2017 Day 30 – Rinse and Repeat

Another load of washing on the go,
A single sock swims in and out of view.
(Where did the other go? Who knows?)

Rinse and repeat.

The sun comes up each day and sets each night.
I wake and sleep, I wake and sleep again,
Following earth’s journey, light to dark to light.

Rinse and repeat.

Bus ride to work, by the familiar route.
Hours later, home – same bus,
Same noise, same smells, same men in business suits.

Rinse and repeat.

Each year another birthday. Sometimes cake,
Usually presents, but not too much fuss.
(December babies don’t get parties. Them’s the breaks.)

Rinse and repeat.

Another load of washing. Day by day
The chores repeat, the patterns carry on,
Circle through sleep and waking, work and play.

Rinse and repeat.

Spin cycle.



Notes: The prompt was to write about something that keeps happening again and again.

2017 Day 29 – May Queen

Dawn kisses dewdrops.
The faerie queen,
Her hawthorn crown
Jewelled with light
Steps out of darkness –
Beauty in blossom.
But flowers have thorns:
Caught in her golden hair
A single drop of precious blood
Hangs like a ruby.


Notes: The prompt was to take a concrete noun from a favourite poem, free write around that word and use that as the basis of a poem. I took the word ‘crown’ from To Juan at the Winter Solstice by Robert Graves.

2017 Day 27 – Spice Jars

Whole coriander seeds –
Their citrus burst reminds me
Of your curries.

Garlic’s pungent bite –
The hummus I made for
Long ago parties.

Ginger – Dad’s chocolates,
Fiery but wrapped in sweetness.
A rare treat.

Star anise – liquorice,
Chinese food cooking Christmas Eve,
Presents still unwrapped.

Dill – battered pickle,
Laughter at a wooden table
A world away.


Notes: the prompt was to write about the memories evoked by taste. I’ve written a little spicy concoction of Collom lunes.

2017 Day 26 – Ballot Box

We’ll soon have cleared this attic.
It really was a sin
To leave it full of rubbish,
And not fit some families in.
I suppose we ought to check this box
Before we chuck it out.
There might be something worth a look…
Oh, what’s all this about?
A bunch of papers: ‘Vote for me!’
‘Better housing, better health’
‘Less tax!’ ‘More freedom’ ‘Yes, we can’
‘Tax the rich and share the wealth’
Election manifestos?
Political campaigns?
I’ve heard about that sort of stuff.
It must have been a pain
To read through all those promises
And try to make a choice.
Thank goodness all the people now
Can speak with just one voice:
The voice of the High President,
The planet’s blessed ruler,
Whose brain will guide us evermore
From its presidential cooler.
These relics of an ancient rite
Aren’t worth a second look.
Who needs democracy? Not us.
We’ll burn these with the books.


Notes: Today’s prompt was to look at something from the point of view of a future scientist or archaeologist. But what if the future is one where scientists and archaeologists wouldn’t flourish? Then we’re left with the house clearance crew…

2017 Day 25 – No Oksijan.

We can’t breathe.

I am in the cantenar.
I am seven.
I want to be eight.
I want to be safe.

We can’t breathe.

My little boy is dead.
He was six.
He will never be seven.
His baby sister
Is safe, for now at least.

We can’t breathe.

I am thirty-five
But I look older.
The little girl
Is two, I think.
There are seventy-one of us here,
Packed in like battery hens
In the ‘Honest Chicken’ truck.
I do not think we will get older.

We can’t breathe.
No oksijan.

Notes: The prompt was to write a poem that explores a small, defined space.  This is probably not what was meant, but it was inspired by this story and this story among others.

2017 Day 24 – Marginalised

The text is formal, carefully inscribed,
Worthy words, no doubt, if I could read them.
Some monk has cramped his hand and strained his eyes
For this, by rancid candle’s light.
So I can’t blame him
If, tired of black-inked Latin,
He filled the edges of his page
With bottom-baring priests, and phallus trees,
And livened learning
With mutant creatures out of drunken dream.


Notes: The prompt was to write an ekphrastic poem inspired by the marginalia of medieval manuscripts. I spent so much time looking at the weird pictures that this is all I wrote!

2017 Day 22 – Promise of Harvest

While winter lingers, Earth is still asleep,
Promise of harvest curls within the seed.
What we sow now, eventually we reap.
We till reluctant ground with hands that bleed
Hoping for growth and that the crops not fail.
Promise of harvest curls within the seed.
Late frost or bitter winds or hail
May blight the tender shoots. We toil,
Hoping for growth and that the crops not fail..
Our blood, our sweat, will bless the living soil.
The weeds we leave to flourish in the field
May blight the tender shoots. We toil
And fight exhaustion, or we yield.
We shape our future by what we neglect:
The weeds we leave to flourish in the field,
The fragile shoots of life we don’t protect.
While winter lingers, Earth is still asleep,
We shape our future by what we neglect.
What we sow now, eventually we reap.


Notes: The prompt was to write a georgic. I decided to write a terzanelle with an agricultural(ish) theme.