When challenged to write a poem on the colour red I recalled a letter box I’d seen embedded in the wall of an old post house in Scotland. I’ve taken liberties with the location to create a rhyme. Hopefully I can be forgiven this small artistic licence.


The life and times of a letter box

Birthed in a time of strife

In the dark hours of life

This letterbox is royalty

A sign of British loyalty

Embossed with a sovereign’s initials

Tended by government officials

G for George, R for Rex, the wartime king.

Embedded in a wall near the town of Killin.


Its gaping mouth, a humourless line

Devouring mail like a godless shrine

Day after day, swallowing with gravity

Good news. Sad news. Joy and tragedy.

Precious words that someone will savour

All taste the same on pristine white paper.

No guarantee of safe arrival

Fickle chance drives the art of survival.


Father to daughter, the years float by

Elizabeth ascends with a world-weary sigh

The writers of letters fade slowly away

Texts and emails the comms of the day.

Born in a time of worldwide strife

The box now reaches the end of life.

Fresh bricks mark its place in the ancient stone wall

Its service just memory few can recall.