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.


‘Merry Trinkets’

Trinkets and knickknacks!
Spilling under the tree.
Doodads and baubles
Glistening in green.
Gimcracks and trifles
Jingling and jumping.
Wrapping paper flying!
From the flurry of hands
And warm winter sleeves.
So gay and jolly!
As they give and receive
All the trinkets are swinging
And shining in the light.

*Yes I realise I should’ve posted this around Christmas, but oh well.image

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.


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.

That Dude Eddie

Vivienne Neale Considers Writing Poetry For The First Time

Not all of us have grown up with poetry and being bitten by the bug when you least expect can feel quite daunting. You know how it goes, suddenly something happens in your life and you want to express it and poetry seems to be the only way. You will be joining a massive army of people who have felt exactly the same and when the muse strikes there’s nothing for it but to start writing.

As someone who has written poetry all my life and been immersed in the genre since I was very small it’s second nature to want to express myself in a poem. For those just stepping out on the road I would like to offer some thoughts which might assist. I run a writing retreat in Europe and am used to having all kinds of creatives…

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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…


The year was 2012
The seas had risen
All was afloat and afraid
Not least the frightened masses
Who feared the end
From a vast gulf to the steep cliffs
And the fiery chasm
Beneath the slipping plates
Moving the arid deserts
And the sweeping plains
All would meet its end
Running crowds who
Cared so little
Yet destroyed so much
While society collapsed
Hell’s havoc was released
Between crumbling continents
And liquid cities
And a doomed general
Volcanic air grew and groomed
The Earth and its innocents
Murph and gold raked the seas
Uprooting the heavens
And kicking the waves
So ships tipped and screamed
So nothing escaped
Not the simba nor the cobra
Not even the lynx
But still
The demons fled and cheered
Rallying with the Ching
Above genocide and chaos
The year was 2012.


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.

‘All There is to see’ – A World War I poem –

In death, my soul looked down from a vague height,
And saw a sad land, scarred by hate and grief,
Cratered like a moon, hit by hollow woe,
Weak and wailing with distress, it was bleak,
And grabbed by blood and dripping, pitted mud.

No! No! There, across the way was dark death,
Hell among the horror of harsh wire,
There moved thin maggots, uncoiled and killed.
They did little more than writhe and shrivel.

By them were slimy roads trailed and scraped,
But from gloom’s last dregs these creatures crept, and
Disappeared from dawn down hidden holes.

I watched those agonies curl and flatten.
Those that were foul and grey were eaten.

I was weak. I reeled and shivered east.

Another WW1 poem…’Earth’

You gobbled Europe up and spat out war,
You soak into my boots and lick my core.
You send us mad with some soil and rats,
You erupt and throw shrapnel at our hats.

Still, you’re a soldier’s final defence,
Giving us holes and hollows to hide in,
Burying our friends, trapping our foes,
Absorbing all our terror and woes.

I press into you under fire and fear of death,
Screaming into your silence and safety,
When all has gone you are my only friend,
When all has gone you’ll be there to the end.

‘November 1914’…Another WW1 poem…

Battle broke: now the cold frost of the world
With great perishing darkness, would be hurled.
A foul tornado, spinning from Berlin
Is coming to Europe, and closing in.
Now begin famines of love and feeling.
It is certain: so much will need healing.

For spring had bloomed swiftly in Germany,
But glory: it did not forge harmony.
Wise witness wood did not see summer’s quest.
Nor did slow Berlin with her sweet harvest.
Autumn softly fell: rich with all increase,
Then the winter of the world: all would cease.


It’s a drifting miracle!
Falling with grace,
It’s bright and loveable,
Kissing the earth’s face.

They can mould it, melt it,
The children love it,
make a mountain or a molehill,
Without a doubt, it’s a thrill!

Soaks the gloves and freezes fingers,
So we hunger for heated delights,
Waiting while the ice Lingers,
But against the snow we cannot fight.

‘Winter Stars’

Winter stars and northern lights
Accompany us every night.
Wondrous comets and dancing sights
Give us a hint some nights.
Little lanterns so high above,
There! Can you see them?

Purple clouds and misty streaks
Give us a wave, most weeks.
The vault of heaven at its peak
Sometimes sighs when we speak.
Circling planes so high above,
There! Can you see them?


“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.”


In keeping with the winter theme…’Blizzard’…

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.

‘Jack’s Frost’

Jack’s sweet frost and powdered snow
Slips lightly off the window.
Icy drifts and sleepy rain;
Old winter has come again!

Sheets of white; terribly fun!
Icicles shining in the sun.
Puttering cars: so hard to steer;
Greenery’s gone, but winter’s here.

Laughing off the arctic air,
Warmed by a balmy chair.
Hail and sleet fly higher;
Laughs across the open fire.

No animals or birds out;
But children chase and pout.
Winter goes from high to low;
Jack’s sweet frosts and powdered snow.

‘A Walk in Wounded Woods’

Whose woods these are I might just know.
His den: so far from here, though;
He will not see me resting here
To watch his woods fill up with woe.

My frightened horse must think it queer
To stop without protection near.
Between the woods and frozen souls:
The darkest evening of the year.

The woods are chilling, grim and deep,
But I have secrets that I must keep,
And miles to run before I sleep,
And miles to run before I sleep.


Fire! Fire! You’re ferocious and thick,
A wall of flame with flesh to lick;
You’re moving madness: closing in;
Roaring high on satanic sin.
On hell’s high heath you run amok,
Running so fast against the clock.
So wanton, rampant and wild;
Would they ever spawn this child.
At least you don’t discriminate,
Selecting to exterminate.
A writhing army uncontrolled.
All dealt with agony untold.
Prefer to scorch than suffocate:
On searing zeal, incinerate.
With orange flicks and flailing feet,
You’re flaunting your demonic heat!
Oh; leave us now, you baneful beast!
Haven’t you had your heinous feast?
Your fury will never be healed;
You have so many lives to steal.