2020 Day 30 – They Will Come Round Again

They will come round again, despite our fears:
Another spring, and summer in the sun,
Autumn’s crisp leaves, the winter snows. The years
Circle again, whatever we have done.

Another spring, and summer in the sun
With you, I hope. To see the universe
Circle again, whatever we have done
Is consolation for our mortal curse.

With you, I hope to see the universe,
The glorious stars. The blessing of your breath
Is consolation for our mortal curse,
The precious heartbeats between birth and death.

The glorious stars, the blessing of your breath,
Autumn’s crisp leaves, the winter snows, the years,
The precious heartbeats between birth and death –
They will come round again, despite our fears.


Notes: The prompt for this last day of 2020’s NaPoWriMo was to wite about something that returns. A pantoum seemed an appropriate form for the theme.

2020 Day 29 – Clowder, Clutter, Nuisance, Pounce

First-loved, kitten-bearer,
Cave-dweller, chicken-stealer,
Hand-slasher, postman-scarer.

Park foundling, heart-melter,
Friend-gifted, silent-miaow-master
Door-opener, adventure-seeker.

Corner-hider, timid baby,
Kitten-dodger, food-nibbler,
Quiet-purrer, my old lady.

Bold brother, trouble maker,
One-brain-cell, tail-pouncer,
Night-explorer, risk-taker.

Mother-abandoned, bottle-feeder,
Lap-squasher, fur-carpet shedder.

Loud-protestor, scarf-imitator,
Tiny snuggler, sandwich-stalker,
High leaper, heart-breaker.

Picky princess, crossed-paw-poser,
Wary eater, bed invader,
Sunbeam-sleeper, buzzsaw-snorer.


Notes: The prompt was to ” write a paean to the stalwart hero of your household: your pet”. The collective nouns for cats include clowder, clutter, nuisance and pounce. I’ve based this on the cats who have at various times deigned to share their home with me..

2020 Day 28 – Lilac Roses

My father hung roses on my bedroom wall,
Lilac roses,
Indulging a teenage daughter
Who painted everything purple.
My father hung roses on my bedroom wall –
Upside down.
They rambled towards the floor.
I never had the heart to tell him.


Notes: The prompt was to ‘describe a bedroom from your past’. A liitle description, but mostly anecdote.

2020 Day 27 – Consumer Report

Let me be frank about this: it’s showing signs of age,
Not vintage yet, but getting there. A classic? Maybe not.
The chassis once was classy, but now it’s rather shabby
And no longer looks so sassy, but it’s the only one I’ve got.
In the mornings it’s reluctant to get started when it’s cold
Though some caffeine added to the tank can pep it up no end.
(Be careful not to use too much, you’ll over-rev the engine
And the consequent activity will drive you round the bend.)
It’s not fussy about fuel, doesn’t need the higher grades
But it shouldn’t go too long without a top-up.
An occasional inclusion of some fancier confection
Can help when little problems crop up.
It can keep a steady pace up if it has to, but prefers
To meander gently, taking in the sights.
It can put a spurt of speed on to catch up with a bus
But pushed further it just doesn’t feel quite right.
Internally most bits are there and the ones that matter function.
With maintenance there’s still some good years in it,
So while a newer model would look cooler and work better
This one’s not bad – I’m not ready yet to bin it.


Notes: The prompt was to write a review of something that isn’t normally reviewed.

2020 Day 26 – Almanac

There will be
Deceptively cheerful blue skies.
Try not to be deceived.
A dried rose
Is a reminder of things unfinished.
The rooms are too small
For the space I take up.
They shrink daily.
It is no longer the custom in these parts
To touch strangers. Or friends.
The dead pigeon on the cycle path
Is still there.
It has been a week now.
We take nothing from this place.
The writing on the wall
Is illegible.
I do not think I want to read it yet.
Ghosts of past loves
Whisper louder at twilight.
We agreed to keep silent
But we know what silence means.
Wear a mask at all times,
Even when alone.
It may help.
When the river flooded,
She rescued the puppies.
There are no floods predicted.
What is the road to normality?
You will probably never read this,
But I needed to write it.
The flowers turn to owl and shadow.
Don’t tell the children –
It will give them nightmares.
There is nowhere to walk now.
It is unsafe.
Past the edges of my view
I hear laughter.
I fear the invisible.

Notes: The prompt was to write a poem based on my responses to an ‘Almanac Questionnaire’ – I included most of them in some way.

2020 Day 25 – The Act of Writing

I am contemplating the act of writing.

The page is lined. I dislike lined pages. They confine me.

I am contemplating writing. It is an act.

The pen is purple, fine tipped. Ink flows.

I am writing. It is an act of contemplation.

The words are random. I am tired.

I am acting. I contemplate. Writing?


Notes: A long, complicated prompt today which I may tackle later. For now, this.

2020 Day 24 – Raspberry Picking In My Mother’s Garden

Not the biggest of gardens, but big enough. A greenhouse held together by rusty nails and optimism. An apple tree too young to fruit yet. Strawberries needing to be rescued from the slugs. Chives, flowering purple in the sunlight. And the raspberry canes: taking over the corner, pushing through the fence into the neighbouring garden, heavy with fruit. The best, the biggest are always furthest in, through the tangle of thorny canes. Lift the leaves. Whole clusters in hiding, almost over-ripe. Best to eat them now, by the greedy handful. There is a basket to be filled, but that can wait – these fruits stay perfect and delicious for so short a time when picked. Enjoy the moment.

Summer fruit ripens.
The first precious harvest
Stains fingers and tongues.

A tiny punnet on the shelf. Colour faded, but still stirring memories of scratched, sun-brown arms and summer harvests. Bought hopefully. Brought home, washed, laid out on a white plate. They taste of disappointment.

Out of season,
Supermarket raspberries
Betray their promise.


Notes: The prompt was to write about a fruit. The form is [my attempt at] a haibun.

2020 Day 23 -Know Your ABC

A’s anchored firmly, angled sharp, with its legs akimbo.
You’d need to arch athletically if you used that bar to limbo.

B’s bountiful bumps suggest bosoms and bottoms
(Let’s not blush at ‘buttocks’ – you know we’ve all got’em.)

Kicking K can kiss or kill, but curly C will hold you.
Cuddly C holds out curvy arms, and in a cwtch will fold you.


Notes: The prompt was to write about a letter of the alphabet, thinking about its shape. I did consider tackling the whole alphabet, but no, not today!

2020 Day 22(a) – Fox Sleeping

Fox sleeping,
He watches his love,
Eyes half closed,
Breath so light
He can hear her quickened heart
As she turns to him.


Notes: The prompt was to “find an idiomatic phrase from a different language or culture, and use it as the jumping-off point for your poem. ”  I also wanted to try out a new-to-me form, the Shadorma.   This poem is based on the Welsh expression “Mae e’n cysgu llwynog” – “He is fox sleeping” – meaning pretending to sleep.