Hourglass – NaPoWriMo Day 17


from a child’s hand
lifted by cranes
left bagged
in crystalline moulds
blown along footprints
sunken wet traps
in socks of families
and between thighs
shaken onto bed
clothes and carpets
sitting in a hoover
to settle fragments
of cliff

broken fragments
of what we did
and gaps between
of the things we did not
did not flick away
did not lay side-by-side
did not hold back
did not make lines that
children would see
but left spaces in a vacuum

moving – NaPoWriMo Day 16


pack away the poetry
lock away the box
tuck among the packages
stop making plans

keep it all on show
stand with mock bravado
this is the place you wanted
now is where you stay

until the movement halts
dust sneezes through walls
leaves a hole
the size of your parents

that is when you need
to consider all around
decide to take another step
to just keep moving

Understood – NaPoWriMo Day 13


Foreign words invade a page
confusing language to a canter
of syllables. Pushing forward
a confluence of understanding.

Trenches of garbled tongues
mimic the march of saluting
saliva, pressing my hand
onto my forehead.

Gripping a pen to make up a phrase,
blocking strategic advances
of bonjour, blowing away
the rattle of tracks.

Meine mine of understanding
is hollowed out
by fire, scolding
the sides of Spain.

I See Their Dead Faces – NaPoWriMo, Day 7

I hope you like your poetry dark… because today I appear to have outdone darkness even by my standards.

Today’s poem is inspired by walking through a busy town centre and feeling like you might be the only person alive who is actually happy about it! I know these are tough times and I am definitely not the type to advocate that everyone walk around with a fake smile all day, but there are a certain type of people who are unable to see the wonder that each day can hold (I’m sure you know the type). This makes me sad, and makes me write sad poems!

I See Their Dead Faces

I see them and avoid their dismal eyes, crow’s feet scars, memorials to scowls, reeking of derision.

I see them with necrotic frowns and out-of-body eyebrows, raising them in dismay.

I see them and hear the foul thud of a voice as they fail to acknowledge.

I see them passing in the street, they sprinkle disdain like confetti.

I see them; each one carries the stench of too little hope.

I see them stalking their next complaint.

I see them avoiding the rain.

I see them.

Poetry Smells with Dog – NaPoWriMo, Day 6

Today has been a tough day – very busy at work and helping out with launching the new Swindon Poetry website – Hilda Sheehan has done an amazing job and the site looks great!

A new feature of the site is ‘Dog’s Blog’ – a new section where Dog (the Poetry Swindon mascot) writes about different things – we plan to allow anyone to submit blogs in the voice of Dog, but for now, I have tried one.

Whilst chatting to Hilda, I go to thinking that Dog would probably appreciate the smell of a poem, as much as all the other parts that make a poem wonderful. So My first blog as Dog, and my NaPoWriMo for today can be found at the new Poetry Swindon website. and also here on this blog. I hope you like it!

Poetry Smells with Dog

Have you ever sniffed poetry?
The best poems look,
sound and smell like a ski trip.
Today I shared my nose
with these perfumed poems.

William Carlos Williams – The Red Wheelbarrow
Top notes: Chicken feathers
Base notes: Rain-water glaze

Kenneth Koch – Fresh Air
Top notes: Prehistoric charcoal whales
Base notes: Vaseline bathtubs filled with candy hearts

Sylvia Plath – Daddy
Top notes: Black shoes and rotten feet
Base notes: One gray toe nail

Pablo Neruda – So That You Will Hear Me
Top notes: Sea air and Gulls on the beaches
Base notes: Damp walls and blame

Dylan Thomas – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Top notes: Old age burning
Base notes: Rage, rage doused in fierce tears

Emily Dikinson – I dwell in Possibility
Top notes: Cedar chambers
Base notes: Paradise

Hilda Sheehan – The Seal
Top notes: A barren island in a storm
Base notes: Cool water and broken corrugated coral


I’d rather not pay for the children I don’t have – NaPoWriMo day 3

Here is today’s poem:

I’d rather not pay for the children I don’t have

Have you ever booked plane tickets
without having children?
Ok, that sounds wrong,
have you ever not had children
and still had to pay for them?

I have this place I’d like to go to.
It needs me to travel,
by a plane,
and what I’d really like to do
is not have to pay for the children.

This isn’t very clear,
I can see that now.
Basically, I have no children,
but I need plane tickets.

It really shouldn’t be this hard.
I don’t want to pay more
for those plane tickets.
I don’t have any children,
you see?

So I would like to travel,
during the school holidays,
without children.

I’d like to travel and not pay
for the children.
Because they are not there.

I’d like to pay for just me.
I don’t want to take any children,
have any children,
or even see any children.

Not for this journey.


That is poem number 3 on this NaPoWriMo journey. I have been helping my friend Mark book tickets plane tickets to Greece. He was baffled as to why the costs were so high. We soon worked out it was because he was trying to book the tickets during the easter holidays. The poem is slightly about this… but also about other stuff! I hope you like it.