I have wanted to try my hand at an Englyn for some time. It is a compressed form of Welsh verse style (actually there are several types and it would be best if you want to know more to search online for a more precise set of definitions and explanations – again there are several and they don’t all agree!). The version I have attempted has a ten syllable first line with the first appearance of the rhyme on the seventh syllable, where there is a break. The rhyme appears at the end of the remaining lines. The next line has six syllables with the last two lines having seven syllables each.

The difficulty is not adhering to the syllable count – any fool can juggle the words to fit that. The trick is conveying something coherent within that format. In Englyns in Welsh there is also supposed to be cynghanedd, or harmony, within each line and I am sure I haven’t achieved this.

I think the cynghanedd concept works better in Welsh but although I read Welsh and speak it a little, writing poetry is hard enough in English for now. So my Welsh and my poetry remain works in progress.

So for what it’s worth here it is :



Broken dreams in B&B, zero hours.

In your austerity

Levelling up sounds so twee

In a queue in A & E


for those who may not know –

B&B is bed and breakfast accommodation – a nice way of spending the night away from home on holiday at less cost than full hotel accommodation – no doubt airbnb has changed perception and meaning to some extent. The B&B I am talking about here however is cheap emergency accommodation provided for those who find themselves homeless and on welfare. It started out as a good idea  but many  B&B places provided just that – bed and breakfast and people had to wander the streets during the day as they were not allowed shelter during those hours.

A&E is accident and emergency at hospital – there were long queues to access treatment in Britain long before the coronavirus outbreak. A major cause was too few beds in hospitals thanks to accountancy cuts – can’t have ‘spare wards’ full of ’empty beds’ and staff with ‘time on their hands’ waiting for a surge of admissions. A concept NHS staff found laughable before the current crisis.

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