Good morning. It’s the last day of Napowrimo. I hope you have enjoyed the poems 
And finally, our final prompt – at least until next year! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something that happens again and again (kind of like NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo). It could be the setting of the sun, or your Aunt Georgia telling the same story at Thanksgiving every single year. It could be the swallows returning to Capistrano or how, without fail, you will lock your keys in the car whenever you go to the beach.


Sitting in St Phillips church

Listing to the sephanic drum and base 

I believe in reincarnation 

I will be born again

A green spot light illuminates 

The musicians at the pulpit 

The stained class window above 

depicts Jesus on the cross 

Lost beneath gold crown 

And I believe in reincarnation

I will be born again

A sky nymph appears from the aisles 

Beguiles in gossamer gown 

                     and bare feet 

Le lumiere 

Wings stretched out 

              cascades on cross 

She does not wear a crown

Just the gold star band of her ancestors 

Across her forehead

I believe in reincarnation 

I will be born again 

I have been in St Phillips church

My confirmation at fourteen before 

Dressed in white gown 

My whole life head ahead 

Decades later I wear a white and gold 

t-shirt of de ja vue and middle- age 

And in the cherubic singer’s soft  voice 

I hear the whispers of my ancestors

The past, the past 

Suddenly the man I love 

Takes my hand 

I believe in reincarnation 

I am born again 




The lament of Lorca’s white sheet 

And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to take one of your favorite poems and find a very specific, concrete noun in it. For example, if your favorite poem is this verse of Emily Dickinson’s, you might choose the word “stones” or “spectre.” After you’ve chosen your word, put the original poem away and spend five minutes free-writing associations – other nouns, adjectives, etc. Then use your original word and the results of your free-writing as the building blocks for a new poem.
Happy writing!
Hello hello. My favourite poem or rather the first poem I remember making me cry at sixteen was Lorca’s Lament for bullfighter’.  I first heard it read in Spanish by Lorca and even though I did. Not understand a word it made me cry.
         The lament of Lorca’s white sheet

Two days before the bullfighter’s death 

The white sheet had dove and leopard wrestled across his bed

Drenched in the sweat of snow, sorrow and his laboured breath 

Bellowing as a halo swirling above his beautiful head 

The day before the bullfighter’s death

His mother washed it, carefully hung it on her washing line

Smoothing out the creases just as she had done her child – wept 

The wind blew away cottonwool- leaving only the frail scent of lime

Moments before the bullfighter’s death

He had raised the white sheet as his standard – A call to battle 

The bass string struck up then arsenic bells and smoke – silence 

Death laid eggs in thigh wound as oxide scattered crystal and nickle 

After the bullfighter’s death 

The white sheet that was no longer white but bull-horn desolated and red 

Was wrapped around his broken body as a sheath 

And so began the lament of Lorca’s white sheet

                  I weep because my friend is dead 

Satre’s farts 

Hello and happy Friday 

And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem using Skeltonic verse. Don’t worry, there are no skeletons involved. Rather, Skeltonic verse gets its name from John Skelton, a fifteenth-century English poet who pioneered the use of short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme per se. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another. Here is a good explainer of the form, from which I have borrowed this excellent example:
                    Satre’s farts 

Satre’s farted 


Emitted toxic gases from his anus 

Sphincter muscles constricting 


Three o’clock is too late

Too early 

For anything you want to do 

And philosophy rhetoric is a zoo 

A circus 

A farce 

A trapeze artist on high wire 

Twelve monkeys dressed for afternoon tea 

Satre farted

And it was art


Hello hello
Happy Thursday 
And last but not least, here’s our (optional) prompt! 

Many poems explore the sight or sound or feel of things, and Proust famously wrote about the memories evoked by smell, but today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores your sense of taste! This could be a poem about food, or wine, or even the oddly metallic sensation of a snowflake on your tongue.
Happy writing!


The label on the packet 

Says ice-cream sandwich 

Space food for real astronauts 

Nutritionally balanced 

For those unbalanced- against gravity 


Metallic coloured packaging 

Light weight and easy to dispose 

A picture of an astronaut on the front to tempt 

If I eat it, I’d be an astronaut to I suppose?

Food for those that want to taste the stars 


Feeling like the first woman on the moon

I take a mouthful 

Looks like a dry sponge

     Freeze-dried cardboard 

Tastes like chocolate flavoured chalk

A chemical aftertaste 

              and then I balk


An ice-cream sandwich 

Food for those who want to taste the stars

Maybe it tastes better in space?

Eaten alfresco 

It’s neither ice cream nor a sandwich 

Astronaut food is uninspired 

Dry as the surface of the moon 

I craft a spaceship from food packet 

It crashes on first flight 



Hello hello 

And now for our (optional) prompt! Have you ever heard someone wonder what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today, I’d like to challenge you to answer that question in poetic form, exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist? The object or site of study could be anything from a “World’s Best Grandpa” coffee mug to a Pizza Hut, from a Pokemon poster to a cellphone.
Happy writing!


On April 26th

She is abducted by aliens 

Transported in their spaceship 

And not the kind of aliens you see in movies

Like ET

But beastly anomalies

                         She takes a selfie 

To record the moment 


Four hundred celaphod eyes roll back into green octopus heads 

Aliens are always green 

Green the colour of the Earth 

The colour of chlorophyll, trees and plants 

                                Before pollution 

Suddenly she’s attached to a brain zapping machine

Three hundred celaphod eyes roll back in green heads

 when she responds to all questions with snapchat slang 

Dafuq ?



The alien leader rips off a green tentacle like arm 

Hurls it at the brain zapping machine 

A green tentacle 

              the colour of the earth

The colour of chlorophyll, trees and plants 


                                 Before pollution 

My mother’s jar 

Hello hello and a happy Tuesday. 

It’s raining in Manchester but I wish you all sunshine and joy.
And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). In 1958, the philosopher/critic Gaston Bachelard wrote a book called The Poetics of Space, about the emotional relationship that people have with particular kinds of spaces – the insides of sea shells, drawers, nooks, and all the various parts of houses. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores a small, defined space – it could be your childhood bedroom, or the box where you keep old photos. It could be the inside of a coin purse or the recesses of an umbrella stand. Any space will do – so long as it is small, definite, and meaningful to you.


           My mother’s jar

My mother had a old jam-jar 

We could never open

Painted gold and decorated with sea-shells 

 She told us cautionary tales

Pandora unleasing all evils into the world

 it did not deter

Only served to made us even more curious 

My mother’s jam-jar sat on top of the bookshelf

Nestled between two encyclopaedias 

Greedy for our attention 
Through school holidays and grey winter afternoons 

We guessed as to its contents 

For hours and hours 

My mother hinted the jar had magical powers 

When she saw our crayon drawings  of keys and solid silver sailor buttons

all the money in the world 

A mermaids pearl necklace 

                             Our baby teeth  

A pirate map


and the remains of strawberry jam so so delicious 

You would never want to eat anything else 

      my mother’s jam jar remained safe on the shelf

           Secrets sealed tight 

                          Until one night

our curiosity grew and grew to the size of sticky hands 

Grabbing, jabbing at the gold, seashelled contraband  

And then it dropped 


Lashed out in to a thousand fragments on the floor 

And inside 

Inside was nothing 

                  Absolutely nothing 

We had smashed Pandora’s jar 

And found ourselves far from truth 

With just a mystery 

                            No clue, no key

Until my hands grew and grew 

      into those of a woman 

And I finally figured out the magic

      Behind my mother’s jar 

Shakespeare in Love 

Happy happy Monday. As it was the bards birthday yesterday and it’s National Shakespeare week in schools and colleges and I’m teaching Shakespeare all week I thought it was apt that he’d be the stimulus for the poem today and as it was Shakespeare it had to be a sonnet. Love xxx

Last but not least, our (optional) daily prompt. Today, I challenge you to write a poem of ekphrasis — that is, a poem inspired by a work of art. But I’d also like to challenge you to base your poem on a very particular kind of art – the marginalia of medieval manuscripts. Here you’ll find some characteristic images of rabbits hunting wolves, people sitting on nests of eggs, dogs studiously reading books, and birds wearing snail shells. What can I say? It must have gotten quite boring copying out manuscripts all day, so the monks made their own fun. Hopefully, the detritus of their daydreams will inspire you as well!
Happy writing

           Shakespeare in love 

I would challenge you to a battle of wits though I see you are unarmed 

He leers with ferret eyes above his white lace ruffle – insipid as ghoul

His coy lady suspects he probably believes this to be charm 

She encountered this type of man before – in short he is the fool

He recites, in iambic pentameter the only rhyme he remembers from school

Fancies ladies  will consider him learned – the intellectual man about town 

Carries a dog eared note pad to record his wit, his muse – fool

Sits in an expensive restaurant writing obscure phrases down 

But he has yet to see the irony of quoting from a real ale mats

And that his sermons delivered from his designated bar-stool

Are only listened to be drunks and middle aged men in feathered caps 

Fails to realise the barmaid is paid in tips to laugh at his wit – fool

Even though she knows he’s unarmed for any intellectual chase 

and she smiles like the sun , for although a fool, he has an almost, almost sort of pretty face 

                     The fool