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Poems by Helen Monks

Helen Monks was Young Poet Laureate for Birmingham 2005-2006
Helen wrote these three poems as part of her role. 'Music' was composed to celebrate the arrival of the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham, 'My Brother' to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and 'The Cockerel' was a special commission for the producers of the Radio 4 programme The Archers.


Music is the sound of Christmas,
The rhythm on the street,
The touch of the player,
The feeling of the beat,

It's the credits of a film,
A solo or a band,
The stamping of the feet,
Or the clapping of a hand.

It's rock or jazz,
It's classical or pop,
It's the feeling of the evening,
When you just can't stop.

It's when words can not express,
It's things that people have to say,
It's how people let out,
Or when someone wants to pray.

It's in a church or a Mosque,
At a party or a play,
When you need cheering up,
Or when everything's ok.

Music is a feeling,
An expression or vision,
Music is what we're here to hear,
But music's nothing if we don't listen.

My brother

A poem for Holocaust Memorial Day 2006
'One Person Can Make A Difference'

As the bells rang loudly from the steeple
And the grand church filled up with people
I thought back to the years of war;
How my brother helped the weak and feeble.

And though my brother in a coffin does lie
His thoughtful words shall never die
For men will voice them through the years,
Through whisper, shout, song and cry.

'They can take my clothes and things' he said,
'But not my dignity, I must give that instead.
They can torture me and imprison me,
But they can never take what's in my heart and head.'

For in his heart and head was care
And truth and hope and no despair,
Love and standing up for what is right,
Respect for lives and being fair.

These good thoughts then travelled all around
Creating love where no goodness could be found,
And just one man, my brother, then changed
People's lives and made them unbound.

As the bells rang loudly and the funeral began,
We bowed our heads for a very noble man.
And I couldn't help but show a smile,
As the music started and the whole world sang!

The Cockerel

The cockerel will sing in the morning,
When kissed by the delicate sun.
Early in the morn,
At the first light of dawn
A new day will have begun.

The cockerel will sing in the morning,
All the country folk will awake,
You can hear its cry,
Whether far or near by,
It's a noise you cannot mistake.

The cockerel will sing in the morning
Waking all the farm animals too,
Pigs in their pens,
Cows, goats and hens
With that mighty 'Cock-a-doodle-doo!'

You can read more of Helen's poems.

Birmingham Young Poet Laureate 2005-2006
About the Birmingham Young Poet Laureate
Birmingham Young Poet Laureate shortlisted applicants 2005-2006
About the adult Birmingham Poet Laureate
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