An attempt at NaPoWriMo!

Shoes Again

This is me finally finishing a poem that I wrote during NaPoWriMo last year… And I’m still totally not sure if it’s finished, but this is as close as it’s getting for now.

Shoes and Old School Rules

First red makes a move, smooth

But the tiles betray her

 - A stately staccato as she slips over

to the door

With that sweet arrhythmic step.

And another

Dark brogues

                                – I’ll call them brogues, though

                                I’m not really sure

                                that I know what brogues are – but -

the word seems to fit those soft brown

stitched shoes, silently sliding,

brogueing their way after the red-shod wonder

                -An interception –

Brogues are blocked by kitten heels

The smug self-satisfied tread

of one too many bowls of cream

Circling. Stitched shoes slide,

Kitten heels prowl round and



A castanetted click to announce

Boots. Flamenco. Imperiously fronded.

Heels and brogues turn

Caught in social gravity

Gallantly recircling

 - Two pairs face one –

                                                (Who knew shoes

                                                Could radiate embarrassment?)

Kitten heels could turn as red

As red, exited left.

My own black trainers

Unconsciously crossed,



Of a matching pair.

It seems other shoes

Have grown up,

Grown heels

                                – Grown colour –

Since last we were here

Been outgrown by kitten heels

By brogues

                      (still don’t know what they are)

But I do know that boots will not turn to me.

I’m too frondless,

Too scuffed now

By far.

Just Another Victim of the Ambient Morality

I’ve not tried angry poems before, not really sure if they’re for me or not… But I started this one as another from one of the NaPoWriMo prompts back in April, taking the title from an Iain M Banks spaceship. It was kind of an interesting way to start a poem, since it turned into one pretty different to how I usually write.


Just Another Victim of the Ambient Morality

Just another victim of the ambient morality

The shifting winds of politics, of blatant partiality

To riches. To the people who are near the ears of power

Just a victim ‘cause they don’t accept her version of reality


Just another number to the high-up insularity

A figure to be crushed beneath the tenets of austerity

No name. No recognition of a link between the classes;

Just a number among masses, an acceptable fatality


Just another slacker to the over-moneyed hypocrites

No need for them to picture her, hanging on by fingertips

Hanging on through food banks, through the charity of strangers

Since some unseen hand decided that she had too many benefits


Just another victim of the ambient morality

That isn’t absolute but based on standards of the wealthy

On the few cocooned in riches, with an ear to those in power;

Just another victim of the current amorality


This actually first came from one of the poems I wrote for NaPoWriMo – Numbered. I thought I’d try writing in the opposite direction from that, but it turns out I found inwards more difficult than outwards… Hence why I’ve now only got through this more than a little while after I wrote that!



Like to think I’ve got in me

Some sort of interiority

Some sense of self beyond the self

That looks from mirrors back at me


Like to think there’s something more

Than what I put on my CV

Like to have some inner core,

More than passing strangers see


Something beyond my play of life

(Though Judith Butler won’t agree)

And after all, can there be more

Than what’s read as your eulogy?


What’s left of you when bones have settled

Coffin shut, to earth returned;

The words they speak when thoughts of you

To friends, in some small way return;


And if I leave, when I am gone

More than passing memories

Some words, a concrete deed or two

To bring a smile, keep people pleased;


I’ll be content. For after all

There is no other way to know

That others know more than they see,

That there was something more to me.

Looking out from Dent station


With their long shadows

Stretched uphill

The necks of swans

In full flight



Caught in a moment

Of downwards landslide,

Motion trapped

In amber



A hush lies on the motions of the air

And calms the caution tightening his limbs

As swallows slow their rush and mute their hymns

And salmon flash – there, past the sleeping elms


Sunshine, sprawling softly from the hills

Has doused the earth beneath its proffered breath

Here ochre sky meets azure’s covered depths

Meets azure meeting flesh, the toes outstretched


Here toe-dipped ripples fade across the sheen

The salmon sunk down through forgetful bliss

The dying sunshine reaches out to this –

A seamless segue, surface into man


Caught between the colours of the world

All trace of footprints lost beneath his toes

His head bows down, but all the water shows

Is water, sky, and azure evermore

World Culture

I’m not sure if this one exactly works as a poem… It’s made up of sections of information labels on things in the British Museum in London. 


World Culture (Courtesy of the British Museum)

Shiva treads

On the prostrate dwarf of ignorance


This Assyrian frieze

Shows heads piled up in a palm grove


Savara wears

A garland of severed heads


And Shiva has the goddess Ganga

In his flowing hair

Flight (II)

This has gone through more revisions than I usually have patience for… Which might be because I actually began with a definite idea about what I wanted to write about. I may yet come back to change the third stanza!



A slumbering, cumbersome metal-winged machine

Check-in at the dead hours of the night;

Recycled air and cramped knees up against seats

Are not how I imagine taking flight


The quiet rasping breath of first-time fliers,

Old films and even older packaged meals

Fill the space of marshmallow clouds and sunshine

Of light and movement –

                                             - movement towards my ideal


Liftoff means not fulfilment and freedom

But lethargy and thundering engine sounds

Will landing rather give that hoped-for liftoff

By taxiing down onto unfamiliar ground?


A chance to leave the stale routines behind you

To stretch your wings through continental days

A place for taking flight –

And yet I find

Such comfort in the old familiar ways

Flight (I)

I seek bliss


                failing bliss,



A Poem from Travelling (II)

I really do like the main idea of imagism, of a short poem organised around one image, so I’m going to keep on trying them! (Although I’m happily ignoring all the other aims the imagists proposed for poetry.)



Just a wet toy tricycle

Abandoned on the roof

Of a Belgian block of flats


With no front wheel.


Can I make of that?

A Poem from Travelling

Two people standing in a green field in France

Two people standing

In a green field

In France

Minutely detailed scarecrows


The blur of plants            



Lifts a hand

To scratch

Beneath his hat


The other


To contemplate

The railway track


And catches my eye.

He nods.

My train rushes on by.


I often return

To those everymen

To that moment of happenstance


In the midst of emptiness

Two men stood

Just a green field

In France


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