I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

4 November 2013

Last Time I Was Here

Last time I was here, I was maybe eleven
but I’d lived here since I was very small.
The lawn stretched, vast, down the back
to the summerhouse and a stand of bamboo,
and there were two willows.
In the front were roses my Dad planted.

I felt as if I was living in Heaven.
In bed at night I could hear the bell
chiming from the Town Hall clock
across the still air. It does now, too.
I hug the motel pillows,
and remember listening with my Dad.

Sometimes we’d hear it striking seven:
he sat up till morning if I wasn’t well,
telling me stories — not from a book
but his own inventions. (He did read to me too.)
Then he would breakfast, get into his clothes
and go to work sleepless — what a Dad!

Last time I was here, I was not alone.
Fairies were my friends. I only had to call
and they would surround me. I knew where to look
and how to look. No-one taught me; I just knew.
There was one in each willow and every rose.
‘You’ve got such imagination!’ my Mum said.

November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge from Poetic Asides: Last time I was here

(The form is rimas dissolutas — not part of the PA prompt; I wanted to try it after reading Diane Lockward's latest Poetry Newsletter, so I combined the two prompts.)


  1. I like it.

    Writing for children can be hard. Writing for kids from a prompt is terribly difficult. After the first two prompts, I decided not switch and right regular stuff. But I haven't given up my children's project. I'm doing that on my own, without the prompts.

    Good for you for sticking it out. I think you'll be able to do it.

    1. Gosh, I hope so Linda. I think some of the prompts may cause more adult responses, but we shall see! This one originally had a different last verse about ageing, grief and loneliness, which wouldn't have done at all for kids - but then I thought of the fairies instead.

  2. innocent childhood days.....so beautifully captured....

    1. Thanks, I'm glad the poem works for you. :)