Category Archives: Poetry

March 2017

So I was going to try for at least one post a month …….

A windy day today, 14th March, but mild and bright.  Frogs are very busy in the ponds today so I thought I’d post a little poem, one of the very first I attempted (I’m a late starter where poetry’s concerned).  It had been a very hard winter and the pond had been frozen for many days.  We counted over 20 dead frogs – but some survived and lived to breed again.


The dormant pond lies white and thick with frost
so frogs below must dwell in mud and wait.
The ice-trapped air has spread its poison breath
and ghostly glass-blurred corpses float beneath

I place the bodies in their earthy grave.
The pond, as black as mountain lochans, lies
unchanged until the robin builds his nest
when jewelled spawn and hope returns once more.


Frozen pond 6 January 2011




100 Things to do with a selfie stick

Now that my last essay has been submitted for ‘Myth in the Greek and Roman Worlds’, all I need to do is wait for the results.

In the meantime, am trying to get back into some creative writing and attend my writing group a little more regularly.  The prompt for the next meeting is as noted in the title above. Neither owning a selfie stick nor ever having used one it’s all supposition:


You can angle it, bend it, clink it

You can dip it, elevate and fling it

You can grip it, hit it, install it

You can jump it, kick and lift it

You can make it, name it, obliterate it

You can paint it, quiz and reactivate it

You can stain it, train it, utilise it

You can veer it, wiggle and x-ray it

You can yield it and zap it




It can aid you, baffle you, chill you

It can drain you, eviscerate and frighten you

It can gouge you, harden you, invigorate you

It can jade you, kill you and lance you

It can master you, numb you, obscure you

It can protect you, quarantine and rattle you

It can sabotage you, taint you, undo you

It can validate, wallop and exonerate you

It can yank you and zoom you


You can anchor it, battle it, clatter it

They can destroy you, emasculate and flatten you

You can grapple it, heave it, invalidate it

They can jag you, kibble* you and lame you

You can mount it, nab it, offer it

They can pan you, quiver and rattle you

You can stick it, tackle it, untie it

They can victimize you, wack and excise you

You can yether* it and zip it


You can ad lib with it, bunny-hop and conga with it

You can dance with it, exercise and fandango with it

You can glide with it, hula hula and instagram with it

You can jive with it, kickass and lapdance with it

You can mambo with it, nickietam and oompah with it

You can polka with it, quickstep and rumba with it

You can samba with it, tango and unwind with it

Finally, you can wave it and vanish.


*beat or lash severely



If I Should Die ….*

In this week of remembrances,  it seemed appropriate that I should dedicate this post to my great-uncle, my grandmother’s youngest brother.   He was born in 1892 in Royston, Hertfordshire, the youngest son of William and Eliza Andrews.  I first saw his name, when I was very young, on the enormous bronze ‘penny’ with Britannia and the Lion and his name etched at the side, Sidney George Andrews.  He enlisted in the First Hertfordshire Regiment aged 19 years and 8 months in 1911. This was a territorial section and he continued working as a blacksmith until 6 November 1914 when his regiment was conscripted and landed at Le Havre.   With no respite he fought in France until his death on 2nd August 1917 following the devastating battle at St Julien, near Ypres.  For anyone interested in the history of the Hertfordshire Regiment there is a very poignant and interesting website here.

He was awarded the Victoria,  British and Star Medals, sometimes referred to as ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’.   The Star was awarded in 1914 so he must have taken part in the First Battle of Ypres.

This young man and many thousands like him changed the course of history and we are as we are today because of them.

* from the poem The Soldier by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)


Sidney George Andrews 1892-1917


I wrote the sonnet below following a day school I attended at Craiglockhart and it seems fitting to quote it here.

Time Warp at Craiglockhart

Stride to the bolted door, towards the light;
find your way to the space that’s forbidden.
Make a left, a right, follow the crow’s flight,
keep safe some coppers for the ferryman;
beyond the glass sits the domed survivor,
temple white, stark against the black steel
pagoda lamps. Time to pay the silver,
climb the helical stairs, turn the wheel.
But first retrace your steps, past the quiet
rows of books which wait for sleeping poets
to rise from marble tombs, penning sonnets
about bugles and bigots with bullets.
If you think silvered metal slats dictate
the end of time – let’s negotiate.

Craiglockhart is now a university campus but it was used as a hospital for shell-shocked soldiers during the First World War. It was where Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen met and wrote.