A Poem by Nigel Kent

Nigel Kent has been shortlisted for several national competitions. His collection ‘Saudade’ was published in 2019 (Hedgehog Poetry Press). His poetry conversations ‘A Hostile Environment,’ co-authored with Sarah Thomson, and ‘Thinking You Home’ were published in 2019.


You won’t find him 

with the other kids;

he’ll be sheltering alone 

behind a wall of silence,

made of glass,

that they’ll shatter just for kicks,

throwing words at him

like stones and sticks

that m…m…mock 

and m…m…mimic

He’d like to answer 

back with remarks, 

sharpened on the whetstone 

of his wit 

but he knows 

those words will freeze

like timid children

on the  diving board

and though he’ll try

to urge them on, 

slapping his forehead 

with an open palm, 

they’ll teeter on the edge,

before they step away

to climb back down 


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The Blue Nib believes in the power of the written word, the well-structured sentence and the crafted poetic phrase. Since 2016 we have published, supported and promoted the work of both established and emerging voices in poetry, fiction, essay and journalism. Times are difficult for publishers, and The Blue Nib is no exception. It survives on subscription income only. If you also believe in the power of the written word, then please consider supporting The Blue Nib and our contributors by subscribing to either our print or digital issue.

Editor of Abhaile, Tracy Gaughan is constantly searching for fresh and innovative voices in poetry from Ireland or The United Kingdom: Submit to Abhaile.


  1. Oh dear! This poem brought back some unpleasant memories of my time as a teacher and the similar problems that a few of the kids I taught experienced….and the feeling of helplessness at being unable to change or improve the situation for the poor little blighters. I wonder were they to continue as “victims” for the rest of their lives?
    I particularly liked the diving board reference having “been there and done that” often enough!


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