Day 03 – The title is Sunday Funday 

In my Glo/NaPoWriMo world, Sundays are generally reserved for some poetry fun & games … still it feels a little weird to be playing games already, only three days in. None-the-less, rules be rules. Today’s poem was pretty easy because I’ve been listening to him a lot lately — & love is pretty much all he writes about. However, I also set myself some additional rules with the structure itself which complicated things somewhat. 

Prize for the first person who can guess who & what I’ve done (except you Mike 🤣🤣🤣).

for the love of Murray 1 

let you go no more 

you pick me up
you give me something
because of you
fly with you
with only you
thought i was

fall your way

give me your love

take me down
bail me out
hold me steady

found my place
my time

if we never dance again
we’ll be the fire

Day 21 — writing poetry with Rilke via Googletranslate


Today’s poem is a strange little beast. I’m reading a collection of Rainer Maria Rilke, when I came across a poem which although ostensibly about love, had a few vague echoes about disease/the coronavirus (well to my pandemic-overloaded mind it did at least). Intriguing, do go on.

Prior to this I’d been thinking about translation (it’s a dual language edition, so even though I can’t read German I’m often flicking across to compare versions, to see if I can see words I recognise amongst the autobahn zehn-Autos-stapeln-sich Deutsch so often is to the untrained). 

I’d also been thinking about translation because the edition was one I hadn’t read before & I was really recognising the clarity & cleanth of the translation. It was hugely adding to my enjoyment. Then I wondered how I’d go translating it. That was about 3pm. It’s now 8. I’ve studiously avoided looking at the English translation since. I punched the German text into google translate. Then went from there using the text the machine gave me. 

My version is a “loose” quasisemitransliteration of Rilke’s. I’ve tried to keep roughly to the original, but I also tweaked where I needed to & occasionally much more than tweaked to make it work better for my interpretation. I know google translate had its own little idiosyncrasies because it spat out a phrase “to Christmas every hour” & I’m damn sure Rainer didn’t mention that particular festivity but I went with it anyway. Only once this is uploaded, will I compare the two versions.


everyone alone
(a quasisemitransliteration of “I am too alone in the world and yet not alone enough”)

too alone in the world, yet not so alone
to not try keeping Christmas through this strange year

too small in the world, yet not big enough
to be resist a thing like you: dark & clever

want my will & to accompany it against inaction
want contentment in these quiet, hesitant times

want to not be among those who remain — alone
when your thundercloud darkness approaches 

want to deflect your sickly embrace, not entirely
but enough to keep your heavy swaying punch at bay

don’t want to stay here, or anywhere, indefinitely
don’t want to be tied to where I was born

want to roam wander, rove, ramble, meander
to traipse, travel, tramp, traverse, trek — want to drift

i want to survive
like that picture my love made me in a world long & close ago
like a newly learnt word i now understand
like my daily jog through twitter’s outrages
like my dog’s face on my knee when i cough too long
like a ship carrying me through a deadly storm.

Day 30 – endings (& fairy tales)

30 at_the_end_by_heretyczkaa_d4irx0t.jpg

Toyed with a couple of ideas, none developed very far, when I realised I’d almost written a poem over the past 29 days. Took the titles & laid them out one after the other & they make a kind of sense. Couple of stabs at rearranging lines & adding words to help soften the occasional harsh transitions, but in the end, just went with the order they were produced, unadulterated, in a self-referential, albeit imperfect, found poem.


the end

the present  twilight ; a long ago perfect day ; the speed of light

the many things we see in the moon  from our flying machines  on an unordinary day

to repair with gold  failure  deflated ; big top potpourri  white hare

autumn day  sunday farm sounds  home, less  holy houses  day of birth ; Jubilate Canis (shout out to my dog)

absence  wallows  the wind tree ; game of poems  will never end ; senescence  lest we forget ; game of moans  intertextuality ; last day of holidays  scans  the end



BONUS POEM: April 30, 2018

Looking back over the bookface, it seems I never actually posted a Day 30 pome last year. WiFi was possibly an issue, but it was also a big travel day. None-the-less, checking my master file it seems there were three pomes drafted that day (or at least, begun) so as a special End-of-Month Bonus … I’m going to share all three (after each gets a wee tidy up).


silver 3

in an outer suburb
of Bad Wildungen
on route to Kassel
where the Grimm Boys
collected, collated
& reconditioned
so many of their tales

a silver 3 heliums
its shiny foil
way to freedom. sadly
tonight someone will
be recelebrating their 1st
rather than their 13th

initially  think it’s a bird
a rook or raven or some other
portentous feathered omen

seek personal symbolism
you can see signs
in anything — so i do

being in Fairy Tale land
naturally i see in
the wayward ballon

the three bears;
the little pigs;
three wishes;

three sons, two who fail,
one who saves everyone;
rules of three everywhere.

& always
always   always
three dead babes


for the trees

being here where they were
has forever altered the way
I’ll read the Household Tales
for now I understand — forest

why so many stories are set there
why so many journeys go through
for there’s forest on every third hill

a forest around every third corner
a forest bordering every third field
& road … & river … & valley

& where it’s not a forest
it’s a grove, or a copse
or even just a stand

no wonder there are
so many woodcutters,
with so much wood to cut

likewise there are so many
kings, queens, princesses & princes
when beyond every forest
may well be a new kingdom

i also comprehend having
                                            walked in
Hansel & Gretel’s forest
that it’s so much darker,
blacker & gloomier than I could
ever have understood
from the desert’s
                              edge ;

Little Red’s, while
has infinitely more colour
a variegation of verde;

& seeing the virulence
with which things grow here
can well understand how
quickly thorns could over
Sleeping Beauty’s castle



I believe some of these towns
heard there was a wagon
grabbed their bands
& just jumped on

Cos their connection
to anything Fairy Tale
seems grimly tenuous
(& that’s being generous)

30b forest.JPG

Day 22 – thrones (& fame)

22 game-of-thrones NED.jpg

Working on a poem that I knew wouldn’t be finished till very close to midnight when I realised I hadn’t watched episode 2 of GOT yet!!! So abandoned other poem for now & played a quick found poem with GOT episode titles. Several versions made.

Of course, I had to make it harder by choosing only one title per season AND keeping them in the order they aired. This is the best of the bunch. It almost makes sense. No extra words added. Made by trying to choose the most memorable phrase from each season’s options.


Game of Poems, iv

Winter Is Coming
What Is Dead May Never Die
And Now His Watch Is Ended
First of His Name
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
Blood of My Blood
Beyond the Wall

BONUS POEM: April 22, 2018

The past isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
NOTE: edits made in 2019 to tighten a few phrases & tweak enjambment.


Bunhill Fields Cemetery, London: another anticlimax

Bunyan gets a sepulchre, Defoe an obelisk.
yet your single flaking stone
isn’t even tickled by lush
London grass but choked
by drab pavers. not even here
the engraving says, your remains lie nearby.

the long imagined session
of cross-century communion
one bucolic spring afternoon
in a quaint ancient graveyard
turns out to be a rain splattered
overcoat complete with two hobos
drinking cheap wine   & spitting.

why keep gazing back to these
inconsequential prisons over
looked by tawdry two bedroom
apartments & cheap office blocks;
containing IT startups
here yesterday, gone later today;
surrounded by tiny tidy lives
daily gazing dispassionately
over a non-eternal resting place;

neither caring, nor knowing,
the wonderful Will you were 

22b blake grass.jpg