NaPoWriMo – Day Twelve: Crewe

Lined up like tin soldiers, the railway houses don’t change much. Those narrow, red faces with wide eyes that keep watch on the crisscross of streets, their pockets of green tucked away with their tangles of washing-lines, and wooden sheds squeezed in between the weed clotted fences. It’s the sort of place where noise bounces down avenues and lands in a garden not its own. Music might be just as easily from a park you cannot see for grey roof tiles, as the radio downstairs. Wind carries laughter further than static.

The train line plays hide-and-seek between the buildings. Always behind the next fence, darting beneath your feet, slinking away between the mishmash of warehouses not yet reclaimed for renewal. In the same way your nervous systems fizzles beneath your skin, the tracks hum and rattle from corner to corner. In the thunder of carriages the words loose themselves. The statement, ‘I was here first, this is my town, I am the heart, the life giver, the cradle it crawled from to sprawl its way across green land and country lanes.’

Among the tattered edges of the outskirts, men in high viz score paint mark lines onto empty fields. New arteries already slicing the rural in half, prying it closer to the urban.  Matchbox houses are packed beneath the topsoil, sprung, and loaded to bloom. Soon this will be another garrison of tin soldiers, with newer faces and prettier smiles.

Pigeons broke my fence,

with their fat, fast, crash landings.

Grown too quick to cope.


 Today’s prompt was to write a haibun about the natural landscape of where you live. However, I live in a town that is gearing up for a new HS2 station in the not-to-far-off future so there isn’t much natural landscape left to talk about. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the Haibun. DVersePoets, you have trained me well for this particular prompt.

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.



You’ve grown older with these years.

Sagged into them, your worn out chair,

too comfortable to discard.

I have too.

Now there are knots in these bones.

A lattice work of knuckle and knobble

and I cannot help you to your feet

propel you across the kitchen sidestep,

kick, flick, turn and lift!

jitterbug us into three am.

I cannot swagger with the same strength

of 1970s rock’n’roll

disco room dance floors.

We are old together it seems.

These feet became stepping stones.

Smaller ones, with laughing mouths

who clutch the knuckles and knobbles

without thought.

We were always old to them.

They are young,

and so very youthful,

and I will show them

how we danced.

This Tuesday’s DVerse Poet’s Pub prompt is a corker! Write a poem from the point of view of someone who’s not your gender. Check the challenge out for yourself and see what the other Pub Poets have in store!


Home (Daily Prompt)

I’ve been raiding Antonia’s photo albums on facebook again and found this!

Meghan (Antonia Brennan)

She is watching you.

Glow Sticks (Antonia Brennan)I will say now, as most of you will already have realised, this is not a photo of Antonia. This is my dog Meghan and a slightly strange camera angle from Toni’s experiments during one of few walks we’ve been on during our friendship. When you live on a farm you tend to find that walking is one of the few options you have for a pastime. Though the space provided in a large garden and open fields do mean you can have a pretty kick-ass party now and again.


As I mentioned, I was trailing through Miss Brennan and my Miss Joanna Forrester’s photo collections in the hope of finding something that shows “where I live” for today’s Daily Prompt. What I realised was that the place I grew up in is quite different now than Garden Gate (Antonia Brennan)the place my parent’s brought newborn baby me home to all those years ago. This hedge for example:, the one behind the gate on the other side of what was supposed the be a vegetable patch once upon a time. I remember my mother pulling the trees for that hedge out of the back of a Land Rover and planting them along the paddock. The hedge doesn’t extend the full length of the paddock, there was supposed to be a gate at the end but it has spent the last, oh I don’t know… ten years? leaning against a fence which is possibly more likely to fall down than the unattached gate. Apple Tree (Antonia Brennan)

The little gate that you can see replaced a stile, and for a couple of years we had a vegetable garden and a sort of orchard. The four apple trees survived but the pear trees sadly did not. You have to watch out for the stumps if you’re brave enough to go and mow the lawn in there. (Those are the shoes which earned Antonia the title of Pink Boots, the only name for her that my Grandfather ever remembers. Don’t ask why they are in an apple tree, neither she or my sister would explain what they were up to that day.)

What was left of the paddock became The overgrown garden. This was where my sister and I went on archaeological digs, which turned into the attempted construction of an underground lair. (i.e a very large hole in the ground.) We had the trampoline which turned all our socks filthy, got singed during a bonfire one November and then finally taken apart so that it could be stored away during a party in case any drunk people decided to go bouncing. Three years on and none of us have bother to put it back together again. Maybe this summer though. (Probably not.)

For a less than outdoorsy person, I had quite an outdoorsy childhood. If the weather was warm enough my sister and I would go paddling in the brook just down the drive. All you had to do was avoid the peat bogs that dotted the stream and avoid taking The Brook (Joanna Forrester)the dog anywhere near it because she hates water and is quite happy to tip you into it if she thinks you’re trying to make her go in. Of course at this time of year the brook would be freezing… though I do think one of my friends did go paddling in January one year just to prove she could… As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I hang out with unusual individuals. Orchard (Antonia Brennan)

Everything changes though. Now the vegetable garden looks more like the overgrown garden, we never took out branches from out apple trees so the branches always attack you and the mover if you get too close and the rabbits invaded. The overgrown garden has that many warrens that we deem it best to stay out of there than risk total cave in these days. Twemlows is still my home but since I learnt how to drive and started uni I spent less and less time in the gardens or walking the farm. (Not that I walked the farm that much to begin with.)

Maybe this summer, instead of a garden party I’ll organise a small poetry BBQ of something of the sort? It’s been nice looking back at old photographs.

Cup Of Tea Anyone?

photo 1

Determined not to be beaten by the power cuts here in Shropshire my mother decided that she could boil water on top of our little log burner in the sitting room. After about three hours of playing cards by candlelight the water was just about hot enough to make a cuppa.

photo 2 (1)

Not the best tasting tea apparently, but it was something.