Poems from writing retreat


Her home in two places can be

One her family, is she?

The other a mother.

Life can be smothered

I ritual suffered.

Her fresh bread dedication

A clean house meditation.

Church and then home

Regulated, lovingly grown.

I fail.

I fail the ‘I do’s.’

I fail to choose.

I’m wanting more

I’m taking it all.

She is not me.



Poems from writing retreat

I come from
I come from ‘kiddy’ like

From angel named and dad’s girl

From ‘Ser Bear’ can have what she wanted.
I come from Mums are so sensible

From the smell of Jeyes’ Fluid and Tea Tree oil

From dentist visits and “clean up please.”
I come from having a silver cross and my hero’s St Christopher

From talking to myself and him talking calm sense to me.

From “if it’s worth you having baby, it’s worth you fighting for.”
I come from protests at tinned peas

From chocolate please

From “baby is so funny, just like her mummy.”
I come from the smell of Nan’s apple pies

From picking blackberries along the road

From an older man, spinning lies…
I went to “Marry me please”

To a home among tall pine trees

To paper immigration and Canadian contemplation
I went to our broken dream

Then the angriest of screams

Then our marriage ripping at the seams
I came back to Dad’s large arms

To nanny’s home charms

To mummy’s clean and my brokenness unseen.



It’s “Kiddy like”

Its ride your bike.

Its multi-coloured rivers

From factory carpet dippers.

Its many cars on their way

For who would want to stay.

It’s not Birmingham or Worcester

But an intertwined waster,

It’s a town with a city sound.

It’s got no shop centre

Its inhabitant’s dissenter

Its generic supermarkets, Give it some spit.

Its “kiddy like” to have a fight

It’s Park Street’s weed that fills the night,

It’s the canal towpath meet

Its youth who you’ll greet

Its police ASBO warnings

It’s yawning but not at all boring

It’s my gang and our click.

“You Jubilee Drive or Brinton chick?”

Are you ‘kiddy’ Harriers Proud?

It’s Saturday massing Saturday crowd.

“Yer it’s kiddy like”

It’s “get on ya bike!” or “take a hike!”

If you’re not ‘kiddy’ like.



Got the chance to work with some formerly homeless people in a poetry workshop last week and would like to share these two little gems;


The Tower

Tall dark tower in the light of the fading hour

Tall dark tower such a hunting power

Tall dark tower a bell tower

Tall dark tower under you I cower

Tall dark tower shelter in rain shower



Nan’s House


Creeping though the house

Just like a little mouse

Don’t let her catch you James

This is no place for silly games

Watch out for her stick

It’s quick with a whip and a flick

No you don’t mess about

Or Nan will start to shout

Then mom will have lots to say

And there will be hell to pay

Sit still James and drink you juice

No more squabbling we’ll call a truce


I took these poems to the WEA art group this week and our lovely learners did their own images of home again i just picked out two to show you but they were all brilliant

wea 001 wea 002

Week 3 Creative Writing with WEA

Q In 400 words or less write from the title “when i was twenty”

When I was twenty

Twenty at last I’m no longer a teen. Today I have gone out on my own, out into London’s busy streets. Like a bird I glide on the wind, my mind going on its flowing and I’m glancing at faces I do not know. I purposely did not make plans for this day; I wanted to see what being twenty would do with me, but I have walked all morning without reason and my function irrational leaves my brain numb. I see two young men sat in a small garden square on blue bench they seen happy to be there so I ask if I might join them.  It isn’t long before we commence a conversation about how we came to be sat on the blue bench together.

Tom (not his real name I could tell by the way he struggled to say it,) left home when he was 16 years old. He’s now 20 and is still technically homeless, relying on a hostel in London to keep him safe at night. Tom managed to survive the long cold nights and days on end without food, but he wouldn’t advise anybody else to do what he has done. He pulls his coat collar up but it’s no colder now than when we had sat, the same chill seems to nag at my fingertips also.

Liam, who is twenty and from Sunderland became homeless when things became too tough to carry on living at home, He spoke about how finding a bed for the night and food to eat became a daily struggle. Liam says being homeless was a shock. He talks about finding shelter from the cold and rain, about sometimes surviving without food for three or four days. Things are now looking brighter for Liam because he’s getting help to look for a job and somewhere to live thanks to a local hostel.

Small tiny drops of rain now fall from the sky and I say my goodbyes, Lonely and colder than ever before I don’t drift anymore homeward bound and thankful for it.