Poetry

My poetry might be described as good, bad and indifferent!  But please scroll down to decide and at very least you might be inspired to set up your own blog!

‘Weaving Spells’ is from ‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’

Weaving Spells

He was a magician to us
weaving spells with wood and clay.
Other people’s dads went to work
and reappeared for supper.

Ours spent his days
and most nights
carving marionettes
in his cluttered workshop.

He was always engrossed
kneading clay or carving wood,
the music of Glen Miller blaring
from a battered radio.

We would clink through the chaos
with mother’s homemade cakes,
the smell mingling with the stench of glue
boiling on an ancient cooker.

Our faces shone with shy smiles
as his hand took the teacup.
He had been whisked away to war,
we barely knew him.

We lived at Gran’s
and discovered him one day
in the hallway
with a battered trunk.

A soldier
in a coarse khaki uniform,
a clarinet in a case
and chocolate in his pockets.

The following poems are from ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’

In the kitchen

Let’s draw daffodils
and talk about compassion,
capture papery parcels
that hold the tightly packed
buds still green in their pods.

Let our pencils trace
the shapes of ambitious petals
intent on jumping the gun,
reaching out to the world
before their traditional season.

Let’s fill in the details
on their frilly faces
add a few shadows,
for they had no say in the matter
like us simply here in this kitchen
at this particular time.

All Sorts

Everyone helped on Christmas eve, the children in the living room
trusted to make neat crosses on sprouts bottoms,
peel potatoes and prod the hot chestnuts

We’d laugh at my mother’s story of corn beef roast during the war.
Now a few years on it was a roast chicken killed by Grandma
out in the garden and hung in the scullery for two days

Grandpa staggered up the hill from the underground at eight
with apples, pears and nuts from our greengrocers in Goodge Street,
gifts from fellow shop keepers, glace fruits being our absolute favourite

Grandmother insisted all through the war there would be no black market;
her Methodist her beliefs could not sanction anything dishonourable.
“Pity”, said Uncle Jack in later years, “we could have had butter, eggs,
all sorts.”

A Valiant Brood

Prolonged wintry weather savaged the bees
despite honey stocks and bee fondant
wind rain and snow penetrated
their sturdy wooden hive.
Now they lie in tiny icy cocoons
clustered around their queen
a valiant brood
that did all it could
to stay alive.

Letterpress

The old Adana
never stopped clanging
virgin paper fed its jaws.
Nearby large drawers held
sets of single letters in
Garamond or Dorchester
for straight talking
Venetian Gothic, curvy
And romantic
for invitations

Typsetting done
sheets destined to be
hand fed between rubber rollers
emerge in sticky black ink
publicity flyers, leaflets
programmes, plays for
Pelham Puppets
all laid out on every
available space to dry.
We did everything ourselves
to cut costs.

A hundred years ago
TJ Cobden-Sanderson threw
all the type from Dove Press
into the Thames when he fell out
with his partner.

I was one of the poets on short residency run the The Poetry School as one of the poets for London Open Squares weekend.

I wrote poems in Postman’s Park in the City of London in 2015 and again in 2016. There were 16 poets were in different squares many not usually open to the public.

The formal lawn

Sebastian methodically measuresDSC06653 - Copy
bright orange netting like an artist
marking out his canvas.

Full of tools
one wheelbarrow stands
forks, spades, brushes, stakes.

His mate kneels at one corner
carefully sifting soil, troweling edges
his head bent, intent on perfection.IMG_0133

A third man brings in a barrow
rich green turf,  all three
in harmony, finely tuned.

The handkerchief tree

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I sit under the loggia
and consider heroism
what it must take
to jump into the depths
of Highgate ponds
to save someone from drowning
to risk being crushed to death
by the weight of a runaway
horse’s hoovesDSC06547
to die on a burning stairway
trying to save your mother
from a house on fire.

Is it all your gentle spirits turning
the leaves on the handkerchief tree
pure white in remembrance.

The worm

On the path
I just avoid
stepping on a
brown worm.
I place him
on rain-sodden earth.
After all, anyone
can take
the wrong
direction.

St Botolph’s Aldersgate

I hope this is the pew where the poet once sat
having enjoyed his breakfast of burnt toast
sitting in his morning chair looking out to the grave yard
where his great grandfather is buried
drafting a letter then leaving his acorn
papered eerie to saunter out of Cloth Fair
in his heavy coat and wide brimmed hat.1-p1030400

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
listening to sacred music from the deep throated organ
wafting through ancient pillars up to the ornate ceiling
looking up at the famous alter painting stored in Wales
during the war and now with the day light flickering
on the angel with the chalice in Gethsemane
offering strength and courage to The Son of God.

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
next to the Wesley window that was not his favourite
but near the stone memorial for a much loved daughter
and not far from the detailed deliberations
of  Dame Anne Packington, widow, who in her will
in 1595 tried to devise ways to ensure her estate1-dsc06872
would help the poor in perpetuity.

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
singing the hymns and half listening to the sermon
as thoughts of the letters he still had to write
and the  women that he loved passed through his mind
having time to later wander to favourite memorial
where it implies that it is not a man’s  ornate plague
but his good name and the deeds he accomplished.

in memory of John Betjeman

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In 2017 I was selected for another short residency this time in Earls Court Square.

Earls Court Square

sunlight through plane trees
creates shadow puppets
on the grass
a shimmering globe
mirror of distortion
white space crumpled sky

a black cat raises havoc
with noisy parakeets
blackbirds and robins retreat
grand stucco-fronted
terraces red brick
Flemish-style houses

untamed ivy creeps
into ancient urns
at night foxes run over
the roofs of parked cars
slide down the windscreens
drink from the waterfall

stone dogs
symbols of Egyptian gods
sit in state
guarding the garden
their ears sadly
often broken

Eyre knows every flower
with shears he cuts
a bush into a neat ball
small rhythms
work in harmony
with the soil

Neighbours

Peggy Long’s roses
thrive next to
Jo Warwick’s
lily of the valley
near to George’s bench
not far from Californian lilac
a stone’s throw
from white viburnum
slightly envious
of Japanese anemones
and wary of racy newcomers
like those
Brookland geraniums. 

Notes

I started writing poetry on a regular basis when I retired, studying part-time at Sussex University, The Poetry School, Arvon, New Writing South and workshops at Troubadour.

However several years ago I had a poem published in Compact, a piece in The Sunday Times Supplement. Later on three poems published in Writing Magazine.

I learned more recently that getting published in today’s world is very competitive. it can also rely on subscribing to poetry magazines and trying to understand their style etc. It can also be very expensive.  I don’t chose to do that, but read a lot of poetry from books I have collected over the years and often from collections recommended on courses!

I have tried competitions but they can be expensive to enter on a regular basis, but I once won one competition judged by New Writing South and was shortlisted in The Bridport Prize in 2014.

As one gets older there seems to be an added urgency if one wants to share ones work.

I self published first ‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’ and more recently ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’. I had written several of the poems on courses and paid for some mentoring so did not feel a complete novice! I also had the interest of a publisher for this one but after seven months he changed his mind!

Both on sale in City Books in Hove and The Open Art Cafe in Rottingdean and on line at Lulu and Amazon,

From ‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’ my first collection.

I have enjoyed trying to move with the times so I have a poetry blog and a podcast blog and even some with films on youtube.

https://annperrinpoetry.wordpress.com/

Thank you for your interest.

An award winning blog  for a ‘blog that brightens our day’

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