Posts Tagged ‘poem’

Putting grief to words is really a private affair. But after a while, after some months of mourning, with the dark and cold encroaching and  dragging me down, sometimes putting words out there is a help. This poem is no masterpiece. Hopefully, at some point in the future, it may change and morph into something less raw, more complete, more past. Until then, it is this: words and images, unedited, unfinished.

Yesterday a garden

Today a goat

Yesterday you lived

Still – a beautiful, funny, wise, caring dad.

Today you no longer are

Here – a searing absence, an absent presence.

You would have liked my painting

had the marauding goat not come.

wc flower garden wc goat copy

Back in July 2016, I posted about a new version of Humpty Dumpty I had invented on a whim. You can find it here.

This morning I got up and found some new words to another nursery rhyme going round in my head. I jotted them down and then added some pretty primitive sketches.

Maybe I was inspired subconsciously by having seen one-day-old lambs yesterday (ours are late up here), but anyway, I thought I’d post it here tonight to amuse you.


Mary had a little lamb

I was messing around with an idea about rewriting nursery rhymes (UK ones, if you’re one of my valued readers from the rest of the world – I don’t know any ‘foreign’ ones!).

The idea was that most of the original lines would be kept and others added randomly, still keeping to a rhyme scheme. Sort of filling them out a bit, if you like! Here I added a bit of background to who he was and why he was on the wall in the first place.

This is the original version:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

They couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Of course, the real person referred to in this rhyme was, I think, a dumpy, clumsy person – who could have been put back together again – so he’s usually been drawn as an egg, which couldn’t. And that probably followed from Alice through the Looking Glass, where Lewis Carroll drew him as an egg. But don’t quote me on that. It might have been political for all I know!

Here’s my version – with a quickie sketch to go with it 🙂

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

without his friends, without the ball.

They said that Humpty was too small

to play with them – the wall was tall.

He fidgeted, afraid he’d fall,

and when he did, they heard him bawl.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

came rushing up in groups of ten.

They’d heard his cry and felt his pain

and thought they’d make him right as rain.

They wrote down how and what and when.

But after an hour and loads more pain, 

they couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Humpty Dumpty on wall

Humpty Dumpty alone on the very tall wall

Comments welcome!

Yes, I know I should be editing. Or writing. Or cleaning. Or exercising. But I have done all those things today and wanted to invent something nice.

I found a print of a tree I shot many years ago. It was a photo, developed in my dark room cellar and later photocopied on an ancient mono machine.This gave it the texture you see here and I brought it into Photoshop and added the green background one day recently when I was playing around.

After that, it sat on my hard drive till this week, when I added some pelicans. I grabbed the image from a seascape photo by Yair Hazout at (where you can get and use hi-res photos free of charge). I cut out his pelican and made three of them, layering each of them once or twice with different blend modes.

Then I brought in a guy I found in the support materials of Manga Studio 5 – now called Clip Studio Paint – and layered him in too. The moon I pulled in from a children’s illustration I did a few weeks ago (you can find it in my portfolio here) because I hate to waste a good bit of art! And then I used a KyleTWebster splatter brush to fling a bit of paint around!

But I’m a writer, you say? OK, so I invented a haiku to go with it while doing the aforesaid exercise (a drippy walk in the rain). It’s a pretty naff poem but I hope you like the image!

screenshot pelicans

sharp eyes




This blog has been neglected since my mother died a week ago. But writers write, and so I wrote. Not in public at first, but in the dark of the night, in thought and grief. This is the poem and I’ll just mention the background:

Dad and I watched her iris come out in the garden – a single white iris standing alone but spectacularly beautiful. She and he had waited and watched every year for this one flower. A sort of ritual. Sadly, she died three days before it flowered this year.

She would have been pleased to die on the Queen’s birthday (she loved her) and furious to miss today’s Royal Wedding pageantry – we got our first colour television in order to watch Princess Margaret get married. So today, I have watched for her, and shed a tear. But mostly, I wrote this poem in memory of her and her favourite iris.

I’m no poet but I post it here in tribute to a life well lived. Thanks for everything, Mum.

The iris

Three days –

and then her iris bloomed

yellow-white, a flag unfurled,

yet we missed its coming, pale as death,

on the third noon

counted from when she left.

Throwing off its skeletal form

remote and gaunt,

the shroud of precious petals flared,

and released itself to life.

We heard her then,

after the deadness of her missing –

a softly whispered cadence

wafting on the breeze

curled within a fleeting sigh:

When you see this here

am I.


I’ve always been fascinated by tricks with words, whether they’re telegrams with no ‘e’ or 30-word shorts.I think Haikus attract me for the same reason.

Here is a short note in incrementing lines that I wrote to a colleague when I left my computer for a bite to eat (well, I’m not in an office so I can’t say Tararabit, now can I?):


That’s 13 letters at the end, right?
Anyone know a 14-letter addition I could have made?


A winter world up front

Posted: December 19, 2010 in poems
Tags: , , ,

frost on window

Along with most other people this side of the world, my house is surrounded by deep snow. I’m stacking logs on the two fires and wearing some old-fashioned leg-warmers to fight off the draughts. I knew it was a bad move to buy this somewhat open-plan cottage up in north Northumberland! But the plus points are that it’s a brilliant place to work from home and to write. There’s always peace and there’s always a view that inspires. And I happily share it with the wildlife.

So this is day one of my new writing blog. My professional shop-front freelance writing site  is still at

I’ll tell you about my current writing projects soon, but here, to kick off, is a winter poem I wrote. You’ll quickly find out I’m not a poet but I do like to have a go sometimes. Enjoy!

Epiphany from the kitchen door

Winter sprang forth at dawn today

and offered me a gravelled drive

set sharply in an icy claw.


I noticed then a larch nearby

and how it sketched in hoary rime

a range of whitened cones against

the hawthorn hedges forced to bear

a frozen shield of sparkly light.


I challenged winter’s frosty glare

and boldly answered: ‘Though you dare,

to rule with bleakly iron fist, there’s

spring to come in nature’s round. And

leaves and shoots yet sound asleep

will rise to brush away your grasp.’


I shut my door.

Outside is fine for foreign kings

cloaked and bearing precious gifts

(a winter tyrant welcomes such).

Inside, the blaze of oak and elm

invites me to another realm.