Poets Run WILD Entries

Haiku and photo by James Warman

The storm is passing

The air is now fresh and clear 

It’s time to move on




(from a poem “Monumental Shrewsbury” written by Michael Carding in 2013)

Lord Hill, victorious yet solemn,

Stands atop his Doric column;

In battledress, with sword at hand,

None could look down on one so grand.

If he could speak to me and you

He’d tell us tales of Waterloo.




You’re right, dear poet, I’ve lots to tell

Of canon breach and horse that fell.

But first I’ll get down from this stand,

So many steps, lend me your hand.

Two hundred years, how time has flown,

These streets of wool I called my own;

Through Salop town let’s take a walk

Of stories old and new I’ll talk.


Ah! Here we are on terra firma,

Four lions sleep without a murmur;

I watched that ugly building rise

(It looks no better from the skies).

Down Abbey Foregate, past The Bell,

Which of my noble birth might tell:

Proud Hawkstone, dressed in oak and holly,

Now fairways complement the folly.


We pass the Abbey’s old south door

Where Henry prayed post-Agincourt,

Then on across the English Bridge,

Queen Mary eased the summit ridge.

The army was my sole vocation,

To fight the French and save our nation;

A captain aged just twenty one

At thirty wounded by a gun.


The Cop has hardly changed at all,

Romance and love at Lion Ball.

That statue, is it me up there?

No! vulgar Clive adorns the square.

His wealth, enough to make Hill’s puke

Yet never did he serve the Duke;

I rose to be his number two

And win the day at Waterloo.



Turn right with pride and, keeping cool,

We reach the castle and the school:

Thomas Telford was well met

His roads and bridges stable yet;

Little Charlie, from the Mount,

Would look and draw, observe and count;

The three of us our puzzles solved

As nineteenth century evolved.


History for me was earlier

With Bolingbroke and rash Hotspur;

We gathered yearly by the Cross

To praise the victor, mourn the loss.

I joined the army, wandering far

From Egypt to Peninsuar;

A soldier, destined from the start

To crush the mighty Bonaparte.


I died in eighteen forty-two

Since when I’ve had my Hill-top view.

The railway came in forty-eight

With station next to prison gate,

London Road stretched south for miles

Bringing lepers to St Giles,

Later Severn men would play

In grassy meadow, bold and gay.


Without a wife I knew Grope Lane,

A Viscount none the less became,

Yet died so soon, just four months grace,

And up the column took my place.

Dear poet, we must hurry back,

Thanks for your company, nothing lack;

I’ll stand and watch the to and fro

As two more centuries pass below.




                        Lord Hill, he climbed back up his column,

                        Spring in his step, no longer solemn.

In battle dress and sword at hand

We’d walked the streets, surveyed the land.

His stories I have shared with you

From Hawkstone through to Waterloo.



Michael Carding                                                                                             May 2020


Caught? Who knows how;

Off? Who knows who;

Remedy? Who knows what.

Our lives rocked, diaries wiped clean and sanitised,

Nothing stands in the way as the

Angel of Death stalks the land whispering “Be Afraid”.

Ventilator shortage, systems gasping for breath,

Isolate, wash hands and pray for deliverance.

Re-boot the model to delay and suppress;

Undertake to repent, rethink and recover.

Survival of the fittest.

Michael Carding: 16th March 2020 as the seriousness of the pandemic became clear


Joan Fleming

Adult Category


Uncertain Nature at Eastertide

The Severn runs wild in February

The Virus is running wild in the East.


By April, trees send blossom to our pavements

By Maundy Thursday birds sing their rightful chorus.


A drowning of human noise, replaced by thrushes whistling to

A choir of blackbirds, wrens, robins, sparrows and Tits.


The threat on Good Friday is one beautiful Jay in an apple tree

The Virus wild, silent; increases , threatening humanity itself.


Love is resurrected on Easter Day as families reach out to their own

Nature is resurrected in each primrose, catkin and forget-me-not.


The Severn runs gently in May joined only by its lazy brooks

Hope rises gently in our hearts, tamed only by uncertainty.   


Michael Hartland
Adult Category


"Wild The Call"


Amongst the hills of Stretton


With buzzards and kites


The fields that patch the plain

With lambs that skip

And golden grain


The rocks

Of Stiperstones

Older than time

And dead mens’ bones


The brooks

Where dippers play

Kingfishers dart

Wild the call

Of nature’s art

Wild the call

To our Shropshire hearts.

© 2020 Belle Vue Arts Festival