The Hermit Crab's Shell

Image credited to H Zell


The biggest shell of course, of course

How proud I will be

I'll show that horse!


I'll carry my fortress upon my back

and I'll be protected from being a seagulls snack.


The other crabs will be green with envy

It will even impress the sea anemone.


It will be to me like a peacocks tail

My magnificent mansion will make my legacy prevail.


Copyright Mark Leech 2016



Mark Leech is a very talented writer, who I have had the pleasure of meeting through a writer's group in my hometown. I've heard him write pieces with a dark edge, and then he wrote this during a session today. I like the humour that he brought to it, and am hopeful that he might want to have more poems on the site in the future. 

This is a poem written by Deanne, a very talented poet who has a blog called Deanne's world

How to Write a Poem

Photo taken from Robert's blog

Learn to curse in three languages. When midday
yawns stack high and your eyelids flutter, fire up

the chain saw; there’s always something to dismember.
Make it new. Fear no bridges. Accelerate through

curves, and look twice before leaping over fires,
much less into them. Read bones, read leaves, read

the dust on shelves and commit to memory a thousand
discarded lines. Next, torch them. Take more than you

need, buy books, scratch notes in the dirt and watch
them scatter down nameless alleys at the evening’s first

gusts. Gather words and courtesies. Guard them carefully.
Play with others, observe birds, insects and neighbors,

but covet your minutes alone and handle with bare hands
only those snakes you know. Mourn the kindling you create

and toast each new moon as if it might be the last one
to tug your personal tides. When driving, sing with the radio.

Always. Turn around instead of right. Deny ambition.
Remember the freckles on your first love’s left breast.

There are no one-way streets. Appreciate the fragrance
of fresh dog shit while scraping it from the boot’s sole.

Steal, don’t borrow. Murder your darlings and don’t get
caught. Know nothing, but know it well. Speak softly

and thank the grocery store clerk for wishing you
a nice day even if she didn’t mean it. Then mow the grass,

grill vegetables, eat, laugh, wash dishes, talk, bathe,
kiss loved ones, sleep, dream, wake. Do it all again.

Written by Robert Okaji

Robert writes a lot of very good poems, with a sense of humour running through them. He has a blog called O at the edges and the web address is

John Clare

by William Hilton, oil on canvas, 1820


13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864

I adore John Clare's work, after picking one of his poems to read in a poetry group, his phrasing and the imagery that he used caught hold of me most powerfully, and refused to relinquish their grip. 

There's something haunting, and beautiful which runs through all of his poetry. It wasn't until later that I discovered just how much he suffered with mental illnesses, entering several different asylums during the course of his life. It makes me admire him more, that he was able to produce poetry like this, despite such serious issues.


How sweet to be thus nestling deep in boughs,
Upon an ashen stoven pillowing me;
Faintly are heard the ploughmen at their ploughs,
But not an eye can find its way to see.
The sunbeams scarce molest me with a smile,
So thick the leafy armies gather round;
And where they do, the breeze blows cool the while,
Their leafy shadows dancing on the ground.
Full many a flower, too, wishing to be seen,
Perks up its head the hiding grass between.-
In mid-wood silence, thus, how sweet to be;
Where all the noises, that on peace intrude,
Come from the chittering cricket, bird, and bee,
Whose songs have charms to sweeten solitude.


'Tis evening; the black snail has got on his track,
And gone to its nest is the wren,
And the packman snail, too, with his home on his back,
Clings to the bowed bents like a wen.

The shepherd has made a rude mark with his foot
Where his shadow reached when he first came,
And it just touched the tree where his secret love cut
Two letters that stand for love's name.

The evening comes in with the wishes of love,
And the shepherd he looks on the flowers,
And thinks who would praise the soft song of the dove,
And meet joy in these dew-falling hours.

For Nature is love, and finds haunts for true love,
Where nothing can hear or intrude;
It hides from the eagle and joins with the dove,
In beautiful green solitude.

First Love

I ne’er was struck before that hour
   With love so sudden and so sweet,
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
   And stole my heart away complete.
My face turned pale as deadly pale,
   My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked, what could I ail?
   My life and all seemed turned to clay.
And then my blood rushed to my face
   And took my eyesight quite away,
The trees and bushes round the place
   Seemed midnight at noonday.
I could not see a single thing,
   Words from my eyes did start—
They spoke as chords do from the string,
   And blood burnt round my heart.
Are flowers the winter’s choice?
   Is love’s bed always snow?
She seemed to hear my silent voice,
   Not love's appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face
   As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling-place
   And can return no more.

Birth: A light hearted limerick

Photo credit: Pinterest


If not for birth, where would we be?

Still stuck inside the mama’s tummy,

First we were sunshine in the sky,

Then a little twinkle in daddy’s eye,

Now a wondrous gift for all to see!

~ Diane D.                                                

This poem is written by Diane D. I really like it, and am envious because I'm not good at rhyming poetry or comedic poetry either.

She has a blog at