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NEWS FROM MY LIFE IN POEMS

Are you enjoying reading my poetry? If so, you might like to buy a signed copy of my poetry book, Wonderland. It contains many of the poems I have blogged and also some you haven’t seen before. If you live in the UK, the cost is £5.00 plus £1.50 postage. If you are one of my followers from overseas, please contact me in the comment box below. Let me know where in the world you live and I will let you know the cost of postage and packing. With every purchase you make I will be giving a 25% donation to the refugees from Ukraine. Thank you!

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

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BLOG POST #238 – CHANGES

This was written in a response to a challenge in my writers’ group to write a poem about ‘changes’.

9 MONTHS

At first 

the change

is imperceptible

A liking for something

you never liked before

Then the first flicker

Did you imagine it?

It feels like the flutter of

a butterfly wing

The clothes you wore     

no longer fit

and strangers 

pat 

your stomach

like they own it

Then

out of the blue 

one day

the first kick

takes your breath away

What a surprise

Your body is changing

before your eyes.  

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

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POETRY PLEAS

The title of this poem is a take on the BBC Radio 4 programme, “Poetry Please”. Back in the day I was invited to read some of my “found” poems on its predecessor, Poetry Now. The programme was hosted by the Scottish poet George Macbeth (1932-1992) who has been described as, “one of the most gifted, inventive, moving and entertaining poets of our time.” I was privileged to meet him.

The first line of this poem is intended as a reference to the so-called Banksy of poetry, Brian Bilston, one of whose poems begins the words, “spare me”. If you have never read his work, I recommend it.

This poem came about as the result of a recent poetry competition in my writers’ group. I am pleased to say it came second out of 22 entries!

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Poetry Pleas

Spare me please from poetry

From poems lovelier than a tree.

From poems with no rhyme or reason

Extolling autumn’s mellow season.

Spare me from poems that rhyme badly

And have to rhyme with words like sadly.

Or poems that do not scan

Of them I’m clearly absolutely definitely not the biggest fan.

Spare me from kids who rant and rage,

Who strut their stuff upon the stage,

Who’ve never read Auden, Byron or Brooke,

But have learnt all they know from off Facebook.

They swear and shout and cuss and curse

In the form of rhyming verse.

Spare me please from poets who

Write about going to the loo.

Poets who think they won’t be heard

Unless they shout out the F word.

Spare me from the English teachers

Whose poetry teaching always features

Learning every single line,

Which to me is waste of time.

Who really wants to learn by rote

All the sonnets that Shakespeare wrote?

Spare me please from the poetry cloners

And disinterested bookshop owners.

I do not want to follow the herd

And modern poetry’s quite absurd.

All lower case and alliteration

And don’t get me started on punctuation!

Spare me from words that are new to me

I have to look them up you see.

Spare me please from poets who shout,

Who bellow and yell and prance about.

A poem read in tranquillity

Is how a poem is meant to be.

A poem that soothes and strikes a chord

With empathy in every word.

A poem that helps us live this life

And cope with loss and love and strife.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

Happy World Poetry Day!

Not one of my own poems for once.  Brian Bilston has kindly given his permission for me to post one of his. I only wish I had written it!

It comes from his latest book, “Alexa, what is there to know about love?” (Picador)

Highly recommended for all lovers of poetry. As is this wonderful tongue in cheek poem.

TEN RULES FOR ASPIRING POETS

1. Poetry does not have to rhyme.
Well, at least not all the time always.

2. Metaphors are great!
But mixing them is not so good.
If they start to fly in all directions,
then nip them in the bud.

3. Focus and concentration
are important skills to hone.
Turn the wi-fi off.
Don’t get distracted by your ph-

4. Avoid clichés like the plague.

5. Don’t do stuff that’s too vague.

6. The use of needlessly long words
may result in reader alienation.
Rein in your sesquipedalianism
in case it should cause obfuscation.

6. Always proof-read you’re work.
Accuracy can be it’s own reward!
And remember that the penis
mightier than the sword.

8. Haiku look easy
but plan ahead or you may
run out of sylla

9. Never ever follow rules.

POEMS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

At a time when so many people are separated from their loved ones, I thought I would post a couple of poems for Valentine’s Day.

One serious – and one to make you smile.

I wrote this poem for OH (other half) over 50 years ago. This year we celebrate our golden anniversary. 

 

To My Valentine

There is only you and I

As there is earth and clouds and sky

We will go on and on we two

You for me and me for you

Love is the only reality

Me for you and you for me

We shall endure you and I

Even as years go drifting by

We will still sing the songs we sung

And love the love we loved when young

 

Cup Final

Tonight was going to be our night

This room was going to be our room

This bed, our bed

Why did you switch the TV on?

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

 

BLOG POST 180 – MOTHER’S DAY

I first published this as a page five years ago. As it will soon be Mother’s Day in the UK I thought it worth posting again. 

I wrote this first poem ten years ago when I heard I was going to be a grandparent for the first time.  News that I would have loved to have been able to share with my mother.

Mother’s Day

On the train

No one is reading

Everyone is on the phone

Sending important messages

Telling friends and family

They are on the train.

In the houses we pass

People are getting up

And starting their day

Planning surprise lunches

Flowers and family celebrations

It is Mother’s Day

And I think of you

Just as I do on every other day.

I’m on my way

To meet your grandson

My firstborn

Now a married man

I wish you knew.

Outside the sun is shining

It’s the kind of day

That makes everyone smile.

I’m going to be a grandmother

I wish you knew.

I’m on the train

Travelling between

The life I have now

And my life to come.

Everyone else is still on the phone

And I’ve written this.

Happy mother’s day mum.

2011

Here’s a poem I wrote especially for Mother’s Day. I hope you like it.

Every Day is Mother’s Day

First smile, first laugh, first sweet embrace

The tender way they touch your face

Every day is mother’s day

First sit, first crawl, first tooth, first walk

The joy when they begin to talk

Every day is mother’s day

The fun when they begin to play

The cries when they don’t get their way

Every day is mother’s day

The day they start to question why

And ask what happens when you die

Every day is mother’s day

The climbs, the falls, the hurts, the tears

As they learn to overcome their fears

Every day is mother’s day

The very first day you’re on your own

You take them to school, come home alone

Every day is mother’s day

The very first time they stay out late

And you remember your first date

Every day is mother’s day

And then one day you’re on your own

They’ve fled the nest, the kids have gone

Every day is mother’s day

The love, the joy, the guilt, the pain

The more you give, the more you gain.

You know you’d do it all again

Every day is mother’s day

 © Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems