NaPoWriMo – Early Bird Prompt: Letters To Nowhere

Letters To Nowhere

There are no postmarks for lost corners,

you can’t address an envelope

to the shadows between the pavements slabs

where you slipped from reach

days before I noticed you were gone.


When my hand closed around thin air

I could feel a chord pulling down,

yanking through my chest

into some deeper part of me,

where everything lost collects

and vanishes all at once.


The weight of your ghost became a stone

knocking against my ribs

like the second hand on a clock

forever stuck in turning circles

coming back to the starting mark

over and over again

until no one comes to wind it.


I still turn the covers of my bed,

expecting to find you inside some nights.

Pressed between the sheets

as if you’d been there all along

simply waiting for me to come back.

It is almost too easy to dream.


Tomorrow is the first of April and the first day of National Poetry Writing Month! That’s right, thirty days, thirty poems, and a whole host of eccentric people who are readying themselves to get in on the challenge.

Today we have the Early Bird Prompt which is a recycled prompt from previous NaPoWriMos, The challenge is to write a love letter to an inanimate object. Now there are actually a couple of things that inspired this piece. A teddy bear I called ‘Snowy’ that was about the same length as my hand, and a locket I lost during primary school that my great-grandmother had given to me. Both items failed to show up again and their loses were quite significant to younger me.

Let me know what you think of the poem, or if you are a fellow NaPoWriMo participant. In the meantime, thank you for reading and happy writing.

Dear Ba

1st March 2018


Dear Ba,

Do you remember how you started your letters?

I found three from when I was at uni today,

tucked away in a drawer the envelopes broken open beside them.


They all start differently

but none are dated so I can’t be sure when exactly you wrote them.

One is marked as Sunday and another with Market Drayton

as if I might have forgotten where you were

in the time between visits.


They mostly read the same.

You haven’t done much and are short of news to tell.

Sat around in your living room enjoying coffee and choc rolls,

telling me of the weather

and who hasn’t been to visit recently

only for Granny’s post-script notes to correct you afterwards.


In Sunday you change tact,

letting slip moments of history like castaway comments

in the way you always did during conversations.

You say ‘I’m an not a very good letter writer

but here goes

I will do my best

good job Geoff only lived in the next Village

or he would have finished with me years ago

Kitty fowler tried to

but I wom

mum always bought me nice clothes

so I think that helped’


You were never one for punctuation,

always preferred Maths

and loved to say how clever you had been

back when you were at school.


So here goes,

the latest news from this end as best as I can tell it.

The wedding will be June,

I’m sorry you won’t see me,

but I’ll feel you every step of the way.

You met Sean on a few occasions

but never remembered him afterwards,

though you seemed to like him at the time.

Mum still works outside with her hands,

Joanna is at university studying enginerring

and no they are not just men’s jobs anymore.

I have taken up a careers in accounting,

your love for numbers must have gone deeper than I thought

but I still spill words onto pages

whenever there is a pen and a blank sheet available.

Outside it is snowing like the time Grandad built a sledge

from a plastic tub with water piping runners.

Joanna and I played on the bank by the oak

until we were soaked and frozen to the bone.

Warming ourselves beside your electric heater,

we listened to you tell us stories

about being the only women

with a driving licence in your village.

How hid under the stairs when the air raids came,

and your husband drove home during blackouts

headlights shuttered and milk-bottle glasses

perched on his nose.


I don’t doubt you had more stories left to tell,

and I’m sorry I didn’t have chance to hear them.

Maybe someday I will find you

and you can tell me everything you forgot

to put in your letters.




Tonight at DVersePoetsPub we’re being challenged to write letters, though I think this might be cheating slightly as I have quite literally quoted from a letter I received from my Great-gran while I was studying history in Bath.

The prospect of writing a letter always reminds me of her so I couldn’t try to write anything else for this prompt without first writing her a letter.

Written In Merlot

My dearest Felicity,

I have given up on Wisdom. Strange as it may seem; Wisdom and I are simply incompatible and my apologies-

But you must choose.

I would advise you to choose wisely but I am far too selfish to mean such a thing.

Yours in foolishness and nonsense