Poetry Blog by Belinda

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dorinda macdowell on From Kurashiki to Manchester (Thu, 18 Oct 2012 04:12 pm)

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Alan Summers on Haiku (Mon, 29 Mar 2010 12:50 pm)

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on From Kurashiki to Manchester (Fri, 1 Jan 2010 02:19 am)

Belinda Johnston on From Kurashiki to Manchester (Thu, 31 Dec 2009 08:09 pm)

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Val Cook on Shoes - Draft 1 (Sat, 22 Aug 2009 10:35 am)

From Kurashiki to Manchester




It’s my last day.  I’ll never see the telephone cables, from the corner of my eye,

                        meshed together, look like crows’ mingling.

                        Or the

White sheets straggling washing lines, having a barney with futons; bent over balconies,

                        blowing in the wind, from the bellow of petrol station attendants;

who make rainbows on win...

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Red plimsolls, step outside.


Gold, green, auburn and burgundy

permeate pavements, walls.


Palms, fingers – caress Magnus the cat: His eyes smoulder.


Squirrels forage, tails like ships

in a whirlpool of leaves.


Black and white collie scarpers past

trees splutter.


Red plimsoll’s step inside

They Squelch. 








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Shoes - Draft 1

My dad's leather shoes

Old, dormant, resting under the kitchen table

Curled up at the toe, beaten in at the back

Crispy insoles, like sandpaper, grit from the garden

And odour of turps, and beer slurped

Speckles of white paint dot the tongue

Inky blue, now a gauntly grey

Nuzzled by the dog

Sometimes, he forgets, where he kicked them off!


By Belinda Johnston



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Freshly cut grass and a whiff

of sea air - stung, tired city eyes

Heading for the field, we squelched our

way to the stalls

Huddled around the heat - waiting.

Hands clutched sticky pink candy

Men poked the charcoal and sharpened their prongs

“Are they ready?” I asked.

The rough hard shells, somersaulted; on the

hot bed of wire

Crackle - pop: My black trousers, speckled w...

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The Goodbye Party

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Based on ‘Where we are’ by Stephen Dobyns

Shaking a glass ball - a man

stares into the scene, as snow

falls onto plastic figures


Dipping her chips into the blob of mayonnaise

A woman bites down; white liquid oozes

through the gaps of her teeth


Knobbly elbows and stooped shoulders

lean in


Table legs wobble, white knuckles

grasp jugs of beer


Hands waft waitresses’, betwee...

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The walk home

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Shuffling along the lane

his plain black jacket, flaps in the wind.


skipping in the darkness, wearing her new white dress

she sparkles


like a snowflake, her fuzzy outline

becoming, as he wipes his glasses clean.


lifting her arms up to the moonlight, pressing her cheek

against his woolly sleeve


her youthful freshness, washes over him

exhilarating, like reaching the mounta...

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Monday morning blues

Today I was reminded of those Monday Morning Blues

Those tall iron gates; Dr Martin shoes


The nauseating smell of soggy mash, morning breaks

the tuck shop dash


School mates remarks, full of anger and hate:

Stealing your erasers, rucksack-making you late


On the sports field, running for your life; tall ones’

Speed past you, a quick dig, sharp as a knife


Trying your best to kee...

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a space in my apartment

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There are no crumbs; no bed to trace

Where your body once rested


There is a space in my apartment.


My yoga mat sits in the corner; lonely

Like a sheep on barren land


The walls weep: missing your dangly feet

And your outstretched hands.


Floor free of clutter, and you, uttering those words

You’re snoring again!


Your voice singing the blues; lingers,

Like the towel yo...

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Four women side by side,



Their kinship cemented - like the

spokes on their bicycles.


They pedal proudly, against the cold chilly


skin fair, perfectly powdered

hair thick and strong.


Sisters bonding, swapping stories from

their day: Then they spilt -


wheels turn

different directions


Four women say goodnight

as the moon turns in.


By Belinda Johnston

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letter to elaine

I went out on my bicycle yesterday. The day was bright and the sky a startling blue. Harvest has come to an end and the farmers have collected their rice for the year. The fields near my house are a wonderful shade of brown and yellow. Crow’s circle high above and gather in groups on wire fencing and by the edge of the road. They stare down below. Black eyes pierce the dusty ground, waiting for th...

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Re: Note to Kimiko

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Kimiko, Kimiko: Where do I begin?

This weekend was so special

My heads a spin a spin.


Hiking through bamboo woods

Curry on dry land

Red blazing leaves

Shrines standing in the sand.


Chai in potted cups

Hot roasted chest nuts

Oysters by the sea

Conversations mingle

One, two, then three.


Clouds cross: Casting shades of shimmering light

Children play with deer

Ice creams ta...

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Moccasins on the kitchen floor

Tired toes: Beer to slurp

Curry, rice and chunky chips.

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Round and Round

up and Down

children’s shoes

lost then found


Laughing Clowns

cuddly bears

bingo halls

shaky stairs.


Sticky toffee

Ice on a stick

fizzy pop

gonna be sick.


Merry go rounds

roller coasters

people popping

human toasters.


Donkey rides

sandcastles at the shore

grandpa’s and grannies

bunions sore!


Café’s and trinkets

chips in a cone

pigeon poop


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Itsukarasamadesu, Itsukarasamadesu

If I say it really slowly; it doesn’t sound like a mess

Itsukarasamadesu, Itsukarasamadesu

If I don’t say it enough: Does it mean I love you any less?

Itsukarasamadesu, Itsukarasamadesu

I really need to talk to you; get some things off my chest!

Itsukarasamadesu, Itsukarasamadesu

Lately, Lately, you’ve really been a pest

Itsukatasamadesu, Itsuka...

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Lunch Box

A chocolate finger, marshmallow or two

I lifted the lid in dismay


A carrot, a plum

Wedge of cheese; the size of my dad’s thumb


Hoping for jam sandwiches, on triangle bread

No such luck: Left over stew, potatoes like lead


Don’t be ungrateful, some kids don’t get fed

Feeling guilty; after giving the ducks my dinner instead


Now I appreciate my mum’s savoury delights

Fewer trips t...

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Expecting you to knock on my door

Memories make me flutter

Making plans: She’ll be here soon

Anticipation: To see your face again.


By Belinda Johnston

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Zombies III

Have you ever wondered why you dream?

It all seems so real: The morning after;

Checking to feel your skin.


Faint lines scratch a pattern, but where does it all begin?


Miniscule creatures, suck and splutter: Muttering

To get their gruel.


Like tiny ants on a mission: They vision you as their life

Long bread; it starts with your toes, ends with your head.


Hungry, Hungry, better...

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Zombies Part 2


They wake up at 3AM!

They scribble and scrabble with chisels

And sometimes a pen.


They sniffle and snuffle in bags

To get their highs

Stale bread and half eaten chicken thighs.


They do their laundry; while we sleep:

Peeping from behind doors, cats eyes

On wooden floors.


Who are they? What do they want?


Wake up at 3AM

Join their world: Remember to bring a pen.


By B...

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As I wash, spray and cut

My mind is a flutter: A road map; turning left, then right

In spite of my efforts to slow the engine down.


As I chomp, crunch and swallow

More thoughts follow: Look at me, no me

Got to do this; got to do that

I take a deep breath; in hope of a space: Checking

My heart for rhythm and pace.


I hear something buzzing and fear sets in: Did I check my

Hob? Ha...

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Zombies Take II

A new shirt, buy it: Next week

On my walk to work

On the Underground.


New socks; need a new pair

Toes protruding: Flesh laid bare


On the Underground.


How Profound

People Walking

Straight Ahead

Zombies: The Living; dead.


Some refined; others without a care

Shallow graves: Where zombies

Give stare


On the Underground.


Scurry, Scurry, Scurry…

Rush, Rush, Rush…

No tim...

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A new shirt, buy it: Next week

On my walk to work

On the Underground.

Look, new socks; need a new pair

Toes protruding: Flesh laid bare

On the Underground.


How Profound

People Walking

Straight Ahead

Zombies: The Living; dead.


Some refined; others without a care

Life on the Underground

Where Zombies give stare.


All poems are copyright of the original author.


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The Pier

She came forth; her eyes etched with the thought of fresh food.  I loved the texture of her nose as it nuzzled and nuzzled.  "Another?" I asked, and so I reached again.

Antlers pushed against my ribs and thanking me she ate her final morsel.

We parted and with a quick glance, she made her way north, as I walked south towards the pier.

By Belinda Johnston - All poems and prose are copyright of t...

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What will today bring? - By Belinda Johnston

What will today bring?

Watery eyes

A thousand breaths: one hearty


Soft words, phone calls made -

hastiness undone: a new deed laid.

Clitter clatter of uniformed heels,

one gentle smile: happiness sealed.

What will today…


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lillles on a pond, lillies on a pond

lillies on a pond, a pond, pond, pond......


ripples on a stream, ripples on a stream, a stream, stream, stream......


pitter patter rain, pitter patter rain, pitter patter, rain, rain, rain........

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I am

I am flexible

Try to bend me

And I will spring right back.

I am child-like, with surprising

Facial expressions: With curly soft


I am honest to the core; no rotten fruit

Lies within these fleshy walls.

I am free: Free to roam this land -

Hands transparent to the sun

I am.


By Belinda Johnston

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Ja Mata, Domo Arigato

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Just thought that I would let people know that I'll be leaving the UK soon to depart for the land of the rising sun. I plan to live and work in Japan for a year. maybe two? Who knows.

I'm sure that living in another country will provide me with many opportunities for my writiing and time to reflect on my work to date.

I hope to keep up with the 'Write out Loud' stuff from Japan, and my email a...

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Independent - What does that mean?

In my flat; never to be seen

No one to help me, make a brew: You’re

Independent now, they said.

When it’s time to make my bed, I find it a

Bit tricky

I ask for some help, a hand comes up: You’re independent now.

My meal for one, it’s easy they said

Don’t worry if you burn your fingers'.

A neighbour; he’s independent too

He shouts a lot, and throws...

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Robin perched content

Bravely: you gargle water

I sit intensely.


Belinda Johnston

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Soon, very soon, I’ll be leaving;

And now I wish I’d visited you more

So you could tell me stories of when you

Were a girl.

How you wished the factory where you worked;

Had burnt down in the night.

How you had to share a bed with your

Four sisters.

When you played rounder’s, in Platt Fields park;

And missed the last bus home.

Soon, very soon, I’ll be leaving: And

When I return, yo...

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A Different Race


Landed, my embarkation card

not filled in - Ich, Ni, San

I know my name, but suddenly

it’s not mine; I drop my pen: Get to the back of the line.

My face fit’s so they let me in

my stature small, body thin.

I spot you in arrivals; your cap

gives you away, we head towards the

station: Insistent, you kindly pay

Tenojii - Hirano - the neon lights

blur my vision, your anxiety hidden


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God bless you, Dad

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Do you remember?

When I used to hold my breath, until

my lips turned blue!


When we hunted for worms in the sand

and how tightly you held my hand.

When I climbed the rocks and whirlpools

in my jelly bean flip flops: Hop, skip and

a jump - bump, a forehead the size of an egg

then off straight to bed.

When you warned me about that boy; and how

staying overnight, was a trick a pl...

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Your laugh

your smile

your voice


We are the same, you and I


You hurt

I hurt

your pain

my pain


We share the same roots

roots spread; pierce the soil

breakthrough the tassels


seek the sun


Emerging: Taking on new routes, our journeys

 joined at the earths crust



Attached by name, blood, traits, emotionally vexed



a fire, a spirit burns, a warrier in you...

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Today my mind

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Today my mind is like the sky

it’s colours reflect my mood,

sparkling blue; with pools of ink.


As thoughts disperse, I dip in my finger

and write, no need to think.


Today my mind is akin to a tree,

It’s contours blow freely, my shackles

lift like leaves.


Today my mind is an ocean,

each breaking wave; I am fresh and new,

my shoreline reminds me of the present -

and takes...

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'Because we are human'

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Because we are human







Stifled by time

Long and drawn out -

Well over due

It happens to many -

We see few.

Because we are human…

Setting goals, making plans

Paying bills; following demands.

Because we are human…

Reaching out, falling down

Some are saved; whilst others’ drown.

Because we are human…

Crossing oceans or

Leaning over the fen...

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Our first meeting, you talked shillings, I spoke pounds.

Saddened by what had happened to you, your life

now full of strife, at the thought of being found, and

bound by the contract.


Bereft of your home and possessions

Have we not learnt our lessons?


Troubled by the tide of information

lack of explanation, of who, what, where, and when?


No one to spare a minute: Limited to breakfa...

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