Tag Archives: Children

A poem for International Disability Day

Today is International Disability Day and here is a poem I have written today especially for it.


The Flower of Disability           by Neil William Holland


Sometimes a flower lies waiting there

sometimes fine blooms lie latent there

but there they are and there they bloom.


Some flowers take longer in our care

but love and heart can grow them where

they reach for life that they may bloom.


How rare these flowers that take a while

who ask so little, just love and care,

who bear such pain behind their smile,

young lives who simply want to share

a chance to grow and bloom.


With rainbow smiles of every hue

who just love life like me and you,

embrace them now in all you do

that you may bloom.


Respect is all that’s asked of you

support and mere civility,

that all may grow and we may share

the flower of disability.




Nowadays we know better.
In those days it was simply the matter
of fact way in which we spent summer,
My older brother and his mates
taught me the ways,
although now I do know better.

In those days we would gather and hide
beneath trees at the sides
and in the corners of fields.
My older brother would climb up
disappearing into the leaves
then climb down with an egg.
Not in his hand nor in his pocket,
but cradled in his mouth.

Only one egg was ever taken from any nest,
and in its place a pebble laid to rest.
He would use hawthorn to make a hole
at each end of the egg, one larger than the other.
My brother would blow through the smaller hole
and the contents would be emptied.

The emptied egg was placed in a cardboard box
half full of cotton wool.
We would gather, secretive friends
partly wild in our ways,
marvelling at the marbling
on the shell.
Nowadays I do know better.

Blackbird, robin, thrush, wren, whatever?
My brother and his mates
knew their names in Latin to the letter.
We were all a natural part of the countryside,
but nowadays I’m sure we know we should know better.

A poem by Neil William Holland, a.k.a. Soloneili…thepoetinthecar

Hope you enjoy.


Hello, this is a poem I wrote and recorded about one of my grandchildren. I hope you enjoy.


In the hierarchy of sound
I place the ticking
of my late grandmother’s clock
as middle C.
The purring of Sooty
her black cat sits
somewhere below,
Its meow sits considerably higher,
as do all the sounds of Noah,
my grandson
now three months old.

Asleep on the smokey rag rug
the crackling pops and whistles
of the coal fire reassure,
as do the buttons, buckles, and RAF wings
I play with in their cream coloured tin.
I effortlessly slide from my childhood
to Noah’s as he lies listening.

I have no ticking clock for him.
Only my low grandfather voice,
and my burning desire to ensure
his life is full of music and me,
desperate to be his middle C,
wishing for him,
a world of beautiful polyphony.

poem by Neil William Holland. a.k.a. Soloneili

Music with signposts.

I pose the question, ‘Can all things be said with words’? It begs the question that some things are best said with flowers, perhaps an apology, or an expression of affection and love. If you surprise someone with a weekend in Paris, or any gesture really, is it another form of language. Can a painter deliver a message to you as you stand in front of a painting, or give you at least a sense of place or an invitation to journey somewhere in your imagination. I find the concept of semiotics interesting, the language of signs, and wonder when it comes to communication, ‘how much is enough’? It isn’t always nice things that are communicated, gestures alone can communicate threats for example. However I prefer to dwell on nice things.

This is all relative to my interest in poetry and how it works within us, especially within me really. I seem to ask alot of questions about how things affect me. With all this in mind I post here a piece of music I’ve produced that I hope has the same affect as standing before a painting, or reading a passage in a novel, or a poetic statement. I’ve given it a title, and I simply hope that a listener can paint imagery and narrative inside themselves through it. I don’t know what you might feel, but there is a melancholy to it for me, a story, a young girl or woman receiving a hurtful lesson about life, not a disaster but a an experience shall we say, for someone who may then need some loving arms to turn to, a mum or dad perhaps, and an explanation of why?. I hope you enjoy another stage along this journey with me. The title is ” I waited so long but you stood me up.”


This poem is about the difficult subject of dementia. The poem refers to a couple who are together from childhood into old age and first I wrote the poem then later I explored tonal pictures via my midi keyboard until I felt I had found a complimentary melody that echoed the imagery of the poem. I think it’s interesting to combine words with sound and music. Perhaps music is also about putting across subjects in a certain light, just as words do. We all develop our own imagery listening to music alone, but when it is given a more narrow focus via words too then it plays a slightly different element in the combination, supportive I believe, contributing to the overall tone of the creator’s intention, a point that isn’t lost on film makers and advertisers of course. Anyway, here’s to you in your own creativity and I hope this rather poignant piece is similar to an interaction with a form of music-gallery. Just click on the orange link to hear the poem. Thanks for listening. Best wishes. Neil


Separation…a poem about dementia

We hear the notes
repeated. Repeated,
as the blind piano tuner
merges his world with ours.
We marvel, two children
in a school hall
not knowing our song has begun.

Now sixty years on
I clasp your hand.
You don’t know me anymore
and I try to give you back our children’s names,
repeated. Repeated,
like a blind piano tuner
searching for an echo
to a familiar note.

The Shepherd Boy







The Shepherd Boy

a small piece of Victorian style  poetry

As both set out that afternoon
to find the early lambs new born
they skipped and played a youthful tune
not sensing looming raging storm.

Their joyful search led far from home
O’er hill and dale on paths well worn
now wind and snow chilled to the bone
and desperate fears bred thoughts forlorn.

They both lay down behind a stone
the boy held tight his trembling dog
driving snow barred passage home
to roaring fire and crackling log.

Numb from cold and howling wind
the boy knew well their safety lay
in praying for a path to find
that they may play another day.

The worried shepherd paced the floor
his gaze fixed on the cottage door
that he should see his son arrive
wishing son and dog alive.

Then came a scratch so feint and light
but heard above the howling snow
the shepherd dashed into the night
excited hopes allowed to grow.
Just one small dog is what he saw
near to death, froze to the bone
a thorn stuck deep within his paw.
He knew his son was all alone.

Behind the dog the village paced
heads bent low in steady stride
fearful of the sight they faced
to search the hills for shepherd’s child.

With limping dog their eyes and guide
at last they came upon the stone
and tearful eyes they could not hide,
the boy lay still but not alone
a little dog lay by his side.

They looked around, their eyes agog
but no one saw their guiding dog.
Just shepherd boy and faithful hound
embraced in death as they’d been found.

Now many folks say as they ramble
they see a young lamb leap and gambol
then run as if in simple joy
to the side of a dog and a shepherd boy.

Incantation, I Call The Whale.

This is an experimental poem. It has an epigraph, ‘and the meek shall inherit the earth’,  http://youtu.be/y4G3L8rM5Rw  and I hope that it connects to someone somewhere. If you like notes on poems I have posted some on my page Notes On Poems (scroll to bottom of this page). It is often said that a poem should not need any explanatory notes, but I love them myself and love reading them about other poetry. Peace to all.

The Visit

A poem dedicated to the world’s truly wonderful autistic children

The Visit

As if through a telescope from afar

I watch his world move slowly across the carpet.

He turns the wheels of each toy car,

and lines them up perfectly

adjusting each one minutely.

I enter his space and hold orbit alongside him

and then, unpredictably

he lifts his eyes and contacts me.

One small but intensely bright moment.

He smiles, my daughter smiles, I smile

and we all have our eclipse

and we all stare directly into the sun

through our darkened glasses.

Then, before re-entry, he will hand me the yellow motor car.


A poem by  soloneili