Day fourteen and a clerihew – yes, already!

Aha! Day fourteen’s challenge was to write a clerihew. I had already done this as it was short and sweet, so it brings me onto the same day as everyone else now.

I wrote one, was quite pleased with it, then realised it wasn’t one after all, so I duly wrote a proper one! I have included them both anyway:
Piet Mondrian thought he was hip,
Leaving his paintings quite bare.
But those in arty circles
Declared him to be rather square.
The wayward staff of Chris Packham,
Knew he was too soft to sack ‘em.
I’ve heard that his cleaner, called Beryl,
Has reverted to practically feral.


Day thirteen and no ghazal

The task for day thirteen was to write a ghazal. Frankly, I can’t face writing another form poem so soon and so I went off piste and wrote something a bit trite and random. I included rhyme and repetition to at least show willing.
Happiness is a ginger cat,
a party hat,
the welcome mat
when you’ve had a fight.

Happiness is a crescent moon,
a blue balloon,
your favourite tune,
fading candlelight.

Happiness is a furry thing,
small birds that sing,
eyes sparkling.
Peace of mind.

Happiness is your hand in mine,
a glass of wine
and love divine,
if fate is kind.

Day twelve – assonance and alliteration

Keeping this one short and sweet, as I’m on a roll.

These fascinating and unusual-looking fish used to come in with the mackerel. They look far too exotic to be caught around the British coast but were quite common when I was young, Any unfortunate enough to get caught were often cut up to use as bait.

Although I gather they are edible, their emerald-coloured bones put people off! As a long-standing veggie, I’m pleased to say I have never been tempted.

this sleek,
shallow schooler
is a sprat-stalking –
prehistoric predator.
it’s brilliant bones
gleam with
emerald green.

Day eleven – MmmBop poem…

Day eleven was to write a Bop poem and, in my usual fashion I have allowed it to hold me back as I struggled so much with it! Eventually I finished it, but it’s a bit clunky.

I have also had family visiting, so I have fallen a few days behind. Hopefully I can get back on track soon…
Bop reflection using refrain by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

I couldn’t get inspired to write a Bop,
at first I couldn’t find a good refrain.
The convoluted form just made things worse.
so round I went, in circles, once again.
If I’d just found a little inspiration,
it might have helped to spark my imagination.

Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers

Should poetry be grounded by such forms?
Must we balance iambs, make it rhyme,
pepper it with metaphors and such,
add alliteration, count the lines?
Rhyming schemes still make me yawn and twitch,
I don’t enjoy the structure they impose,
though some may find them handy to denote
the difference between poetry and prose.

Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers

The dilemma for a writer, then, it seems,
is whether to embrace the form or not.
Without set boundaries, can a poem stand
or does the art just simply go to pot?
My own beliefs just add to the confusion,
so I’ll leave you, reader, to draw your own conclusion.

Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers

Day ten – portrait poem

Day ten and we were asked to write a portrait poem, focusing on the character rather than their appearance – well, at least that’s how I interpreted it!

As I’ve said before, I’m not much of a personal poetry writer so this was tricky for me. In the end I decided to write about my nan, who died about 30 years ago, with a little bit (actually not too much) of artistic licence.

Will try and add a couple of pics tomorrow if I can.

She was a Victorian doll who grew up too soon,
a ‘good girls are seen but not heard’ child,
who quietly took her place in the Family Bible,
hoarding parma violets in a cotton hanky,
scribbling in her prayer book.

Bearing widowhood stoically,
she waved one daughter off
with the weight of a warring world
on her British-Legion-proud shoulders,
dismissed the other, mysteriously.

She was a hat-pin-prickly,
panel round the bottom and down the front,
make do and mend sort of woman,
that cursed and wrote to ‘snoopy thieves’
who daily moved and stole her things.

My patchwork nan was a hoarding nan,
a musty, fusty, out of date nan,
an orange and lemon slices every Christmas nan,
a lily of the valley scented nan,
a hard to love, but I still did, nan.

Day nine and it’s all about the nines

Day nine is a nine-line poem and I decided to try the Spenserian rhyming scheme, with iambic pentameter, then realised it was harder than I thought!

I persevered, however. Not too impressed with this really but it is a completed task!


Who knew what hand my life might deal to me?
I’d like to think that I believe in fate.
I’m not so sure about Astrology
or of the true importance of a date.
I’ve never had a tarot reading yet
that made me feel cards tell us anything,
so I will stick with fortune and regret
and maybe learn the lessons that they bring
or it may leave me dangling on a string…

Day eight – I’ve finally caught up!!!!

Phew – with a following wind, and a little bit of sneakiness, I am finally on the same page as everyone else taking part!

The challenge for day eight is repetition. Hmm, not my cup of tea really (Simon Armitage’s Not the Furniture Game an exception) as it gets a bit forced after a while. As a reader, I also find myself skipping the repetitions and just reading the new bits, which I am sure affects my response to the piece – just telling it as I see it!Sorry, it’s not a cheery one!


Dark Heart
His heart was dark, like the cracks between floorboards
His heart was dark as a sealed room
His heart was dark, like the Marianas Trench
His heart was as dark as an empty womb

His heart was dark, as though filled with squid ink
His heart was dark, with no promise of dawn
His heart was dark as a crouching panther
His heart was dark, like the eyes of a newborn

His heart was dark, studded with scarab wings
His heart was dark, like an unexplored cave
His heart was dark, like a black hole in space
His heart was dark as a pauper’s grave

His heart was dark,
our love was dark,
his soul was darker.

Day seven – fortuitous poem

Hoping to nail day eight later so I am in sync for the first time this year. Fingers crossed…

Okay, so day seven was a fortuitous poem. I followed the suggestions and, unsurprisingly, came up with some pretty random stuff that was completely uninspiring. Determined not to stall and let it hold me back I am taking the easy way out and just serving up a limerick.

Day eight seemed to start out quite sweetly,
I thought I could sew it up neatly,
Though fortuitous verse
Proved to be the reverse
So, with luck, I have swerved it completely!

Day six – points of view

For day six, the prompt was to write about something from several different angles.

I wanted to keep this a bit short and sweet, as I am still playing catch-up, so I decided to sort of use the haiku form to give me a workable frame and then thought about different people’s responses to Winter, as they age.

I know, I know –  it is what it is, but I am only one behind now!

Hey and it’s my birthday, cut me some slack…



Tiny tongues upturned,
eager for their first taste of
the free-falling sky.

Snowballs at playtime.
Being cool is just not fun,
It’s really freezing!

Waiting in traffic,
where even condensation
moves faster than you.

Pension day at last,
but black ice covers the path
to the Post Office.

Day five – back to nature

Day five’s challenge was to write a poem about nature and it made me think about a gannet we cared for when I was a child. The poor thing was a young bird that had been blown off course and found itself in Sussex, which is not really renowned for its gannet colonies!

As my father was an RSPCA volunteer, we took it in and nursed it back to health until it could be released in an appropriate location. I feel like he lived with us for ages but probably it was only a few weeks. The local paper picked up on it and our photo even appeared in the Daily Mirror Book for Girls!


he landed at our door.
Immature, unsure of
what we were or
where he needed to be.
Fixed by his gimlet eye
I waited, patiently,
the six-year-old me
daunted by the sheer size,
and overwhelming need,
of this overgrown gull.
Boundaries agreed,
he meekly allowed
his magnificence
to be crammed
into my doll’s pram,
where he majestically
held court as I wheeled him
daily round the block.
He thrived and grew.
In a slopping bucket
we brought pout home alive,
taught him to dive,
clumsily, inadequately,
into the depths
of our dull ceramic bath,
to claim his prize.
On our faded settee,
he sat by me
as I read him fairy tales,
the day’s news,
or just passed the time.
Too soon, like dragons
and childhood,
he was gone.
I hope he soared free,
high over chalk cliffs,
speared the sea
and maybe,
once or twice,
remembered me.