Monday, 30 June 2014

The last one = continuum

Stars spark and shatter in the distant skies, pinprick rainbows in the far away, catching us slowly so slowly as light lingers on and reminds us now of what has passed.  Continuum.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Day 29 - Slumber

Aphrodite slinks through cobwebbed bowers
In her dreams she whiles away the hours
Her slumber purrs within and her mind dances
Through the places she has been and the chances
That she took and those she lost
She doesn't care at what cost
For she is dreaming now of how and when
She will be whole again

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Day 28 - animated

Your face
As the world turns
And life darts within and about,
You laugh

Friday, 27 June 2014

Day 27 - Rooftops

My fingers are strangers on the rooftops of your spine,
Illicit visitors cruising quietly towards their destination,
Shivers bring palms down to continue the journey,
Warm skin beneath cool enquiry offers answers
That flicker in the air and leave as quickly
As a sharpened breath awaiting a tongue's caress.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Day 26 - Wordsmith

The wordsmith spins and turns the magic
While the pen creates and the page is filled.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Day 25 Gold

You gave me gold so when I grew old I would be safe
That gold is a trove hidden from sight until the time is right
And you dig and cover and map and run
While all about you is chaos and ruin comes calling
On wide booted feet that crush and crumble bone
Amid the crying and the smoke I remember the place
And see their faces as they search for what is mine but
I am not old and you are not here and it is too late
When the ground lies wrecked and savage truths split the land
We forget hope and memory is buried beneath the blood
Until a new time when quiet rules and curiosity finds
what you gave me so I would be safe when I grew old.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Day 24 Reverie

Damp grass soft on tired toes
Daisy chains in the rain
Airborne cobwebs catch the face
Caterpillars trailing, riding the currents 
Clematis tangles through summer shade
Rose petals spiraling on pond water
I feel a pinch, hard and unwelcome
My reverie - is abruptly halted by real life.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Day 23

The ancestors are taken
Vilified and humiliated
Laid to rest?
What a joke.
If there is treasure there
It is not theirs but ours
Ours to take and make
A fortune
And leave those bones
Locked up and under torture

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Days 21 and 22

Stones standing, watching
Sun creeps, peeping through
Midsummer's day breath

A chance meeting
The glass castle cracks
Baked ground rips apart
A salt shaker twists as it smashes
Bitter contents seeping through gaping wounds
Trees are airborne missiles
Black sand rising while the earth shudders
A hand outstretched is missed
But then grasped and held tight

Friday, 20 June 2014

Day 20

Around the tiles the wailing banshee screams
Scatter-shot hailstones chiming against panes
Timbers groan, shuddering shoulder to the wind
As spiteful rain twists and whips under lightening shards
Darkness descending to blanket the earth
The storm has baulked but wherefore i cannot say

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Day 18 and 19 - a double bill!

Ted Hughes wrote, 'and the blue tit zipped clear of lace panties'.
This seems unlikely.
But more picturesque than y-fronts.

Desire talks like a professor
- but makes no sense,
Wanting the unecessary,
Needing the unwanted,
Sparking scarlet and hungry,
Whispering secrets that wrap and crush,
Pinching as breath twists
- and slicing tiny pieces of the heart.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Day 17

I am
Question the vanishing
truth of mystery, and wonder
am I?

Monday, 16 June 2014

Day 16 Ergo

the human body is infallible ergo you will get fat
your hair never looks quite right ergo don't bother looking in the mirror
parking fines are ridiculous ergo cycle
'shock and awe' sounds better than it is ergo don't believe everything they tell you
stubbing your toe is outrageously painful ergo wear shoes
weather forecasts will be subject to late change ergo carry the umbrella and sun hat
the truth hurts ergo be prepared or don't ask
people who lark about on punts end up in the drink ergo take a change of clothes

one day all this will end ergo love every minute 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Dear Mr Ford

So there is much excitement at work regarding a certain Harrison Ford who is receiving treatment at the hospital.  Naturally, I am not about to reveal anything about his injuries and care that would infringe his patient confidentiality - I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING, I'M 'ONLY' A TEACHER THERE SO DON'T PANIC: I get all my information from the internet, just like everybody else you know.  However, his presence (cue, 'I felt a disturbance in the Force') has made me consider what it is about him and what he does which means that I have been beside myself with excitement that I AM IN THE SAME BUILDING AS HIM.  This has not had the same effect on my colleagues who are somewhat bemused, (it isn't as though it's Bradley Cooper' one of them muttered, 'isn't he from the 70s?' queried another).  If I could meet him. I wouldn't know what to say.  I would be a blithering idiot, I imagine just like everyone else he tries to avoid meeting who admire his work.  I'm not given to trawling unofficial biogs or reading celeb mags to find juicy titbits of information about stars so I probably know less about him than a lot of people.  I know he famously doesn't suffer fools gladly, doesn't like the interview and film promotion element of acting, has been married three times (second time to the woman who wrote the ET screenplay, fact fans), lives on a ranch where he rides horses, flies planes and helicopters, saves the environment and generally keeps a low profile.

This is what I would say to him if I was in another universe and could think straight, keep it together and 'just fly casual' in his presence.  Actually, maybe it would be better in a letter...

Dear Mr Ford,
I love you.  But don't worry, I'm not a stalker and I don't know where you live.  So I won't be bothering you anytime soon or running for my life as you spot a shadow lurking on your porch and come out with a few large dogs and a shot gun to take a look around.  In fact, I probably don't even want to meet you because in my head, we would get on really well and you would be funny and charming and I would be intelligent and interesting (like Marion in Raiders, not like Willie Scott in Temple of Doom, who, let's be frank, was simply irritating and screamy) but the reality of an actual meeting is unlikely to match my expectations.  Sometimes, reality and fantasy are best kept at a safe distance to avoid any dreams being crushed or lawsuits issued.  All that aside, there is a reason why you are important to me. 

My first cinema trip was to see The Empire Strikes Back in 1981 (I know, I'm old so I hope that doesn't make you feel even older.  However, historically, and unfairly, men age way better than women so fear not - you look better at 71 than I do now), followed by Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I was eight when I saw Empire, at The Odeon in Oxford with my mum and brother and his friend.  Going to the cinema was a really, really big deal then.  We didn't go regularly as my children do now nor could we follow up a great screening with the dvd three months later.  Back then, you saw the film and that was that.  Well, until video was invented and even then you had to wait a year for it to be released and it cost the equivalent of a round the world plane ticket.   I can't remember much about Empire other than that last shot of Luke, Leia and the droids looking out of the window into the galaxy where, somewhere, Han Solo was incarcerated and in need of rescue.  I now love that line as he went into the carbonite in response to Leia's, 'I love you'; an apparently adlibbed, 'I know'.  So cool and so many reasons to say it that said so much more about character development and feelings that the more usual, 'I love you too'.  I'm not claiming that I recognised it as brilliant at the time of course.  I was probably too busy choking on the cigarette fumes as not only did you have to put up with people eating, kicking the back of your (not as comfortable as now) seat and chatting, smoking was still allowed.  I guess the upside was at least your viewing pleasure wasn't spoilt by the light from the as yet uninvented mobile phone as somebody needed to put the fact that they were at the cinema as their Facebook status - not that you could have seen it through the smog.  I do know that by the time Return of The Jedi came around I was completely in love with you and went to see that film seven times.  My room, possibly unusually for an eleven year old girl back in the eighties, was a shrine to all things Star Wars with not a sign of a Cabbage patch doll or whatever was the in thing at that time for the fairer sex (apart from Sindy dolls but that was because Sindy had a riding school; see next sentence for clarity on that).  As I got older you were kind of replaced by horses a little so sorry about that but it could have been worse and you like horses so I'm sure you understand. 


I liked Han then and still do now because of his unwillingness to compromise his beliefs and his very well founded sense of looking after number one, plus his inability to be fazed by people who others consider important ('I know, where DID you dig up that old fossil?'  Ben is a great man. 'Yeah, great at getting us into trouble').  I don't want to know why he is like that, it is enough to know that what ever backstory George Lucas had in mind for him gave enough for you to work with that you made Han into a fully rounded rebel with a healthy ego and nice line in put downs.  Han Solo was so funny and brilliant - that raised eyebrow!  The sideways grin!  The way he was willing to ignore his love for Leia so she could be with Luke (phew, lucky she found out that she was his sister or that could have been awkward.  Good incest avoidance, Mr Lucas)!  His ruthlessness and single minded belief in his own greatness which was so different to those with the knowledge that there was a greater force out there!  And that waistcoat!  So it was a combination of looks, fabulous character traits and fashion sense that got to me. 


However, I reckon the film in-between Empire and Jedi was what sealed it.  Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I saw that in Not the Moulin Rouge which was a tiny cinema in Headington and no longer exists (living somewhere long enough to know places that are no longer there is not necessarily a good thing; for clarity on that one, see back to ageing).  I love the combination of being a professor and simultaneously an (outrageously handsome) archeologist with an unshakable moral centre and a fine line in battered hats and bullwhip action.   I think everybody needs escapism, somebody to have the adventures that they are never going to have and the ability to make witty quips in dire situations while also looking unbelievably good.  As an actor, you've made some interesting choices.  You may not be feted as the actor of your generation like Daniel Day-Lewis or made anything that the world raves over as particularly dangerous or outre but what you do, you do so very well.  And you make it look easy which I always think is the sign of a great actor - you know, in the James Stewart or Cary Grant vein.  Many of your films are up there in my 'best ever' including The Fugitive, Patriot Games, The Mosquito Coast, Witness and Blade Runner. I also really liked Cowboys and Aliens even though nobody else did.  For that matter, ditto The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull.  I can't claim to have seen everything you have ever been in but thank you for giving me Han Solo and Indiana Jones.  They have made my life better and for that I am grateful.

Day 15

I see you looking back at me
Cosmic dust slitting your eyes
Nails dug deep, gripping on
Desperate  not to leave

I see you looking back at me 
Blood flowing, skin drying,
Silent mouth screaming 'no'
Body refusing to work

I see you looking back at me
Knowing it has happened all before
Thinking it was back then, just them
Not us, it couldn't happen again

I see you looking back at me
Wishing you had acted when you could

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Day 14 Gargantuan

Gargantuan means pretty much bigger than normal,
More massive than giant and higher than huge,
I remembered that as I looked up at the creature,
Black and sombre, poised to pounce, eyes wary,
Towering up and up, so high it could barely be seen,
Wondering if it would mean the end of mankind -
I imagined it chasing people; screaming, desperate,
All of their lives rushing before them in the face of terror

But then I snapped out of it, opened the window,
And left the room, not to return until the spider had gone.


This word is worse than 'galumphing'!

Gentlemen, I implore you, think before you leap.
Your masters may tell you, 'jump' but if my heart you wish to keep,
You will rebel, you will say no, you will refuse to go.
I have loved you all and your demise will be my final woe,
I imagine your uniforms smart and tight,
Those boots I watched you polish - oh so bright,
You march in line, each there for the other,
But, I implore you please, do not forget your mother.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Day 12

The Galumphing is a terrible creature,
He lies disguised as a verb,
His smell is a prominent feature,
Tho he disguises it with herbs,
He slithers and predates as a noun,
How cleverly, steadily he will creep,
He will often be noted about town,
His teeth rattle as he boldly leaps.
And for most he will never be seen,
But to others that view will be their last,
For he is known to be mean,
When you hear him approach, hope he slinks past.

Argh!  This is a horrible word!  I'm trying to be over clever and force the word to do something for me that it is very resistant to. Sadly, this falls flat on its face but onwards and upwards - didn't somebody somewhere once say that, 'tomorrow is another day'?  Part of this challenge is accepting that if I am not giving the time to think and work on drafts, that rough work will be what results.  Sometimes that throws up interesting things, sometimes it doesn't (as in today's little effort).  Always worth doing though; sometimes a silk purse can be crafted from that sow's ear.  Sometimes.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Day 11

Claws push earth away
Neck elongated, straining
Eyes bright, staring
Body taught, precise
Wings prepared, outstretched
Last effort
Clucking and flapping
The ground drops away
The sky could be the limit
But a short fence post will do
A chicken in flight

Day 10 - okay, it's late!

There's a skeleton in your closet.  Did you know?  I hear it rattling, skulking and biding its time.  Do you hear it?  I see it.  Long fingers - boney unsurprisingly, emerging from the wooden box.  Teeth clacking, it bides its time.  Bright colours fading, fabric rotting.  Do you smell it?  The scent of treachery.  Sadness is airborne.  Stick out your tongue, so warm and fleshy.  Do you taste it?  Despair comes creeping.  Can you feel it?  Those bones are reaching out from the past.  And you will pay.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Day 9

Supine, she floats
Close to the boats

Once fast and fleet
Now simply meat

Harpooned, he gasps
Twists from their grasp

Ice floes crack
Split rudder flaps

Diving deep, fast
Men in the past

Curses in salty air
Now they care

Home empty handed 


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Poem 8

She said to meet here,
But I think I'm in the wrong place.
She definitely said here,
There is a lot of blood in the air.
I wish I'd got her number,
A smell of death oozing into my pores.
This is not exactly date friendly,
Sharp blades and tufts of hair.
I think it's time to leave,
This is not my idea of a fun meet space.

I have no idea what a meatspace is but apparently it is in the Urban dictionary so I'm now going to look it up!

Day 7


She is broken
But still she rises
Despair touches her
But still she rises
Her voice leaves her
But still she rises
She fights hard
And still she rises
Her truth sings out
And she rises

And when her work is complete
She rises for the final time
And is welcomed home

My words seem pretty ineffectual in the face of the mighty Maya Angelou but this is for her. 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Poetry day 6

her heart 
tough like crystal
thick and weighty.  

But it is just a standard heart - thin glass that is easily shattered.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Day 5

The yellow ribbons tell of justice sought,
We need him back, the parents say,
And all agree - bring him home,
He's one of us, we don't abandon,
He stood by the flag and we do not forget,
Bring us a happy ever after and do it soon,
Five years is too long; give us results,
He can't cope and we want closure.
We need to believe that miracles happen.

Choices are made, meetings taken,
Where is the risk and the satisfaction?
Decisions set in motion cannot be slowed,
Jubilation - justice is served!
He is free.  Our brave boy coming home,
But rumours surface - he is not true,
We have been duped, where is the hero?
The ribbons droop, muddied with rain,
The flag unyielding in the media maelstrom.

I'm interested in how everybody wants to be part of something, to be in the news, to be THE news and to feel a sense of engagement and entitlement in the affairs of others.  In this case, a soldier has been held captive for many years and a difficult and contentious choice has been made in seeking to free him.   Maybe this is seen as a worthy concession to facilitate a hero's triumphant return but once questions start to swirl regarding the soldier and the circumstances of his capture - perhaps even desertion was the cause, then the feelings change.  This isn't how it is 'supposed' to be.  What will happen next?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Day 4

Panache.  A short poem

Some people have it in spades.
I don't.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Day 3



This is a great subject for a poem but has to be satisfied with an acrostic due to time constraints!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Day 2

Brains on the table
This mass holding memories
Creating a self
Unique being, giving love
A spark in the world gone out