I joined WriteOutLoud in 2009 on the advice of a friend and have learned so much from the other writers here. They've also inspired many of my poems along the way. I don't always have a comment to make on others work but I love to read as much as I can. I mostly write about human relationships and try to imagine what other people might be thinking. I do it for my own amusement. I love mulling over titles and phrases throughout my day. It also helps me sleep. The creative process fascinates me. I’d love to sit down with each person on here and learn about where they get their ideas, what satisfaction they derive from a poem, how they know when one is finished and even what pen/tools they use to write. Sheffield, UK.

Why Poems?

Poems are my photographs my diary my inner monologue poems are my measurement my record the fingerprints of emotions invisible no more Poems are my expression the sum of interactions they show my working out Poems are the breath of lost lovers against my neck Poems are the kisses for my family and my friends the hugs I seldom give And your poems... your poems keep me company a little light calling to my lost ship I sip my tea and slip into your mind...

Can You Hear The People Sing?

They dwell in strange rooms the murky recesses of affordability barely buildings, bedrooms with sinks chair pushed up against the door flakes of lives flung everywhere a curtain, a quilt – who can really say? A bare bulb hangs in an open window no shade inside from day or night Still lives go on; the rudimentary, ramshackle, clutching at homeliness the need for shelter unites us all a hotel, a shed – who can really say? In bleak electric heat, so many sing it’s a different song all sing a different song Some higher, happier some lower, more desperate than mine flowing on through these days and nights a verse, a chorus – who can really say? The lawless, surging, movement of cars the self-possessed trains below the buildings so many pairs of eyes journeying on the things they’ve seen, things they still see those minds, all varied, wrapped in their own stories a tragedy, a fairytale – who can really say? Market stalls, street-sellers in threading gloves the inside world spills out, a necessity pavements become malls dressed in winter veils motorbikes slip ghost-like in and out of sight drunks stumble in high-spirits from bar to bar a wall, a urinal – who can really say? In tall towers, in basement bunkers so many singing their different songs some sing of the joy of things some sing only of the difficulty the tunes flow through this city’s veins a love song, a death’s lament – who can really say? But can you? can you hear the people sing? the miserable, the quietly ecstatic can you hear the people sing?

High Tide, Low Life

You paint yourself blue, always blue this letter brings me down perched upon a rusty trailer paint peels over my shoulder I've been drinking since the boats were rested on the muddy estuary bed It's high tide, low life high tide, low life I won't stop my reaching out if there's any way to help, I'll find it you're so slow to take my hand scratching at your skin for answers I don't have any good advice I do what I can to just keep living right I'll listen if you'll let me you know; my love is not the enemy It can't be this way forever it won't always be like this It's high tide, low life high tide, low life You say you only paint when you get blue and I suppose that's just the way the sea feels You paint yourself blue always blue I guess that's just the way the sea feels...

Poetry Collections

I have lassoed up all my best poems in two paperback collections. Each book contains between 70-80 poems written between 2003 and 2020. Both are available from Amazon worldwide using the links below: The Ship-wrecker's Lamp: Recent Poems [Released December 2020]: One of These Years: Selected Poems [Released December 2019]:

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Audio entries by Tom

Holy Hell In An Airport Hotel (24/01/2023)

River's End (16/01/2023)

If It Rains... (11/11/2022)

Like Someone Who Knows Me (26/10/2022)

The Sunlit Ocean (20/09/2022)

Late Night, Harbour Lights (19/08/2022)

Dark At The End of The Street (16/07/2022)

In The Nude (17/06/2022)

Lady Generosity (26/05/2022)

Headlights (17/05/2021)

More audio from Tom…

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Stephen Atkinson

Tue 13th Sep 2022 20:28

A Darlo lad eh? I used to work with a few Darlo lads when I worked at Stockton. Probably did well to get out 🤣 Just kidding.
Thanks for the constant encouragement its much appreciated mate. And keep writing your superb poetry 👍

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Wed 3rd Aug 2022 20:44

Tom, I just want to Thank you for your recent comments on a couple of my poems - very kind words! I don’t know how I’ve managed to miss your offerings here on WOL. I Just had a read and now you have a new follower! 😊

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Mon 6th Jun 2022 20:20

thank you for your lovely comment on my poem!! the party went exactly how I imagined, however I was rather at peace with that 😊

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keith jeffries

Sun 2nd Jan 2022 12:08

Thank you for your comment on my latest poem New Beginnings. I appreciate your comments as I also appreciate your poetry.

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Lee Campbell

Mon 16th Aug 2021 18:55

Also meant to say, I originally write 'I am a body. A complex historied web of... ' 'well' was a typo but I didn't spot it and I actually prefer 'well' !

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Lee Campbell

Mon 16th Aug 2021 18:49

Thanks so much for your comment about 'See Me', I thought you'd like to see the video poem version

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Adam Whitworth

Thu 12th Aug 2021 15:07

Hi Tom
Thanks for your comments on "Buzzing Of The Saw"
Glad you like it


Tue 13th Jul 2021 03:42

you like the poem
so do not mock it,
just take your hands
out of your pockets!
(your photo.)

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Rasa Kabaila

Sat 29th May 2021 06:24

Hello Tom, I love your prose 'Why poems'. These lines in your poem in particular touch my heart and resonate with me deeply:

'Poems are my expression
the sum of interactions
they show my working out
Poems are the breath
of lost lovers
against my neck'

Beautiful. Thank you.
Best wishes,

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keith jeffries

Tue 27th Apr 2021 10:06

Thanks for your message on my profile which I appreciate greatly. We seem to have a similar approach to the way we write poetry. The word inspiration is at the root of the matter. From where does this come? Is it random or formulated in the subconscious? I often pass through times of aridity then the opposite occurs and I find myself in full flood.

I enjoy your poetry. Never stop writing.

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keith jeffries

Sat 24th Apr 2021 00:03

Thank you for your comment on my recent poem "An Outlook"; for taking the time to read it and giving it a like.

I am curious about your profile, especially the last paragraph of your biography where you deal with the writing of poetry, the tools used and where the ideas for poems spring from. As someone advanced in age I still write my poems in long hand using a fountain pen. This is not because of some attachment to days past, but I believe that hand writing flows from the mind of the writer along the arm and into the hand. It is as if a connection exists which I do not experience when using a key board. Inspiration for my poetry is drawn from a number of sources often determined by subjects which interest me, such as spiritualty and the realm of the natural world and man's place in it. A spoken word, a piece of music, something I read, a passing thought or an observation triggers a response which ferments in my mind and invariably I am able to form words to express myself on paper.

Poetry is so highly subjective that it is impossible to explain only express what the writer wants to say. This is how I write. Whether I am a good poet must rest with the opinions of those who read my work and then I seek and appreciate their comments.

Hope this throws some light on your questions.

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D Joshi

Fri 5th Feb 2021 16:42

Thank you for your lovely comment Tom,
and yes i can add WriteOutLoud to another of my lockdown discoveries ?

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Lasse Krey

Mon 9th Nov 2020 18:33

Hey Tom.
Thanks for your comment on my page. I was quite surprised about our similarities. It is very unusual for me to meet someone who is similar to me, in fact I met one person in 26 years from whom I thought he looks at the world like I do.
The last months, my soul has been very restless and it's hard for me to find peace inside. Even though I have the time, I don't read many of the poems on WOL cause I lack the attention they deserve.




Tue 27th Oct 2020 17:16

That poem "Death Sentence"
upset a lot of people who thought it
was too dark and sad
But Truth is sometimes sad & depressing.

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Tommy Carroll

Thu 22nd Oct 2020 20:36

Cheers Tom for your liking of my verse, A wave from the bus,


Fri 9th Oct 2020 11:57

Don't electrocute yourself.
Wear rubber gloves
while writing!


Wed 7th Oct 2020 00:58

wear a seat belt.
don't spill the beans
and don't spill the poems.


Tue 6th Oct 2020 02:28

why is your hair on end?



Sun 27th Sep 2020 12:54

Hot sauce is made from
the green Jalapeno,
the Mexican thrives
esta muy bueno!


Tue 22nd Sep 2020 02:22

Holy Terrors
is an old expression here
now we have terrorists
who are not holy.


Sun 13th Sep 2020 01:49

doing fine, now that I'm home
the hospital was a death trap.

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Flavia Gordon

Fri 4th Sep 2020 01:07

Thank you Tom, I take pleasure in your enjoyment...

I am glad I made an impression with my first post...I admit that was my desire.

I must say...and this is no lip service
Your samples are exquisite
The pot of my emotions are stirred
And you are the culprit...

Renee By a Thread is incredibly poignant.


Wed 2nd Sep 2020 23:28

marriage isn't perfect
but the data shows married people live longer
and are overall happier
so that poem "Making Allowances" was my ode to marriage
mostly mine!


Sat 29th Aug 2020 08:41

thanks Tom Alexander
(or is it Alexander Tom?)
anyway, I will take your words to heart
and deal with this in a positive way,
after all we must support our doctors
who are unhappy if they cannot do multiple"tests"
to find out if you are worth doing surgery on.
The White Coats are coming!

<Deleted User> (19980)

Mon 17th Aug 2020 18:02

Thanks Tom for your lovely comments and interest in my work. Greatly appreciated!


Wed 8th Jul 2020 03:22

The beard poem was just all in fun
I see from your photo
you really don't have much of a beard
so you have nothing to worry about.
No birds in beard for you!


Tue 7th Jul 2020 18:02

Hi Tom!

Thank you for the like!




Sat 20th Jun 2020 23:59

when you bite your tongue, it hurts!

(I see you have moved indoors. good!
much better than a tent on the beach.
you get those nasty sand fleas!)


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M.C. Newberry

Sat 20th Jun 2020 23:50

Hi Tom - thanks for the reasoned response to my message about
statues, plus The Guardian's slavery connection..
I see your point about the statues - but maybe that should apply to all
personal memorials when taking offence is such a fashionable indulgence these days.
Historically, there are many countries with empires in their
centuries of existence but no one (except the barbarians of Daish)
would sanction the destruction of the edifices that survive. Indeed, what would we be able to make of the past had that been the case.
No Rome/Italy as we know it; ditto no Athens/Greece and so much
else across the lands once held by the various empires of recorded history.
Once started, where to stop?

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 20th Jun 2020 16:04

Hello Tom - when there seems to be "understanding" and even
sympathy for the assaults on statues with a perceived connection
with slavery here in the UK, it is salutary to be told that that bastion
of the liberal position in this life - The Guardian (formerly The
Manchester Guardian) was, according to a reliable source of knowledge, founded by cotton trader John Taylor and gave unqualified support to the Confederacy in America's Civil War,
reprinting its propaganda and attacking slave liberator Abe Lincoln.. Here's an example:
"It was an evil day both for America and the world when he (Lincoln)
was chosen President of the United States" - 10 October 1862.
Would there be understanding and sympathy if the BLM made an
assault on the offices of that newspaper citing its links to slavery?
Would it be seen as a "good day"?
History always has something to teach us - and not always "of the

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