Day 27 – intertextuality (& instagram)

27 Sienna On Mushrooms III by atreyu64.jpg

Yet another poem about the joys of reading — which took on a life of its own. And even though the last line might be a wee bit much, I still love it.



a startling line of text hooks me sideways
from ancient sword & sorcery Cimmeria
arcing me skywards, belly to the sun;
into other stories, real world experiences
& perfumes, already lodged in synapses flash
light silver-gilt sparkles quivering
from networked neural nest to another;
whirlpooled into the closeted green
dirty underwater of the Black Forest
where we each tread our paths on the way
to Red’s Grandma’s little log cabin.
breathing heavily behind a tree, see her skip
basket-swinging foolish innocence knock
of knuckle on the old crone’s red door

— but miss what happens next when a tap
on my shoulder reveals one angry looking
wolfskin-wearing weapon-wielding woodsman

BONUS POEM: April 27, 2018

Self explanatory.
NOTE: 2019 edit. Various minor tweakings & enjambments to improve the pome.



despite gut-dropping
disappointment upon discovering
every shot of the castle
I’d ever seen had been
carefully crafted to crop
………………………………………… out
all neighbouring car parks,
camper vans, hotels, the town,
tour buses, & souvenir shops
I’m relieved to realise I need
not set an Instagram filter
on the sublime Andrews-esque
middle-earth mountains

27b neuschwangstein.jpg

Day 15 – poem about the least dark thing I wrote today


This weekend (& this date in particular) is always difficult & painful & poignant & ugly. So too was most of what I wrote today. I have attached the least bleak piece, regardless of its merits. In a slight deviation from practise, I’m also using the picture that inspired the poem as the choice for today’s NaPoWriMo blog pome. I frequently write (first drafts at least) from artworks, but when I do I prefer not to share the image for fear of overload; that both pieces will fight each other by saying too similar a thing, but I don’t have the energy to find something more abstract tonight.


somewhere cerebellum deep : everyone : wants : their own : fantasy castle : storybook sentence : painting lifted : from the pages of childhood : rooves of saltwater green : gold stone isolation : glinting : beautiful exile : at the end of the sea : the edge of the world : but few : are brave enough : to truly live there : among cloud fragments : erosion : bewildered fish : suddenly plummeting : & the perpetual fear of falling

Day 20 – All the Games, All at Once

Today was Day 3 of my Poet’s Residence (yep, already 3/4 of the way through it) & it was a wonderful day. When I arrived there was already someone waiting to start (Christine), and within a minute Kim arrived (I had spoken to him last week & he came back to participate this week). Within an hour, both had written quite lovely poems. Kim said he will post his on his blog. I hope he does & if so, I will link to it.

Neither Christine or Kim could stay for the whole session, but overall I had five people in today, including my friend & fellow poet Sarah Radford, who whipped off a wonderful poem based on the Last Line (Gone) of one of the books Kim chose (“bleed like me” was the line.) Kim also wrote a great poem using that prompt. My “bleed like me” poem, however, needs further work before I’ll share it.

The day ended with another new arrival, Rohan – who created in under an hour, a very sparse, elegant landscape poem which he also promised to put on his blog.

I also wrote a poem I was extreeeeeeeeeemmmmllllllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyy pleased with (tentatively called lift, the title’s the main thing that needs tweaking). I’m not sharing that one day here, but will read it next week during the performance phase of my final day.

But here’s the one I will share. It was made by combining the games Judging a Book By Its Cover, Last Line (Gone) & even, First Line to End It.

game of thorns

to live a life — where you are happy — more often — than you are not — where the jagged thorns — don’t puncture skin — too often — where your world is framed — by bramble — hidden away — in a castle — long ago abandoned — by disney — where the darkness — reflects — where stars salt the sky — where the cold — is sharper than sleep — where the zig zag path — always leads — to the crescent moon — & where — ‘once upon a time’ — actually meant something

thorn closeup CROP

Games played with the cover, first line & last line of Spinning Thorns by Anna Sheehan (reworking of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale). Last line: “And that really is all anyone can hope for” & first line: “once upon a time”.