such as it is, is rarely serious - but I enjoy expressing my silliness in this form.

I'll send something through shortly. Cheers. Peter.