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 28 – Sand Trek

Today was about recuperation. I didn’t realise how stressed I’d become, so most of it was spent reading & catching up on some binge tv.

About 10 o’clock, the dawg & I went for a moonlit beach walk. Once we got home, this came out. & although it’s not strictly one of the Word Games (do I even have to use them now my Residency is finished?) weirdly, last week I read several chapters of Sand: A Journey through Science & the Imagination by Michael Welland, so there is a tentative link.


love  :  taking sand … into the house … on my soles … fugue of beach … summer counterpoint … on this cool … autumn moonlight  :  the thought … of this sandalful … of golden grain … an ankledust’s worth … of microscopic rocks … fleeing the sea … to shipwreck … on my carpet … makes me feel … more connected  :  to everything


Day 9 – The closest I could get to Fish…

I hadn’t planned to solely use poetry collections for my Judging a Book by Its Cover phase of poetic generation, but it seems to be working okay (& I still have 4 or 5 possibles to draw from) so while it’s working, I’ll go with it.

Today is Sharon Olds’ The Unswept Room.  It is chosen for no other reason than I had an urge to write something about fish (don’t ask why/I don’t know). This was the closest I could find. It seemed to work cos the pome itself came very quickly.


shell, coral, fishbones
— these three clues
from the sea
all that remains
of what we were
of our love that was ;
the beach house floor
where we lived
for so many years
has been swept clean ;
a tidal wave of anger
leaving only these
three enigmatic clues
which must mean

if only i can work out what
then perhaps, like the tide
you will return

unswept CROP

NOTE: the work of art which forms the cover are ‘details from floor mosaic The Unswept Floor’, Museo Gregoriano Profano, Vatican

Day 24 – moving from a playwright to a poet

Been working on a poem about zero, but I like it too much to put on here (publishers/journals are so finicketty about what’s classed as ‘previously published’, & lots are saying even a little ol blog like this disqualifies it).

So instead, you get this other poem I’ve been toying with today. Less successful, but an okay first draft perhaps. Poems about writers on consecutive days, was unintentional … On the plus side, this was based on an idea/several articles from my To Do List, so little boom for that!


much water, more salt
the last days of a great love poet

september 11’s,
have been occurring for centuries
americans do not have copyright
on the date though they might
like to think they do

one such,
sanctioned with behind-closed-doors CIA-backing
featured a right wing military coup
in a small South American country
where a democracy was taken down
& a dictator installed — within 12 days
three key opponents: the President, the Singer
& the Poet were all dead

a cornucopia of conspiracy
theories abound, suspicions, coincidences
the official death certificate claims
advanced incurable cancer of the prostate
led to his malnutritious wasting away
yet his chauffeur (who conveniently doubled
as bodyguard) had a different, simpler take —
he was injected with something at the clinic
& died the day before he was preparing
to escape into Mexican exile
after allegedly having been full of life
railing against the chaotic first days
of Pinochet — & enjoying sex

the Poet’s bones will be exhumed
from a grave near the sea
forensics experts will sift through
much water & more salt
to see if traces of poison

whatever they find,
……………………………..or don’t,
it’s unlikely to satisfy
those who don’t want to be