Thursday, 30 April 2015

Day 30: The End Line

It's the last day of NaPo today yay! And it's feeling first again, no prompt followed. Instead, this picture (above) I came across last night is humming with some kind of inspiration: 

Milky Way in Blue

A random sprinkle
of stars
on a car roof 
on a blue night

what could be Idaho 
on a star-strewn night.
Scotland, under curfewed light.
Reykjavik. Dublin. Nevada. 

Two people
pulled over
at the side of the road
sky-stunned, shoulders-drooped - 

lost in an ocean of glitter,   
cosmos a course of feeling,
rhyming 'forever'
with 'together',

with gushes
of impromptu wonder. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Day 29: Review Poem


The prompt today is to write a review poem - of a person, a place, an inanimate thing, whatever.

I'm using this prompt to write a poem that has been percolating in my mind now for a while on metaphorical matter I find quite fascinating: gold. Not only as a precious metal (which did you know has its origins in gamma rays and star explosions?) but in language - how many idioms there are about gold, most denoting preciousness and worth and value. And of course, a lot to do with love also, and personally in my case, a lot to do with a review (and closure) of a certain love.


You were gold, all gold.
Gilded golden boy wonder.
Gold like the sun, like a charm, good cheer. 
First prize, precious, priceless, 
beyond all other treasure. 
Gold like a certainty, like a light.   
Boy with a Midas touch: world 
at once a glistening palace 
for us to loot.  Struck gold, 
smiles that tumbled like coins, 
your gaze the pure warm ochre
of high carat calibre feeling. 
Before I knew it, I was rich.
And they were goldrush days - 
hearts that whirled in a current
as we panned endless wonder, 
keen prospectors 
of a wealthy future. 
Glimmer-filled fever. 
Between us, a goldmine 
of potential
worth its weight in bulk. 

Then all of a sudden: bad alchemy, 
bad luck. Time set to tarnish.  
All that glittered became a cloud, 
all that gold overwhelming. 
Love reduced itself to currency,
quick sell to the highest bidder
as you minted a binding prop -  
a promise to keep, a circlet,
a guarantee, gleam of truth
overlooked - 
and sold me out. 
the most golden of rules. 

Worthless is a long way 
to drop. I should have known
a heart of gold
would have a hard touch.
Now I wonder was it really 
treasure I lost? 
In the alluvial soil of memory -
gold ore nuggets of moments
shine clear, tears of the sun 
abandoned in earth.
But if it was real gold - 
how could you have so lightly 
let it go? A question that weighs 
heavy on me since.

More likely it was just
plain over-valued rock.
An eager digger's mistake 
of gnarled pyrite - crystal aggregates 
that glint deceit sharp as teeth,  
errant imitation 
of the real thing.
Fool's gold -
that took me in, wrung me out
for all I was worth. 
Fool's gold, all of it, all of you,
all mine, deposited deep.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Day 28: Bridge Palinode

Today's prompt is to write about a bridge... 

I'm going to kill two prompts with one poem here as this one is also palinode -  a poem that retracts a statement made in an earlier poem (this poem does exactly that for day 17). Short and simple one today:


Sometimes a smile 
is a bridge
that can nudge 
two parallel lines
Or at least
span the width 
of separation,
a high beam

of uncertainty, 
rise up and over
all kinds
of troubled waters.


Monday, 27 April 2015

Day 27: Hay(na)ku

Today's prompt is to write a hay(na)ku - a riff on the traditional haiku: three lines of one word, then two words and then three.   Such a simple form, discreet in meaning but also subtly powerful. I had fun with this one and wrote several, one about the form itself. Try it - it's short and sweet and kind of addictive or -

and sweet
and ridiculously addictive!


opens just
enough to see. 

come from 
mind stretched wide. 

step then -
another and another. 

meet pupa;
hello orange wonder. 


Lemon Days

can anything
be sweet again? 



of form
much and little. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Day 26: Cherry Blossoms

Whatever about the impermanence of cherry blossoms, their beauty is still wholly inspiring. To me, not so much a melancholy reflection on time passing, but a rejoicing in the small miracles of it.

Cherry Blossom Season

Cherry blossoms chime
a new season:
pink bounty 
of glory
in passing moments,
petals a prelude
not a pendulum. 

Confetti celebrations
that go by
in the blink of an eye -
or in the wink 
of those
happy at heart. 


Saturday, 25 April 2015

Day 25: Saturday Sketch


I love Saturdays - don't you? The stretchy ease and sprawl of them. And wine-infused evenings (in which this first-draft spontaneous-sketch poem was written in the haze of...)...

Saturday Sketch

Cumulus mountain ranges 
sift sky for seams, nebulous fiends 
ill-fitting alfresco dreams. 
Ballerina tulips dance in gardens, 
petals poised for wind pirouettes,
pentecostal flames.
A Buddha swoons, face on hand,
granite smile almost giddy, gregarious.
Day lies belly-up and indecipherable, 
a carpet of lackadaisical intent.
Until evening when wine intervenes 
with rabbit hole postulations 
to roll and tumble in.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Day 24: Destinations


Horizon heaves ahead, unfurls itself
like a banner. 

Sky whorls blue promises, green fields 
alight with anticipation.
Height is a new perspective, perspective 

a green light. 
Purpose revved, mind an accelerator. 

From here, I can see for miles, I can see miles 
rescind past, rebuild future, tally up 
timid lives.
Feel the engine of my heart purr into
as birds try out new wings alongside,
choppy helicopter propellers aflutter.

Road is a map. Road is a rolling story 
of never-ending motion, a pledge 
of forwards, a surge towards it 
in yellow sprints. 
At no fixed point does my soul reside;
wind in my wings, there is always 
somewhere I will harken after.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Day 23: Pick a Card

Today's prompt is to take a random card from a random card deck (any kind of card deck - playing cards or Tarot or whatever) and write about it for a few minutes, then transform your notes into poetry. 

Because I'm lazy I have just selected a card from my mind, a card I have always been fascinated with as a symbol of bad luck and the stamp of a lucky/luckless Fate - the Ace of Spades.

Ace of Spades

Ominous shovel
to dig the grave
of failure. Unnnerving 
sceptre of danger.

Bad luck. Black shamrock
with a razored peak.
A winner's harsh
unrelenting eye.

Always enigmatic. 
Insolent. Intense portent 
of Fate's boot-heel
stamp. Luck's most

eloquent guise. Bluff-caller, 
trump of deceitful triumph.
Poisoned vial of craft 
and cunning stuck

in an inverted heart;
dagger of do or die.
Blackened and carved 
daredevil egotism,

familiar victory that casts 
a deadened look. 
Slice and dice, cold 
hard fact of destiny's 

irreversible lot. Scar 
of doleful loss. Brand 
of a cynic, always
an end.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Day 22: Pastoral Poem

 cosmos flower

Oh the pastoral, or nature poem as it is better known today. A poet's prerogative! I'm so inspired right now from all things spring that I have a bouquet of pastoral poems to offer today. 


Just two syllables 
and you have a garden universe 
of tutti-frutti colour,

in soul-speak. 
Pink smiles
with yellow eyes
under a blue sky

affably bestow 
beauty's code:
in love and life,
and untold.


Like new buds on trees
happiness comes 
as a sudden burst of green. 
Lime tufts coiled in prayer-praise
tickled by growth
laugh loud in felicitous glee.
Leaves are a kind of love.
Bloom is a hope watered
and sunned with smiles.
Happiness, an innate aptitude
for sky.


Spring Sunset

This April evening sun 
is a tangerine
squeezed on the horizon. 

Tomorrow there will be zest
and zing. Citrus-flavoured
new day wonder. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Day 21: Erasure

I found today's prompt - to pick a random page of prose, single out some words and effectively 'erase' the rest' - to be very freeing. What a joy to know that on days when you're feeling stuck, poetry can be as easy as this: random words in a random order.

Because I'm in a very Springy flowery mood today, I went to the nearby 'The Language of Flowers' by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I edited down my word choices to make sense and this is the result: 

Spring Awakening

Small white flowers
with a yellow sun center,
inches from the petals.

It begins with simple questions. 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Day 20: Birds

Oh I'm not following the prompts at all this year! I find a lot of them...constraining to be honest. 

I've been held up a lot with NaPo this year, second-guessing myself and leaving days run by with no poems. But today has been a lot of fun. Operative word in this monthly jaunt. No critical second-guessing or endless edits, just stream-of-consciousness go-with-the-flow spontaneous writing. My subject matter is the wonderful world of collective nouns, birds especially. Fantastic poetry fodder (see the link above for ideas.) 

(I think I was channeling Billy Collins here... hmm :)

Ornate Ornithology

Imagine a flamboyance of flamingos,
their coral feathered tutus a sensation 
ambling by the local river like
Spanish dancers, all frills and thrills, 
pink as tropical cocktails.

Or a siege of herons as they descend 
on the sea's edge like stealthy aircraft.
Armoured stillness as they stalk a meal
and long-legged patience virtuous, 
heads helmeted against the elements.

Picture a pride of peacocks marching
to the shimmy of their own vanity,
all sapphires and emerald eyes, 
a pageant of ostentatious beauty. 
Bejeweled show-offs that put lions to shame.

Imagine the sound of an exaltation of larks -
Hark! - their wingspans exclamation marks
struck against sky, melodious choral arias
that bid a hearty welcome to morning, 
sweet alarm for sleepy lovers.

Or the thrum and hum of a murmuration 
of starlings as they swoop, swoon and soar
across the dusk, spectacle of synchronised 
sweep and dive, scatter and re-group;
whispers, being told to sky.

Or the prattle of parrots - now that 
would be fun: clatter of chatter and natter
and whistle barrage of 'Who's a pretty boy?
over and over (and much more besides - 
especially a word that rhymes with 'duck'.)

Though give me just a blush of robins, 
flush of colour in a winter-wearied garden, 
little heart-bleeding cheeky beggars
as they hop for crumbs, scald snow
with their flame red tums. 

And stay clear of a tidings of magpies:
one for sorrow, never another for joy. 
A conspiracy of one, shiny woeful plumage.
As for an unkindness of ravens - well -
I'll leave them to Poe.

But best of all - watch a gulp of swallows 
as they abseil an April sky, home at last.
Blue and white trapeze flashes, freefall sassy dazzles -
as if the whole sky is their playground,
the whole day a gift they reel from.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Day 19: Fairytale


A fairytale prompt - why not? 

There's something about that shoe in Cinderella, if things hadn't worked out so luckily (fairytale fate is always so helpful) that always reminds me of the irrevocable feeling of something meaningful being left behind...

Another Cinderella Story

It was all my fault. Romantic misadventurer. 
Treated suitors with flippant ardor.
Tried them on like I did new shoes, 
discarded them just as casually.
Love was a dream of hard won riches.  

I was too fussy, too aware of flaws:
some too tight, too big, too small,
too many laces, not enough bling.
Never saw the shoe for the places it would go
or the comfort it could bring. 

Always holding out for the perfect one -
that Cinderella glass slipper shoe-in,
a fairytale, a ball, everything moonlit
and yes, a prince that would fit. 
Love was nothing if not a magic spell.

You were utterly charming, there's no doubt. 
Could coax a smile from me every time, 
laughter lines to scale any tower or moat. 
Light skipped a beat when you were near. If this 
was love, it was easy as being barefoot.  

Then, one night at the ball. Moon and stars 
aligned. But I turned on my heel for the horizon -
didn't care for you there beaming beside me: 
a mirrorball romance, a midnight chance
I didn't take.

See, I wasn't willing to walk the miles. This love 
I thought, was premature, curfew-making.
So I kicked you aside like a pinching shoe.
Ran away and never looked back.
Knew, I had broken your heart in two. 

But that was years ago, once upon a time.
And this is now, real life. I don't know where 
you are, have no royal means to seek you out. 
No shoe, no clues. Your name is a wish 
I can barely say out loud. 

Now I tiptoe around any mention 
of happily ever after. With you, I felt
most like myself - that was true. 
Realise too late now I left behind 
my very best fitting shoe. 

But what can I do? Fairytales lie and brag.
This is a love story of riches to rags.  

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Day 18: Saturday Bliss


Saturday evening sun 
pours its gold in wine.  
Day dissolves in giddy bubbles,
goldrush particles, glad matter. 
Strawberries on the side
taste of summer, remembered
surprise: red and green and gold.   
Day plump and perfectly ripe.
Across the street, a window blushes
rose in an April dusk. 
The bubbles rise and pop.
Day is a kiss still fizzing on lips. 
I drink a shimmying gulp of stars 
and toast this modest 
but tremendous bliss.  
Day distilled into pure delight.


Friday, 17 April 2015

Day 17: Fact

The prompt today was inspired by social media. This little poem came to mind, not really from the prompt, but from a kind of epiphany of how we all keep to ourselves so much, even in social contact...


People live in parallel lines.

No matter how close, a gap always persists.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Day 16: Terzanelle

Today's prompt is to write a terzanelle, a repetitive form that mixes the terza and the villainelle forms. (For details see

I actually liked this form once I tried it. There's something very haunting about the repetitive lines... 

Terzanelle in Time of Nostalgia

I am nostalgic for so many things.
Those leafy green days of youth, gone.
The future a coin I was saving to spend,

possibility I could flip at will.
This is how it happens: fast but slow.
Those leafy green days of youth, gone. 

Age is no merry weather walk. 
The past a memory mixed with dream. 
This is how it happens: fast but slow.

Always on the verge of crossing over,
I lived on the threshold of days.
The past a memory mixed with dream.

Verdant vision in every direction.
Time advances in longings and leaps.
I lived on the threshold of days.

But now the years recede and horizon narrows.
I am nostalgic for so many things.
Time advances in longings and leaps.  
The future a coin I was saving to spend.


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Day 15: Poem About a Poem


Well today's prompt, since we're halfway through NaPoWriMo, is to write a poem about a poem, sort of. 

A Poem Passes By

The air ripples
as a poem passes by. 

Lost like a fish that 
belly-flops into the deep.

Goodbye verses
I so longed to net.
Slippery rhymes, scaly meter.
Inspiration, carried upstream
against the current.

But most of all the last line -
that catches like a hook in the heart of the reader. 


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Day 14: Riddle Poem


A little reflection on the craft today, using yesterday's riddle poem prompt. 


Sun and moon and stars. All 
the world in the flick of a wrist, 
the tense ticking of thought. 

Alchemical gaze of attention. 
Golden bird in the hand: gilded,
gift, glee; genie of light.

A means and an end. Questions more
than answers. Honeycombs of zen. 
Infinite eloquent ever-afters.

Elixir of immortality - if fame insists.
A puzzle, a wonderment, a Pandora's box
of tune and chime and happily, rhyme.   

Monday, 13 April 2015

Day 13: Magnolia

Today I'm revising some notes (eh - 3 lines...) I had scribbled a few days prior on a description of a magnolia tree, one of my favourite springtime blooms. And fascinating to try and describe! 

For example, did you know that magnolia flowers bloom before their leaves? And that the Japanese see them as symbols of a person's chi energy or life -force? They use the bark of the tree in medicine for reinvigorating that very energy. In the language of flowers they mean nobility, love of nature and the sublime, not to mention magnificence. They're also the emblematic flower of the American South. I happen to think they're just absolutely fantabulous! Not as popular as cherry blossoms, but more magnificent for their hybrid state between shrub and tree, flower and leaf and beautiful, unique blooms. Anyway...


Is it a flower? 
Is it a tree?
Early spring and
tulip-like cups 
held up to sky
drink in light, blush
deeper by the day,
bloom ferociously 

A fluster of colour:
foliage rippled fuchsia
like the flush 
of a smile spreading.
Kindled keenness.
of love's timid touch. 

Bolstered by sun 
their shy hearts
soon unfurl (don't wait
for leaves) into 
goblets of delight, 
cups that runneth 
over. Flames of pink. 
Segmented stars. 
swept up into air, tepals 
poised like chandeliers.
A garden pageant
of grace. 

Behold, the definition 
of adorn. Array 
of flowers as big 
as your palms. 
full swoon
sprawling beauty.
How in the blink 
of an eye - 
petal becomes bolder,
world becomes wonder. 

*tepals - the name for the leaf-like structures that we see as 'petals' on a magnolia flower

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Day 12: Doubting Thomas

Just a contemplative thought today really... 

Doubting Thomas

But isn't it true
that we all need
to see the wounds first
to really believe?

Not just in miracles -
but in love,
in loss,
in goodness. 

Stick our fingers
in scar tissues
to truly know 
that love existed there,


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Day 11: Epic

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland


Waves lick the shore in white tongues.
Above, the sky is a banquet of blue, 

grandiose; clouds are zen masters,
philosophies of thoughts.

The light is a new language 
we re-learn by the hour. 

Horizon billows and frolics,
full of heroics to come.
The entire day, a continual surprise 
of story unfolding.  

Friday, 10 April 2015

Day 10: Horizon Observations

Not following the prompt today - just going with the flow of outdoors musing. 

Heart Lines

A robin perched 
on the highest branch
of the tallest tree, 
wedged in a bare
favourite nook,
trills a bravado song
of claimed lines
and home territory.

The vapour trail puff
of a passing plane
in clearwater sky -
an arrow set
on the future,
an anchor always afloat -
begs to differ: 
horizons are endless.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Day 9: Visual Effect

Hmm. Today's prompt is to write a visual poem. With a specific shape relating to its subject matter. Not an easy task at all.

I love looking at these type of poems - but doing them? Well that's another matter. It's a question of what comes first the chicken or the egg i.e. - the poem's content or the structure? And VERY difficult I might add to do on the computer! But, in the spirit of sportsmanship, I'll give it a whirl. It sounds like challenging fun.

Letting Go

is often 
said to be some big    
brave gesture, certainty of
 closure in one heart-ripping effort 
of forced release. An once-off event. 
A leap into the abyss of emptiness. But 
there's more to it than that, more of a 
cumulative causality: every day a little 
letting go until the hand that's been 
holding the rope of regret so tight
softens its grasp, lightens its grip. 
You slowly, successfully forget. 
What you thought a balloon 
of hope is a harness 
holding you back. 
It drags you, 
you don't

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Day 8: Fireworks

Fireworks tonight - now they just have to be put into verse!

I have always tried to describe fireworks in word and failed. Theirs is the language of colour. But poets have to try...! And it's weird - I had the first line of this poem in my head all day awaiting the show tonight and just now I've made the discovery that a lot of the main fireworks are actually described as flower names. Never knew it! Well - just wow. SYNCHRONICITY :)

Fireworks, April 8th

Can spring bloom in sky?
Yes. Fireworks
on an April night,

a fanfare of blossoms: 
gold, green, magenta, 
amber, scarlet, violet, 
fuchsia, emerald, sapphire. 
Night bejeweled
with bouquets
of neon explosions.

Roots and shoots 
of chrysanthemums 
pouring petals 
on rooftops.
bursting peonies like hearts 
inflated to a crescendo 
of expression, sputtering
spontaneity; (or how love
makes us bigger, fuller, splendid.) 
 A barrage of bees,
spinning Catherine wheels,
willows weeping
back to earth. 
Seeds of stars,
airborne wishes.

Garden of ephemeral spectacle,
season birthed in sparks.    
Crackle, pop, whizz and whimper,
tremendous thunder 
of superlative wonder. 
All heads tilted skywards.
Exclamatory delight.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Day 7: Money

Today's prompt on the NaPo site is to write a poem about money. This poem came quick and fast - a bit like my ahem, spending of money. 

(This was fun to write)


Imagine spending
your whole life
in the only currency 
that matters.

Instead of a heart
having a hoard
of hundred dollar bills,
never accounting for
real losses - or worse -

Financially viable
but emotionally bankrupt. 
Poor in spirit
with debts of dreams
See how 
it taxes your soul,
a mortgaged life.

A penny for your thoughts?
Didn't think so. 
Keep the damn change.