‘Unlocking Poems’ by Andrew Bell

Some words belong to each other.

Others have to be hunted, tamed
and harnessed, to make them work.

Some need a gentle push, then fired up
to ignite others,

or careful watching to hear how they sing,
to see if they’re good for a line or a piece.

In a poem, some people want something
fancy or funny,

but even more, they want things
that are hidden to be unlocked.

And the poet will try to oblige
by gazing upon the swell of images,

swirling behind the surface of things
to bring something back for a dish;

or, by tapping into the secrets
from the further reaches, and plucking them,

like hooked fish, to let them speak.
Others might look further still: by crossing

the threshold of voice and fire, into the holy
ground of silence, where gentle thought-winds

emerge and coalesce, they would whisk them
into shape and form, and land them on the page.

And some poets may just sit quietly and think,
letting the words flow through, with the ink.

Then writing becomes a joy as they let it run,
chasing lines by colour, form, and scent,

watching leaves and flowers spring up along
each branching thought,

learning to listen, as the poem begins to speak,
making sure to set it free, when all that’s done.

Happy National Poetry Day!

Did you know it’s National Poetry Day today? Well, it almost (almost!) passed me by too. With the current lockdown restrictions still disrupting our activities the usual local activities, such as readings in the library, have been unable to take place, so it’s up to us as individuals to celebrate. Perhaps by writing a poem on this year’s theme of ‘Vision’ (it’s not too late!), or seeking out as many poems on the theme as you can. If the theme doesn’t grab you, perhaps revisit some of your old favourite poems and just bring some beautiful poetry into your life today, one way or another.

To start you off, take a look at A Vision by Simon Armitage here

You can visit the National Poetry Day website by clicking here.

The Prompt of the Week

We were in our new, temporary, premises at Retford Museum this week, since the library is undergoing refurbishment and won’t be available again until April. So this was a ‘forced’ move for us, though the new room is perfect – just the right size and shape. Anyway it has prompted (!) this weeks prompt of:


After giving it some thought, it seems such a versatile word: Move to music; moving house; moving furniture; move away; a great little mover! These were just some of the ideas I came up with, I’m sure you can think of lots more. Let’s see your poems, stories, creative non-fiction, scripts even, inspired by the word ‘Move’.

A line of rhyme by Michael Healy

A line of rhyme by Michael Healy

Not often do I have the time

To sit and read a line of rhyme

The Poet’s thoughts now put to paper,

To enjoy the feel, the flow and savour,

Each word linked carefully with the next

Combined with care to form the text

That paints its picture in the mind

And lets the stress of life unwind

That lifts the soul and gladdens the heart;

The poet’s gift has played its part.

Michael Healy