Posts Tagged ‘young’


It’s September 1976 and the start of a new school year at a new school, Holme Middle. It’s further away than Holmefield First but not by much and I enjoy walking to and from school. Some of my friends from Holmefield First have gone to different schools and I will never see them again, but I make new friends here playing games in the school yard and in lessons. It’s a great start to a new chapter in my life, one without any cares, worries or stresses, one where I can be me and no-one else and live a carefree, happy life. Looking back this could be the last time I felt like this for so long without the changes that growing up is and the stresses and pressures that come with the change of age. With a new school comes new teachers and one of the first to make an impression on me was an elderly gent, probably approaching retirement but one of the nicest teachers I knew. I can’t remember his name now but I do remember that he was kind and knew how to get the best out of you and always had time for you. He drove a Triumph 2500 which at the time was one of the best cars on the market and I loved it! I remember wishing I had one every day I saw it.


Paul is my first friend on Holmewood. We play in the street and on the green, have fun. Paul moves to Cornwall. I never see him again. Malcolm is my next friend. There’s a group of us all playing and having fun. One day I go to Malcolm’s house. His sister looks at me and tells me to leave. She gives no reason. I don’t know why, don’t understand. Maybe she knows something I don’t. I never see Malcolm again.

Chris is my next friend. He’s older than us and the leader of our gang. We play down the valley, jumping over streams, hide and seek, crawling in tunnels, running on trails. I’m enjoying life, having fun with friends, playing with no worries, no fears, no regrets.

More new friends on Holmewood. Paul, Colin and Peter. It’s the summer of 1973. We play football all day and all night. I’m me, I’m free. I’m enjoying life. Food, friends, freedom. Everything I want and need right now. Life is perfect.


We move again. Not far. To Holmewood council estate. It’s a big house with 3 bedrooms and gardens front and back. I like this house. I feel safe here, happy. It’s a new start for all of us. New jobs for mum and dad, new school for me, my sister has moved out. I fly a kite with my dad on the field near my house. I’m having fun.


It’s a cold, dark January morning. Snow covers the roads and pavements, icicles hang from roofs, my breath is a cold, grey fog. I need the toilet, it’s outside. I don’t want to go outside and stand in the small, dark, damp space that is our toilet. I have to though. I have no choice but to stand there shivering, alone in the darkness.


my mother and father

would plant vegetables and flowers

in the garden or the allotment

anywhere where earth could be dug

digging through different

shades of mud and clay

planting dull, drab bulbs

that transform into colourful

shapely vegetables too good to eat

tiny seeds left deep underground

turn into flowers creating a paradise

in a corner of nowhere

my mother and father

planted all the colours

seen on earth and beyond

reproducing them perfectly

as nature intended

how i wish i could go back

and watch them dig and plant

all those bulbs and seeds

and learn from their gardening ways

and reproduce nature

as they once did…


Some good advice from Angela Topping for young poets.

Angela Topping

ange2_n

I originally wrote this resource for some A level students I was delivering workshops for in Lancashire, but I decided to give it a wider readership. When I was a teacher, I encouraged my students to submit their work to magazines and competitions, and relished seeing their confidence improve. But although there are many oportunities for your poets, not all young people are aware of them. The advice below will apply to oder poets as well, but I have focused it towards youth. At a later stage I will collate similar information for other groups.

All magazines and journals have websites, so it is easy to glean information about them. If possible read them. If you can’t afford to subscribe, source them at the library.
Postal submission: send no more than 6 poems, with your name and address on every page and an SAE big enough to hold all the…

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A cracking blog from Roy Marshall featuring the young poet Emily Blewitt.

Roy Marshall

I’ve often written here about the opportunities poetry readings and festivals afford for meeting people and making new friends. This year I arrived for my one-day visit to the Aldeburgh Festival and soon bumped into my friends Maria Taylor and Kim Moore. Also in this company of poets were Holly Hopkins and the very smiley Emily Blewitt.

It has been my great pleasure to feature several guest poets on this site over the past couple of years, all of them in their twenties.  I read a couple of Emily’s poems on-line and liked them, and I wondered if she would be interested in sharing some of her work, so I contacted her after the festival.  I’m delighted that Emily responded with the following poems and a short piece I had requested in which she talks a little about herself and her influences.

Ladies and gentlemen, Emily Blewitt.

2014 was a big year for me.  It was a year of firsts: my first…

View original post 1,188 more words


An excellent and inspirational article about never giving up and encouraging the next generation of poets.

Angela Topping

When I was a young poet, inexperienced and clueless about publishing, I used to read poetry widely, discovering and taking home books from Widnes library to devour at my leisure. I kept a folder of poems which I could not live without: when I had to return the books, I’d copy out my favourite ones. I still have this file. The poems in it all helped to tune me in to the craft.

I was writing seriously from the age of 14, and used to put together collections of my poems, all neatly copied out, and get people to read them. I was fond of saying to my readers: ‘is THIS a poem?’ ‘And THIS?’ I was published in the school magazine. I made all the usual mistakes that teens often do: big words, portentous style, abstractions. But I kept at it. I was highly commended in a W. H…

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remembering my father who would

fashion a rifle for me

from any old block of wood

carved and sanded down to

look like the Lee Enfield

he fought with in WWII

copper piping for a barrel

a nail for the trigger with a

rusty hinge for a guard

off i would go to fight a

war where no-one got hurt

no-one got injured

no-one got killed and

we all returned with

limbs, eyes, brain intact

no need for crutches or wheelchairs

as we ran through the

valleys and woods that were our

battlefields, hiding behind bushes

climbing trees, leaping streams

jumping embankments before

we conquered the black hill

as we played out our war

with wooden weapons

the only scars we gathered

when we fell and cut our knees and palms

as we ducked make believe bullets

that never fired or hit and we

swore blind we had never been shot

even though we hit our target a mile away

how brave we felt playing our

pretend wars with weapons of wood

that never hurt anyone

and now i look back

and think how all wars should be fought this way

until exhausted from a day’s playing and running

you go home for tea and a telling off from mum

and after a good night’s sleep

you are ready to fight another day

in the only war our young minds understood

and our only fear was the telling off from our

mother’s if we were late home


the valley of my memories that started from a

single pipe, too dark to see beyond its mouth

too small to climb in and explore its stomach as it

spewed forth its watery contents

 

into the valley of my childhood

always moving fast in the same direction

through parts narrow and parts wide

as the sides of the valley rose and fell

 

running with the stream as

we played in its bowels

day after day after day

as the sunshine warmed wet pebbles

 

where it never rained or snowed

so we could build dens to hide in

as friends ran by seeking us

pretending to be brave soldiers

 

leaping over the narrow parts and

jumping from the highs to the lows

flying through the air like

peter pan, if only for a second

 

landing in a heap on stones

that cut and grazed our knees

our only scars of war

this was as brave as we got

 

and then the valley ended

disappearing into a tunnel

one we could crawl into

see into, no secrets in here

 

and we got through to the other side

to a dark place we did not recognise

this was not our playground

we did not belong here

 

so we would turn around and leave

this desolate place behind and

return to our valley, the valley

of a never ending childhood

© Andrew Smith 2014