Flight

Napowrimo day 22 – Write a poem about flight or flying.

Flight

 

We carried our clothes in Tesco carrier bags and took off on foot

staying with friends “just for a few days”

sleeping in box rooms on camp beds or the couch.

I was always embarrassed letting anyone see my faded nightdress

as I walked to the bathroom to clean my teeth.

I missed home, Grandma, the corner shop, my books, my own bed

I never understood why we were always leaving.

 

Image by Felicianose-art-hobbyist

Don’t Make Me Go Back

Almost back on track with Napowrimo, Day 17 – a sequence poem

 

 

Don’t Make Me Go Back

 

I

 

A smooth soft wrist, warm to the touch

with a healthy pulse, smiles back at me

it hasn’t seen a watch in 3 weeks.

 

II

 

I’m late!

For what?

Nothing

 

III

 

A 6am alarm triggers rocketing blood pressure

Lobotomised drivers with hollowed faces and deadened eyes

commute on the 9-5 M60

a cacophony of sirens and horns their weird theme tune.

A 6pm return of my fractured shadow

 

Pigeon Paranoia

Catching up to Napowrimo Day 15 writing both a positive and negative

Pigeon Paranoia

 

Shadowy pigeons perch along the apex of the roof

fat balled bodies silhouetted by the sun.

Their dark forms threaten.

 

Why sit in a line so still? What do you intend?

What scheme do you conjure? Is it to peck out my eyes

in a frantic feathered mob attack?

 

Or do you simply wait for the store to close,

the car park to empty,

to scavenge fallen crumbs?

Skimming Stones

I’m completely out of sync with #Napowrimo due to being rudely interrupted by Covid-19 but I think this poem loosely answers the prompt for Day 11 Write a poem about a missed connection (I’ve spun it slightly to the futility of avoiding a connection.

Skimming Stones

 

Like a stone skimming across the water

we glance together

causing only the faintest ripple on the surface

before pulling apart.

Hidden to the rest of the world

but known to us

forces are already in motion.

Drawn back together

again and again

and again.

The distance between us all the time

narrowing.

Both scared of the inevitable

as the stone breaks the surface

plunging into the depths

sinking,

drowning

in

you.

 

 

** Image by Laura Zombie “Drowning In Love”

 

 

 

The Covid Blues

I’m interrupting Napowrimo prompts today just as Covid has interrupted my schedule. I’ve spent the day drifting in and out of consciousness after taking painkillers which turned out to be incredibly effective at removing hours from my day as well as the pain. Please note – this is absolutely not a criticism of the NHS, Chemists or any supporting staff, they are all super heroes in my book, doing a wonderful and courageous job. However…. 🙂

Covid Blues

 

Sore throat, temperature

followed by dry cough

wheezy days, sleepless nights

feeling “slightly rough”

 

No energy, teary-eyed

coughing all the time

swollen tongue, now mouth ulcers!

whilst defiant – I’m alright!

 

Swollen face, pain in jaw and gums

now earache!

Family insistent

“Call the doctor for goodness’ sake”

 

NHS Online says;

I have the plague

Stay at home, paracetamol

but the pain doesn’t go away

 

Ring 111 to ask for help

“We aren’t medically trained.

Ring the chemist they will know

what pills you should take”

 

The chemist says “Ring the Doc –

antibiotics, you’re infected”

Holding the line once again

“whilst we try to get you connected”

 

The receptionist asks what is wrong

and why you need a Doc?

Finally she puts me through

to rehash the whole damned lot.

 

I pick up my drugs that afternoon

by eight I’m numb and sleeping

The following day I cruise through space

though awake I’m still dreaming

 

I’ll take the antibiotics

to cure the cursed infection

but the painkillers are in the bin

before I fall into addiction.

 

It’s nice to escape from life’s trials

when pain strikes and gives you jip

but opioids aren’t the answer

rather – a British stiff upper lip.

 

 

 

 

Image – This sickness Blues by Aurora Meyer

The Lie

Napowrimo Day 8 – Write of a lie

 

The Lie

 

An empty Bell’s Whiskey bottle wedged behind the stacked cereal bowls.

Drained Smirnoff Vodka bottles tinkle together behind the sack of dog food.

Crushed White Lightening Cider bottles lean on shelves in the garden shed.

Merlot Wine bottles are disguised amongst the bleach and disinfectant.

 

But you didn’t put them there.

 

Could it have been me and I have amnesia?

Perhaps our 6 year old can reach tall shelves and unlock rusty padlocks?

No. It must be the dog: he’s sleeping it off in his basket.

Was it a twisted tooth fairy who leaves his empties around our home?

 

Which is it to be if it wasn’t you?

Schooldays in Accrington

Day 2 of Napowrimo – write of a specific place

 

I remember the hypnotic sound of incessant rain

beating against the classroom window on a grey afternoon.

I remember a crate of tinkling milk bottles arriving in class,

each with it’s own paper straw.

I remember the harsh smell of little oblong bars of green soap

in the school toilets.

I remember holding my breath in case the fumes burnt my nostrils

whilst I washed my hands.

I remember rough grey green paper towels.

I remember reading a Ladybird book of Cinderella, she had

two ball gowns, one pink, one blue and at the end of the story

a fairy tale white wedding dress.

I remember wanting real fairy wings and a wand for Christmas.

I remember Julie Hesmondhalgh striding onto stage in a school pantomime

holding everyone transfixed with her booming voice and incredible energy.

I remember wanting to be Wonder Woman, spinning around endlessly

on flagstones outside our corner shop.

I remember being locked in a cemetery late at night, terrified,

with blood pounding in my ears.

I remember living two streets away from Jeanette Winterson.

I remember the hushed whispers in the bookshop as furtive ladies

bought “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.”

 

You can do it

Never give up on what you love – a short story of hope.

When I first made the decision to write, more precisely to write a Children’s Picture Book, I set to it with great passion, words flowed easily, naturally and instinctively. I knew what I wanted to write, I knew my character, I knew his story (I lived with him!). I trusted myself.

Once written, I read it to friends and family who enjoyed it and I trusted them. I was very happy with what I’d produced and so set out to discover how to find a publisher. I did what everyone does when you don’t know something – I Googled.

I read up on the subject, I studied tutorials, I absorbed tips and techniques.  Quite confident that I had a suitable letter and short biography and I’d followed each of the Publisher’s submission guidelines, I sent out 5 manuscripts (my story) to 5 publishers and immediately received 5 rejection letters.

However, I had read Stephen King’s autobiographical piece that said he received hundreds of rejections before having his first book accepted. I had also heard an author tell of how she celebrated each and every rejection as a mark that she’d tried.

With this sage advice in mind, I acknowledged that I needed to hone my craft and learn more about writing and the publishing process. This is where I also learned of writer’s having doubt, insecurities and anxieties either when writing or after submission. I ploughed on.

It wasn’t long after, on a writing workshop, that I wrote a new story and sent it off the next day to a Publisher. This time it was accepted and I had a contract for my first Picture Book. It was a time of elation and celebration.

The following year was a whirlwind as I learned what was involved when launching and supporting the marketing and sales for a new book. I was well travelled, worked hard and at one point exhausted, yet still riding on the thrill of becoming an author.

It’s a year on and I’ve continued my studies and learning from others, I enjoy every minute. An email arrived last week asking me to call at the Publishers for a chat and I am delighted to say they are publishing my second Children’s Picture Book. Only, it isn’t my second book, it’s the story I wrote that day furiously, passionately, instinctively, the day I decided to write.

The story that was initially rejected is now being published. The trust I had in my friends and family who liked it, the trust I had in myself is justified.  Why am I telling you this, because sometimes we rely on experts and other people’s opinions too much. We too easily lose faith in ourselves. We don’t put up much of a fight in the face of disappointment. It’s easy to believe we aren’t good enough. Well don’t. Have faith, have confidence, and have belief. You are good enough, you can do it.

Never give up on what you enjoy and love. It will reward you one day.

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.

Bumfuzzled

I awoke bumfuzzled from a terrible dream.

My bed clothes cattywampus through

my incessant tossing and turning.

Of course re-telling it now, the dream would seem

pure taradiddle, but I tell it to steady my nerves:

A young man hollered gardyloo from a window above

before throwing a bucket of slops into the street.

A lady oblivious to the warning was drenched as a result.

In a state of ill-willie she yelled billingsgate at the man.

They faced off and from there it escalated to the point

that a snickersnee threatened.

I tried to flee from the scene, running widdershins.

I had severe collywobbles from sheer terror.

Luckily, the pair disappeared (as they tend to do in dreams)

but now I came upon a  smashed clock tower

with its gubbins hanging out!

A friendly clockmaker fixed it and we were conjubilant

to hear it chime on the hour with precision.

This coincided with my alarm clock ringing, rousing me from slumber.

Needless to say, I was not well-rested.

clock gubbins

Day 24 and the Napowrimo prompt asks: 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. Maybe a strange word will catch your eye, or perhaps the mishmash of information will provide you with the germ of a poem.

Without dictionary or encyclopedia to hand I googled “word of the day” and fell upon Merrium-Webster’s funny-sounding words. I quite enjoyed this.