All posts filed under: NaPoWriMo 2016

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty

Kenning Lightening thrower, word whistler, skin changer, ink bruiser, heart stealer, tongue twister, world burner, flesh scorcher, bloodied carnivore, soul consumer. … Soft whisperer, half shadow, warm sheets, safe harbour. Heart stealer. We’re now two thirds of the way through NaPoWriMo so only ten poems left to write! If you want to check out my contribution for yesterday’s prompt then you can read Not So Green Fingers here or, if you’d like, listen to it here. It was one of my first successful attempts to upload a full poetry video to YouTube so I’d love to hear your feedback.

NaPoWriMo Day Nineteen

Not So Green Fingers One. Remember the rose plant you bought two weeks ago Two. Pray to something you only half believe in, that it’s still alive. Three. Quickly brush away the dead leaves, crunchy and browning in a circle, and after, fill the bin with odds and sods, to hide your failure at tending a living thing. Four. Water it! But remember, too much and it will die somewhat more than it already has. Five. Let it sit, then dispose of any remaining water, still staining the saucer, culled from the kitchen cupboard because you don’t own any pretty plant pots. Six. Buy a plant pot, because the saucer doesn’t fit on the windowsill, and sunlight would probably be a good thing seeing as photosynthesis, is pretty important for these plant types. Seven. Pray and hope a little more. Who knows? Green fingers might be something you grown into.

NaPoWriMo Day Eighteen

  Twemlows Cottage The sound of home is my father holding a blade of grass, between fingers and mouth, blowing long, sharp shrieks across the garden. The way sand and soil crunch beneath a spade and the long, drizzling slide of dirt, falling as it’s lifted out of a pit. The old creak of rusted trampoline springs, groaning on each take-off, each landing, snapping back with the crack, snap of static jumping jacks to small, flushed hands. It is the hum of rally-cars on Sundays down the old airfield runways, and the drone that vibrates my skull as the parachute club plane skims by low, doors thrown open, the blue behind paint splattered. It’s the heavy stillness over the nights and the low-level whisper of the A41, still muttering odd words at three am while I sleep, content. It is the sameness of it all, day after night after day after night. It is home.  

NaPoWriMo Day Seventeen

Day Seventeen for NaPoWriMo and today’s optional prompt was to find the nearest specialised dictionary and take ten words to use in a poem. Apparently the only specialised dictionary I own is ‘500 Words You Should Know’ by Caroline Taggart. Using a random number generator I pulled out ten words which you can find the definitions to in the glossary below.They weren’t the easiest to cram together in a poem. An Eponymous Man I asked him how his day had been over coffee, I did not ask for him to delineate his life over three straight hours, until the room became crepuscular and I had heard all about his useless amanuensis. I learnt how in a time prelapsarian he apparently wasn’t so subfusc, his need for the material hadn’t been so voracious, and his tendency to be pejorative was minimal. He informed me that his job was e…so…teric. I nodded politely and smiled, not quite trusting my mouth to move or even open. ‘In his mind,’ I told my friend later, he’s eponymous to everyone’s story. …

NaPoWriMo Day Sixteen

Outside My Window The house is boiling and the windows are open, thrown upwards in desperation, in the hopes air might move and steal a little of this heat away from us. You are outside, and I know this because thunk, thunk, thunk, is the only breeze coming in. You have relegated the bin to foam cylinder thing holder, while you and a mate take swings with samurai swords. I stay in the office, eyes on my computer. I will clean up the mess later.  

NaPoWriMo Day Fifteen

Mirror View The woman looking back at me blinks differently. I don’t recognise the shape of her eyes, or the blemish left side of her nose. Her lips don’t move the same way mine do, her smile doesn’t seem quite as genuine. I watch her, watching me and wonder, is this the version others see? A really short piece for day fifteen of NaPoWriMo.

NaPoWriMo – Day Thirteen

I don’t think I have ever actually had a fortune cookie… It may sound strange, but when you grow up in the middle of the countryside where nowhere delivers and the nearest takeaway requires the same length of car journey as the nearest supermarket, takeaways become something of a rarity. Anyway, enough about me weird, rural childhood. The prompt for today’s poem was to write a poem inspired by the idea of fortune. A year or so ago a friend bought me a book called ‘The Encyclopaedia of Superstitions’ by Christina Hole. Part of me wants to ‘pah-poohey’ the whole idea of superstitions, but it’s the sort of book that makes you very aware of everything you do day to day that might signify bad luck. In short it can be something of a stressful read. However, for today I decided to crack it open and see if there was an entry for fortune cookies. There wasn’t. Instead I found this: Fox’s Wedding When sudden spatters of raindrops fall while the sun is shining, country …

NaPoWriMo Day Twelve

agents: adoption of cover names 63, 82 cover professions and stories 17, 65, 163, 538 disclosure of names xi-xii documentation on xiv-xv, 189 fabrication of intelligence 185, 186, 187, 188, 190-191, 194, 220, 740 personality traits and frailties 29, 63-4, 163, 415, 463, 494, 57, 570, 594 problems in recruiting in peace time 662-3 salaries and payments 16, 19, 20, 29, 35, 90, 180, 193, 249, 275-6, 429-30, 455, 460, 650, 652, 662-3, 77ini SIS granted sole control of overseas agents 48-9, 729 training for agents 537-8, 543, 589, 625-6 ‘MI6 The History of the Secret intelligence Service 1909-1949’ by Keith Jefferey SPY Stamped out in capitals, like half squashed bugs on a page, real names are a low level hum somewhere in the background. Snow, Biscuit, Garbo… You stop seeing the people, the faces behind the codes. Their twisted up personalities become something to pick apart. Who was he? What drove him? Why did he do it? Did anyone know the real him? The shock and horror, or the old boy’s betrayal. Did they …

NaPoWriMo Day Eleven

In The Kitchen The window steams, until droplets run fat and thick in wandering lines to the peeling paint on the windowsill. Their slow bodies slurping into one another’s paths, growing, conjoining, until the puddle is there.   The tulips now old, have lost their colour and hang limply, heads bowed and wilting, in the vase tainted green by the water inside, and slimed over with something I don’t care to name.   Sunlight fragments through the glass. I’m still waiting for dawn. Make sure you check out the first of our poetic guest posts for the month by Muthri Raja!  Until the 30th April, Writing and Works is playing host to poets from across WordPress, all here to explain why they think poetry is amazing and important. Want to join in? Email me at

NaPoWriMo Day Ten

Today’s prompt for NaPoWriMo was to write a book spine poem. This means taking the titles of books of your shelves and using them to write a poem. Since I own over six hundred books, I haven’t used all of them in this poem. Instead I kept it to less than thirty. I’m not sure it makes much sense so I’d love to hear your thoughts.  The title is taken from Kate Innes’ first novel. The Errant Hours The horse and the boy, the man who knew infinity, under these northern lights watching a dance of chaos, and the madness underneath. A great a terrible beauty, a poison garden.   Among thieves, pirates, at the ocean at the end of the lane. A place called Neverwhere, amongst returners of the darkest mercy. He dreams of a dark warrior.   His huntress with an assassin’s blade, a storm glass in the centre of a city of bones. The gathering of the lost, mothers, mystics and merrymakers, here lies his inheritance.   Wormwood and rebel angels. The colour …