What!  You don't like poetry?  Shame on you!  Poetry is good for you. It's good for the soul, good for keeping you company when you have to wait somewhere boring for a bus, or for the dentist.  You will already have lots of poetry in your head - songs, hymns, nursery rhymes, lullabies - a little more won't hurt.

This poem won the Hippocrates Poetry Prize for poetry with a medical theme. I am thrilled, as the other shortlisted poems were excellent.  I think an anthology of our work should be available  online soon.


He had a stone where his mouth should be,
a tongue filled with a plum,
lips that stayed blue with the effort
of being born.

But when he laughed, later,
the world came alive and fishes swam
out of his eyes across the room
as he waved his stubby fingers at the nurse.

He doesn't know the time;
only that he's hungry now
and his head hurts.
The butt of many butts,
it cracks and connects,
poor kid.




Below is The Mooncalf, using old Cotswold dialect words. 'Hameleets' are leg wraps, and 'hocksey' is a word describing early morning mist and dew. This won the Ware Poetry Prize.


The spinney hid the Moon Calf
from the labouring men.
Poor creature, it was nesh and leer,
having a hunger on it. Nothing
but holly and hawthorn in the lagger
and the spiney sloe for it to feed on.

It blarted I-know-not-what-all to be fed
and comforted, lodged in the shippen
with the beasts and given care;
its mother having lately gone to glory.

Huck-muck it was, half-saved,
hameleets drawn closely wrapped
about its legs against the hocksey blowing in,
and the night air wet in fields and furrows,
under the queech-grass, bleached in the moon's view.

The Moon-Calf bellocked on, until,
finding him thus, the villagers
took him in; remarking on
the moon-white pallor of his milky skin,
pale tongue; those empty, empty eyes.

I'm a member of the wonderful Keele Poets' Group at Silverdale, tutored by Caroline Hawkridge.

There are real craftsmen poets in the group, producing a rich and varied  selection of poetry every week.

Bill Milner brings translations from Propertius, a latin poet, which come alive as you read them; voices from the distant past, showing us that the themes of  love, jealousy and desire are as old as time.

John Smith brings us his own inimitable view of life, peppered with quirky puns and intriguing insights into life elsewhere, in other times.

Hilary Adams is our own  human dictionary and  grammar expert, while  Mary King has almost completed an epic poem about the non-stop flight of the godwit from  Hawaii to New Zealand - an astonishing journey (pause on the words non-stop) and a fabulous poem in the making, while Bert is concerned with memory and its decline.  Every group member brings  a different set of poetic intentions and skills to bear.   There are seventeen of us, so I won't list them all here, but their work is to be treasured, and each week Roger Bradley collects the work and prints up a booklet for each of us; no mean feat.  Thank you Roger!