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 #15 – Read and Read and Read

I have found myself
hiding in the bindings of a book
or nestled in between two lines of poetry –
an image staring back,
so striking in resemblance
that the pages turn to
black-backed glass.

I compose myself,
reading on and finding chasms
where I could throw away my life.
This will be the making of me,
I think, as ink  begins to find its way into my veins,
leaving thumbprint stains to mark bright passages.
Later, I will find my way back here upon the same path
changed and now, because I know the way,
can take the time to find those hidden veins of ore
that lie tucked just out of sight.
They sing to me and beg to see the light.

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #14 – What If God Was One Of Us?

So, this poem came about from trying to write about my depression. I’m not sure at what point God became involved but it seemed like a fitting connection to make. While I used to be quite the anti-theist, I’ve sort of mellowed out a little so this poem isn’t intended as an attack on theists, however, the interpretation is no longer in my hands.


If I was God, I would cry myself to sleep each night.
Silent sobs, that shudder through my body,
because no-one should hear me weep.
The sun would never rise and I
would cloak myself in night,
hide between the darkest colours I
could think up and unmake the stars.

Do not look for me in photographs,
I am not there, you’ll never find
the face I hate nor
the image I am made in.

My name would be unknown,
you’re so much easier to ignore that way
and whilst I’m twisting language,
I’d turn pleasure
into a dirty word,
thinking it would make the guilt drip out,
like poison from the serpent’s mouth –
see how it spreads.

If you tried to build a temple,
I would tear it down.
Kill the ones who love me most and
leave the rest to wonder
what went wrong.

NaPoWriMo 2015

Protected: NaPoWriMo #13 – Nightmares

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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.

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #8 – Suddenly Sertraline: A Serotonin Bop

So, I’ve been cheating a little. The past two days poems have actually been building towards me trying out a new poetic form. When I say new, I don’t mean just for me because the form was only invented in 2014.

To quote from The Academy of American Poets:

A recent invention, the Bop was created by Afaa Michael Weaver during a summer retreat of the African American poetry organization, Cave Canem. Not unlike the Shakespearean sonnet in trajectory, the Bop is a form of poetic argument consisting of three stanzas, each stanza followed by a repeated line, or refrain, and each undertaking a different purpose in the overall argument of the poem.

The first stanza (six lines long) states the problem, and the second stanza (eight lines long) explores or expands upon the problem. If there is a resolution to the problem, the third stanza (six lines long) finds it. If a substantive resolution cannot be made, then this final stanza documents the attempt and failure to succeed.

Here is the full poem (with the final stanza being today’s poem):

Take the tablet once a day,
wash it down with water
you can taste the past in.
Learn to live with last night’s nightmares,
better them than memories
dark enough to lose sight of the future.

Would you like to up your dosage?

See, serotonin gets stamped down,
pushed into a corner and told
‘Maybe not right now’. In a sulk,
the chemicals take your dreams with them,
say that you can’t play without their say so.
Dreams, for their part, miss you,
head at you in a rush and bowl you over
with a whole week’s worth of love at once.

Would you like to up your dosage?

A world just real enough to believe in,
drawn together from the threads made in your head.
Teased out from hope and long past happiness to
depict a tapestry of delusions that you try not to unpick,
lest in the morning you be left with strings and sadness –
nothing more and nothing less.

Now, would you like to up your dosage?