Taking the Plunge


When I finally worked up the courage
to take the plunge and ask you out,
I felt as lost as a diver
plummeting to the bottom of the inky sea.
Buffeted by currents
I panicked about what I’d fallen in to.
Until you pulled my helpless body
to the surface where
I floundered gasping for oxygen
as you pounded on my chest and
started my heart beating again.

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Change can’t come too soon


I met a homeless man while I walked home through town last week,
I listened while he told me of his daily struggle to survive on the street.
I heard how he lost his job, his house, his family and his dignity,
Now he’s just one more lost soul in this soulless city.
He said he didn’t know any easy fix or change this country could try,
And as I parted company with him I realised that neither did I.

 

National Poetry Day is tomorrow, here’s all you need to know


It’s National Poetry Day tomorrow and if you’re a poet or interested in taking part it’s very easy to join in.

Each National Poetry Day has a theme and this years is change. So why not share a poem you’ve written on the theme or write a brand new one, even if you don’t fancy putting pen to paper you can still share a poem on change from your favourite poet.

Where can you do the sharing? Well if you have a blog you could use that, National Poetry Day are on Twitter and Facebook, so if you share there be sure to tag them in and use the hashtag #nationalpoetryday.

If you want to know more why not check out the National Poetry Day website here, its packed full of resources and ideas.

 

Persona Non Grata charity collection


I’m very pleased to announce I have a poem in the forthcoming charity anthology “Persona Non Grata” published by Fly on the Wall Poetry and edited by Isabelle Kenyon.

Copies of the book can be pre-ordered here and money raised goes to support Shelter and Crisis Aid UK

Autumn is the Season of Fire


Everything burns in autumn,
as nature lets loose
its pyromania.
Searing orange sunsets
light up crimson trees
which drip flaming yellow leaves,
to fuel this seasonal funeral pyre.
In the morning children
happily kick at crackling piles
of ash carpeted on the pavement.
As nature prepares to
take a match to the sagging boughs
they scamper underneath.

Night Ferry to Cherbourg


Lit only by Indistinct pricks of bobbing light
the Styx like water whispers of a dark crossing to come.
I board the ferry like a spirit
gliding through its many bars, where
bonhomie orders just one more nightcap until
it slips down it’s chair into sleep,
mumbling to itself face down on a table.

I too want to be cast adrift intro slumber but
with each dip and fall of the boat
I feel like I am alone and flailing
in troubled waters.
Like a solitary sailor or channel swimmer
I’m valiantly pushing forward forcing
a tired body to execute stroke after stroke,
leaving me breathless but
knowing that this ceaseless labour
is bringing me closer to you my love.

 

The Journey to Happiness a chat with poet Sarah Battison


Sarah Battison

One of the great things about the vibrant poetry scene in my home town of Walsall is that I get to meet and listen to a lot of talented new poets starting their poetry journey. Sarah Battison was one of those poets who I had the privilege of meeting earlier this year, her poetry was raw and powerful and she bought the open mic to its knees with her words. Now she has her first poetry collection – The Journey to Happiness – available I thought it would be great to catch up with her for a chat.

Q. Congratulations on the publication of your debut poetry collection The Journey to Happiness, would you mind letting readers know what inspired the title and what they can expect to find within the book?

A. When I was just 16 I featured in a drug and alcohol special on Midlands today for being a young drinker. After I completed my interview the reporter asked me what my plans were for the future. Even back then I knew I wanted to write The Journey to Happiness and the title just stuck with me ever since. The book is about the battles I have faced in my life, the struggles, the trials and all the times I felt like giving up. For me this was a journey, one that so far seemed never-ending, but I knew it was happiness that I wanted to find. The title of this book is representative of the search I have been completing , the search for acceptance, for truth, for love and most importantly the search for happiness.

Q. I know you only recently started to perform your poetry at events, what made you want to get out there and share your poetry and what tips do you have for poets thinking of taking the same steps?

A. To be honest Richard the reason I first began showing my face on the poetry scene was for my own healing processes. I had just come out of a devastatingly damaging relationship and was trying to overcome many of my emotional issues by sharing them out loud. This process became so helpful for my own mental health that I decided to continue attending events and sharing my poetry. I had always hidden my love for writing, writing in secret and I knew that it was the right time to start letting people see and hear my words. As soon as I began sharing I knew that it was something I was always meant to do, everyone I have met so far has been so friendly and offered nothing but words of encouragement.
What would I say to new poets? I would say, don’t hesitate in going to these sort of events. They are such a friendly bunch of people who share the same love of words, everyone listens, everyone encourages and the feeling you get when people approach you afterwards to tell you how much they liked your piece or how much they relate is magnificent. Honestly, do it yesterday!

Q. Would you mind telling us a little about your favourite poem in the book, what inspired it and why it’s your favourite?

A. I think one of my favourite poems in the book is called ‘Escaping my wrong love’. The reason I love this piece so much is because this is actually one of my more recent poems which was written for a poetry slam in Stafford. It was my first attempt at a slam and I actually came second place! The content of this piece was honestly so hard for me to write, but now when I read it back I love it because it tells everyone exactly how I feel. It was based on the theme of ‘escape’ and I think even just reading this poem out loud gave me some inner peace. This is one of the first poems I have done where I have tried to use internal rhyme and I love the way it flows from the tongue. Definitely one of the ones I am proud of !

Sarah Battison performing from her book

Q. When did you start to write poetry, who or what were your influences and who are your favourite poets?

A. I started writing poetry when I was about 6 years old, writing little poems in my bedroom at night! As I got older I took more of an interest in stories so poems kind of took a back seat. When I began my University degree and learnt a little more about poetic devices I was inspired to take up poetry again and have been writing them daily since then.
Having suffered with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression for most of my life this has always been at the forefront of my poetry topics. I tend to find that as soon as my pen touches the paper most of my inner feelings come out and most of my poetry tends to be quite dark.
In terms of inspiration, I have always loved the poem ‘Spellbound’ by Emily Bronte, I believe it is one of the only poems she ever wrote and something just sang to me from that piece, I have loved it ever since. I have always liked Carol Ann Duffy and Wordsworth. Another 2 poets who inspired me to begin my journey into spoken word were Rudy Francisco and Sabrina Benaim, their words evoked deep emotions in me and I found myself binge watching their videos.

Q. Now the book is out what are your future plans poetry wise?

A.I intend to market this book as much as I can because I want these words to be out there. I have been through many experiences that have nearly ended my life but I came out the other side and I want this experience to help others, motivate and inspire others and to say, you can get through this if you fight! I also want to look at creating ‘The Journey to Happiness’ as a novel version in the future. In terms of my poetry, I intend to sharpen my spoken word skills and attend as many events as I can, as well as submitting my pieces to many journals and literary magazines . I am already making notes on a new collection, one that I hope will be published through a publisher rather than self-publishing. Either way, I am going nowhere and intend to stick around on the poetry scene for a long time!!

Q. Where can folk find you and your book online?

A. The book can be found on Amazon here. It is available as a paperback version for £9.99 and also on Kindle for an introductory price of £2.99.

I also regularly update my WordPress blog which can be found at : livelifewithsarah.wordpress.com

My twitter details are @BattisonSarah, my Facebook page is The Journey to Happiness and I can also be contacted on sarahbattison.author@outlook.com

I just want to say, if anyone reads my book and would like to have a chat, whether this be about the book itself or maybe they have some relatable issues and need some advice, you can contact me on any of the above channels and I will always be willing to listen.
Much love, Sarah xx

Thank you Sarah for taking the time out to answer my questions, I recently finished reading The Journey to Happiness and can certainly recommend it as a powerful debut collection of poetry, why not give it a try.

Gold Beach


The sea has tried its hardest

to wash this beach clean,

countless times over countless years.

Yet no matter how many waves

hit this shore or

how many times the tide

advances and retreats,

there are memories here

that cannot be washed away.

For when heroes’ blood is spilled

their sacrifice becomes

engrained like DNA

into the very cliff face rocks

and every single grain of sand.

So the memories here

could never be washed away,

no matter how long and hard

the persistent ocean tries.

Lightning Strike


Your kiss was like a lightning bolt,
knocking me off my feet
blistering my lips
stopping my heart in a millisecond.

As I struggled to rise
I began to smoulder
then eagerly I braced myself
for the thunder.

 

Falling for you


Hand in hand you eagerly led me to
love’s cliff edge.

Where I instantly fell for you…

Or was I pushed?