New poem… with no name…

This poem was written for a local spoken word night in Worcester (, where this month the theme was “Superheroes”. Thankfully everyone present kept their underwear on the right side of their trousers.

Ok, apart from one specific reference, my links to the theme were tenuous to say the least, but I’m happy to report that it seemed to go down ok, so I thought I’d share the piece here. It’s quite spoken word-y rather than page-y, which is why I wanted to read it aloud – for me, it’s about momentum and movement in the rhythms – a journey, if you will. One day I may even suss out getting audio on the blog!

You’ll notice the poem still has no name – there’s been a bit of a running joke of it being entitled “That Wretched Poem”, which was my name for it whilst drafting, redrafting and generally struggling to whip it into some form of order. But as titles go, I think that’s probably not the one…

The city described is Worcester, where I live – there are a lot of dreamy and beautiful spots in this place, but I wanted to highlight other perspectives too, and those are not always going to be found via the local Tourist Information marketing info…

Anyway, here it is… As always, I’m glad to hear from you, either here or via Twitter (I’m still learning Twitter…) via @HollyannePoet.


The busker saxes outside Debenhams
over a naff backing track:
sexes a Pavlov’s hip-sway out of me.
But today there is no time
– it’s fast-forward, go-time.
I’m spinning on my sandals,
slicing the cashpoint line,
Wonder Woman slash Roadrunner,
a caffeine-high hybrid flying
in the stink and hiss of burger van onions –
not to be distracted by buns
jiggling and hot meat sweating –
I’m late. Late, late, White Rabbit
blowing out a less important date:
a text and a tube of Parma Violets,
that’s all it’s taken.
And my craze-brain’s snapshot;
his palm, rich with lifelines stretching
empty over the Severn’s scum and glitter,
the Queen’s swans debating, if he’s waving…
They decide it’s probably the other thing.

So I’ve no time – no time to stop,
feel the cathedral bells vibrate my bones,
the sureness of magic and home.
The city’s upchuck Technicolour
blasts me on, sensory Redbull:
past the Scope and the Oxfam,
Barnados and all those cancer shops,
hospice shops, Red Cross, Blue Cross
– the big fuck-off M&S.

Swarovski, TK Maxx, Sports Direct,
every second shop a Poundland,
a Costa, A-boards for Cash Converters,
chalkboards for tapas and Prosecco;
Argos, Caffe Nero,
the queue at Greggs for steak bakes,
nuclear pasties – out of flavour this election.

Maccie Ds spills giddy kids into the bus lane,
selfie-artists portrait-posing, iphones skyed.
A street-preacher megaphones love
and damnation;
the Big Issue man down to his last few copies,
the issue no smaller this day or tomorrow.
Suits stream regardless;
white-collar wideboys, ties flapping flaccid,
fake tans and flammable hair gel.
All the faces that aren’t my mission.
All the places, not my destination.

So I plough on, zagging crowds;
pushchair-rage yummy-mummies,
escapee toddlers poddling,
pensioners tutting. Chuggers chugging
– clipboards-on-commission.
Hello! You look nice! Would you like
to help sick children? It’ll only take…
But I’m not nice. All human life…
There’s wannabe crims and dimwit girls
sucking lollipops by Topshop;
letchers, leather jacket posers,
perverts in cheap shirts,
lonely old blokes –flat cap clichés,
street-smokers and pickpockets.
Dogs on string. Dogs in designer coats.
Lovers. Lovers in scuzzy blankets,
lovers in Nandos, lovers in Barclays,
sweating in the air-con to bag
that murder-sentence mortgage.
All needing a hand to hold,
but not everyone’s going to say it.
And none of these hands are his.

Today the exhaust-rot scum that greys
your trainers sparks the air.
Trees spew spring blossom,
Weatherspoons belches out
lunchtime lushes
unrepentant on the pavement,
bleary in the sun’s glare
and the glares of the staple-mouthed
Daily Mail demographic.
This is my town.

Tripping down the side of Superdrug,
skid-footed over fag butts, gum-spit,
cardboard and cartons.
Past the Housewives Choice –
apples overflow like an Eden ogy;
bruised berries sweet-up half-rank
stacked outside for wasps
and wanton tea-leafs.
Lustful wheeliebins yawn their ripe mouths,
guffawing at the latest Council cuts,
they shout me on,
my squat reject cheerleaders

Come on. We must take what we can
whilst sly backs are turned,
whilst knives are pointed elsewhere,
back-pedal fast from twilight’s chill
before the night stalks in to claim us.

The police are moving on skeleton-fades
somewhere else today.
Nothing is solved,
but the grime is free, the grime is shared:
pigeons will shit on anyone’s head.
I’ve got the hand for him to hold.
The swans were wrong.
I’m coming.

Publication News: Clear Poetry

Hello World of Blog – I trust everyone is well!

Just a quick note to say I’m rather chuffed to have 3 poems featured today on a fab new page called Clear Poetry. You can reach my pieces via the link below…

However, please don’t stop reading there… The blog showcases contemporary poetry that is – as its name suggests – clear and accessible. This is not to say the poems are in any way simplistic or one-dimensional. Far from it. I highly recommend having a good rummage around through the fast growing archive – there’s a lot of quality stuff here.

You can also find Clear Poetry on Twitter – @clearpoetryuk – and also, should you so desire, you can find me – @HollyannePoet.

So that’s all for now – be back soon…

Not a poem: 10 things I’ve had said to me about being a poet

This is kinda self explanatory:

1. “You’re published? You must make good money then!” Ha!
2. “Can you write, like, proper stuff – y’know, not poetry, like, real books?” Pfft.
3. “Will you put me in a poem if I upset you?” I doubt it very much – sounds dull.
4. “Are you very passionate? I’ve heard that about you lady poets…” (With hopeful look from sleazy creature.) Roughly translates as “Are you easy and can I sleep with you?” No, and no.
5. “Are you a very sad, lonely person?” Can I ask you intrusive questions too?
6. “Do you have a fear of abandonment?” See no.5.
7. “Will you write my autobiography – I’m really interesting!” Only if the fee is right. And I can make up stuff.
8. “So these are all about your exes? You must have a lot of exes!” Oh, those stabby poems do get some attention…
9. “These poems make me feel so close to you…” Eek! Stalker alert!
10. “It must be nice to have a hobby…” Yes, probably – try it and let me know how you get on.

You may have others… do let me know… ;)

New Poem: When I Grow Up

When I Grow Up…

Never fantasised of fairy wings,
pink princess dresses and tiaras,
glittering specific definitions
of what a girl is;
the pretty-petty strictures
she must lace herself into,
bind her jaws tight –
no laughing –
to be deemed worthy
of rescue, by some prince;
glass slippers shatter,
won’t run you away.

It’s witches who hold the power,
stir and steam it in dark kitchens;
they curse, banish and burn,
their Bloody Mary’s never
expected to be Virgins;
crack stubborn mirrors
who refuse to reflect
neglected beauty;
fly to freedom, mocking
domestic duty – that crock –
on their allocated kitchen brooms.
Cinderella never had the nerve.

New Poem: In Case Of Disaster

In Case Of Disaster

Your keys, kids, photo albums;
your dog, your wallet, your phone
– the things you’ll grab,
hasty hands in the dark,
absolute essentials to make it
ok, afterwards.

Add to your list:
in case of disaster
grab me.

New Poem and succumbing to Twitter

Hello lovelies – hope you’re all well? I know, I know, I’ve been such a slack blogger… But here I am with a poem and to let you know that you can now – should you so desire – Tweet me @HollyannePoet! I really don’t know what I’m doing with the old Twitter as yet, but I’d love to hear from people.

Anyway, here’s the poem….


A battle of wits. A challenge.
Who will be the most stubborn.
Who will be the one
to break first.
Beg mercy.

Mustn’t blink. No wobbles.
No arm-wrestle elbow skids
on cheat-greased bar-tops.

Trying to catch each other
out and about to fail.

Banned substances
only help for a sprint.
Still we glug down
for pain relief.

We don’t play fair anymore.
Our mobiles buzz
like chest electrodes
primed to sabotage.

We set our own tripwires.
Secret hope to fall again

Opposing supporters
sneer on the sidelines,
never seeing the full game.
Their views obstructed.
Commentary skewed.

A battle of wits. A challenge.
Who will be the most stubborn.
Who will break first.
Time out.
Time out.

Beg mercy.

Mutual disqualification.
Our fouls are inevitable.

Lit Up

They lift sweetie-sharp glow-stars
on tips of licked fingers, glue
them, neon scabs to the inside
of her skull – she is lit.

Colour-studded, so damned
pretty – a reverse Easter egg
for the cracking.

The gritty stars shoot all night:
there is no off-switch, no plug
to pull, no wire to cut.
Her skin chafes
tender-tasting every grain
as her eyes roll back in her head.

Publication news: Your One Phone Call – “Poetry with a knife edge!”


Hello world of blog!

Just a quick note to say how happy I am to have had my poem “Purchase” (which has not been on this page) accepted by Welsh zine “Your One Phone Call”.

It’s a fairly new zine, but as you’ll see if you take a read around, it features some fascinatingly varied pieces – gritty, contemporary and often very dark.

Also, I believe currently open to submissions…

Here’s a link to my poem, but I totally recommend exploring further.


A post I am writing to stop me ranting around poor defenceless friends who’ve heard it all before and are sick of my RrrraaaaaaaAAAAH!

Poets, yeah?

I have encountered many lovely, lovely poets.

I have encountered a few poets who are gits.

I have encountered many lovely, lovely non-poets.

I have encountered a few non-poets who are gits.

You see where I’m going with this? Good.

Thing is, there are some folk out there, at times more than we’d imagine, who are labouring under the misapprehension that “being a poet” makes a person a certain “type”.

And I am sick of it.

Hence this post, in a departure from my poetry-only policy on the blog.

Some poets may exhibit some or all characteristics popularly attributed to poets, BUT we are not given a “poet starter kit” upon “coming out” as a poet, containing a full new personality, wardrobe and moral code.

Things poets are NOT by default:


To summarise: more sensitive than any non-poet could ever hope to be. *Insert flounce of tear-stained shawl here*

Of course, we may be any or all of these things at different times and/or at the same time.


When I meet a prospective friend, boyfriend, employer, window-cleaner, etc, do I ask “So, do you write…?” with that particular tilt of the head and raised eyebrow that seems to say “So… Am I a more evolved human being than you…?” No. Of course I don’t. I’m more likely to ask if they want a cup of tea. And if they do, will they make me one whilst they’re about it.

Because I’m a lazy person who likes a lot of tea.

As well as being a poet.

See, the poet thing is entirely incidental – which is not to say unimportant to me – and my caffeine habit makes me entirely insensitive and selfish, not a characteristic we’d associate with the whole, tortured, “too soulful for this world” persona.

The reason I find the whole thing so crazy is not so much that it’s insulting to poets – which it still is – but that it’s insulting to EVERYONE.

I suppose at least that makes it an equal opportunities assumption.

But who is ANYONE to decree that just because a person does not write, read and/or has no interest in poetry whatsoever that this makes that person less likely to experience or express extreme or worthwhile emotion, sensitivity and all that kit and caboodle? Well, that’s just bloody rude. We like the “different” and the “unusual”, but just as long as they’re “different” and “unusual” in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY we are? No, thanks – that’s too easy. And therefore, no fun.

So, yeah, to conclude…

If you write poetry, that’s cool.

If you don’t write poetry, that’s cool.

Now will someone make me a cup of tea please?

What the heck am I doing….? And link to more coherent musings from elsewhere…

Hello and a happy new year to all!

Don’t worry – I’m not in crisis. Existential, poetic or otherwise!

Here’s a thing. I’ve been blogging here – almost entirely poetry – for a few years now. Regular readers may have noticed that in the last few months, posts have been erratic to say the least. This has, in part, been due to that thing called Life getting in the way, but also…. some vague and rumbling thoughts on why I am blogging and what I want to achieve in doing so.

A few days ago, I came across a link to a post from Josephine Corcoran – poet and editor of And Other Poems ( ), exploring the very issues I’m contemplating. It’s a thought-provoking read and also links to an earlier post about poetry blogs and why poets write them.

Poetry blogs and blogs by poets, etc..

I have had no massive epiphany on what the flip I’m trying to do with this here page. I’m aware that the design layout is basic to say the least and I’ve got all sorts of conflicted and conflicting tidbits of ideas of what I might want to do in the future… But no decisions as yet.

What I do know is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to go about things – what works for one poet is not necessarily going to work for another. I am blessed to have read so many fabulous poets through WordPress and beyond – I would not take that experience away from myself or anyone else.

I’m merely posting this for now, as food for thought… and to say that , me, I’m sort of, like, thinking…

And that’s not something I can claim to be doing every day!


Holly xx



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