Readers’ Poems May/June 23

by Northern Life

Together Without You –

Poem about life after the loss of a sibling.


The world I knew is gone now
Why did you leave, I’ll never know
How am I meant to feel
When losing you is so unreal

Every moment spent with family
I love but makes me feel so lost
The tears they come and go
The pain we have will always grow

Together without you
Will we pull through, I just don’t know
The grief is strong but our love is too
Memories remain, the pain is true

There are many moments of our days
We remember what you used to do
Show us that you’re not too far away
And by our side you’ll always stay

Time is passing by oh so fast
You left a void that will not pass
We hope you see all that we do
All of this is all for you

Together without you
Will we pull through, I just don’t know
The grief is strong but our love is too
Memories remain, the pain is true

Together without you


The Coronation
of King Charles III


Many years in the waiting, in fact, a lifetime.
An apprentice once aspired, has become the King.
Precious crowns adorned and priceless the jewels
That sparkle and glisten with every turn.
Mantles of velvety lustre, drenched with radiant shadows
That will absorb every treasured emotion
And be carried through to eternity.

King Charles III,
Embraced by loyal subjects, from near and afar.
This enchanted day, in the magical month of May.
Red Admirals in flight as they flutter and caress the golden
Mystical carriage, that awaits this spectacular journey.
So serene and royal and cherished,
His Queen, close at his side.

A fleeting shadow, perhaps, glimpsed by his side,
Maybe his mother dear, so sadly missed,
Shedding a lone tear of happiness.


The Little
Black Demon


The little black demon first appeared to me,
from out of nowhere, upon my settee,
as I wrote my story late into the night,
let me say, it gave me quite the fright!

For unknown reasons I turned around, unaware,
of what was sitting there,
’twas a small demon-like figure,
staring at me, in silent, calm composure.

Piercing eyes of bright green,
smiling creepily, skin of a lamp-light sheen,
sitting with legs held to the chest,
arms wrapped around legs, an unholy manifest.

Was it imagination? Was it real?
I wasn’t sure, it was all so surreal,
there for a moment, then was gone,
I sat frozen, worldly awareness withdrawn.

That night, when I was in bed,
terrifying dreams came into my head,
a creation of mine, in my latest tale,
came to life, in horrifying detail.

Tall, humanoid with bat-like wings,
Jet-black all over with four, soulless eyes,
horrible things,
front and back, one either side,
it is all seeing, nowhere to hide,

long legs, long arms with long grasping fingers,
black pointy teeth, the sight still lingers.
The demon, Scobberlotcher was in my room,
crawling over me, its smile full of doom,

the demon pinned me down, I was trapped,
I couldn’t move, all strength sapped,
then, before me was the demon’s head,
I panicked, realising that I may soon be dead.

There I lay, face to face,
helpless, in a demon’s embrace,
Scobberlotcher tilted its head side to side,
my panic now greatly intensified,

the demon in the dark, cackled with joy,
enjoying its game of seek and destroy.
Here, the nightmare finished,
I awoke, having not diminished,

my wife was standing by the bed,
having woke me, from the visions in my head.
The next night, the little black demon appeared to me,
once again, sitting on the settee,

bad dreams followed, during the night,
of lesser intensity, but still visions of fright,
that was the last I saw of this apparition,
and my nightmares went into remission.

I often wonder, just what did I see?
Sitting there, smiling and staring at me,
perhaps it was a demonic omen,
of my dreamworld annihilation,

or perhaps my story had taken control,
burning the midnight oil, finally taking its toll.




Softly spoken, every bitter word comes
Glazed in ‘I’m sorry buts and ‘ahs and ‘ums.
Will we ever get to the point?
Bite our tongues until blood leaks over lips
And seeps, sour, into a useless kiss.
I used to love when our mouths joined.

Energies wasted, every strained word tears
Our throats only to sink before it’s heard.
Have I ever had a real voice?
Hoard our petty concerns until they pry
Our hearts apart. We should break. We don’t cry.
I used to think strength was a choice.

Memories tainted, every feigned thought strives
To challenge and change our mental archives.
Did we ever say what we meant?
Keep quiet, save the fight. Drown in content.
In lukewarm love – that’s how our days are spent.
I used to love how time was spent.


Ode to Thor


The year was coming to an end
And New Year’s wishes were being sent
To all our friends and families dear,
Looking to a bright New Year.

A walrus by the name of Thor
Had swum 500 miles and more,
Was looking for a place to sleep,
And headed to shore from the ocean deep.

The morn of New Year’s Eve did break,
With most of Scarborough not yet awake.
But as the sun rose high and bright,
An early walker saw an unusual sight.

The slumbering walrus had made its bed
On the harbour slipway, where it laid its head
Snuggled up tight as the new day broke
In the land of nod, while the town awoke.

As word was spread through Scarborough town,
The world and his wife came running down
To the beach to see the mighty Thor,
They watched in wonder and in awe.

A majestic beast of muscle and blubber,
In the ocean kingdom like no other.
With wrinkled skin of pink and brown,
Huge flippers moved him across the ground.

His face a blend of fierce and kind
Two giant tusks of his strength remind,
While doe-like eyes at the crowd did gaze
And long thick whiskers framed his face.

It seemed that Thor was in no hurry
To dash away, he had no worry.
Instead he lingered all day long,
As folk kept coming, one by one.

As darkness fell across the town,
The last hours of the year wound down.
So, not to scare our welcome guest,
The fireworks were put to rest
Until next year, back in their box,
To spare dear Thor from noisy shocks.

Then time for Thor, his strength restored,
To carry on his long trip north.
The cold seas of the Arctic beckoned,
But glad were we for every second.
A hardy creature, strong and brave –
Thor slipped away beneath a wave…


Cowmire Cut


Cowmire Cut was a lane that meandered for a country mile,
Through scented meadows, high hedgerows, and a secret stile.
A hidden perch where children, when twilight closed the day,
Could see hedgehogs foraging, and boisterous hares at play.
Rooks squabbling in the high elms, and an owl in silent flight.
A time when badgers emerged to sniff the air of night.

Spring came early to Cowmire Cut, banishing Winter’s veil,
With the kind of kiss that awoke Snow White in the old fairy tale.
The hawthorns, nudged by Spring’s caresses,
Hastily donned their pale pink dresses.
Cowslips and primroses, roused from sleep,
From the dead leaves of Autumn would shyly peep.

Mere memories now, for Cowmire Cut was on a list,
Of neglected backwaters that would not be missed.
It was a site, someone decreed, for ‘rural renovation’,
A term dreamed up by planners for ‘mindless desecration’.
Bulldozers no questions ask; there are no ‘aye’s or no’s’
Ruthlessly they began their task, by uprooting the hedgerows.
Sycamores and oaks which for a century had stood,
As Cowmire’s serene sentinels were reduced to piles of wood.

Windowless warehouses now stand; forlorn, gaunt and grey,
On a bleak plateau of concrete where lambs used to play.
Symbols of prosperity, the planners said with pride,
Or a line of hideous headstones defiling the countryside?
Spring still makes an early call, but the kisses she bestows,
Fall on ghastly breezeblock eyesores in regimented rows.

Cowmire Cut was a hedge-flanked country lane that led,
Through scented meadows to the Old King’s Head.
An oak-beamed country tavern; an oasis of delights,
Where thirsty travelers might linger on warm summer nights.
Customers now arrive in cars, but have no time to stay,
For the Old King’s Head is now another fast-food takeaway.




“Dark and true and tender is the north”. Tennyson

To those with southern limitations,
it’s Watford or Watford Gap.
Looking for cheap imitations,
they often spout this kind of claptrap.

It’s where the A1 crosses the Trent.
and the temperature starts to drop.
And hardy youngsters are hell bent.
on wearing t- shirts and crop tops,

through northern winter’s piercing chills
to demonstrate their tough credentials
and highlight their iron wills.
While older people look and think: “They’re mental.”

It’s in the vacant steel works, mills and mines,
lost hard work and honest labour.
With memories of happier times,
community spirit savoured.

Auden claimed it was Crewe Junction.
northern born, Midland raised,
was he showing northern gumption,
when he heaped this place with praise.

It’s along the line where Roman soldiers,
shivered on their far frontier.
And built their Wall with northern boulders,
leaving their timely inventions here.

It’s in the mountains, Dales and Lakes,
where tourists come to walk and rest.
To explore the wonder Nature makes,
when she wears her Sunday best.

It’s in the hills and river valleys,
along ridges, scars and ghylls.
The city centre lanes and alleys,
where seekers find their thrills.

It’s on the empty sandy beaches,
where the North Sea washes the shore.
Amongst the legends history teaches,
when the Norsemen’s echoes roar.

It’s in the sports and football teams,
theatres, poets, writers, music, culture.
That robs southerners of their dreams.
and turns them into vultures.

The north’s in the hearts and minds of those who leave and roam.
It’s in the people of every kind, who stay, return and come, to make the north their home.

“The north begins inside.” Louis MacNeice




Her eye contact grabs instant attention.
Sweeping arms, flexing wrists, expressive hands
summon weather out of Nova Scotia
and Atlantic fronts from many such distant lands.

She draws towards us storms or zephyrs,
‘gusty blustery winds whip up from the West’
and ‘rain, substantial and steady’.
They will target our shores, deeply depressed.

Each long finger’s sinuous motion
casts spells like a bowler spinning a ball
on a dusty pitch in disordered dreams
from which you wish never to wake at all.

Or, invoking a looming north-easterly,
she foretells ‘frost in prone zones’ without doubt.
Lucy completes without stall or stutter,
faces us with dark eyes and a parting pout.


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NorthernLife May/June 23