NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #22 – Arsenic

Beauty gets hung up
in galleries, left to fade
but they want you to
look in monthly magazines
that ask you live, fighting time.

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #21 – How Worthy Are The Dead?

It’s Charlotte Brontë’s birthday today but she’s not that great. Emily is the best Brontë sister.

Scuffed garden path,
leading to the graveyard
that spreads out below your window,
growing, like a black mould, day by day.

The carpenter and stonemason
grow quietly rich. The gravedigger
wakes each morning with an ache
that ripples across his knotted, broad back.

Though the tombstones cast
long shadows in the moonlight,
their letters must be read,
remembered in the day.
You’ve given every name
up to the stars. This way they
will live, if not forever,
more than two short months
at least.

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #20 – A New National Anthem

So, you may have noticed that there has been a lot more anti-immigration rhetoric being thrown around than usual. It’s a sad reflection on our society that this rhetoric has only increased in the wake of the news that hundreds more people have died whilst trying to cross the Mediterranean. With this in mind, I’ve decided to write a new national anthem – sing it to whatever tune you like.


There’s Great in our name,
which seems a bit silly
when we’re really quite average at best.

Have you seen our country?
It’s pretty alright.
We wish it could be a bit better.

We’re four different countries
pressed into one
but the one in the middle
shouts the loudest.

There’s Great in our name,
which seems a bit silly
when we’re really quite average at best.

Oh, there’s England, of course,
who makes all the rules
and Scotland where life seems much fairer.

Old Wales has lungfuls of mountain fresh air
kept healthy by free state-run healthcare
and Ulster who lies
under fair Irish skies

There’s Great in our name,
which seems a bit silly
when we’re really quite average at best.

Come pay us a visit, should you get the chance
we owe our existence to you.
All the people who braved
our tumultuous waves
that we never did rule
just like King Canute, the fool.

There’s Great in our name,
which seems a bit silly
when we’re really quite average at best.
But we wouldn’t trade it in,
not for anything
and if you disagree, well
that’s up to you.


NaPoWriMo #19 – Blanket on the Heath

Held down by bottoms,
blown by April winds. Down
to the month of May.

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #18 – Living Is A Mug’s Game

Fill a broken cup
with water faster than it
can hope to flow out.
Pray you’ll never chip.
Spend so long genuflecting
that  your knees grow sore.

I bear the chips and stains of a well-loved mug,
no crisp piece of crockery put to one side,
saved in case the Queen comes by am I.
Each fracture tells a tale, shows the place where I might split
yet with every cup of tea that touches lips great pain is risked.

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #16 – Appropriate

Like the foam at the crest of the wave
and the sky. Like the moon and the crack
in the clouds. Like the pan and the hob,
the butter and cob. I love you in all of these ways.

As chimes hanging freely, awaiting
the wind. As trees lie in wait for the rain.
As cocoa and milk, as bare skin and silk.
I love you in all of these ways.

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #12 – How To Fix A Telescope In Outer Space

So, I decided to attempt a poem for children today because I was watching Daredevil and playing an old Playstation One game and felt nostalgic. It was also inspired by a headline on the BBC

1) Make a packed lunch. Better yet,
ask someone else to do it – if it makes them happy
they can go by Ground Control.
They can help with what comes next.

2) Set off at night, that way you can aim for the moon.
Plus, it’s cooler and stars are so pretty.

3) Take a friend. Someone that you trust
to keep you entertained. A pet will do
but don’t take a bird – they can’t swallow in space
and, as creatures with wings, are less likely to enjoy the view.

4) Wrap up warm ’cause space is cold. Like, really cold.
You know those days where you pretend to be a dragon,
shooting ice or steam at passersby, well it’s so much worse than that.
Take more socks than you think you need.
There’s no such thing as too many socks.

5) Kick off from the earth.
You may need some help with this.
Ask your dad if you can borrow his old and worn out brown work boots.
The thicker sole means one less inch to jump
and the leather makes an impressive crackling sound
whenever you leap up.

6) Hold hands (or paws) with your best friend,
no sense you spending half your time in space
trying to fight against a vacuum just to keep them close.

7) Once you’re high above the earth,
sneak a look back to the place you’ve left
but try, try, try to focus on the task at hand.
I know the lights are pretty and,
you can see which cities are asleep and those
who have no current need for electricity,
but you’re up here for a reason.

8) Keep looking until you see it
and swim towards the broken telescope
so you’re close enough to get to work.

9) Try not to drop your tools.
Imagine the mess it will make back home.
It’ll be a lot worse than your bedroom
and mum forced you to clean that up
so hold on with a tight grip.

10) Once it’s fixed, make sure that it’s working
by looking back at home. You will see proud faces smiling up
and if the vision starts to get a little blurry,
make sure to dry your eyes.

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #11 – Welcome To The Next Level

The back of the TV cabinet resembled a Gorgon’s head,
all leads and empty sockets, waiting for a child’s mind
to settle on a system. This is not boredom, but the opposite.

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #10 – A Shortness of Breath

The melted toffee days are here,
sweet and
guaranteed to stick between your teeth
for you to pick at in the winter,
run the reminiscence across your lips.

Days when you get tired
of an air filled with exhaust
fumes. Smog so thick
you can see the heat,
feel it beat and twist a path
into every piece of skin it can.

This is England,
where the sun can’t make its mind up,
causing fights and friendships
to break out, a reddening rash
that spreads,
a covered canvas sunset
clutching to the dying light.

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #9 – Cat’s Eyes

You grew up with noises that you’ll never understand
but can relate to with purrs that match machinery,
sounds of home that form part of your silence.
You can talk and know I understand you,
our tongues do differ but our language is, at heart, the same.
Food arrives and love is given,
shook out of a box and bouncing loud enough
to wake you from dark corner slumber
or call you in to clatter at the flap.
It’s carried in a shallow bowl, chosen for its patterns and
held up by a thumb that comes back later on to grab your tail,
which vine-like winds its way around my hand.