Saturday, 25 February 2012

Local Poet Laureate Competition

One of my poems was short-listed for a local Poet Laureate competition. The prize was the title of Fenland Poet Laureate, plus the chance to get involved in poetry in the community AND get your poems published locally. Good exposure and kudos. In the end I came second, and picked up quick a snazzy certificate into the bargain. I am assuming that, if the winner is embroiled in a sex scandal (a la Miss World) then I will be able to step into her shoes. Like a sort of poetry deputy. (I'm not sure this is actually how it works...) Anyway, here is the poem I wrote:


There are no secrets here. Only
fields ploughed like furrowed
brows. A scowling earth, once

ocean. There are shells mixed
in with the dark earth. Silt still
shifts, like sand on a shore and

the fields are rippled by phantom
waves. No one can understand
the beauty of this place. An un-

interrupted horizon, straight as a
blade, or your sharp tongue. The
bones of my past lives lie hidden

beneath that tactile land, buried
with King John's gold and the
shells. I have chased you across

these marshes all my life. Even
now there are strands of samphire
in your hair, my dear, and your eyes

are the colour a gathering storm. We
climb over ditches, as we did then.
Ditches dug with bare hands. There

are no secrets here, where all existence
is visible and the land is crushed by the
                              vastness of the sky.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Arnold Schwarzenegger Haiku

Conan the Barbarian
Arnold wears leather.
He's not adequately clothed,
Punches a Camel.

Robots! The Musical
Skynet makes cyborgs.
Your clothes, give them to me, now.
Time travel, plot holes.

Hunter is hunted.
Dreadlocks make monsters cooler.
Arnold's arms look weird.

A man gets pregnant
Then 'hilarity' ensues.
I don't like this film.

It's Not a Tumour
Kimble teaches kids.
I'm a cop, you idiot!
Ferret saves the day.

Obviously not Identical
They don't look the same.
There is no resemblance.
It's hard to believe.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

She Drove Me to Daytime TV

When we first met, you excited me
like a cerebral debate on BBC four;
a good docu-drama on the Falklands War.
But, now acquainted, it seems to me
you're more like a show on BBC three.
No Brian Cox talking physical law,
just mindless game shows. I know I'm done for.
We're one step away, now, from daytime TV.
Cash in the Attic is perilous near
and closer yet still lingers Jeremy Kyle.
Flog it!'s rotting my brain cells, that much I fear,
and I've seen enough Schofield to last me a while.
Perfect in most ways, our love could not be:
that bitch got me hooked on daytime TV.

A Laboured Metaphor (Jumper of Love)

Once you have left, my colours will fade.
When you're away, I unravel like thread.
I didn't do as the instructions said.
Our fleeting love was hand-sewn and home-made.
Inferior stitching exposing your trade;
a girl with warm lips whose eyes are so dead.
Misshapen by wear, you discard me instead.
Threadbare is my heart and I am a-frayed.
Facing rejection I'm laddered like tights –
This time the holes can't be mended with darn –
I was never on-trend, I'll freely admit.
Sad and alone, those unfashionable plights.
After you left, I unravelled like yarn.
My jumper of love is now too small a fit. 

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Coming Out

Coming out

Some people mistake
my intensity for hate.
My propensity
to speak candidly
is something you despised in me.
I started out, too young to see
why I was an atrocity
why you'd avert your gaze from me.
My crime was to speak openly.
But I'm too wise to let fear rise in me.
I baulk at your mendacity.
Still I won't let duplicity
put on the brakes and hinder me.
I'll be what I was born to be.
Your anger fills a well for me
I'll deeply drink your jealousy.
Your actions, once a hell for me –
repugnant in ferocity –
spurred me to make the most of me.
A glorious tenacity.
Nourished by catastrophe
and painful, blunt toxicity
of you who swore I'd never be
that which I'm compelled to be
that which flows inside of me
and sweeps throughout my entity.
I let it out and now it's free.
And now you're just a ghost to me
And I am who I'm meant to be.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

28 Sonnets Later

Three wonderful poets (and me) were set the challenge to write a sonnet a day during the month of February. The result? 28 Sonnets Later, a blog celebrating the form in all its fourteen-lined goodness! Today, day one, See Andy Bennett contemplating the untold wonders of hoover bags, Egyptology and Ozymandias. Look out for my first sonnet tomorrow!