Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Bluebells and sea pinks

 Welcome to Spring!

Bouquet by the beach

Wet wool hangs raw from barbs on a fence
where the smell of sheep had gathered,

ferns uncurl in woods to hide bluebells,
their fragrance sketched all over the air.

A thousand flowers of hawthorn open,
tiny stamens like dots of dust

on a perfect white cloth.
On cliffs where water falls sea pinks hug slate,

make thrift in abundance, overlaying
seaweed traces on a breeze.

Salt stings your lips, ties knots in your hair,
tickles your nose, fills your head.

In the café a caramel cookie rests
wide and flat, sweet and delicate in its thinness,

on a bone china plate; fragments of chocolate
soften in the sun,

and there is coffee. I breathe through the steam,
catch scents of chocolate, of bluebells, and the sea.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

A poem a day

April is National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) and we are half way through! It may seem a mad idea, but aiming to write a poem a day for a month has its benefits. I last did this exercise in 2013 when I wrote something new every day of the month and spent the following weeks -- and months -- revising and reworking. It was a long time before I began another brand new poem, however!

This year I am approaching the month very differently. For a start I am working to prompts, which I didn't before. The prompts put up on the NaPoWriMo section of The Poetry School webite are excellent and the NaPoWriMo website itself has some helpful ones. As well as offering useful triggers to get us writing, both sites also suggest poems to read in association with the prompts, and there are sometimes interviews with poets to view or listen to. It's so important to read if you want to write.

And this year we also have the excellent NaPoReMo (READ a poem a day) blog from poet Jo Bell, which gives us a new poem to read every day, together with comments and analysis.

If a prompt, or reading of another poem, sends me to an old poem of mine that needs revising, I go there on the day and do that work.
If a new poem is sparked I do that. So far it's working out at about 50/50, which is OK. The month is helping me to work on poetry every day and to feel I am at least 'getting somewhere'. Not sure where that is, but it is not where started, it is somewhere else ...

If you are a poet and fancy joining in, it's not too late, just jump in now! The links I have mentioned are below, and they will also lead you to any number of online closed groups on Facebook and elsewhere where poets are sharing their new poetry this month and finding ways to work together to improve their technique.

Here's today's poem from me, a 'found poem' from my Twitter feed, kicked off by the Poetry School prompt -- 'Technology Day'. 

Here is the news

It’s described as the mother of all bombs.
Humans are the most innovative species.
Simple, yet delicate and concise.
Stock up with wine this weekend.
#DEC East Africa appeal, donate here.
Only today – #hot cross buns.

                ‘we are for ordinary working people’

Thousands are living on the streets in Milton Keynes.
I’m reading in a volcanic garden.
In Russia poetry is respected, it gets people killed.
British adults are too busy to read, new research shows.
Reading poetry is good for your brain.
White wood-anemones blowing in April sun.

                hashtag #Aleppo, again

Dropping a massive bomb on a cave –
                reminiscent of what kids do when they slam rubber ducks
                into the bath to show Mam. @msHolborow

                ‘ordinary working people’
                hashtag #Aleppo, again

Government drops plan to raise probate fees.
Talking about a love of the dead – maggots and all.
Venezuela’s anger is on the streets.
Recipes for Easter, with lamb.
A history of mass violence in Congo.
Next on The Echo Chamber…

                hashtag #Aleppo, again
Doctors on rota gaps – it’s terrifying night staff
                ‘it’s for ordinary working people’

Police attacked in Paris, one dead
Allez France! Hashtag Le Pen.
Read about the funniest text break-ups.
A novel of suspense and surprises.
North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is real.

                ‘we are for ordinary working people’
                hashtag #Aleppo, again

and finally…
                Let’s go fly a kite.

(a few moments of Twitter, 15.4.17)



Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Two haiku

Here are a couple of my haiku that were published in the latest edition (Feb 2017) of Blithe Spirit, the journal of the British Haiku Society.

on radiator 
     -- too late


in fine circles
growth of many summers
in the wooden bowl

Transitory lives

Happy to have this poem published in the March edition of Visual Verse. (Link below)

Transitory lives

If she shakes her hands silver rings will fall
like splashes of water. If she could shake
her hands. Her fingers are traces of smoke,
phantoms in the light of dawn. Once strong, firm,
they’d push back wild hair while her hitch-hiker’s
thumb stood determined to stop all the lads;
and she’d hold onto the motorbike guy,
until the next brief stop in a life on
the move. Now, the skin is transparent. Her
fingers cage a butterfly that trembles
on the soft skin of her palm; fragile wings
flutter in the arch of her gentle grasp.
At 5.23am, a long sigh
escapes her, and at last they fly       free.