Thursday, 30 April 2020

Day 30: Return

Goddess Transmission from The Muse! - Lisa Cipparone
Art by Josephine Wall

Today's prompt was to write a poem about something that returns. 

Last day of Napowrimo, always a melancholy one. 

Loved it, as always. Such a challenge to have to write a poem every day, but then again, such fun too waking up knowing, by hook or by crook, there will be a poem at the end of the day. That if we actually take the time and sit down to write it, a poem will more than likely appear. 


Every year, she returns.
The Muse, with her posy
of poetry, her bouquets 
of beautiful sentiments
and newly bloomed words. 

After winter-weary hours
and fallow fields of pages, 
she is welcome. 
In her chariot of flowers
trailing ideas for miles and miles,

showering petal blessings
on our ordinary days. Everything 
tinged with wonder again,
as we take up our pens
and sing her songs. 


Happiness will return, 
like the swallows in May,
cartwheeling through skies,
the bluest hue of new beginnings, 
feelings infallible, indelible.
Happiness will return,
like the swallows in May
shiny-coated, sun-wheeling
acrobats of air 
daring delight 
against all the odds,
declaring summer open.
Happiness will return.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Day 29: Pet

Today's prompt was to write about our pets...

Little Moon

For Chrissy

Little moon
orbiting our lives,

our days filled with light
because of you;

into them you came
like snowfall in summer - 

unexpected windfall, a gift 
of gracious coincidence.

We promised to look after you
but you were the one 

who looked after us; constant companion, 
loyal love, instant relaxation.

Every pose you strike is poetry,
every day a storied trove. 

Purring engine warmth,
furry feline friend,

curled in a circle you sleep,
centrepiece of every evening

pulling the tides in our hearts
making our lives complete.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Day 28: Bedroom

Midsummer Eve | John William Waterhouse | Edward robert hughes ...

Today's prompt is to describe a bedroom from memory.


Sun-slatted, golden warmth gathered
in the afternoons. 
Books in a pile, on the desk,
on the bed, 
fallen at my feet. 

The tree outside my window - beech? 
The house across the street
with the wandering cat.

The days marked by learning:
nineteenth century Paris
at the bottom of the bed,
The Color Purple on the orange bedspread,
evenings full of honeyed knowledge
mornings full of greening get-go. 

John William Waterhouse painting
on the wall, lemon scented candle
on the windowsill.
As rooms go, this was small, 
but in my mind, a world it was.
In my memory, its largesse looms.

A room of one's own. 
Space to think, to grow. 
Window frame sifting sky,
portal to everywhere. 

Monday, 27 April 2020

Day 27: Review

Renowned Irish poet Eavan Boland has died, aged 75 -

Today's prompt was to write a review poem, and since hearing of the sudden passing of Irish poet, Eavan Boland today, it had to be something in memory of her. 

Poet of our Times

for Eavan Boland, RIP 27/4/20

Hers were the words of the wise,
I knew it then, but more so now.
Outside history, we may have stood,
but she brought us in. The stars
shone bright in response.
Poet of our times, we journey with her
through leafy suburbia and all our
atavistic concerns, walk the famine roads
of history, poverty, oppression, power,
guided by her unfaltering light of truth,
her one woman intellectual odyssey
through a complexity of nation and culture
She brought the war horse of guilt
to our doors and left him there
to taunt, to tease, to bring our shame
to the fore and then held us
in her erudite embrace, her unflinching stare. 
We saw the love of a mother for a daughter,
the myths of love and the realities.
Came to know the fundamental facts 
of conventional gender roles,
black lace fans and shadow dolls,
the lessons of history unravelled, retold.
Learned the beauty of a suburban evening
and all of the other ordinary things,
their potential to be poetry -
even the blissful hum of the domestic interior.
Learned to know ourselves as survivors, 
suffragettes of a new world, creators
of a new language. Followed the map 
of her words to lead us here, 
to ourselves, finally: to know
what we may not have known, 
to be what we may not have been. 

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Day 26: Almanac

Dubray Books. The Almanac 2020: A Seasonal Guide to 2020

Today's prompt was an almanac one; to answer this questionnaire and compose a poem with the results! (I answered as quick as I could - one word answers and maybe skipped a few!)

Almanac Questionnaire

Weather: sun and showers 
Flora: sweet pea, bluebells
Architecture: Baroque 
Customs: existential 
Mammals/reptiles/fish: monkeys 
Childhood dream:
Found on the Street: dispensary 
Graffiti: love rules 
Lover: poet
Conspiracy: theory 
Dress: flamboyant 
Hometown memory:
Notable person: loner 
Outside your window, you find: flowers 
Today’s news headline: believe the hype 
Scrap from a letter:  goodbye
Animal from a myth: tiger 
Story read to children at night: fairytale 
You walk three minutes down an alley and you find: monkeys 
You walk to the border and hear: birdsong 
What you fear: night fevers 
Picture on your city’s postcard: wish you were here/Wonderland

Almanac (Of the Here and Now)

In this flamboyant dispensary
of fairytales, you will find monkeys
and birdsong, bluebells and night fevers.
Taken all wrong, a lethargic seizure.
My Baroque self a shambles, sweet peas
overrun. Love rules, believe the hype.
The tiger's goodbye a praise song
of opium light.
It is always April here, budding hopes
and sun showers, floriferous thoughts.
The loner rejoices at the song
of a sky in its evening wear of gold.
Here is the mark, here is the place.
Existential theories on overload.
Wonderland awaits; embrace the pace.
Wish you were here... maybe, or not.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Day 25: James Schuyler

leaf | Definition, Parts, & Function | Britannica

Today's prompt is to write something after James Schuyler's 'Hymn to Life'. 

Promenade through the Present 

Behold the day greening forth,
bursting at the seams with mirth. 
The birds are kites, flown by some deity.
Spring imbues its generosity everywhere,
in the budding and blooming, the
B-E-G-I-N-N-I-N-G. In the beginning
there is wonder and the word is life. 
April's bright hand offering warmth
flowers colouring in increments of light.
Gorse bundles sunshine on mountainsides,
bluebells sing a chorus of purple tunes.
Even now, I walk in a green canopy of memories
as April passes its yellow nectar to blue-robed May
and the way is forward, written in leaves,
a fanfare of fervent believers. 
And the sky tumbles its way onward 
through days, hours, minutes -
and everything is either a heaven or a hell
given the right mindframe.
Laughter lines, open roads, poetry, honesty,
love, language, stars at night. 
I want to be alive, never heeding death.
I want to be beginning in the zeal of every
green spring, every new morning,
every minute, every moment.
Every righteous passion of magnificent gladness -
and the pink of the camellia is a heart in bloom
and every unknown curlicue of doubt
is no snake in the grass, but a comma,
a shadow in this hinterland of a heart full 
of crepuscular light. And the sky seen 
from beneath a tree's leaves is an eternity of blue. 
How day softens into evening. The apricot kiss of dusk.
the hours, ticking by like legions of small mercies. 

Midnight, stepping out to the garden on this Saturday night
and not a soul in sight, not a sound on the street,
only the orchestral echoes of Leonard Cohen's
 "like a bird on a wire..." floating, tendril-like, 
from the tv I've left behind. Above right, Venus, 
looking on, watching it all. I smile. 

Friday, 24 April 2020

Day 24: Fruit

6 Lime Essential Oil Benefits: Fight Cancer, Soothe Inflammation ...

Today's prompt was to write about a fruit. 
Feck it, it took me ages to decide on which fruit to write about...and then I did two!


Lemon's more exotic brother. 
A citrus kiss, with a Mexican twist. 
Green, green as a tropical dream.  
A perfect hand-sized grenade 
of bittersweet blast. 

Summer's tangy taste that teases -
but rarely on its own pleases. 
Only coconut can soften its tirade. 
(It adds teeth to tequila, believe me.)  
Never quite as refreshing as it seems. 

Hydrochloric acid, a guest once said
when presented with the shocking green
of a 'lime-ade'. Like ying and yang
you can't really have one,
without the other. 

Watermelons: Summertime sweetness: How watermelons surprise and ...


A striped green pinata
with orange-red pulpy insides,
it was the most exotic fruit
I had ever beheld.

As big as a barrel
it was awkward to cut
needed a knife with a serrated edge
and help to hold up.

Black seeds like teeth 
you had no choice but to spit out. 
Eat and spit - not as exotic
as it might sound. 

Despite its Mexican colouring 
disappointed to find -
it really only tasted 
of its namesake - water. 

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Day 23: Letter

Village Wrought Iron LET-Q-M Letter Q Medium - ...

Today's prompt is to write about a letter from the alphabet. My favourite letter (if there is such a thing...?) is slinky, sultry, swirling 'S'! But I've already written a poem about that... so will have to pick another one for now.


Q appears a little quizzical,
definitely unmissable,  
with a finger on his/her chin
pondering quietly
the mysteries of the universe 
before we get to the end,
lost in its own quiddity.

Just an 'O' with a squiggle attached
or a flourish of penmanship - 
whatever you like to call it. 
A moustache, á la Dali,
a supercilious quirk, a tendril
of outlandish backlash,
an eyeglass lowered to glare out. 

Q is querulous and quixotic 
and all things strange and exotic.
It can even make the ordinary look 
like a wonder e.g, quotidian! 
A foreign language escapee, maybe -
or a code from a quantum algorithm
to launch ships to space.

The appropriate name for 007's
radical creations assistant,
you have to agree.  
What else would you expect 
from a letter, the forerunner
of so many unusual, 
hardly-ever-useable words? 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Day 22: Idiom

French Expression of the Day: faire la grasse matinée - The Local

Today's prompt was to write a poem inspired by an unusual idiom from another language.

From French - 'Faire la grasse matinee' - to sleep in, literally, to 'make a fat morning.' One of my favourite things to do...!

Fat Morning 

The pillows lie buttered with light.
The stretch of morning infinite,
incandescent, indulgent-

from this vantage point
of time unspooled,
no longer thin but fat.

In the hours past 9am,
voluptuous laziness billows
like sheets drying on a line.

Each hour a fruit to be peeled
and savoured for its tangy sweet. 
Read a book, snooze, doze

check the time, recline again -
gluttonous on the minutes unfolding,
the cosy comfort of duvet folds, 

day on hold, sleep-sold. 
Observe the day swell with possibility,
ripe for the living, without rush.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Day 20: Gift

Apple and Elderflower Jam

Today's prompt was to write about a homemade or handmaid gift we have been given. 

Elderflower Jam

Elderflower - Zeal, Kind thoughts

Summer light in a jar.
Delicate, delicious. 
An unexpected treat.

Made of patience
and perseverance,
labelled with love. 

From hand to heart,
friendship fermented
in its exchange. 

I slather it on a scone
with gratitude, 
thick and sweet. 

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Day 19: Walking archive

Green Aventurine Buddha - Aventurine - Green - By Crystal Name

My walking archive of knick knacks from around the house... as I don't really collect things from walks. 


A green aventurine Buddha
squats adventureless on the windowsill -
laughter lines gathering dust,
his smile, an enigma, still.

An opalescent pearl heart
catches light from a door.
A découpage decorated birdhouse
never to go outside.

A sundial paperweight on a shelf,
its gold wing slicing time
into shadow and light; a reminder
of all its wealth and wrath.

A glass jar of bleached shells,
bones of a beach walk from long ago.
A solar lightbulb with flowers 
suspended on the inside.

A family of shiny red Russian dolls
standing in descending order.
A dozen - or just under -
glass votive holders. 

Totems of happiness and/or luck.
Reminders to live, laugh, love
before it is all too late.
A museum of collectibles cataloguing 

flotsam and jetsam moments
from the tides of time gone by.