Monday, 30 April 2018

Day 30: Fun Fact

 Image result for plastic flamingo
Today our final prompt was to write a poem inspired by one of the weird facts provided on the website's links. I chose this one:

'In the US there are more plastic flamingoes than real ones.'  

I've always loved the flamingo garden ornament ever since The X-Files episode 'Arcadia' where Mulder displayed it as a symbol of unconventionality and defiance in the perfect suburban street.

Pink Flamingo

In the garden it goes. Hoe
of the bird world, neon,
tacky, flashy, plastic, -
a stick-it-to-the-neighbours
kind of garden gnome. 

Not elegant or subtle -
pink as a fist in the face -
the flamingo is all flamboyance
grace a lost case, just look
at the neck on it, literally.

Occupies pride of place
at my front door
in fuchsia all-weather 
rebel flair. Says life's a party,
hurry, let's hula.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Day 29: Plath Poetry Project

Image result for sylvia plath

We had to respond to a Plath poem today from this website - what a cool (but difficult) prompt! I love Plath's poetry for its unparalled powers of unusual figurative language that is simultaneously beguiling and brilliant.

I chose Love Letter - one of my favourites by her and am doing a poem inspired by an element of it.


I was a stone before you came.
Life long and low in stasis, incongruous 
in my ordinariness, impervious to care.
Grey grit, flint, fragment flung far -
bruise of air - footnote unnoticed.
Solid sorrow, a fossilized tear. Sediment 
of some other where.

But when you appeared I became
a hop and a skip; a wish skimming 
silvered water; crystalline veins new.
A firm promise, world in your hand, 
warm, porous to promises, permanent
fixture deep at home 
in the well of your heart.

Then all of a sudden: sunk. Thunk of
an unwanted thought. Balderdash.
Transformation incomplete. The dredge 
of a dream, kernel of uncare. Scuppered. 
Dropped there in the dark, ripple of regret,  
forgotten, forlorn. Hardened now
to the point I rhyme with rock.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Day 28: Wish You Were Here

Image result for vintage postcards 

Wish You Were Here, Paris 

Paris: the grand boulevard of thought.
It's them I love the most, their wide open
spaces, the parade of just walking, ballrooms
of everyday spectacle. The concertina shutters on windows,
interplay of ivory and black, sigh of sentry lampposts. Everywhere
buildings made of music, feeling chiselled into art.
And how the Iron Lady casts her watchful eye, appearing
and disappearing, her latticed heart
a complicated mix of height, daring,
and steel girders all placed at the right angles.
Did you know that the only
treeless street in the city
leads to the Opera? So beautiful,
it needs no adornment. 

I loved you once, it's true. I don't know
if I can love you again...
My heart is open like a hymn book -
it will never be shuttered again.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Day 27: Tarot

Today we had to pick a Tarot card and write a poem inspired from it - the first one I saw I went with - the sun!

Happy Ever After

So this is what it looks like:
happiness riding in to a life
on a chariot of glee,
a song of sun
tucked under its arm,
a gold decree
of fortuitous change.

"You will fall in love
with a man like the sun."

My heart falls. 

What about the dark
when he leaves?
The tower 
and chaos to come?
All that joy -

"Ah", she said 
with a knowing smile.  

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Day 26: 5 Senses

Today: poem that uses images to engage all the five senses.

Spring Notations 

Sun returns,
tongue of flame
lick of light.

Blue sherbet sky,
in your mouth.

Crackle of branches
confetti leaves;
spring breeze.

Cherry blossoms
pink as a blush,
soft as a kiss.

Bee-buzz of lawnmowers
sweet-sharp green 
keen smell of grass.

Yellow yolks
of daffodils, over-easy
sunny side up.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Day 25: Warning Label

Image result for warning label

Today we had to write a warning label poem about ourselves. Hmmm....


Approach with careful consideration.
(Prone to irritation).
Do NOT, I repeat, placate 
with compliments. Short fuse will lead to
temper tantrums ( you've been told...).
Flammable if exposed 
to know-it-alls, pettiness of any kind,
an aversion to breaking the rules.
Beware, may bite if attacked
(but bark is far worse...)
Keep away from soulless ventures.
(Explosive content within.)
Subject to many whims. Ungraspable. Colours may vary. 
Delirious with dreams. Do not dismiss
under any circumstances.
(Content toxic to naysayers, undreamers).
May contain eccentricities, given over 
to rhyme. Tread with dare.
Riddled with uncertainty, will only respond
to genuine originality.
Take with a pinch of sugar, not salt.
No tolerance for moderation. Preponderance 
for midnight feasting, 
passion, poetics, wild galloping notions.
Don't be alarmed. 
Not suitable, for the faint of heart.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Day 24: Elegy

Image result for blue skies with swifts

I have been trying to write this poem for a long time. Today, because it's the prompt, I'll try again. It will be edited many more times I know, but for today, this is what I have.



for Paul

When you died, the swallows returned.
Forked wings flitting through a dusk sky,
flight their natural habitat, hallowed right,
home at last. The swifts then too, high-fliers,
aerial acrobatics delighting in height, tilted
our heads upward. Like somehow the world, spun anew,
was trying to bring us news.

And somewhere beyond that lay truth.
So many times, the May sky, its vastness unlatched 

would reveal you: blue as the heart of a star, 
Icarus of our hearts, flown far.
Kaleidoscopic cosmic neon motion, reeling, 
believing that even though we are incomplete -
you go on; here, there, everywhere. 

*whirling around the universe

Monday, 23 April 2018

Day 23: Sound/Song/Saying

 Image result for firelight sparks

Today we have to write a poem to incorporate some sound, a saying, or a song lyric. 
I chose a song, one that's been in my head lately:

 '...And you shone so damn brightly,
and all that you awoke inside me
is dancing in the dark without a song...'.

                                                 ~Stoney 'We Belonged'


Love lingers, lasts, 
long after it's left. 
It's song cannot be unsung,
melody unheard
or heart 
that has learned to sing
suddenly be silent.

Memory flares feeling
into fanfare. Sparks
surge outward. 
Love leaves
its legacy
of light.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Day 22: Impossible to Possible

 Related image

Today's prompt was to be inspired by a choice of unusual phrases. I chose - or rather it chose me -  'The stars cannot rearrange themselves in the sky.'


When you died
the stars -
knowing one of their own-
reshuffled their positions
and stepped aside.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Day 21: Narcissus

Image result for narcissus

We had to reinterpret the Narcissus myth today. I actually did three! :)

Narcissus (Love's Vanity)

I look into the pool
of your eyes 
and almost drown;
by what I see  -
my reflection, lit large, 
more than what I am -
after all this time.
Mirrored in mine, you, 
the same;
as still waters ripple, 
depths unexplored. 


Selfie I

Mirror mirror on
the phone who is the fairest 
of them all? I am.

Selfie II

Roadside daffodils
as the girl takes a selfie
of her smiling self.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Day 20: Rebel

Image result for james dean rebel without a cause

Anytime I see or hear the word 'rebel' it's always James Dean in that iconic red jacket I see.... 

And here I'm rebelling against my usual more-than-one-verse poem. I'm challenging myself to keep it short and succinct!

Rebel With a Cause

I will not give in. 
Red fist of a heart raised,
on alert. 
Let the bullseye of truth find me 
not inert.
Actual, aggressive angst
pulled off with a pout,
a 'don't mess with me'
kinda clout. Lean, mean, moody -
over and out.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Day 19: Erasure

Image result for gold

For the erasure prompt today, I used a random paragraph from my blog post on poetry...because I could not come up with an adequate descriptive one...!

And contrary to some popular opinion, we poets do not live in a grandiose world of our own making. As a poet, you are intrinsically attuned to the world as it is, not removed from it. We render it in language that shines a light on its silent secrets, illuminates and releases its burden of unnoticed glamours. Poetry is an expression of living, a testament of being here and feeling alive, a 'life-cherishing force' as Mary Oliver notes. And it is not the pursuit of the dreamy, or the airy-fairy, or a part-time past-time. It is a worthy discipline. I love how Mark Strand put it that: 'life makes writing poetry necessary to prove I really was paying attention.' In our finer moments, poetry is what we all do, what we all feel; that which quickens out heartbeat and bestows on us a true sense of being alive. Poets are just people who pledge their lives to this course, who take the time to record in verse (to seek, as Coleridge said 'the best words in the best order') the amazement of life they witness.  How can any of this be sometimes looked upon with smug derision by certain people? (Cynic, thy name is critic!)

In a grandiose world
intrinsically attuned
to its silent secrets,
a testament
of feeling
is the pursuit 
of the dreamy;
worthy moments 
what we all do,
what we all feel.
Being alive
to record
the amazement. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Day 18: Response/Revision to Another Poem

 Image result for human heart

Today's prompt was so cool: take a random poem, cover all of it but the last line and write a line to respond to it. Then move to the second last line, write a line to respond and so on and so on until you have 'answered' all the lines of the poem. 

I opened a poetry anthology randomly this morning and found this lovely poem from Marianne Moore to be my piggyback poem:

A Jelly-fish - Marianne Moore

Visible, invisible,
a fluctuating charm
an amber-tinctured amethyst
inhabits it, your arm
approaches and it opens
and it closes; you had meant
to catch it and it quivers;
you abandon your intent.


With resolve, you begin again. 
  Let it go, and the world stands still, shimmers.
Now it opens. I had never meant
  to retreat, close down.
I live in it you know, your heart
  a salmon-pink jewel,
flamboyant secret.
  Unknown, known.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Day 17: Anecdotal

 Related image

I can't think of anything for today's family anecdote prompt... so I'm going with the sky tonight instead. (It looked exactly like this picture, but the opposite way round...)

Mid April

New moon
and Venus
in the sky tonight 
a silver surprise.

Needle and thread
finger and thumb.
Wink of an eye,
half a smile.  
Kiss, and don't tell.

Baseball mitt
and ball -
mid catch.
Caught moment,
at dark.

Gramophone moon
small quaver planet.
Evening serenade
just begun.

semi colon
afloat on blue;

how a bracket
can stand back
(a sly aside)
from the finality 
of any 
full stop.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Day 16 Play

 Image result for poker

Meh to today: sports, play, games. Not feeling it much, but I'll play ;)

Player Haiku

Cards on the table.
You play at being adult -
but I call your bluff. 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Day 15: Villain

Image result for sea witch from the little mermaid

Today's prompt was to write a poem about a fairytale villain's good points. Hmm. All the villains have been done...apart from this one. 


Under the sea there is silence.
A rush of blood to the head
and then a deliberate quiet.
Ursula had known life loud:
percussion, jazz, big bold soprano.
Nothing floated her boat like a sweet voice
hitting those high notes.

She remembered the lilt of a lyric -
how it could hook in your gut
like a barb, the thrill of a chorus, 
swell of a song as it filled your lungs
wave of longing, no more alone. 
Music her only muse, sunk deep
in her forsworn soul.

If melody be the tune of love, play on -
but nothing sang here, nothing
could even make a sound. Until her. Godsend.
Ariel and her aria. Anthem of hope.
A lost wish, found. How a heart can ache.
And oh how it glowed in the dark, that jewel
blazing from her throat.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Day 14: Dream Dictionary

Image result for vintage teacup

I'm loving today's prompt - to write an imaginary dream dictionary entry based on words provided.

Dream Diary


Beware of too much talk. Of blundering blindly
into high society.
A dream of camaraderie.
You will encounter fine, delicate
situations in which you want to behave
badly. (Just like the Madhatter...)

If the teacup is cracked
you cannot keep up the polite facade.
Sipping from it continuously
means you are nervous, relax.
Colourful china denotes 
a cheerful disposition. 

Ballet Slipper:

Life is a balance of precarious whims.
Tiptoe expertly through.

A dream of childhood:
you are a little girl again
yearning for perfection.

If the slipper is unlaced
you are still led by your dreams.
Wearing the slipper
means you have found what it is 
that you love to do.
is very auspicious. 

Take heart. This dream is saying
perseverance pays, grace
will save the day.


A dream of impending departure.
Take heed of anything
you want to escape from.

You want to travel
but don't know how. Or
there is a journey on the horizon
you feel unequipped for.

If there are holes in your  boat
there are problems in your day-to-day life
you need to deal with.
If you have lost an oar
you have recently lost or will lose 
a good friend.
Choppy water means
you are fleeing danger.
Smooth sailing augurs
a fortuitous stretch ahead .

If your plan is to circumnavigate the globe -
for you are ready to shake off
your life of old 
and begin anew. 

Day 13: Saying

Today we had to turn a popular saying on its head and write a poem with it... I didn't follow the prompt exactly because I like to break the rules from time to time and feed the muse what it wants!

A Rhyme in Time Saves The Day!

although I did not
write a poem

a poem
wrote me.
Its words settling

on my tongue
like dew,
new tonic of elated

Baited by beauty
all day

I did not give in
to inconsequential

I rhymed;
I counted heartbeats
in iambic wonder;

blank spaces
with meaning.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Day 12: Haibun

Image result for landscape

Today we had to write a Haibun about where we live... I had to do two if I was to stay true to the theme, which proved to be a very difficult and deep-felt exercise.


The town is laden with hills. Secreted away under a vault of clouds. Sometimes the moon infiltrates them and hangs like a pendulum in the sky, counting the days. Night is black. There is an aching lack of trees. Sometimes the pavements mourn for lack of leaves, a canopy breeze. A solitary one here and there bows under the strain of its solo life. Everywhere though, the aluminum slate of the sea, the rustle of waves, the whispers of hidden days to differing grey degrees. All the while the hills roll upward like jagged teeth, behind which the horizon cowers.

Hills smother the sky
here everywhere is the same
ponder grey again.


Everywhere there are green corridors of light. Tree canopies leading the way like curtains opening on a show,  tapping applause on bus windows. Possibility leafy-lined streets. Sky hangs low, big and blue and buoyant, close enough to pull down and fill your heart. Arcs of bridges span roads, for skywalking instead of jaywalking. Night is midnight blue, perfectly lit by the silver skill of the moon. Mountains stretch the horizon. Sea is a secret found, a lapping lullaby on the outer suburbs and its horizon an endless variation of blue. Different destinations at every unfurling of road. Small epiphanies gifting days. Everywhere, an exhalation, expansion, release. Seagulls woop it up overhead, sing their morning songs, sweep and swoop to ground for food. Pavements teen with people, the city, unceasing, an engine revving dreams to life. 

Green eternal spring
leafy possibility;
language of begin.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Day 11: The Future

Related image

Today we had to write a poem about the future - like a state of the union address. I went with trying to define it instead...


Future looms like giant's country,
a vague mist of maybes.

Shimmering truth, horizon line
ever-shifting: here, now, gone.
Mirage of moments 
awaiting enactment.
Future is fine, fancy, aloof.

A big blank -
or kaleidoscope of colour.
over the rainbow. 

Future me imagines France;
a cottage with pink roses,
a typewriter, not unused,
books, charms, love, plans.
Future is fantasy fulfilled,
just a whim and wing away.

Le futur proche -
all those things
I was going to do...will do
if only, really, tomorrow and
tomorrow and tomorrow...

Future tense: a procrastinator's paradise.
A certainty clause, fix-all solution.
A tense promise.
An uncertain fact, face it. 
None of us

The future is a contradiction in terms.
Far off, it gallops forward
with every day lost.
The future never arrives.
The future is here.

Currency of thought,
repository of dreams.   

Lit fuse of possibility. 
Question mark. Exclamation point. 
Not prose with a predictable ending
but a poem

The future is written in stone;
the future is not yet written. 

The future never arrives.
The future is here. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Day 10: Simultaneity

Image result for writing a poem

The prompt today is to write a poem of simultaneity, that is - a poem in which different things are occurring at the same time.

A bit of meta-fiction in this one ;)

Trying to Write a Daily Poem 

Dishes clatter. TV thrums background chatter. 
Quiet centre, words begin to gather. 

Day replays in soundbite manic matters.
Rhythm and rhyme shuffle forward.

Family members to and fro banter.
White page cool breeze blows harder. 

Night bird trills its relentless twitter.
Tune of a poem curls round my finger. 

Meaningless minutiae merge to a stutter.
Lines focus like a beam of light.

Cat jumps, sleeps, purrs, hovers.
Poem blooms, gift of wonder.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Day 9: Big & Small

 Image result for whale in a goldfish bowl

Today's poem had to incorporate something big and small...


Blue whale
in a goldfish bowl;

big dreams, 
small means. 


Sunday, 8 April 2018

Day 8: Mysterious & Magical

Image may contain: cloud, sky, ocean, outdoor, nature and water

Today's prompt was to write a poem with an element of the mysterious or magical in it. Struggled all day to find an idea for this, until now - until after a beautiful blue-lit evening seaside walk. 


I dreamed you real
and it was so: mer-man,
washed ashore to land,
soul-wrecked, salt-sore.
Heart as deep
as the ocean's floor. 

The silvered-sparkles
of your voice;
eyes that anchored me
to the spot;
horizon no longer
confined to land.
Blue, blue, tidal pull
of love.

But you missed
your underwater home.
Almost drowned on land.
Felt the song of the sea
swell in your core.

So this is myth, this is muse. 

I let you go
and the sea
swallowed you whole. 

I search the shoreline still
for a secret sign
of your truth -
the wink of silver and blue
lit by sun, sky-strewn,
sunken moon.
That is all.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Day 7: Strengths & Weaknesses

Related image

Today we're to have one of our strengths talk to one of our weaknesses, or thereabouts.  


Said Imagination to the little girl:
"Come, I'll take you
Everywhere, lay the world
at your feet.
I'm a carnival ride,
a rhyme to glide
on the rhythm of life.
Rely on me, be forever free."

"But I'm afraid you see
that life is too big for me,"
said the girl, her heartbeat
all a-flutter. 

"Be big for life! Colour! Wonder!
Be the magic-maker, thought-painter,
wayfarer, dream-seeker.
Trample fear with faith.
All that is dull, be gone!
Life in Technicolor -
my raison d'etre."

"Ok then" said the girl
taking a rainbow-hued hand
and feeling her wingspan

Friday, 6 April 2018

Day 6: Line Breaks

Image result for nuclear fission

Line Breaks are the focus of the prompt today. Don't know if this adheres strictly to the the instructions, but it's the poem that wanted to be written.


When we were young
our love was like
the sun
nuclear reactor
in our cores,
like nothing else.
Fission, fusion
when we met, spoke, kissed.
future fuel.
Endless energy
to remake a world.

Now that we are old
and our love
is no more,
nuclear explosion
in our cores
like nothing else.
Fallout of memory
contaminates every smile.
our future selves -
This endless goodbye
destroying the world.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Day 5: Photograph +Translation

Today's prompt is a bit of a double whammy! Pick a photograph (I used one of the picks from the website) and then pick a foreign language poem and 'guess' translate it to describe your picture. Easier said than done I tell you!

This was my second attempt. It's all about picking the right pair!

 Related image

Night Flight

Hands free from burdens
lift up off scorched ground
sorrow is happiness,
a highwire suspension.

Heart seeking feathered flight
from here to aeons ever after -
If I stay, I will break.

Understand this: a caged soul will find 
in everywhere, everything.
Lilting stunning aria of air -
my lost love;
and until you follow after 
up and away 
into pieces.


NORÐUR - Gerður Kristný (Iceland)
Hægt eins og búrhveli
líðum við gegnum sortann
sem er hvítur
hér á heiðinni

Hann er fastheldinn á sitt
og gefur aðeins eftir
eina stiku í einu

Örskamma stund leiftra þær
í vegarkantinum
eins og eldspýtur
litlu stúlkunnar í ævintýrinu
og lýsa okkur
þar til við komum aftur
upp í vök
að blása

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Day 4: Abstractions & Concrete Nouns

 Image result for swallow

Today's prompt is to use concrete language to describe an abstract state. 


Arced V of a swallow's tail,
russet face lit by sun
the deep blue of sky.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Day 3: List

Image result for cocktails

Today's prompt was to write a List Poem. 

I've ALWAYS  wanted to name cocktails, so, here goes...

Cocktail Hour

Lemon-aid. Vanilla coronation.
Pink flamingo serenade.
Moon Swoon. Blue Moon. To-the-moon.
Full moon fizz. Sugar-mama.
Lickety-split. Peach buffoon.
Schnapps got your tongue. Loony tune.
Stiletto kick. Safari sun. Tiger's tooth.
Elderflower moon. Pomegranate kiss.
Matcha-maker. Madhatter's tea.
The Double 00 (shaken-not-stirred.)
Rose-rouge. Sour Cherry. Toot-toot.
Hemingway highball. Bourbon Swing.
Double-trouble. Hubba Bubba.
Swashbuckled. Gin Sin.
Ginger Finger. Gunslinger.
The OMG. Mamma Mia. Bees Knees.
Twist 'n' tequila. Cointreau Clown.
Luck of the Irish. Talk-of-the-Town.
Bittersweet. Moonstruck. Take A Bow.
Dirty Harry Martini. Casablanca Queen.
Razmatazz. All That Jazz.
Lavender Lass. Strawberry Dream.
Brandy Bouquet. Bonjour Amour!
High Five. Happy Daze.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Day 2: Voice

 Image result for speech bubbles
Today's prompt was all about voice. To vary the voice in a poem or to use dialogue.  

So I got to thinking about what happens between the lines of dialogue, how it can be so superficial, so insubstantial.


"How are you?"
Heartbeat held to ransom.
Lie; a lovelorn sigh.
Proceed with reflex gusto.
"And you?"
Try to feign indifference.
"Can't complain."
No. Happy are the coupled, complete, canoodled
free from pain.
Awkward pause. Stretch until taut, 
"That's good."
Great. Greatest. Merit marks. Golden stars cascade.
"Haven't seen you in while."
Stage directions: smile. Diffuse accusation.
Shrug, cough, continue avoiding 
your eye.
"See you later then."
No need to drag it out.
Infinity stretched 
to this thin line of masquerade.
"Yes see you later."
Enforced jollity. Hitch voice to sky.
Before - a promise, a wish, a want -
now, a nuisance empty chant.
Don't wait for goodbye. Walk on. Fake smile. 
Somewhere, a supernova dies.
Universe in decline.
All those things we never said -
all those other times
pulsing for the next mile. 

Sunday, 1 April 2018

NaPoWriMo 2018: Day 1

Image result for easter eggs

The first day of NaPo, hurray! 
Today's prompt is to write about a secret shame or  secret pleasure. Since its Easter Sunday, that can only be chocolate indulgence right?!


One shell is never enough.
Always, it must be two.
Oval overture duplicity,
tried and tested true. 

Unwrap the tinsel tease
hammer and crack to shatter,
those shrapnel sections a feast,
for forty days 'no thanks' labour.

Praline, cream, cocoa-coated,
mini, super-sized, speckled;
crazed bunny-hopping moment
of which to pick; any will do. 

Now the gluttony of truth:
one egg is just too few.
Until caught brown-handed,
with the melted proof.