Sonnet – Sheena Blackhall

Senryu – Learning and Growing

I learned in my youth

all that I needed to know

it took time to grow


Sonnet – Sheena Blackhall

I could have picked Burns, perhaps Walter Scott,

but then I remember Norman MacCaig.

All have inspired me, I never forgot

their meaning, even when the words are vague.

But then I remember Sheena Blackhall

and the words she wrote in ‘The Hen’s Lament’.

These words inspired me, a passionate call

to action, which I resisted when sent.

Yet years do not weary, like hearts or minds,

holding neither hands nor harboured judgement.

Restraint accepted by the self will bind,

a life passes too quickly to resent.

The fairm-wife provides, then she comes for all

whether high on life, or deep in withdrawal.


Triolet – Repetition

Repetition is fun.

I will say it again;

Until I am done.

Repetition is fun.

Like a day in the sun,

spent with your friends.

Repetition is fun

I will say it again.


Author’s Note:

The things we learn in youth often stick with us whether we realise it or not. 

I wish I could say that my love of writing and poetry has been a lifetime obsession, but truly it was only as an adult after the life I had built for myself fell apart that I began to look for the loose ends, the pieces of the puzzle that had been left on the bench while I was working on another section. Gradually I found myself finding moments within my past that were all writing centric. Poems that I had learned in primary school; still stuck within my head word for word. Stories I had wrote for myself, lost now, but again still within my memories. The games I played with action men, lego and K’nex all centred around an ongoing narrative that I kept within me.

I had spent a lifetime gathering and creating stories for my own amusement and these were the things that kept me going when I was unable to do much else.

One such poem that will I hope forever remain within my mind is Sheena Blackhall’s ‘The Hen’s Lament’. This is one of the earliest poems I remember that I recited from memory at a school event. Written in Scot’s dialect it is one of the earliest poems other than the work of Burns that made me realise that the Scot’s language was more than just a nonsensical tongue used for entertainment, it was a rich language that told its own story.

The Hen’s Lament by Sheena Blackhall

It’s nae delight tae be a hen

Wi clooks an claws an caimb

Reestin wi the rottans

In a hen-hoose for a hame.

Nae sunner div I settle doon

My clutch o bairns tae hatch

The fairm-wife come – a scraunin pest –

She cowps me aff me cosy nest

A tarry-fingert vratch.

Jist lately, though, she’s changed her tune –

Ma plaitie’s piled wi corn.

“Sup up, ma bonnie quine,” says she,

“We’re haein broth the morn!”

The Hen’s Lament, Sheena Blackhall

I wrote my Sonnet ‘Sheena Blackhall’ as an homage to a poet who inspired me as a child, and whose lasting impression has remained with me in adulthood.

The poem itself was written this year as part of National Poetry Month as a response poem to a prompt provided by the Quarter Crazy writing group. As well as providing inspiring prompts throughout the year, the Quarter Crazy runs four annual writing marathons per year, each one a twelve hour endurance race which test the limits of a poets perseverance and poetic flair.

The next and third Quarter Crazy Marathon of the year is on Saturday 18th September; so mark those calendars, head on over to the Quarter Crazy Page, like and join the pages to stay updated and take part.



Haiku – Teacher Tree

Does the tree teach leaf

to grow upon branches end

or does the leaf know?


Gatorland, Florida, USA (September 2008) ©DSCoremans
(Yes, I know it’s not a chicken…I don’t have a picture of an actual chicken, and this was the closest I could find in my own cache of photographs.)

Happy Writing. Stay Safe. Stay Distracted.

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