Today’s prompt was to write a poem in a single sentence begining” She told me”
She told me once about an amazing day, when the sun had shone down from the bluest of clear skies upon a child of undetermined age while she skipped gleefully through the field, wiggling her fingers through the waist length grass that was dappled with the reds and yellows of wildflowers and hummed with the frenetic activity of creatures she could not yet name, but which fascinated her curious eyes, hungry eyes that drank in every drop of the idyllic scene, before he found her and roughly grabbing her arm dragged her back to her cold, grey-skyed reality.
Posting 2 in 1 today. Although I have not been posting everyday I have actually been writing everyday. Some of what I have written has just been odd lines or stanzas, but here are 2 completed poems.
The first prompt I used was to right about an explosion of joy. As I was short of time, and because I love them, I wrote a haiku.
So incredible An explosion of pure joy He said "I love you"
The second prompt I used was to write a poem either about a birthday or to someone on their birthday. This prompt happened to fall on the day my son turned 16, so of course I wrote a poem to him.
You are no longer a babe Standing tall above me As we celebrate this day of your birth A day where once there were balloons Where parcels were passed, statues danced, and lions slept But time has passed and You have outgrown these things Now as you stand next to me You stand in a place ‘twixt man and boy Know that I will always be Stood here beside you As you find your feet in a fast changing world And take your place in the unfolding tale
For today let’s just celebrate The wonder that is you
Today’s prompt required a bit of time travel – going either into the future or the past to write from the perspective of someone on the brink of a life changing event. I have recently been reading The Mirror and The Light which has inspired my setting, although I cannot be sure the scene I envisioned is an accurate depiction of life in the 16th Century.
I am not yet ready In time I will be But time, I have not enough The guests are assembled The candles are lit There has been much bustle and busyness Many hands bearing trays of finest produce Have borne more in one morn that in the past sennight
I am not yet ready In time I might be Yet not today, not so soon The tables are laden The feast all prepared The clatter of wheels has told me the tale Of many kin bearing gifts of richest treasures As would befit the auspicious occasion
I am not yet ready More time is requisite Yet time I am not allowed The servants attend me The stays are bound tight There has been much arranging and fixing Many hands shaping this” finest of ladies” to be the fine wife of our noble Lord
I must now be ready The time has arrived The time I would halt if I could The fanfare has started The doors are flung wide. There has been such anticipation Many Lives holding to what this day represents I must play my Part, Obedient submission
No I didn’t miss day 2. I wrote a poem for the days prompt, but I am not happy with the last stanza so I will post it at a later date.
The prompt for day 3 was censorship. I scribbled lots for this one, crossed it all out and scribbled some more. Then crossed some of that out, replaced bits and shifted words around and then crossed the whole lot out again. Eventually I decided that I didn’t want to rhyme 3 days in a row and wrote a haiku instead.
The harder you try To still the song of my heart The louder I'll sing
It’s always easier to write when on holiday. The combination of more time and being generally more relaxed, with visiting new and interesting places helps the creative flow. We have visited Portpatrick a few times now, finding out about ships wrecked on the rocky shore line, and how it served as a version of Gretna green for couples who caught the boat across from Belfast. The ferries no longer come into Portpatrick, the little bay and harbour could not cope with the large ships required these days, which now dock at Cairnryan a little further north. Instead Portpatrick remains a picturesque little coastal village – a beautiful unspoilt spot away from the hubbub of much of modern life; a great spot for a relaxing break. It was only yesterday as I walked down to the sea, that I noticed the extraordinary number of chimney pots on the buildings around the bay. I found myself a comfy large rock to sit on, gazing out at the sea, and wrote this poem.
The chimneys of Portpatrick That stand above the bay Stretch up heavenward to the sun That shines on us today How long they’ve stood there watching I really do not know They have seen the waters rise They’ve seen the tide ebb low.
The chimneys of Portpatrick Have stood there oh so long They’ve heard the ocean raging Witnessed her waves so strong. And in the still calm moments That come both day and night Know the peace just hides from view The ocean’s fearsome might
The chimneys of Portpatrick Stood solemn as the waves Threw boat, then boat against the rocks And not all souls were saved The lighthouse stood as warning It’s light shone through the night The brave and daring lifeboat crew Risked all for stranger’s plight
The chimneys of Portpatrick That witnessed so much woe Also saw such joyful days Saw lovers come and go Across the sea from Ireland Where family disapproved Wedding vows they came to say Their lasting love to prove
The chimneys of Portpatrick Stand cold and smoke no more Yet still we come to visit This bonny stretch of shore And while we swim the waters We drink, we eat, we play The chimneys of Portpatrick Stand proud above the bay
Sometimes I write poetry because I am inspired by something. It may be an event, an emotion, something I have seen or somewhere I have been. Sometimes I play around with words and phrases, just enjoying the musicality of the english language. There are plenty of poetry prompts to be found on line and sometimes I like to use these as they can be a bit more of a challenge as they may involve writing about something that I really don’t feel inspired by, but it is these kinds of things that I think help exerecise the poetry part of my brain and, I hope, develop my skill. Today’s inspiration comes from the “Word of the day” on one of the writing sites I visit. The word is burglarious.
Creeping through the darkness with burglarious intent The band of cunning rogues on their wicked way they went. Slinking through the village under cover of the night Anyone who saw them there would surely get a fright
This motley crew had just one aim, they would not be deterred Tales of wealth and riches to this hamlet them had lured And finding that the stories they had heard might just be right Decided that it would be worth their while to try one night
Plans had all been made with care, the details checked so well Each knew what they had to do, they knew to never tell. Whispers of encouragement between them were exchanged If they could pull this off their lives forever would be changed
So upon the place they crept, each one would play their part They clambered o’er the wall unseen – made a promising start. But that was when it all went wrong for suddenly the light Detecting hidden motion hence shone piercing through the night
“Who goes there?” Called a gruff voice from a window way up high “Tell me what you’re doing here, also tell me why?” Blinded by the sudden light erratically they ran They’d thought the place was empty, whoever was this man?
The bunch were not the smartest, all sense now flew from their heads They scattered panicked ‘cross the lawn, trampled the flower beds. And then the scrape of metal bolts, the squeak of door flung wide The snarling, barking dogs flew out, their quarry they espied
But as they fled, little they knew that worse was yet to come, The man stood fuming at the door and cocked his old shot gun Terrified the gang all fled back o’er the wall they went Back home to rue the day they had burglarious intent.
There is no good time to be told you are being made redundant.
February 2020 was really not a good time to be told that the site where you have worked for 20 years is going to be closing early in 2021. Four weeks later we were in a pandemic and within 6 weeks, the majority of staff at the site were furloughed. There was the inevitable delay effected by lockdowns, but now 17 months later, I am counting down the last few days until I finally step off site for the last time.
I returned to work from furlough in July last year, to a different site. There is now a one way system in place, so I have gotten used to walking further to get from one place to another than the actual distance between them. There are card slots on toilet doors to ensure no more than 2 people are ever inside at the same time, and tables in the canteen are set out like an exam hall where each person sits alone facing the front. This is not unique; few workplaces, if any, have been unchanged by the need to keep people at a safe distance from each other, and there are many faces I have not seen unmasked in months, though I have spoken regularly to their owners. It is a strange way to end my time at this place, with it so changed from how it has been.
I was ready to leave when they announced the site closure; I had known it was time to move on for a while, but not knowing what my next step should be I had procrastinated. It was a kick up the backside being told I needed to find the next step directly and not when I got round to it, but I am now happy that I am heading off along a different path.
So it has come as a bit of a surprise to me how sad I am. For all sorts of reasons really. Twenty years is a large chunk of my life. Since starting here I have got engaged, got married, had children, moved house, all to the consistent backdrop of the same workplace. Although plenty of people have come and gone in that time, there are many faces who have been a regular part of my work life for that time. I am grieving for the loss of those people, for the loss of the comfortable familiarity of the place, for the loss of a job that I know I can do.
The place has been winding down for a while now. As the workload has decreased and fixtures and fittings have been dismantled around us the sense of ending has grown. What was once a busy bustling place is grinding slowly to a halt. So although I am excited and hopeful, about what the future holds, today the joy is tempered by melancholy. As I sit here alone in my office I am inspired to write a poem.
We were warned
We had plenty of notice
Time to prepare
But did we?
Or did we put it on the back burner,
To be dealt with at a later date.
Denial and disbelief obscuring the need to make ready.
Now though, the truth is rushing headlong towards us and
the narrowness of the passage of time leaves no chance for escape.
As reality closes in I embrace nostalgia
Wrapping myself up in the comfort of the contemptuously familiar.
Change will come
What has been will cease to be
And I must move on
I wish to face the future with hope
With the excited joy of infinite possibility
But for now I stand on shaky ground,
unsure of where next to tread
Buffeted by waves of grief that ebb and flow
threatening one minute to overwhelm
Then receding to allow me once more to stand and face what lies before.
You try so hard to bind my tongue At times I can hardly breathe Your hand is clasped so tightly over my mouth. Confined in your embrace Your warm breath on my cheek sends shivers down my spine
But do not mistake my inaction for fear Do not take my hush for dread
I am ready to rage and wail at the top of my voice I am ready to scream and flail and fight I will not be silenced I will not allow you to still my voice Though you may grasp at me ever tighter And squeeze the very life breath from my lungs I will kick, I will punch I will grapple with the bonds you have drawn about me. My voice must be heard. My voice will be heard. Though my strength may at times fail me, I will not concede I will not kowtow to your pride and self importance
Enfolded in your arms I will squirm and claw Emboldened by your arrogance I will strain and wrestle And I will break free I will find space To draw breath enough to fill my lungs to bursting And when I raise my head and forcefully release No sound will come For my silence is of my own making