National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day. Two years ago I celebrated the day with a poem on this blog about World War One and The Somme and a link to teaching history. This year, I thought I would use a poem on a different subject entirely, although it has the same underlying theme of parting.

Written some years ago, it may have little literary merit, but surely the message of National Poetry Day is to encourage us all to write more poetry as well as to read more. for in doing so, we learn from others and about ourselves.

So, for what it is worth here is:



The revolving door sweeps us smartly

Into the chaos of that hideous, happy, hall.

Don’t leave unattended baggage’

Mother with babies, businessmen with phones,

Families’ katundu laden trolleys,

Merge together into a snake-like queue

A line of order, inching towards,

The ministering welcome of the check-in desk.

Unattended vehicles will be towed away’.

Stoically, the shuffling mass moves forward.

At the desk, the first interrogation waits.

Your passport, luggage, ticket,

Disappear for processing. Did you, didn’t

You, have you’. Do you really want to fly’


Terror and fear stalk the airport,

Shadowing the police clutching

Guns to padded chests.

We fear flying, they fear us.

I fear losing you into the

Slow snake that leads you to Security.

Shall we seek currency, eat

Unnecessary meals, or just go home?

I can, you can’t. Would that we together could.


A brief respite.

We sit across the table,

Wishing you won’t go, knowing

You will go, saying you must go.

Eyes meet, hands touch, minds remember

Other meetings, partings.

Between us cup and plate,

Detritus of a Last Supper.

Brown batter of a Ramsden’s cod,

Mushy peas and thick cut chips.

Yorkshire suspended like us,

In unreality.

While down below the endless procession

dribbles through Security to

Aberdeen, Paris cdg and Tel Aviv.


Together we contemplate

Departures, one home

Where no heart is,

The other to the

Mysterious misery of flight.

Too soon, stay one minute more.

We clasp together putting off

Not departure, but separation.


Too soon the TV monitors flash

Their urgent message, boarding

Gate twelve.

No lingering goodbye now, but haste

To disappear into that finality

Of departure.


4 thoughts on “National Poetry Day

    • Janet,

      Thanks. I looked back at the school magazine from 50 years ago and was surprised how many poems it carried each year. Hopefully, teachers are encouraging writing of all descriptions. I am sure that social media can be a positive outlet for young writers. We need to encourage all forms of creativity.


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