Poetry Blog by Hazel ettridge (2017)

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Reminder to Sgt Pepper

I'm finally here. This is my stop.

Today I am 64 and I'm waiting for Sgt Pepper

I'm waiting for Paul.

I'm ready to claim my prize.

I'm waiting for Vera, Chuck and Dave.

Waiting for someone to mend my fuse,

Dig my weeds, knit me a sweater,

Take me to the Isle of Wight (if it's not too dear)

I waiting for the other one,

The one who will be older too.

The one who will ne...

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Message in a bottle

This ink penetrates this parchment 

A sailor's tattoo.

Letters, like all the little boats

Floating in this harbour,

Bob across the waves,

Nestle up against each other

Forming words in the diesel marbled water.


In the morning, the sun rises in

A yellowing sky

Some boats sail out to sea and

All the letters follow in their wake

Spelling out "take me safely home"


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It was great having cancer

All my family told me

They loved me

And often

Friends who'd been meaning to call 

Turned up with cake

and often

My inner voices decided to

Give me a break

And often

I started to spend time

Sitting and noticing and

When my oncologist eventually said

"You are well with no signs for concern"

I continued to sit and notice

The fami...

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I've shed my skin a million times

Sloughing off the dead cells

Standing in a snowstorm of

Flake and dust

But every new skin appears the same

Same thoughts

Same emotions

Same old conditioned behaviours

Where is my new beginning?

Where is the skin that wears

It's heart on the outside?

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Navel gazing

I get tired of gazing at other people's navels

There are other body parts you know

Cheek bones, elbows, toes

And a whole world out there

Nothing to do with your angst or mine

And clever people who can describe

A decade in a word or two

A flight of fancy in a thrice

Who can place four corners around

Any incident or place or face

Who can lay bare emotions on

A five l...

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Wearing Thin

More frequently now, come moments

When life wears thin

And through the threadbare tissue

That we call family, community, society

That we call culture, values, mores

I see the loneliness of the living

And, more surely, the loneliness of the dead

Beyond the manufacture and the fabrication

Lies the truth, which some have named beautiful

And some have named despair


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Shrieking with laughter she free wheeled down the hill

Plaits like twin kite tails streaming behind her

Starlings screech. An owl, late to bed, screams blue murder

Her red cardigan, an emblem, against the unrelenting green

Straight legs held aloft, exquisite pleasure of heels

Digging into thin air. The rush of wind on soft cheeks

Exhilaration of speed, obliterating all thoughts o...

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You came out of nowhere

Like the first rays of the morning sun

In a vast empty sky

You filled my life with light.


At times the space between us

Filled with storms and

We had to hold on so tight

To avoid being swept apart

Even as we fought.


Once there came a freeze

Two icebergs bumping against each other

In the darkness of night

And we both turned away


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Get a Life

'Get a life' They said. So I did

I stopped saving my time in the bank of 'one day'  

I stopped snatching moments and looking forward to five minutes peace

I started spending my time

I spent it generously

As if I was the time millionaire

I spent hours freely gazing at the stars

Wrapped in blanket, mug of tea warming my hands

Watching the flames from a garden fire fly heaven ...

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Doggerel (I'm trying everything)

I'm wearing a skin

But it's wearing too thin

And people are starting to see right in

They see the seeds

Of all my bad deeds

The sadness and cruelty for which my heart bleeds

They see how I fought

All the things I was taught

They see the illusion in every thought

This skin is too tight

This light is too bright

It's time to remove myself from your sight

But why sh...

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With a nod to Dylan (Bob not Thomas)

The someonewhowhat questionmark in me

Was wonderthinking whenwherewhy she be

And journey making gypsy like to go

Out looking, the answer for to know

She took a stephopleap and turned around

A circlespiralled dreaming silenced sound

With tambourine she danced o'er sandy bay

And found anew her home and pilgrim's way



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In Budapest

Ah, the thrill

Of running down a street

Lit only by cafe glow

To see a dog 

Taking a pee

And bundles in doorways

That are sleeping men

Ah, the thrill

Of running down a street

Where students  smoke 

and taxis speed by

Or wait for fares

Where the smell of pancakes

And curry mixes

With the rubbish of the day

Ah, the thrill

Of running down a street


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La Petite Mort

A cold brightness hung above the sea

An empty stage onto which she walked

The stars, like blinking voyeurs, watching


The cry of a new born shattering

The Silence.

Tectonic plates moving slowly 

Against each other and

Smudging the boundaries

Trickling water. Heaving muscles

A long held exhalation

Silver birds rising like prayers

Into a pitch dark sky


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Autumn Leaves

Autumn leaves on winter streets

Nature's garbage littering

The gutters, drains and lanes

Dried and broken fragments

Gathering dust, well past

Their use by date

As autumn finally leaves

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The End is Nigh

We're nearing breaking point now

Every fuck's a setting sun

On that razor wire horizon 

Where all of love is done.

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I'm ready if you are

This morning I am ready,

If you are,

To hear you speak your new language.

The silent word

The empty gesture

The gracious stillness

The lovely moment

Each thought, each motion


While you speak

Your non-intentions

This morning I am ready

If you are.

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I'm Doing Okay

I'm doing okay 

I'm walking the line


Press my button,

Pull my trigger

Release the cortisol,

Fire up the adrenalin

Scream or bite,

Flight or fight

(With me it's always flight)

I run away. I hide

Behind a mask

That's calm

A mask that says

I'm doing okay

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Norway 3

Those kind Norwegian men

With their big hands

Leading the walking wounded

Those kind Norwegian men

With their warm smiles and blankets

And paper cup coffee

Those kind Norwegian men

With their strong arms

And their gentle words

God bless those kind Norwegian men




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Norway 2

Exiting the tunnel a blast lifts the coach

Throws it down a gulley

Windscreen screams

Press pause, slow motion, fast forward

Bouncing black boulders

Giant paperweights holding down the snow

Gyrating trees, half naked,

Perform a crazy jive

Arriving here and now

Find myself sliding

Towards the edge

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I lived my life that way

For many years I rode the waves

Head down, racing for the shore

I lived my life that way

But now, I wade in the shallows

Lifting stones, catching crabs

Feeling the sand between my toes

The sun on my face.

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Another inaugural speech

With acknowledgement to Andromeda. More inaugural speeches please.


We are the masters of the universe.

Our aim is to purify the planet and

All that lives here.

We solemnly vow to destroy and deplete

Everything and everyone we meet.

We will venture on with valour and ignorance 

Maintaining zero tolerance until

There is no trace of that

Wrinkle in time

In which lif...

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Norway 1

Crunchy sky, bird flight

Long tender fingers of snow

Resting on black boughs


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In response to a poetry blog

There's nothing wrong

It's meant to be this way

The accidents

The mistakes

The catastrophes

The losses

The gains

The loves and

The love-nots

Life is a

Beautifully sequenced

Trace on

The flatline

Of death


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Today I took a succulent,plumptious emotion

And wrung it through the mangle of my intellect

And, sundried by the winds of change,

A dessicated poem crawled on to the page

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Starters Orders

The waves, stretched out across the bay,

Race towards the holidaymakers

Shaking their frilly white knickers

And screaming with laughter

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Show me

Show me a poem

More beautiful

Than laughter.

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A word of wisdom

My mouth is full of words

A word of wisdom

Dont talk with your mouth full

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Little me Big me

First I saw the bird

Then, oh glory,

I saw the whole sky.

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Difficult work colleague

You scuttle towards me like a Black Widow

And I press myself back against the wall

Knowing that if you touch me I will have to crush you.

My size, my strength,  my power appall me

How easy it would be to annihilate all opposition

How much harder to shown compassion,

To bear the pain and wear it lightly.

You place the horns upon your head and turn to face me

You stamp a boot...

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Fine milling our lives

Between the grindstones

Of love and ignorance


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The meaning of it all

All is dis-ease when viewed through the eye of a needle

Unable to take another view by passing through said eye

Encumbered by these goods we have to hold

With no free hand to find a better way

We cannot know the meaning of

A little birds ascension through a blue sky

Or the stillness of a fox by the roadside

We cannot know the mystery each moment holds

Grasping, as we do, at...

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In a red cardigan

She freewheels

Down the hill

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