World Poetry Day: New poetry group set to start in Harlow

Entertainment / Thu 21st Mar 2024 at 10:15am

CARMELLA de Keyser is originally from Belsize Park, London, but now resides in Harlow. She has a History Degree from the University of Manchester and writes poetry that explores her part Balkan heritage, conflicts in identity, anticipatory nostalgia, nature, liminal spaces and feelings of displacement.

Mel is set to start a new poetry group.

Mel said: “I am also starting up a monthly friendly poetry group with a friend at the Geek Retreat.

“The aim is to strengthen local arts by giving local people a place, either to perform their own poetry or listen to and share other people’s poetry in an encouraging environment.  

“We are very much hoping for Harlow to continue becoming a creative vibrant hub for poetry”.

On World Poetry Day, here are some of Mel’s poetry


I have been a long time shipwrecked.

Waiting, broken up, wishing for soft waves to wash over me, gently pull me back to the shore.

In some ways I like being all at sea, searching, gathering, holding on to distant lights, hopes, memory fragments of joys passed by, humbled by the roar of the opened-up skies, the tumultuous motion of the sea floor, never being able to touch the rocks beneath my feet, as I’m constantly passed over from side to side,

Movement has now become my home and shelter, stillness an alien, a churning soul forever evolving and land further away than my eyes can dream.


At the Cinema

I’m sitting in J3, in between J2 and J4.

Popcorn lines the aisle, spiky stones across the sea floor.

I’m stuck, committed, this is matrimony, nowhere to go.

Stomach swirling, the jigsaw puzzle once smooth has become unglued.

The pieces are everywhere.

The sounds are churning butter.

This is a cage full of hens and they are silently screaming.

The cup-holder sticky, grotesque, the cup and straw will be defiled as soon as they collide.

Two hours and it hasn’t yet begun.

Close eyes.

The stomach is crawling up into the chest.

It’s not working.

Just watch and go with the flow.

Everyone is relaxed.

You can be too.

I want to move, 

I can’t disrupt J2 and J4.

The screen is speaking.

‘Get ready to feel more’-

I don’t think I can take anymore.

Exit -green. 


But far away.

Still in the dark.

Nice time, everyone is having a nice time.

Cough behind.

Too close.

Windowless room.

Tight high necked ribbed jumper.

This is nearly too much.

Smile – don’t ruin this for the others.

The wave is lowering.

Shuffle legs.

Dirty floor!

This is just a cramped cave.

Don’t be self-absorbed.

Think of the others.

Share snacks.

Make sure the others are having a good time.

More darkening.

It starts.

One hour and 50 minutes to go…


Bottle Fly
I’m drowning in the most beautiful, gleaming, fizzing water bottle,
Enclosed and sealed, no escape,
Through the glass, a bay of rainbow light is flashing through.
The bottle neck is so slender and green,
If not for the splashing water I could tiptoe up and out I suppose,
But this is so exciting, whirling, swirling around this enchanting castle.
Soon a pink shadow of fleshy hand casts across the glass,
And all of a sudden, I’m tipping sideways,
I can breathe again,
And now I’m being poured out of the green, narrow neck cave,
I’ve landed on blades of spiky, zesty grass,
I’m free at last,
Air drying my wings in the sun.

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3 Comments for World Poetry Day: New poetry group set to start in Harlow:

Misa Mulliqi
2024-03-21 14:41:21

I very much enjoyed this poem. Looking forward to more of Mel’s poems x

2024-03-23 13:57:43

Thank You Poem Every time I hear a poem start with “I’m drowning…” I feel a brain cell pop like bubblewrap Never to return Thanks Poem, thanks a lot!

Jeff Bere
2024-04-11 13:31:07

Good little read. Brilliantly observational.

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