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• bespoke •

funerals • retirements • birthdays • events

A piece of bespoke poetry is absolutely unique to you and yours. Celebrating a birthday, a wedding, a life, it's a special way to mark an occasion whether profoundly, humorously, or both.

Commissioned pieces can often distill what has always been there into something memorable and lasting.

The process of commissioning is easy, there is, however, time needed from you to invest in briefing me. 

I usually deliver in under 2 weeks. Below are some sample pieces, ©Anne Sikking, 2022 and 2023.

An 80th Birthday Celebration

Four score, (forget 'and ten'!)
Is more life than many men.

It's measured out, by weeks by days,
Years celebrate the many ways
You have long campaigned.
You've marched in sun, and when it rained,
Leaflets, yellow bag in hand,
Envelopes in elastic bands.
Thrashing streets, (the Napiers!),
Marshalling the volunteers.

To build freedom and a nation
Is more than self-determination.

It's keeping on, keeping on,
(When few are singing your same song.)
It's many a cake-fest led by Ann,
Thronged with your fellow man.
Burns nights, slow fund-raising,
Ever hopeful, wild, star-gazing,
Endless effort for little praise,
Spirits (and bars) to raise,

Your belief in Scotland
Has no end.

This idea, living in our hearts,
This hope, to challenge all false starts,
Is resilient, as members come and go,
Because you are rooted in what you know.
The past, in its purest sense,
Is what informs the present tense.
Because of you, in all your stages,
This dream's alive, well down the ages.

To you, now eighty, no more a swain,
We praise our convenor's name:


An Event

There's something magic in Govan.

Perhaps it's the Samba band -

the least likely smiling members

bash, bang, with a joy unplanned.


Or it could be the children's choirs,

kindling new hope in our chest,

their clothes dishevelled from playtime,

yet singing out their best.


It could be men and bagpipes,

their drone-beat matching blood.

Scots, stamping along with 'foreigners',

nurture harmony's tender bud.


Perchance it is that angel voice

soaring on scales of the Middle East,

lamenting times, now far from home,

when they longed to be released.


It's possible filmed memories mingle,

like ingredients for a cake,

and the result (in a church!) is unexpected,

so we do a double take.


Or maybe smells of cooking

wafting through the air,

remind us we are all hungry

for peace and a chance to share.


The many chefs' hard labours,

the music, the swelling voices,

all finery and hairstyles,

make a pattern from our choices.


There's something magic in Govan,

amidst deprivation and neglect.

The spirit of its people

is determined to connect.


It's easy to say it's dirty,

to spot rubbish in the streets,

to never find the glass half-full,

to merely see defeats.


But magic is what we cannot see,

what moves our hidden parts.

Ultimately it's a sort of magic

that changes people's hearts.


After all, organisations are just people

who unite to act and discuss.

The 2023 World Cultural & Diversity Day

showed the best of us.


Thank you.

A Funeral

Yvonne. Yvonne. Yvonne.

gone too soon –

Daughter, lost to a life

that caught her unready

for its provocation.


Sister, who felt the sun

that kissed her,

loved creatures great and small,

dreamt of colour, music, souls,

had vision for it all.


Partner, from so young an age.

Part martyr to the endless scores

of early mornings, sleepless nights.

But amongst the rhythm of daily chores

still keen to keep hope in sight.


Mother, of four rising stars,

who stir now to make their mark,

who are already strong, able, loyal, kind,

who know their way, who calm their minds,

who have their spirit guides.



So. Yvonne.

Child of your time.

You, who has left behind

such wreckage, such loss.

What will we always have of you that's true?


Your love of those who cared is not forgotten,

just because the net of life snared you in its mesh.

Your bright enthusiasms, your determination

in the teeth of vast chasms of despair leave us a meditation.


How sweet is life.

How sweet your precious view.

How sweet our sorrow.

How sweet, once baby girl, were you.

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