Showing posts from April, 2014

Last day of NaPoWriMo

I think this month long exercise has shown me that poetry needs work and if you find just one word in a piece that you are happy with and know will be staying, then you have had a good writing session.  It has also shown me, pretty much what I already knew, that anything worth doing is worth taking time over and that I am not a natural poet.  It has been fun however and another month long writing excursion begins tomorrow!

The moon has fallen into the sea,
But the stars are lonely, wishing it back,
I watch them shifting, calling to me,

My arms are reaching far out to the track
where the moon should carefully slide.
The journey is fairytale, the ending not clear,
I want the moon back on its celestial glide,
Whatever I try I will never get near.

Hit and Miss

So this is the  first chapter of a short story or maybe something longer that I started a while back and I'm considering dusting off and working on a little.  I have a great fear of showing people my writing so I figure putting on here is a good way to get over that.  I really like these characters but it is hard to make them empathetic when you are in both heads - I like the how the perspective changes and who hasn't been in a situation where they have read it completely wrong?
Hit and Miss
My drink was out of my hand and over his top before I hit the pavement.The protective properties of the polystyrene lid did not meet expectations, which made me question; how does stuff like that get through quality control?I dared a glance up.It was a very dark liquid and an impressively white t-shirt. Tight white t-shirt.I was mid apology when a stabbing pain ripped through my chest causing my,
“God, I’m so sorry, it was the sun, I couldn’t see.Look at the mess, I…”
to crescendo into the …

The boy at the castle

I am hugely impressed with Maria's, see amazing explorations into poetic form and have to admit that I have failed dismally in that respect during the month of NaPoWriMo this April.  I have enjoyed writing short pieces and it amuses me that most of them are maudlin in nature - it must be lurking under the surface of my psyche!!

What is your name? she demands imperiously
Tone indicating she expects to be taken seriously
Come here she commands as she drops back on the bed
He shuffles towards her with fear and dread
There's no need to worry I know what I'm doing
She nods behind her to where they are queuing
This is a mistake he begins with a quake
She laughs and looses her hair with a shake
Don't be a fool this is part of the test
You have to complete it to be one of the best
The king would not stand for anything less
When you have finished you can go back to your chess
You don't understand I'm simply not ready
I've heard it before you just ne…


Sitting in the dark
Is a way to get things done
It crystallises thoughts
It hides fears
And allows sadness to sing

May morning

My foray into blank verse...

Iced blossom falling gently from the tree
Sticks inelegantly to rain slicked streets
Airborne pink and white confetti swirling
Heralds May Day approaching in Oxford
Morris men with bells and ribbons jumping
Will emerge with the river mist rising
Early start, ball gowned girls with missing shoes
Stagger with champagne bottles to balance
Against men in muddy tails with murky eyes
Heading home to bed. Lectures forgotten.

A little late for St George's day


Saintly George looked brave
While the dragon considered
And the maiden sighed
Tired of waiting she ran, fast
Leaving the pair to dream on

Seven year baby

So my baby is seven years old today.  Even though everybody said time would fly, I didn't believe them and certainly for the first year, they were wrong.  Time dragged, it was often boring and I wanted him to be interesting and do stuff!  Now though, he is too old, I want time to slow down and if I could have that first year back again, even if I would be bored again, I really think I would grab at the chance.  It isn't very PC to say that motherhood is boring, especially not the beginning bit where it is all new and supposed to be wonderful, but like anything, change is often difficult to work around and accepting that takes time in itself.  Life sometimes is dull, not full of endless excitement and unbounded joy.  I think this is why finding wonder in the small things can keep you going during the worst of times. 

Small things
When I look back through your memory journal,
Do you know what I see?
Moments that were not extraordinary but just special to me.
Those times kept me a…

Iambic pentameter exercise going ... somewhere?

Believe when I warn; you will not be true,
Ignore what I say; it will still be heard,
Some will scoff, some will laugh, but they listen,
Heartless are those who choose the easy path,
You are one who must obey my command,
If you want change, then you must change yourself,
Be brave, walk strong, do not look back again,
And I will be waiting, gladly waiting.

Poetry project

I would like to write a sestina but I don't have the time (always with the excuses...) so instead something a little less formal.

Looking back

We look back to go forwards
Time ticking, time stalling
Fashions reinvent themselves
We fail to reinvent ourselves
And in the failing, we change
Science remakes as religion reminds
Our hearts to stay true
But it is too hard 
Just too hard
And though we tug at the tide
We are ripped from the shore
And thrown into the wake of not knowing
Or understanding.  Or caring.
We gaze forwards and turn back.

Do you want to build a snowman?

So I'm back in the land of poetry after what feels like a long time camping, even though it was only five days.  I don't mean it was long because it was bad, just long and wonderful but hard work.  Living in a bluebell wood for a few days made me want to be able to do it forever.   Realistically of course, it wouldn't be practical or much fun in the floods and snow but as is so true for so many things, a girl can dream and pick out the best bits to log for those times when fun seems very far away and happier times need to be recalled to keep the soul together.

I'm currently watching Frozen for the fourth time.  I love this film.  Without wishing to over analyse, this film is almost perfect.  It has heart, humour, memorable characters, fantastic songs and a familiar enough story structure to make following the narrative straightforward but with the addition of two great twists on the romance genre that make it interesting and special.  The utter conviction and love Anna …

Poetry day 13

Now I've caught up with myself...

Solitude acrostic

Silence at 4 a.m is a beautiful thing
Only I and the birds appreciate it
Life is beginning over again
In the light rolling onwards
Tipping a rose glaze through the clouds
Under a plane's lazy underscore
Darkness is banished and expectation beckons
Enjoy the mystery

All this poetry stuff is very raw and unfinished. One of the things I have noticed is the difficulty in balancing line length and importance.  This is clearly something I would need to address if going forwards to edit and polish anything that has been written this month!

Poetry Day 12

Okay, it's a day late but I spent my time which is called, laughingly, 'free' or 'spare' finishing a book called Divergent.  It's a YA book full of interesting ideas although there is something perhaps lacking in the drive of some of the characters which makes it a difficult one to really get into and I found it hard to empathise with their issues.  This is a poem from the perspective of the protagonist, Tris.

It's my time to choose
My mind is my own
I don't want to loose
I don't want to leave my home
But I must
I hide confusion and I am silent
There is no trust
I will be forced to be violent
Faction before blood is what we learn
I have to be strong to say no
Now it is time to smash through and burn
It is my time to go

Poetry month and I've forgotten which post this is...

So yesterday I had to do two super speedy poems as I hadn't done one the day before and now here I am, rushing still because I didn't get up early and the 'spare' time I did have today was spent going to see Noah at the cinema.  I am never going to look at cute, brightly coloured arks sold in toy shops in quite the same way now.  I am falling back on a primary school staple - the Kennings poem.  It is an ancient Norse verse that describes something without naming it and the form is a chain of pairs of words (or kennings).

Can you guess what it is yet?





Second poem of the day and I think I promised Maria I would write a limerick but am going with a cinquain instead.  Invented 100 years ago by the delightfully named American poet, Adelaide Crapsey.

Door slams Shouting echoes Peace is shattered by hate Tempers boil into the winter Discord

I missed a day!

Okay, so I didn't quite get around to writing a poem yesterday.  i thought I'd do it in the morning, but didn't.  Then I thought I'd do it in the evening but went to see Captain America instead.  Soon, I will get around to writing about Frozen - I love that film.  There is so much to discuss.  However, I need to keep my promise to myself to write something everyday so here is a brief little effort to cover yesterday.  It has to be a haiku as they are fast (but not easy so apologies as this one is out there with no editing clothes on, poor thing).


Sparrows in the trees
Sebastian Faulks' novel
Neither is restful

Poetry Day 8

So today I have been tasked with writing a haiku that includes the word, 'nostalgia'.  There are only 17 syllables and this is three of them!  Here goes...

Nostalgia fills me
Dragging my heart into shreds
It searches waste land

Nostalgia fills me
It searches waste land, dragging
My heart through the dark

I don't think you can have punctuation so the second one probably doesn't count.  Fun though to try and consolidate ideas into such a small space.

Poetry Project Day 7

An ode to the wonders of the milkshake...  yes, my tastes run more in this direction than cocktails and sophistication!

Moo Moos

Moo Moos,
Pink and white box in the Covered Market,
How you tantalise,
With your perplexing flavour combinations.
What tortured mind ever conceived of a biscuit milkshake?
Everyone loves an Oreo but liquidised?
Look into your science - it doesn't work,
There will always be bits at the bottom
Waiting to unseat the unsuspecting slurper.
But a flake?  Snickers?  Kit Kat? Bring it on.
I challenge anyone not to be impressed with the sweets -
Starburst; sherbet; liquorice; smarties, anyone?
So Moo Moos, you are truly inventive and have enhanced my life.
But please get that queuing system sorted out.

Poetry Day 6

The Conquest

Shouts echoing across the grass
Softly churned to mud beneath metal shod feet,
Flags flutter, caught in a cruel wind,
Whipping the onlookers into a frenzy of noise,
Congratulations and curses fly,
Colours clash, faces hit the earth,
Blood is let, bruises bloom,
Limbs twist, breath kicked skywards.
The jousting ground?
The rugby pitch.

Poetry Day 5 - officially running out of ideas.

Hmm, so now it is the first day of the Easter holidays and I have a whole side of A4 full of things I have to/need to/will go insane if I don't do.  They range from completing job applications to cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, writing a Philosophy of Education essay and planning days out with my lovely team of two children.  The children are currently sulking as I am on the computer and despite the fact that they are having hours of TV fun this morning (which never happens on a weekday), something is amiss.  They want my time and I can't give it to them, not right now.  So far, I've managed to clean the bathroom and make a gratin along with making them bacon rolls and freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast.  You'd think they would be grateful!  In fact, I'm procrastinating right now in prioritising this poetry activity over stuff I need to do for work which has kind of reached the ridiculous crisis point that means I no longer care as I doubt much can be …
If you haven't already heard the Selfie song, you probably soon will.  I can imagine it will be on in gyms, aerobics classes and even (although I'm too old to remember them), clubs.  It will probably be the sound of the summer in the sorts of European clubs where the British go to make idiots of themselves; although I'm sure they don't set out to do so.  If you haven't heard it and have no idea what I'm talking about - the lyrics are here  I was thinking about how different the life of the song's protagonist is to mine - not that mine was ever like this I should add, this lifestyle looks far too exciting - so as a result, you can probably guess, here comes my version.

From the new mother's perspective
When I was sat at the table in the coffee shop
I kept on seeing other women staring at their husbands
They look really tired but they have bothered to put makeup on
They are still making an effort
 Do you …

Poetry attempt Day 3

I'm late with this because today has been a bad day so expect a grumpy poem.  While I enjoy, as I put it, sending words out into the world 'with no makeup on', today this is a real chore.  However, it is also a target I have set myself so in true Brit grit style, although it is hardly equivalent to spending a day on the coal face, I have written something.  You may notice that already, after two days, I have no idea of my own so have gone to the wonderful Jenny Joseph and When I Grow Old for a little inspiration...

When I am an old woman...
I will be dead. 
Therefore I should do all the things I want to do now.
I will have worked until I'm 68, 
But still won't have a pension.
I will have spent my time working where I am unappreciated,
But spent my salary on fun and frolics,
Larks and yums,
And the sort of things that make tedious people say 'why'?
I won't need to answer them because I will be too busy
Flying hawks, 
Baking cakes that defy gravity with their tall s…

Poetry Quest day two


Words. I am searching for you,
I know you are out there,
Hiding just out of sight,
I catch a flicker as a noun scampers,
That verb, there -
Did you see how it leapt
translucent from the page?
Caught in mid air and supplied with emphasis
That it did not intend.

Words. I am searching for you,
I listen and think
I hear you whispering in the box on my desk.
Come here,
Don't be shy.
Be organised and do your job,
Work for me,
Create my world and
make my stories sing.

My plan for this poetry exercise, which is pretty extended as it lasts a whole month, is to have fun with words and tty to get back to a place where the words are doing the work of the character.  Where the words really do speak for themselved.  This is a state I need to be in (as in a good 'state of mind' not a complete, 'argh, nothing is going right, I am a terrible, worthless person' sort of state which is not so helpful) to write well and it is one I have not been close to for a while…