Saturday, 30 April 2016

NaPoWriMo - Day 30 - The final frontier, off prompt and going out with a bang?

Ah! The very last day of NaPoWriMo. Today's prompt is to write a translation. I know no other language enough for that and guessing just from the look or sound of word doesn't cut it for me. I've never really understood translation unless you speak that language. So, I decided to go for an off the wall tragic comedy poem! Maybe I should re-title this The Writer's Last Stand! It is a bit of fun in a macabre sort of way - my humour can be that way! Hope you have enjoyed my month of poetry. I missed a couple of days through (a) forgetfulness and (b) no time, but I've had a lot of fun with the rest.


She noticed the smoke (or was it steam?)
wafting through the garden,
but she had a deadline to keep.

On a whim (or was it concern?)
she made a half-hearted move
towards the window to observe.

But she had a deadline to keep
and she returned to the laptop
tap, tapping the keys in urgency.

There was a smell of smoke (or was it…?);
her husband may have lit
that cigarette. Hadn’t he given up?

It was the roaring (or was it a splintering?)
that annoyed her, niggling her mind;
she had a deadline to keep.

The noise penetrated her work space.
Ignoring it she worked fast, so fast that she grew
hot. Sweat was pouring off her.

Then there was shouting (or was it a scream?);
husband downstairs yelling from the door
but she had a deadline to keep.

The sirens were the last straw, how could
she work under these conditions?
Did no one understand the urgency?

She had a deadline to keep for God’s sake!
And as the flames licked at the walls

she tapped her way to the last………

Friday, 29 April 2016

NaPoWrMo - Day 29 - I remember

The penultimate poem for April in the NaPoWriMo challenge. The prompt is to write a poem on the theme of I remember. I found great pleasure in writing this....all that nostalgia! This is perhaps one of my most revealing poems about growing up, of the ordinary days, and I think most people of my era will associate with at least some (if not) most of it. There is one line in there which I think might get you wondering....ah the freedom of childhood back then!

My Nana, Mum, my brother and me!

Back Then

I remember the year of 1965, a tent in the garden,
               Mr Tambourine Man on the radio, June, the heat.
I remember Monday mornings, washing flapping
               on the line, clean-sheet smell, cold meat for lunch
I remember those long school holidays, grey August days,
               clouded and wet before the sun and steaming fences
I remember wearing my jeans in the blazing heat and
               a bikini in the garden, red blotches on white skin
I remember the dart board on the shed door, the knife
               I used to arrow into the grass, the thud, the holes!
I remember watching insects for hours, the ants moving eggs,
               the woodlice I kept in a box, the worms I cradled.
I remember my brother’s scooter I raced round the corner
               of what we called the concrete (these days aka patio!)
I remember building an assault course for the dog, getting her
               to jump the sticks, and here I honed my footballing skills
I remember the hours spent in my room inventing new games,
               listening to rock and pop, taping the top twenty on Sundays.
I remember before we had a video the arguments over programmes,
               and then with a video arguments over what to tape
I remember how I took it all for granted, the safety, the love,
               the family unit, the laughter. I remember.

I will always remember.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Flash fiction - 75 words piece published

Today I have a piece of flash fiction up on the Paragraph Planet website. That's all I wanted to say really!

NaPoWriMo - Day 28 - 'A story in reverse' poem

Writing a story in reverse is today's prompt for NaPoWriMo (day 28). I had to write it forward first! It can be read both ways:

How we got here

After breakfast he left with his suitcase
And I went to bed.
I laughed.
He reminded me of a clown.
I mud pied him with stew and dumplings
And he laughed!
Food had congealed on the plate.
He was so late 
Timing wasn’t his thing.

He never phoned.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Day 27 - NaPoWriMo - poem with long lines!

I think I hit writer's block today. No inspiration. The prompt for day 27 of NaPoWriMo is to write a poem with long lines. I struggled with this and ended up back with something which mentions the moon again (obsessed? maybe).

I'm sure this could do with a good edit. Still, here it is:

The Night Movers

After an hour I go downstairs into the dark kitchen where the moon
casts shadows across the worktops, the sink and the taps.
I stare out through the window across the garden and search the night
for any kind of life beyond the fox and the bats and the owls.

Across the way there are no lights in windows, they stare back
in hollow black rectangles, curtains drawn on sleeping forms in dream
or nightmare, and here I am making tea in the kitchen with the light off,
clearing the draining board of the dinner dishes ready for morning.

I look to the moon, her starkness outshining everything in the sky,
the dark backdrop her canvas. I wonder if I am the only one watching.
Somewhere out there must be others moving through a darkened house alone,
making tea and pondering on the vastness of the night sky.

All those shift workers on tea breaks, staring from windows,
driving home down empty streets before the sun comes up again,
entering a sleeping home and watching the TV on mute, music on headphones
so as not to wake the sleepers. We shift silently through halls and rooms.

We are the night movers and the sleepless souls who are in tune
with the humming fridge and ticking clock, the settling of the house, the oddness
of noises, reading in dimmed lights as the hours creep by. And all the while

the silent moon moves through the night, ever watchful, ever our companion.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

NaPoWriMo - Day 26 - Call and response poem

Today for NaPoWriMo the task is to write a call and response poem. Here is mine:

Morning Ritual

Call now my brothers, call now my sisters
Come the sun, come the day.

Rising again from horizon afar
Come the sun, come the day

Inching above the dark frozen earth
Come the sun, come the day

Hail to the God of morning’s new birth
Come the sun, come the day.

His fingers are fiery, his temper is hot
Come the sun, come the day

Bow down before him in reverent praise
Come the sun, come the day

For he is your strength, your lifeblood, your life
Come the sun, come the day.

Let us now sing as he raises his head
Come the sun, come the day

Raise up your arms, let him shine on your face
Come the sun come the day

Hail to the God of morning’s new birth
He is here! He is here! All hail to the sun!

Monday, 25 April 2016

NaPoWriMo - Day 25 - first line from another poem

Day 25 of NaPoWriMo is to write a poem that begins with a line from another poem. It just so happens that I have one of those! It comes from a Paul Farley poem.

(inspired by Paul Farley with acknowledgement to him for my first line!)

Is mine the only heart out in this weather
battling against the ache of the unspoken in the wind,
the deluge of rain tearing down the sky?

I tried to leave it behind by a cosy fire
but it is so attached to me that I cannot wrench it away
and its icy fingers numb my chest.

It is self-indulgent, wallowing in pity
I tell it a joke and it shuns me. How can you? it says,
can’t you hear my anguish?

I wish to abandon it, leave it with the lost souls,
trade it in for an unhurt model or one that can withstand

the weathering of emotional turmoil head on.