Thistle Fierce and Wild. My Poem Grows Some Music.


Photo © Janey Colbourne 2015

One of the poems I wrote for my first poetry collection ‘See With Heart‘ was in homage to a large thistle that decided to grow between the wall of my house and the yard. She was truly huge, tall with a very fat stem and long, sharp spikes. I was struck by the vital power of this plant, growing in such an apparently inhospitable place. I took a photo and wrote the poem. Recently I have been songwriting and this is a poem I decided to make into a piece of music. It’s a breakbeat tune with punk vocals, which I felt was suited to the strong spiky energy of the mighty thistle. If you’d like to have a listen here’s the YouTube link. Below is the cover design for the song.

Image by Janey Colbourne using PicsArt

Here’s the original poem:


Thistle fierce and wild
Strong you grow
And spiky
What vital power
Too sharp to grasp
Roots buried deep
No soil to see
From patio and wall
You thrust
I must
In truth
Your mighty conquest

©Janey Colbourne 2015

If you enjoy my creations please consider supporting my work by buying one of my poetry books available at very reasonable prices from Amazon or iBooks. Thank you.

A screenshot from the iBooks version of ‘See With Heart’

All content © Janey Colbourne


For Women Of A Certain Age. A Poem.

For Women Of A Certain Age.

I had a bright idea.
A drip tray might suffice.
Perhaps a bib,
the plastic sort
with a little tray,
but have it made
in extra large,
and tie it round my waist.
Do you think it would catch on?

© Janey Colbourne 2017

Here’s a video of me reading this poem on my YouTube channel as part of my Readings From The Red Tent series.

Heteronormative Dictator a #poem

Did you fancy girls
When you were 13?
Did anyone try to say,
No you must be gay?

So you know better
Than the boy himself.
Your heteronormative
Privilege dictates
He has no right
To say who he is

He must be confused.
How can anyone know
They are gay?
How did you know
you were straight?

How dare you
His right to know
His own feelings,
His own desires.

Imagine yourself
At 13,
Those first awakenings
To your adult identity.
Your first crush,

By the arrogance
Of those
Who see not
Your heart.

©Janey Colbourne 2017

Here is the spoken word version on my YouTube channel

Go Paint Your Nails

For International Women’s Day, here’s a poem I wrote about what it’s like growing up as a girl and as a young woman. I also recorded a spoken word techno version, which you can find on my YouTube channel or on Soundcloud.

Go Paint Your Nails.

Don’t cry you’ll spoil your pretty face
Not only irrelevant
But a denial of my inner reality
A subsuming of my feelings and needs,
My hurts
Beneath the gold standard
What will the neighbours think?
Must keep up appearances
Above all else

Girls should be seen
To look pretty
Not heard
To cry and protest
Not heard to
Stand up for justice
Sit on your hands
And shut up your heart
Don’t smudge your make up
Or break your manicured nails
Stay sweet
Or the boys won’t like you

Doc martens and nose pierced
Doesn’t look nice with that skirt
Get yourself something pretty
Not only irrelevant
But a denial of my inner reality
I decline
To subsume my passion, my self,
To shut my mouth
And look pretty
The boy doesn’t like me

More chance of pinning a tiger down
Than squeezing me into a dress
With a face like a porcelain doll
A nice pair of court shoes
Just sitting demurely
No chance, I cackle
As I stomp in my boots
Scruffy wild Woman in black
If the boys don’t like it
They can go
Paint their nails
I decline

© Janey Colbourne 2017

My Strength. A poem.

My strength is not in holding back my emotions,
but in being prepared to face the darkness.
My strength is not in never showing fear,
but in holding its hand and walking on.
My strength is not in immunity to pain,
but in perseverance throughout it.
My strength is not in lack of tears,
but in letting them go and moving on.
My strength is not in being invincible,
but in being flexible.
My strength is not in body,
but in heart and mind and soul.

© Janey Colbourne 2017