Saturday 28 January 2023

More poetry. One photo

And the photo isn't mine!

I spent another very productive couple of hours on a Write Poetry zoom call run by Sara-Jane Arbury. You may remember me mentioning her last month.

(c) Element5digital

Again we did 3 exercises.For each exercise Sara-Jane introduced us to a poem, talked about its form, language and punctuation and set us off to write a poem of our own.

The first exercise was to write something about a first experience or step.

First Day 

Bag unpacked, reading books primed
ready to be heard.
Pencils sharpened, crayons
corralled in tins upon the desk.
Small tables, small chairs
for small people. 

The smell of disinfectant.
Why do school toilets smell the same
whatever the school? 

The bell tolls. The day begins
with registration. Each child
acknowledging their presence
to the teacher. A new term for them.
A new job for me. 

The second was about watching somebody who doesn't know you are watching them.  It was suggested we start with 'I see you'.

I see you growing

In your ballet dress I see you
Twirling and smiling
Lost in the wonder
of the dance. 

Sometimes dressed as Elsa
Being a princess. Frozen
on a screen as Mummy
takes a photo. 

I see you cutting up cucumber
And putting snacks in a box
ready for daycare.
Mummy’s little helper. 

I see you colouring in pictures
in a colouring book
whilst you wait for your brothers
to finish their martial art. 

I see you.
But I can’t touch you.
I see you in a photo. In a video
your mummy shares with me. 

I can’t reach through the screen
to touch you 12000 miles away.
But, my beautiful granddaughter
I see you growing. 


The last exercise was writing about a place that was deep inside you.  The example was Orkney/This Life by Andrew Greig.   Coincidentally I have been doing an online Masterclass called Essence of Identity with Donna Watson, where one of the modules was about sense of place.

A sense of place 

You have called me.
You have invited me.
Set a table before me
covered with life-giving food. 

You have called me.
You have invited me
to walk in the river,
A river set in the middle of the street
in the middle of the city. 

You have called me.
You have invited me to view
the trees on either side of the river.
Their life-giving leaves
bring healing for the nations. 

You have called me.
You have invited me
into your family.
Adopted me.
Called me your own. 

You have called me.
You have invited me.
You have set eternity
in this human heart. 

Thank you for joining me today


  1. These are wonderful poems. Thanks for sharing them.

    1. Love the poems. The poignancy in the one about your grand daughter is very touching. Hazel Webb. .


  3. Bernice your poems communicate such lovely pictures with a few well chosen words. Joyce


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