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When you come to stay


we’ll clamber down to Telpyn

tiny pebbled cove

find driftwood flotsam


we’ll gather bleached logs

brittle kindling sticks

start a fire in sheltered rocks


we’ll hold sizzling sausages

(butchers and veggie)

above searing flames


we’ll build jetsam towers from

plastic floats and buoys

on shifting shingles


we’ll take your wetsuits

paddle in waves’ foam

search for cockle shells in sand


If I hadn’t been facilitating the SA Stanza meeting yesterday, I might well have taken this along for workshopping. I think writing for and to children is really tricky. One tends to revert to obvious rhythms and rhymes for some reason. In the attempt to avoid doing that, I found it difficult to achieve a consistent metre. The poem is written in syllabics. Any feedback gratefully accepted with this one!

Winter Ritual (Northwest Coast) by Helen May Williams

I am not a silent poet

Up before dawn –
after the solstice
the morn remains
darker for a while

running alone
through deserted
urban streets

(she dreams a time
when they are really together)

on slate-blue
towards the dunes.

The moon is huge,
absolutely full
and radiantly close
over the low sea
and grassy sand;

(samphire sprouts
where they don’t spray)

back eastwards
the sun starts
over the level-

The moon and he
are with her still

despite the street-light’s
neon glare

despite the ringing
in her ears
from the last time
he beat her.

I wrote this poem in the mid-Eighties and David Morley published it in the long defunct University of Warwick publication, Communicate (1993). 

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