Day 17 — Day 2 of the Festival of Grief

Today really is symbolic of more than just one loss: it’s a conglomeration of three anniversaries in one. The other two (one in June, one in July) grieve me too — but as they do not fall within Glo/NaPoWriMo they don’t usually get poems written about them. (Though the days of the FoG aren’t the only times poems get written or thoughts get thought about this topic). 

Given this month’s theme is love I’ve decided to deliberately include all three griefs in one poem. On the plus side, there are a multiplicity of loves on display within the poem, so it works on many levels.

Today’s poem is paired with one I wrote 28 years ago. It is included as bonus: an Easter egg if you like, not that you have to look too hard to find it.

advice from a fish

although today
the first loss

you’re in countless 
poems, plays, story ideas
all three of you

for endless sorrowfilled years 
i wore your rings
round my neck

till they got 
too heavy to endure
& i was told 

by the fish 
for my own sanity 
take them off 

you knew too well
without the self-flagellation
of my despair



3 silver rings

around her neck
she wears three silver rings
on a gold chain
   & crucifix
one, a rose
one, a gallic cross
& one, all stars & moons

one each
for every child
which never was

Day 19 – absences (& returns)

19 black hole.jpg

The third of three pomes all exploring absence in different ways. While not completely successful, it is the most successful of the three.


absence iii

every so often your absence
is more noticeable, like today

the        removed from the rainbow
a heart                   only air
the             that is all hole
a night        without any stars
the bullet                 the glass
a spine with every                  missing
the               who cannot blow fire
a fish without

BONUS POEM: April 19, 2018

It can speak for itself.



swan wings : the saw of the air : the piece : oftentimes : of return : the peace : the safety of a new place : where no one : any one : has their way : but every one : will prosper : coming through the lock : reflection ripples : relentless birdsong : playing dogs : oars up & back : leaping into the unknown river : willowy light : birthplaces : spires into memory : across time : making a mark : that lasts

19b flower.jpg

(Hour 06) 3.30-4.30am — #79 “One more time”


One more time

i want to stand beneath stars
looking back to the beginning
surf the wave, slide the rainbow

fall like a drop into your ocean
leap from clouds, all the cliches
with you … just one more time

put my arms round your neck
get nervous, run from trouble
into trouble, drive the dark road

i want to borrow time, steal it,
once upon it, machine it — all
one. more. time.

i just want to do these extra
ordinary things with you again
one more time

…………………  … till the end of time


FFS! #84. I’m going batty.

Day 8 – it’s water jim, but not as you know it

A toast to one of my favourite substances. Been wanting to write a poem about this elixir for a very long time. What came out, wasn’t quite what I expected … but I kinda like it …

NB – I thought I’d uploaded this last night, but I was very tired & clearly I only saved it. Ooops. (Sarah saw it yesterday so she can verify it was written then 🙂 )


uisce beatha : water of life

drinking you is:

sword swallowing
while swinging
from a trapeze

crashing a spaceship
into the sun
to save humanity
from … something

dancing on
the volcano’s lip
as the fire below
becomes the fire
sliding inside

your baptismal juice:

has restored my life
numerous times
drowning despair
in your amber fire
before hope somehow
phoenixes out soggy
& with a sore head
but ready to go on

give me:

an eternal well
of your water
& i shall always


Whisky_by_Hankins copy

April 7 – Day Seven: circle work

One of the nicest things about NaPoWriMo, apart from maintaining the discipline required to craft an entirely new poem every day (as opposed to just tinker about with old ones, as is sometimes a pleasant distraction) is the fact that slowly but surely, every day, I get a couple of new people subscribing to this site, or people from all over the world who I’ve never met, liking poems I’ve written.

Under the tab <Stats>, there is a wonderful map which shows the countries of the world where people live who have viewed these pages.  (Admittedly it’s a fraction less than 200 views, but that’s 200 more than a week ago, so I’m pretty chuffed!)  Thanks to the fact I have hits from Canada, the US & Australia I have been viewed from countries which together occupy around a third of the world’s land mass!  If only I get Russia onboard, I’d be halfway to global domination.  (Spain & Colombia help too!)

But I am digressing a little again (unusual).  The plus side to people viewing my work, is I’m seeing wonderful work by other poets, writers, bloggers & artists.  Today’s poem is inspired by the artwork of one of those folks who’s like several of my contributions.  

M. Funk is an artist / photographer who works in France & Germany.  I followed their link to discover a site full of gorgeous photographs.  Of particular beauty & interest to me were 4 images on a page called Le Carrousel.  

I immediately had an idea for a poem but didn’t start writing it till today, when I received permission to use the image as a launch pad for a poetic response.  I’m curious to know whether my interpretation reflects their intention behind the photos.  And any other readers thoughts/impressions as well… 


vicious circle

warm lit with fairy lights, everywhere mirrored
gilt with gold
gaudy with glossy colour
the stuff of childhood dreams
wild magic circles
callously caging a fantastical menagerie
raging horses, zebras, unicorns,
griffins, dragons, giraffes,
cherubs, nymphs, mermaids, dolphins
& more …

yet look closer

every creature caught on edge
seconds before stampede breaks out
nostrils flared, heads raised
eternal rigor mortis
bit back, mouth grimacing
perpetual rictus on frozen faces
glass eyes of horror
knowing they’ll be forever

… round & round & round …
… & round & round & round …
… & round & round & round …





Image: M. Funk


FOOTNOTE:  If you like what you’ve read, feel free to subscribe, comment below, or share this page with your friends.  I have only had this blog running a few days (Day 1 of NaPoWriMo 2013 doesn’t really count), but it’s been lovely getting notified of folks liking, adding & visiting the site.