The Ham Sandwich Incident

I’m human. I confess. Not only did I miss yesterday’s Napowrimo challenge, but as my response will show, when trying to please everyone, I usually get it all wrong!

Please note, unusually for me, there are religious references, but please don’t misinterpret my jest as an intention to offend anyone… if I do, add it to my list of imperfections and please accept my deepest apologies. I merely make light of today’s struggles to keep the faith (particularly mine).

Please could I also ask anyone reading this who knows me personally, please don’t tell my Mother-In-Law I posted this across the entire world wide web, I’m in trouble enough!

Napowrimo Day 20 

The Prompt:

Write a poem that incorporates the vocabulary and imagery of a specific sport or game.

My Response: (with a very loose reference to a card game)

The Ham Sandwich Incident

It was Jack’s 5th birthday

I had everything;

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Bouncy castle, candles,  

balloons, ribbons and bows. 

Birthday cake and presents,  

a great big gazebo.

I had buns for hotdogs,  

pizzas and lots of treats,  

when I was reminded;

no-one will eat meat!

“Today is Good Friday,

everyone eats fish!”

“Your buffet looks lovely

but was fish on your list?”

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Fish finger sandwiches!

Yes, they will surely do.

I pre-heated the oven

and hurriedly set to.

I saw her pick the ham

off the pizza that I served.

Ate fish fingers, hungrily.

Was that a tiny burp?

The party in full swing.

The buffet went down well.

Hotdogs and ham sandwiches

devoured without hard sell.

Mum in law picked her food.

No meat touched her hands.

Eyes darted to the buns,

filled with freshly carved ham.

Yet she was adamant;

It was a day of fish!

Nothing would persuade her

to pass meat across her lips.


At 5pm I walked in,

her mouth full of ham barm!

She hung her head in shame,

asked; would it do her harm?

“It was only one” she said

“I’m sure you’ll be forgiv’n”

I reassured her more,

that God will surely listen.


The card game that evening;

she couldn’t win a hand.

She was sure of the cause

“Eating that damned ham!”

She was being punished

for lack of discipline.

Bad juju on her game.

She’d never win again.

As I was the tempter,

I suggested we atone.

Back into the kitchen,

Produced the hot x buns.


This will surely fix it,

cancel wrong with a right?

She agreed and ate it

with one almighty bite.

I’m glad God in Heaven

was pleased with her once more,

but it was a reminder;

He’s always keeping score.





Lost socks

A later post than usual; today my son turned 5 years old, so birthday cake, balloons and presents stopped Napowrimo play. Normal service will resume soon. 

It’s Day 13 and the challenging prompt for today was:

The ghazal. The form was originally developed in Arabic and Persian poetry, but has become increasingly used in English, after being popularized by poets including Agha Shahid Ali. A ghazal is formed of couplets, each of which is its own complete statement. Both lined of the first couplet end with the same phrase or end-word, and that end-word is also repeated at the end of each couplet. If you’re really feeling inspired, you can also attempt to incorporate internal rhymes and a reference to your own name in the final couplet.

My response:

Have you seen my socks?


“Have you seen my socks?

They are not here. I need some clean socks”

“What kind of socks are you looking for;

Sports socks, work socks, “going out” socks?”


“The black ones!”

“Is that black sports socks, black work socks or black “going out” socks?”

“Damn it woman, I’m going to be late!

The Black work socks! I need the black work socks!”


“And did you put those lost black work socks in the wash?

Or are they the dirty, black, thrown-on-the-bathroom-floor socks?”

“I put them in the wash basket!

The ones on the bathroom floor are sports socks.”


“Here they are, in front of your nose;

the lost black work socks that Nic had to wash and put-in-your-drawer socks.”


Napowrimo guilt!

I felt I hadn’t tried hard enough for Day 9! So here is Day 9, nine lines, one more time.(I’m not convinced it’s any better!)

Quick Tidy


Family are on their way!  

Grab the hoover. Pick up crumbs.

Plump up cushions. Quick room spray. 

Hasty tidy when guests come. 

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Fill the rolls in both loos.

Open the doors, let air in. 

Have we got milk for brews? 

Have you emptied all the bins?

Breathe, smile, “Do come in”


But Why?

To the mums who are quizzed more than Google!

Day 8 of the Napowrimo challenge.

The prompt: Write a poem that relies on repetition. It can be repetition of a phrase, or just a word.

My response:

But Why?


“But why?” is the cry,

Deep sigh, who am I?

“But why?” so I try,

To explain, aching brain.


“But why?” patience tried,

Brain fried, should I lie?

“But why?” “Because it is.”

Red mist, nerves twist.


“But why?” in my ear,

Near to tears, anger rears.

“But why?” “That’s enough!”

Quick re-buff, tone too rough.


“But why?” “Go to bed!”

No more said.

Hanging head.

Feel the guilt.

To the hilt.

Tears spilt.


Kiss his head.

Stories read.





“It’s only me”

Steeped in nostalgia, memories of my childhood, living in the corner shop with my grandma, came flooding back for today’s Napowrimo challenge. 

Day 3 Prompt: Write an elegy – a poem that mourns or honors someone dead or something gone by. And I’d like to ask you to center the elegy on an unusual fact about the person or thing being mourned.

My response: 

“Only me”


The bell over the shop door

Beckoned grandma to the shop floor              

To serve the customer’s needs          

All manner of groceries        

Mum and I used the shop door          

And to let my grandma know,            

We would so casually shout    

“It’s only me”                          

As we came in and went out

And grandma would do the same      

When she left and when she came    

“It’s only me” her voice sang                                           

As the tinkling shop bell rang              

She was a force of nature

Soul of the working class town          

Dressed daily in a ‘pinny’  

Sat ‘day night she wore a gown             



Layers of ‘tutty’ applied        

Hair liberally sprayed 

Brightest lipstick put on        

Perfume added to the haze

Squeezed painfully into heels             

She’d dance at the social club            

Sunday found her on her knees          

Every inch of the shop she’d scrub


The Sabbath was a bleach day           

Fumes hung heavy in the air

She sang as she worked until dusk     

Without worry, without cares            

Her ageing knees must have hurt      

The skin on her raw hands burnt                       

Without complaint she scrubbed on 

‘Til ‘a proper job’ was done 

With bags of groceries sold 

A tale or prophecy told                        

Details dutifully shared         

Corner shop views fully aired            



If sick, discuss your symptoms

Compare, contrast prescriptions                      

If someone’s in need of help              

Just ring the corner shop bell              

Knowledge shared, neighbours cared              

Folk looked after each other              

Bedrock of this old mill town              

Grandma; everyone’s mother         



Now passed I still hear her sing          

The now distant shop bell ring           

If I’m sure of just one thing

She ne’er was, never will be 

“Only me”

Jam tart days

Memories of flour-filled, jam smeared baking days with my Grandma came flooding back with today’s Napowrimo prompt;

Today, I’d like you to write a poem inspired by, or in the form of, a recipe! It can be a recipe for something real, like your grandmother’s lemon chiffon cake, or for something imaginary, like a love potion or a spell.

My response:

Jam Tart Days


Tea towels, pans and wooden spoons 

Baking on sunny afternoons  

Billowing flour clouds fill the air  

Yellow butter smears everywhere 



Every surface sticky with jam 

My happiest days with beloved gran 

Her pantry of love was fully stocked 

Care and kindness overflowed pots 



Laughter and joy constantly bubbled

Hugs and kisses soothed my troubles 

Those apron days have long since passed 

But grandma’s lessons forever last 


The empty apron makes my heart ache  

Though she’s with us as we marinate  

As my children learn how to treasure  

Every moment with equal measure