A Second Chance

I still remember the day we met,
You were this tiny, perfect child,
And though you couldn’t focus yet,
I know you saw I was beguiled.

You quickly learned to hold my hand,
And just as quickly refused to let go,
You held it as you took your first stand,
As you toddled to and fro.

Sometimes you’d fall down with me,
And the tears would surely come,
But that’s why I was there, you see,
To catch each and every one.

I’ve lost track of all the ghosts I’ve fought,
Of the bad dreams that I have soothed,
I do not like to boast of course,
For that would be uncouth.

At every sleepover, every holiday,
Every night in an unknown place,
I could always keep the fear at bay
with just a comforting embrace.

I lost you once, do you recall?
I remember it all too well,
Before I found you I was so distraught,
But I bet you couldn’t tell.

And then, one day, you just lost interest,
Like you no longer liked to play,
I was so overwhelmingly depressed,
But I didn’t like to say.

I wondered though, so hard and long,
What changed – what ever could?
And what it was that I did wrong,
But, of course, it did no good.

So when I saw the cardboard box,
I didn’t bother to protest,
And when the attic hatch was locked,
I kept my agony suppressed.

I don’t know long I lived there,
Weeping softly in the dark,
Not accepting that you no longer cared,
That you no longer had a heart.

By the time I saw the crack of light,
My mind was deeply frayed,
For when I saw your grown-up face,
I thought some trick was being played.

But then a fresh-faced little child
– who looked a lot like you –
appeared beside you; timid, mild,
And that is when I knew
I had a second chance to ward off fear,
To love, to make things better,
To wipe another million tears,
To share my raison d’être.


napowrimo2015Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a persona poem; a poem in the voice of someone else. I chose the voice of an old teddy bear, not unlike the one that I had when I was younger, that my daughter now sleeps with. Hope you enjoy it.

Arrested Development

Sergeants atop their ivory towers,
Fatted by their godly powers,
Lording over drunks and strays
and those caught upon their worst of days.

A mother cries beside her son,
Bitter shame for what he’s done,
He stands defiant – no remorse –
Chest puffed out in show of force,
He cannot see her heart is breaking,
Cannot see the choice he’s making.

A girl beneath a mental cloud,
Lies prostrate as she calls aloud
the letters of her father’s name,
Over and over and over again.

A probie fiddles with his vest,
As he recounts his last arrest,
He shifts to left foot, then to right,
To quell the growing nervous bite.

An addict tries to state his case,
While picking scabs that line his face,
“I stole the meat to buy the drugs”,
He feigns regret and gently shrugs.

Solicitors vaunt and huff and sneer,
Noses high, they seek out fear,
A chance to cut down boys in blue,
To pick at what they thought they knew.

The nurse tends to a frightened girl,
Who in an instant changed her world,
When she finally struck back at her man,
With kitchen knife in battered hand,
She sobs inside the four white walls,
Ignoring all the caterwauls,
For her, the earth has slowed and stopped,
Hushed ’til you can hear pins drop,
Nought exists inside her head,
Save faint relief and panging dread.

The others? Perhaps they’ll never change,
But she will never be the same.


napowrimo2015Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a Clerihew. A whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. The first line is the name of the poem’s subject, usually a famous person put in an absurd light. The rhyme scheme is AABB, and the rhymes are often forced. The line length and meter are irregular.

I had already written the above poem when I read the prompt, but thought I’d include a clerihew based on the same theme. You can see it below:

Lorena Bobbitt
chose to cut it off and lob it,
Could take no more
of the abuse that she endured.

When We Were Wee

We are friends and friends we’ll be,
A promise made when we were wee,
When we’ve grown old disgracefully,
We’ll dip our toes at eighty-three
in the very water of the very sea
where you first made the pact with me.

You swore to be there by my side,
I swore in me you could confide,
We swore with pinkies intertwined
While our mothers bathed ‘neath sunbaked skies,
We’d bridge a gap an ocean wide
to the wipe the tears the other cried.

Not distance, time, nor life’s debris,
Could break the tie from you to me,
Forged with innocence and surety,
With adamance and purity,
A promise made when we were wee,
We are friends and friends we’ll be.


Thisnapowrimo2015 poem was written for NaPoWriMo, but after a long and stressful day at work I did not follow today’s prompt. Hopefully normal service will resume tomorrow!

Ten Diamonds

Ten diamonds on my nightstand,
Right beside my phone,
A nervous joy inside my heart,
A lump inside my throat,

Sweet memories like pendants
dance and twirl and sing,
As I slowly grasp the magnitude
of this tiny little ring,

He is charm inside a cotton shirt,
Desire inside blue eyes,
He is the promise of eternity
exalting each other’s lives,

Ten diamonds on my nightstand,
I can’t comprehend their worth,
But a future now lays before us,
Like a universe at birth.


napowrimo2015Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to pick a card at random from a deck and write a poem about it. I picked the ten of diamonds.

I am currently reading a pre-release book called “The Versions of Us” by Laura Barnett. It takes the structure of the film “Sliding Doors” In which a single moment can alter the course of someone’s life.

So, inspired by both the prompt and the book, I revisted my poem from Day 7 of NaPoWriMo called Ten Dollars and wrote a different version, a different course of the imaginary protagonist’s life. Hope you enjoy it!

Little Green Fingers

With heat lapping at my nape
and soil beneath my nails,
I take a momentary break,
to watch you hunt for snails,

OK, you shouldn’t be weeding
in the shoes I bought last night,
But barefoot in the seedlings?!
My heart dances at the sight!

I love the frown of concentration
as you try to dig a hole,
And the instant fascination
as worms tickle at your toes.

Pleasure sparkles in your eye,
Like crystals in the breeze,
When you spot a carrot that is ripe
and crouch to pull it free.

Then we pour lemon from the jug,
Rest our backs against the lawn,
And I delight inside your hug
as you turn to me and yawn.

Your voice, a soothing hum,
Vibrates against my chest,
“I love to garden, Mum,
But I think I need a rest…”


napowrimo2015Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a ‘pastoral’ poem as it’s Earth Day. I chose to write about gardening. The poem is about my daughter and me, but it’s also reminiscent of my mother and me as I think I inherited my green fingers from her!

Just a Girl

lay around
abandoned in the
concrete of
my mind. there in
I’d just listen;
I could never see,
I was
a girl

napowrimo2015Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge was to write an Erasure.This involves taking a pre-existing text and blacking out or erasing words, while leaving the placement of the remaining words intact.
I took the first page of the first novel that I wrote and used it to create the poem above. You can see what the original page and the edited page look like below (click to enlarge):

just a girl

My Mother’s Pearls

What goes up must come down,
If I am lost I can be found,
I must learn to swim or I will drown,
Success proceeds a sweaty brow,
No difference trumps a common ground,
There’s no place like my own home town,
My family are forever proud,
There’s silver lining every cloud,
Tomorrow’s hurt will be less than now,
Sweet tea can upturn any frown,
It’s good to stand out from the crowd,
It’s good to keep feet on the ground,
What goes around will come around,
They’ll treat me just as I allow,
Hate is whispered, love is loud,
Free milk means he won’t buy the cow,
Life is short and death is vowed,
When my number’s up, I can but bow.


napowrimo2015Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a poem about facts, about things we know. So I chose to write about the things I know thanks to my mother’s (and father’s) pearls of wisdom growing up.

Squirrel Bait

When he spies his prize beyond his touch,
He knows there is nothing he will ever want this much.


napowrimo2015Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a Landay. A poem of 22 syllables originating in Afghanstisan.

I saw this photo on Google a few days ago and felt that it needed captioning. As soon as I saw today’s prompt, I knew exactly what I was going to write!


What’s this that falls
before my eyes,
With blistered sores
and weary sighs?

A shell, a corpse
that’s mummified
in the bloodied gauze
of her demise,
She is my spirit,
Mauled, maligned,
Her salted tears
have scored and dried.

Malevolence poured
from callous minds,
Like tiny swords
that beat and bind
’til they’ve pilfered thoughts
and plundered rhymes.

My one true call
has cleared the line.


Please hang up
Please hang up
Please hang up
Don’t try again.


napowrimo2015No NaPoWriMo prompt today…. I was feeling far too sorry for myself. Maybe tomorrow………..


It’s Friday night and we are twirling,
The clock’s struck five, it’s time to leave,
Bring on the laughing and the slurring,
Bring on the sunshine and the breeze.

Happy hour’s faintly chirping,
“Oh won’t you have a drink or three?”
Check in on Facebook with the wording,
“Happy Friday, drinks on me!”

Three birthday girls and two are forty,
Three reasons there to raise a toast,
To take blurry selfies – #naughty –
and tweet the ones you like the most.

Let’s live it up, no work tomorrow,
Dance, imbibe and dance some more,
Sad times? Don’t cry, just drown those sorrows,
This right here’s what Friday’s for.

napowrimo2015Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a social media style poem so I scrolled through my time line taking bits from my friends’ statuses and turned it in to a fun Friday poem! Hope you enjoy it.

Poetry by Serena Malcolm Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved


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