Friday Poetry: Jeff Phelps

Well we have reached another Friday, it really doesn’t feel like a Friday but I do have some teaching over Skype this morning to keep me busy.

The sun has been shining here over the last few days and I will be honest I have been enjoying the odd glass of something nice, so this week’s poem reflects that. It also reflects my OCD with regarding washing up, everything has to be washed in a certain order and only one item in the bowl at a time. Anybody else also have this issue with washing up? It drives my family and friends crazy, hence why most things go in the dishwasher in our house.


Wine Glasses

Wine glasses must be washed first

in water hot as hands can bear, untainted

by the everyday of cutlery and plates.

Rub out the deep red lines, invert them,

stems-up to stand like potters’ kilns.

I think I had forgotten what a poem was

till you reminded me how the world can be made

to scintillate on a single wavelength.

Now I hold the glass up to the light.

The taut brittle arc of its bowl is faith

in the impossible. I rub a moist finger round the rim,

hear a kind of gathering, a resonance that’s neither

glass nor air, but a new place between.

Its high sound fills the kitchen like a prayer bell.


Jeff Phelps


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Friday Poetry: W. H. Davies

Happy Good Friday everyone, I hope you all have some yummy hot cross buns.

I will be honest it is only my blog that is keeping me on track of what day it is.

The poem I have chosen is all about the arrival of the cuckoos which usually happens mid April.


The Woods and Banks

The woods and banks of England now,

Late coppered with dead leaves and old,

Have made the early violets grow,

And bulge with knots of primrose gold.

Hear how the blackbird flutes away,

Whose music scorns to sleep at night:

Hear how the cuckoo shouts all day 

For echoes – to the world’s delight:

Hullo, you imp of wonder, you –

Where are you now, cuckoo? Cuckoo?


W. H. Davies


Happy reading.

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Friday Poetry: Rachel Rooney

Hello my wonderful Book Dragons!

Whilst reading poetry this week I discovered a wonderful woman who I wanted to learn more about. My chosen poem is about Helen Keller who in 1904 became the first deaf and blind person to graduate from university. Keller learned her first word ‘water’ when her hand was held under the water pump and the letters for ‘water’ were spelt on her other palm. This poem is about that moment.

Everyone, look up this amazing woman her story is inspiring.


First Word (After Helen Keller)

This thing she’s feeling

is nameless cold

that can’t be held.

This unheard sound

its unseen lettering

drums her outstretched skin

like fingertips.

This thing is spilling over.


This thing she’s feeling

in her other palm

is nameless warm.

This unseen sound

its unheard lettering

drums her outstretched skin

like drops of rain.

This thing is spelling water.


Rachel Rooney


Happy Friday.

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Friday Poetry: R. S. Thomas

Happy Friday!

I must admit currently the only thing keeping me on track knowing the days of the week is this blog as I am all over the place with not working. I am trying to stay busy though with reading, studying, exercise and a Christmas jigsaw I found. I know it isn’t Christmas but nothing is right at the moment. I have a few lessons booked up to teach online so that will be interesting as I have never taught online before.

Anyway it is poem time…

The Small Window


In Wales there are jewels

To gather, but with the eye

Only. A hill lights up

Suddenly; a field trembles

With colour and goes out

In its turn; in one day

You can witness the extent

Of the spectrum and grow rich

With looking. Have a care;

The wealth is for the few

And chosen. Those who crowd

A small window dirty it

With their breathing, though sublime

And inexhaustible the view.


R. S. Thomas


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Friday Poetry: Don Marquis

Happy Friday!

I chose this poem because we have a Tom Cat who terrorises our poor cats and does anything he possibly can to get into our house. Thankfully we have a very clever cat flap that will only let our cats in.


The Tom-Cat

At midnight in the alley

A tom-cat comes to wail,

And he chants the hate of a million years

As he swings his snaky tail.


Malevolent, bony, brindled,

Tiger and devil and bard,

His eyes are coals from the middle of Hell

And his heart is black and hard.


He twists and crouches and capers

And bares his curved sharp claws,

And he sings to the stars of the jungle nights

Ere cities were, or laws.


Beast from a world primeval,

He and his leaping clan,

When the blotched red moon leers over the roofs

Give voice to their scorn of man.


He will lie on a rug tomorrow

And lick his silky fur,

And veil the brute in his yellow eyes

And play he’s tame and purr.


But at midnight in the alley

He will crouch again and wail,

And beat the time for his demon’s song

With the swing of his demon’s tail.


Don Marquis


I couldn’t get a picture of the annoying Tom Cat so I took a picture of my cat Pan instead.


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Friday Poetry: Robert Louis Stevenson

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope everyone is well. I know the world is rather scary at the moment with the Coronavirus so I hope everyone remains safe and well.

My chosen poem is all about the lengthening evenings, I must admit I am looking forward to a bit more sun.


Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night

And dress by yellow candle-light.

In summer, quite the other way,

I have to go to bed by day.


I have to go to bed and see

The birds still hoping on the tree,

Or hear the grown-up people’s feet

Still going past me in the street.


And does it not seem hard to you,

When all the sky is clear and blue,

And I should like so much to play,

To have to go to bed by day?


Robert Louis Stevenson


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Friday Poetry: Ford Madox Ford


Happy Friday Everyone!

Here is my chosen poem. This week’s poem is by Ford Madox Ford, although I’ve never got on very well with the novels by Ford, I do rather like his poetry.


In Tenebris

All within is warm,

Here without it’s very cold,

Now the year is grown so old

And the dead leaves swarm.


In your heart is light,

Here without it’s very dark,

When shall I hear the lark?

When see aright?


Oh, for a moment’s space!

Draw the clinging curtains wide

Whilst I wait and yearn outside

Let the light fall on my face.


Ford Madox Ford


Happy Reading!

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