Beneath the Front Yard Lemon Tree

Sally gave me the words BENEATH, CLOSE and WEEKEND. The non-human character featured in this poem was inspired by a willy wagtail, a frequent visitor here, and I kind of wished I’d taken a photograph of him so I could have included it with the poem. But if I wait till I get the photo, the poem will never get posted …


There’s a weekend bird
that chats to me
beneath the front yard lemon tree.
He hops on rocks and
pecks at leaves
and tells me all his joys and woes.

We watch the sky
and feel the breeze
beneath the front yard lemon tree.
And spelling lists
and mental maths
seem far away and long ago.

My weekend bird
hops close to me
beneath the front yard lemon tree.
Though he’s a bird
and I’m a boy,
we swap our stories; off he goes.

© Rebecca Newman, 2015


You would think that by giving me just one word to incorporate, Rebecca could have relied on a prompt turnaround by me, but  once again I have been tied up in much busyness, and it was seeing Rebecca on the weekend at a wonderful conference that reminded me about my tardiness.

So, here is my poem, with apologies for lateness.


I almost

wrote about poetry

but that would be too meta.

I almost

wrote about Rebecca

but she wrote about me last time.

I almost

wrote about not knowing

what to write about, but that’s been done.

So instead

I wrote about all three things.

I’m almost too clever!

(Sally Murphy, 2015).

For Sally (on her birthday)

Can I tell you a secret? Today is Sally’s birthday. So, herewith — a poem written for Sally’s birthday using the prompts she left for me: TAKE, FELINE and CLOUD. (Happy Birthday, Sally!)


As Winter slinks out with feline disdain,
Spring elbows past her.
In her wake:
blue skies
cumulus clouds
yellow blossoms.

She takes a step into September
and breathes into the day.

© Rebecca Newman, 2015

A Merry Magnet Poem

So, I have been a bit slack and it’s been over a month since Rebecca gave me the words YOU, TO, POISON, THAT and MERRY to put into a poem.  So, I thought to reward her patience (she hasn’t nagged me once!) I would do something different and see if I could do the whole poem using magnet words. I have lots and lots of magnets, and it’s been a while since I sat down to make a whole poem with them.

Anyway, I got out my magnets and got to work. The only problem was: I didn’t have all five of the words. I have hundreds and hundreds of magnets but not one of them has the word ‘merry’. I almost abandoned the quest but I’m hoping that Rebecca will forgive me if instead of merry I chose two other words very similar in meaning – joy and happy. And, for good measure, I popped merry into the title of this post.

So, here it is, my merry poem about poetry.

Merry Poem


The birth of an idea

Sally gave me the words birth and together.

I read an article once called something like: Writing tips from the Great Writers. One of the tips was ‘don’t write about trying to write’. Here’s a poem where I blithely ignore advice from the Greats. (Sorry, Greats.)



What should you do at the birth of an idea?

Swaddle it in muslin,
sit together in the dark
and rock;
whisper in its ear
with joy in your heart
and a spark in your eye;

then set it down
on its legs
and let it go.

© Rebecca Newman, 2015