Skip to main content


The Poet's Paint Palette

Canadian Poet and educator, Carl Leggo wrote, 'writers write their worlds in words. With the resources of the alphabet we explore and express who we are in the world. The alphabet provides the building blocks for constructing knowledge of our identity.' Carl Leggo shared this idea for growing a deeper appreciation of poetry:

Carl Leggo reminds us that these 26 amazing letters hold infinite possibilities, infinite combinations. How magical is that? Sound, shape and power combine to create shades of meaning we can share with an audience of fellow readers and writers, the world over.  

*Write down the 26 letters of the alphabet
*Circle your five favourite letters
*Write five words that begin with your five favourite letters
*Use these words to reveal some poetry

There exists in these 5 listed words much in the way of music. Opportunities abound for alliteration and zany connections. There is an energy in the words as well. We can begin to look at the alphabet with renewed respect.The a…
Recent posts

What's In A Name POEM

The idea for this poem comes from Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge's book, Poemcrazy. The aim of this poetry making challenge is to explore your lesser known names using poetry to discover what these names might be. Using a structure provided by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, a poem will hopefully emerge and you can discover some of your lesser known names:

My real name is
Yesterday my name was
Tomorrow my name will be
In my dreams my name is
Secretly I know my name is
My friend thinks my name is
The name I whisper is

Your names can be as silly or serious as you wish them to be. Trot out your names and see what emerges. Feel free to improvise on the structure as well. it's perfectly okay to break the rules here. Your names and moods might change with the seasons, or across the days and years.
Think about those names your friends and family call you. Inspiration might be found there.

When I thought about my many names, this is what happened for me:

What's In A Name?

My name was once Red Dog

What Happens to POETRY?

During that intriguing journey from kindergarten through to high school we lose so many of those fans of poetry, and the answer is simple. It happens because we move away from writing, reading and performing poetry and focus way too much on dissecting and analyzing it. We chop it up into pieces. It becomes reading by autopsy! No longer can hear the rhythm and rhyme. No longer do we rejoice in the wordplay.  We lose the pleasure that comes with performance. The quest is focused upon hidden meaning and obscure symbolism. We become obsessed in second guessing the poet's motives.

Poetry in such an environment becomes dull and tarnished. The fans begin to wander away…

We have lost sight of the fact that we learn to write by reading, listening thinking and writing –and by writing we arrive at understanding.'

I learnt from American poet, Ted Kooser - 'You have to read at least one hundred poems before you write one.' I interpreted this as meaning I had to immerse myself in poetr…

The Old Jalopy POEM

Ideas exist in things, so the saying goes. This poem owes it's beginnings to a recent sighting of vintage cars driving in a parade through my town. As I stood watching these well preserved senior citizens of the road, my thoughts returned to our first family car all those years ago. We had an Austin A 40 and it was a rather cantankerous machine. It could be relied upon to shake and rattle when asked to travel at any speed above 'slow.' It required constant care and attention and sometimes without warning it would begin a convulsive lurch when out on the highway. 

 So, before I even finished watching the car parade, ideas began forming in my head. The word 'jalopy' floated forward and I found myself immediately in the poem zone. Sometimes a single word is all you need to get ideas flowing. Let me share what I built...

The Old Jalopy
Dad looks stressed Mum looks stroppy We're going for a drive In our old jalopy Kids pile in Dogs in tow Shut the doors And we're set to g…

Summer Comes Rushing Poem: Poetry Friday

Had a conversation with a child once who informed me there were four seasons.
Please tell their names I asked. 'Okay' she said. 'Summer, Awesome, Winter, Spring.'

She was closer to the truth than she realised, for  the seasons are quite awesome, each in their own way, having fascinated poets, forever.

It is Summer in Australia right now and this poem is my ode to the warm season. Although, there is a touch of irony about me writing this with the sound of steady rain outside my study window this morning as I write...

Summer Comes Rushing

Summer comes rushing towards me
Wearing sneakers and sunglasses,
While smelling of sunscreen and salt water.
It dances on the shoreline
barefoot, joyful
While licking an ice-cream
And humming, The Boys of Summer.
It carries under its arm
Sunsets the colour of ripened
Cicadas sing as it glides by
And the saphirine sea

Shimmer time
Summer shine

Alan j Wright

Some of my summer scenes

Poetry Friday- The Manifesto of Alvin j Riot

I invited my alter-ego, Alvin j Riot to share his view of the world and what he most valued, as we embark upon a brand new year. It's amazing how similar his view of worldly matters is to mine...

The Manifesto of Alvin j Riot

Be prepared to explore the outer limits of your own potential
Discard your socks if your toe pokes through
Always wear comfortable underwear
Go fishing just to be alone with your thoughts
-If you catch a fish consider it an added bonus
Chip away at your ignorance -read
If the sign says fast food think about it slowly
Never meditate in the middle of the road
Embrace simple pleasures
Take time to listen to music every day
Stop feeling guilty if your favourite ice cream flavor is vanilla
Hold hands
Wherever you are- be there!
Try to find a job that brings you satisfaction
Make certain the person you marry is your best friend
Avoid conservatives. They are the beige people.
Don’t throw bricks straight up
Sleep in a comfortable bed
Appreciate your pillow
Sand between your toes is okay.…

Words That Come At Night Poem

Words are a poet's oxygen. They present as an essential presence in a poet's existence. Because poets are logophiles(lovers of words), it is therefore unsurprising that we are ever ready to receive them when they come calling. They are the most welcomevisitors. Words with smooth and gentle tones float by, some are mysterious and puzzling,  others drop in, or crash land, jagged, pithy, confronting -all are received with suitable respect. I frequently find myself reflecting in my writing upon the constant joy derived from this sweet connection with written and spoken language. I hope this poem provides some small insight as to my personal relationship with wondrous words...

What do words mean to you?
The Words That Come At Night

Sometimes The words of unwritten poems Slide into bed next to me They nestle on my pillow And whisper in my ear Write me down Write me down -Remember me In tomorrow’s early light
Soft echoes at the edge of sleep Implore me to Commit to memory Sweet refrains and edgy fr…

Poems of the Season

Poems of the season shared with fun and good cheer in mind!

For those who celebrate Christmas and for those who don't, I wish you all safe and happy times with your respective loved ones. 

I wrote this little collection of Christmas inspired verse wearing reindeer antlers just to get into the spirit of things. HO, HO, HO!

Stocking Time

I awoke on Christmas morning
And clambered down the stairs
I saw the Christmas stockings
Bulging with presents to spare
I noticed my sister's stocking
Looked slightly larger than mine
I considered swapping them over
But I didn't cross over that line.

Angel on The Tree

I saw her smiling down at me
The angel on our Christmas Tree
She sits aloft with festive lights
I'm glad it's her, I'm scared of heights

The Christmas Catastrophe

Our cat went mad the other night
And attacked our Christmas tree
All the bells and baubles
Were shattered in the spree
And now she sits in contemplation
Amid the scattered decoration
It is a woeful sight to see
A bit of a cat-astr…

Poetry Friday: Meeting Frank in A Cafe

This poem was prompted by a photograph I unearthed recently. The visit to one of Frank Sinatra's favoured haunts from his Hoboken, New Jersey days, is deeply etched in my memory. I recall two visits during the six amazing years based in New York. For me, as for the late Jim Croce, photographs and memories are forever linked. They are often the essential pairing for new words. I look. I think for quite some time and then I wait for my pen to lead me like a flashlight towards new discoveries. Such is the magic of poetry...

Meeting Frank In A Cafe

Seated in a Brooklyn cafe At a table cloaked in checks of red and white squares. Where tall, silent waiters wearing ties stood by waiting to catch our orders. And pictures of Frank Sinatra splashed black and white memories across the walls. Each frame, trapped a moment. Each image, a slice of a larger life.
We ordered pizzas. 
-Mozzarella and a sprinkle of basil, As Frank hung about watching everyone eat, talk -and drink Chianti. All the while memories…

Chocolate Cake- A Poem Re-Imagined

It is always gives me great delight to share new poetry books. A few days ago I added another one to my ever expanding collection. 

This one has particular significance as it concerns my all time favourite Michael Rosen poem, 'Chocolate Cake.' The poem is presented in Rosen's preferred narrative verse style.

I have lost count of the times I have shared this poem with young poets. I never tire of reading it. When asked about my favourite poem, I never hesitate to respond to eager, young poets, 'That's easy -Chocolate Cake.'

The poem first appeared in Michael Rosen's anthology, 'Quick Let's Get Out Of Here.' published in 1983.

This famous poem has now been re-imagined as a picture book. The poem is full of mischief, forbidden fun and lots of chocolate filled moments. Kids love it; making requests for multiple readings. What better recommendation can a poem receive?

Some modifications have been made to the original poem -additional words and sounds, but…