Bren Bannister

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Poetry pic (Small)

Poetry hasn't always been my medium for serious thought, although I like to play around with words, but after joining Rosie Jackson's class I was encouraged to send off an entry to the Teignmouth Open Poetry Competition and came second! Had a lovely weekend in Devon too!


You can read the text of my poem 'Thoughts on Robert Frost's Mending Wall', and the other placed entries, at

Poetry pic (Small)

2nd Prize – Open Competition    


Thoughts on Robert Frost's 'Mending Wall'    



'Something there is that doesn't love a wall.'

In our street, it's valerian, self-sown

in every crevice, defiant of brickwork,

sending its roots beneath the worn old stocks

that delineate front gardens, then heaving,

like the shoulders of a restless sleeper

shrugging off the duvet; or burrowing

beneath the ramparts, like engineers of old.


But Frost wanted to know, before mending,

what he was 'walling out or walling in',

if marauding livestock was not in question,

and wondered how others viewed his barricades.

I remember the open plan gardens

of a sixties estate, design intentions

slowly subverted by slyly-planted

shrub or hedge – Goodness, has it grown that fast?


Roaming sheep or vandal hordes, pissing dogs

or new ideas –  it is the work of lifetimes

to keep them out, enfold our precious secrets,

build up defences, mend the wall, stand sentry

over self; while spores float helium-light upon

the breeze, all negligent of boundaries,

intent solely on dissemination,

on tearing down barriers, on getting in.


Quill Pen Trans
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