200 Words (or so) Guest Post from: poetry with a small p.

Small Things

I have been fascinated by small things for as long as I can remember. I loved to explore the intricacies of a cog wheel from a watch, feel a ball bearing’s oily cool roll around my fingertips, see the world in pebbles from a stony beach. An uncle, heroically feckless, fashioned tiny ladies’ handbags from cigarette packs and swans from the foil. I held these votives in the palms of my hands like gems. I try to convey this beauty of the unremarkable in my poems.

Small Things

Springs, cogs,

Wheels gleaned

From a watch.

Magnets, rivets, marbles.


Filmed with oil.

A stone, polished,

Fits perfectly between

Thumb and three fingers.

I am her

Third best friend.

A shy finger from

A glowing child

Points, picking me

Out of a crowd.

Smiling, she runs

Quick-footed laps,

Defying calls

To be careful.


What seems simple,

Ordinary, unremarkable

Holds all of

The beauty

I can hope for.

I have been writing regularly for less than a year and find it strange when someone calls me a poet. I describe my writing as poetry, yet, I can’t bring myself to claim the title. I don’t know what makes good poetry, I know only what speaks to me. I write from instinct and good fortune. Maybe it is the reader’s gift to find something good in words on a page. I watch my family, my daily life, my city, myself and try to record what I notice and how I feel.

Small Words

All the small words

Keep us together

Tied to one another.

Add nuance and flavor

To an otherwise stale world.

The young man said

“It’s o.k. for you.

You are a poet.”

If only he knew.

All I do

Is describe things

Like him and what

He had just said,

Using small words,

In the hope that

Others, too, can taste

The beauty in what

I have seen.

I feel for the lost in the world. Those things left behind, redundant, unwanted, forgotten. Abandoned and derelict, buildings, people, time. When I was about 10 years old, I spent a glorious summer day on the beach at Blackrock with my mother, an aunt and some cousins. The next day we returned to the same place, this time without my mother. I felt an incredible sense of emptiness, almost to the point of tears, for the loss of the day before and my mother’s absence.


One shoe standing

Empty in the

Middle of a road.

Outdated wallpaper,

A doorframe, on

One wall left of

A demolished house.

Child’s red plastic

Coat creaking.

A baby’s lost

Teething ring

On a rubbish bin.

The tramp, removing

A glove, reaching

For a handshake.

An open closet

Full of clothes.

Standing again on

A deserted foreshore

This time alone.

 It has been an honour to be a guest writer; I thank you all for reading. Thanks to you, Will, for your encouragement and support.

Please read more of Stephen McGuiness’ work here: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=841525705869320&ref=bookmarks

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