Adieu, adieu, adieu.

Posted on August 2, 2016 by Categories: Homelessness, News, Poetry Tags: , , , , , , ,

To you, and you and you.

When I started writing this, my last official Doorway Writing Group blog, I was in the throes of moving and was surrounded by removal boxes and piles of bed linen and blankets. And I was so tired! All that packing and cleaning! I could have slept for a week.  I never thought I would be ready. And when I came to look for the poems I wanted to feature in the blog—horror of horrors—I couldn’t find them. I was in despair. This had never happened before and I became convinced they had somehow been packed up with all the rest of my life.

Well, a few weeks later and I am relieved to report that the move went pretty smoothly and I found the poems—just where I’d put them in my laptop case. So now this blog can see the light of day and I can sign off, late but with everything present and correct. I am glad to report my last writing group was its usual interesting self. Not hugely productive but with a feeling that everything is simmering away ready to come to the boil. Most of our joint attentions lately have been taken up with preparing an anthology of all the poems and lyrics we have produced. It’s coming along, slowly but tenaciously, and I’m hoping will be ready later this year (September??) Watch this space.

Here are some recent poems from J and one from the enigmatic Z.

Sleeping Out

Pause the night!

Make the sun rise!

Senses pinched

By bone-penetrating-



Shut-down humanity slumbers

In silence

Curtains drawn tightly against the cold

The night surprises; voices in doorways

tyres screeching; the passing of sirens.

But we’ve been here before

Just never thought I’d be back again

Me and the midnight minstrel

Pacing the streets

While the moon

Glides among the frozen stars

We are waiting for the first

Grey wash of dawn.

by J

Living on the Side of the Road

It’s a hard type of living, living on the

side of the road.

In the town or the country

living on the side of the road

nobody knows me, I’ve got no place to call my own.

Walking along just my dog and me

following footsteps just my dog and me

sharing the load and company.

Don’t know where I’m going

Can’t remember where I’ve been

but we must be going somewhere

some place I’ve never seen.

Walking along just my dog and me

following footsteps just my dog and me

sharing the load and company.

by J

Kings of Atlantis

Palm trees swaying in a hurricane

Reeds whispering in the Sargasso Sea

Tropical sunsets and the Bermuda Triangle

Nobody is missing the Kings of Atlantis.

Persecuted, the pilgrims flee their homes

Shivering children quiver in the unknown

Before the boat capsizes they lift their gaze

Before the unseeing eyes of the Kings of Atlantis

Still I hear that you made it home

To a seaweed crown, a cold basalt throne

Making a connection with the floor below

Which shifting groans, the song of Atlantis.

The coastlines crumble while the tides decide

Predict a landslide

For the Kings of Atlantis.

by J

This poem, The Kings of Atlantis, was written as a response to the murder of the MP Jo Cox. It has been suggested that the perpetrator carried out this senseless killing because he believed in the ideology of ‘Britain for the British’, a conception based on a myth, not unlike the stories of the drowned island of Atlantis or the Bermuda Triangle. The poem weaves these myths with the realty of the plight of refugees fleeing conflict in over-crowded, unseaworthy boats.


I saw Lyonesse today

with my own eyes

Lyonesse out there

breaking the horizon

In dappled light

under wing under cloud

in plain sight


setting this loose

wording the way

letting me live

Lyonesse today

You were waiting

out at sea

watching there

Lyonesse for me

for me

by Z

A mythic lost world also inspired this poem. Lyonesse is the name of a drowned world off of Land’s End, and the writer and poet Thomas Hardy used it in his writing as his name for Cornwall (as he used ‘Wessex’ for the area of the West Country his novels are set in). If you have the inclination check out Sylvia Plath’s poem, Lyonesse. It is a much more sober work that makes an acute commentary on collective mythologies, not unlike J’s Kings of Atlantis poem.

Although I have left Doorway I am pleased and relieved the writing group will carry on. In the autumn it will have a new facilitator who I am sure will give it the renewed impetus that it needs. So, three cheers for Doorway Volunteers! Three cheers for Doorway’s Staff (so they don’t feel left out). And three cheers for Doorway guests who are so inspired and inspirational.

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