My First (and last ?) Poetry Slam

Last weekend, Friday 6th October 2023, to be precise, I took part in my first ever Poetry Slam (without really knowing what a poetry slam was!!) . Why did I do that ?  Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. When I applied to take part,  I was riding high on adrenaline, in anticipation of starting my first week at Derby University to study for an MA in Creative Writing.  Just to put that into context for a minute… I have been away from ‘mainstream’ study for literally the lifetime of many of my course cohort.  When I applied to take part in the slam, I really didn’t think I would be selected to take part, assuming that only people ‘known’ in the poetry world with some sort of track record, would be selected.  So no-one was more surprised (read stunned) when I was in fact invited to take part.


Taking part was a nerve racking new experience which I feel privileged to have been a part of.  There were 12 of us ‘slammers’ taking part and there was a good mix of ‘first timers’ like myself and much more experienced writers/poets and performers. I really enjoy spoken word poetry and all  of the poems and performances were amazing!  I highly recommend attending a poetry slam, if you get the opportunity, even if just to listen, there really is something about an intimate, live performance experience that is hard to replicate.  Whether I repeat the experience remains to be seen !


A couple of friends have indicated a ‘no pressure’ curiosity about the two poems I shared, so I decided to share them on here for anyone who might be equally curious.


I hope you enjoy them !


There is an opportunity to leave comments below, which I invite you to do (think kind & constructive thoughts )




When all you desire s to disappear

How is it that we arrive here

With no-one strong enough

To bear the weight, of this

Our Fragile mental state

A pocket full of stones by the waters edge

To walk the shore line seeking more

A meticulous project

Seeking each one out it turn

Which was the first

Cold, hard and smooth to the touch

Each caressed in turn

Added to the hoard

A dull thud as they meet each other

inside the confines of the pocket

How deep are these pockets, no one knows

How much space inside

What their capacity

When and how was the decision made

That, this, would be the last

That this, was enough

Was there a number in mind

Or was the weight sufficient to the task

Were the pockets full

No more room, no more space, inside

For the weight of more stones

Pockets are so useful

You have to wonder why

They have been gradually eroded from the female wardrobe

Maybe, so that she may not carry the weight

Of too many stones

As to make her a hazard to herself, by the waters edge

No room to accommodate

Weapons of war against herself

No more room


No more space

To breathe

No means to carry

More weight

With pockets full of stones




The Forgetting

She was everywhere

Like the air we breathe, unseen

She was nowhere,

A ghost, hung suspended in time

She lived in the space


Not quite there

Here in this moment

An echo

No-one really knew

If she was there or not there

Yet, a sense, a belief, even

Call it faith

In what

They really did not know

Could not put a name to

Or hold on to, still, knew

Best not to ignore or forget


Big days and high days

Holidays, celebrations, a remembrance even


Harder, each moment of every day


Like every breath, vital

Carelessly, they let her slip away


They let her go




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