Midwinter Anthology, 2014

So, for a long time now, I’ve been working on getting a small digital publishing house going. Not just as a show-case for the writing work that I do, but as a place where I can help other authors and poets get their feet out there.

This is a long process. It requires building a name for yourself, and letting people submit work. It takes mostly work from myself in laying out the books, and passing the strange digital hoops that distributors ask for. Hopefully, with each edition, I get better at it, and the process gets quicker.

For those that want to have a read of it, check out the current Midwinter Anthology on Google Play.

It’s free.

Midwinter Anthology, 2014

The Wild Sea – For Dad

The Wild Sea For Dad.

Gone beyond the wild sea,
Where foam washes the shore,
Storm-grey waters reflect your eyes.

You stand on distant inaccessible land,
the end of all journey,
Look out to the stormy horizon,
And I will look back.

Beyond the storms, Beyond the calms,
Where fair breeze blows,
Ruddying your weathered face,
Wrinkles your now-eternal smile.

Stand awatch on that shore,
Watch the horizon, and watch for me.
Once my storm is over,
Together, we shall watch the sea.

~Phil Bettinson, 20/01/2014 For Dad.

The Summer-Frozen Rose

For those following the poetry on this blog, they will know that I’m trying to do more editing to my poetry. So, I thought I’d show a full working on a poem I’m currently working on. This is unfinished, and I’m not sure I’m happy with the result, but here they are.

Generation Right

Generation Right.19-June-2014 (ver 1.1)

They said on the radio, yesterday, that Generation Y,
Is generation right.
A generation so convinced of it’s own, individual superiority that they would rip up the welfare state,
That they would deny health-care and life to the addict,
To those not as fortunate as them,
because they deserve it.

Love Bade Me Stay

Love Bade Me Stay.

Love bade me welcome, but my soul drew back,
I weary, tired, unwelcome, unwanted, sat unengaged.
Love bade me welcome, and the sun shone bright in my eyes,
And I, weary, tired, mumbled through liturgical haze.

Love Bade me welcome, but uninterested was I,
worn down by constant onslaught of fractured community,
Love Bade me welcome, and though I stood and sang,
My soul, and thoughts, were far away, a distant land.

The Walking Stick (V1)

The Walking Stick,

Abandoned, resting gently against white-washed stone,
perhaps forgotten in over-busy haste to leave the sacred space,
the walking stick, it’s warn wood moulded to a hand by constant use,
Once an aid in it’s owners lonely pilgrimage,
to a shrine of healing to ease their aches, their pains,
their heartaches,
Has it been left in grateful gift, unneeded,
A humble offering for unhumble miracle.

Outside it’s grey-brick shelter, the calls of bird and insect,
Filling holy silence with endless music,
The ancient trees still in the spring sun, the life chorus swirling in fun and desire,
Does the stick long for former days?
Hand-clasped upon it, stiff weight held by it’s noble strength,
When it too walked in the holy spaces, use not ornament.

My First Grandchild, by Edwina Slack

I had forgotten just how sweet it is,
To hold a tiny baby in my arms,
To feel the silken head resteing against my cheek,
The fragile fet pressing against my side,
Child of my own dear child, my thankful heart
Echoes the murmmuring lullaby I sing.
I see the blue eyes close, the lashes lie,
Like strands of gold upon the petal face.
I hear the gentle breath of sleep, and feel
It’s feather softness cool upon my skin.

Modern Poetry Idea

Recently I attended a beat-poetry evening, called Voicebox run by Un-deg-Un. There I had the pleasure of meeting the youth poet for Wales. I was not brave enough to share any of my work, beliving them to be unpolished, and unfinished.

They were definately too short.

However, it has occured to me that I write these.. rather odd short stories. Where I use words, and illeteration in order to make them stand out. Perhaps, then what I need is to check the lines, and to see what changes will be needed to make them fit a beat. Perhaps a simple, hidden beat, but a rythem of poetry.

Perhaps there is even a rythem hidden in them allready.

The idea struck me while I was writing the short story “Hell”, which was in turn fired off by a random post on facebook.

The story itself is too short, really, to be a short story. Less than 1000 words. This, however, does not necesssarily make it too long for a beat poem, or even an element of modern poetry. What that means, then, is me breaking that age-old rule that I have had of not going back to the things that I have written to make drastic changes (other than editing for sense, and for spelling).

I shall muse over this if I ever have time, and seek other advice. Perhaps I will even post the progress of “Hell” as a poem here for people to see the process.

We live in interesting times.



They sell hell is something you carry around with you. That it is not a place. There are many people who think that they have been to hell, or are in hell. This is, perhaps, true. Though it is only, really, a pale version of hell. An idea that is part of the genius of the Devil. Part of the way in which his mind works is to convince people that he does not exist; that his role in the world is something other. The beneficent opposer, the one who has been sent by God to tempt the world, or the one who, for the want of one mistake, lost everything that he had been given. The true origins of the devil are not as simple as that. He is everything that people think he is. He has lived many lives, and has betrayed each and everyone of them (more…)

NaPoWriMo : National Poetry Writing Month

As it is the first day of national poetry writing month, I am going to try to keep this blog updated with some of my offerings. I am mostly going through Steven Fry’s an ode less travelled, trying to expand both my appreciation of poetry and my skill. The man is a very good writer and makes some good points about poetry. His first section of on the most widely used form of poetry in history, or so he claims, iambic pentameter.

So here is my first attempt at writing one

Sky Chorus

The birds do scratch upon the snow-bond earth,
In search of food to sustain their tiny life,
So deep and quick did the snow fall and set,
That all life was frozen cold and still,
Bound in chains of purest white ice, and held,
Captives of the snow-queens chilling vengeance.
Held until the bright sun of giving spring,
Did shine upon the dark and freezing earth,
Bringing life to those that live upon her face,
Such sweet light that the sun does bring that birds sing
Their praises of their bright heavenly sun.

BX, 1 of April, 2013

Blank Page

Blank Page.

There is a blank page,
Where there should be verse,
Empty space where there should be emotion,
The words refusing to obey the crafter.

There is a blank page,
Stared at, begging to be filled,
While hearts break, while emotions tumble,
Yet nothing fits the meter.

This Too Shall Pass

This too shall pass

They say that this too shall pass,
The pain and the grief,
The long sleepless nights.

They say that this too shall pass,
That the birds will sing again,
That there will be sunshine,

Cobwebs and Peace

Cobwebs and Peace

Aged hands, gently weave, sat on hard-backed chair,
practised hands create cobwebbed beauty.
Scarfed tied firmly against the gentle cold,
Her bright-life filled eyes smile through olive-skinned face,
The lace her fingers create weave through her life,
A memory of peace-filled longing for a simpler time,
To simply be.

Carved wooden bobbins hold the fine cobweb in place,
The anchors of a life, thin and beautiful,
Searching for a pattern in maddened day to day,
That the fingers gently knit,
The divine beauty only truly visible,
When you are left to simply be.



I thought she was gone,
Out of my memories for ever,
And then I saw her reflection in the glass.
No, not her reflection, but someone very much like her,

And then it all came back,
The pain, the joy, the laughter,
The way that she used to smile, to stand,
No, this was not what I expected. We were over, she and I.

My Crime was Simply To be – A poem

My Crime was Simply To be

We walked the earth with everyone else.
We spoke to them, We comforted them.
We told them of God’s Grace; of God’s Love.
We tried to show them the truth of what they already knew.

They were afraid. Afraid of change. Afraid of being lost.
And in that fear they became more lost.
They wandered in the desserts of their minds,
Far away from our Love.