Poetry Unleashed

Day 28 of NApowrimo – 28 poems written and the end is nigh…today’s prompt was to write a poem about poetry “try your hand at a meta-poem of your own”. Here is my rant about archaic rules… I may even publish a second because I’m completely fired up, but for now here is

Poetry Unleashed

Who applied mathematics to literature?

Who dared degrade lines to a vile number count?

Who callously ripped out the soul to insert regularity?

Iambic Pentameter you are a satanic curse infecting creativity.

You leave me cold, my blood stilled.

You bind my hands and feet with rigidity.

Your condescending eye watches over my choice of phrase.

Know that you are not welcome in my world of dreams,

my moments of emotional outpouring.

My self-analysis has no need of your stuffy laws.

When I lower my defences to release pent up anger,

remorse, heartache or hurt, revealing scars

never before uncovered,

when I flood the page with deep sentiment,

boundless praise of nature’s beauty,

when I proclaim my love of the one I adore

or worship my children, professing eternal gratitude

for being so blessed,

do I need your calculated condemnation?

Do I need your bony finger pointing out inconsistent

decrepit

syllable counts or misplaced emphasis?

No! Close the door on your way out!

You are old and decrepit, redundant and impotent.

You shall not haunt my page. Be gone.

Lie down in your cold grave and let the living write poetry.

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Dust

A shirt is shaken, sprawled over a board.

Her smile is fixed, eyes glazed

hours pass by as the iron runs.

Life evaporates with the steam.

The corpse is well turned out,

the headstone reads “she kept a tidy house”.

 

Dust piles upon dust

falling layer upon layer

dancing on sunbeams in shafts of light

piercing silent rooms.

Bed clothes lie ruffled.

breakfast pots sit in the sink.

 

No-one cares they run through fields

climb over styles

gather mud on their boots

eat picnics on blankets

whilst the tap drips into a bowl

waiting, waiting, waiting.

 

Wind-blown hair, sun burnt skin,

smiles light up the meadow,

birds chatter along with laughter

on the breeze, the dandelion clock

sends parachutes to mark the hours

of this endless day.

fun in fields

How Could It Be?

How Could it Be?

 

I see you now and again across a restaurant

the red of your jumper catching my eye,

the blue and white check shirt pulling at the sleeve of my attention.

When I look up, of course, it’s not you

How could it be?

 

I see you in the hospital waiting room hunched

in an uncomfortable plastic chair.

I see the top of your head through thinning hair

still carefully combed

when he looks up, of course, it isn’t you

How could it be?

 

I imagine I hear you nod your approval

over my shoulder as I read a well-constructed poem

or exceptional piece of literature.

I hear your slow and deliberate consideration;

“Hmmmmm, yeeeeessss” but it isn’t you

How could it be?

 

Six years have passed.

Your presence hasn’t waned as one would expect it to

like a receding shadow or fading bloom.

You are as real to me now as you were in life

though I cannot choose to visit you,

only treasure the glimpses I am gifted;

at the concert hall, the bookshop,

in the armchair.

 

Day 18 of Napowrimo and the challenge was to write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.

This poem is about my Father-In-Law who never seems too far away, even now.

 

46

I’m 46 for goodness sake!

Where did those years go?

I was 20 only yesterday

full of vigour and gusto.

I’m closer to the grave

than the cradle which is mad

I haven’t even started yet

wasted youth is pitifully sad.

I should have sailed around the world

raising Hell everyday

been a rock star filling stadiums

instead of shuffling life away.

But had I been that rock chic

I’d never have met my man

or held my babies in my arms

and heard them call me Mam.

But Bloody Hell, I’m not ready!

for wrinkles and support tights

I’ll not go gently into bingo halls

and fade into goodnight.

So crack open the Southern Comfort

add a splash of coke

there’s still life left in this old girl

before I finally croak.

Drink up and let’s be merry

raise a glass or two

to living our lives fully

before we bid adieu.

Dear Deer

Come close my dear,

and I will tell

the tale of a dear deer

(with a tiny tail)

who sadly didn’t fare too well.

He died at the fair

when he decided to try

a new fur dye he’d seen.

Flowing around the unique horn

of a unicorn was

a rainbow mane,

unicorn hair

when along came

a bare-faced bear

who had an aloof air,

(perhaps of a heir bear).

He added too much dye

and I declare!

It burnt the dear deer’s eyes!

You see, the no-eyed deer

he could not see

so ran and ran

and damn,

he ran into a dam,

that broke,

he choked.

For four hours he tried

to survive….

When he finally passed

we sang for hours and hours

hymns for him

that dyed dear deer

of ours who died.

hymns

Day 14 of Napowrimo saw a challenge that I had to read up on to understand;

write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms, or otherwise makes productive use of English’s ridiculously complex spelling rules and opportunities for mis-hearings and mis-readings.

I hope I have achieved the objective?

Razored Nail

 

Razored Nail

 

You will not see her approach,

hear footsteps fall or gravel crunch.

The moonlight shadow makes no sound

as she picks you out for lunch.

 

But you may smell the foul stench,

feel slimy spittle against your skin.

Pungent odour fills your nose

your stomach writhes and knots within.

 

You will not see a blade glint

but feel the gouge of razored nail

as she disembowels your organs

and drags out your entrails.

witch

 

Pray she passes you by, my dear

pull the covers over head.

Lock your windows, bolt the door,

hope she isn’t in your bed.

Compass

Compass

 

I wandered lonely as a cloud

My compass buried beneath the earth

He was my North, my South, my East and West

 

The last grain of sand tore him from my grasp

through the hourglass out of reach

I wandered lonely as a cloud

 

From our first encounter

until our last

He was my North, my South, my East and West

 

Without him I had no left or right

No above, no below, no soul.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

 

I roamed alone over hill and stone

no destination, no meaning, no goal.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

He was my North, my South, my East and West

 

Today’s Napowrimo challenge was playing with format; write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way.

I chose to take lines from William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and WH Auden’s “Stop All The Clocks” in a villanelle poem. My opposites are wandering aimlessly and the points of a compass (slightly tenuous, perhaps!).

I’m really enjoying the stretch of the challenge and encourage everyone with a love of the written word to join in and have a go, even if you capture your poems in secret. Enjoy.

 

A Kiss

kiss

A Kiss

 

I placed a gentle kiss on his forehead

to wake him as I always did

stroking his skin, whispering

“It’s time for school.”

 

Always he awoke with smiling eyes

looking into mine.

It never failed, even as a Cadet

until now.

 

He does not stir.

He lies beneath

the earth divided by brutal borders.

Doomed to die before he could live.

 

Tell me why?

Why nurse him, nurture him,

cherish him?

Why give him life at all?

 

Today’s Napowrimo challenge was to write a poem that ended on a question. My question asks what is the point of war? When will it stop?

army boots - A kiss