The Poetry Challenge

I recently started a poetry challenge with @CatEleven the Feminist Poet. The way this works is that we take in turns to pick a subject agree a deadline and then swap our draft poems and provide each other with critical feedback.  We’ve done two so far, ‘Wardrobe’ and ‘Doctor’,

I say challenge but I don’t see this as a competition. It’s not about which of us writes the ‘better’ poem. It is firstly a means of giving each other the discipline to write – if you’ve made a commitment to someone you need to do it, and secondly a way of giving each other support and encouragement. I have found the ‘challenge’ hugely rewarding.

My wardrobe poem is not quite ready yet but you can read Cat’s here

Here is my doctor poem:


Your hands, Doctor,

healing hands that reassure

even with a cold touch, hands

that move my lips apart with latex

softness, a guerrilla in the jungle

parting leaves to spot the enemy.

Your hands, Doctor,

heavy hands that I remember as

your face remains veiled in smoke,

the hands that gave  me polio vaccine

like a secular Eucharist,  a pink blob on

a sugar lump placed gently on my tongue.

Your hands Doctor,

loving hands of my Doctor,

innocent of medicine but expert now in

my mature topography, hands that

probe my depths so that together

we may scale the heights.

One thought on “The Poetry Challenge

  1. what a lovely idea…i always liked cat until she decided a sex worker was a step to far to be a friend…i hope you have fun

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