This Falling Rain

I’m delighted to post this rondeau redouble from Vincent Johnson today. The poem made it to the second round (top 12%) of the prestigious Bridport Prize last year.

This Falling Rain

Could I love you like I love so much this falling rain,

or like the gentle earth, or sun now clothed in cloud,

and could I love you like this summer wind, again

unveiling Phoebus’ splendours hid beneath his shroud?


My furnace, stoked with passion, sings your name out loud

and burnishes a gilded banner that acclaims

your radiant beauty coursing through my blood.

Could I love you like I love so much this falling rain?


It seems I could … but first I must be sure we could sustain

this love, and understand what lies beneath this flood

of all you seem to be, to feed our roots ingrained,

and fed by gentle earth, and sun now clothed in cloud,


to grow into some great tree, standing high and proud

enduring for centuries, whose branches maintain

shade for all who need protection between our boughs,

where they could love us like the summer wind, again


seeking shelter from life’s storms in this, love’s domain,

while tempest gales are raging though our steadfast crown;

and as the clouds are swept away, the dying winds again

unveil your many splendours hid beneath your shroud.


Is who I see the real you revealed? … a shining crowd

of qualities that makes me swoon? I take my pen

and write this dedication, so now avowed,

our loves my twine together, and you then might claim

that you will love me just as I love falling rain.


I’m conscious that it’s been a while since I posted any news about my own writing – time to rectify that! I am currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University, focusing on my science fiction project, which is taking up most of my time and energy at present. I’m enjoying it a lot, but there isn’t anything significant to report at present – all the assessment is on a single project at the end of the course. You can read a taster of my project here, though:

However, I am still writing poetry and sending it off, and there are a few bits of news to report. Firstly, I thought I’d post this poem, which recently won a small competition on the Poetry Nook site:


The station was too far to walk.  Too late!
I curse the cold and ask why Waterloo
in March is such a hostile place.
The rain is stronger now; it traps
the neon glare and brings these dirty
streets an unaccustomed sheen.  I huddle
in my coat and think of home: hot food
and soft sheets cosseting my skin.

Two sentries guard the road ahead;
two old men, hunched and withered,
hurling riddles at imagined foes.
Words tumble formless from their broken
mouths; I hear them smash like raindrops
on the path and wonder who threw out
the shells of these rain-blasted minds
and called them sane.

Finding no coin, I brave the crossfire
of their bleak, reproachful stares.
The rain rebukes me, angry wind
assails and savages my limbs.
They watch me pass, eyes vacant, lifeless
and through I hundred wounds I bleed
my shame
– that I have somewhere warm to sleep tonight.

In other news, I have two poems, Sphere and Star in issue 9 of WayWords (themed on Space)

I also have two poems, Meeting my Guitar and Metamorphosis, in the forthcoming collection Changes, to be published by Hammond House at the end of this month.

Finally, (slightly old news now!) my poem Celebrity was in the December issue of Lighten up Online

Watch this space for news of Village Voices, an anthology from Marsden Community Poetry, soon to be published by Maytree Press.

The Path

Today I am very pleased to host this fine poem by fellow Holmfirth Writer Bob Trewin.

The Path

The path ran down into a wood,
Or used to; now new close-packed houses crowd
Where once oak, ash and chestnut stood.
The mist was grey and hung low like a shroud.

I followed down a tarmac street
Where once a path had run in dappled shade;
The ground was hard beneath my feet
Where once soft earth and grass had clothed a glade

Beneath a canopy of leaves.
Now huddled shrubs in threadbare gardens stood,
And road names, counterfeit as thieves,
Proclaimed the vanished giants of the wood.

A chill wind stirred the winter’s day
But, as I walked, I fancied that a breeze
Came softly through the dismal grey
And seemed to be the spirits of the trees.

The wood’s no more, but if I try
I can see it still, and feel the air
That moved its leaves and hear the sigh
Of long-lost afternoons, gone who knows where?

Bob Trewin is a lapsed student of literature who graduated in 1970. He did not begin writing seriously until after retirement, following a career in IT during which his only creative output was in the form of functional specifications. He has had two pieces published in The Spectator’s weekly competition and won the 2022 NAWG Open Poetry Competition.