Poetry in plain English

You’ll have gathered by now, if you’re not a first time visitor, that I do plain straightforward writing in clear, easy to follow English. I’d happily adopt another style if it worked for me,and I thought there were others who wanted to read it, but, as I expressed in the poem Voice; published on here before anyone was actually reading this, I feel like I’ve found what works for me. Voice has had 19,000 plus reads  on Wattpad so hopefully I’m getting it right for others too.

The truth is I had any pretentions to florid, discursive writing knocked out of me in a working career where ‘writing’ was a key part of what I did but for a very different audience. The ‘writing’ I did to earn a living was far from being creative. I wrote reports for decision makers.

My work was expected to be clear, concise and to the point. Brevity was the order of the day and the instruction was never to use a long word where a short one would do. We would never ask people to ‘peruse’ documents we suggested that they  should ‘look at’ them.

One of the missions I was given was to re-write the local authorities contract conditions in plain English. The lawyers hated me for it!

My ambition to write the great English novel is never likely to be realised. The Next Big Thing, as the poem of that name expresses, is unlikely ever to be written but ‘verse’, comes very naturally to me. I’m not always sure I can glorify it with the word ‘poetry’ but that is for others to judge and worry about. My mission, as the tag line has it, is to entertain. I’m sometimes seeking to entertain with a purpose but I try to express what I am saying as clearly and effectively as possible.

Todays poem, Red Lines, is a tribute to the manager who honed my writing skills with a liberal helping of red ink.

Red Lines

The report you have written
Is ‘basically fine’
The words are yours
But the ideas are mine.

I’ve covered it liberally
With red ink
Please rewrite
But don’t rethink.

I’ve altered all your capital letters
Crossed out all the “howsoevers”
It’s punchy now
All bullet points
You can rewrite again
If it disappoints.












I wish I could write obscurer.

I’ve read other people’s poems
And they don’t much look like mine
I wish I could make them obscurer.
Be done with silly rhymes.

I’d like to shroud in mystery
But I just say what I mean
I wish I was better at writing
And could write obscurer lines.

I’d dab words round my canvas
Pluck metaphors out of the air
Draw a veil over what I was saying
And leave you crying for more.

I’d like to leave you scratching your head
And wondering what I mean
But it seems to come out
In the same plain words
With no hidden meanings at all.

Maybe I’m just shallow?
Don’t have any hidden depths.
There are other, cleverer writers
And I’m just way too dumb.

Think where I could take this
If I didn’t just say what I meant?
Fathomless conjectures,
Museful meanderings,
Pensive pontification
Big words, long
and perhaps extravagantly constructed sentences?

But would that still be me?
My tired and torrid attempts
To twist, turn and complicate
My communications for the benefit
Of audiences immune to the
Innocence of my simplistic doggerel
Are condemned to fall on fallow ground.
Seeds ungerminated
Failing to come to fruition.

I can’t be doing with that stuff.
I’ll just say what I mean.

Nothing to say

His work exuded sophistication;
That clever poet.
There’d be endless layers of complication.
Name a technique and he could show it;
He displayed such knowledge; erudition.

The most perfect rhymes he’d always retrieve.
The power of his intellect there on display.
And, at choosing his words, he was quite a magician,
His extensive vocabulary hard to believe.

It was just such a pity he’d nothing to say!

The Next Big Thing

6081CE55-339F-498B-8CCC-2F2933ED1187Writing can be a struggle sometimes but there’s always that dream that keeps us going.

The Next Big Thing

I’m sat here in a coffee shop
Like a J.K Rowling thing.
My book’s going to be the
Next big hit
But I’m not quite certain when.

You’ll be taken by my hero
Quite an amazing chap.
Or he could be a girl
I’m not quite sure
I’ve not cracked that bit yet.

It’s bound to make me millions
All I need’s a plot
Half an idea what to write about
Then it’s certain to take off.

I’ve not quite got it started
I don’t know where to begin
But if I ever write this book of mine.
It’s gonna be the next big thing.


The great Margaret’s Story Twitter experiment.

Drip feeding Margaret’s Story on Twitter was intended to promote the paperback and kindle versions available on Amazon. In those terms it can’t be counted a huge success. If anything it has affected kindle sales and reads on kindle unlimited for the worse. Hopefully some out there will have their curiosity sufficiently piqued or decide they love it enough to buy the paperback but buying an unfamiliar author you’ve not heard of can be a hard sell.

Releasing the story first on Wattpad was a good call and won me early adapters who left enthusiastic, not to say glowing reviews, but equally there were a lot of fans who had already read the book and Wattpadders, often young and hard up, are not big spenders.

So have three times daily posts on Twitter been a failure? The short answer is I don’t really know. I am steadily increasing my Twitter following which will be a boon when I release my next book but is anyone out there following the story? If you are please comment here and let me know.

I tweet daily looking for readers but it’s noticeable some days how many of the ‘followers’ are looking to sell an indie author services rather than sample his or her wares.  So if you are out there, if you are reading, let me know what you think. Meanwhile here’s a poem just for you.

Silent Reader

Why, hello silent reader
I didn’t see you there.
I’m glad that you dropped by here
To take a little peek.

I assume that you’ve passed on now?
Or perhaps you’re hiding still?
You’re not quite sure of what you’ve found
Or if it’s what you seek.

It’s nice that you dropped by here
Though you don’t say a lot.
You’re hiding in the corner
But your visit means a lot.

Every word’s for you friend
Though I don’t know your face
Shame you never stay more.
You’re welcome in this place.


All Fall Down

Another school shooting in Florida. More young people have lost their lives for Americans’ right to bear arms. I’ve wheeled this poem out before but sadly nothing ever changes. It’s hard for outsiders to understand. I guess the thinking goes like this.

All Fall Down.

The answer to all the killing
Is more good men with guns
The goodies will shoot the baddies
The baddies will all fall down.

The baddies might get some goodies
But they’ll die in a very good cause
The noble cause of the right to bear arms
Bang, bang they all fall down.

Here’s to the Wild West shoot out
The good guys in white hats
Sad about Vegas n’ Sandy Hill
We’ll mow those baddies down.

You have to have some violence
In order to keep the peace
Here’s to the ring of gunfire
And the ones who all fell down.



Smitten – A poem for my valentine

It happened when our eyes first met
Not sure I understand it yet
Your face once seen I can’t forget
Been bitten.

I loved you before I knew your name
How could I know you’d feel the same?
This thing’s too real it’s not a game.
So sudden.

This thing we have can not be fought
I’m in your net I’m truly caught
You fill my every waking thought
I’m smitten.

You simply touch me and I melt
The strangest thing I ever felt;
I can’t believe the hand love dealt