"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

Friday, May 25, 2012

The song of the unpublished poet

I’ve been writing verse for better or worse
since I first learned how to spell.
Long ones, short ones, not-a-lot-of-thought ones,
sonnets and villanelles.
I’ve created salads of odes and ballads,
laced with poetical tricks
and my work seems better for each cheap metaphor
I throw into the mix.

I churn out sequences at regular frequencies –
my Muse has never tired.
I believe I’m seen as the man for sestinas
whenever that form’s required.
I’ve haiku gushing out, triolets rushing out,
formal verse and free
but alarm bells are ringing out that everyone’s bringing out
a poetry book but me.

My next door neighbor has, the Minister for Labour has,
the girl in the local Spar,
the man at the station has, his pet Alsatian has,
the lad that fuels my car.
They’ve all had their books out, rented their tux out,
enjoyed their night of fame,
but I remain luckless, virginally bookless,
with nothing to my name.

I got the addresses of publishing presses,
contacted one and all.
My good friend Valerie suggested Gallery
but they wouldn’t make the call.
Salmon and Dedalus are far from readerless
but I couldn’t scale their heights.
And Gill and Macmillan were both unwillin’
to put my name in lights.

Oh for sure, we know it’s very hard for poets
to get their work in print.
Too many writers competing to excite us
and publishers are skint.
Yet to me it looks as though poetry books
are still boiling in the pot.
Oh the world and its lover have their names on the cover
but sadly I do not.


  1. Ever thought of self-publishing a collection, Peter? That appears to be the way to go, these days.

  2. You already have self-pubbed haven't you? Me too. It would be nice to be pushed by someone else for a change though, I agree!

  3. Hi Martin, yes, self-publishing is probably how to do it but as Rachel says, it would be nice if your stuff got recognised by someone else though!!