Breathe by Mahmud Sajjad

I feel better when I breathe,
When I am still and my heart moves free,
When I read and my eyes dwell deep
And my mind wanders through history,
Struck in awe at legacy.
Deep roots grow strong with good company,
With struggle, soil and dark territory.
And yet
I am humbled in awe of how you decree
And the blessings that you’ve sent to me,
I feel better. With you I am free. Breathe
And smile.

View more poems published in #TheUoLYellowBook

Dad by Helen Washington

The crackle of the stylus as it finds the groove
Spins in a frenzy as it travels round the tune
Releasing the waves that bring sound to my ears
The sounds of our memories from earlier years.

Classical, country, rhythm or blues
Rock n roll, opera so many to choose
Tracks of my childhood, beats from our past
The years we had together swung by too fast

But those songs bring back more than your voice and smile,
Your dapper, your sparkle, the twinkle of your eye,
They uplift my spirit, blow the clouds from my head
And I sing from my heart for you, my dear dad.

View more poems published in #TheUoLYellowBook

From now to then by Sally Ann Dyer

The perfect peace of morning when
all is still and early light comes
shining though the sprouting skeleton trees
while tiny gulls fly high above
a hundred miles from any coast
drifting like litter on the dusty city breeze.

That building roar of traffic in the underpass
I close my eyes attempting to tune in
to sounds of breaking waves upon the shore
coat-clad commuters passing in the street below
en route to offices and shops, their daily grind,
responsibility I’m all too happy to ignore

And later on I’ll take the dog and walk
a narrow track along the sheer cliff behind the house
with billowing waters down below.
I’ll balance on the dizzy height, drunk on ozone and delight
drowning in the vastness of the blue.
Warm sunshine on my pale cheeks
skin cleansed and buffed by salty wind,
I’ll laugh in nature’s face and fall content into her arms
At length returning home
with muddy canine wagging through the wicket gate.
I’ll trace the garden path between the pregnant beds
right up to white-washed walls
that wear their thatch like an old hat.
Requisite rambling rose climbs round the door
and hollyhocks will soon be growing tall along the wall

One day, one day,
I’ll own a cottage far away

Meanwhile in the city that’s nearer space than the sea
morning sunlight is
reflecting off the bellies of swooping pigeons
peeping round the corners of buildings
showing up gum marks and overflowing litter bins
casting shadows through the railings
lighting lamp posts and bare trees
pouring bright pools onto grainy grey concrete.

View more poems published in #TheUoLYellowBook

Lavender Bubbles by Marie Nugent

I feel better when
I hear running water
Hitting the hard surface
Soften to a constant hum
Light crisp crackles of lavender bubbles
Forming then disappearing
An endless cycle of renewal
Until the water stops and it’s ready
Just for me
Dip in a toe
Light a candle
Sink in

Everything melts away
From mind and body
That built up during the day
I am rejuvenated
With quiet content and gratitude

View more poems published in #TheUoLYellowBook

Mind and Metal by Paris Phillips

There are many people here
packed within this room.
I hear the chatter in black static,
a silent “how are you?”

The room is buzzing with the quiet,
no words come from lips.
Instead I hear the metronome
of glass against finger tips.

A conversation between mind and metal
where true connections dare not lie.
Oh! How rude I must be
to look a friend in the eye.

I feel better when I talk to you
without our pockets buzzing.
Tweets come only from the birds
and likes do not replace loving.

I feel better when you and I face body to soul.
Metal may break and screens may crack

but our connection will never grow old.

View more poems published in #TheUoLYellowBook

Wild Walking by Frances Tarte

Stride over peat and puddle-shine
While a curlew calls through cotton-grass;
Wade the nettles at the woodland edge
While a buzzard mews above the copse.

Coffee tastes better
When it cools rapidly in an icy wind
Which blew the grains off the spoon,
Raindrops diluting it;
Sitting on a gate or beneath a wall
To watch the deepening winter sunset,
Darkening clouds scudding across the sky
And the fairy-light houses below, in the valley.

Brush wild orchids on the soft downs
While a lark sings high and full on the breeze;
Clink stone on stone in the mountain heights
While wind-caught crows wheel silently below.

A sandwich tastes better
When it unfurls, slightly squashed, from the rucksack
Which sweated its way up to the heights.
The city is for lattes, where the shoppers ebb and flow;
Dining here in the lee of a rock,
Accessorized by mud and raindrops,
I feel better under the sky
When this is my elegant lunch.

View more poems published in #TheUoLYellowBook

Flowers, for me? by Shae Davies

I bought flowers for myself today.
Red tulips, they were on sale.
Flowers for the sad girl with the sad eyes
that stare out at me from the mirror

I catch her following me in the reflection of car windows.
She mimics everything I do
but she couldn’t be more different.
I silence her at night when she whispers in my ear:
This isn’t you, this isn’t us.

And I tell her she has no idea who I am anymore.
No one does.
I tell her it’s a good thing,
the world is too harsh for people like us,

ones who feel too much,
ones who don’t feel enough.

There is no space for her,
no time for her sadness,
the world is too harsh for people like us.

So I bought flowers for myself today,
yellow sunflowers, like the ones I’d grow with my dad.
Flowers for the sad girl with the sad eyes
and I choose to be happy today,
I choose to smile at the girl that’s always watching me,
and since she mimics everything I do
she smiles back.

And today, I am okay.

View more poems published in #TheUoLYellowBook

I Feel Better When – I’m With My Wife and Best Friend

posted in: Poems UoL | 0


When my life is filled with pressure
And my mind it can’t adjust
She comes and warms and holds me
And lays me down with love

When my mind is full of anger
From heart’s insane mistrust
She comes to reassure me
And lays me down with love

When my heart is filled with pleasure
From her beauty and her touch
She comes and lays beside me
And lays me down with love

When my arms feel old and weary
And my legs have had enough
Just her presence rejuvenates me
As she lays me down with love

When my life is near it’s ending
As all lives one day must
I’ll thank my darling Helen
For laying down with me, her love.

Brampton Valley Way

posted in: Poems UoL | 0

Metronomic motion
Legs pump up and down
The freedom and the challenge
Smile replaces frown

Please release me
High anxiety
The Brampton Valley way

Gravel covered trail
Encroaching tree and brush
I’m chasing personal records
But trying not to rush

Please release me
High anxiety
The Brampton Valley way

Vibration, numbness
I shake and rattle and roll
Ignoring growing tiredness
As journey takes its toll

Please release me
High anxiety
The Brampton Valley way

At Kelmarsh and at Oxendon
Life really springs eternal
It’s here I see the light,
I see the light at the end of the tunnel

Please release me
High anxiety
The Brampton Valley way

Pass open fields
And wooded glades
Sheep and cows
And ponies

Please release me
High anxiety
The Brampton Valley way

Nearing Pitsford and Brampton railway
Shrews race aside the track
Café calling coffee
The wind pushing against my back
Please release me
High anxiety
The Brampton Valley way

Cappuccino, rested moments
My cycle leans against a tree
I’m free from high anxiety
My recovery’s complete

Take me home
In peace and contentment
The Brampton Valley Way


posted in: HMP Leicester Poetry 2017 | 0

Wow, what a season to be a Leicester City fan,

Pearson left and in came the tinker man,

They were quickly installed as favourites to go down,

And many City fans could be seen with a frown,

But a fairy tale journey has been made,

Even though their title bid was expected to fade,

Leicester City Premier League champions is the new song,

As Claudio Ranieri shouts Dilly Ding Dilly Dong.

When Schmeical kicks the ball it goes like a rocket,

Morgan and Huth have forwards in their pocket,

With Fuchs on the left and Simpson on the right,

The City defence is solid and tight,

The midfield is where all the magic begins,

Drinkwater spraying passes and pulling the strings,

Kante came in from Caen for a few million,

And now his price tag must surely be close to a billion.

Albrighton has been fantastic playing out wide,

He’s played with passion and so much pride,

And then there’s Mahrez the PFA player of the year,

He’s dazzled and mesmerised playing with no fear,

Now where do we begin with the man who likes to party,

The one and only Mr Jamie Vardy,

Just a few years ago he was playing in non-league,

And now he’s got every youngster to truly believe,

He’s been ably assisted by Ulloa and Okazaki up top,

Their endless running has been greatly admired by the faithful Kop,

But it’s not all about the players that start,

The whole City squad has played its part,

Andy King has been with City through thick and thin,

And Wasilewski will run through walls to help City win,

Demarai Gray has waited patiently for his City chance,

When he’s come on he’s led defenders on a merry dance,

Then there’s Jeffrey Schulupp who’s risen through the youth scheme,

He’s one of several City players who’s fulfilled their boyhood dream,

Its Champions league next season so watch this space,

Until then tears of joy will continue to roll down every City fans face!


posted in: HMP Leicester Poetry 2017 | 0

Remember I’m always your friend,

A friend till the end,

Someone that’ll never let you down,

Even when you frown,

Coz I’ll always try and make you laugh,

even though you may think that I’m a psychopath!

You might not want me in that way,

but in my heart you’ll always stay.

Let’s put the last few weeks behind us,

And not let anything come between us,

People may think we stick like glue,

But we’re good friends me and you,

Who cares what they have to say,

They’re just jealous idiots anyway!

I hope you know how I feel,

And that being your friend is what I want for real,

I feel better when you and I are the best of friends,

And I hope that it never ends!