2017 Day 21 – I’m Sitting Here, Yeah?

They said
Mr Snell had hung his own dog
…a cocktail with my mates…
It was only a rumour.
Apologise? Apologise?
  Spare change, please?
Poor old Snelly – I wonder
What he’s doing now.
I’m sitting here, yeah?
Spare change, please?
He’s probably dead, like his dog,
won’t be in heaven if he hung his dog.
I didn’t care.
Is it hung or hanged? Can you say hanged?
Explain the world in five words.
It was only a rumour.
Spare change, please?
It’s hung for things, hanged for people.
Apologise? Apologise?
A dog isn’t a person.
It’s not a thing either.
I didn’t care.
Spare change, please?
Explain the world in five words.
…a cocktail with my mates…
Poor old Snelly. Poor dog.
I’m sitting here, yeah?

Notes: The prompt was to write a poem that incorporates overheard speech. This is a mix of a conversation between two of my work colleagues and random things overheard on the street.

2017 Day 20 – Coup En Passant

Queen of Hearts.
Misfit singleton.
One club.
An opening bid,
A positive response,
A squeeze –
Approach-forcing –
Avoidance play.
Change of suit,
Lead through strength,
Lead up to weakness.
Deep finesse.
One diamond.
Two hearts.
Grand Slam.


Notes: The prompt was to write a poem that incorporates the vocabulary and imagery of a specific sport or game. I spent a number of my formative years playing bridge…

2017 Day 19 – Genesis

On the first day
They woke in darkness
In a formless huddle.
She spoke, and there was light.
On the second day
They were cradled in water
Beneath, above them.
He spoke, and there was sky.
On the third day
They craved greenness,
The taste of grapes on their tongues.
They spoke, and the land bloomed.
On the fourth day
They imagined moonlight
And patterns of stars.
Lights jewelled the night.
On the fifth day
They dreamed of flight
And the flow of water
Over sleek bodies.
Fish flourished,
Birds took wing.
On the sixth day
They moulded clay
In each other’s image,
Breathed love
And hoped it was enough.
The seventh day will tell.


Notes: The prompt was to write a poem which recounts a creation myth. “In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” [Genesis 1:27]

2017 Day 18 – There Should Be A Word For It

There should be a word for
That feeling when you run off the cliff,
That hollow in the pit of your stomach
When you look down and see
Only air.
Should it be Wile-ness?
There should be a word for
That feeling when the glass has slipped
From your sudsy hands
But before it reaches the floor
And its inevitable shattering.
There should be a word for
That feeling of release
When you click ‘Send’
On that ‘Dear John’ message.
There should be a word for
The random restless way my mind works…
A butterflight of fancy!


Notes: The prompt was to write a poem which includes neologisms.

2017 Day 17 – Nocturne

The purple sky
Turns velvet, kissed with stars,
Sliver of moon, a breath away from dark,
The whole world tiptoe quiet.
Under the trees, she sleeps,
Dreams of the time, a life ago,
She searched for fire in his kiss
And found there only music.


Notes: The prompt was to write a nocturne. The last line was a found line – the first words of five successive  lines in the novel I’m reading – and the poem grew from there.

2017 Day 16 – Excuse Note

Dear Muse,
Excuse the bearer
From poetry today.
Her brain’s got a case of writer’s cramp
And her metre’s gone astray.
She’s having trouble with her feet
When she moves away from prose:
Her iambs look like dactyls
And her dactyls look like toes.
She’s had her fill of villanelles,
The lines just keep repeating,
And haiku gives her hiccups
(Though it’s very good for tweeting).
Last night she took two sonnets
Before she went to bed
But a dodgy terza rima
Left her with an aching head.
Alliteration leaves her listless,
Lying limp and small.
Her similes are like a thing
That’s not like the thing at all.
She really needs a line break
From the art of crafting verse.
She’ll be back on form tomorrow.

The Poet’s Nurse.


Notes: The prompt was to write a poem inspired by the act of letter-writing 🙂

2017 Day 15 – Middle For Diddle

Middle for diddle.
How’re you diddling?
Fair to middling.
Riddle me this:
How can I enter
The middle, the centre,
The heart of the matter?
You lie and you flatter,
You’re all on the fiddle,
Twiddling your thumbs
While I’m out on the edge.
If I follow the hedge
Of the maze to the middle
Will I ever get out?
What’s it all about?
The centre can’t hold
As I’ve told you before.
in the middle of war
There is no solution,
No resolution –
All these middle-aged men
With their middle-class aims
And their games and their ploys
And their jobs for the boys
And their nuclear toys.
I have found
There is no middle ground.


Notes: The prompt was to write a poem ‘that reflects on the nature of being in the middle of something.’

2017 Day 14 – Divine Clerihews

Knew what his hammer was for
He never blundered
Or squeaked when he ought to have thundered.

Was well known for his morals so loose.
His illicit kisses
Brought a scowl to the face of his missus.

Found herself in a bit of a crisis
With Osiris dissected
And a vital piece missing from those she’d collected.

Balder the Beautiful
Was beloved and handsome and dutiful
Which made Loki despise him so
He got him shot down with a spear of mistletoe.

Was known for being flighty.
She won the Golden Apple from Paris,
And that’s what the cause of the Trojan war is.


Notes: the prompt was clerihews. Forced rhymes are typical of the form, honest!

2017 Day 13 (2) – Taking Flight

When dark turns day and dreams take flight
Lovers and early birds take flight.

The world is touched with gold and rose
And shadowed purple. Sleep takes flight.

The subtle thieves who prey on hearts
Beneath night’s cover now take flight.

This precipice, a launching pad
From which, unfettered, souls take flight.

Holding no fear, my heart can soar.
Angels, like butterflies, take flight.


Notes: This one uses the prompt, to write a ghazal (or at least, my version of one!)

2017 Day 13 (1) – Lost World

Green lady stumbles through a fairy tale,
Seeks her abandoned children in the wood
As fairy tales have taught her to believe.
This lady, green with grief, is sure to fail –
The world well lost, children abandon good
For animated tales of fairy gold.
Abandoned by children, the green lady grieves,
Imprisoned in the ruins of the old.

Notes: The prompt was delayed today, so I started writing a san san, with the repeated words/phrases ‘fairy tale’,  ‘abandoned children’ and ‘green lady’, with the additional constraint of needing to include ‘lost world’, ‘stumbles’ ‘ruin’ ‘imprisoned’ and ‘animated’. [All of these words and phrases were selected semi-randomly from the TV guide and a website list of myths.]