"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Poetry Bus Jam thing

Okay, so I'm a bit confused by this Poetry Jam thing but I'm presuming its just the word B-U-S spelt J-A-M, and we have to write whatever the prompt is.
This week the inaugural jam prompt, given to us by the lovely Chat d'eau Vicki, is simply BIRTHDAY.
Okay, I've cheated a bit and surreptitiously inserted a space between letters 5 and 6


We’re really looking forward to meeting you,
and we wish you a comfortable birth.
There is nothing to fear –
it’s not too bad out here.
We’ll be waiting whenever you decide to appear
for we’ve saved you a place on this earth.
And we’re really looking forward to meeting you.

We’re not going to make you any promises,
Let’s sort this whole birth business first.
We don’t have a plan
but we’ll do what we can
to make sure you become a fine woman or man.
But believe us, we’ve nothing rehearsed,
so we’re not going to make you any promises.

We’ll be there at the start of your journey,
and we’ll walk by your side for a while.
So when you want to come out,
just give us a shout –
there really is nothing to worry about.
I am sure that you’ll do it with style
and we’ll be there at the start of your journey.

You probably won’t recognise us,
but don’t worry, we’ll recognise you.
In our dreams, we can trace
every line on your face –
there are many dimensions undreamt of in space.
It’ll all be exciting and new
but you probably won’t recognise us.


  1. Your poem could not be more charming, endearing ... sweet, funny in the best way. I'm certain your ticket to ride will be stamped with a big star.

  2. This is wonderful! I hate those treacly, uber-sentimental baby poems so much. This is an honest, caring, loving, good, welcome poem that when a child is 16, (s)he won't be ashamed of. Well, at 16, they're ashamed of everything their parents do, but (s)he'll be less ashamed of this! Well-done! Is Lump named after someone on your side?

  3. Magnificent, Peter! I'm with Lola - can't stand treacly baby bleh. But this is lovely. Just the thing.
    (and really, TFE insisted the new blog have nothing whatsoever to do with the Poetry Bus. I don't really get it, but fine. Where does the P-bus magazine get its poetry but from the P-bus blog phenomenon? Whatever. Just so we find each other)

  4. Speaking to your Lump is good - s/he will recognise your voice/s when the time comes to leave the safe world s/he's in.

  5. I love it - did you really call your unborn "lump" (instead of the traditional peanut - or is that just over here)? I'm having a flash about what it would be like to be your child - great until about age 12, horrifyingly embarrassing until 21, and the pretty darn swell after that. I'm basing it on how I feel about my own dad, the closet entertainer. Not that you're old enough to be my father!

  6. Aaargh! Magnificent! Love the 'lump' and the repeated lines - so effective. Beautiful finish too.

  7. Many thanks to all. Bug, I wouldn't mind having you for a daughter neither!!

  8. Absolutely delightful interpretation of Birthday! :)

  9. Delightful and honest and so true. We have nothing rehearsed - we play it by ear. When our children call us on our mistakes we can honestly say I'm sorry, this is the first time I've been a parent.

  10. This poem is so nice I almost was sick in my own mouth ;-) and what is the structure of that called? Is it a Limerick hybred? It's very clever whatever it is. Excellent writing as always.

  11. Whew! Great stuff. Only a poem could expand lump into a wide range of human experience.

  12. One to look forward to as usual. Nothing lumpy about this, Pete.