We Band of Poets

This day is called the feast of Hildegard:

Those that hath reached this day, with thirty poems

Should rest their keyboard when the day is full,            

And rouse them at the death of April.

They that shall live this day, and see old age,

Will yearly on the vigil trawl through WordPress,

And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Hildegard:’

Then will they bore their family with their thirty poems.

And say ‘These poems I finished on St Hildegard’s day.’

The old forget such things as thrill them not,

But shall remember with a great relief

What joys they felt that day: then shall our rhymes,

Familiar to ourselves and to our kin:

By Jimmy the poet, Linda and GingerBill,

Jones the rhyme, Scouser5 and TaxiMum,

Be by their suffering kin freshly remember’d.

These poems shall be forced upon the throng;

And Hildegard’s day shall ne’er go by,

From this day to the ending of the blogs,

But we in it shall be remember’d;

We few, we knackered few, we band of poets;

For those to-day that post their poems with me

Shall be my sibling; be they ne’er so vile,

This day shall end with celebration:

And lazy folk full worldwide now a-bed

Shall probably not care they were not here,

But we can view them smugly as we say

Our thirty poems are done on this saint’s day.


I expect you all know that this is a massive liberty, taken with the words of Shakespeare from his ‘St, Crispin’s day speech’ from Henry V. I apologise to the Bard and his many fans for this.  It somehow seemed appropriate for our last day of National Poetry Writing Month which, at times, has been a bit of a battle.  Not quite Agincourt though! 😉


I am the peach in the chocolate box.

I am the coffee beside all the teas.  

The shoe in the drawer that’s full up with socks.

I am the odd one out.


I am the rhyme in the telephone book.

I am the skateboard and they are the bikes.

Surrounded by rabbits but I am the duck.

I am the odd one out.


I am the flute with the violins.

I am the tadpole that swims with the fish.

The packet of pasta amongst all the tins.

I am the odd one out.


I am the paper alongside the cloth.

I am the bracelet and they are the rings.

They are all monkeys but I am a sloth.

I am the odd one out.


I am the novel amongst all the plays.

I am the scarlet. The world is all blue.

They are the straight paths and I am the maze.

I am the odd one out.

An Ode to Ed Balls (entirely untrue)

He’s the man on everybody’s tweets

And yet he is a mystery

What will be said about young Ed

When someone writes his history?

For no-one knows the many things

That he has done in secret,

So let us take a moment to

List all ‘til he deletes it.


‘Twas Ed who wrote all Shakespeare’s verse

From Puck to Desdemona,

He rescued Ernest Hemingway

From goring in Pamplona.

He sang the chord that David lost

In a voice that goes right through ya.

So Leonard Cohen borrowed it

And called it Hallelujah.


He taught Paul Hollywood to bake

And also Mary Berry.

He was the first to slice up bread

And he’s BOTH Ben AND Jerry!

If you think Brian Cox is smart

He’s not a patch on Ed!

He solved Fermat’s last theorem

And he did it in his head!


He taught Dame Margot Fonteyn

And Nureyev to dance.

He designed the maze at Hampton Court

And M.C. Hammer’s pants.

When Moriarty was pulled down

The cold Reichenbach Falls

It wasn’t really Holmes at all

The hero was Ed Balls.


So let us all give thanks for Ed

On this, his special day.

And think of all his wondrous deeds

That cause us all to say:

Without Ed Balls where would we be?

What tweets would we be writing?

Suarez, horsemeat, Triple A?

Ed’s so much more exciting!


This is about Ed Balls, a British politician who accidentally tweeted his own name and has been mercilessly ribbed about it ever since. The topic was suggested by Paolo Albertella since Twitter is celebrating Ed Balls Day!

27th day of non-stop poetry

I’m not going to write a new poem today.

I just can’t be bothered, there’s nothing to say.

There’s nobody reading these things anyway

So I’m not going to write a new poem today.


I’m certainly not going to write one with rhyme.

That stuff can take ages, I don’t have the time.

It’s not like a non-rhyming poem’s a crime

So I’m certainly not going to write one with rhyme.


I’m not going to pay much attention to metre.

It’s just an obsession with making things neater.

A bit of freestyling can sometimes be sweeter,

So I’m not going to pay much attention to metre.


I still don’t know what I could write one about.

A subject is something you can’t do without.

I could go through a dictionary, pick a word out

But I still don’t know what I could write one about.


So I don’t think I’ll write a new poem today.

I’m sick of this challenge, I wish it was May.

I might tell NaPoWriMo to F… go away!

So, I don’t think I’ll write a new poem today.

A song for David Cameron (Apologies to Jarvis Cocker) Tune: Common People by Pulp

He went to Eton, Daddy bought him knowledge.
He studied PPE at Brasenose College.

It was free! With no fee!
He never accepts criticism,

He just makes a stab at witticism

And says Halt!

It’s the other party’s fault!

Then he says Talk to me like common people.
I go without like other common people do,

Call me Dave like common people. I’m in it with the common people like you.
Well, what else could I do – I said ‘I, I don’t believe that’s true!’

I took him to a local food bank

Because it’s part of his ‘Big Society’,

A place where food is free,
I said, These people have no dinner,

He just laughed and said, They’d look better thinner.
I said Yeah? Well they look like they’re all thin enough to me.
Are you sure

You go without like common people?
You think you see whatever common people see?
We call you Dave like common people,
But you’re not in it like common people like me.
But he didn’t say a word it was like he hadn’t heard.

Don’t give all benefits the chop,

Cut the crap and make more jobs.
Make the millionaires pay tax.

You give them perks behind our backs.
But because you’re on the right,

Your party’s mostly rich and white
So when you say you’ll make things fair,

We know you’ll pay your mates ‘cos you really don’t care.

You’ll never care for common people.
You’ll cut the funds for all things common people do.
You’re sick to death of common people
Because they seldom vote for people like you,

And the other Tories who
Do the stupid things that you do.

Listen to the common people,

For a change and their words just might get thru’
Spare a thought for the common people.
They’re in a mess and it’s partly because of you. 

And the selfish things that you do.
Because you think the poor are fools!

You want to take from common people,

You want to blame the common people! Repeat to end.

Kirkdale Bookshop’s Sestina

For those who love the night the moon brings comfort.

She spreads her sultry rays of gold and silver,

Inspiring in their hearts a sense of longing

That takes them to a place of special wonder.

Wherein, the moonlight brings a mood so tranquil

That time itself is lost in her reflection.


And who can find themselves in this reflection

Yet not become beguiled by promised comfort?

Allowing lapping shores to be so tranquil

That nothing could entice them, even silver,

To leave the moon behind and lose her wonder,

Condemned for evermore to restless longing.


By whom can we be freed from futile longing?

And would we choose such freedom on reflection?

It seems as though the choice might make us wonder

If gaining one’s desire would bring forth comfort

As precious as the light both gold and silver,

For which the price is never to be tranquil.


But such is the temptation to be tranquil

That dancers in the dark may cease their longing

To see a time that’s bathed in rays of silver,

Without the fear of catching our reflection

When life has served to rob us of our comfort,

And touched our days with sorrow and no wonder.


I once reached for the moon and she did wonder,

How I could sit there in a space so tranquil.

When, touching only dark, I felt that comfort

That comes with being bound by loss of longing.

She challenged me to catch her wan reflection

Upon my passive lake of silent silver.


Sometimes I hear her tones of liquid silver

And freeze upon the broken hour in wonder

Believing in the truth of her reflection,

Absorbing all her words to make me tranquil.

Admitting I can spend my life in longing,

‘Though I can see no welcome sign of comfort.


Those who desire the silver won’t be tranquil.

They wonder if the moon can heal their longing

To end their dark reflection with some comfort.



This was suggested by Kirkdale Bookshop and has a very strict form which I won’t explain here.  I chose the 11 syllable per line form favoured by Danté.  It was quite a challenge!

The Gardener

Those hands had turned the soil for years,

Making them strong,

Making them hard.

Making them tanned,

Making them scarred.

But still they wiped away her tears like no other hands could do.


That face had borne the brunt of time,

Wrinkled by wind,

Wrinkled by sun,

Wrinkled by grief,

Wrinkled and done!

But still it lit up shining and bright whenever he chanced a smile.


That heart had beaten as much as it could,

Beaten for love,

Beaten with cheer,

Beaten by tiredness,

Beaten in fear.

And no other heart could replace that heart the day that beating stopped.

Happy Birthday, Shakespeare

Had I but half the talent of the bard

My days I’d ever pass with pen and page.

To tear my thoughts from writing would be hard

A moment spent elsewise would seem an age.


This man had such a gift as seldom seen

In present times or in a bygone day.

Bequeathing joy, where’er his words hath been,

Ensuring that his fame will ever stay.


Rememb’ring, then, his day of birth and death,

We raise a glass in honour of his name.

With praise and admiration on each breath,

All those of likemind fondly will proclaim,

‘Hear thou, O bard, who long hath ceased to be,

That on this day, the world shalt honour thee!’

Excuse, excuses!

I’d help you but I’m busy;

I’m washing my hair.

I’m watching my programme,

I’m saving this chair.

I’m doing this crossword,

I’m surfing the net.

I’ll help you in a minute

But I can’t do it yet.

I’m no good at painting

I’d ruin your wall.

I’d put up those curtains

But I’m not very tall.

I’d wash up the dishes

But I’ve just done my nails.

I’m feeling quite fragile

Since I stood on the scales.

I just cannot focus!

You’d be better alone.

I’m thinking of hashtags,

I’m still on the phone.

Of course I can help you.

I’ll be there at 8,

But just start without me

If it turns out I’m late.

‘Cause sometimes the car breaks,

I might lose my way.

If it rains I won’t be there,

And I just have to say

I must avoid sunshine,

And I don’t do ‘cold’,

Because they give you wrinkles

Or so I’ve been told.

It’s probably better

If I just tell you now

I won’t help because

I’m a right selfish cow!

Breaking Family Triptych

I’m always busy,                     He doesn’t listen,                         Nobody loves me.

I’m always tired,                     He doesn’t care.                           I’m going mad.

I’m always working.               I need some more support.          They never notice

I might get fired.                     He’s never there.                         That’s why I’m bad.

I miss my wife.                       I feel so lonely.                             Nobody listens.

We never speak,                    I want to cry.                                They only shout.

I can’t admit my fears.           I thought I loved him;                    I can’t stop thinking.

She’ll think I’m weak.             I don’t know why.                          I just want out.