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It’s the RSPB Big Bird Count today

January 30, 2016

 

… and tomorrow. All you have to do is watch a small area in your garden or a park – or anywhere, really – and count the highest numbers you see at one time of any one species in one hour. Today, I’ve counted four chaffinches, two robins, a dunnock, a blackbird, a pigeon, one blue tit and one great tit. I even photographed some of them. When you finish your bird count, send your results to the RSPB.

If you love birds and wildlife, and drawings, paintings and poems about them, then you’ll also enjoy The RSPB Anthology of Wildlife Poems. ISBN 978 1 4081 3118 3
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Anyone ever told you you’re on fire?

January 22, 2016

When your brain’s crackling with inspiration
and ideas that you’re burning to share;
when your pen’s almost smoking as you write
then you might say, “I’m on fire today!”

Inspiration comes in bursts, and it’s exciting for writers when they’re on fire! Ideas come at all sorts of unexpected times and in surprising places. Who’d have thought they’d find a poem – or at least, a little ditty – on a garage forecourt?

Fire Point © Celia Warren 2016

Fire Point

What is the point of fire?

To keep us warm,
To cook our food,
To frighten wolves away,
To burn as beacons
Spreading warnings
Back in the day.

But a fire point?

Without a doubt,
That’s designed
To put fires out.

© Celia Warren 2016

Announcing the arrival of a new year …

December 31, 2015

copyrightCeliaWarren2016

May twenty-sixteen
be the best there’s been:
Everything indoors
sparkling clean,
Everything outdoors
burgeoning green,
Hearts full of kindness,
nobody mean,
Heads more creative,
bright and keen.
May twenty-sixteen
be the best ever seen:
God bless us all,
not forgetting The Queen*.

© Celia Warren 2016

*whose 90th birthday falls in the new year.

Meanwhile … can you guess who wrote these new year’s resolutions (apart from me, of course!)?

Whose New Year Resolutions?

Stay out of boxes
And off hills
Blow out candles
Avoid Jills
Climb no beanstalks
Save fat for spouse
Keep thumb out of pies
Build new house

© Celia Warren 2015

Wishing all readers health and happiness throughout 2016

 

 

Phoning Home

December 23, 2015

copyright Celia Warren 2015

The chessmen don’t have cell phones
and the landline’s just for kings.
And queens. And sometimes bishops.
Oh, and rooks and knights and things.

So if the pawns, at Christmas,
want to phone a distant friend
or family, they’ve no choice but
to queue for hours on end

at the only public phone box
within miles of their board.
So, let’s wish them Merry Christmas
and mince pies as their reward.

© Celia Warren 2015

This is the latest in the adventures of my chessmen. For a preview of “Secret Moves”, a book of many of their earlier adventures, click here.

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Merry Christmas to all my readers!

A wet and windy wait

December 4, 2015

… for Christmas!

But while you’re waiting … Why not write your own Poem for  Christmas? You stand a chance of winning a book of poems and seeing your poem in print on the best children’s poetry site ever! For ages 3-18. Closing date: noon on Christmas Eve. Click here for details.

Meanwhile, red berries everywhere are creating a festive mood. Our village church’s wall and weather vane inspired my poem today. The birds silhouetted in my photo are real, even if they look like part of the weather vane!

sou'wester copyrighted image

Sou’-wester
Many red berries on the church wall.
A strong sou’-wester blows.
Two black birds on the weather vane:
Have they read the N-E-W-S?
Who knows?

© Celia Warren 2015

Early influences, early efforts

November 5, 2015

Please to Remember W de la Mare illust by CRB for MM 1966

This week I’ve been clutter-clearing. Most clutter in my house is made of paper. But not all paper is clutter. My parents were great hoarders and I discovered that they had kept every copy of my childhood creation: Morning Magazine. As I have mentioned on this site before now, it was a magazine that I produced over a period of seven years. It also confirms that there was never a time in my life when I didn’t love poetry. Almost every issue of my home-made magazine included a poetry page.

How appropriate that today – Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night – I came across a poem that I illustrated when I was about 12. Its title references the old rhyme “Please to Remember” (5th November, the gunpowder, treason and plot …) and is by Walter de la Mare. He was my favourite poet when I was a child, although I also loved John Masefield’s and Charles Causley’s poems, among many others. It seems that these poets have influenced my own writing, even though I wasn’t aware of it.

None of us writes in isolation, and what we read will affect how we write. The more poets we read, from different eras and continents, and using different forms and styles, the easier it will be for us as writers to develop our art and find our own unique voice. This is why I advise young writers to keep their early work. That way you will see how your writing style grows and develops.

As for clutter clearing: my old Morning Magazines are how heading for the bonfire. Why? Because we now live in the electronic age. I have scanned the covers and pages that I liked. Otherwise, I’ve kept just a handful of the originals for Posterity. (Whoever he is!?) But I thought I’d share with you my copy of Walter de la Mare’s Please to Remember as well as one of my early poems that I called The Old House, and wrote when I was 12. It is not a brilliant poem, but it shows how I was beginning to develop a lyrical voice, using rhyme and repetition to some effect.

I love the digital age. We don’t need to drown in paper as my kind parents did as they hung on to their daughter’s early efforts. I thank them. Make sure, if you are a budding poet or author, that you keep some of your early efforts. And keep writing!

The Old House by CRB from MM

Ghostly Goings-On

October 30, 2015

Here is a brand new poem for Halloween …

GHOST SHIPS © CELIA WARREN 2015+

There are ghostly goings on along the coastline:
see-through ships are sailing on the waves.
The lifeboat’s been alerted, but the crew is disconcerted
for fear a phantom sailor misbehaves.

“No-one out there’s drowning,” says the skipper.
“And we shouldn’t cause avoidable commotion.”
So each glassy silver boat, still haunts the sea, afloat
in spectral shapes amid the midnight ocean.

© Celia Warren 2015

HAPPY HALLOWEEN © CELIA WARREN 2015

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