Friday, August 31, 2007

The rhymes for love

Poets are always complaining of
The scarcity of rhymes for love:
When at last push comes to shove
They reach out for the nearest 'dove'
And search the earth and skies above
For words that fit just like a glove;
So poets are always complaining of
The scarcity of rhymes for love.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Found poetry: from a shopping centre wall

"Shopping and eating":
A good short description of

Monday, March 26, 2007

Love in the time of cholera

Surrounded by dead,
Those of us merely dying
Must cling together

Monday, March 05, 2007

Dark prism

Glo they call it
Sheened like a beetle's back

High the price
Lives lost or marred
White fingers, clotted lungs
Senghenydd, Gresford, Aberfan

Steam and smoke
Fuel to power an empire
Shovelled into fireboxes and hearths

The wealth it brought
Turned to ash
The land scarred
Buildings silent

On the ridge
Grey turbines turn
The valley sleeps
Its labour done

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Kipling on management

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you"
Rudyard Kipling, If ...

If you can keep your job when all about you
Are losing theirs and rightly blaming you
If you can fake sincerity when men doubt you
And make them suffer for their doubting too
If you can apologise for keeping someone waiting
But delay them further by your lies
And seem good natured while secretly hating
The well-informed, the gentle and the wise

If you can plot - to overthrow your master
If you can snipe - without bothering to aim
If you can meet with Chaos and Disaster
And treat those two co-workers just the same
If you thrill to hear your name is spoken
Feted by dolts and praised by fools
And insist on fixing things that are not broken
Or, failing, turn around and blame your tools

If you can steal the balance of the Lotto winnings
And fire someone without giving a toss
If you can stall an initiative's beginnings
And ensure the outcome's total loss
If you can do without backbone or sinew
And leave a mess behind you when you've gone
If you can kill all honesty within you
And focus everything on Getting On

If you can reject all impulses to virtue
Poison every task with leprous touch
Ensure that all of those that hurt you
End up hurt themselves at least as much
If you can fill each unproductive minute
With a critique of how the firm is run
And forget the part that you play in it-
You will be a Manager, my son.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A chronological survey of the viability of coalmining at Abernant

Depth: 0 years 2006

Kites circle the landfill tip
Lorries bring waste from far away
The surface sheds make rusting homes
To workshops and short-lived stores
The tidal swarm of miners gone

Depth: 20 years 1986

Hands, deep grimed with coal,
Clap for warmth on the picket line
Shoulder to donkey-jacketed shoulder,
The strikers bar the gateway
Matched by a fluorescent line of police

The scabs arrive in a tatty bus
Met by a storm of jeers and threats
Heads bowed, they pass through
To their lonely shift

Depth: 40 years 1966

A new era of mining dawns
Well engineered, gleaming,
In fresh new buildings
A workforce trained and keen
The promise of coal
A dream of prosperity and purpose

Depth: 60 years 1946

White eyes in black faces
Blinking in the daylight
A cacophony of accents
Bevan Boys from Scotland and Kent
Leaven the local voices
Trudging out of the pit
Exhausted by victory

Depth: 80 years 1926

Striking against pay-cuts
The Feds and Communists
Are joined by their colleagues

Some, penniless, dig pirate mines
To heat their threadbare homes

Depth: 100 years 1906

Smoke fills the valley
A wailing whistle and hiss
The first train heads for Swansea
Heavy with lumps of anthracite
Waved on its way with cheers

Monday, January 29, 2007


Some people are born where they belong,
Their home and family supply all needs:
The glow of hearthlight waxes strong
The call of the wider world recedes.

And some search long but never find
A spot where they can set up base
At last they must become resigned
To moving on from place to place

And some again, the lucky few
Are urged to leave, and to seek out
An individual rendezvous
With love's whisper or fame's shout

Belonging is a state of mind
Tranquility its foremost fruit
Sought by all, but many find
It cannot grow without a root

I give permission to students to quote and reproduce this poem in assigments on condition that the poem is credited to Martin Locock and the url is stated:

Teachers and others wishing to include it in resource packs should contact me at mlocockATgmailDOTcom.

Information about the poet can be found at A Few Words (see for example Self portrait in 30 statements) and Answers to questions from Poet's Letter, and there are also author's notes about the poem.


Belonging is included in my poetry collection Carefully Chosen Words published by Carreg Ffylfan Press.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Welsh traditions

Knowing more about rugby than the WRFU
Using three words when one word would do

Forming a committee to get something done
Pooling the talents and wasting each one

And when it goes wrong to everyone's shame
A nation united in apportioning blame