TES Young Poet of the Week;Poem

1st May 1998 at 01:00
This poem uses "Workings of the Wind" by James Berry as a model. Like the original, Juliette's poem alternates between two-line sections beginning "Mist doesn't always" and four-line sections beginning "Mist".

Not only has the original been followed with admirable clarity, but Juliette's version has developed a more rigid and complex form for the longer stanzas: the lines begin in a series of verbs, and the last line of each is an identical two-word pattern. What stayed in my mind long after reading the poem was the sinister personification of "Mist". His following me seems playful at first - he teases, tickles - but ultimately suffocates and strangles me.

Sian Hughes

Sian Hughes was a winner in the TLSPoems on the Underground competition in 1996, since when her poems have appeared in "The North", "Writing Women" and "London Magazine". A short collection, "Saltpetre", is published this month by SmithDoorstop Books


Mist doesn't always run through the fields spreading his sparkling dust.

Mist spreads his powdery fingers over rooftops, upon canals.

There he sits, watching you following you.

Mist doesn't always blow his smoky-coloured wind all over the world.

Mist licks your face and hands, clinging to your clothes tugging at your hair teasing you.

Mist doesn't always freeze you and leave you there.

Mist tiptoes up to you at night watching you when you aren't looking colouring the whole world grey tickling you.

Mist doesn't always blindfold you and force you to play his game.

Mist peers through your window leaving dew upon the grass climbing up and over your house suffocating you.

Mist curls and swirls around the house creeping up to touch your face swallowing the world into his murky depths strangling you.

Juliette davies

Juliette Davies, aged 11, receives the Poetry Society Young Poetry Pack. Submitted by Jennifer Boshell of Welshpool High School, Powys, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teacher's notes. Please send students' poems to The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY

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