poetry diary

I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing. (Seamus Heaney, from Personal Helicon)

Category: Poems

Garden party

Strawberries and cream
next to empty Pimms glasses –
that man has no shoes.

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I was at a traditional English summer garden party yesterday.

After spring rain

A damp June evening;
pigeons hanging in still air
breathed out by rain gods.

Redevelopment

Uniform walkways,
glass towers and cultured trees –
a car turns away.

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I was in Coventry yesterday, where much of the city centre is being rebuilt.

Death of a porridge bowl

A bowl in mid-air;
spun from careless hands, destined
to fragment my day.

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The moment I realised the simple bowl I’ve used to make my breakfast every morning for years was about to be lost. It was perfect for the job – which you don’t always appreciate until too late.

Park run

A muddy puddle –
six hundred people running
scattering dried stones.

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Every Saturday morning hundreds of people meet in our local park to run 5km (at vastly varying paces, for fun!).

Cut flowers

White lily petals
adrift on a wooden floor –
velvet-scented air.

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I enjoy bringing a few flowers inside – but they don’t last long.

Pragmatism

A philosopher
tells me nothing is certain.
I fill my wine glass.

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I did actually sit next to a philosophy professor at dinner last night. She drank with me, though, so I’m being a little unfair!

The dying city

Against red brick skies
buddleias sprung from towers.
Empty summer streets.

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Outside the semi-derelict former Methodist Central Hall, Birmingham.

#WomenMakersBrum

A jewellery display
made by refugee women.
Tears pearl on my cheek.

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I visited a jewellery exhibition in Birmingham yesterday. Sometimes simple things are inspiring (and should be supported more widely). Search the hashtag for more information.

The virtues of working out

In the gym café
a grandmother lifts her cup
with a teenage arm.

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I felt stiff and old yesterday, watching some much older and fitter women enjoying coffee and newspapers after their gym session.