NaPoWriMo 30 – a poem in translation

OK, it’s my birthday, we’ve a load of people coming round, no way I could track down a poem in translation. So here is a bit of latin.



Conjugating the verb

Amo. I love the rolling roar of the sea,
The clear cry of the gulls,
The rattle of shingle

Amas. You love reaching the summit
Looking out over the clouds.

Amat. He loves hunting for dragons,
Telling stories, getting muddy
She loves rainbow coloured ice cream
A cat flick, a new pair of jeans

Amamus. We love to dance, to lose ourselves
In the beat, to sway, to laugh while we dance
To drag you all up, get you moving and grooving

Amatis. You guys love to settle down
On the family couch when the fire is lit
And the flames roll up in red and gold,
And there’s hot chocolate to drink.

Amant They love.


NaPoWriMo 29 – memories

Yellow high waisters with stains on the knees
A bright yellow swimsuit with cutaway sides
A white grandad shirt that I wore with a belt
A long, dark green dress with a square shaped neck
A black mini dress with a V at the back
A glazed cotton dress that laced at the front
A real biker jacket
A gold rara skirt, with a ripped up T shirt
A long fish-tail skirt – black – hobbled me
A soft leather waistcoat I bought in a sale
A quirky white shirt with a tiny blue animal print
Trashy red stilettos that crippled my feet
Green Dr Martens – and purple
A white ruffled shirt
A pair of pink jeans
A skirt with a flight of embroidery cranes
A blue suit, a green suit, a grey suit
A blue bubble skirt
A slinky black dress for a cut-price Morticia
A pair of grey shoes that never quite fitted
A yellow silk scarf – the first thing he bought me
A dark green ensemble I wore with a black pill box hat
A purple maternity dress that I started to loathe
A drawer full of vests.

I kind of already did something similar for the technical vocabulary challenge (that seems like a long time ago!), so I decided to pick a theme. It’s almost an autobiography…

NaPoWriMo – a poem written backwards.

If you are from the UK you will instantly know what this poem is about. 27 years ago 96 men, women and children went to watch a football match at Hillsborough football ground. They never came back.They were crushed to death, following some catastrophic errors of judgement by the police covering the ground. This incident was followed by a massive cover-up – lies and corruption coming right from the top. A fresh inquest has just judged that those 96 people were unlawfully killed. This poem is respectfully dedicated to the very ordinary families who have fought for truth against a very powerful system for 27 years.

The prompt today was to write a poem “backwards” – starting with the last line and working up to the first line. It’s a bit of a self-conscious way of writing, but what I started with reminded me a bit of how people who have experienced trauma describe what has happened to them – a bit disjointed, not necessarily making immediate sense. And so this is what I ended up with:


27 Years

She’s waited for years
Straining to hear his key in the lock
She waited all night
Holding the pillow, as if it would help
She sat down on the bed
Her heart did a flip in her chest
The commentary changed
The match was just starting
She was stripping the sheets from the bed,with the radio on
She went back to her work
He went out of the door with a smile
Afraid he’d miss the coach
She was fretting
He kissed her goodbye in a rush.

NaPoWriMo 27 – long lines…

The challenge today was to write a poem with long lines. When I read it out loud I realised I needed a bit of a rhythm, and the long lines lured me into a bit of repetition. I can’t believe April is nearly over. I’m going to miss NaPoWriMo.

April is ending

Now we are turning our faces to summer, the glory of summer
Now April is fading and May’s nearly here, close so you could touch it –
At times, in the warmth of the sun, and out of the wind, you could touch it.
Now the buds of the hawthorn are tight baby fists in the green of the hedge,
And the goldfinch are weaving a dance like a piece of embroidery.
Now the lambs are beginning to lose their mad joy just at being alive –
The mad joy of life that’s the birthright of every young creature –
The gumshield is washed and put back in its box now the season is over,
And I’m washing out grass stains again, and I’m hanging out sheets on the line.
The gorse in the bank smells of coconut ice and says “Kiss me, oh kiss me”
And April is fading, and May is a sweet scented breeze in the field,
And summer is coming, we’re turning our faces to summer.

NaPoWriMo 26 – call and response

She Shanty 
To be sung by a raucous chorus of piratical women, swinging their cocktails in time to the music.

This is a song about the men I’ve known,

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

I’m happy with a man, and I’m happy on my own

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea


One was a story that you’ve heard before

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

I wanted him, but he wanted her

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea



Two was handsome and he had a kind of flair

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

But he spent 4 hours just styling his hair

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea



I love my friends, and we have a lot of fun

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

But Three didn’t like me seeing anyone

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea



Four really wasn’t good for me at all

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

He thought he looked big when he made me look small

 There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea



Five thought he’d tame me and keep me at home

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

But I’m a wild cat and I like to roam

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea



Six was the one, I was pretty sure

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

But he said a smart woman made him insecure

 There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea



I told my ma and she said “Come on –

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

You kiss a lot of frogs before you find the right one!”

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea


Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea!


NaPoWriMo 25 – borrowing a first line

I have seen flowers come in stony places,
Their fine roots crumbling concrete;
I have seen gulls nesting on sky scraping cliffs
And watched grass quietly creeping out over the lane.
I have held the gaze of a fox on a garden wall,
Heard a blackbird calling from a broken gutter,
Seen a tree growing from a long cold chimney
And ivy reaching blindly through a paneless window.

Who are we kidding? With our taming mesh of roads
And bridges, our glyophosphates, our planned piazzas?
One day, this will fall,
In an orgy of vegetation – and daisies will sprout
Between our sanded floor boards, and bindweed
Climb helter skelter up the lamp posts,
And deer will browse among the rusted frames
Of our bark chipped playgrounds.

The wild is always there,
Waiting to return.

NaPoWriMo 24 – poetic and mundane

Today’s challenge was to mix and match overly poetic and clunkingly mundane words.

To my husband
I see a little grey amidst your tresses,
(But still you take out the recycling),
And a few lines, now, on your alabaster brow,
(But you remember first to warm the teapot).
I have adorned you in your beauteous raiment –
(Your other shirt is waiting to be washed) –
Gazed deep into your lucent eyes –
(Did you book the car in for its service?).

Perchance I seem a little pensive off and on –
(I can’t remember where I left my keys )-
But I quaffed deeply from the phial of love:
(Thank you for coming all this way with me).

We may be older now, and less impassioned,
But we are easier in each other’s presence.

NaPoWriMo24 – sonnet

The wild hare

“Show me your magic” said I to the hare
Crouching before me, wild and strong and free –
She turned and was away before I reached her –
Why should she stay and show herself to me?
The rabbit is a soft, domestic thing,
The crow brings death, the fox, they say’s a liar,
The lark calls up the summer and the spring
But the wild hare runs towards the fire.
We make a story up for every creature
We give them tales we’re not prepared to own.
We turn a moral out of every feature,
Forget that we, and they, are flesh and bone.
They say the hare’s a witch. I think it’s true:
I’ve seen the grey hare leaping to the moon.

NaPWriMo 23 – A Sonnet

Now you are asking me to write a sonnet.

I’m sorry, but you’ve gone too far this time.

I’m not a lady poet in a bonnet

Using green ink to pen my breathless rhyme.

These days, you’ll find we write in blank verse

That doesn’t have a structure or a form,

I know you say that Shakespeare did the converse

But it’s 400 years ago that he was born.

I’d like to write a poem of sudden beauty –

The kind that makes you smile, or sob, or sigh.

Instead, I’ll do this with a sense of duty

And hope my rhyme and metre just scrape by.

I write this poem, NaPoWriMo, for you:

I’m doing it because you asked me to.

Earth Day

This is a poem I wrote a couple of years ago. I wanted to refresh the Earthweal crew and remind them of why we love this beautiful planet, and why we should fight for it.

This is not a poem
This is the quiet unfurling
Of a green seedling

This is not a poem
This is a raindrop, hanging,
Quivering jewel

This is not a poem
This is the wild leap and spin
Of a grey dolphin

This is not a poem
This is clear river water
Running to the sea

This is not a poem
This is the hare’s free running
Zig zag down the lane

This is not a poem
This is the great, green silence
Of a noon forest