How to Grow a Poem

When you wake lost for rhyme, take a break, give it time,

if you walk to the woods you may hear bluebells chime,

acorns yawn, blackbirds blaze in the dawn-dappled dark

but run home from the park when the birch trees bark!


On the mat in your flat all the letters land splat,

spell a verse you’ll rehearse with your fish-fingered cat,

roll your mouth round the slippery, slobbery sounds,

wink an eye at wild meanings whip-whirling around.


Your poem’s now ready, let it loose, slow and proud,

first it sings in the bath then it crows to the crowd,

if it just does not work, if it all rings out wrong,

go to bed, rest your head, find the source of your song.


Fall asleep in your woods where the deep dreamscapes flow

and the birds blow you words from the tunes they best know.

Previously Published at Dirigible Balloon


David Bleiman

David is a grandfather and poet living in Edinburgh. He loves to write across the languages and his first pamphlet, This Kilt of Many Colours (Dempsey & Windle, 2021) is a multilingual mixter-maxter in English, Scots, Spanish and Yiddish. This celebration of David's Jewish heritage includes the prizewinning Trebbler's Tale, written in a partly excavated but largely reimagined lost dialect of Scots-Yiddish. With the sense of humour of an overgrown schoolboy, David is now writing childish poems for himself and other children.