Tuesday, 26 March 2013

What is a Poet?

In a discussion in Linkedin, the question arose .... How do you know you are a Poet?  There have been a number of diverse and inspiring answers - and during that discussion, inevitably, as poets do, we compared ourselves to various objects. One of these was 'a button,' and the other was 'a dandelion.' Now I am a poet in her infancy, but I love a challenge - so here are my responses to those comparisons ...
A poet is a dandelion

The dandelion
Sends out its seed
on parachute wings
drifting, noticing,
catching the breeze
a twirling fairy dance
spreading magic to
the Universe,
taking root amongst
us with confidence
and ease

The Poet and the Dandelion
A poet stood before a
dandelion and took note.
There you stand
Tall, defiant, golden yellow
A plant with Attitude.

I am no weed, Sir. I have purpose
a multitude of uses. Roast my roots
Indulge your coffee cravings
Though beware, I am caffeine free
Yet don't despair. You'll get the
full, fine throatiness of me
I can intoxicate you; delight you
Dandelion wine anyone? Root beer?
A garnish for your salad sandwich
a herbal remedy?
I can be bitter; an acquired taste
God knows I have my enemies
who wish to hack me down
or suck the life from me with
poisonus sprays and potions
Just do not touch me, for I
may cause you great irritation
Before you decide I am a pest
remember, bees delight in me
I am an early Northern feast

I tap deep down into the earth
a harbinger of goodness to all
shallow rooted plants (poor things)
who tremble in the stony soil;
release a gas to ripen fruit, you
so delight in eating.
Think twice before you snap off
my head, pull me out in rage -
out, out damn weed - I hate you

Why not delight in me? I spring
to life, where-ever you have been
release my seed to the whim
of the Universe; a fluffy parachute
captured by dancing children,
wished upon like a star, blown
to the four corners of the earth
a will-o-wisp, a fairy, a cotton ball
dent-de-lion, conker wort, milk witch
piss-a-bed (yes really!) Irish daisy,
face clock, swine's snout, dog's
lettuce -
so many names,
so many pastimes; a threaded
necklace, a child's game - blow upon
my head and see if Daddy's bald
In Persia I am "gasedak," the small
postman; for I am the bringer of
good news, not bad.
So gaze upon me, Poet, take your
notes then sing my Praises; for I
like you, have purpose, a calling
I bow to the wind and listen
For the whisper of my name.


If I were a button

If I were a button,
What button should I be?
Perhaps a little pearly button
To show the magic side of me.

Maybe a chunky button
Which can’t quite fit the hole
No matter how you twist me
I’ll never fit the mould.

A bobbly little button
So frivolous and gay,
Alas you’ll lose me often
With your rough and tumble play.

Square or round or oblong,
Big or small or plain,
Snaking down your shirt front
Not one of me the same.

Or rattling in a button jar
With all my button friends
Waiting to be picked by you
To fasten your loose ends.





  1. Dandelion tea makes you pee. ;)

    1. Thanks for that delightful comment Niki! I believe that is why it is also known as 'piss-a-bed!'

  2. Mandy, I was searching for your poems long enough to deserve a reward: I must steal one poem of yours and transplant it on another site, where it may live happily ever after, together with other contemporary poems. Visitation rights:
    Blessed you be, Mandy, for everything you are: Mother, Wife, Teacher and most of all, a Poet of today.
    Magdalena Biela

  3. Blessed are you Magdalena. You may steal any poem you wish. Your site is wonderful, and I just couldn't decide what to give you ... I am glad you have found something you like. Love to you. :)