Category Archives: poetry

The Writers’ Block Arrives in Redruth

The Writers’ Block has moved to Redruth and is in the old Library, the building now known as The Ladder.  Today was their opening day and lived up to expectations. It really is “an inspirational space with events and activities for all ages and abilities cultivating writing confidence, creativity and enjoyment.”
Enjoy the gallery and click on photos to read the explanatory captions. Do click on the website to read about Simon Armitage.


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A Poem and My Dad

My poet friend, Kim Ridgeon, has given permission to share this beautiful poem with you today.

It is a day of reflection for me today as my Dear Dad died on this day in 2004 after a very hard year and his last seventeen days in a wonderful hospice. They let us make his room so personal with his bookcase, Des Amis Silencieux,  and all the books he had written, a favourite painting on the wall and flowers that I took in daily.  If you’d like to read a bit more about the bookcase, click here.

The photo used on his book jackets with his beloved Burmese cat, Shoshone


Posted by on December 17, 2022 in family, photography, poetry, Postaday2022


Across, Up and Refugees

Singing by the river in Penryn on Thursday mornings is always a joy and today the views were especially glorious.

View across from the Zed Shed

Looking up the river, for Paddy

I was looking for poems about refugees this evening and remembered one by the very talented Brian Bilston. Read it down and then start at the bottom and read up – and weep.


They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

(now read from bottom to top)


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Our Wonderful NHS, A Pony and Haiku

After a morning at Community Roots, I spent this afternoon at St Michael’s Hospital in Hayle where I have had bilateral subtalar and ankle steroid injections to combat the arthritic pain. The injections are uncomfortable to have done but in the past have given me relief for about 6 months so are very well worth it. The staff are wonderful – kind and understanding, friendly, efficient  and can’t do enough to make the patients feel good about their treatment. In this photo, with prepared ankles, I am about to go to the treatment room where the injections are done with x-ray guidance, Thank you to everyone. Tea  and  biscuits afterwards were greatly appreciated too! Our NHS is wonderful and we support them all in their strike actions.

The Shetland pony has returned to the field just behind us.

The other day I asked the poet, Brian Bilston, if I could use his poem, Selected Haiku, on my blog and he kindly said that I could so here it is. It made me laugh and I hope will make some of my readers smile too. I know that some of my ex-pupils are readers here and hope they will remember our attempts at Haiku in the classroom.


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Woodpecker, Flowers and A Poem

What a delightful visitor came to our bird feeder this morning! The photo is taken from the kitchen, through the utility room and another six meters up the garden so is on max zoom and a little blurry.

We took some of our last flowers to Ti today – Alstroemeria, Dahlia, Cosmos, Hesperantha and Verbena Bonariensis – all in flower in November!

Ti has a poetry book, a poem for every day of the year. She was delighted when I read today’s poem to her. I also read the poems for all our birthdays which I will share on those days.


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Glass Work, Golden Leaves and A Poem

I’ve been working on glass all day as it is time for angels to be made. I’m using blue and yellow glass and making Angels for Ukraine. I’ve cut six, filed and cleaned all six, foiled just one and begun to choose the recycled, often given to me by friends, bits of jewellery to decorate them.

A walk on the beach by the sea, on an earring given to me by C.

With recycled beads looking like a sunflower

Beautiful autumnal colours are appearing in the trees.

I found this poem today and it seemed right, being about singing and for peace.

Songs for the People 

Let me make the songs for the people,
   Songs for the old and young;
Songs to stir like a battle-cry
   Wherever they are sung.
Not for the clashing of sabres,
   For carnage nor for strife;
But songs to thrill the hearts of men
   With more abundant life.
Let me make the songs for the weary,
   Amid life’s fever and fret,
Till hearts shall relax their tension,
   And careworn brows forget.
Let me sing for little children,
   Before their footsteps stray,
Sweet anthems of love and duty,
   To float o’er life’s highway.
I would sing for the poor and aged,
   When shadows dim their sight;
Of the bright and restful mansions,
   Where there shall be no night.
Our world, so worn and weary,
   Needs music, pure and strong,
To hush the jangle and discords
   Of sorrow, pain, and wrong.
Music to soothe all its sorrow,
   Till war and crime shall cease; 
And the hearts of men grown tender
   Girdle the world with peace.
Apologies to the poet -This poem is in 4 line stanzas and my draft shows the poem in that shape. Somehow, when published it changes shape.

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A Poem, A Feather and A Performance

It’s National Poetry Day and the theme is the environment. However, given all the news around at the moment, I wanted to share this song of hope with you all.

“I’ve Learned to Sing a Song of Hope” by Georgia Douglas Johnson

A feather landed on my purple and white petunias that with their green leaves make the colours of the Suffragettes. The raindrops made it even more special.

Tonight we went to see the performance of Bunker Cabaret, written and performed by our young Ukrainian friends, Hooligan Art Community. It was wonderful, so very moving, a kaleidoscope of dance, drama and song that touched every member of the audience. What a brilliant team they are! If you live in Southhampton, they are coming your way next week; if in Edinburgh, in a couple of weeks. If you get the chance, do see them.

Thank you to Sue for the photo.

The poem above is for Mirra. I had chosen it before the show and then tonight realised the serendipity in that choice. For you, Mirra, with love.




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A Poem

Some time ago I found this poem, “First Day of War” by Ludmila Khersonsky, that was published  in The New Yorker,   and it has come back into my head as we prepare to welcome some young Ukrainians into our home.  They are part of a theatre group who will be performing in Redruth at the end of next week. They are from Kyiv and need some rest and recuperation before they get into rehearsals and performances so we are going to show them some of the beauty of Cornwall and of our everyday lives.


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Golden Tomatoes, A Poem and Storm Coming

The sunshine is ripening our golden tomatoes but the red ones, in a different part of the garden,  have cooked on the vine with the extreme heat.

The following poem and met map explain the heat we are experiencing. My first reading of this ‘Heated (August 2022)’ made me think of our personal and collective responsibility. Our grass was crisp and crunchy as I walked over it late this afternoon.  I am very grateful to Kim for letting me share his poem here.

We think a storm is coming. Our ship’s barometer is suddenly up and overflowing.We will all be glad of some rain, especially the garden. .



International Day of Cats – A Poem and Two Cats

I love the following poem by Brian Bilston who has very kindly given me permission to share it with you. I love how, in the humour, he always manages to raise the political and to make clear his feelings. Thank you, Brian.

The following photos are of international cats – one who lives in Arizona and one who lives at the allotment here in Redruth.

Thanks, P, beautiful photo.



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