Poetry Blog by Hannah Collins

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220August on November Song (Tue, 30 Apr 2019 10:20 pm)

220August on The Three Sisters (Tue, 30 Apr 2019 10:18 pm)

220August on To The Sea (Tue, 30 Apr 2019 10:16 pm)

Jon on To The Sea (Fri, 18 Jan 2019 05:39 pm)

Jon on For It Was Autumn (Fri, 18 Jan 2019 05:26 pm)

Jon on Once Back Then (Fri, 18 Jan 2019 05:11 pm)

jennifer Malden on Once Back Then (Thu, 17 Jan 2019 02:57 pm)

Clarke on Once Back Then (Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:29 pm)

mike booth on The Traveller (Sat, 12 Jan 2019 10:16 pm)

Chris Bainbridge on Once Back Then (Thu, 10 Jan 2019 11:44 pm)

Once Back Then

When school was up I ran to the gate,

I was very young and it was winter rain

And I had forgotten my coat.

I was hungry and waiting, searching every face,

Like one of those little dogs left on the motorway.

One by one the mothers collected their children and took them home.

I was left standing by the gate alone.

Still optimistic,

Trying to make every stranger's face into he...

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To The Sea

Walking down the bumpy road

Past the parked cars, the houses, mock Tudor,

Mock everything.

Down to the sea.

Where the fast man walking is unlikely to see the sea or anyone.

It doesn't look like the sea today,

It looks like a grey painted wall.

It's calm.

No crashing waves, no sound,

No sea sirens waiting on sailors . . .

The last of the large summer flies,

Flying i...

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The Three Sisters

That year we travelled to Ireland for Christmas.

Invited by the three sisters,

Distant relatives they were.

It was Christmas Eve and when we arrived we were greeted by the three spinster sisters,

Like in a Chekhov play.

The sisters kissed each guest and whispered in my ear,

'Thank you for coming, it would be nothing without you.'

They said that to everyone, every guest

And ...

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November Song

It grows dark at four o'clock now.

The sky may be blue and grey

But it is dark.

The North wind is blowing,

Winter draws closer.

Soon that silence we dread

Will envelop the outside world.

And only by fleeing to the inner space

Will we find light.

Another season of quietness and darkness approaches

And we hold our breath for what it will bring.

We tiptoe into the Aut...

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The poppies were blooming,

It was bright summer then

The soil was turned and dug by the young soldiers

So that they could lay in the trenches

And shoot at the enemy.

But the digging and shooting somehow scattered the precious poppy seeds

And they grew up and flourished

Like scarlet angels and soldiers.

Like dead men waving in the breeze.


And she waited at home


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For It Was Autumn

For it was Autumn

Most of the year behind us.

A summer wasted

As summers often are.

Golden and green and amber,

The sudden chill,

Though sunlit mornings still

And timeless afternoons.

I suddenly recalled a kind word,

The arms that opened just upon seeing me.

That giant moment of indecision finally settled.

And there we were . . . together.

Uncertain life,


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The Tree Of Life

The young little boy has to walk much too fast,

Faster than his small legs can go

Because his mother is striding to get away,

Away from the shooting this Saturday

At The Tree Of Life.

A baby was being named there,

Hate entered followed by despair,

Reducing joy to fear,

Tears tears tears

At the Tree Of life.

The grainy photograph of history shows another little boy,


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I Will Always Love You

She was a small girl

Thirty-five maybe,

Thin yellow blonde hair,

Faded jeans,

Crumpled tee-shirt,

A smokers fingers.

She put her empty guitar case down on the pavement,

Right next to the drain covered by leaves.

Held onto the battered old guitar and began to sing.

'If I should stay, I would only be in your way'

A soft whisper,

'So goodbye, please don't cry,

We b...

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Collecting Data

The application form for rented housing asked :

Are you straight or gay ?

What is your ethnicity ?

Are you the same gender now as you were when you were born ?

What is your religion ?


What they forgot to ask was :

What kind of accommodation are you looking for ?

How much can you afford to pay ?

Where would you like to live ?

Would you like a garden with garden gnome...

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Her name is Gizelle and it is her first day at school.

She shrieks, she screams, she doesn't want to stay.

Yesterday she was a baby girl but today she is a little schoolgirl

And she cannot handle it.

Her shrieks echo all around the room.

Her mother helpless and embarrassed, saying how much Gizelle had wanted to come to school.

I lift the little girl, her body is clammy and trembl...

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Bowie's Back

Just glanced at Twitter

I saw David Bowie was trending,

I thought that could only mean one thing,

He's back !

He's back from the dead !

He was working on a new album just before he died,

All the major rock icons do that,

Just before they die.

Maybe it's the stress of making the album that kills them off ?

'You've been away a bit Bowie,

You're looking a bit wrinkly,' t...

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The Free Concert

We travelled by train to the free concert

My sister and I.

It was a long way away

And we arrived late, when it was almost over.

We stood on the edge of the large grassy park

Just hearing the amplified echo

And seeing the band looking so small,

Like a performing flea circus.

Afterwards people drifted around

Forming into small or larger groups,

Some smoking dope,


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The Parc de la Villette

When I received your message

To meet you at the Parc de la Villette

My heart was singing

Because I remembered that is where we had first met.

You didn't sign that message but I knew it was from you.

You wanted to forgive me and start again.

My heart was trembling,

I changed my outfit six times and then went in the first one of course.

I think that is the outfit I was wearin...

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The Daddy

The policeman put his helmet on the little boy's head

And the boy thought the policeman was the Pope.

You could see it in his eyes.

But it doesn't matter really

Because we all want a father,

A Daddy,

An idol,

A hero,

A God.

The Irish pull it off every time,

The magical, the mystical,

The dance the song,

There are still miracles somewhere . . . hopefully.



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Lost In New York

I had only been in New York a couple of days,

Staying with friends in their Manhattan apartment.

That morning I ventured out alone to get the breakfast,

Flirting with the deli man was such fun,

But on leaving the store I turned left instead of right,

Walked on instead of turning back,

And I was lost in New York.


No time to panic, I just kept walking.

All my things back...

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Wild Heart

I call him Coeur Sauvage - Wild Heart,

Though he comes to me in many guises

And under many different names.

We walk together down endless avenues

Where the trees overlap in unison,

Blotting out the sky.

The barks of the trees hide many secrets and whispered promises and fables.

He is a soldier of fortune, a beggar, an actor, a prince,

He has always been searching for me,


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I wrote this poem a few years ago but it seems right to post it today, the 200th anniversary of Emily Bronte's birth.


She walked the Moors,

Her beloved Moors.

Her hair, long, black and tangled.

She gathered heather

For she loved the wild heather that grew there

And would only return to the house at night.


Her head was filled with a million dreams,

Thousands of wor...

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Stalker !

We've heard about stalkers,

Well I was wondering if I could be one myself ?

I mean could I stand all that rejection and waiting about in the rain,

Pretending to read a soggy newspaper,

Whilst trying to pass myself off as a detective or benefits inspector ?

I don't know because the only experience I've had of it

Is when I developed a thing about my boss in my temporary job.

I c...

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The Guitar Man

Music feeds the famine in his soul.

His guitar slung over his shoulder is like a machine gun, a giant phallus, a cross to bear.

He takes to the stage to a few ripples of applause,

A stifled cheer.

He has arrived, after much anticipation,

He is here.


How did it happen, how did he arrive here?

Through times zones, clouds and sunshine.

He appears sad, wistful,

Dressed ...

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She says ordering her groceries from Tesco's Online always makes her cry.

The miserable thick cut sliced ham

And sordid corned beef slices.

Always too much for one on their own.

Most of it thrown away.

I offer Grandma a hug.

No, no hugs now dear, she says.

She fears her brittle bones couldn't take the strain of a hug.

Though he's a good hugger, she says, that Gavin Westbroo...

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The Collar

I see you dear cat with a collar around your neck.

A collar I placed around your neck myself.

I realise your collar is a symbol of your slavery.

You are not just a cat,

You are a pet.

A pet !

The collar has a silver disc with your name and my address on it.

You are owned !!

Oh my God, I have become an owner.

An owner of a slavery puss.

I have taken away your identity ...

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John Cooper Clarke

He was a poet when it wasn't fashionable to be a poet.

When has it ever been fashionable ?

He took to the stage in a working men's club in the North

Where the audience were waiting for heavy metal and strippers.

And he came on, so skinny,

Big dark glasses and Bob Dylan hair.

And the working men threw bottles at him there

And booed him off the stage.

But still he returned wi...

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Loving The Enemy

Sometimes we fall in love with the enemy,

Even in a war zone.

We know we mustn't love them,

It's absolutely forbidden

Yet love is in our hearts.


Sometimes the enemy needs us.

They're starving and they wait for us to throw them crumbs,

To show them some kindness and affection,

In their cold, hard world.

They are dependent upon our patronage

And we need to be need...

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My father sat in his favourite chair

Immaculately dressed

I longed to run to him and climb all over him

But I knew I mustn't make a mess.

He only had two moods back then,

Fun and no fun.

Looking through the window I thought I saw two vultures on the opposite roof

But they weren't vultures, they were crows.

A very particular walk has a crow,

I saw one crow raping another ...

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Free Love

She came to the city.

The scent of the countryside all around her and all within her still.

She was out of the convent school now

And away from the grip of her parents

And the shadows of the large dark and purple mountains.

The sun was shining in the city

And she found that little room at the top of the stairs

And she polished the floor and put down a soft carpet

With patte...

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In The Tower

As you climb to that little room in The Tower

The deep, steep spiral staircase

So difficult to negotiate

And no way back,

With the long line of people climbing steadily behind you,

You reach a point where you feel,

No, I can't . . .

I don't want to go any further . . .

And it's just at that moment, you're there.

In that tiny room,

Where Richard 111  is said to have ...

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The Laughter Artist

Early morning on the Underground train.

People take a seat, look tired, morose.

A full day of work ahead,

Another day dawning,

Many just yawning.

Head down, glancing at the phone, reading the newspaper, the magazine,

Not speaking, not noticing very much at all.

Suddenly he got onto the train,

A large rotund kind of man with a very red face.

Wearing a busy patterned suit ...

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That Thing In The Cupboard

You know it's there

That thing in the cupboard.

You never want to tarry there,

In that big cupboard, the one by the stair

Because you know it's in there.

It's not exactly human

Or totally a monster,

It's somewhere in between,

An entity,

A thing.

It's very tall

And nasty

With skeleton fingers that could tighten around your neck,

Could sneak up behind

And br...

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Esther, you were the girl they didn't like.

You had a difficult last name that no one could spell

And a difficult father

And somehow for reasons we didn't know,

The teachers didn't like you or him.


I sat next to you at school,

I was your friend,

Your only friend,

You had such fine golden hair

But so thin, your scalp shone through.


New to life,

As we both...

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Can They See Us ?

We came home and there was this monitor thing attached to the wall

outside our appartment.

It hadn't been there before - had it ?

It had a large red light

And various buttons and little dials.

We telephoned the company - what is it for ?

It's just to monitor, they said, nothing more


Can they see us ?

Can they know the things we do ?

Have you ever been in trouble wit...

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Begging On The Underground

The veiled woman holding the baby

Stands hands outstretched asking for money.

'Change, change' she says

'Give you give'


Ninety nine per cent of people pass by,

Averted eye.

But I stop.

Her eyes meet mine

I want to say

Take your child to Social Services,

Don't beg on the street.

But as I look I feel a long ago memory that isn't even mine.

I hear the sound of...

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The New Love

I have a neat little wristband I wear at all times.

It has a slow throbbing pulse

Which quickens to a series of beeps when he wants me.

He has a wristband just the same

And we conduct our love affair this way

Though we have never met

And never will.


We were matched up through millions of couples

And with the aid of new technology

And with advanced telepathy we began...

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The Tree

The local Council planted the tree outside our house.

It was tiny and fragile to begin with.

I was tending the front garden, though it wasn't mine,

It belonged to the elderly couple downstairs

Who started to complain about the tree.

The front garden was only a border

And the soil was hard and rocky,

So I was watering it daily

And fertilizing with plant food.

And the urba...

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Moonlight Sonata

He sits alone in a cluttered room

Sheets of music and paper everywhere,

Half eaten dinners on the table,

Outdated phone books piled on the stair.

His eyes penetrating blue,

His dark hair streaked with grey,

He paces about uneasliy

Searching for music to play.

He once lived down the hall from me

And I've never forgotten him.

I love to go to visit him,

To enter into...

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The Reality Star

Hey !

Make me a star

Right away

Don't make me wait another day.

Put me on TV

I wanna be a weather girl

Telling all the weather news,

All about the snow and storms and floods,

Smiling as I say it,

Not giving a fuck.

I wanna be famous,

Wanna be in Gossip magazine.

I wanna be on early morning TV,

After dancing all night long

With someone massively famous


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A Shrunken Head Called Tantrum

We were two crazy girls

Let out of the constraints of family and the red house.

Unsupervised, going completely wild.

Travelling to the dark side of the city.

Buying cheap jewellery

And a little shrunken head thing,

We called Tantrum.

We met those two boys

Hanging around that bad side of town.

It was raining and we sat down on the steps trying to thread the beads we had b...

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Men Can Cry Now

Men can cry now

They can cry on TV.

In the past, just before,

When anyone cried on TV,

They would put their middle finger of their right hand

Into the corner of one eye,

Withdraw the finger, look at it and then say 'sorry',

'Sorry', to whomever may be observing this ritual.

No tears, no sound, no sniff, no snot,

Just 'sorry' . . . .

But that's all changed because men ...

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The Ship In The Bottle

My grandfather always promised me

That he would tell me the secret of the ship in the bottle.

He had a ship in a bottle,

It stood on the tall dresser by the sky blue wall in the dining room.

The ship had beautiful pure white satin sails

In a gleaming clear glass bottle,

And I would always ask him how the ship got into there.

He promised one day he would tell me

When the tim...

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Sweet Kiss

I got my first kiss there

It was in the secret place

An area behind the disused cinema

That had stood there silent and dark,

Totally forgotten about,


But us kids knew where it was.

All dark with ivy around

And lots of creepy caterpillars.

I didn't really like that boy

But I liked that first kiss

Because it tasted like ice cream, strawberries

And sweetie...

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Like A London Bus

They say men are like London buses,

That's what people say.

You're waiting all alone in the cold forever,

Then suddenly three come along all at once.

The first one is absolutely packed and there's no room for you to climb aboard

And the driver won't even let you on,

Well not without disposing of someone else first !

The second one is crowded but has space and time for you,


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The Wage Earner

He comes home in the evening

Always in a bad mood

Morose and silent

The children have already eaten

And rush off to their rooms with his entrance.

He eats his meal while watching TV

His wife laughs at the jokes

That he just cannot see.


Early morning at 6 am

Sees him waiting for the bus

In the dark and freezing cold.

His wife grudgingly got up

To cook a drea...

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Like Walking On The Moon

It was this time of year last winter

Christmas all but forgotten,

Swans drifting by on the frozen pond.

The forced hyacinths

Exuding their brutal, almost death - like scent,

In the hush of winter,

Love came my way.


Two people lost really

Standing on the bridge,

Looking down into the swirling current,

The weir that flowed continuously,

Crashing icy cold,


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