23rd February 2018

Hi All

It’s been another busy month here at Poetry Corner with lots of entries for the competition.

The subject for March is Winter Blues.  I hope you’re not suffering from them but with so many coughs and cases of flu going around, perhaps sitting and writing a poem will take your mind off your spluttering for a while.

You may choose to write about spring bulbs - blue crocuses showing themselves in your garden. I look forward to reading your entries by the 29th March.

This month’s winner for the Harrow Times is Ian Herne with his Sense of Smell:



Last night my rug was occupied by a creature grey and sweaty.

He was a dog, they said, his eyes were black and gritty.

I did not understand his ways as he sucked a little biscuit.

He left it by my basket as a gift for me to eat it.


In return he slept near me in the twisted blanket,

He snored all night and dreamed of chocolate crumpets,

I knew this as he looked happy and contented.

When the morning came my milk was all much scented,


With a chocolate taste of fish and more.

Dog wiped his feet as he entered the door.

He wanted to play and he ran towards me,

I blinked and showed him my claws, one, two and three.


The fish boiled over on the pan and I cried loudly,

Soon help arrived and I stood up proudly.

The dog escaped and I sniffed burnt fish,

They placed it in neat pieces all around my dish.


Man smiled and left the smoky room.

My meal was warm and salty in the morning gloom.

Dog is like a biscuit, all crumbs and sticky paw.

But me, the cat, needs only peace behind the kitchen door.



The sweet smell of success for the Barnet Borough Times was down to Malcolm Lawrence for his Garden of my Youth.

The Garden of my Youth  by Malcolm Lawrence

We both walked together in the garden of my youth

Looking forward to a future of goodness, hope and truth

The blossom in profusion gave a strong and pungent scent

Now that I am older I know what those days have meant.

When alone I now meander, on some remote and distant way

There is no longer happy laughter to light up a joyous day

And scents upon the wind remind of long, long summers past

And I wonder, if ever, could such times return at last.

The heart may have its reasons, that reason cannot know

And I beg to know the seasons that help such kindness grow

For ‘though there’s consolation in the peace of solitude,

Those special scents of summers, lost forever, do intrude.



by Howard Lambe

The sense of smell is a wonderful thing

Think of all the pleasure that it will bring

It encourages us to relish our food

The taste of which is often so good

In the garden the variety of beautiful plants

Are by their subtle odours enhanced

The morning air so fresh and clean

Is blessed by a purity that can not be seen

Perfumes for both women and men

Whose glorious scent captures the nose again and again

Mown lawns,fresh coffee and bacon grilling

The smell of which is just fullfilling

So much of what in life we enjoy

Is gifted to us by the simple ploy

Of breathing in earth's natural fare

There is nothing else that can compare

The sense of smell is a life saver

It will warn you of imminent danger

Of a gas leak, fire or some other mistake

Which will give you time to make your escape


by Naomi Caplin

I love the smell of jasmine

And hints of honeysuckle that come out in the twilight

When a teenager the scent of Blue Grass

Sniffing lavender bushes but not the dried sachets

Tomatoes with basil leaves in a taverna on Skyros Island

Freshly ground coffee and home baked bread

Sweet white alyssum, smelling of honey, which in the

language of flowers means ‘worth beyond beauty’

      THE FRAGRANCE OF WAR By Lisa Cohen

War is raging. Searchlights pick out fighter planes dancing and weaving in the sky.

Our  street is burning.  Inside the Shelter, A child asks "Mum, when is it our turn to die.?"

Musty ,smoky smell of candles  flicker and splutter. So many people  Not enough spaces ,

Hot tea and jam sandwiches calm churning tums and brighten tearful faces.   

We have a band, of sorts.  Banjo, violin and harmonica, beat out The Best Of Vera Lynn.

Our soldiers are  battling for freedom, especially, The White Cliffs Of Dover.  Of  course we'll win

Room is made for two tipsy, fur wrapped  tight skirted, giggling blondes.  A wondrous sight

They pass round Woodbines. A small  voice pipes up."  Mum, what's a lady of the night

Blokes argue sport. The suspect blondes divulge  Evening In Paris scent is the New You.                                   

KidsKids Kids Kids share comics. Hate Radio Malt. Love Disney  and moan that rationed sweets are too few

All Clear sounds. Kisses, handshakes,  Strangers, now friends, whisper "You'll  be fine" 

Back home. Dad's out Medical  stuff.  A primary school perished tonight.  It was mine.

Sirens screech, again. Quick wash.  A lick and a promise. Must dash.. Bombs about

I bet when  the war is  over It will be weekly visits to The Hackney Baths. Without a doubt.

Until then. I  have a special bottle of Lavender Water that  I pour over me.. Love the smell

Mum refills it weekly from the tap.  It's a fragrance, of war.  My secret and only I can tell.


Copyright. Michael McEnhill

Peter is my greatest pal,

I turn to him for everything

And by same token wished him well,

When he took up nursery gardening.

Came the day when things went bad,

He fell from the back of gardening van.

And I could see him depressed and sad,

So would stand by his side like a man.

In a pub, I shared his story,

He was full to brim of anxiety,

My own input was not to worry,

And soon he’d feel not so grim.

He seemed to think I did not get it,

When he raised his glass to mouth,

And swallowed beer in one quick flick,

Menacing looked at me right sour.

In some way I’ve lost my powers,

Forever after I can taste this well,

But when I go around all the flowers,

Like this beer, I’ve lost all sense of smell.


by Marie-Géraldine Lauzier

Recurrent smell of burnt bread,

Father’s irritation and occasional curse,

The old fashion grille pain

Didn’t make slices jump,

A basic heating element,

A flimsy wire to hold

His bread burnt on

One side.

I remember the knife, to scrape

The carbonised bits and the ones you

Find in butter…

Burnt toast is the smell of

My childhood

Accompanied by frothy milk

That would overflow the pan

And an assortment of French gros mots

Do burn your toast, take me back to

Life’s little accidents, imprinted,





You walked with me along the pebbles

Crunching underneath

You walked with me side by side and held my hand

And listened to my heart miss a beat

You walked with me and tossed my hair

You walked with me and we left a footprint in the sandunes

with our feet. 

You ran with me and chased me

Along the sea breeze path

And caught my arm for however long it would last

You kept me safe and warm

Like a newborn.

Just one last drink, you said to me

Your body curved like branches on a tree

That cigarette smell from your torn up shirt

A living death from my heart that hurt

I couldn't go near you for a final kiss

The smell on your lips

And all the love that I missed.

And the pain of it all

"Just one more drink, and

a cigarette" that's all. 





This is a smelly poem, full of nice things,

The smell of flowers, the aroma of coffee

Cooking smells that taunt me, a bell that

rings when a smell reminds me of some lovely


The smell of your perfume lifts the gloom,

intrigues me in a way the lovely sight of you 

could never quite capture me

As if the piquancy of romance has blossomed

even more in the spring of your surprising 


And here we have just perfumed air, enough

to drive the soul mad with passion combining

the lightest touch of a nosegay with the

thrilling promise of a day in paradise, both  

thrilling and nice

How dare you do this to me…?

Wear your beauty into a new dimension of

pure olfactory joy…




Written by Trevor Ellis.


How can you Tell,

if the meal you are about to eat has been cooked well

without the unique sense of smell?

Taste of course plays it's part but

The ability to smell, is truly a work of art.  

Smell is oh so important, in so many ways,

Without it life would be an elliptical dull sort of haze.

A garden, 

bursting with variety, color, but no bumble bees 

would be like legs without knees.

One supports the other, they all play their part,

Intricate and awe inspiring, smell is really a fine work of art.

Success, that thing is said to be sweet,

It is therefore not surprising that most of us consider eating its fruit as a treat.

It is agreeable to our senses and takes root in our minds 

oh what a pleasure it is to find!

Life with a sense of smell,

is the icing on the cake,

The recipe of life from which we all partake.

Stay with us forever,

please don't depart,

Without the unique sense of smell

life would no longer be a work of art. 



Its Just The Same Fifty Years On

©Patricia J Tausz

Walking down a Parisian street

A wonderful aroma comes to greet

Me - the smell of freshly baked bread:

Many memories are stirring in my head.

Just over fifty years ago

As a school girl to Paris I had the chance to go

Each morning at precisely seven

I felt I was in heaven

Monsieur came back with fresh baguettes for breakfast

Even now that smell does linger and last

Breakfast with freshly brewed coffee too

At that time that was an experience quite new.

Recently being in Paris once again

The smell of fresh bread and coffee wormed their way into my brain

And I wished I was the teenager experiencing those aromas for the first time

As now to a baker's I make my way then up steep stairs for coffee and fresh baguettes I climb.

Have a good month