National poetry day: freedom

What does freedom mean to me?

Freedom to write about anything I like

Without worrying what they think.

Freedom to dance like I’ve had too much to drink.

Freedom to question, to figure out what I believe in.

Freedom to talk about my faith, even if people don’t like it.

Freedom from fear of death.

Freedom to pray.

Freedom to draw silly doodles and to bake flat cakes.Autumn drawing.jpg

Freedom to jump in Autumn leaves and to read a book under a tree.

Freedom to enjoy the life that I’ve been given, for as long or short as it will be.

Freedom to be nobody else, just me.

The best me that I can be.

 

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The clouds

Do you ever lie on your back
And look at the clouds?
I did that the other day and thought
about loss.
An anniversary that nobody wants to
celebrate.
But it’s still as real as any birth or wedding day.
A grainy scan photo tucked away
A reminder of the unhappy day.
A knowledge that something was
wrong.
A kind doctor who reminded me of
someone.
The loss of a lot of blood,
and then
A tiny rainbow in a sunny summer sky.
Finally, saying goodbye.
Wondering who you would be
And whether you would look like
me.
I lie on my back sometimes,
And look at the clouds.

The night before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house

No laptop was whirring, nor a computer mouse.

The children were tucked up in their warm cosy beds

While dreams of tablets and scooters danced round their heads.

Mum and Dad watched a box set, on sofa sat

with hot chocolate, popcorn and Toby the cat.

 

A glass of milk and ginger biscuits on a plate

For a special guest on coffee table did wait.

“Let’s go to bed,” Mum said yawning, “it’s getting late.”

“Soon a visitor will be opening the gate.”

“Yes,” agreed Dad, “I have wrapped all of our gifts,

I’m glad my boss hasn’t got me working night shift.”

 

When the family were finally fast asleep,

In the garden landed reindeer without a peep.

And out from the sleigh that they magically lead,

stepped Father Christmas, dressed in white and red.

“Reindeer, wait here. I have some gifts to deliver.”

“I’ll be back soon. I see the snow makes you shiver.”

Then the jolly old man took out his magic key

and unlocked the front door slowly and quietly.

 

He was just putting our presents under the tree

When he looked up with a smile and spotted me!

I had heard a noise and crept slowly down the stair

And could hardly believe who I saw standing there.

 

“Sorry!” I gasped. “I didn’t know you were real.”

“I am!” He chuckled. “Will you join me in my meal?”

So we sat on the sofa and enjoyed our snack

While Toby purred happily on Santa’s lap.

“What’s it like, travelling round the world,” I asked

“each Christmas eve, it must be a difficult task?”

“I love seeing all of the countries,” he replied,

like Poland, Botswana, Japan and Paraguay.

People live in interesting homes, that’s for sure,

In tents, wooden huts, caves and on the sea shore.

All children are unique in such different ways

But with a love of toys and play, they’re all the same.”

 

I ate my crunchy biscuit and answered “Say,

I’ve never thought of it before in that way.

The other children might not look or talk like me,

But we all need fun, and the love of our family.”

 

 

“I must be going,” he said, “I have elf-made toys

To deliver to many little girls and boys.”

 

I looked out of the window to see the sleigh

With reindeers and Father Christmas, flying away.

I heard his happy call as he flew out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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Tutor royal poetry

Imagine if the Royal family were a bit more like the ones in Tudor times? Where brother fought brother for the crown, and wives were more concerned with manipulating their men to gain power, rather than dresses, charity and polo games.

So, in Shakespeare sound, and heart (little truth but much blood), though neither power nor metre, shall I a story for thee spin.

 

Catherine, daughter of a merchant of Middletown,

Did pilgrimage to the land of Scots

Wherein for past sins to fast and pray.

Soon she did bespy with her fair eye

The son of the English King

And in a village named for Andrew,

The saint of that name,

Did meet him outside the church gate

One frosty spring day.

She did smile and bow and sigh

Such pretty sighs that soon did catch Prince Williams’ eye

And following close behind,

his heart.

 

They did bethrothe on St Swithin’s Day,

When birds did cheep carefree and gay

And the sun beat down hot

On the cattle eating golden hay.

 

But Beatrice and Eugenie felt anger

burning in their fiery breasts

At such a union as this,

Between royal household

and common trader’s child.

It brought shame to the family name.

One full-moon night did the sisters swear,

with drops of blood from finger-pricks,

To avenge the purity of their

Newly sullied line; now mixed as it was

With unclean toil and sweat and brine.

They had the crown of England in their sights.

 

Beatrice had wed Edward,

The Earl of Warwick’s son

Two summers hence,

A handsome man with chiselled jaw

And right arm strong,

But whose trusting mind

was weak and easily lead.

And now Beatrice, round and hard

Like September’s apple,

though not as sweet, did carry his heir.

 

On a night when thunder roared

And lightning carved an ancient oak in two,

She gave birth to twins:

Boys with hair as red as fire

And eyes like crystal pools of blue.

As they sucked at her milky breast,

Did she plot against her cousin prince.

 

The sisters consulted the stars

And devised a plan to demote

the King’s heir to merely a man

And for Edward to rise

As, at least in their eyes,

The rightful ruler of the land:

The fruit of Royal loins

Wherein regal blood flowed,

Untainted by common woman.

 

So Beatrice did in her Edward’s ear

Whisper, with tales of bitterness.

She accused her cousin Will

Of plans to murder Edward

As he slept in his bed,

For reasons unknown except

Jealousy against

a fair face and strong sword arm.

So like a fool in a carnival

Did Edward fall for his wife’s lies.

 

She goaded him and whined each night

Of her terror, of her fright.

Complaining of the injustice of William’s plot

And over time, helped by false tears,

Did drive gentle Edward to despair.

He pulled at his soft brown hair

And swore to poison the Prince’s drink

When next they met

For a hunt in the King’s forest.

 

He did not wish to kill a man

Whom he had called friend,

But his wife and sister-in-law

Had driven him with women’s wiles

To wish Prince William’s bitter end.

 

Eugenie purchased a witches’ poison

And gave it to Edward

The night before he set out on the hunt,

Whispering “You know what you must do

To save your life,

and that of your sons.”

 

Foolish son of the Earl of Warwick

Was so easily by maiden tricked.

When at the hunting lodge did

With Price’s men one dusk recline,

When all were full of meat

And drunk on French wine,

Edward slipped a drop or two

Of the foul witches’ brew

Into unsuspecting William’s goblet.

 

The King’s son drank, and soon

Fell to the floor in a swoon,

From which he never awoke.

Overcome with sorrow and sensing the most

Terrible truth of two women’s lies,

And of justice on the morrow,

Did Edward flee on horseback

As swift as the wind,

and was in green and pleasant England

Never seen again.

 

 

 

Fret not, my friends,

That this may be prophesy or truth.

Instead ’tis merely make-believe

And with that I shall take my leave.

 

They say it’s all over now

They say it’s all over now,

Which is fab.

My hair is short

And I’ve got some scars

But I am older, wiser, tougher.

 

So why does it feel so hard?

I run into emotions

Like a brick wall.

Bang!

And I’m down.

 

I should be happy

To be alive.

I should be strong.

But sometimes I just want to

Curl up into a ball.

 

They say it’s all over now,

Which is fab.

But actually it is the start

Of a new world.

And I’m not ready yet.

 

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I wrote this poem from a prompt at Verily Victoria Vocalises

What can you really hear?

I was waiting for the bus and made a list of all of the sounds that I could hear.
 
Whooooshhh
Wheeeeeshhhh
Eatir tir tir tir
Ruuuuuve
Pirrrrrip pirrrrup pirrrrrup
Would you like to sit here
No I’m fine thanks
Eatirr tir tir tir
Whooooooph
Day day day day
Ridi di di doo
Mrrrrrrrrrrr
Pirrrrrrip pirrrrrip pirrrrip
Whooooosh
Wheeeeeesh
Eaday day day day
Eatir tir tir tir
Mrrrrrrrrr phwooop
Ting
Town please
 
Did you recognise any of the sounds?
There was leaves rustling on the trees in the wind; birds; traffic driving past; people speaking; a baby gurgling; and a phone.
 
It’s easy to write down the normal (onomatopoeia) sounds that we read about – such as a vroom of a car or a tweet of a bird. But does it always sound like that? I think we should open our ears more to what’s out there, and use new words to describe what we actually hear.