Hold fast to dreams
For if they flee
Life is a blinded bat
That cannot see.
Hold fast to dreams
For if they die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when they go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.


How to Write a Poem

Let’s say I’m sitting in that room with you now. Take out a pad and pen, your favorite pen—the one that just slides across the paper. Be sure you have an hour or so, so you can take your time with each prompt.

12 Ways to Write a Poem
Make a list of five things you did today, in the order you did them.
Quickly write down three colors.
Write down a dream. If you can’t remember one, make it up.
Take 15 minutes to write an early childhood memory, using language a child would use.
Write a forbidden thought, to someone who would understand.
Write a forbidden thought, to someone who would not.
Make a list of five of your favorite “transitional objects.” Choose one and describe it in detail.
Write down three questions you’d ask as if they were the last questions you could ever ask.
Write down an aphorism (e.g. “A stitch in time saves nine”).
Write down three slant rhymes, pairs of words that share one or two consonants rather than vowels (moon/mine and long/thing are slant rhymes).
Write three things people have said to you in the past 48 hours. Quote them as closely as you can.
Write the last extreme pain you had, emotional or physical. If the pain were an animal, what animal would it be? Describe the animal.

Use one of the questions as the first line, each of the colors more than once, the slant rhymes, and the aphorism with a word or two changed.
Try using any part of, or all of, the material in any way you want—a line from your dream might work well on its own or your description of the animal might better describe your great uncle.
Let the poem be between 20 and 30 lines; let each line be 10 or more syllables long. Think of the poem as a dream or a psalm you are inventing, and don’t force it. Write in your own speech, allowing its music and sense to speak through you.
No human experience is unique, but each of us has a way of putting language together that is ours.

The Alter

You’re the love of my life,
So i’ll make sure you’re my wife,
Forever. Till the end.
I know where we’ll meet,
At the alter, in such a heat,
At the perfect moment.
You’ll make me all sappy,
God knows I’ll be happy,
And it’ll last.
We all know it makes sense,
I was never on the fence,
We’ll get there.
So when the clock strikes three,
I need you there: for me.



“Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. “


The infantry screeched and fled,
Hearts bound by sorrow,
Heads bowed in shame,
So many blind and broken men,
A river of molten confusion,
Gurgling over ruined roads,
Seeping sadly into hidden cracks,
Into deep-churned mud, in silence,
The earth swallowed them up.
Then they came, the crying cavalry,
A single regiment rolling along,
Like horsemen of the apocalypse,
Their presence thick and palpable,
Due to the stench of festering galls.

‘Come Lord and Lift’ by T. Merrill

Come Lord, and lift the fallen bird
Abandoned on the ground;
The soul bereft and longing so
To have the lost be found.

The heart that cries—let it but hear
Its sweet love answering,
Or out of ether one faint note
Of living comfort wring.

This is one of my favourite poems by a contemporary poet. It is a breathtaking cry of compassion for a fallen creature, and metaphorically for ourselves. What do you think?

Do you agree?


He who draws delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life.

The Girl In Singapore

There is just one young girl with long black hair,
With bold brown eyes and a faraway stare,
Who, save no others, silenced the world,
In the name of God, who is this girl.

Look once, look twice, and my heart did not sink,
So when she laughed, I laughed; she made me think,
I could kick her and she would still smile,
I could skip with her, just for a while.

What’s sad: no, I never heard your name or
Your dreams, I read them, and realised that
Even though we are a planet apart,
You’ll fill the void, forever in my heart.

Those fleeting thoughts of you make me wonder
What should I do? I have the choice, and yet…
I must sit and wait and hope and pray,
And never give up on that fateful day,
When you and I will be together…


Specks of white upon a mist
Will storm and whistle and scream
Down on us.
We must stock up on essentials;
Hide or get caught
By the blasted, blinding flakes
Under the angry skies.
Warmth; forget it!
When you hear the gale,
Get inside and quiver.
The windows are no match
For the whiteout and its angry blast.
Don’t let it catch you;
The blizzard wins the race.

Back to the winter theme: ‘Icy Lanes’

Ice had covered the long darkening lanes,
Masking the treacherous grey tar and panes,
Spreading so far, nothing fled its frost.
And now the cold has caught us: at a cost,
Crystals and diamonds shall soon become coal,
As sure as hell, the ice will take its toll.
The innocents are falling and slipping,
Finding out, too late: the ice is cunning,
But even then, when it’s dwindled and doomed,
We see liquid limbo, and we’re consumed.
I sat in the gutter on soggy spit,
But I felt the splutter of iced-up shit.