Find ‘Slab’ in the Bearded Badger Publishing TRA[verse] free sampler

Today the poetry showcase, featuring work from nine poets, is finally available. Go to to download the full sampler, with contributions from Rory Aaron, me, Kevin Qweaver Jackson, Jack Cunnington, Oliver Cowley, Cullen Marshall, Sonia Burns, Camille McCawley and Anita Jackson.

Our journeys might be different, but our love of words brings us together.

You can find it here:

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There is no cuckoo. Costa sifts snowdrops 

in the top of your coffee to announce the spring

Cups drifting in the middle of the road will last longer than you

Yet there is a rhythm to everything. It beats.

When you feel you’re a footnote on someone else’s history,

Easily wiped away, like chalk on a board, remember your screech.

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DH Lawrence’s Horn

If DH chose a musical instrument, surely he would pick a sax? I wrote this unofficially for the 2018 Clarinet and Saxophone Society and put in on Instagram. It looks like there might be some research in Lawrence and jazz.

DH Lawrence’s Horn

He liked the feel of it in his mouth

He liked the sassiness of its sound

He liked its curves, its brassiness

And its perfectly shaped bell.

It wasn’t him to fiddle or flaunt

He’d have honked and horned

His flutter tonguing was perfect

As was his slap.

Becky’s saxophone at Papplewick Pumping Station, Nottinghamshire, with thanks to the venue for letting her use it for a photo and video shoot.
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‘Meditation on the A38’ sound file #poetry #saxophone #woodwind #breathingexercises #meditation #childrensmentalhealthweek #mentalhealth #anxiety

I’ve been asked for the text for this, but I feel it needs proper artwork, and I am a words person, not an art working master (all hail designers!), so it will take me a while to organise.

BBC Derby put waves behind this, and I did initially record this with waves in the background, but they weren’t my own waves. If we ever get to go on holiday again, and there’s a quiet day, I will record this again by the sea.

Meditation on the A38

Please note that this comes from a poet and saxophone teacher who used to do guided meditations in yoga. I am not a qualified therapist of any kind.

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How (not) to write an author’s bio #traverse #beardedbadgerpublishing #identitycrisis203 #Ripley #London #Paris #Derbyshire

So, say, you’re finally there and you’re writing your bio, how do you know what to say?

I think I can safely say my bio is always changing depending on what mood I am in. My current Facebook photo is from 2005. It goes with the poem ‘Meditation on the A38’ but then so does the picture of empty beaches and the picture of Sir John Betjeman doing a little back bend at St Pancras Station.

Sir John Betjeman statue at St Pancras Station - it's upstairs by the nice bar

I finished my first novella, exposé (TEXTS, 1999, Assessment and Expanded Text Project, part funded by Hefce), while I was doing the New Deal at the Wordsworth Trust, so that talked about that – and wanting to meet Jarvis Cocker.

In 2000 (Magpie, 2000, CCPA) my name is Becky in the front and Rebecca in the bio and I talk about a year of Wordsworth and telephone banking.

Now, 2021, I am looking at something that almost doesn’t seem factual. Did I really do that? Should I mention the (saxophone) recording in 2007? I definitely want to say that I supported Vanessa Kisuule in 2018 at Derby Poetry Festival. Everything else…

My latest poem is nothing like the Betjeman poem. It’s nothing like Sylvia Plath or Ted Hughes or Norman MacCaig or Maya Angelou. You can search for it on BBC Sounds – picture below.

Screen shot from Becky's phone of when she was on the radio.

But then, this poem isn’t in the chapbook, so I guess that doesn’t matter.

To find out more about Bearded Badger Publishing go to

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I am going to be on @bbcderby on Monday 8 February with Sally Pepper at 12.15pm with my new poem ‘Meditation on the A38’ #amwriting #amperforming

Check out for further details.

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Happy birthday, Morten Harket (for tomorrow. Just getting in there early)

Here’s a poem for all you Virgos.

I have lost a slipper

found marbles

a pick

Lego blocks

I mean gold Lego arms

and legs and heads

and a very nice chap from Bangkok

He lets me stroke his engines

and light his fires

And one day we’ll talk telephone wires.

Tomorrow I will be the meaning of life.

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Roald Dahl inspired limerick from writers’ group April 2016 *bit rude* #amwriting

This limerick comes from a writers’ group where I introduced or reintroduced Roald Dahl to the members of the group. We had a good read of what we could find in Ripley Library. Then we wrote and blimey it was brilliant! I don’t have the other poems to share, but here’s mine!

There was a young lady from Codnor

Whose trumpy behind used to dog her

She farted so fast

It created a blast

And now she’s moved onwards to Bognor.

I haven’t read Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes recently, but that was my inspiration: that and all the other poetry throughout the books.

At home, we’ve had a good go at all those a seven-year-old would relish. I particularly enjoyed reading my son Danny, Champion of the World. Love that book!

(C) Becky Deans 2017

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Shred – 2017 version of this poem #amwriting #amediting


You are my life, my completeness.

This love is my weakness.

You are the treasure in my chest.

My heart can’t rest.

You are my before and my after.

The absence of laughter.

I’m held. You’re my holder.

My fortune is stuck in your folder.

My strength is this:

To shred the paper without looking.

To walk into the silence.

Here is a poem that I wrote in 2015, with an extra couplet added. It’s about the tightening of the snare of domestic abuse and the new couplet attempts to evoke the psychological effects of abuse.

I’ve recently been hooked on the Holby City Dom and Isaac story. Swearing at the television in fact. But I think that ended far too neatly and Dom was far to able to say what he needed to his perpetrator. Life’s not always like that.

The sense of documents being withheld and paper needing shredding seems to encapsulate how it ends for many people.

I’ve started the poem like a love song: Billy and Syreeta perhaps, ‘Born Again’. I’m sure that has the word ‘completeness’ in it.

But it ends with walking away, which is what victims often have to do: from their homes, their lives, their friends (or those they thought were friends), their families.

‘The silence’ is their new lives. One thing I have learned about survivors is that it takes them time (often) to find their voice. So that ‘silence’ is what ever the reader wants to imagine, and probably not silent at all after years of isolation.

(c) Becky Deans 2017


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Hello – a 1997 poem just before another poetry course! New beginnings and full cycles. #amwriting

It’s been mind-blowing to be part of the writing ambitions: Derbyshire Residencies scheme. It’s made me reappraise many things I have done, and generally give myself a big pat on the back. I mean, it was a big achievement to get on the first year of UEA’s English Literature with Creative Writing BA (hons) and then to follow with a master’s degree two years later.

It has also made me re-read poets and writers that I have been in contact with in my university life, and find hand written letters from them too. So many happy memories. And as I’m about to go on a two-hour poetry course with the incredibly talented Sophie Sparham, I thought I would share a poem that I wrote in 1997. This poem came back to me in a recent writing ambitions session, so it seems I am going full circle. It’s great to find a poem that rhymes that got me part of my first degree.


I’m Lala
How are you?
Yes, I like dancing
Pleased to meet you too.
I can’t talk now
I’m in a rush
Oh yeah, teetotal?
Well really I’m a lush.
But each to their own
Be yourself, that’s what I say
Though we’re at uni
So fuck it for today.
No rules, no hassle
I’m aiming for the stars
D’you want an eighth then
And have you fucked in cars?
So that’s it sorted
Yes, I think I’ll see you around
Got to get on now
There’s more peeps to be found.

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