Poetry Blog by Becky Who

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Martin Elder on Origins (Sun, 14 Apr 2019 03:19 pm)

Becky Who on Origins (Fri, 12 Apr 2019 09:26 pm)

Becky Who on Elegy to a plum tree (Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:50 pm)

John Marks on Elegy to a plum tree (Wed, 10 Apr 2019 02:03 pm)

Martin Elder on Elegy to a plum tree (Mon, 8 Apr 2019 03:31 pm)

raypool on If you liked my poetry (Mon, 8 Apr 2019 02:30 pm)

DESMOND CHILDS on Elegy to a plum tree (Mon, 8 Apr 2019 06:51 am)

Peter Taylor on Elegy to a plum tree (Sun, 7 Apr 2019 10:51 pm)

Peter Taylor on If you liked my poetry (Sun, 7 Apr 2019 10:36 pm)

Stu Buck on Elegy to a plum tree (Sun, 7 Apr 2019 09:39 pm)


I have no roots –

only memories.


Present becomes past before my eyes

Life is lived, recorded there, somehow,

More or less imperfectly inscribed

Within my head, thus stored behind my brow.

These things exist for me, just in my mind,

For if I try to seek them out again

There’s only ever something new to find:

Nothing in the stillness can remain.


I have no root...

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glopowrimonapowrimoNapowrimo 2019napowrimo Day 12


Preamble: my little effort for #napowrimo Day 10, inspired by the prompt "bloodstone" from @Fallspoetry on Instagram.

Too impatient for emerald or even diamond

I came to claim bloodstone as my own


Entering via Aries

Heated veins are my weakness


Yet I have not spilled blood

Only shared it


Thus I am a footsoldier

Of the Mother Goddess


And if my robes ...

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NaPoWriMo Day 10napowrimo2019napowrimoday10

Elegy to a plum tree

entry picture

Preamble: it took the death of a friend to push me into at last trying free verse, and quite frankly it makes me nervous.

Decades proud

You were of this land long before the moving bone-bags appeared

claiming paper-thin possession.

Still, generous to a fault, you shared the profits of your growth.

I wonder how many generations you trained

in the art of pick-your-own?

Lips on g...

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elegyfree verseplum tree

If you liked my poetry

If I could take the thoughts you most like to think

And sculpt them into text that speaks to you as art,

If I could take the feelings you most want to share

And mirror them in words, reflected in your heart,

Then would you more easily forgive my selfish pen?

Excuse the vacant looks, the lost half-hours when

I am not yours, as I wander some distant mental shore?

If you liked my...

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glopowrimolovenapowrimonapowrimo2019napowrimo2019 Day 6

To someone who somehow knows

Preamble: just a little ditty I threw together for napowrimo day 4, prompt word “radar” from @avolitorial on Instagram. Please read nothing into it - it is not at all based on reality. Honest guv'nor. 


“Hey! How’s things? Are you okay?”

Why did this come from YOU?


Why was I on YOUR radar, when

those closer never knew?


What psychic powers do you own?

What signals d...

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This morning’s glorious golden hour

On this day, leaves me cold.

The sweet dawn chorus lingers on

No joys to me unfold.


No light or beauty penetrates

The fog within my head.

Become so numb, I can but wait

In longing, for my bed.


For National Poetry Month 3rd April 2019 – prompt from IG @tristameer “use the word ‘golden’ in a poem”.

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fatigueNapowrimo 2019Napowrimo Day3


Always the same question.  Is today the day
that I don’t make it through? That I give up and run away?
Is it today I fail to act, to deceive, to pretend
When I can't keep the smile held in place until the end?

I try to be a mirror. I’m just a parasite, 
A blood-sucker feeding on their energy and light. 
I just give back to others what I take from them by stealth
I've no resources in me left...

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Napowrimo 2019 Day2

How to be a terrible parent

Stay up until all hours with work stuff,

Then wonder why the kids act at their worst,

Insist they play alone when you feel rough,

Then wonder which will throw a tantrum first.


You promise something then you make them wait,

Then wonder why they give you endless grief,

Sling insults when the school run’s running late,

Then wonder why they’re lacking self-belief.



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day 1Napowrimo 2019

Lie with poetry

If I could lie with poetry as if beside a lover,

Rhymes like arms to hold me, laden pages as a cover

between me and my reality, the truth I try to hide,

Too feeble for the malice of the world that waits outside.


If I could lie with poetry as if upon a lover,

Minds meeting as hearts beat to find the rhythm of the other,

Words caressing skin, or tasting sweet on lips so red,


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My Brexit Poem

Preamble: I know some folk are not going to like this, but it's my right to be angry and I don't care who knows it.

Live version on Youtube: https://youtu.be/ckq0X_z6I6M


On the 30th of March 2019

I shall wake up significantly older

And no longer European.


What a great birthday present history has prepared for me -

After 4 decades on this planet, “we’re revoking your Eu...

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BrexitSlamslam poetry

Keep moving

Preamble: for this week's Saturday Rhymers theme of "moving", just for FUN repeat FUN, here is my first attempt at a... well, you'll see.


Gotta keep on moving ‘cos it hurts to stand still.

Gotta weep in proving that my work’s not landfill,

Gotta seek to be outrageous ‘cos this weakness is contagious,

Gotta be a freak to speak out and break out of all these cages.


Gotta kee...

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movingSaturday funSaturday Rhymers Clubsocial protestSRC

Save the words!

Preamble: this is a slam poem and probably works better aloud. I'll try to make a video one day.

I’m here today to speak to you about something of great importance:

We have to save the words!

Dozens of words each day are being lost

We cannot underestimate the intellectual cost

As their natural habitats become corrupted

And their reproductive patterns are being disrupted

Words ...

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emoticonslanguageslam poetry

My first-born

Preamble: for this week's Rhymers theme "first", here is my first attempt at a villanelle.


My son, it fell to you to be born first

You turned a couple into Mum and Dad

You sometimes had the best, sometimes the worst


You changed our lives when into them you burst,

And for that day I ever shall be glad,

My son, it fell to you to be born first.


Our parenting was w...

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childrenfirstSaturday Rhymers ClubsonSRCvillanelle

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Preamble: my contribution to this week's Rhymers' theme "fire".


Wouldn’t it be easier to recognise a liar

If caught telling porkies, their pants really caught fire?

As a warped form of justice, it would be rather fun

To see a guilty con man get singed around the bum.

The value of honesty would rapidly be learned

If every untruth told led to buttocks getting burned.



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comic rhymesfireliarsSaturday funSaturday Rhymers ClubSRC


Preamble: my contribution to this week's Saturday Rhymers theme - with apologies to anyone called Jack.

Men called Jack must always complain

About their name being taken in vain.

In language, literature, songs and nursery rhymes

The name “Jack” crops up time after time.

Whenever a male figure is expected

Chances are a character called “Jack” will be selected.


What have th...

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JackSaturday funSaturday Rhymers ClubSRC

Weekly routine

Starve myself on Monday

Stuff myself on Tuesday

Hate myself on Wednesday

Rationalise on Thursday


Friday night I feel your strong arms appreciate my curves

The weekend passes in a dream


Rinse and repeat.

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body imagediet

Leaving Home

For this week's Saturday Rhymers theme: Leaving Home.


When I go back and stay at my Dad’s place,

It’s great, but it’s no longer home.


I struggle to get my own kids off to sleep

In the room that I once called my own.


They watch cartoons, just as I did

Two sofas, three tellys ago.


So much is the same, yet so much has changed,

Though I try hard to not let i...

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Leaving homeSaturday funSaturday Rhymers ClubSRC


For a poem about motivation

I find myself lacking real inspiration.


After a period of procrastination

It’s become a source of great frustration.


Is this real artistic creation

Or just intellectual masturbation?


But following quiet contemplation

I had a sudden revelation:


What I am lacking is

The title.

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MotivationrhymeSaturday funSaturday Rhymers ClubSRC

If only poetry burned calories...(first posted 31/10/18)

One of my favourite ways of passing the time

Is chasing imagery and hunting down rhyme,

But as this takes place inside my head

It’s not enough, or so my doctor’s said.

Poetry feeds my brain and soothes my soul

But it doesn’t help much towards my fitness goals.


If only flexing words could take inches off my thighs!

If only shaping verses was more than mental exercise!


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body imagecaloriespoetryslam poetry

If only poetry burned calories

One of my favourite ways of passing the time

Is chasing imagery and hunting down rhyme,

But as this takes place inside my head

It’s not enough, or so my doctor’s said.

Poetry feeds my brain and soothes my soul

But it doesn’t help much towards my fitness goals.


If only flexing words could take inches off my thighs!

If only shaping verses was more than mental exercise!


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body imagecalorieslosing weightpoetry

Intertextual protest

I like my music ANGRY. My favourite types of song

Are those that call for change, to try to right some wrongs.

I’ll take lyrics about war or peace or duty socially bound,

Over any heartfelt soulful dirge about love lost or found.


But it seems my favourite protest songs have limited success,

Judging by the fact the world is still in such a mess.

The answers blowing in the win...

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protestprotest songsSaturday Rhymers Clubsocial justiceSRC

The music is calling

Preamble: for this Saturday's theme of DANCE.


I hear music. The beat begins.

It taps gently at my consciousness and slowly enters in.

It slides through my skull like the lift of warm caffeine

Raising pulse, slowing thoughts, it’s as if I’m in a dream…

Step by step I’m vanquished, it takes over my brain

It numbs my higher functions, until nothing remains

But the essence of...

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DancemusicSaturday funSaturday Rhymers Club

My Wedding Day

Preamble: I wrote this shortly after my wedding 2 years ago, but never found the chance to perform it. I've revived it for today's Rhymers' theme of "weddings". It is a slam so it looks strange on paper, so I also made this video.


I have so many thanks to give for this special day!

First, the weather: my eternal gratitude to whichever Supreme Being or natural...

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marriageSaturday funSaturday Rhymers ClubSRCWeddings

Old anger

Preamble: see below for explanation that is too long to preamble here.

I didn’t know I was still angry till the day I heard you’d died.

Suddenly the old bitterness is welling up inside

I haven’t given you a thought for literally years

But now I find my eyes are filling up with tears

Not of grief, but of re-awakened pain

Reliving the sting of your words all over again

I’m not ...

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Poetic insomnia

The battle begins -

Poetry behind my eyes

Will not let me sleep. 

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A midnight black sky

Seen in the bedroom mirror

By eyes that won't close

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Sunday evening teacher blues

I should be working

My brain has reached its limits

And wants to drink wine

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Class warfare

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They say it’s class warfare, they say the rich have won

They don’t understand the hurly burly’s not done

Their smug sense of victory will be somewhat misplaced

It’s hard to be elite when the planet’s laid to waste


They plunder and they pillage and they take more than they need

They’re selling all our futures just to feed their selfish greed

They think they’re sitting pretty,...

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Saturday funSaturday Rhymers ClubSRC

Why the hell did I agree to this

School swimming lesson

The hell of nineteen wet kids

To get dried and dressed


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Message from a 7-year-old

Preamble: In honour of this week's Rhymers' theme "children", here is a poem written in collaboration with my 7-year-old son.

Some people say they don’t like children

But they are wrong.

We aren’t the ones dropping the bombs.

We aren’t the ones firing the guns.

Children don’t kill other children.


The guy on the ground, he’s just doing as he’s told

The job that he’s paid f...

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childrenSaturday funSaturday Rhymers ClubSRC

Dog Lane

I walk up from the bus stop at the end of each weekday,

I know I’ll cause a ruckus, every step along the way.

One hundred yards, four houses, four front gardens, four closed gates,

Behind each one a canine sentinel does lie in wait.

To take this path I have to steel my nerves, or ears at least,

And take care not to get a scare from these four furry beasts.

Am I always to be hound...

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DogsSaturday FunSaturday Rhymers ClubSRC

Writing in Rhyme

Please consider watching this slam live on Youtube (with subtitles):



I can’t help writing in rhyme. I do it all the time.

Rhymes sneak into my texts unbidden

Or if they’re not there, or are too well hidden

Their absence clangs like a bell

And I feel compelled to find them somewhere… bear, care, dare, hair, tear… repair, despair…


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Love that was washed away

Just for fun...


From the moment they first met, they got on rather well,

They soon became an item, and deep in love they fell,

Were made for each other, as far as they could tell,

Pretty soon they were hearing the sound of wedding bells.

They set up home together, and things were going well

Until they took a shower, then broken was the spell

As it turned out he used soap,...

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Saturday funSaturday Rhymers Club

Not one for the guys

Sometimes it bugs me

to have to chain up my chest

to keep it under control


And a few days each month

I’m afraid to stand up

for fear of disaster below


The price to pay for having a way

to make two little humans

and call them my own


One of whom

will make the same complaints

once she is fully grown.

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I hope the "sleep" function is working

You have fallen asleep with the radio on.


Electromagnetic waves push inanities

into air that should at this time be only for breathing.


I lie and wait for the dull click

that will bring silence billowing down

onto your slumber and my wakefulness


knowing that the same sound, too soon

will tear me from the sleep

I should have accepted I needed

much earlier.

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Make-Up Wake-Up

This poem really is a slam. Please consider watching this live performance on my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7whtE5vY2cg


I feel the gaze of the man I love as I cover myself in chemicals.

His head behind mine in the mirror, still sitting in the still-warm bed

He’s going to be late if he doesn’t get a move on.


He watches as I paint my face

Foundation, co...

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make-upSaturday funVanity

Poetic Warning


This world is under poetic surveillance

The POETS are watching


No image, sound or experience is guaranteed safe

from being found… inspiring


They will take feelings you didn’t know you had

and turn them into words you didn’t know you needed


They may not know who they are

but once they get started

they can be unstoppable and unforgettable.



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Clever love

Just for fun...


Can someone, somehow, kindly please explain

How I can fall in love with someone’s brain?


Pure eye candy you certainly are not

It’s not your looks that make me feel quite hot

Your mind distills great learning with such ease

It makes me feel quite weak around the knees

Your words of wisdom bring such clarity

You open up my mind and set it free.



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brainbrain gameloveSaturday fun

When I get mad I write poetry

Some of my best poetry is written in the space

between drunkenness and pain

Before I drink too much to regret

Or fall asleep and forget


Some of my best poetry is written in the space

between thoughtfulness and folly

When I’m mad enough for words to whirl

but not for blood to boil


When I’m mad enough for blood to boil

but not enough for it to spill


When ...

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International Bake-off: Britain 1 - France 0

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The French are really rather rude

When talking about British food.

They cannot help but be quite mean

When it comes to tasting our cuisine.


They mock our beef with roasted spuds,

Our gravy soaking Yorkshire puds:

Swear vinegar on fish and chips

Would never make it past their lips


They claim the British high cream tea

Can’t match French haute pattiserie

In th...

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bakingcookingSaturday fun

Five minutes more


Just five minutes more.

Just five more minutes alone, in the quiet

Before I walk through that door

Return to the noise

And heed the voices.


Just five more minutes

Before I resume my duties

The chores that are never done

The battles that will never be won.


Just five minutes more to call my own

Before I become once more the exclusive property of cha...

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Deathfive minuteslonelinesssolitude

Geneva airport

Flying low-cost to Geneva

I know I’ll have to wait

Can’t risk the earlier Alpine bus

In case the plane is late


A quiet corner, a book to read

Kill time without a care

Words transport me to other worlds

Much faster than by air


This is my guilty pleasure

For which I should atone

Since becoming a parent

I love travelling – alone.


The only disadvantag...

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GenevaSaturday funSwitzerland

Written in anger and confusion

Should the feelings of guilt

outweigh those of resentment?

Is the fear of loneliness

worth more than fear of rage?

Is it wrong to long for simplicity

and abandon the search for contentment?

Is it right to write words of anger

on a blank, unforgiving page?


Is it wise to seek solace in poetry

when every act of writing

is seen as an act of selfishness

that can ne...

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I can't write today

I can’t write today.

There’s things need doing. Bills to pay.

The laundry won’t put itself away -

I can’t write today.

I’ve to-do lists and not-done lists a mile long

And every little thing that could possibly ever go wrong

Needs to be anticipated, calculated

Life’s so complicated -

I can’t write today.

Classes to prep and papers to grade

Gotta do the job for which I’...

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no timewriting

Would you pole dance for a friend?

entry picture

Organising a Hen Do is a big responsibility

Imagine my consternation when the task fell to me

Male strippers? Mud racing? A restaurant? A spa?

Not enough dosh for Barcelona or anywhere that far


Then one day browsing Facebook, I come across by chance

A special Hen Do offer – beauty session with pole dance.

Of course the thought of pole dancing makes me quake in fear

But it...

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Bride-to-beHen DoPole DancingShorts

French Heat

The weather map seems to have burst into flame

We wonder if climate change is to blame

Perspiration pours down skin like tears

I’m in shorts for the first time in 20 years

The city roasts in a concrete sea

This weekend we await the 39th degree

It’s too hot to move and the kids won’t nap

We need drinks on demand and patience on tap

But the thing that bugs me most, I fear


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39 degreesFranceheatwave

What If

Sorry for the length, but I wrote this after something that happened to one of my students a few days ago. It's the first thing I've written in a long time that is probably a song.

With acknowledgements to John Lennon

I see your tears falling

It really breaks my heart

I know right now you believe

Your world just fell apart


You can’t see through the darkness

The next move ...

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FailureJohn LennonSong lyrics


I care about fitness enough to sign up for Zumba classes on Mondays

But not enough to attend them regularly.

I care about my looks enough to spend too much on make-up

But not enough to spend time putting it on properly.

I care about my weight enough to hurl messages of hate at the mirror in the morning

But not enough to resist the packet of biscuits late at night.

I care about my...

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contradictionspoemsslam poetry

The beautiful game

It’s only a game

This beautiful game.


There was nothing he liked more than a kick-around with a ball

Down the park or the reccie with his mates

He’d stay out til dark and his mum would moan he was late for his tea.

The lads swapped football stickers and wore team shirts for PE

And when he got the latest home kit for Christmas he was delighted.

Okay there was that time tha...

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beautful gamedomestic violenceFootball

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