All posts tagged: words

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. …


There is power in knowledge we say. Hands sunk into pages, curling under typography and quill scratch to drag out the secrets someone else left behind.   There is power in knowledge we say. Tapping at temples to indicate something more locked away under synapse and cell, a threat that the safety could easily be clicked off.   There is power in words we say, even ones unheard. Loose lips spill secrets, cost lives, loose wars… then again, clever ones can do just the same.

Day One: An Epistle

Dear Novels Which Lie Incomplete.   Do not hate me if a cannibalize a chapter or two to finish something else. It’s not that you’re not good enough, but those chapters are the best of you and the rest would have been lost to edits anyway.   I have not forgotten you. No matter how surprised I may act when your manuscript turns up dusty and freshly unearthed from the space beneath spare beds or cupboards where the hinges have rusted. I always knew you were there.   I will eventually, place one of you on a shelf and say this was my first. Then the rest of you can wait for a time when my pen finds enough ink to get you from notes and character sheets to the publishers print.

The Wait

You were late. Kept the rest of us waiting; hands bearing down on pocket linings as we hunted for the warmth of previous hours before the storm. “He will be here.” she said, your wife of three months. We did not comment on the press of curves against the clarity of damp cotton; only offered her jackets which she refused with the comment: “They are not his.” We stood ankle deep in leaves, eyes towards the bank where track met road and carriages might run. We heard the horses first; they did not like the thunder. I wonder if you screamed as well? (Prompt: “The air was expectant…”)


Grampa Phillip was her mother’s father and after the funeral he stuck around for a bit. Natalie didn’t mind. She’d liked Grampa Phillip and it was nice to have him poking fun of Dad’s useless attempt at putting up shelves in the study, even if everyone else seemed set against acknowledging he hadn’t gone yet. He received visitors now and then. Only one really, and he didn’t seem to like the gentleman much. Natalie giggled when the skinny man turned up and Grampa Phillip swore and kicked him out the house. “I’ll be there when I dam well chose to be! Can’t you see I have a granddaughter to spoil first!”   When he did leave, they all went with him. The whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins; everyone. Natalie watched them all pour through the doors of Grampa Phillip’s house and set about business. “Needed a good clean for a bit.” he grumbled, waving at the pile of newspapers from 1943. “Never seemed the time to get around it all though; so what would have …

Working Out The Kinks

She wasn’t supposed to save him, she was supposed to strike the final blow and end his suffering. That was the task dealt to her by the Valkyries and that was the task she had every intention of carrying out. Until she saw his face. Unmarried and without family, Eveline’s mother was labelled a whore when the village learnt of the pregnancy. Considered witches by many, Eveline and her mother keep to their woodland cottage, selling tinctures and salves to those who dare to venture close enough. That is until the autumn of 1066 when William, Duke of Normandy lands of English shores to take the Crown. When Eveline sleeps she sees the battle to come. She knows that the English King will fall and the Norman army will march on towards London where William will take his throne. The death of another King is not what wakes her screaming though. The remains of the Battle of Hastings will bring about Eveline’s greatest folly, a folly that she will spend lifetimes trying to fix.   …

Safe Bet

We were the safe bet The if I wasn’t married by thirty bet But fear kicked in sooner than that The panic gripped me sooner than that And by twenty three we were wed To ‘love and cherish’ and ‘I do’ was said Spoke false vows and tied the knot Pretending this was something it was not   Can you blame me for straying? After the hoping and praying The wondering of what if Asking was this all there is?   You were the safe bet The if I wasn’t married by thirty bet   But I grew bored of just friendship…   He was all edges and corners No niceness or warnings And I burnt beneath touches Was painted again by his brushes Became a masterpiece not a sketch Something more than sinew and flesh As he carved open my chest And found the heart that was left…   You were the safe bet The if I wasn’t married by thirty bet We were never in love really Never really saw more in me …

Hunting for Creativity

Today I wanted to be creative. I wanted the words to flow Four am wake ups from rogue ideas And conceded scribbles to bribe back sleep.   I needed the clatter of keyboards Rattling my mind for the last drops Waiting for the final thunk of gold The smudges of ink that pulled a chapter whole.   Instead I got the crumpled paper Of half hearted attempts to write. Jottings, notes and contradicting plots Which spin webs of confusion in my mind.   Works that once seemed good Fractured beneath my own acid gaze.   I’m supposed to be a writer Why can I not pin you down? Where’s my sledge hammer for this block? How do you bury my words so far beneath ground?