Last month, Owen Atkinson was raised to the chair of the Manx Bard, becoming the seventh Manx poet to be given the title.

Owen will share with us a poem each month and tell us what inspired him to write it.

I wrote this poem last summer. Like many people in the island and beyond, I found that the lack of human contact over lockdown drove me to find comfort in nature.

I had more time on my hands and nothing but trees and hills around me to explore.

I was going on walks more often and had time to reflect on the beauty around me.

As an islander, I feel that I have always had a reverence for nature; however, up until last year, I hadn’t yet channelled that into poetry.

I was sitting in my garden, looking out across the valley at that time when the sun has gone down but light still lingers.

It wasn’t far from the summer solstice, and the light just struck me.

I found a notebook, and I wrote.

When it came time to choosing my poems for my Manx Bard application, I found my notes from that night looking out over the sky.

The original was much longer and more rambling, but I managed to tame it down and keep (hopefully) the best bits!

For me, poetry is ultimately a way of getting out my feelings; nothing more, nothing less.

If someone else gets something out of it, that’s almost secondary.

I write and I perform for me. I think that’s how everyone should create.

I am so grateful for the honour of being chosen as the Manx Bard.

The platform I now have to share my work and my passion is an unexpected bonus to my creative process that I will cherish immensely.

Summer Evening Sky

A summer evening sky

Is full of possibilities

The light is blue, purple, lilac

And I can do anything

There are so few cars at this time

That for once I’m sure I can hear the sea

Even when I can’t see it

Behind the overgrown hedges

Summer evening sky

And the light across the valley

Is even brighter than here


And orange

Still linger

Recently I realised that I know the smell of rain

And now I think I know the smell of dusk

As colours fade

And the world turns to black and white

I wonder

Is the grass really still green

Or does it look green to me because I know it is?

The sky is still blue

And the clouds grey

That is certain

Why do we say blue is a sad colour

When tonight it is so pretty?

Can we stay up?

Past sundown, past nightfall, past the slowly looming lull

For light will creep in again before it’s really left

Let’s stay up til sunrise

And do it all again

Not go to bed until the next

Summer evening sky

The birds are awake

So why can’t we be

The birds are awake

So why can’t we be?

I sit and write and watch them fly

Soon the day will begin again

But for now it’s me, a book and a pen

And the summer evening sky