Oliver’s Mysterious Poems


I can taste the salty solution of the jaw dropping batter that had risen like a star
The texture of the calamari was so deeply fried it was like a waterfall waiting to be let free
When I look at the salted calamari I could feel my heart racing. It raced like a cannon ball
The colour was so dynamic it made me feel like a storm of rain.

A poem about goldfish

The wavy sea washed through my beloved body
Which was as brightly coloured as the sun.
I could see shimmering coral shining off the sea bed below my tail.
The colour of my rare body which sparkled as the raging waves clashed together.

Remembering the Soldiers

The horrific scene which set the soldiers trembling onto the gothic solid ground below their feet.

Goose Fair

As I walked down a street I could see the colours of a fair that made me tingle inside
The loud thumping music that shouted down my suffocating throat that was traumatized by the claustrophobic fear of horror.

Orange Sorbet

As I ripped open the fearsome tangerine
I could smell the delicious mouth-watering heart stopping flavours that had been beyond my reach
It felt like a combination of different types of acids had taken over
It was a hurricane that launched into my watering mouth which felt like a drizzling waterfall.

by Oliver Boyles

Tomorrow (Thursday) is National Poetry Day, and at a time when we celebrate the variety and importance of poetry, we’re very pleased to feature a young local poet in our Weekly Poem series. Many thanks to Oliver’s mum, Donna, for providing us with a biography of Oliver and for sharing a selection of his poems.

Oliver Boyles, aged 15, lived in Epwell, Oxfordshire. In June 2018 Oliver was unfortunately diagnosed with a spinal tumour that had been caused by radiotherapy to the spine from his previous cancer treatment when he was six years old (after which he went into remission for 8 years). This latest cancer diagnosis left him paralysed from the waist down and confined him to a wheelchair, and he received chemotherapy and palliative care as the tumour had metastasized. Sadly Oliver passed away peacefully in May 2019, surrounded by his family at home. During his illness Oliver found comfort in writing poems, especially about his love of food.

News from the Centre: for National Poetry Day, two of our Poetry Centre Interns – Joanne Balharrie and Zoe Mcgarrick – have hidden poems around the Headington campus and nearby area. Find a poem, tag us on social media with a photo of the poem, and win poetry prizes! The poems will be lurking around campus for a week, so be on the lookout!

The Poetry Centre has announced a number of upcoming events in November. Visit our Eventbrite page to sign up for readings by Tamar Yoseloff and Carmen Bugan, Doyali Islam and Mariah Whelan, our IF Festival event about our recent military veterans project, and the awards evening for our International Poetry Competition, featuring Jackie Kay. All events are free, and everyone is welcome!