Poetry Blog by Martin Elder

Dance of death

We stood on the edge of a forest

Underneath the trees

Looking out

Sheltering from the rain

Watching listening

For any change

Counting off the minutes

Like cuts of a knife

Notches made in even strokes on to wood

In reality only, seconds

watching our billow breath

Amongst the remaining leaves as they

Took the deluge full blast

Your hand found mine

While we h...

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The bells they ring

The bells sing out

From the old clock tower

Their ringing ready greeting

Whilst the flowers in metal pots

Keep vigil at the graves looking fresh and bright

And the bridal party are sinking a few

Across the road at the pub

The pale green 1920’s car waits expectantly

Button hole and carnations abound

Everybody dressed to the nines

Morning suits and swooning gowns


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I idly brush the grass like heads

With the palm of my hand as I walk by

Feeling the feathery skin

Of unripened barley ears

Reach my fingertips

Midges busily play under large oaks

As I walk along the edge of fields

Of hard baked clay

In the summer heat

Trying to avoid falling in the ruts left by tractors

And horse’s hooves

My pullover tied

In a knot around my wa...

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southdown road

A house of many steps

Up to the front door

From the pavement

A house of black and white tele

A house of Coronation street

Emergency ward ten

Richard the lion heart

Sir Francis Drake

Dr Who and the Daleks

From behind the sofa

On Saturday, the football results

A litany of the practiced and rehearsed

In careful sparing tones

A countdown to robin Hood

Or the l...

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Another birthday

We went to a gastro pub to celebrate your birthday

We sat among the sunken silly jolly faces

All with their remembrances of former years

When they felt better about themselves

Or so they say

There’s the loud one

The opinionated one filled with facts about this

And about that

There’s the woman whose always in awe

Or is she just pretending

Because the man sitting oppo...

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He rides his bike on the pavement

On the road

Where he pleases

Cutting his own track across town

Through park and green

On kerb and street

No gap too small to fit

Just like when he was kid

Punching the pavement with his spit

His expression says

Yeah I know?


Through sun and rain

Any and every way

Is his

Sometimes riding

Against the traffic

on t...

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And now I find

That once again I must return

To the company of those I know

Where I must shave and crave

The indulgence of those

That perhaps I would rather not

For I have found the rest

For weary limb and soul

That has lifted my constitution

To the slack and lazy unrehearsed violins

Unpractised in their solicitude

Of other’s finer points

The kissing of cheeks


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Books are wonderful

Books are terrific

Books are stupendous



Books are a pain in the arse

They are full of words and pictures

Sentences paragraphs and chapters

Long screeds of endless statistics

Sections and subsections

Secretious secrets

References and cross references

Endless jibber jabber and flim flam

So often taking ages to get t...

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In my imagination

I was always the captain of the ship

Smooth sophisticated


Quick on the draw

Could shoot a gun from a spinning car

Always make the hit

Swift of foot, mind and lips

Eyes of an eagle

Ears of a bat

I could shoot a fly in mid flight

Make a secret camp

Build a tent out of an old bed sheet


Win a duel

A tournament

Spin a fast ba...

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Sun top table bare

Its Friday and it’s four o’clock

At the gardener’s arms

And the boys are at the bench

Shirts off

Sun out

Baking staking hot

The beers are in

The smokes are out

The jokes are flying

And dying like swatted flies on table tops

But laughter pervades none the less

Across reddened sultry crowns and cheeks

Where bare bravado reigns

In the hope

Of topless golden s...

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I have seen

I have seen the tears of broken glass

That cut that through all that is

I have seen little men achieve mighty acts

And mighty men bow before them

Acknowledging all they have not

I have heard of great feats of courage

Defiance and compassionate grace

From those who would blaspheme

And curse

I have seen the haughty and the proud

Lose face break a sweat, drop the ball


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rainy day in may

The cafes alive today

The throbbing throng

of hardy rained soaked song

in idle chatter

of weather, all too much

baby’s prams and buggies

mothers aging matriarchs

food frying toasted boiling baking

plates of omelettes toast sausage

egg and chips

steaming tea mocha latte

coke and 7 up

mugs cups and chinking glasses

pensioners sit in silent stare

of mock re...

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Bar room blues

Borrowed bar room smiles

that make me think

for a moment

I have a future

With the doe, eyed princess

Who looks across the dance floor

But her eyes are always for someone else

The finely chiselled stud

With the smoothly tousled freshly pressed cheeks

And all the right moves

Assured of all he has

And all he does

As he slides across the floor

Pulling her to hi...

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My pen

I will eviscerate you with my pen

Your blood will be as ink



Blotching the paper

I will write your life

Put down black upon white

No part spared or left out

As the very soul of you revealed

Every soaking last drip

Until the ink runs dry

And you can no longer speak

Or insinuate another lie

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let us talk

So, let us talk

Of love and other things

Of marriage

Of children

Of plans hatched and cracked

Sweet dreams unfulfilled

Put on the shelf

For that one day that never comes

To be displayed and revered

Of the spit and the spat

Of troubled drizzled rain

On creased and furrowed brow and cheek

Of looking up at the moon in full

At wanting to reach up and grab its c...

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Robbers tongue

It was his tongue

Of silken gossamer breath

That led her to believe

That it was nothing but a trice

To give up all that was

Hers to give up

All that she would save for her wedding night

Now gone

Relinquished in the blink of an eye

He the pied piper

Tripped and slipped away a merry dance

She left alone

Cold and naked

In her crumpled bed

Her tears smeared an...

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I am arisen

I rise

I go downstairs

I make you a coffee

I return

I shave

I shower

I dress

I am exhausted

I lay on the bed

I ponder the desires and the designs

Of heart mind and body

And the time for equilibrium to return

Time to recover

I rise

And go downstairs again

The medication gives me a headache

And I doze

I sit and watch any old toot on T.V.

I rise...

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School dinners

The pride of Mrs thingamabob

And her crew

So much food plopped on to plates

That rarely looked enticing

Hot and steaming a kitchen big enough

To cook and stew food for a fleet

Often steaming up her glasses

The queue moving slowly

Enough for me to chat to girls

And do what I always did

Play the fool

The court jester

To be verbally patted on the head

By thes...

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High street

Walking down the small town high street

Among the liquorice all sorts

Of shops cafes and pubs

There is the barbers

With flashing neon scissors

The corner café with the bloke

Who has cleared his plate

Of sausage egg beans and chips

And from a yawning plastic pouch

His hand rolls a neatly tailored cigarette

As his face his mind are somewhere else


Further up the...

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To write or not to write

I put down the book

I pick up the book

My thoughts

My ideas

Are frozen……………

By the need to be

To do

To tie my shoes

To eat

To sleep

To do all that I should

All in the right order


I pick up the book

Open it and write

Something anything

I put down the book

I ask myself why do I bother

In my mind, I pace up and down

Twiddle my thumbs

Sigh ...

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The People

There is a place

For the people by the people

But who are the people

We are the people

You are the people

The people that drown and float

Who laugh and cry

Who spit and die

All in the name of the people

Who are not

We are the people who stand up and count

Who dare to put our heads

On the block

Above the parapet

Who will be a target

For the people witho...

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He stands where he said he would

Underneath the old clock tower

All drapes, crepes and quiff

brushed and combed

The slick black shine

Smoothed back with open palm

He lights another cigarette

Whilst his other hand

Moves a coin across the knuckles

Of his fist

He practices his Elvis smile

A curl of the lip

As he scans the crowd

Through his smoke ringed haze


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Not yet sixteen

It’s just the start of another

Raggedly cold dark and rainy night

No room for stars

As the clan is gathering

The talkers

The scorers

The half-baked scorchers

The midnight tight rope walkers

Jumping and starting for the love

Of something to do

Hoods and would be

Rapped and tapped wannabee’s

Flying and lying their way along

The pavements and the streets


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Recent Comments

Martin Elder on imagination (6 days ago)

Tia Lattanzio on imagination (6 days ago)

Martin Elder on Dance of death (6 days ago)

andy n on Dance of death (8 days ago)

Martin Elder on The bells they ring (Wed, 1 Nov 2017 11:06 pm)

Wolfgar Miere on The bells they ring (Tue, 31 Oct 2017 08:38 pm)

andy n on The bells they ring (Tue, 31 Oct 2017 12:42 pm)

Martin Elder on Tramping (Fri, 27 Oct 2017 11:32 pm)

Stu Buck on Tramping (Wed, 25 Oct 2017 07:12 am)

Martin Elder on Tramping (Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:58 pm)

Wolfgar Miere on Tramping (Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:04 pm)

raypool on Tramping (Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:48 pm)

Lan on Tramping (Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:36 am)

Colin Hill on Tramping (Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:58 am)

Martin Elder on southdown road (Wed, 11 Oct 2017 11:10 pm)


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