Anthony Watts – 2 poems

Advice to an Aspiring Poet


Face up to the sphynx  

of the unwritten page  

and stare it out.  


Capture the zeitgeist: then  

toss it in the bushes.  


Don’t be intimidated  

by the language police: 

their authority is spurious.  


Ignore signposts:  

follow your nose.  


Believe there’s a word 

for everything.  If you can’t find it 

make it up.   


Shun the academies: 

seek out your teachers in the library.


Remember – seven years in the service  

of the Queen of Elfland 

is worth a thousand creative writing courses.  


If you’re not a poet already  

try something else. 





They arrived on birthdays and at Christmas time –   

alternative realities, disguised   

in coloured wrappings.


Book – the cloistered warmth  

and promise of the word –  

like wood, a place of refuge and excitement 

to live in and be lost in, foursquare neat  

on the outside – but how vast  

and unruly the worlds within.


The novel was my nightly compensation 

for the hurt of living: stepping out of myself,  

I put on my alter egos like pyjamas.


Then there were the books with colour plates –   

shop windows displaying nature’s merchandise –  

identification keys that led  

through labyrinths of dense taxonomy  

towards the excitement of a species named.


Now techno-evangelists proclaim 

the coming of the Virtual Kingdom.  Books, 

they say, are obsolete.  It may be so.


Or maybe, in apocalyptic blackout, 

when all the death-struck devices lie abandoned, 

the book will once more patiently reveal 

its secrets to a dancing candle. 



Anthony Watts

By Heavenly Flower Publishing

Bindweed Magazine publishes two anthologies each year: Midsummer Madness and Winter Wonderland. Bindweed is run as a not for profit, labour of love endeavour by an author/poet couple: Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert. Bindweed can be found at

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