To Grace the Name

An anchor name that must be earned
Without the tools of gifted genes,
The cruellest offering to a child
Who does not Grace the name.
She lives a life inadequate,
Struggling for Grace; searching for a girl
Who was lost from the start
And, unknowing, finds Grace within.


Written for the girl who was given a nickname because she was ‘not beautiful enough’ to be called Grace. Written for the inspiring woman she became; a woman who radiates grace from every pore. 

Poetry Contest: Congratulations to . . .

For anyone looking for some super poetry … check out the winners of Kayla Ann’s poetry contest. Cracking entries! Well done, y’all! Xxx


Buuuuuuuuuuut, before I announce the winners, I would just like to say “Thank You” to every single participant.

There were 100+ submissions! 

You guys made this contest an amazing experience and surpassed all my expectations! It was SO difficult to pick the winners as so many poems were of equally amazing caliber. Therefore, even if I do not post your poem today in my Top 3, I will be posting my “Top 25” poems later on through four separate blog posts.

Thank you for your wonderful submissions!

While I initially thought I would only announce the winner, I decided it was necessary to announce my Top Three Favorites.

So, without further ado . . .

*Drum roll please*

Image result for gif drum roll please

Our THIRD PLACE winner goes to . .

Related imageClaire Yang’s “After Halloween”

“The Pumpkin King sits and watches

for every child who walks past him.

He waits, outside in…

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A Nun’s Blessing

She murmurs blessings over me,
And I am, faithless, moved.
She rests her hands upon my head.
I feel loss as they’re removed.

She asks no questions of my faith
And does not seek to know
The inner workings of my mind,
Her blessings to bestow.

Her prayers are calm and comforting.
They’re given with a smile
And, even though I know no god,
I feel them every mile.

I join the hearty choruses;
Hallelujahs now resound,
For as I seek to find myself,
It’s here that I am found.

Whilst I remain agnostic,
I cannot but concede
That compassion’s simple sanctity
Will forever be my creed.


Whilst walking the Camino de Santiago, I was fortunate enough to stay at the convent of Santa Maria in Carrion de los Condes. The care of the nuns was unconditional; they gave their blessing to any and all who stepped through the door. I don’t think I’ll ever be a person of faith but being a recipient of their care was a truly spiritual experience. 

Thoughts and Prayers

Sending thoughts and prayers,
In times of pain and terror,
Helps no one, I fear.


This haiku is a result of my conflicted thoughts on the outpouring of emotion in the wake of cataclysmic world events. On the one hand, I find it reassuring that the world reacts with love and compassion when disaster strikes; on the other, are words really enough? Is it enough just to update the Facebook profile photo? Is it enough to retweet a good news story about a cat rescued from the aftermath of a hurricane? What can we possibly do, often from the other side of the world, to lend our support?

Letting people know that my thoughts are with them might be a good start … but actions speak louder than words. 

The Bare Cave: An Open Mic Night Odyssey

Steep the steps into the Earth,
The Malt Cross caves – the poets’ turf –
You feel at once that childish dread
Because your Dad … he would have said,
That, “bears live here …”
And you’d, laughing, fear
And watch for danger just the same.
The irrational mind is hard to tame!
The mouth of the cave, however, is clear.
There are no bears to be found here …

Yet, still afraid, you stand and gawp,
With Keating’s most barbaric yawp
Resounding now inside your mind.
You dig in deep and hope to find
The courage just to have a go,
To share that personal ebb and flow
Of your profound and sacred word
That no one has, until now, heard.

The support of this poetic crowd,
Is so sincere and joyfully loud –
It’s bare and real with earnest writing
Put forth by people who delight in
The chance to bolster, help, encourage
And nurture each and every flourish
Of all of us, each fresh new poet.
They like your poem, then they’ll show it –
Spur you on with whoops and cheers
And the raising of the wines and beers,
So each of us proud newbies knows
That our poems, songs and prose,
Whether raw, unfinished or perfected,
Are heard, enjoyed and, best, respected.

There’s never any judgement here,
So all that you need ever fear
Are the demons deep inside,
Which you’ll find are hard to hide,
When revealing your imperfect soul
Deep in the heart of the bare cave.


This is for Al, who wrote a super post about his first Crosswords open mic at the Malt Cross. You can find it here: What a Performance
Thanks for the inspiration, Al; I’m sure we’ll bump into each other at an open mic soon! 

The Weight of Opinion: A Haiku on Life in an Echo Chamber

I don’t like echoes.
They frighten me with the sound
Of my opinions.

In the last couple of years, I’ve been desperately trying to get out of my social media echo chamber. Having been shocked by the ebb and flow of world politics, I now try to read more of what I don’t like; I fact check and weigh up opinions that had previously existed only on my periphery. My new mantra: Read wide. Read deep. Read discerningly.