Phil Revell

I do not write a lot of poetry, and I make no pretensions about the stuff I do write. So do not expect a poetry anthology any time soon.


There’s nothing seasonal about Holly.
She’s 3 going on 13.
And next year she’ll be 13 going on 25

Aptly named, she’s spiky and attractive
Five feet nothing of concentrated attitude

Yesterday’s terrorist attack concerned Food Technology, some pizzas,
And a full to overflowing rubbish bin.
Which somehow got emptied,
Over the stairs, the hall and several innocent bystanders.

My mum’s on drugs
She says inconsequentially
Which is true

An’ I was ‘ungry
Sadly this is probably also true.
Holly may be an angry child,
But she has much to be angry about.

A sink estate,
One missing parent,
Another lost to addiction.

A succession of ‘Dads’ and 'Uncles'.
Some of whom take an unhealthy interest in an unprotected little girl.
Others just hit her.

Each day Holly gets herself to School.
The one place where life is predictable and safe.
Yet the irony is that her behaviour is so extreme that she could soon be excluded,
Left with no sanctuary at all.

So when she sits in your office,
Spitting defiance and constructing dodgy excuses.
Your first reaction is to reach out with a hug.
Offer some of the warmth she desperately needs.

You can’t of course.
But don’t condemn - or exclude.
This kid needs all the help she can get.

No brakes

I leave the main road

And head towards Sheinton

Winding slowly past the woods
Before dropping off the Edge
Down one of the steepest hills in Shropshire


Frigid air tears through my helmet
Hunkered down over the handlebars

I feel the texture of the road
Rising up the frame

The familiar and addictive mixture
Of fear and exhilaration
Strips away the years

Lean the bike into the bend
Defying logic, an asymmetrical balance
Poised between triumph and disa

A Reckoning
Rage through the streets, a stocktaking,
An audit of our values and desires.

Rage through the streets, theirs not ours,
The spurious footfall recorded by an impotent lens.

Rage through the streets, with no regard,
For hours of toil hidden behind tempting displays.

Rage through the streets, a reckoning.
Where envy becomes need becomes right.
Designer gear, and shiny toys,
White goods, light goods, carried into the night,
No credit limits, conscience or books.
© 2010 Phil Revell

In the coming year
In the coming year
May the rising sun lighten your heart
May the west wind refresh your mind
May the spring rain wash away your sorrows
May the night sky reaffirm the joy and wonder of our world

And, at the end of each day,
May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest
© 2009 Phil Revell

The old joke
Says that the light
At the end of the tunnel,
Is an approaching train.

The sensible man knows,
That storm clouds bring floods,
Not silver linings.
And that first steps 
Often end in a fall.

There is, in fact,
Many a slip,
Twixt cup and lip.

But second steps lead to more.
And rain brings new life to the soil.
In reality there are no thrills,
Without a spill or two.

When darkness closes in,
And the half empty glass is drained.
Pick up that leaf and turn it over.

Discover that it's never too late,
To learn a new trick.
And that the other side of the hill
May in truth deliver greener grass.
© 2007 Phil Revell

For you
I savour the taste of you,
Then raise my head, 
And look down on your body.

No longer young,
And unformed,
The girlish breasts and
Unknowing thighs have given way,
To a richer experience.

Your face is your own.
Not the sweet and cloying sameness
Of the boyish girl children 
Who crowd the screen and page.

The joy of you,
Reawakens the desire to touch, caress and possess.
Then you reach for me again,
And I am lost
© 2005 Phil Revell

A Life
A life is not measured in minutes.
There's no starting gun or chequered flag,
No tape to cross, no clock to beat.

A life is not measured in paper. 
There are no certificates or passing out parades,
No merits or distinctions, no gold stars for effort.

The measure of a life is in the lives touched.
And in the memories left behind:
Loves cherished, friends gathered, times shared.

A life isn't measured in minutes.
But in people,
And in love.
© 1999 Phil Revell

Deeper than the deepest ocean,
Deeper than the depths of space.
Deepest in the dawn of motion,
Your and your soul, facade to face.

In that grey and shapeless room,
Amidst a thousand million cells,
You find the portents of your doom.
The harbingers of countless hells.

Among the days and years gone by,
You re-enact a thousand deeds.
Still, no movement, there you lie.
Til deeper still, the dream recedes.
© 1972 Phil Revell