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A selection of my poetry.


Sometimes words
are not enough
when we are frozen and
days are too tough
when laughter has faded and
life leaves us jaded and
words must carry us
through time’s aching caverns

Groans too deep for words
for us.

Sometimes words
dance with life and
sparkle like rivers with joy and
wide-open skies
where ribbons of light
shatter dark nights
where anthems of day
resound in your pain

Eternity’s poetry streaming through history
for us

Words about worlds and worlds about words
skipping through ages and surging in twirls
of uncontainable hope
through life’s trembling flow

A poem for the coronation of King Charles III by Wellington Resident Poet, Liz Carter

Wellington welcomes you
With May jubilation
as we join with the nation
on this weekend of your coronation
We celebrate as we meet on our streets
And embrace days to come as summer greets—
May the tang of our future be sweet.

As you take your sceptre and the weight of your crown
As you remember your forebears and stand proud on new ground
We gather around
With the bitter-sweet imprint of recent loss
And the cost that you paid for your brand new day
The sound of her voice never far away

May your reign be established with a kingdom of grace
Where justice and mercy fill up every space
Where royalty’s tapestry is woven anew
With kindness and goodness and all things true.
May your anointing as King ring out peals of peace
And years of wars to cease.

Charles Philip Arthur George
From nineteen forty-eight
Now head of state
As you take your life of service
Bring your kingly duty to the surface
May you be filled with cheer
And may you be blessed with years.

In all our pageantry,
In all our ceremony,
We will light you a beam of hope
And we will dream a dream of our own
a vision of streets where all are known
a community to tend all who feel alone.

So may you know the warmth of welcome
In every street you walk;
In all the places you talk
Of visions of justice and interruptions of poverty
Of the defending of faith and the protection of equality
Of lands of conservation and towns of restoration
Of your generous reputation in the weary corners of our nation.

A poem for Christmas by Wellington Resident Poet, Liz Carter
Performed at the Mayor’s Civic Carol Service, 11.12.22

was it a silent night
on the streets of bethlehem?
all calm and bright as birth-pain mayhem?
when they searched the murk for an open door
when she lay, a warrior on a mud-packed floor
when the stars danced crazy in glory light
when the angels sang blazing in radiant bright

was it a midnight clear
on the fields of bethlehem?
all quailing and railing at the sight before them?
when they toiled beneath canopies of pitiless stars
when they laboured amid poverty’s frozen heart
when they stumbled to their knees and leaked their silent tears
when they left behind their fears from all their tangled years

was he away in a manger
on the streets of galilee?
all insurgent and lowly, all justice and mercy?
when he dined and spent time with those who were hated
when he loved and elevated the poor and unrated
when he flipped the frames of power all around the town
when he sent oppressive stories tumbling upside down

is it merrily on high
on the streets of the uk?
all scrambling through winter’s inexorable grey?
when we glimpse long days of lack and curl through nights of cold
when we whisper words of care; when we hold up those who fold
when we remember this warm history of a baby born in need
when we comfort through the struggle and ring out bells for christmas eve 

is it a bleak midwinter
on the streets of ukraine?
all adrift as time shivers with clamorous pain?
when they quiver in basements and hunger for peace
when the world joins their song and yearns for war to cease
when they wait through wounded nights for hope’s golden spark
when the world joins with their song to resist the bitter dark

is it joy to the world
on the streets of wellington?
all glimmers of cheer as the bells ring on?
when we join with our neighbours and share out our lives
when we listen to the weary, when we hear their fractured sighs
when we meet in the town, and we embrace on the roads
when we share in the square, when we greet in our homes

is it a silent night
on the streets of our lives?
all longing to thrive; to rise and revive? 
when everyone’s invited to the joyful celebration
when all of us are welcome to the festive jubilation
when we give more than we take, with unbounded exultation
and we wait in hope for peace on earth and tangs of restoration

Jubilee 2022 – as Wellington Resident Poet

A journey of seventy years
A million cheers and a million fears
a lifetime of living your life out loud
And your courage out proud.

All through our lives,
Our comforting constant,
Our always consistent
The distance of royalty
Wrapped up in valiant persistence.

You lived through our history and made it your own
Through the jaws of war that tore and poured
with mud and tears in waterfalls
You followed your weighty call
Holding scarred hands as you
Traversed weary lands.

As we crown our town with history’s lore
As bunting tumbles and banners soar
As we cheer you on with all of Wellington’s roar
As we clothe our streets with colours of day
And our midsummer fayre with rituals of May

We remember you, all alone in your stall
Courageous in a cold embrace of wood-carved walls
Your mask a memorial of grief’s wounded fall
Lost in an Abbey of remembrance.
Did you bite back the tears as you
pondered the years
Did you cling to the sides as you
fractured to pieces inside?

We remember you, in 1952
The day when you heard your life-changing news
Did you cry your grief out loud,
Or did you drown it in duty,
Frown it down under a cloud of doing?

You stood in that Abbey, in ‘53,
Solemnity’s crown-weight so heavy
A tidal wave flooding the streets
Showering you in flowers
Wishing you all the hours in the world

You took the reins and then you reigned
Your voice like a thousand sun-sparkled days
You took the royal throne of kings,
You walked this sceptred isle
You took the burden of royal ring
And hid your inner royal child.

Did you wish for a sabbath,
A rest from your service?
Did you yearn for the waves of the sea?
Did you long for nature’s soothing peace?
Did you sigh for the dream of a life
With no gaze of a billion eyes?
Did you groan at systems you longed to fight,
at murky histories of wrongs you wished you could right,
at politics and statecraft that squirmed against the light?

You’re a British institution,
A life-long resolution
Of giving and profusion
You’re a long-lived consolation
A multi-layered constellation
A declaration of restoration
to our steadfast, weary, beautiful nation.

We will light a beacon for you
Join the chain as we remember your reign
As we look to each other and share our stories
We remember the glory of kindness’s measure
So we dig for treasure in Wellington’s streets
And sing the song of a year of Jubilee.

My winning poem for the place of Resident Poet, Wellington 2022

Wellington – Then and Now

A town shaped through mists of time
Bathed in long shadows of sublime inclines
And sometimes, sighs of golden chimes

Weola was his name, they say,
He was the dawn of all our todays,
Our town founder, our ancient grounder
His legacy lives on in lives that revive
And breathless archives
Of a town that keeps trying and
Sometimes flying

They said we would flounder through Covid’s touch
We’d wither away, dust into dust,
And lose our way in its perilous clutch
But we sang songs of freedom and
Dreamed of what could be
We zoomed in our rooms with hearts wide open
And carried the broken
With actions unspoken and
Warm words outspoken

We stood on the strength of all those who cared;
Who gave of themselves when their edges were bared
And their work dragged them down
Into shards of despair,
Who reeled and lurched through
Pandemic murk
I’d fly them to the top of the world
And cascade them in flowers
In all their hours
Then and now.

They said we would flounder through Covid’s touch
We’d wither away, dust into dust,
And lose our way in its perilous clutch
But we railed at destruction because
Hope springs eternal
We staged a reversal and
came back with zeal
All gathered under a walnut tree.

Our orbit transformed
As we weather the storms
And warm up our streets
Treading the path of ancient feet
Soaked through with gratitude,
We fling out our platitudes and
Stand tall and proud
Shouting aloud of joy-filled festivals and
Colour-drenched market halls
Where compassion calls and
Hope starts to fall.

From white-blossomed splendour in All Saints’ front yard
Infinity streaming through time’s aching scars
To snowdrops of newness in glory abounding,
In new life’s elation all nature resounding
Waking the iron-clad cages of winter
Where splinters of grief transform into crowns
And echo fresh joy through Apley’s timeless grounds

Wellington town is a beacon, again,
In fragile now and weary then
Its song is triumph, its poem is hope
Rising tall through the plunder of time’s restless flow
Its people united on sun-bloomed Wrekin slopes.


Are you reeling at the feeling
Waiting in sorrow for the healing
Are you alive with news of hope
Or lost in bonds of lockdown lows
Dancing to horizons of light
Or curling into remains of the night

Are you mourning at all the loss
Staggering at the heavy cost
Are you broken and weary inside
Or running to the hills to hide
Where shadows cloak the day
Where things are not okay

Are you locked into cages of fear
Where locusts stole away your year
Where every hour was drowned in tears
And devastation stings and sears?

Do you want to shout with gladness
Yet your heart is sore with sadness
All mixed up in bittersweet mess
Seething with unquiet unrest

This is going to end, they say,
But will the world stay locked in grey
Will joy and healing find a way
I walk the valley and there I pray

I pray for those who’ve lost too much
For those who’ve lurched through covid’s touch
For all who stumble in pain or deflation
May your winter yield to exultation.