As a #poet it is always nice when someone says something about your #poetry.

Obviously whatever is said should be treated as an imposter. Particularly if the critique contains any element of 'good' or 'bad'. It should be handled more carefully if containing 'like' - but not likes, as that it just the modern way of saying, I saw what was written and am ignoring it'; much as the weasel word, 'interesting' should never be believed. An interesting poem is usually to be found in the gardens of an institution, performing attic Greek dance in purple silk - or a school.

It's been a while since I dipped my face in the poetic spring. The blurb for The Blue Book states the poems were written between 2000 and 2008 but thinking about it, it is probably 2006 or 07. The date November the 5th 2006 is really the cut off point as that was the date my daughter was born, she having died on 3rd of November 2006. There was the odd scribble afterwards, mainly in an attempt to understand or express the grief.

The event that probably did for the muse was shortly after, while me and the missus were still following the advice to pull our vest down to our knees and carry on, there was a poetry reading at a local group, at which a mother who had been through stillbirth herself was hustling her collection. They were very good poems; heartfelt and moving, interesting.

However, I looked at her, listened to her, and decided I did not want to be her; or be accused of being her.

It's one thing to expose mental illness, or alcoholism, or transvestism, or whatever. They have a long and honorable tradition in the art of self-abasement and agitprop. But, there was something pronish about using the hope of a child.

Gosh! this wind is long.

So having offended certain parties by daring to have a book to promote, and finding that joining in with poets is more fun than selling stuff I found a competition and decided to have a go.

Write a poem about the spring, using the words Violet, Blossom, Innocence and Sunbeam.

Oop Ont' Moor
Violet misplaced her innocence
parked in bluebells
on the backseat of a Chrysler
Sunbeam. Clive, was his name.

Just as the gypsy read,
they walked out in March,
found the road to love
in April and, when she said

he may, they went bar tat.
A passing duck laced his boots
sensing worms. As the blossom
of passion steamed her glasses

she smelt of the spring.

This is the third or fourth rewrite, the original was a slightly obvious extraction of the urine. But as the piece has been trimmed and refined  it has taken on a more serious tone.

But regardless, it was nice to finally write a poem again. To stretch my mind in order to weigh an 'f' against a 'th', to find and reinforce the internal structure points, to play up and down the puns and tricks. Perhaps most shocking, as a confirmed southern softie, was that things fell into place when I squeezed through the ginnel, flattened my 'a's and med it reet northern.

It helps if you know the Yorkshire anthem, and the unofficial version, but if not the duck can be seen as the Roman sexual metaphor, or the term of affection, or as just a piece of surrealism.

Much as poets, and writers in general, publicly dislike these kind of writing exercises, they can be very useful ways of keeping your vest over you knees and just writing.

Cue random picture, to make the facebooks shine....