I may have mentioned before that I belong to a poetry group that meets twice a month in our local library. We are not strictly speaking a writers group though some of us do write. We usually have a topic for each meeting and take along 3 or 4 poems to read out, some of which may be our own but mostly from ‘proper’ poets!

Naturally we haven’t been able to meet over the last 12 months due to COVID but we have kept the group together by sharing a poem via email during the weeks that we would normally have met, then one of our members collates the poems into a pdf file which is then sent out to the group so we all get to see them. For this we have not had a topic each time, just a general feeling that they should be uplifting and of course participation every time is not compulsory.

From time to time we have also had an additional ‘challenge’ (again, participation not compulsory). Last week was our ‘poetry week’ and one of our members submitted the well loved poem ‘Cargoes’ by John Masefield (if you are not familiar with it you can find it at The member used to be an English teacher and with her reasons for the choice of poem she recalled that she had once set her class the challenge of writing an additional verse for the poem and received some impressive offerings. This then became our most recent challenge – to write an additional verse.

I thought I would share my offering with you here; actually I have written two extra verses as having written the first I decided it was no longer topical as the problem had been solved. The second one is really about how things were – and how they will be again once COVID has ceased to cause such problems. Here they are for your amusement:

Cargoes Challenge
Gigantic container ship aground in the Suez,
blocking up the shipping route and halting trade
with cargoes of livestock,
car parts, electric goods,
children’s toys and fashion wear all cheaply made.

Great big Boeing Jumbo Jet flying here and there,
dropping of its passengers on some exotic shore
such as China, Turkey,
Viet Nam, Mexico,
Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.


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