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Thursday, July 8, 2010


For Big Tent Poetry

This week’s prompt

Way back in April I received a lovely poem in my inbox.
It was “The Love-Hat Relationship” by Aaron Belz,
sent by those wonderful folks at Poets.org for
National Poetry Month as a part of their Poem-A-Day.
I have been thinking about the love-hat relationship.It is the relationship based on love of one another’s hats.The problem with the love-hat relationship is that it is superficial.[...]
Go read the poem
here, on the Poets.org website.
For this week’s prompt why not try a similar idea?
Think of a few well-known word couples and let (or compel) one of them go a little sideways.
Then set your mind free and write a poem.
It might be realistic, it might be surrealistic; it might be funny or serious.
But whatever it is, you will never see that word couple in the same way again.
Nor will your readers. And that is a fine thing for poetry to do!
Come back on Friday (and through the weekend) and let others read what mischief your words got into.
(Want to know about Belz and his poetry? Go to
his website, which includes lots of links to places you can poke around,
including reviews of his latest book, Lovely, Raspberry.)


Up North
where I come from
where, when it’s not raining
it’s overcast
and people say
what they mean
and they mean
what they bloody well say
eating out means the Chippy.
Not Fish Bar
or Fish Shop
or Fish ‘n’ Chip Restaurant
We’re talking real Fishing Chips
(are fishing chips, chips that catch their own fish?)
They don’t do
French fries
pommes frites
Nouveau Cuisine
Not our cup of tea
They don’t do
mayonnaise dip
they only do
salt and vinegar
Economy gastronomy
cheap at half the price
cheap as chips
If it’s a big fish you’re after
for the larger appetite
they also do
double portions
twice the chance to catch that fish
twice as many fishing chips
(Should have seen the one that got away!)
Fishing chips catch
Haddock, Cod
(complete with rod
hook, line and sinker?)
Or, if you’re feeling flush
even Plaice
Mushy peas can be added
Bread and butter
and a mineral
Tea is served every night
at six o’clock
(Unlike the Americans
we eat dinner
at dinner time
Fishing chips for Friday tea
wrapped in greaseproof
and newspaper
up North
where I come from
where, when it’s not raining
it’s overcast


  1. that is cool i like it a lot.I like the new look you have here. Thanks for stopping by I appreciate your comments. see ya next week...Larry

  2. Thanks Larry; I'll look out for you.

  3. Good thing I've eaten for the evening. I like "economy gastronomy" and always enjoy learning a bit about culture! A fun read.

  4. Very good play on the words. Like the tone and especially the reflex about the weather on the end.


  5. I'm with you. Dinner should be at noon. I grew up with 'breakfast, dinner, and supper.' I like that you began with the weather and ended with the weather.

  6. Thanks to:
    Diane; 'culture' is a word rarely used in the NW of England...
    1sojournal; As a kid I thought 'fih 'n' chips was 'fishing chips' - and Manchester is called 'Rainy City' for a good reason.
    Mary; Breakfast, dinner and tea for me - supper was a swig from the milk bottle before bed.

  7. This is a lovely slice of life. I admire what you have done with it.

  8. Thanks ViV; At least it was like this when I was younger, when everything was in black and white.

  9. You have painted a vivid picture here, and this has great rhythm, and I love the last two lines. Very dry and funny.

  10. Thanks Nan; When I think of the north of UK, I always think of rain.

  11. This was fun. Made me hungry. My mines eye saw the overcast North UK. I would like to see a fishing chip: I've seen butterfly, cow pie, horse fly, even saw a car smoking but I must admit I never saw a fishing chip. Grins!

  12. Thanks Woodennickel; Me neither, but it was always fun to think so as a kid.

  13. Loved how this read aloud:

    "Economy gastronomy
    cheap at half the price
    cheap as chips"

    Great take on the prompt, Stan.
    - Dina

  14. Got to the salt and vinegar line and now I'm hungry. But it's not 'dinner' time yet!

  15. Stan love the play on words.
    Great take on the prompt.
    An interesting bit of culture!

  16. Stan, I loved that you sandwiched the piece with the same lines. Very effective here. This is a well written piece, and an enjoyable snapshot of Thailand. thank you !

  17. I chuckled at the title and loved the narrative style of this piece that speaks to style, weather, changes and wordly images.

  18. Thanks to:
    Dina; Fish 'n' chips isn't the cheap alternative it used to be.
    Twitches; That's OK, most chippys stay open till late.
    Pamela; Flat caps, racing pigeons and Woodbines complete the picture.
    Brenda; The setting is actually the north west of England, but the north of Thailand too, is very different to the south.
    Tumblewords; Fish 'n' chips and rain are the things that everyone can relate to the UK.

  19. Where I'm from, overcasts are rare, and when it rains (most often in the summer), it leaves a humid and hot atmosphere. This was a fun piece to read, and a wonderful take on the prompt.


  20. What a surprising feat, I mean feast! Fun tone & tempo.

  21. Thanks to:
    Weasel; Where I am now, afternoon rain means a very sticky end to the day, unless it continues beyond sunset.
    Deb; When I were a lad Friday fish 'n' chips was the height of luxury - that and a telly that could recieve all THREE channels...

  22. Fish and chips and the telly is still pretty good Stan. Now do tell...what is mineral tea?

  23. Oops sorry...misread..not mineral tea..silly me

  24. Thanks Rall; Mst people call it fizzy pop, but in the chippy they always said 'mineral'.

  25. Good on ya! This one made me want to go out and find some...!

  26. Thanks Joyce; I not sure you can still get them...:)

  27. I've only had an Americanized version of fish'n chips, which I'm sure isn't quite the same. I like that image of the chips catching their fish.

  28. dinner's at noon on Sundays in the southern US, only time it's deserving of the name.

    Love the voice of this, Stan.

  29. Thanks to:
    Francis; Fish and Fries sounds good to me.
    Barbara; Sunday dinner - best meal of the week!

  30. Oh PLEAASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Can I share this - I LOVED it! Iam from ooooooooop North - North Yorkshire to be precise, this is just wonderful! I would love to share this on my blog and on facebook - obviously with credit to your name. My friends here up North would just love it!

  31. Thanks Mrs. Nesbitt; A White Wose eh...? No problem - feel free to share it... after all, us Northeners know what's what...