Poetry 101 Rehab – Whisper

The whisper glides along streets,
Erodes long worn cobbles as it passes.
Through spokes of a rusting wheel
To the school and into classes.

The whisper begs attention,
A susurrous lingering in the alley
Carried on by a man, head down,
Hands in pockets.

In through the windows of lovers,
Detumescent in the moonlight.
Pulling at swollen lips
Which repeat the words with spite.

See a whisper is a powerful thing,
Once uttered, then magnified,
Twisted beyond recognition.
Once truth, a whisper begets the lie.


I love Andy Townend’s Poetry 101 Rehab series, it’s great for those languorous days where you need a little bit of inspiration. This time, the word was Whisper. This was my response.

Poetry 101 Rehab – Couldn’t

I couldn’t say don’t leave,
For my heart strings sew my mouth shut.
I couldn’t even grieve
When our elastic ties were cut.

I couldn’t watch your back
When you needed it safeguarded.
Now we’re parted, due to lack
Of interest, plea disregarded.

I couldn’t express myself
And how much I want to change.
We couldn’t…

Continue reading “Poetry 101 Rehab – Couldn’t”

A Letter from the Mailman

Dear son,

I wish you would write more often
And tell us just how things are going.
You know your mother worries and
It’s just the worst not knowing.

She’s been quite sick lately,
the arthritis isn’t better.
You should write to us some more
Because all she wants is letters.

Sorry to be a nag
I don’t really want to preach,
I just wish you’d taken your
First choice and gone away to teach-

-Instead. Don’t get me wrong,
We’re proud of your decision
And there’s not a man alive
That would throw you his derision.

Not many men would willingly
Sign up to do your job,
Deep in the middle of
Countries riotous with mobs.

Your wife is doing well
I’ll be sure to send your sentiments,
And oh! Your baby boy
Grows more of a resemblance-

-To you every day. And I think it’s
Safe to say, not just from your mum,
But from everyone back home,
Please just come home safe my son.

An Ode to Walkabout

Ah Walkabout,

What sweet sounds swell from inside
Your sapphire depths. Mismatched with care;
The Harmony from the latest party hits
And The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Your oddity attracts posterity.
Swarm seekers of primal movers
And Grinders, queueing for hours into
The night. No one is more of an approver
Than I of your untold corners
In which no-one is found forlorn.

Inside, crowds swell with graceful
Terpsichorean choreography.
Bodies locked in symmetrical
Mating ritual cartography,
Making maps of their partner’s bodies.
Every inch of you is a musical force,
Even in your rest room patrons
Are regaled with coarse songs:
‘No Armani, no punani’ as
They are sprayed with perfumes of class.

Though the night wanes, and the
Pulse-beat heart of music slows,
You stand strong and unchanged and
I know you’ll still be there tomorrow.
Some nights, when I’m wandering
Aimlessly through the streets I think
Of you, your technicolour kisses
On the lips of amber vodka drinks,
And I find myself drawn there
My heart beating in sync with your music.