Guest blogpost: Poem by Simon Tonkin

As part of my blog I want to inspire others to write. What better way than to showcase excellent writing? The classic advice given to writers is to show, not tell. Simon and I have been part of a writers’ group for over four years.  His poem is about the process of critiquing writing. 

Today’s guest writer is Simon Tonkin

Simon Tonkin is a writer and illustrator from Bristol. His poems first began littering the Small Press scene in the early Seventies and he won the Dylan Down the Ups short story competition in 2009. Since then he has become a full time artist and writer.

His first novel, The Writing Shed – as the title suggests – has the ghost of Dylan Thomas at its heart. He’s working on a second, Other Tongues and hopes to complete that shortly.


I warned her,
I told her how it would be,
An autopsy
Performed on something
Unsuspecting; something
That still paused occasionally
For breath.
And yet she seemed surprised
When its first elastic artery was cut
And we were covered, head to foot,
In blood and these awful screams
For its mother.
You get used to it, I said.
So did it squirm
Beneath our divinely guided hands.
What a fine pair of Abrahams we were,
All this done
For Love or Must,
Those obsessive and compulsive Gods.
Wear a Butcher’s apron, I’d said.
She’d thought upon it but declined.
So when her dress was wrecked,
Take it off, I said,
It’s easier to wash your flesh,
I spoke not as pathologist then.
Let’s go looking for the cause of life.

All the classic signs of fear,
Psychic tears, rapid breathing.
Now see for yourself.

The trick is… I added,
Keeping it alive…

While trimming away
The thick fat of mortality
And only leaving
Something that can never die.

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