Tuesday 24 November 2009

Everybody says/Nobody Says

November Pad Challenge

Prompt #1: Take the phrase "Everybody says (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make that the title of the poem, and write the poem.
Prompt #2: Take the phrase "Nobody says (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make that the title of the poem, and write the poem.

Everybody says Hello

I remember getting letters
scrawled on torn notepaper
delivered to a camping site
in wet, wild rural Holland

How are you, sisters wrote
dutifully filling in lines and space
Hope the tulip picking is good
Hope you are having a good time

They didn't say some things
what they were doing today
who they were seeing today
where were they going.

Just mainly hi, and of course
everybody says hello
everybody misses you
come home soon, when you can.

Nobody Says Hello

Nobody says hello,
when you are a stranger
living among people, on your own.

No one asks you,
how was your day today?
what did you do, and with whom.

Nothing says home,
like a neighbour nodding,
saying hello with their friendly eyes.


Monday 23 November 2009

I hear ya

For the November Pad challenge

A poem filled with noise

I hear ya.

Hiss of fire, (gas, so no crackle
no shift of turf or coal, but still,
warm and comforting)
Hum of dryer, the kitchen
filled with moist damp air
whirl of washing in machine
(old machine, with choas
in its spin cycle.)
Nextdoor neighbours
shouting kids and loud
Rumanian curse words
and baby screams.
the quiet of our Polish and French
couple, moved away home)
TV tells me "It's going to trial"
(Law and Order on a wet afternoon)
and I clickity clack on my keyboard.
The wind chases demons down
the chimney, rain pelts against
my window, the heating kicks in
with a boiler-busting bang.
My iphone beeps, text message
insistantly calling, read me read me.

What are you doing?
Having a quiet day off, I say.
I hear ya, you reply.


Saturday 21 November 2009

I Make Myself Up

Another for the November Pad Challenge :
Todays prompt is "Invention"

I make myself up

I make myself up every morning;
It's all just invention and lies.
I draw in a smile on my face
and then I shade in my eyes.

I invent who I am every day
A new face for each dawn, anew.
My mood is reflected in changes;
stamped, in colours and hue.

I am a tissue of fictions,
a collection of fables and dreams;
I create a new world every minute,
no matter how real this one seems.


Friday 20 November 2009

And then Earth turns.

She swims in the cold ice river
Of time and space, across the eons
Look at me, she says, extending
One flawless limb
Look at me, I am so cold and tired.
It will never end, this journey.

She sighs as the stars flash by
Silver trout in a crystal stream
How cold you are, they say
As they pass, How cold it is
She catches one on her long eyelash
And it freezes like a diamond.

Look, the others whisper, look
The light has bloomed, the light;
A tiny glimmer in the distance, calling
Her back to life again.
She waits until she touches the shore,
And then Earth turns.


Thursday 12 November 2009

If Only She's Listened to Granny

Day 12 of the November Pad Challenge - write a poem with the titled "if only"

If Only She'd Listened to Granny

"That wolf is a nuisance,"
Granny often said,
hanging around like a tame dog.

Don't pat him, don't feed him,
don't let him sleep on your bed.

Granny is old and has seen things
she knows how the wild things are;
she won't let them into the house -
she won't sweep the hearth after midnight -
she throws salt on the back step.

Red is young and foolish.
There's some status is having
a Wolf by her side, teeth bared.
She likes to go walking in moonlight.

"That wolf is dangerous,"
Granny's last words,
spit through bloodied lips.

Red is sorry now.


Lower me Not

A poem I wrote some years ago; it was included in the anthology Where The Hazel Falls (Electric Publications) ; it was inspired by several traditional burial practices including Tibetan Sky Burial http://www.zmescience.com/other/the-sky-burial/


Lower me not,
into a crimson mouthed coffin
under mahogony covers
a secret tucked away
Lower me not
into damp clay
weighted down
by marble grey

Set me ablaze
set me free
set me flying
like a dying comet.
Across the sky>
fling me, swing me,
let the wind kiss me
set me spiralling in flaming arcs.

float me away
a petalled offering
on a river of spices
through red dusty land
or rip me, espose me
the bare bones of me
speadeagled on a table rock
part of the raven, or the wolf

Lower me not,
leave me not
forget me not
let me leave you
let me depart
let me be freedom
and new life
and new dawns.


Wednesday 11 November 2009

One word at a time...

My "constuction" poem for the November Poetic Challenge

One word at a time

I built a bridge once.
It crossed a river, where water crashed white
on rocks and jagged edges.

I built it with words.
the first word fell on muddy land and sank
- it was hello, just hello.

I threw another word.
It took so many, one balancing on the other
until some settled on top.

Then I used bigger words.
Words that formed sentences, arching across
- sentences entwined.

Then I used poetic words.
that became ornate pillars and hanging baskets
that brightened our bridge.

The bridge still stands;
the river does not run so fast or violent now
but the bridge still stands.


Saturday 7 November 2009

What Is It?

My "Plant" poem for the November poetic challenge

What Is It?

"What is it?" my husband asked.
His faith in my knowledge was touching;
I can grow herbs and tomatoes
but am a mass murderer of houseplants.
"I don't know." We both stared -
it was a weed, or a baby tree or a flower.
That much at least was clear.
"Should we dig it up?" he mused.
It has reddish leaves and a long thin stem
and looks innocent, exposed
by our weeding and ruthless culling of hedges;
its secret life and gentle growth
gone forever, like childhood; I cannot cut it.
He looks at me, hopfully
"It could be a tree. I bet it's a tree."
It could be; some bird may have dropped seed
in the undergrowth of our garden
and from this tiny source, a trunk and branch
and deciduous colours in Autumn
and shade and root may yet grow, and tower.
Why not? Why not a tree as easily as a weed?
"It looks like a tree to me."


Wednesday 4 November 2009

Maybe not....

Another from the excellent Robert Lee Brewer poetic challenges

My effort for a Maybe poem...

Maybe Not.

I did not know
when I first saw you
that you had nothing
in your heart
but a sense of being apart,
a line in the sand,
a grudge and a complaint.

Maybe to me means
it is possible,
it might happen,
something might be,
could be, exists in potentia
but you always frown and say
Maybe not.