Monday, 27 April 2020

Day 27 Leylandii review


Leylandii review

Encompassing saw-edged stalks
from far-off floods of donated water,
polluted air, winter warmth, brassy
with faint sun flashily
emerging from clipped electricity
neither inclusive nor entertaining
though emboldening more esteemed
hawthorns that empower diversity
of blackcaps and warblers 
singing more like Plath, Eliot, Duffy,
or Angelou rising every year
to give us a virtuoso collection for walking.
It has been no pleasure to discover
this suburban menace;
we would hope to see less of this kind of thing
brought to light on a garden canvas.


Friday, 24 April 2020

Day 24 Dreamies



This 'poem' is what happens when you do a Zoom workshop on cut out poetry. First you try out the up to date version of the Paint software. Then you eventually - by the end of the workshop - learn how to put your words into paint. Following that you transfer them into a Word document. Here is where I learnt it. And these are the resulting words so far. If you understand these words then you're one step ahead of me. They were cut out of a selection of Facebook posts.

I am giving these away
again this week
who has panic bought all
families
I would like to keep
nature still legal
or swap simple
dreamies or lockdown
much appreciated

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Day 23 Shakespeare's birthday



So here we are at Day 23, Shakespeare's birthday, and I've drafted a (sort of) sonnet. The prompt was a letter of the alphabet but I've been greedy and encompassed various forms of writing.

Ethereal writing

It doesn’t matter if it’s not written in stone
with ink, pencil, biro or on your phone.
Those hieroglyphs and cuneiform held weight
carefully carved, hammered, lines all straight
with meaning whether weighing up the deal
or telling us how they invented the wheel.
Chinese characters didn’t mess with an alphabet
images on scrolls misty mountains beset
with flowing gowns and lofty thoughts
conveying to the hoi-polloi what they ought
to do as sons and daughters. Will ghost lines
of Times New Roman leave behind
messages for the artificially intelligent
or will it be as if they’ve never been sent?

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Day 20 Cat in a sack

Photo by Zane Lee on Unsplash

Taking my prompt today from a German expression. Now I've worked on prompts like this before and it hasn't been very productive but I keep trying...
Here's the first part of a draft poem:

They told me

German idiom: Di Katze im Sack kaufen
English equivalent: buying a pig in a poke

When you get older you can ride a bike.
As time goes by things will get better.
If you wait for your birthday you can have it
or save your pennies if you want that doll.

Wearing sensible shoes means you won't fall over
the ones beneath you who aren't worth it anyway
and people who get caught by the police 
end up in prison. You should never sleep...


Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Day 21 Anywhere



The last few days, during this Corona pandemic, have at last begun to make me feel the pressure of timelessness, and this might be seen in this poem. The prompt was seeing my reflection in a clock face.

It'll be interesting to see in the future just how many poems, and other writing, the Covid-19 outbreak has engendered worldwide. It can be difficult getting sidetracked into other subjects.

Anywhere

I caught myself like a ghost in the clock face
Hands took hold of my time and stopped
in the germ of a green ocean.

It was like seeing my twin but as foreigner
and not at all myself...

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Day 19 Wild garlic at the cinema



The prompt today was a 'walking archive' which nicely suited a walk I have already done from home today. To be continued, and worked on.


Wild garlic at the cinema

You have barely made it into this season
yet have a movie to watch with actions galore
brief encounters with two reservoir dogs
Bonnie and Clyde holding thoroughly clean hands
Dr Zhivago hunting for sugar at Tesco
little Lexie running around Close encounters...

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Day 10 Washing



This started life, from the prompt today, as a hay(na)ku, a three line poem where line one has one word, line two has 2 words, line three has 3. Then I just carried on. Very conscious it's set in Covid-19 times.

Time stretches

Dark
blue pillowcase
yellow towel blowing
in mild breezes heavy
branch acting as washing line
pole carefully crafted by woodsmen last
spring only looking back one year already nostalgia.

Day 15 Ingratitude


Day 20 of NaPoWriMo
Channelling a piece of music, in my case a song which you can find here sung by the inimitable Johnny Cash. From the point of view of a 'vulnerable' person who must isolate at home - apart from a daily walk - and rely on others to buy their food. At the same time this person is relatively privileged in global terms. I think you'll realise which product is currently in short supply.
Here's a chorus and the first verse:

Ingratitude in the time of Covid-19

You are my shopper
my only shopper
You'd make me happy
if flour appeared
I never know dear
if you are listening
Please fetch me some bread flour today

The other day dear
I wanted bread flour
I dreamed I held it in my arms.
When I awoke dear
I was mistaken
it was a chocolate bar instead...

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Day 14 cleaning up


First draft for Day 14

Cleaning up

Such a lot of noise across the road
water gunning her block paving
splashes of dark grey muck swept
from side to side into the gutter
self-splattering her flowered crop
pants and shirt. She won’t stop until
the blessed bricks are as clean
as a freshly imagined house
that will bear no memories
of how they did this together
laughing at the dirt on their clothes
and him only dead this past month.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Day 13 Bot pairs



Trawling various prompts today I used a Twitter bot, having recently discovered these little AI tropes. These particular ones are all iambic pentameter which I've tried to stick to, but I don't usually find them easy to put in a poem.  Next I dipped into a book, The Craft to find a prompt from Harry Man (the same that I was paired with at a Poetry Business workshop at my first attendance there?). The idea is to find two things/sentences/adverts that would not normally be paired.

Here are the two pairs I chose:
addicted austin stole the loot and ran
and
One must imagine Kafka happy too.

So you can see how I altered the first one in the extract below. the second one forms the last line of the poem.

In addition I used the napowrimo prompt of something being stolen.

The baby didn't come till later.
Addicted Alan stole the loot and jumped
garden fences of us windowed neighbours.
In the pocket of his jacket the heart...