2019 Day 29 – Watching Storms From A Distance

We watch the lightning play across the sky.
The thunder rumbles. We are not afraid.
We can remember fear if we try.

Times when the world would make us cry,
When terror bade us run. And yet we stayed.
We watch the lightning play across the sky.

The darkening clouds hold shadows of a lie,
A distant time we felt our hopes betrayed.
We can remember fear if we try.

We know the healing power of goodbye.
The storm is distant. Debts have all been paid.
We watch the lightning play across the sky.
We can remember fear if we try.

Notes: a truncated villanelle which more or less follows the prompt: “Today, I’d like to challenge you to blend these concepts into your own work, by producing a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquillity, on an emotion you have felt powerfully. “

2019 Day 28 – This Is A Poem

This is a poem
Because I say it is
And I’ve devoured enough words
To recognise a poem when I taste one.
Which is not to say
That all poems taste alike.
There’s a glorious variety,
Something for everyone.
Some poems are spicy,
Spiked with bold words, burning metaphors.
(Maybe too hot to handle –
Can you stomach them?)
Some are sweet on the tongue,
Honeyed phrases, sugar-coated lines.
Watch out for the ones which hide
A bitter centre.
Some are as simple as bread and butter,
Others a full banquet of rhyme and alliteration,
Of complex flavours and exotic allusions.
It’s not a matter of better or worse
But which best suits your appetite.
This is a poem –
Taste it and see.


Notes: The prompt discussed meta-poems – which are poems about poems – “… today I’d like to challenge you to try your hand at a meta-poem of your own.” It’s something I’ve tackled in various forms previously, including this one: https://flutterbynapowrimo.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/2016-day-19-how-to-write-safe-poetry/


2019 Day 27 -Not Sonnet LVII

I am no minion. I will not attend
Your every whim or humour your desire.
My time is all my own, for me to spend –
What makes you think it’s not, may I inquire?
I’m not prepared to wait more than an hour
Watching the clock, impatient, when you’re due.
I’ll drink some bitter in your absence, flower,
And when that’s supped that’s quite enough of you.
I’d question where you’d got to if I thought
You’d tell the truth for once. but I suppose
You’d call me sad for asking, so I ought
To bring this less than happy chapter to a close.

I’m not a fool, love, like besotted Will.
You’re a control freak – Lord, you make me ill!


Notes: “I’d like to challenge you to “remix” a Shakespearean sonnet.” Re-reading some of Shakespeare’s sonnets, I see why they appealed so much to my adolescent self; My older self feels that Will went a little over the top in his affections…

2019 Day 26 – Inside My Head

A dream of rainbow light filling my head,
A raindrop halo circling my head.

Strange nights bring beauty, terror, joy –
Who knows what magic hides inside my head?

I cannot tell you – words are not enough
To show the chaos that’s inside my head.

I touch you lightly, and you touch me too,
And for an instant you are in my head.

The angel bears a sword that drives you back.
There is an empty garden in my head.


Notes: “Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that uses repetition.” Playing with a ghazal, since I haven’t written one yet this year.



2019 Day 25 – Preparing For Sleep

Preparing for sleep.
Red-gold leaves falling,
Damp earthy scent,
Apples wrinkled and sweet.

Preparing for sleep.
Swallows leave, calling –
Who knows where they went?
Sunlight loses its heat.

Preparing for sleep,
Harvest all gathered in,
Hedgehogs spiky and rolled,
Soft dormouse ball.

Preparing for sleep,
Snake shedding its skin,
Wind hinting at cold –
Preparing to fall.


Notes: “I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that:

  • Is specific to a season
  • Uses imagery that relates to all five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
  • Includes a rhetorical question, (like Keats’ “where are the songs of spring?”) “

2019 Day 24 – Augur

She reads the auspices from the way the bones
Of discarded KFC spill from their boxes
Or from the splattering of pigeon droppings
Interspersed with blackened chewing gum.
On sunny days, she watches the skies.
The dance of the con trails against the blue
Augurs well or badly, depending
On the likelihood of a holiday this year.
The thunder of lorries
Conveys a message.
Don’t ask – you wouldn’t like it.
She is no haruspex, and so
She does not know, yet, the story
The entrails tell.


Notes:  “Locate a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia, open it at random, and consider the two pages in front of you to be your inspirational playground for the day.”

I used the prompt loosely – a friend had retweeted a definition of ‘augury’ and I looked up augury and various associated words on Wikipedia.

2019 Day 23 – Crabbed

Crabs are found in every ocean in the world,
In salt water and fresh.
I am an ocean of unshed tears.
The articulation of a crab’s legs
Makes it easier for it to walk sideways
Than straight ahead.
You scuttled sideways to invade me,
Coming at me from a direction
I never suspected.
When crabs moult
They crack their shells along a line of weakness.
I was weakest
Where I thought I was strongest:
I never expected to crack.
Crabs are omnivorous.
Given half a chance
You will devour me.
I will not give you half a chance.
Those under the sign of the crab
Are sometimes called Moon children.
I am not moon-struck
And not a child to be afraid of names.


Notes: “I’d like to challenge you today to write a poem about an animal. “

2019 Day 22 – Hallelujah

I like singers with forty-a-day voices,
Dark angels exiled centuries ago
From the heavenly choir.
I like singers with mascara streaked eyes,
With sweat-soaked curls
And a gaze that reaches to forever.
I like singers with naked feet
And a naked soul.
I like singers whose voices make me shiver
Like the touch of a finger
Gently down my spine.
Most of all
I like singers who know
That this broken hallelujah
May be all there is,
And still they sing.


Notes: “Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that engages with another art form – it might be about a friend of yours who paints or sculpts, your high school struggles with learning to play the French horn, or a wonderful painting, film, or piece of music you’ve experienced – anything is in bounds here, so long as it uses the poem to express something about another form of art.”