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

 

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 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?

Expect Miracles

Napowrimo Day 5 using Christina Thatcher’s prompt, based on the poem by Ellen Bass “Relax”: Include the phrase “Bad things will happen.” My thanks to Randy at

https://ethicsbeyondcompliance.com/

for suggesting Christina as an alternative source of prompts for the challenge.

Expect Miracles

 

Is your glass half full or half empty?

To paraphrase, Einstein said your life experience is based

on whether or not you view the Universe as kind.

Growing up, no-one paid much attention to Einstein

in my household, nor the Sufi poets who decreed

“This too will pass.”

My family worked all hours and missed these valuable insights.

Instead, they settled on a twisted, self-limiting prophecy

of their own making:

Expect the worst then anything good that happens is a bonus.

They aspired to nothing more than survival of dark times,

an unquestioning acceptance that bad things will happen.

Ironically, their neglect regularly left me alone with books.

The ability to read allowed me the freedom to choose another path.

Positivity is my conscious choice.

If this is the progress made by one generation,

imagine the possibilities which open up to the next.

To expect miracles? I hope they do.

 

The Silent Protest; Procrastination

The Silent Protest; Procrastination

 

Apparently low self-esteem is the cause

that darn inner chimp’s at it again.

I don’t feel worthy or up to the task

when it’s overwhelming, too much of an ask

so I distract my feeble brain.

 

tidy

I choose to re-arrange, to sort, to file,

to categorise, to wash, dry and fold

to put off the job I’m loathe to do

(you may even find me cleaning the loo!)

whilst the larger task stays on hold

 

I beat myself up, notice I’m hiding away

from a deadline that’s looming larger each day

my brain is prioritising short term wins

an alphabetised spice rack and emptied bins

as I wash the pots and put away.

 

The answer: to forgive myself, releasing pent up emotion

the specialists say the result will be

facing the future optimistically

being the best I can possibly be

propulsion into forward motion

 

Another tactic is a sideways manoeuvre

sneaking up when my cranium’s not looking:

To ponder and pontificate on the what would be

Ask myself quite casually

“What would my next move actually be

if I were to start this project, of course hypothetically

because I’m not actually going to do it, silly”

 

Psychologists at a University in Ohio

formed a Procrastination Research Group

They delved and discovered this theory, this truth

Of taking oneself out of the no-go loop

Of getting on and doing what is needed to do.

 

Did they quickly arrive at this conclusion?

or did it take them a while?

I wonder how tidy their shelves are,

if their papers are chronologically filed?

(I’d like to see if their rest room gleams)

I ask with a sceptical wry smile.

 

Day 17 of Napowrimo- I completely missed out Day 16 (I love my kids more than poetry. Sorry! ) and now I have gone off piste with this one…. but it’s apt. Procrastination, my favourite past time.

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.

My Mum Is A Loolah

My Mum Is A Loolah

 

My mum is a Loolah

There is no doubt about that.

She’s on another planet

as daft as a bat.

 

A sandwich short of a picnic

mad as a box of frogs.

She’s away with the fairies,

completely lost the plot.

 

Definitely off her rocker,

she’s as mad as cheese.

These are terms of endearment, as

apple tree

apples

don’t

fall

far

from

the

tree

 

I’ve skipped Napowrimo Day 9, although I wrote the poem…it was far too cobbled to publish even by my wonkly, clunky standards… so I’ve op[ted to skip a day and catch up[ with Day 10. Even here I’m taking liberties. The prompt called for local dialect, of which I have plenty of material, but I opted to use phrases to mean crazy to describe my mother!

If anyone unhinged happens to read this please don’t take offence, I’m not referring to anyone but my mother and don’t mean any disrespect to people with mental illness. My mother’s diagnosis is my own!

The Window

The Window

 

I stood on a chair and watched from the window.

Hours went by.

You came home happy and drunk.

I looked out into a sea of parents

wiped my make-up off

and walked home alone.

On the eve of my Wedding

you spent the night at your boyfriend’s.

My bridesmaid helped me into my dress the next day.

When my daughter was born you went shopping

for something suitable to wear for photographs.

I held her close with a full heart.

Now you view my work on gallery walls,

return home and watch from your window.

 

child at window

It’s Napowrimo Day 4 the challenge today was to write a sad poem using simple words. I love this style, plain and direct and leaves the reader to elicit the emotional impact.

 

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