Must We Be Merry at Christmas

We can't all be merry at Christmas

For some folk a smile just won't last

They bravely play on, into injury time

Dodging ghosts of Christmases past


Merry Christmas to all Write Out Louders, have the best of times you can.

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Trees in Winter

In winter, trees undress slowly, discretely

Allowing their leaves, to subtly reveal new colour

Growing darker, shrivelling, shrinking


Until, when they can hold on no longer

They fall, carving a slow path through the air

Drifting, making patterns. Which joining,

become one design of early winter shades

Settling on the earth, a natural carpet


Branches are left star...

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The Story Teller

At midday, a man,

Tall in stature, noble of bearing

Made his way into the village Inn

He wore a coat decorated

With feathers and patches

Took a seat by the fire

and asked for bread and water

He had no money

But said that he would tell a story


At first the company laughed

At his suggestion

Until, he raised his head

Turned his dark and

Bewitching eyes u...

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Late Knight Shopping

Late Knight Shopping

When the gallant, valiantly

Do battle with the crowds


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All Hallow's Moon

The moon at Halloween

In adolescent phase

Filled out a little

Tilting back on its heels


Draped with pale grey

Cobwebs of clouds

On a sky of light pumpkin

Shining down, with a secret grin


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The Nation Bids its Queen Farewell

The immaculate hearse

Noses its way forward

To meet the crowds


Within its protection

A coffin fashioned of English oak

Draped with the Royal Standard,

The noonday sun and sadness


This would be the final journey

One of committal; for our Queen

Deeply loved, honoured and respected


The route lined with loyal subjects

Their faces lined with tears


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The Poet She is Fierce

At the beginning you were all that I wanted

Charming, innocent, self-effacing

Each phrase chosen with such thought and care

Each word immaculately turned out

Precisely placed upon the page

Every stanza neatly stacked, in logical order

I was seduced by your beauty

You drew me in to your world of words

Controlled me with language

Dazzled me with rhetoric and hyperbole


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# Upside

# Upside

The river is up

Fresh in the morning air

Skies are vast, open

Clear, cloud-free, azure, stunning

Boats rest gently, nudging against the water

Masts, pert in the sunshine

Cast long reflections

Reaching out into forever


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Summer Rain

Summer Rain

When the much prayed for summer rain falls

It is scant and meanly given

A few fine drops, sprinkled from the skies

Last longer on the window pane

Than they do on the ground

The earth can only crack

And turn to fine powder

In reply

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When the World Grew Weary

There came a day

When the world grew weary

When the sands of time

Were finally running out

The sun had lost its sparkle

Could no longer rise in the morning and shine

But hid behind the clouds

Which had themselves

Become dull, grey and sad

Groups of people had protested

For many years about many things

Each one of them, hoping to change the world

Until they too, ...

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Walking In The Wonder Of Midsummer Day

The morning light is bright, expectant

Footsteps echo, voices are soft

Riverside homes wait quietly

Behind pots of vibrant summer flowers

Banks of grey mud, gleam

Reflecting silvered sunshine


A woodland underworld opens

Inviting the traveller into its kingdom

To shelter beneath a leafy tree-made bower

Sharp noonday sun filters through

A moving cover of green


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Vast oceanic presence

You reign above us


An ever-changing canopy of colour


Choreographer of clouds


Transmitter of rain


Carrier of weather

And wearer of rainbows

You are the queen

Who governs our days


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Hope is the thing which tethers

Anchors us in a disintegrating world

When we are lost in the darkness

And all has turned to ashes
It rises like dust and smoke

From smouldering remains


It grows from the kindness

And friendship of strangers

The hand held out across

An insurmountable distance

The force that drives us forwards

Into a future that maybe u...

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The Hawthorne Tree at Night

The night time air grows still, chilled

The sun now well below the horizon

Children lie snugly in tidy beds and cots

Quiet, slumbering from a day of work and play


Grown-ups nod in the firelight’s glow

A ginger cat toasts his whiskers

Draped across the hearth

Like a discarded feather boa


Outside the black tom cat

Spits at a lone rust-coated fox

Who prowls its...

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The April Pink Full Moon

On the day of the April full moon

Named for the moss pink flower

As the night lengthens

The moon’s glow will grow stronger

The sky will fill with brightness

Drenching the earth with light

Heralding the coming of spring

Moving the seasons onwards

Harmonising the earth

With the phases of the moon

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Bitter April Winds

Bitter April Winds

That winter

While the West

Waged a War against Covid

The East prepared

For a War against its neighbours

The wind was bitter that spring

Chilling, cutting like a scythe

Across cold, hard land

Carrying a message, a warning

Which arrived too late

The wind became a force

Which brought anger

Violence, greed and hatred

It was cruel, inhumane


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The Ferryman

Will you be the ferryman?

Will you take the helm?

Will you steer the cautious?

To an unknown land


When the sea grows wild

When a harsh wind roars

When the boat is rocking

Will you take the oars?


When a fragile cargo

Fearful of their journey

Grows both tired and weary

Will you give them cheer?


On that final journey

When alone I stand

Will you...

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Stay With Me

Stay With Me


Stay with me in the dark hours

When the world grows still

Be at my side

When there is only silence

Take my hand

When I feel lonely and lost

Steer me towards the light

Lead me home



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The Western World Watches

The western world watches

With a heavy heart


While Ukraine grows weary

With an unwanted war


We wait and wish for peace

For freedom for all


Send what we can

We stand with Ukraine

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The Bitter Night of the Soul

The Bitter Night of the Soul

A large full moon

Bathes the earth

Giving shape to fields and hedges

Defining roads and buildings

All is closing for the night

Growing still, quiet in the darkness

There are no fierce flashes of light

There are no sudden explosions

People do not run, in fear

Children are not crying

Calling for their mothers

In the churchyard

Of a...

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The Wild Winds of Spring

The Wild Winds of Spring

That spring

A wild wind blew

Which stirred the land

Shaking the trees until

Twigs and branches

Rained upon the ground


Crisp dry leaves were lifted

High into the air

Where they danced or fell

To skitter crabwise

Across pavements

Then hid in doorways

For shelter

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The Night of the Flaming Beacons

The Night of the Flaming Beacons


We could see the flames

From our carriage on the road

Huge beacons blazed

Drenching the driveway with light

A crumbling, neglected mansion

Slowly flickering back to life


Clutching large capes

Peering out

From our masks

We walked forward

Uncertainly, cautiously

Ascending crumbling steps

Passing through a massive da...

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Number 3 Curlington Mews

In a quiet corner of London

Behind St. Bartholomew Square

Just beyond the reaches of theatreland

Where the curious still come to peruse

You will find Curlington Mews


It’s now only rarely frequented

Is small and known to but few

Out of view, shrouded in shadows

Where the lamplight tends to diffuse

Is number 3 Curlington Mews


Its owner, she was quite a beauty


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February leads the spring

Pulling sharp spears of green 

Clear of the vestiges of winter


Leaving behind decaying remnants


Wreaths of pale dried grasses


Which drape and skirt hedgerows

Edge the trunks of mature trees

Gather damply in shady field corners


The dark months give way

To growth and renewal

February takes the season forwa...

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Why Am I Here?

Once upon a time

There was an ordinary woman

Who lived an ordinary life

She married, had a family

Was a quiet, compliant wife


Then, quite suddenly, her husband

Of many years, grew ill and died

It was a time of shock and sadness

But she was brave and strong

Struggling on, in life’s injury time

A friend, a mum a grandma


All was well, until she changed, bec...

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Painting the Day in Rhyme

Winter sunrise, at dawn emerging

Paints the sky azure and rose

Behind the mist with mellow softness

Morning daylight spreads and grows

Through a day that’s full and busy

In hedge and field, tree and sky

Nature toils and works its magic

Doing more than man might try

Close to dusk a new moon rises

While the sun drops out of sight

Birdsong quietens, roosting beckons


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The Beauty of Moss

You grow so cleverly

In the damp winter air

Elegantly dressing logs, branches and twigs

In sleeves of deep verdant green

Fashioned of velvet, so soft and comely


Only to be casually abandoned

Scattered across the woodland floor

Left alone, to glow then fade

 As might discarded accessories,

of the most sartorial

Who would wear only garments

Created and fitted b...

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The Turbulent Sea

The Turbulent Sea

It began when the moon

Poured its light onto a still ocean

Stirring the waves

Commanding they rush to the shore

Pushing and tumbling over stones

Drenching the shingle, the beach

Coating and soaking every coarse grain of sand


Then suddenly, pulling sharply backwards,

Dragging all beneath the bubbling, frothing waters

Turning, twisting, tumbling


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Winter mornings

wake silvered white

Lawns are slivers

of spiked grass


Frosted opaque windows

Ice coated pavements

Feet stamp,

sliver and slide

Frozen ponds are

panes of glass

Icicles hang dagger-like,

then drip in the thaw


Cars stall, trains halt 

Buses are snowed in

Winter, when sometimes

Everything stops

And time sta...

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When the day has grown still

And the sun slowly dipped

below the horizon

Darkness can then descend

To lay a blanket across the night


Silence settles softly upon the day

Falling with the lightness of snow

Filling the gaps in conversation

Bringing its own peace to the world


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Nostalgia is:

Lingering in a warm bath of memories

Feeling the past slowly trickle back into the soul

Arriving at a place inhabited by those,

Whom fate has decreed, to have become strangers

Revisiting what is normally out of time, out of reach

Luxuriating in the nearness and warmth of remembered love  


Nostalgia is family, wrapped in soft shades of familiari...

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By the Light of the Wolf Moon

The Wolf Moon was up, the skies clear and chilled

Deep in the woods that January night

There was snow on the ground and spirits abroad

Low down in the vegetation, pairs of eyes looked out, glowing

A gaunt figure moved forward, his dark cape billowing out

Tall trees parted their bare branches to allow his passage

Underfoot, twigs snapped and leaves crackled as he walked


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New Year's Day Tanka

Skies wear warm pastels

Pinks, blues, shot through with honey

Pale grey clouds drift by

The colours carry promise

Hope for the New Year

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