what is poetry?

Is it it a story that’s just really short,

Or a picture painted with words?

Is it writing for lazy people

Or for those that like to use long words?

Is it just for people who like Shakespeare

Or can anyone hold poetry dear?

I absolutely love to teach poetry and I get so upset when I tell students that we are doing a poetry unit and they all just roll their eyes at me. But I can understand that reaction because we are conditioned to think poetry is just for people who quote Shakespeare and don’t own a TV.

And I think that the way to get people to at least be open to poetry is to frame it right. Most people like pop songs or some form of visual arts, and poetry can be likened to either one of these. I just need to find the right words to pull them in.

I saw the quote above when I was scrolling through Twitter and it just made me chuckle. It’s spot on and I would be interested if a teacher framed it in that way.

Unfortunately, I have the feeling that most of my students would look at me blankly if I were to tell them this was what poetry is. I can already hear them asking me ‘but Miss, who is the man on fire?’

Much Love

Rachel xx

a PE kit in a jane norman carrier bag

Kickers shoes and skirts rolled up

As we prowl the corridors of school

Our bright pink plastic bags

From River Island and Jane Norman shops

Slung over our shoulders

And bulging with our unwashed kits

For netball and the hockey teams

Sprayed with Spice World spray

And playing Aqua on our Discmans

Knowing that the world is ours

But not that all this shit will slide

From fashion in a year or two

And soon we’ll be just middle aged

Like those teachers that we mock

Reminiscing on those starlit times.

getting the ‘rona

tissue paper on container near glass window
Photo by Julian Paolo Dayag on Pexels.com

It got me at last

The nastiest bug the world has seen

That’s floored every nation

It’s wiped me out clean

*

It started with lungs

That were screaming with pain

And ended with sick days

That drove me insane.

*

And then there’s my boss

Who demanded I phone her

She was slightly pissed off

At me out with the ‘rona.

*

It finally got me. I have the COVID. I have worked in schools since the very beginning of the pandemic and I haven’t had much more than the odd sniffle. I was even telling people that I thought I must have some mutant gene that meant that I was immune.

But it turns out that I am not.

I’m coming out of it pretty well, so far. My chest is OK but I have struggled with a fever that is making my body temperature do some pretty interesting things.

I just feel really bad about phoning in sick as this is my first month in a new job. I don’t know about other people, but I have a really bad fear of phoning in sick because I seem to have gotten into my head that it means I could get the sack.

I was brave and phoned in to the Business Manager and she was absolutely lovely about it (I only wrote that she was pissed off in my poem because it was the only way I could get ‘rona to rhyme with something).

If anyone else is feeling under the weather, I send you all my love and hugs and socially distanced kisses.

Much Love

Rachel xx

a serial killer living next door

person s hands covered with blood
Photo by NEOSiAM 2021 on Pexels.com

Those sounds at night,

The whir of the electric drill

And the drip drip that you hope’s a tap

When deep down you know really

That man that went in two days past,

He’s never coming out again.

I have started watching Dahmer, the Netflix drama about the the serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer. I have got three episodes in and I find I am starting to gag in parts, it’s so disgusting.

And yet, there is something that pulls us into these stories about serial killers. If you scroll through the Netflix menu, you will see programme after programme that explores the minds and the lives of these people.

I’m just about to watch episode four and I know that I’ll spend most of my time with my hands over my eyes. But i’ll love every moment of it, for some sick and twisted reason.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the knitting circle

three white twines on oval wicker basket
Photo by Surene Palvie on Pexels.com

They sit in circles

Hooks and needles at the ready

Yarn is twisting round the table legs

Before it’s knitted into scarves

And blankets that are kept for years

Keepsakes loved by generations

With those conversations had

Woven in with warmth and care.

the friendly monster of London

people in line
Photo by Cátia Matos on Pexels.com

There’s a friendly monster snaking through

The streets and parks of London city

It doesn’t snarl and it doesn’t bite

But it’ll make your feet rather unpretty.

It’ll suck you in and hold you there

Within its body for twenty hours

Gently chewing and spitting you out

At the rather imposing Parliamentary towers.

There you’ll see our beloved Queen

Lying in state for the people to see,

A final chance to show our love

And bask in the light of her majesty.

If you have been watching BBC News over the past few days, you will see that the headlines have been dominated by something very British: a queue.

It has become a monster in its own right, with people spending up to twenty hours in it, just so that they can spend a few moments with the coffin that contains our late Queen.

I must admit that if I hadn’t been working this week, I may have been tempted to go and join the queue while it was still under ten hours long. But as it crept up to a whole day, my interest has slowly waned.

I admire all of those people who are sticking it out and standing in line through a pretty cold night. But I’m quite happy here in my home, wearing my pyjamas, with my cat curled up at my side.

Much Love

Rachel xx

handbags and marmalade sandwiches

royal guard standing beside building
Photo by Roméo on Pexels.com

She was tired on Thursday afternoon,

And she knew that soon she’d have to leave,

So she packed a handbag with her favourite things:

Some dog treats for the corgis and

A pair of gloves for royal waves to loving crowds,

And don’t forget the sandwich spread with marmalade

We learnt she loved a few months back in June.

She slipped her hat upon her head,

A pair of shiny shoes on feet and off she marched

Up and up on marble steps that led straight to

The clouds and gates where one man waits,

A smile upon his face, and hand outstretched;

‘Welcome Lilibet, my love,’ he whispers in her ear.

‘Now we’ll never be apart – we’ll be happy here.’

the day the weather broke

heavy clouds
Photo by Matheus Potsclam Barro on Pexels.com

We’d sat in shady corners while

The sun pressed hard against our skin,

No let up for so many weeks, so when

The weather finally broke that day

We stepped outside, the pitter-patter

Of the rain felt icy on my nose- eyes closed,

Face turned to the angry sky that growls

With fury at our careless ways.

Things have to change,

We cannot bear that heat again, the fumes

On days when reading novels hurts

And only coffees with the clink of ice

Can calm those itching nerves.

The weather has finally changed over here in the UK. We have had about two weeks of back to back sunshine and I am a typical Brit in that I cannot bear any weather over about twenty degrees.

Now that the weather has broken, it feels like I have taken a deep breath of fresh air after weeks of being starved of oxygen. It feels like the end of a panic attack when the fog has cleared and life feels manageable again.

But this heatwave has left a bad taste in all of our mouths because we can see how climate change is having a real impact on our lives – and that is scary.

I hope that we can turn this around because I actually felt quite afraid as the heat blazed on and on. It felt like there was never going to be an end to that oppressive heat. I don’t want this to continue and I pray that we can find some answers, and soon.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the perfect sunset

They tell me that it’s the perfect sunset

On the perfect beach, in a perfect part of this little world.

The kind of place where Instagram girls

Cycle vintage bikes with wicker baskets full of flowers

Looking for the photograph more beautiful

Than many thought there could exist,

But now I’ve been there too, and I can conclude anew,

This place is just a little slice of sunset heaven

Made for me and you ❤

Victorian beach holiday

Ladies shade themselves with parasols,

Lace and silk to filter sun

In starlight bursts upon their china skin,

The children queue for the thrilling drop

Of the helter skelter ride,

And fluffy clouds of candy floss,

Cling to sticky fingers that

Pull at whisps and coat their mouths

With sugar flares, before they swim,

The sparkles on the rhythmic waves

Lapping at their tiny toes.

These are days that live forever

In the silver sheen of film,

That captured such a perfect time.