2020 Day 2 – Garden

Was there rain in that garden?
There must have been plenty –
It was Wales, the valleys, and the hills were green –
But I remember sunshine as I sat
On the rough concrete block at the corner of the flower bed.

Was there noise in that garden?
Maybe a sheep bleating
From behind the back gate.
But I remember the quiet of held breath
As I watched tiny insects in the warm soil.

Were there weeds in that garden?
There could have been –
What child knows a flower from a weed?
But I remember the pink of London Pride,
The sharp prick of floribunda thorns.

Was there peace in that garden?
Perhaps. It was a long time ago
And time blurs the edges.
Still, I remember the green kitchen door,
Never locked, which led out there.

Notes: The prompt was to write a poem about a specific place —  a particular house or store or school or office. I don’t really do descriptive poems, but here’s a bit of Rhondda memory.

2020 Day 1(b) – Crossword

You are an anagram, a hidden word.
The intersection gives the clue.
We touch and part, across and down,
Did I make it too hard for you?

This shape reflects our symmetry.
You echo me, I echo you.
It isn’t hard if you can spot
The common theme that runs right through.

Even when we’re far apart
A laddered link still joins us two
If we can get connections right,
identify when, what and who

Tentative pencil or risky pen,
Solve this as only you can do.
Dearest, I hid love in a bed.
Did I make it too hard for you?


Notes: “I’d like to challenge you to write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances. For example, bowling, or shopping for socks, or shoveling snow, or teaching a child to tie its shoes.” My initial idea was to make setting a crossword a metaphor for my life – didn’t quite work but I rather like this. (Especially the penultimate line, which is of course a crossword clue!)

2020 Day 1 (a)- Magpie

Good morning, sister.
Solitary sorrow –
No paired joy
For my finger-crossed, breath-held self.
She was always my three-for-a-girl,
My seven-for-a-secret.
Flown away
On an autumn sky.
Now spring spells out her absence
In black and white.

Notes: This is a (sort of) response to the early bird prompt. I always salute, and count, magpies. Response to the day 1 prompt later.

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?”) “