Poetry at the Start
Fri 8 June 2018 / / Written by Tŷ Newydd

This poem by Phil Coleman was written during the Poetry at the Start course 28 May – 2 June 2018.

Phil Coleman lives near Swansea and tries to balance work and the need to write. At the age of 51 he’s still a complete tyro at everything except juggling words.




clear your throat

clean the window, look outside, then in

lift the lintel of your title


note three dreams, at least once a day


just let the lines

break on the page


what do the birds say?


cut, then cut again

make paper bleed


keep going, across the road, over the railway

dogleg the tin hut. Now, which way?

Follow flag irises to the river or Friesians to the beach?


automatic writing

even when stuck in first gear


find the sweet line


hold the poem as long as you can


keep going


swap point of view, gender, tense

scramble the form, drop the full stop

then feel the lines


keep your ears open

it’s all clay for your pot


a blank, white page

is only a secret

yet to be learnt


collect your resources


close your eyes

corral the image

what’s the right phrase?


keep going