NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Four: Sweeter Echo

I’ve caught your words in my mouth

once or twice

since you’ve been gone.

They fall like sugar,

dissolving into conversation,

stirred past,

almost before I have time to notice

that I said themĀ instead of you.

Even past death

you voice lives on.




NaPoWriMo – Day One: Dupe


When I was told that for two years

you squeezed your eyelids shut

each time a sneeze scuttled upwards

and threatened your sinuses,

for fear of them bursting from their sockets,

I hid my smile with two hands of guilt.

I buried my bead of triumph.

That lick of power

burning like a forest fire in my lungs

as laughter bubbled in its pot

threatened to burst the lid,

and show the world how much I loved,

the idea that I had tricked you.

So fully,

so unintentionally well

that even your best friend failed

in convincing you it was a lie.


We’re finally here and I’m practically bouncing off the walls with excitement. As with every other year that I’ve taken part, I took one look at the prompt this morning and went “pftt, I can’t write something for that,” and walked away from it. A few hours later the little seed that it left in my brain came up with half an idea and I managed to write a poem for it.

The prompt was to write a poem based on a secret shame or a secret pleasure. This memory was actually a mixture of both. As a child I told my sister’s best friend that if she sneezed with her eyes open then her eyes would pop out, that’s why we close out eyes. It was nonsense of course but she believed me and years later my sister revealed that from that day on she’d taken to screwing her eyes shut in terror each time she sneezed for fear she’d accidentally leave them open and both her eyes would pop out.

It was one of those moments where you feel both mean and a little proud that you managed to trick someone so completely. It also made for the perfect response for this prompt.

Back In Time

Some nights I dream I’m back at school,

stomach crawling up my throat

while I wait

for the hall to open its doors,

and swallow me whole.

I return to being terrified,

to being her.

I remember it too well,

she’s not gone far.


I love the quadrille night over at the DVerse Poets Pub. Tonight’s prompt for your 44 word poem is ‘dream’. Take it however you like so long as the word ‘dream’ or a derivative of it appears in the poem.

The Fairy Tales In Our Afternoons

There is a door along a hill, set back into the stone with a small flight of stairs to reach it. When I was little I thought this door lead to a wonderland and when my Grandmother took me walking, my sister and I would make up stories about what could be found on the other side and how the magic would work to get us there.

The Ram Steps were narrow and cut down into the rock face. In summer, when the trees were in full leaf, it felt like we were miles from anywhere, descending into dwarven ruins deep beneath the earth. Our secret stairway, hands pressed to the sides to keep our feet from slipping of lead mulch in the Autumn.

In the Bluebell Wood we tracked the old carriage road and peered through the gaps in the hedge and past the Ha Ha into the gardens beyond. We collected conkers from the trees overhanging my Grandmother’s fields and I would imagine a time when great ladies in long dresses would have come sweeping down the pathways just out of my sight.

It is a matter,

of what you can see, not what

is actually there.


Today’s prompt for the Monday Haibun was to write a piece inspired by the theme of walking. Now I’m not much of a walker myself, but growing up in a family where my Grandmother always had a dog, weekends with her meant afternoon walks. I have some very fond memories of making up stories about secret gardens and fairy tales lands with my sisters as we wandered around with my Grandmother. Even as a child I loved to create stories, and I loved to tell people all about them.

Seeing that little door when I go past it still brings me joy. Make sure to click the badge above and check out the rest of the lovely poets at the DVerse Poets Pub. Happy Monday.


In the mornings we would bake.


crust pastry

fairy cakes.

You’d whip round those edges,

make them trim

and leave the bits

for leaves and berries

from tiny fingertips.

Chairs pushed against worktops

one on either side,

you showed us how to do

this and that.

In the afternoons we shared apples.

Jo and I sat together

and you

with that single strand peel

turning always turning

until it coiled around my childhood

and tugged out an adult

who will always miss you,


and apples.



Julia ‘Ba’ Farr – 2 April 1915 – 17 November 2015