Day 29 – poem about mines

cornish_mining_heritage___st_agnes CROP

Good one gareth, mining the same old topics. Sheesh! Maybe next year’s NaPoWriMo you could try something different …

emotion mining

sometimes the people who enter our lives are of our own choosing
while others are introduced by loved ones who should know better

i’ve spent the past 2 months with several
of my mother’s dearest most beloved friends
who have suckered me into their whirlwind
unconventional romance, their aching love,
heartbreak, their failed business ventures,
smuggling, revolution, trials, jealously, the death
of their firstborn & the wild beauty of life
on an old coast, & a few days ago, Francis
drowning alone in a dark place

only moments have passed since Ross began
the affair he’s been threatening for years. now
it’s been so brutally consummated i cannot
contain my shock & as a consequence Demelza
has determined to go unattended to a ball
where who knows what calamity will befall.
i’m too afraid to turn, begin the next chapter
of course i will, after zapping this cold coffee

but the greatest betrayal of all is my mother’s
for she knew these calamities occur, yet still
blithely offered me the first in the series leaving
me to experience the emotional rollercoaster




Day 25 – poem about peace


Today is always a day of conflicting emotions for me. Been trying to resolve my attitude towards it for 25 years. This is one of the pomes that came out after percolating about it all day. I’m happy enough with it. Hope my googleTranslate French is accurate.

Voix parmi les vaches

All I’ve heard for a long time now
is French farmers calling their cows.
It’s a musical enough language
& everything sounds more beautiful;
but I do miss the Aussie drawl
And the sky over this western front
Is no where near as big as
the west where I was once from.

The sun has gone down.
All my comrades have grown
old, gone beyond. Joined me,
in their way. So let us sleep.
We are grateful for your thoughts
but our graves no longer want
or need your remembrances.
You offer us a minute of silence.

Let’s try it for a century,
see if we can let it all just, settle.


NB Very hitech technicalised tech issues meant I was unable to post yesterday’s NaPoWriMo post as intended. About quarter to twelve with the image chosen, the bulk of the text typed into this blog & most of the miscellaneous tags & faff taken care of, I was suddenly unable to type anymore: turns out the rechargeable batteries in my wireless keyboard had gone flat & being the organised soul I am, I had neglected to backup charge any for, oh some weeks…


Day 25 – The Year of One Day

Today is a controversial day for many. But it’s been good to me. The past 2 years now, I’ve got good poems out of it. Today I re-read Alan Seymour’s “classic Aussie play” The One Day of the Year, about the changing face of Anzac Day in the 60’s. I haven’t read it since uni, & ironically while it has dated, many of the issues it explores are still ones that people argue about today.

I began with its last line (Last Line, Gone) & continued from there…

the last post


love its haunting frail warbly wobbly squeaky somehow off-key, off-kilter
voice trying to be courageous to death’s face but never quite succeeding
forlorn melancholy brassy vulnerability half-farting battlefield bravado
but most of all the strange perception that no matter how well played
it always sounds like there’s a note wrong in there — somewhere


yes, it’s time to turn off the taps we’ve had our last warning
your duty is done your time is over your rest deserves peace

last postCROP

The last line of The One Day of the Year is: “i’m a bloody Australian & i’ll always …

Day 22 – And now for something completely different …

This began as a draft in January. I have redrafted, edited  & posted it today for obvious reasons. It is the first poem this month not generated via Word Games.

grieving kangaroos

we live in a world, where, when a beloved famousity
dies, social media bloodbaths into a whirlpool : wailing
wallowing, teethgnashing, pedastooling, & deifying —
alongside attacks, assassinations & ruthless debunking.

since we have capacity to celebrate celebrity demises
en masse, it has become de rigueur to do so : vehemently
& publicly with status updates & changed profile pics
alerting the indifferent world of your immense loss.

trolls rumble from caves, dragging into the light
their democratic right to demonise — reminding us :
fame isn’t bestowed solely on saints & that as much
darkness lurks under the skins of those we idolise.

meanwhile, the day-to-day tragedies go ever on, untweeted
— as do the friends, daughters, grandsons of those left …


Day 16 – Gossip with a Graphic Twist

Today’s poem began as a game of Gossip (except, instead of taking phrases, I only took one word, occasionally two) based around one of a friend’s favourite childhood books. The resulting pome however, contains messages young chillin’ perhaps shouldn’t read haha. There is also another game going on which I hope you’ll pick up on too.

the gall of my dagger †

this list is not intended to be:

a complete & comprehensive
compendium of my addictions
i don’t live in a liquor aquarium

though i do enjoy a tot o’rum
sometimes before, but usually
after my daily dose of laudanum

there’s no panacea for unhygienic bacteria
other than drown them with spirits
get myself well & truly blotto

i’m content if i get a fix of cacophony
before the cirrhosis coffin encases me
though my gall or liver may not be

“live fast die young” is my motto
i will not be one of those ancient geriatrics
to whom every breath is an impediment

my vital statistics will be perfect & fully automatic
as i soar from the cliff’s edge in my stolen
ferrari  — of this i am quite dogmatic

for while i opt out via automotive hari kari
as i’m shifting into fifth over the Styx
i know i’ll be remembered with an *

note: another name for dagger is obelisk

*crop copy

Day 10 – Celestial Motions

Today was always going to be about this topic, given it is 4 months since one of my best mates died. I’ve tried half a dozen times to write about this loss (as well as other recent & ongoing ones) without much success. This comes closest so far …


& so . in a way . we all die young .
younger than we’d like . even if
we live to a hundred and twenty .
younger than our loved ones want
too . too long lost . in that aching
chasm . that distance between
stars that is all that’s left . when
there is nothing of you . left . except
a wisp . a tear . an echo of laughter .
a hair . a sigh . a gasp . a stifled
sob . an aimless wandering from
room to room . trying to remember
where you are . where you went . & why

cone CROP

NOTE: cover is from Tracy K. Smith’s lovely collection, Life on Mars. It is imaginatively titled: ‘Cone Nebula Close Up’ (I think in part because it is a Close Up of the Cone Nebula).

NOTE 2: I know ‘technically’ this poem may not really Ekphrastic in the strictest sense of the word, but is definitely an emotional response to the image.


Not sure what’s up with my sleeping patterns at the moment, but my body seems to think key hours of slumber are 8pm-2am. It’s been my standard for the past 3 or 4 nights. Which means I write one of these, put it aside to come back to & then fall asleep before posting it. Sigh. Hopefully things will clear up soon.

Today’s effort was going to be’s “19 Most Anticipated YA Books to Read in April” but I realised the titles, while lovely, were similar in tone to how Day 1 & Day 2’s poems turned out. So I went to one of my desktop folders “Book Lists” (which no doubt will be referred to again later) & pulled up The Irish Times’ “Best crime fiction of 2015” list instead.

Thus we have a dark love poem …



are you watching me
in the world gone by
from the way of sorrows

this is everything i never told you

you were the girl
on the train
in the spider’s web
my gun street girl

even after the fire of silver
bullets   those we left behind
even the dead with our
blessing   shut eyes
& sang their snowy
song of shadows

but black-eyed weeks
the tight
rope defence
our assassin’s acts   our
killing   weighs down
your drowned boy

I managed to get 19+out of 24 titles in (I challenge anyone to work pleasantville, acts of the assassins, the snow kimono, black-eyed susans & tennison seamlessly into a pome.)

NOTE: Here’s the article if you’re interested in who wrote what.