LEADERS - not followers

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


For We Write Poems


My home is my castle
I stay out in the midday sun
I am an Englishman


For ABC Wednesday – X


Mission to eXact revenge
My eyes fiXed back in anger
As he’s looking back in fear

This eX acquaintance of mine
He who shall remain nameless
Let’s just call him Mr. X

X-man beware; not long now
X marks the spot; day and date
Get on your knees; say a prayer
Sign of the X; penance due

Just when he least eXpects it
Punishment shall be eXtreme
It’s no eXaggeration
He will wish he was eXtinct

First I’ll eXtract my pleasure
eXcruciating and slow
XXX rated; brutal
Then, at last, I can relaX

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Q & A

For Big Tent Poetry

This week’s prompt
Recently, at the wonderful, amazing, inspiring IRL feedback group that Carolee and I belong to, one of the poets shared with us her desire to turn a current poem into a “conversation poem.”
She sent us some samples, including Mark Strand’s “
Answer” and the haunting “Conversation” by the late poet Ai, in which the speaker both asks the question and supplies the answer (though the departed does indeed respond, as you will see).
Is there a question you are burning to ask someone? Is there a person (living or dead) you would love to have a conversation with? Maybe, as our IRL poet friend shared, you have had a conversation with someone that bears repeating (and examining through poetry’s sharp lens). Perhaps someone has posed a question to you that you simply, at the time, could not answer. Take some time this week and compose your answer in the form of a poem.
Whether or not you write your poem in Strand’s question and answer format, or ask and imagine the answers as Ai did, this week, be sure to ask the really hard questions! Work hard to find the answers! Then, come back and share the whole conversation!


Click to hear ASK


One team’s fruit menu
Reorganised as a rule
Imperial base
When expressed digitally
The top of the world revealed


Rearrange? Reorganise?
Say what…?
Woo hoo…!
Digitally expressed…reveals…?

You want the numbers…?

Twenty nine thousand and twenty eight
I mean
2-9-0-2-8: Digits
Means what?
That’s the height of Mount Everest…
In feet – Imperial base…
You know…?


Used for the first time
On watch right around the clock
For an entire week


First things first; the first time
Do you remember yours?
First time is the Second
Time unit wise, that is

Used as in ‘utilised’?
Or as in ‘second-hand’?
Watch as in ‘guard-duty’?
Or watch as in ‘wristwatch’?

A watch’s second hand
Goes right around the clock
One time every minute
And sixty times an hour

One thousand, four hundred
And forty times a day
By the end of the week
The answer that you seek
Works out at ten thousand
And eighty (minutes long)


QUIET PLEASE! The stage is set
The entire cast is assembled
Is the order of the day
Starting from number one

Without a sound, they form five groups
The thing we must determine
The average
Value of each of these groups
Logical progression


Alphabetical order
Is the way it’s usually done
So, if A equals one
Z equals twenty six

There are just FIVE VOWEL SOUNDS
In the English alphabet
If we leave these sounds ‘without’
We can add up all the rest

B to D; they equal nine
The average then, is three
F to H; make twenty one
With seven the average

J to N; talking sixty
With an average of twelve
P to T; they score ninety
The average is eighteen

That leaves; W to Z
For one hundred and twenty
Giving them an average
Of exactly twenty four


Our last song is called
‘The Unlucky Number Song’
Count on the intro
To explain the reason why
It’s called ‘unlucky number’


So, you want an intro, eh?
I’ll give you one… two, three, four!
What’s unlucky about that?

Absolutely nothing, mate

OK… all over again
A-one, two… one, two, three, four!
THAT’S an unlucky number!
Thirteen…add ‘em up… agreed?

Monday, June 28, 2010


For The American Sandwich
And The NaiSaiKu Challenge?


I’m suspicious of correspondence marked ‘Private and Confidential’.
I’m definitely not keen on envelopes stamped with ‘O.H.M.S’.
I much prefer a hand-written address, and a stamp that’s licked, not franked.


There are Four Strong Winds
Blowing from all directions
Blowing from all directions
There are Four Strong Winds

Sunday, June 27, 2010


For Carry On Tuesday
If you really want to hear about it…

And Monday Poetry Train Revisited

Click to hear - Who Are The Mystery Girls?


They remain a mystery you’ll never solve
Though you’ve followed all the leads, sought out the clues
Even educated guesswork will involve
Subtle powers of deduction that confuse

If you don’t prepare the process, mentally
You can’t qualify yourself for such a task
But to Sherlock Holmes, it’s elementary
If you really want to know about them, ask!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


For Writers Island prompt #9 2010

Click to hear 'Made of Stone'


Fantasy Football…

ENGLAND win World Cup Final…!

Fantasy Island…?

MAG 20

For Magpie Tales


Recent excavations have revealed
The very first toothbrushes
Oral hygiene, Egyptian style
Five thousand years old ‘Crestwells’

Ever since then, mankind has used
Tree twigs and roots; birds feathers
All manner of organic tools
From porcupine quills to bones

Roots and twigs of ‘Arak’ tree, had
Antiseptic qualities
While Baking Soda; Chalk, rubbed in
Has served as toothpaste for years

Those synthetic, man-made fibres
Used in toothbrushes today
Replaced the natural products
Back in Nineteen Thirty Eight

And then in Two Thousand and Three
Toothbrush voted Number One
Invention that Americans
Couldn’t live their lives without

Friday, June 25, 2010


For Poetry On Wednesday #9

WHO AM I? Write a poem about a well know person,
celebrity, historical or mythical figure.
Please do not reveal the name . It should be fun to guess who it is .
If you want to write another terza rima sonnet for practice I would not oppose the idea!
See you next Wednesday POW.

Mine is about two people with hugely contrasting personalities.
Most of the words are either actual quotes or, paraphrased from the original,
which may or may not make it easy to identify one or both of them:


When Angels say “Good Morning!”
It’s like sixty minutes on acid

It is either good or bad

You know... it makes my head look smaller
Makes me desire things repulsive
Things with hairless armpits, but full of hatred
With no possibility of cheating

I notice all the little details
The way things really, honestly are

Freedom is the worst thing
And young achievers need difficulties

...Or have I stopped making sense?

That I don’t notice these things anymore
Helps me remember to forget
Poets compare; idiots repeat
I really do enjoy forgetting

The best thing in life is me
...I’ve written it down somewhere



It’s like sixty minutes on acid
You know... it makes my head look smaller

I notice all the little details
The way things really, honestly are
Or have I stopped making sense?
That I don’t notice these things anymore
Helps me remember to forget
I really do enjoy forgetting
...I’ve written it down somewhere


When Angels say “Good Morning!”
It is either good or bad
Makes me desire things repulsive
Things with hairless armpits, but full of hatred
With no possibility of cheating
Freedom is the worst thing
And young achievers need difficulties
Poets compare; idiots repeat
The best thing in life is me


Here’s the full quotations:
In red by (?)
In yellow by (?)

It's like 60 Minutes on acid.

I like it, murder, because this is courage. It is anti-bourgeois. Murder is closer to heaven, because after becoming remords de conscience, one prays, one opens the sky, and the angels say, “Good morning!”

I wanted my head to appear smaller and the easiest way to do that was to make my body bigger. ...

In the subconscious you fuck ugly people, never beautiful, because the libido always desires something repulsive.

What is an elegant woman? An elegant woman is a woman who despises you and who has no hair under her arms.

Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.

I really enjoy forgetting. When I first come to a place, I notice all the little details. I notice the way the sky looks. The color of white paper. The way people walk. Doorknobs. Everything. Then I get used to the place and I don't notice those things anymore. So only by forgetting can I see the place again as it really is.

You know the worst thing is freedom. Freedom of any kind is the worst for creativity. You know, (????) spent two months in jail in Spain, and these two months were the most enjoyable and happy in my life. Before my jail period, I was always nervous, anxious. I didn’t know if I should make a drawing, or perhaps make a poem, or go to the movies or the theatre, or catch a girl, or play with the boys. The people put me in jail, and my life became divine. Tremendous!

The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.

Every morning when I wake up, I experience an exquisite joy — the joy of being (????)— and I ask myself in rapture: What wonderful things is this (????) going to accomplish today?Every morning when I awake, the greatest of joys is mine: that of being (????).

Ah, UNESCO is the most garbage. Any kind of organization for the good will of the people is impossible. It is necessary for the contrary. Young people need plenty of difficulties to achieve something, you know? If you receive a little money for this, a little money for that, everything becomes mediocre, and collapses ig-no-min-i-ously!

I have something to say about the difference between American and European cities, but I forgot what it was. I have it written down at home somewhere.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


For Friday Flash 55


Before the last World Cup, I met Frank Adams
- wearing an England shirt –
at the Cambodian border.

“Great ‘ere, innit?
Told ‘em I were Phil Neville.
Now they all want me autograph.”

Typical of Frank.

If he’d worn a Brazil top that day
and called himself Ronaldo,
they’d still have been clamouring for his autograph.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


For Three Word Wednesday


Version Identification.Format


For Big Tent Poetry

This week’s prompt
Like so many of you, I have been deeply troubled by the oil spill in the Gulf. I have wanted to write about it, but I haven’t known how. I was talking with
Jill about it over coffee a few days ago, and she instructed me: That has to be your next prompt!
What has to be my next prompt? Writing about the oil spill? Maybe, but not necessarily. Here’s what I tried to do:
I started at the top of a page, “I want to write about the oil spill, but I don’t know how,” and then I continued to free write about not knowing how to write about it (which, of course, lead to writing about it). So that’s the first part of this prompt. Start at the top of a page, “I want to write about __________, but I don’t know how.”
You can fill in the blank with “oil spill” as I did, or you can fill it in with “my mother’s death” or “mulch” or “cupcakes.” It doesn’t matter what you choose, but make it something you don’t think you know how to write about. Now free write about not knowing how. Ready, set, go!
Maybe the free write gives you enough phrases you can steal and make a poem. If so, great! If not, you can continue with the second part of this prompt, which is to turn your subject into an extended metaphor. As you cull phrases from your free write, consider what “oil” is (or what “cupcakes” represent) in your life, its patterns, your behaviors, your memories. Flesh out your poem with this symbolism. Go with it wherever it wants to go.

I want to write about Values, but I don’t know how.


This is Thailand, Buddha’s Thailand
Amazing Thailand, Land of the smile
The place that has become my home
I’m surrounded by happy people

I guess many would look at my life
Thinking that I’ve had it easy
And I’d be the first one to admit
That although by no means easy
I’ve taken pretty much what I’ve wanted
From life’s cynical situation

If it all seems like a cop-out
I guess, in many ways, it is
But I’ve adjusted to it well

I’ve earned my terms and conditions
Now I exercise their options

Along the way, I’ve made mistakes
Far too numerous to mention
But isn’t the beauty of making them
The opportunity to learn?

Believe me, I’ve never stopped learning
I’ve learnt the importance of values
As well as their place in my life

Merely to have and to hold them
Commendable enough in itself
But most unsatisfactory
If they’re not put into practice
To prove the worth of our theories

To believe in them, sincerely
While merely paying them lip-service
Is a start – but barely adequate

Our ideals have to be nurtured
Allowed to grow and develop
Until they truly do become
The very essence of our being

Never be content with merely
Having ideals, and faith in them
Put them into practice – own them

We end up with a thing so pure
So unique and so durable
It can never be eroded
By the patient passage of time
Or taken away by the envious

Though many may try to imitate

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


For ABC Wednesday – W


Lao Khao, see sip digri
Rice Whiskey (at least) 40% ABV


For The NaiSaiKu Challenge?
And The American Sandwich


Honeysuckle sweet
Summer air enters the room
Summer air enters the room
Honeysuckle sweet


Before the competition started, I was feeling quite excited.
Now the underdogs are doing well, while the fancied teams are struggling.
Who’d bet against New Zealand or South Africa winning the World Cup?

Monday, June 21, 2010


For We Write Poems - Wordle

bad day

you must be mad if you think
i’ll have a happy birthday
when i’m feeling so nervous
i could drown in my own sweat
as if things weren’t bad enough
the party you planned for me
is all you talk of lately
why do you obsess yourself
with such trivial matters
what with carbon emissions
glacial meltdown caused by drought
warming the arctic circle
raising global sea levels
all adding to my sorrow

Sunday, June 20, 2010



We have been up and running for two months already . Doesn't time whizz by?
I am huddled here in furs and you lot are sipping cool drinks by the pool enjoying the cicadas.
So, to celebrate your summer, next week's poem is called ' Twilight in Summer '.
Choose a piece of music thatexpresses summer twilight and put it on for next week.
Make sure it is on you tube so that we can listen to it while reading your poem.
Oh, and I almost forgot....in terza rima sonnet form please.I think this is easier than the Shakespearean or the Petrarchan sonnet form...good one for those who have not written a sonnet before.
The use of iambic pentameter is optional. Viv and I wrote some examples of IP in the last post as examples.
Looking forward to discovering your musical tastes and as always your interesting and enjoyable poetry.


I won’t pretend to be a Classical Music buff.
I’ve chosen three tunes I can relate to…
Not Twilight Tunes per se
But tunes that can be interpreted to invoke
Twilight in broader terms.

In my opinion, three tunes that would grace
the collections of anyone who is serious about music
and/or, who writes poetry; forming
a tribute, not only to Twilight,
but also to Poets and Musicians,

Leonard Cohen
Maya Angelou/ Branford Marsalis
Pharaoh Sanders

As long as I gaze on Waterloo Sunset, I am in paradise - The Kinks


When twilight’s veil announces sun’s retreat
Those holier than thou shall say ‘Repent’
Will you be ready to admit defeat?

They’ll speak in voices they think heaven sent
That overturn the order of the soul
You’ve paid your dues up front - you owe no rent

Still they’ll persist; your dignity their goal
Not Christ, nor Hiroshima; loaded gun
Could influence this mind they would control

So things are gonna slide; it won’t be fun
You know… it’s not your first night on this Earth
You’ve seen the future… seen the setting sun

The Future - Leonard Cohen
Click to listen


Salute Cicada sunset serenade
Propose a toast to evening’s golden glow
Watch twilight fall as light transforms to shade

The solstice sun sure likes to go down slow
To match the mood of hope for summer love?
Caged birds fly free not wishing to forego

This gentle glimpse of goodness from above
For things unknown but longed for still they yearn
Like unrequited passion; hand in glove

Though bathed in evening’s glory, they too learn
That freedom is a dream that won’t come true
Their hopes are dashed; and to their cage return

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Buckshot LeFonque
Click to listen


Harmonium, distorted Tabla beat
Keyboard, Soprano Sax; ethereal
Paid homage to the summer twilight heat

The evening air with tones imperial
And watched the sunset stain the sky blood-red
As sundown sang its nightly serial

Crescendo built in waves of words unsaid
As darkness overcame the sinking sun
And fleeting signals echoed in my head

While dreams proclaimed ‘goodnight the day is done’
The music faded - Tabla tones beat on
The mellow tune retired; its course was run

Jewels Of Love - Pharoah Sanders
Click to listen


overturn the order of the soul
things are gonna slide
seen the future
All from the song ‘The Future’ by Leonard Cohen

things unknown but longed for still
From the poem ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ by Maya Angelou
Set to music by Branford Marsalis

Based on ‘Jewels of love’ by Pharaoh Sanders

Here's some more music I like: MASTERPLAN

Check out Evening Over Rooftops by The Edgar Broughton Band
(in the sidebar - 'Playlist')
A very well written song; perfect for this prompt.
(Though not Terza Rima)

I've also added the Youtube video viewer but it's a bit pot luck.
Not too sure how to set it up.

And I just remembered a song called Twilight by Pete Shelley.
That's in the Playlist too.

And... just for you, Rall I've added Szla Dzieweczka
(Which means 'Precious Girl')
Ha ha...!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


For Writers Island prompt#8 2010


I sussed you out man
From the moment I laid eyes
You made it easy

I seen you coming
In the corner of my eye
I got your number

Ain’t got no reason
For the things you wanna do
You got a problem

You gotta learn man
To accept the way you are
And take it easy

Just how many times
Do I have to tell you why
How many times man

Tell me so I know
And we’ll try to go down slow
Like in the movies

Gotta get along
Tell me which way turns you on
We’ll do it all man

What more could you want
From your fickle style of life
What do you need man

Don’t take my word man
It’s a racing certainty
It’s safe as houses

I’ll catch ya later
When the mood suits me just fine
Know what I mean man

You take it easy
And remember who you are
I’ll teach you how man

You make it easy
I can see it in your eyes
I sussed you out man

Friday, June 18, 2010


For Magpie Tales


Handle angle blade

Organized acuity

At the cutting edge

Thursday, June 17, 2010


For Friday Flash 55


several pints
of Real Ale,
Duncan decided he needed
to make a telephone call.
“I wish I’d bought that mobile.”
Luckily, the phone shop was next door.
After making his call, he took a trip
to meet his friend in the Twenty Fifth Century.
That was the pub's name – he’d bought a cheap phone…

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


For Three Word Wednesday


Slash and burn; erase
No trace of harvest remains
Rice field, now meadow


For One Single Impression - Dawn
And We Write Poems - Distateful


It was not the Vuvuzelas

It was not the match ball
It was not the training facilities
It was not the match officials
It was not the playing surface

It was not the altitude
It was not the attitude
It was not the team coach
It was not the team selection

It was not the team tactics
It was not the missed chances
It was not the injury list
It was not the fans reactions

It was not the time added on
It was not a fluke
It was not fixed
It was not fair

It was just not cricket
It was not the world cup that was
It was the world cup that was not
It was not that we was not lucky

…We was robbed!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


For Big Tent Poetry

It’s Wordle time!
This week’s words were pulled from a widely published poet’s work.
Your prompt this week is to pick one or any number of these words and write a poem!
Next week we’ll reveal who the mystery poet is in the Come One, Come All post.
We hope this prompt will inspire you to read and write more poetry!


Ever wondered where Heaven is?
Look around you, you will find
The land of milk and honey is
A suburb of purgatory

Where the ignorant know comfort
Through preying on our misfortune
While our own children go hungry
Though seemingly oblivious

To the dull ache in their stomachs

Ambition can be dangerous
When living in the Dark Ages
Where we play out our walk-on part
In the lives of wannabe stars

Therefore we do not resent them
We offer only thanks and praise
Cough timidly for attention
As we tug at our forelocks

… We’re a people who know our place.


For ABC Wednesday -V -


Monday, June 14, 2010


For Naisaiku Challenge?
And The American Sandwich
And Poetry On Wednesday
And Carry On Tuesday
When you are old and gray and full of sleep

POW NaiSaiKu

È l’ultimo bacio
Is (this) the last kiss goodbye
In Italian?

COT NaiSaiKu

When you are ninety
Old and gray and full of sleep
Will you remember
Will you remember
Young and blonde and full of life
When you are ninety


Interviewer: What would you say is your lifetime’s greatest achievement?
Candidate: That has to be teaching myself to speak Italian.
Luckily for Bill, Mr. Paradorn only spoke Thai and English..

Sunday, June 13, 2010



This week's prompt is Italian.The point is to use a sprinkling of Italian words in your poem. The photos are there to inspire you. I saw these movies light years ago and they are classics. For those who have not seen 'Marriage Italian Style', 'Divorce Italian Style,' or ' Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow' I have put a video clip (strip scene) up for your enjoyment.This scene was reproduced with the same actors thirty years later in 'Pret A Porter' with a different ( and I bet you have guessed) outcome.The top photo is from a movie called 'Seduced and Abandoned' another Italian classic made in 1963. Gianncarlo Giannini in 'Swept Away' is a must see. It was made in the 70s( fabulous movie). I have not seen it since then but still remember it vividly. Guy Ritchie reproduced it with Madonna in the female starring role .It was a dismal failure.This is pt 1 of the 'Language Sprinkle Series' Other languages to be used in future poems are French, Spanish and I am still pondering German! Marianne will be able to tell her friends that she has written poems in three different languages:) When I say sprinkling I mean just a few words here and there. As Francis probably knows lots of Italian words, he is allowed to do lashings (rude ones too) but he has to tell us what they mean! Ciao bello... amore mio!


Bruno’s got his work cut out stasera
dealing with a new age breed
of teppisti malavitosi
who think that Antipasti
is the name of a rock ‘n’ roll band

It’s not just their arrogant college grad tones
that Bruno finds so seccante
They’re all wearing suits from Milano
that shout in voices louder still

And so they come to his house
and they ask him to commit murder…
(They’ve ordered a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau
Apparently, the new Valpolicella)
…by passing on a cooking tip or two

Somebody do him a favour
Un favore, per favore

The day will never come
when Bruno cooks with rapeseed oil
rather than olio d’oliva
serves glasses of Beaujolais
in place of Valpolicella
melts chunks of Swiss Gruyère
…the new Mozarella, don’t you know?

He could be forgiven
if, at this preciso momento
he’s feeling rather proud
to call himself Italiano

Unlike someone else he could mention
like that trendy TV gourmet chef
who goes by his alter ego
of Capo Di Tutti Capi

Un duro periodo di miseria elapses

Thinks: Il capoegli diventa
an overnight sensation
disgracing his famiglia
in the process of growing rich
A complete embarrassment
to the Italian nation

This man has surely incurred the wrath
of paesani Siciliano


or should I have said
Boungiorno Notte…?

The Sun Also shines at night, don’t you know?

Yesterday, I was drunk
Seven kilometres from Jerusalem
talking to The Caiman

Was I seeing double?

He appeared to be
Come due coccodrilli
and they were telling me
Tales of Ordinary Madness

‘You know what?’ they say

La vita è bella
...La seconda volta

Volere volare
Tutta la vita davanti
La tragedia di un uomo ridicolo
Fuori dal mondo

…Come te nessuno mai’

There were no sub-titles for me
so, in broken English, they explained

Don’t move
Once you’re born you can no longer hide
The keys to the house



Stasera – tonight/this evening
teppisti malavitosi – underworld thugs
Antipasti – (literally) before the meal
Seccante – irritating/tireosome
Milano - Milan
Valpolicella – Italian wine (similar characteristics to Beaujolais)
Un favore, per favore – a favour, please
olio d’oliva – olive oil
Mozarella – Italian cheese (similar characteristics to Swiss Gruyère
preciso momento – precise moment
Italiano – Italian
Capo Di Tutti Capi – Boss of Bosses
Un duro periodo di miseria – a hard time of misery
Il capo… egli diventa – the boss… he became
Famiglia - family
paesani Siciliano – Sicilian people

FILMS (and translations)

NON CI RESTA CHE PIANGERE - Nothing left to do but cry 1985
Buongiorno - Good morning
Boungiorno Notte – Good morning night 2003
The Sun Also shines at night 1990
Seven kilometres from Jerusalem 2007
The Caiman 2006
Come due coccodrilli – Like two crocodiles 1994
Tales of Ordinary Madness 1981- also a Charles Bukowski title
La vita è bella – Life is beautiful 1997
La seconda volta –The second time 1995
Volere volare – To want to fly - 1991
Tutta la vita davanti - All your life ahead of you 2008
è - is
La tragedia di un uomo ridicolo – The tragedy of a ridiculous man 1981
Fuori dal mondo – Not of this world 1999
Come te nessuno mai – But forever in my mind 1999
Don’t move 2004
Once you’re born you can no longer hide 2005
The keys to the house 2004

Saturday, June 12, 2010


For Writers Island Prompt #7 2010
And Monday Poetry Train Revisited


Thinking a lot

about my Dad

He would have been
ninety years old
on the first of June
Twenty Ten

He didn’t do
Metaphorical Milestones

‘Unnecessary fuss’

I think that’s because
they served as reminders
of things he’d rather
have chosen to forget

Terrible things

Unspeakable things

He’d survived the War
Nazi and Communist

leading to allied conscription

One of just a few
who came down the hill

Monte Cassino

Bloody Battlefield
to Bloody Battlefield

to Palestine

before England
where he spent
the next sixty years
struggling long and hard

to survive the peace

At home
Dad was one of those guys
you only needed to ask once

He didn’t forget or ignore

Ask him three months in advance
He’d remember

Every detail

He just had a gift for it

I once made the mistake
of reminding him
two weeks after first asking

You know what he said?

‘I heard you the first time’

I’m kinda like him
I don’t forget

If I can help it

I’ll never forget Dad

I can’t help it

Friday, June 11, 2010


For Friday Flash 55


was thinking
out loud again.
“What should I do
with that money I found?
It’s a toss-up between either
one of those brand new, cutting edge,
state of the art, all singing, all dancing
mobile telephones, with multi-dimensional, space and time travel,
and… disregarding technical innovations… blowing the lot down the pub!”

Thursday, June 10, 2010


For Three Word Wednesday


Hidden in our hearts
Trust allows them to roam free
Noble acts of love

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


For Big Tent Poetry

This week’s prompt
Emotion is in our poetry – on some level, be it evocative or exploratory, empathetic or explosive.
This week’s prompt is about anger. Maybe something or someone has pissed you off recently – someone you know or someone you don’t. Maybe it’s personal; maybe it’s philosophical. Maybe something in the Gulf of Mexico has you seething and frustrated. Maybe there are old hurts that still sting.
We want to explore that anger this week, but we want to do it in a controlled way. We want to focus our anger. While using emotion in our work can be fantastic, sometimes our poems can become overwrought unless we handle heat deftly. Sometimes the poem is more rant than revelation, or a lecture instead of a lesson or metaphor. Although that may be satisfying on a cathartic level, we might not get as much out of our poem as we could have had we focused that emotion and used it like a tool.
I read
Bill Moyer’s Fooling with Words recently. His interview with Shirley Geok-Lin Lim was striking. Lim said she used the strictest form structure she could think of to “control her anger,” in this case anger directed at the Chinese one-child policy that resulted in female infanticide. Out of her focused anger she wrote “Pantoun for Chinese Women.”
This week why don’t you try doing what Lim did? Use repetition, in the form of a pantoum, to focus your anger in the unique voice of poetry.
Pantoums aren’t as scary as one might think. You don’t have to rhyme or use meter (although poets did when the form was first created).
The modern pantoum is a poem of any length, composed of four-line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza serve as the first and third lines of the next stanza. The last line of a pantoum is often the same as the first.
Read Lim’s poem as an example, or look through the many samples linked at About.com. The Poetry Foundation has a couple of pantoums as does Read Write Poem. Spend a little time thinking about the form – and your anger – and see where it takes you.
The resultant poem does not be polished. Think of it as an exercise, a draft, an experiment in anger management that might create something powerful. Come back Friday and let us know how it went. (And if this exercise doesn’t grab you — try some other means to focus your anger in a poem.)
(If you need a book recommendation, I can happily point you to Moyer’s. Lot’s of great poetry and explanation, via Moyer’s interviews, about how a broad range of talented poets go at their work.)


Don’t tell me I’m over-reacting.
I’ll give you thirty two good reasons;
Better still, thirty two good hidings
One for each stitch the physician sewed.

I’ll give you thirty two good reasons
- Lessons in responsibility
One for each stitch the physician sewed -
Why my reaction is justified.

Lessons in responsibility;
Barely adequate compensation.
While my reaction is justified,
There’s still an outstanding bill to pay.

Barely adequate compensation
To show me the money; call it quits.
There’s still an outstanding bill to pay,
Although cash sounds reasonable… just.

Show me the money; we’ll call it quits?
I’d like to take my own pound of flesh,
Although cash sounds reasonable. Just
Don’t tell me I’m over-reacting.

I’d like to take my own pound of flesh.
Today, dark clouds dominate.
Don’t tell me I’m over-reacting;
Precipitation likely.

Today, dark clouds dominate;
Low pressure system develops;
Precipitation likely.
Long-term forecast, more promising.

Low pressure system develops.
Overcast conditions apply.
Long-term forecast, more promising;
Horizon coming into view.

Overcast conditions apply.
Sunny intervals later;
Horizon coming into view.
Perspective adjustment follows.

Sunny intervals later.
Tomorrow, a clear blue sky.
Perspective adjustment follows.
Today, dark clouds dominate.

Tomorrow, a clear blue sky;
The calm comes after the storm.
Today, dark clouds dominate.
Don’t tell me I’m over-reacting.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010


For Carry On Tuesday
In the day’s last light
And NaiSaiKu Challenge?
And The American Sandwich
And Monday Poetry Train Revisited


In the day’s last light
Final chance to see the sun
Final chance to see the sun
In the last day’s light


In the early morning’s first light, sleepy eyes welcome the rising sun.

In the afternoon sunlight of a perfect summer day, children swim.

In the day’s last light, we watch in awe as the setting sun pays homage.

Saturday, June 5, 2010



Write a cento poem based on the poetry of either Shakespeare or Charles Bukowski.
If you are feeling super surreal you could write one combining Shakespeare and Bukowski.
Enthusiasts could try one of each!A cento poem is a collage poem.
You choose lines from various poems and create a new poem from it.
Ideally the lines should fit seamlessly together to produce a homogenous piece.Please name the poems from which you derived your lines ( to impress us! )
These are such fun to write and the results are often amazing!
Oh no, I can hear all the moaning already across the Pacific.
Look...just think of all the good new poems you get to read.
Miss Pommeroy knows best!



As Buddha smiles
Slouching toward Nirvana
With declining head into his bosom,
The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold

Now is the winter of our discontent
And, if we meet, we shall not ‘scape a brawl
War All the Time
The Continual Condition

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips
Cold Dogs in the Courtyard
I know you two are rival enemies
Love is a Dog from Hell

And may it be that you have quite forgot
The Pleasures of the Damned
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…
Absence of the Hero

Run with the Hunted
From this day to the ending of the world

Lines 1, 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 17
Are all titles of poems by
Charles Bukowski
The other lines are quoted from
William Shakespeare
As follows:
3, The Taming of the Shrew - Act 1 Scene 1
4, Hamlet - Act 1 Scene 4
5, Richard III - Act 1 Scene 1
6, Romeo and Juliet - Act 3 Scene 1
9, Henry V - Act 3 Scene 1
13, A Midsummer Night's Dream - Act 4 Scene 1
14, Twelfth Night – Act 3 Scene 2
15, Hamlet - Act 3 Scene 1
18, Henry V - Act 4 Scene 3


For Writers Island #6 2010


Gentle persuasion; Sato
Signed me up for the team
Annual grudge-match to play
Village versus Village
Ten thirty in the morning
Forty two Celsius
Kick-off time Fourteen Hundred!
Subs bench suited me fine
More sandpit than playing field
But a real stadium
Two thousand-plus attendance
Down one side of the pitch
Cheerleaders, gaudily clad
Clash of the sound Systems
Simultaneous routines
Psychedelic costumes
Searing heat, Sato combined
Acid-free Acid-trip
Famous for the afternoon
Signing my autograph
It was a funny old game
Both teams equally bad
Evenly unbalanced match
Half-time score line nil-nil
Neither goalkeeper tested
Second half, much the same
Couple of long-range efforts
With full time beckoning
A substitution required
Star striker injury
Not so ‘super’ sub Stan Ski
Enters, number nineteen
Unbelievably, I scored
My first touch of the ball
Running in to trap a cross
In the box with left foot
Ball struck me on the right knee
Confused the goalkeeper
Bounced in the net off the post
One-nil to our village
Farang! Farang!’ came the cry
Just five minutes later
I put the game beyond doubt
An amazing feeling
I could hardly believe it
They were all amazed too
Stumbled on a poor clearance
Stuck my leg out and watched
Ball bobbled in slow motion
Into the onion bag
Triggered a pitch invasion
Game had to be held up
Teenage girls in Man U shirts
Screaming “Beckham Isan!”
Then the final whistle blew
We’d won the game two-nil
Both teams raced to shake my hand
I was Man of The Match
Score line somewhat flattering
For a match that had done
Absolutely not a thing
Whatever to enhance
The well-earned reputation
Of The Beautiful Game

Sato is home-brewed Rice Wine
Farang means Foreigner
Beckham Isan - David Beckham of North-East Thailand

Friday, June 4, 2010


For Big Tent Poetry

This week’s prompt
Earlier this week, the moon rose full and orange. It was gorgeous, and instead of worrying about werewolves or the other crazies that are supposed to be out and about during a full moon, I wanted to be one. Call it the pull of the moon or full moon fever, but as that glowing orb rose, the urge to do something wild and unpredictable grew like a daisy in time-lapse photography!
I’m not going to tell you if I did or did not indulge my urge to join the ranks of the wild and crazy, but I will put it into a poem. And that’s your job this week.
Write about something you would love to do but have never dared. Maybe you are indeed a poet who lives on the edge. Choose one of your greatest adventures and put it in a poem. Never ventured over to the dark side? Make something up! Keep us guessing. To quote Mary Oliver in “The Summer Day,” “Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?”


Full moon on the rise
Another day over
And nothing done but the day

So much more to life
Than nine to five routine
Wasted weekends down the pub
Pressure, pastimes, plans
Two weeks in Majorca
Saving for a rainy day
Disillusioned dreams
Unfulfilled ambitions
Searching for the perfect day
Staring at the night
Eyes and mind wide open
Affordable luxury

My first trip to Asia
Indian sub-continent

East, to Thailand; settled
The country I now call home
Childhood memories
A game I used to play
In my imagination
I’d transport myself
To my favourite place
Where all things were possible
Live life to the full
Laughing, learning, loving
Happily ever after

I like to think that
I’d imagined that place
To be right where I am now

Thursday, June 3, 2010


For Three Word Wednesday
And Friday Flash 55


“What’s this? Only one chapter…? I need two!”

“I’m up to fourteen words per minute… in theory.
Just eight if I include spell check.”

"I don’t even type and I can do twenty!”

“I’m not as nimble fingered as you.”

“I need that second chapter… TODAY!”


“Budge up a bit… You dictate; I’ll type!”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


For ABC Wednesday – T