Unfinished projects

I find it impossible to stick to one project with all the ideas floating around in my mind.  As soon as I get them out I want to start work on them, even though I have a thousand other things to do (creative or otherwise).  I have a bank of unfinished stories, rough draft poems and half-formed ideas, and only a small handful of completed works.

Maybe if I finished something I would have to let someone read it…


Choices: A poem for teenagers

Teenagers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote this poem a few years ago, with no particular person in mind.  It looks at the decisions teenagers have to make when thinking about their future.  The poem ends by recognizing that adulthood is not easy, but it seems preferable to the uncertainty they have to face as teenagers.


My brothers (twins) are starting to think about university.  They are doing their GCSEs and very soon they have to settle on which A-levels to choose.  It’s a big decision to make at such a young age, as the subjects they take for A-level will determine which type of degree they can get onto.  Watching them both pour over university prospectuses when I visited over Christmas made me see how relevant this poem is to them.


This has been a discouraging week
Unsettling thoughts disturb my sleep.
It’s getting light, insomnia’s curse
I feel like things cannot get worse.
I’m on a new and scary road
And find that life’s not as I was told.
Things are changing, I feel bemused
Ambitions and dreams are lost, confused.
What once was simple is now complex
I worry about what’s coming next.
I know that adulthood’s no halcyon glen
But how do I survive until then?


Poem by Hannah Meiklejohn (2010)




Some great tips here. 🙂

That Dude Eddie

Vivienne Neale Considers Writing Poetry For The First Time

Not all of us have grown up with poetry and being bitten by the bug when you least expect can feel quite daunting. You know how it goes, suddenly something happens in your life and you want to express it and poetry seems to be the only way. You will be joining a massive army of people who have felt exactly the same and when the muse strikes there’s nothing for it but to start writing.

As someone who has written poetry all my life and been immersed in the genre since I was very small it’s second nature to want to express myself in a poem. For those just stepping out on the road I would like to offer some thoughts which might assist. I run a writing retreat in Europe and am used to having all kinds of creatives…

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You are old, father William!

I love this poem, by Lewis Carroll…

“You are old, father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head
Do you think, at your age, it is right?

Father William somersaulting in through the door
Father William somersaulting in through the door (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“In my youth,” father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
And you have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door
Pray what is the reason for that?”

“In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
“I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment one shilling a box
Allow me to sell you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak
Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose
What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Said his father. “Don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs.