13 Mar 2017

Song of the Nightjar

secretly whispers on evening wings
softly lamenting fading light
brushing against a mouth that sings

settles lightly where a cobweb clings
fluttering though the breeze be slight
secretly whispers on evening wings

beware dark melodies that bring
tormented creatures of the night
brushing against a mouth that sings

hovers gently over fairy rings
calling quietly for his own delight
secretly whispers on evening wings

swoops where faintest shadows fling
from startled creatures taking flight
brushing against a mouth that sings

such sweetness from a note that rings
before the first night star shines bright
secretly whispers on evening wings
brushing against a mouth that sings

Kernow - land of tales untold

Land's end indeed, as pounding seas
and craggy cliffs remind us still
that this the seat where Arthur ruled
and Celts survived with stoic will.

Scraped lives from harsh and windy moors,
and fought to fill their nets with fish,
searched for copper, tin and clay,
to survive with pride their only wish.

Bounded by water on three sides, 
villages and coast are sights to see.
Her people, surviving nature's whim,
heirs to proud, rebellious history.

Beware the stair

descending her eyesight deceived her
she tumbled downstairs and it peeved her
having got such a clout
that she knocked herself out
a medical service retrieved her

the ambulance men did some things here -
their injury gear almost sings here 
but she cried - 'don't go quick
cos i'm feeling quite sick,
you sure that this motor has springs here? '

the Casualty staff got her sorted
from the dire disaster she'd courted 
after all sorts of bods
did enumerable prods
all lesions were clearly reported

then came stitches and plaster and more
and admission to Surgical floor
she praised all staff involved
for the problems they'd solved
and advice she'd no longer ignore


23 Feb 2017

Where angels tread

let misty evening be my shroud
soft tendrils drifting cool and dim
where only angels are allowed

where mourning trees stand ever proud
a nightjar's song the only hymn
let misty evening be my shroud

unearthly treasures are endowed
to those who tread this pathway grim
where only angels are allowed

go softly where the bluebells crowd
lit azure by day's dying rim
let misty evening be my shroud

falter not though head is bowed
to find this place as senses dim
where only angels are allowed

yet hearts are singing strong and loud
such is the world of cherabim
let misty evening be my shroud
where only angels are allowed

22 Feb 2017

beneath our feet

energy boiling underground
those seismic forces ebb and flow
sometimes erupt with might and sound
energy boiling underground
such cataclysmic shifts abound
tectonic plates play touch and go
energy boiling underground
those seismic forces ebb and flow

21 Feb 2017

color me unique

color me phosphorescent
and I would glow in the dark
gathering my light
from external sources

color me fluorescent
and I would be a bit more 
out of the ordinary 
and you would see me

storing and reflecting light
I would glow day and night
better even than metallics
and all just for you 

color me phosphorescent
color me fluorescent
oh, pretty please, see me
- why don't you?

20 Feb 2017

Shadow Dance

why did she choose Calliope
as her artistic muse
brain damage not the kindest friend
when searching words to choose

the swirling vortex of her mind
keeps her battling every day
to communicate with other folk
but words slip slide away

it is the same with poetry
as she jumps into the breach
she sees words glinting in the dark
somehow just out of reach

she sits there waiting several hours
ever hopeful that she'll tease
from those tangled skeins of thought
that very word to please

vocabulary was her thing
but with sadness she now finds
that the eloquence she used to own
belongs to other minds

So her poetry is simple
and she envies those whose rhyme
embraces all that artistry
that she can merely mime

 © Lesly Frances Finn 2017


Revised version of my poem 'It's in there somewhere'. 
The painting is 'Shadow Dance' © Lesly Frances Finn 2009


she thought maybe her bed needed balance
so she tried out a new lacey valance
then wore nothing at all
when her beau came to call
so he'd not miss the rest of her talents

Night Jar

secretly whisper on evening wings
tormented creatures of the night
brush against a mouth that sings
softly lamenting fading light

16 Feb 2017

Do Not Disturb

She's always been the strong one
That's what she's shown
That's how she's known
But inside it's not really true
Nor has it been her whole life through
While tending others she's been left
And now she finds herself bereft
She feels the need to lay her head
Remain forever safe in bed

13 Feb 2017

what my daddy done told me

skinny women look cold
my pa always said 
for warming the bed
man needs buxom instead
somehow that has always 
cheered me up 

Her Worst Nightmare

it bellows forth and tugs her hair
she falters on the muddy track
its fury howling through the air
sheer terror stops her turning back

she falters on the muddy track 
the black wind hides which way to go
sheer terror stops her turning back
she hears waves crashing far below

the black wind hides which way to go
no moon, no light of any kind
she hears waves crashing far below
and now must walk as if she's blind

no moon no light of any kind
she weeps to be in such a place
and now must walk as if she's blind
rain lashing harsh across her face

she weeps to be in such a place
no friendly sound or call or bark
rain lashing harsh across her face
hands clawing in the whirling dark

no friendly sound or call or bark
its fury howling through the air
hands clawing in the whirling dark
it bellows forth and tugs her hair

8 Feb 2017

brief barn-yard bulletin

baa-lambs bake in balmy breeze
babbling 'bout the birds and bees
Blanche is bossy and she's big
Blackhead's bold (but wears a wig)
Brownie, bleating bold debate,
believes that beef's best brown bear bait

7 Feb 2017

Youth is but a short dance

quite entrancing 
she is dancing
as yet no false steps
no stutters or mutters 
to spoil her rapture

youth is the key
maybe all she can see
is that time is for herself
as she beckons the seconds
grasping all she can capture

so young and free
what joyous liberty
it shows in her dancing
so naive, so entrancing
best let her be

A is for Acrimony

24 Jan 2017

No Happy Endings

Those awful words that he was leaving her
filling her with overpowering fear.
Was she dreaming or did she really hear
those awful words that he was leaving her,
the reason he might say them was not clear.
Yet lately it had seemed they were so near,
those awful words that he was leaving her,
filling her with overpowering fear

23 Jan 2017

Ode to the RBC

From the heart the red corpuscle
carries oxygen to muscle
goes all around in just one minute
and then returns with none left in it,
recharging in the lungs before
the heart can whoosh it out once more.

Oh tell me Red, how does it seem
to be a prisoner to haem
and tote round all that iron and stuff
to make sure our organs get enough?
You do so much for little praise
and only live ten dozen days

Those other cells? - we won't go near 'em,
they're busy working in the serum,
whizzing at a rate of knots
some fight infection, some make clots,
but it hurts your pride to hear them say
"red blood cells don't have DNA"?

Oh, worry not, dear little cell,
we know your story very well
and oxygen's our main life stay,
without you we'd just fade away.
So carry on and do your bit -
and keep up your haematocrit...

Guardian Angel

hidden from all others' sight
his quiet strength
becomes her salvation

save for his love
encircling her heart
and softly wrapping her 
in peaceful joy

she would be all alone


when a prize purse of rubies
seems a poor exchange
for that loving heart

where sweet devotion
counts as more valuable
than seams of gold

and glittering prizes
lie in caring smiles
and a warm caress

what other success story
could hold more worth
- there contentment lies

22 Jan 2017

Meet Black

Black can mean so many things
it can be misunderstood,
like when its said in plural
it's both racist and it's rude.
Yet put the small word 'all' in front
and the plural form seems fine 
- who wouldn't want the All Blacks
to play in their front line?

We can think of Guinness drinkers
as they sup on their black grog,
or talk of deep depressives
for those suffering from "black dog."
Black beans will help your colon,
Black-eyed Susans flower in June.
If there are two 'new' in a single month
that will give us a black moon.

Break a strike and you're a blackleg
Blackball someone and they're out
All in all black is quite gloomy
But black coffee may stop gout.
Too much booze may cause a black-out
and black humour makes us laugh,
yet for bad luck to pursue you
let a black cat cross your path.

20 Jan 2017

Basket Case

with his unfurled umbrella
this strange little fella
perches in the park
just before dark
occasionally sings 
fluttering his wings
he was first seen 
late in 1915 

BASKET CASE - While it tends to be used fairly light-heartedly today (usually describing someone who constantly makes stupid mistakes, or seems a bit mad), the original basket case is an unexpectedly gruesome reminder of just how bloody the First World War became. In its original context, a basket case was a soldier who had been so badly injured that he had to be carried from the battlefield in a barrow or basket, usually with the implication that he had lost all four of his limbs.

My Voice

what should be my voice
when writing poetry
- therein lies confusion

avoiding metaphor
and extravagant words
- appears too simple for some

while attending rhyme,
rhythm and meter
- others find unacceptable

following my own path
learning and growing all the while
- must be the way forward

because even though I could
copy their ways of writing
- and reproduce their style

I don't really want that
because their words aren't mine
- my voice is my own

18 Jan 2017


her thin cries too delicate to tend
unheard by those she wants to hear
the words distorted by life's wind

a yearning that's never going to end
her heart song reaches no-one's ear
her thin cries too delicate to tend

how long for broken hearts to mend
the answer is one she cannot hear
the words distorted by life's wind

that story she can never now amend
is the burden that only she will bear
her thin cries too delicate to tend

she calls out and cannot comprehend
why she's too weary to even shed a tear
the words distorted by life's wind

in darkness she's desperate for a friend
distanced from all whom she held dear
her thin cries too delicate to tend
the words distorted by life's wind

[This villanelle is based on two lines taken from a previous short poem of mine]

© Lesly Frances Finn

16 Jan 2017

Of Aether

only gods may breathe 

that bright air beyond the stars

mortals are denied

A Word To The (Not So) Wise

Long poems are often a bore

Just remember the rule 'less is more'

It's a point of conjecture

But I don't want a lecture

Please allow other poets the floor

Cat Rescue

'Please let me out', says little kitty
with tabby fur and face so pretty
'I'm waiting for that special one
to fall in love and take me home.
Perhaps you will?'

'Oh kitty dear, I wish I could
if I were able to I would,
but there is a lonely man I know
who'd love to have a cat and so
- Maybe he will.'

13 Jan 2017


Farewell troubadour

please travel safely onwards

but don't forget your pen!


Nothing stays the same

Our dreams may well not come true

But keep hope alive

Last Orders, Please

Time's up for those already dead
It waits for no man
Digging our graves as we speak

Staying Alive

who are we to write such things

about heartbreak, about ending it all
bemoaning our lot, wailing our pain
oh woe is me, we cry
what luxury 
what self-indulgence
while others have no choice in the matter
but to endure the unendurable
so hush now
see what tomorrow brings
while staying alive

Two Short Poems!

no more driving in reverse
won't look back through any door 
old ties or other circumstance
no use to me no more


Think it must'a
lost some lustre
getting this far....

Think I blew it
before I knew it
- so there we are!

Word Thief

it floats before her eyes

just out of reach
she's lost the ultimate prize
the gift of speech

she'd push 'gainst any door
if she could hear
the words she's looking for
now blocked by fear

no matter how she tries
no way she'll find
a word that clarifies
what's in her mind

of thoughts which filled her heart
no longer aware
unable to play her part
unable to share

Road Kill








All round

Every week, sometimes every day, car loads of teenagers come to grief driving too fast on our roads while tanked up with drugs or booze.

11 Jan 2017

Reality Check (extended version of my poem 'A New Reality')

Where is she,
the me I used to be?
Fading, shredding, wafting free
in ragged pieces, desperately
spinning, shrinking, hard to see.
Pretending, as things become less clear,
that nothing's wrong, I am still here.

Inside I sigh
and tell physicians passing by 
I'm not the same, although I try,
I'm crawling where I used to fly.
Harsh truth is better than a lie -
few treatment options for a brain,
Just wish I could be me again.

iamb stew!

She thought that it would cramp her style
to write in such a way
- to think in quatrains all the while
would surely spoil her day?

'Free-flowing stuff', she's heard to sigh,
'would be a waste of time',
to meet the brief she'd have to try
to get her ode to rhyme.

She finds that it is not much fun
to wrack her puny brain
when counting iambs one by one
to make up each quatrain.

She's got more guts than she's aware,
nothing's gonna beat her,
she knows that judgment will be fair
- just a case of meter.....

Contest  -  All Poetry.
This style of poetry comes out in rhyming quatrains of 4,3,4,3 iambs. That's 8 syllables, then 6, followed by 8, then 6 again .... with the stresses on the even syllables.


Shiny, new, no scratches or baggage, 
one careful owner, 
plenty of room for two, 
if you care to travel with me - 
miles of love and devotion ahead. 
Please say yes!

Of Aether (short poem)

only gods may breathe 
that bright air beyond the stars
mortals are denied

8 Jan 2017


her thin cries were too delicate to tend
her words distorted by life's wind
lost to those supposed to hear
her heart song reaching no-one's ear

The above is a poem written for a competition on All Poetry.  It did not win but received some nice comments. For the contest one had to begin a poem using one of six sentences proposed by the judge.

30 Dec 2016

More 10 Word Poems

no apology
can't be sad
inside i'm glad
it made you mad

tarnished hopes 
just thinking they must'a
lost some lustre
while getting here

the right amount
my arms will enfold
all the love
they can hold

just kids' talk
fell outta that tree
hurt my knee
'ya wanna see?

come what may
don't give a damn
what they say

is it poetry?
strung together
seemingly at random
no rhyme nor reason

wordsmith's bible
expending time and thought
could come to nought
- invest wisely

10 Words of Madness
Trump and Putin say they are
supporting all things nuclear

What others may think
must wait
to grow up