Fishing for Poets

My love of poetry dates back to my years in Victoria Junior school Barrow -in Furness. In the third and fourth year, I was fortunate to have a teacher who introduced us to a great deal of poetry – some of which we learnt by heart.

He made me aware of how a few words could conjure up fantastic images. At ten years old, my ambition was clear – I wanted to be an author. I wasn’t sure what I would write, but I knew that words were going to play a major part in my life. I’d always loved reading; books were always top of my Christmas and birthday wish list (and still are!), but writing as well as reading became another addiction. To begin with I wrote stories, then poetry gradually took over and latterly I found I was also drawn towards writing monologues and short plays.

But it all started with a certain teacher …

Fishing for Poets

You stand, hunched in peat brown water,

old and ragged but with piercing eyes.

You remind me heron, of a teacher

who, years ago, gifted me love of  poetry.

Mr Smith, a common name for

that very uncommon man.

His fine grey hair, slicked down

but flicked out at the back.

His blue-grey tweed jacket

topped long grey flannelled legs.

His head, twisting on a slender neck,

fought restrictions of stiff collar and tie

while his amber eyes sought out

the wrigglers and the dreamers.

Fastening their attention,

he pierced hearts with words

and fished for imagination.

A version of this poem was first published as ‘Heron’ in Markings magazine.