Warwick Poet Laureate 2011 - 2012
Dinah Smith from Leamington Spa has been crowned Warwick Poet Laureate 2011-2012.
I inherited from my mother a love of poetry and the English countryside. For most of my life I have lived in villages in Leicestershire and Northumberland and, for the past ten years, in Leamington.
I have 2 sons, 2 daughters-in-law and 2 small grand daughters.
In recent years I have been writing poems. I always say, "This is simple stuff", but I feel intimidated by obscure poems and feel that poetry should be accessible.
I write from my own experience. However varied the events of our lives are, we have all known happiness, grief, dejection and elation. I hope that I write about happenings and emotions that another might recognise.
Cloud-capped Mount Olympus was
Domain of all the ancient gods
With Zeus the king of all.
Fire was their treasure, burning in a shrine,
Till cunning Prometheus stole a brand of flame,
Gave fire to mortals and incurred the wrath divine.
So, to appease the angry Zeus,
The Greeks raised up a temple in his honour
Beneath his mountain at Olympia,
And there they placed a statue of the god,
A wonder of the ancient world,
And in the temple's heart they lit a flame,
Returning fire to the gods from whence it came.
And then, in praise of Zeus,
Every four years an Olympiad took place,
When, drawn from every town and state,
The fastest and the strongest men
Would meet, compete in races and in games.
And always during the Olympiad
They held a truce
So men from everywhere could meet in peace.
Three thousand years have come and gone
But still today the Olympic rings
Link the five continents as one,
And the Olympic torch is passed from hand to hand,
Uniting every race and every land
After so many years, I find again
My long lost home of childhood days.
No rose embowered picture postcard gem,
Art Deco semi, pebble dashed and plain,
Except, still framed within the door,
In coloured glass and leaded panes,
My Treasure Island sailing ship,
Marooned in time, remains.
But now the bright front garden blooms no more.
Tarmaced and bare.
Space for two family cars,
Though most folk, in those distant post war years,
The starry lawn,
The daisies that I threaded into chains,
The borders, where my mother always grew
Old fashioned flowers -
Colombines, lupins and delphinium spires -
That drew from summer skies their blue.
Gone are the neighbouring fields,
The old hay meadows, where the children played,
Fishing for minnows with jam jars and nets
And paddling in the weedy brook
Or swigging Tizer in the shade.
Thick hawthorn hedges, full of hiding places,
Long Pasture, where we ran our races,
Stumbling on ridge and furrow carved by ancient plough,
Where are they now?
The poplars, tall and white,
That caught the moon among the boughs
And whispered in my dreams at night.
And now, in twos and threes,
Instead of fields
Stand houses - Meadow Drive and Poplar Way -
But in these empty roads no children play.
I long to find the place where I was born,
But time bears children on and none return.
We seek your image in a pool of shadows,
Marvel at how it all began -
This genesis of cell from cell
In clusters numberless as grains of sand.
We scan the curvature of your skull,
High-domed, the head of some old mystic man,
With eyes sealed closed in meditation,
See how your limbs have sprung,
New budded, search for finger fronds and toes,
Watch how you glide and dive and plunge
Through dark birth waters that enclose.
May all the currents bear you up,
Lap you with love, gentle you in their streams,
May you not drown with all our hopes and dreams.
Let the brave heart beat on, beat on,
Beat to the pounding of an ecstatic drum,
Proclaiming to the world, "I come!"
Our every joy fulfilled.
A twelve week, unborn child,
Reaching to us, through darkness, with a hand.
"Let us call the baby Sparkle!"
Charlotte, in her childish fancy,
Said, with shining eyes.
It, more wisely, is decided
That the name shall be Sophia,
May you both be granted wisdom
And be blessed
With shining lives.
Autumn geese, flying
Far, bear on your beating wings
The weight of a heart.
On wings of bright dust, seeking
Fading flowers' sweetness.
Autumn leaf, clinging
To the tree, as I hold you,
About to lose you.
Autumn sky's Venus
Rising. Our candle of love,
Brightest in darkness.