Poem 97 – Incomprehension

Today the sky is blue, a robin chirps
Flitting, his red breast skips into my view
And all is calm. Except it’s not. Somewhere
The tanks rumble forward. Missiles fire. Red stains.
How can this be? How can our world encompass
This contradiction? Why should I enjoy the sun
When members of my family unmet
Know only fear, uncertainty and try
To conjure up the bravery required?
To pour out verse cannot compare with what
Is asked of them, but what else can
I offer? I have no gun. Only prayer.
And so I call upon another who
Was subjected to unfair violence.
I cannot comprehend, but maybe he
Whose blood was also shed might understand?

The tanks rumble into Kyiv whilst here the sun shines.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 82 – The Magic Word

You’re wrong to say magic does not exist
How do I know? I’ve seen it for myself
I’ve seen it in the power of verse to change
An outlook with a skillful choice of words
A clever phrase or metaphor provokes
New meaning formerly concealed, unknown
Whilst written symbols move knowledge across
Invisible mind bridges out of view
Bold stories pluck our eyes, transplanting them
Imagination thus breeds empathy
Whilst in the theatre players exercise
Surgery, switching hearts and souls
So hesitate before inscribing views
Articulate your words aloud with caution
They’re incantations not just spoken sounds
True magic not fantastic fabrication


© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 19 – Globe Spell

To compose an ode in honour of The Bard
Whose famed lines ensnare hearts
From stages encircling this precious globe
As well as from upon it
Is a task too high to reach

Instead I shall write in praise of those
Whose mouths have uttered his enchantment
Weaving spells through speech inspired
To whisk us from this mundane life to
Distant islands, courts and faery realms

Owning this sacred space these mortals become
As gods with creator’s power to form
The world anew for a few brief acts
Transforming landscapes without and
Landscapes within

And here we dwell until the final cheer
Echoes from its stalls and as one
We rise in awe to praise before
Returning to our mortal homes
His lingering whisper remains

Shakespeare’s Globe is one of my favourite places, a haunt where magic still happens.


© Ben Quant 2021

Poem 1 – An Ode to National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day
So I guess I ought to write a line
Or two
To express what’s on my mind
Or in my chest
Nestled up beside that beating drum
That is my heart

I sit with pen poised above the page
In truth, fingers above the keys
And pause
Searching for a profound thought
To share
But truth be told, except for the decision to write
The cupboard is still bare

Inspired by a combination of Paul Cookson’s daily poems on Twitter and discovering it was National Poetry Day. Wondered if I could do something similar and write one a day for a month or maybe more…

© Ben Quant 2021