NaPoWriMo Day Four

April is the cruellest month, breeding

lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

memory and desire, stirring

dull roots with spring rain.

T.S. Eliot – The Wasteland – I. The Burial Of The Dead

I love T.S Eliot.  My collection of his work is currently leant out to a friend which meant I had to google this poem, but his writing is something I find myself amazed at over and over again.

Today’s prompt for NaPoWriMo was to take the first line of this poem and write our own about which month we think is the cruellest. At the moment I would say that April is perhaps the cruellest month. Now normally I don’t bring politics into my poems, but I thought I would give it a go today.

Facing The Spring

It’s an undercurrent,

a muttering,

a rip-tide lurking beneath the surface.

This talk

has been around for months.

Spring brings up

more than just the daffodils.

This job was his life.

This job his father’s life.

His grandfather’s, his great father’s,

those men who came before

and worked to the bone

to build something for the next.

He must now face the Spring.

The possibility they might not survive

to see the milk prices rise

or his children take his place.

And all that will left

are empty parlours and empty fields

and empty hearths

where generation, after generation

came in to hang their hats

and laugh by the fire

once upon a time

when days were better.

NaPoWriMo Day Three – Fan Letter

I was really uncertain about today’s NaPoWriMo prompt. I’ve never really written a fan letter, never mind one in the form of a poem. It took me a while to even pick a person that I wanted to write about. In the end I came up with three people, Neil Gaiman [one of my all time favourite writers], Sarah Kay [an amazing spoken word poet], and Lilly Singh otherwise known as Superwoman [comedian, YouTuber and all round spreader of joy]. These are the three people who’s videos, articles and bodies of work I turn to when I’m stuck for inspiration or just having a bad day. Therefore, if I was going to write a fan letter to anyone, it had to be them. A bit of a long one I’m afraid but it could really be split into three.

I. Neil Gaiman

I stumbled into your writing on a Saturday.

Whitchurch, W H Smiths,

the only bookshop in the town at that time

and a hardback copy of ‘The Graveyard Book’

just there on the shelf.

I had never heard of you.

I picked the book partly because it didn’t fit

with the rest in the shop,

a little bit odd in comparison,

and I knew I had to own a copy.

I haven’t stopped reading you since.

When I decided I wanted to write for more than fun

I turned to your interviews on YouTube

looking for advice.

You have never let other put you into a box.

There are stories long and short,

for young and old.

A Neil Gaiman book is a Neil Gaiman book

because it says so

not because it reads so.

I realised then I didn’t have to pick

between the things I love.

II. Sarah Kay

University introduced me to spoken word.

I learnt that poems could be lifted off the page.

You had this way with words,

a way at looking at the world,

a mastery of phrase I wanted for myself.

I go back and listen to your poems

when my own

get stuck somewhere in the back of my throat.

I choose random pages from your book

and just start reading.

I learnt to loosen my style,

worry less about how it went down

and more about what it said.

I learnt another way of writing poems.

III. Lilly Singh

‘A Trip To Unicorn Island’

is on my GooglePlay wishlist

and I subscribe

to both your channels.

I have this obsession with your motivation

and as a result

I’ve become a far more productive person.

You are funny and kind and best of all

somewhat insane.

You do not feel the need to explain yourself

or bow to any expectations.

You work hard and encourage other people

to do just the same.

If we ever meet,

I’d love to buy you a cup of tea

because sometimes I think,

the only reason by book is even half-way done,

is because of how much

your positivity inspires me.

NaPoWriMo Day Two


Today’s prompt for NaPoWriMo is to write a family-portrait poem. To be honest I wasn’t entirely sure what to write for this one. I’ve written about numerous family members before, my mother in ‘Your Sheep‘, my sister in ‘Jo’, my Great Gran in ‘Ba‘ and the women of my family as a whole in ‘The Women I Came From‘. Both my Grandfathers have poems about them, the one actually has two! The second poem ‘Rock’n’Roll‘ was more about him and my Grandmother watching their family grow up however. All in all my family has played a pretty massive part in inspiring my writing so today’s prompt is more than a little tricky. What is left to say that you as a reader won’t find in another one of my poems?


This Family

It’s the sort of family where everyone in Shropshire

is a cousin of some kind.

Introductions become a test of how many links

it takes to skip from you to them

and who in between you both know.

With Dad it’s a little different.

Irish mother, Scottish father,

scandal wedding and English small holding.

Three kids and almost no links to speak of…

Until the three weddings

a husband, two wives,

and all the family that came with them.

My mother is a Swinnerton

and they like to claim heritage back to 1066

where William the Conqueror earned his name

and Sir William Swinnerton got his stake of land

to do with what he will.

On this side therefore there are cousins in gaggles

and aunts, uncles, great upon great

until your head spins for so many generations

of such and such or so and sos.

There are those aunts that somehow know them all

and insist on telling you just how you relate

to the greater picture of the family

despite the fact ten minutes later

you’ve forgotten her name as well.

My family is a great, sprawling mess

impossible to escape.

Any yet when I left for uni

I missed nothing more

than the feeling of belonging

to something larger than myself.

NaPoWriMo Day One

It is that time of year again! NaPoWriMo has whirled it’s way around again and the world’s poets are turning to their laptops/notepads/padded walls for a whole month of scribbling down their thoughts and random rhymes in the hopes of churning out a poem a day for the whole of the month.

Now I know I said I wasn’t going to do Camp NaNoWriMo because I’m busy with studying and working but I’m also aware that I’ve been neglecting this blog a fair bit and that’s not very good. While I have managed to make massive headway with redrafting my novel and my writing is progressing, I’ve not managed to post regularly which was one of my new years resolutions.

[I managed to post every day in January… close enough.]

I’ve also not been drawing which is another new years resolution down the drain and to be honest, it makes me a bit sad that all my creative stuff has had to fall by the wayside in order for me to get other stuff done.

Anywho… NaPoWriMo!

Day One’s prompt this year is to write a lune. A lune is apparently an English form of haiku [sort-of]. It’s three lines and works with a 5-3-5 syllable count. It can stand alone or you can write a series that follow on from one another. If you want to join in with NaPoWriMo you can submit your site here. All you need to do is post a poem a day for April, it doesn’t have to match the prompt, their optional. [As I repeatedly showed when I did NaPoWriMo a couple of years ago. This year I’m going to try and stick to the prompts a little more and experiment.

So for day one of NaPoWriMo! My lune:


Out came the lilac

every year

pretending it’s Spring.