Lucky Me … #poetry : )

Every so often I’m lucky enough to go on courses through my work as a teacher which for various reasons are enjoyable and feel relevant. Today was such a day.

In the Shakespeare Centre in Kendal, I spent the morning looking at ways to encourage kids to get into poetry, as well as having the opportunity to draft a few myself using prompts selected by Kim Moore, who delivered the session. My friend and old teaching colleague Bernadette Calvey of the Wordsworth Trust organised the course, which was due to start at 9:30 am. This meant I could indulge myself with a sneaky little detour via Costas, where an americano was consumed with a cinnamon teacake, before strolling through the town to arrive at 9:15 in good time for the start.

I admire Kim’s poetry very much and felt very lucky to gain a little insight into some of the ways she approaches certain aspects of her work, both in terms of the workshops she delivers for young people in schools, as well as her own estimable writing.

Below are early versions of drafts I produced today, with due reference to the original writers whose work they spring from:

(Apologies to Larkin, Pajak, Holub and Grassic Gibbon … )


Five Ways Of Looking At A Running Shoe

You’re a base from which these feet explore;

a sodden sponge for waste and mud;

the home for restless laces tied to thoughts that quest;

a promise of bloodied fabric, where toes break through to welcome air;

my passport out of crowded rooms to unknown spaces.


Inside my head, there is a man on a three-quarter empty train

who looks through glass to where kids play in cinders,

by Tom Pudding hoists and abandoned bonfires,

where tracks are long sentences and midnight cats flex their tails in disdain,

smiling at words I’d not thought of myself,

while rhythms of wheels play out in a mind

that always lags a beat behind.


Go out and open the door:

maybe you’ll find what you lost,

the Scots Quair you read in youth,

a letter from a friend

and a ticket for a coach journey.


Go out and open the door:

maybe your shoes will be waiting

by the map marked with places

you always wanted to visit

from plans long forgotten, filed away

with standing orders, receipts and shopping lists.


… I would have happily spent the rest of the day in The Shakespeare Centre 🙂 #Poetry


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