NaPoWriMo Day 29 – Giving Stars

roamers - shoe


Four stars
for the Chelsea boots
in brown; five
from Wood,
for their soft leather
and inner cushion,
for how easy they fit
his wide feet
and how they arrive
in time for spring
and the promise
of new beginnings.

One star
from Miles, for how
they fall apart; split
at the heel
after seven months of use;
for how
they’ll harm your feet,
and fall apart
as though sawn in two.

From Joshua, just three stars –
because they arrive damaged.

For the Day 29 Prompt at NaPoWriMo, to write a review; culled from a few reviews left on the Amazon page for the shoes above.

NaPoWriMo Day 28 – Bridge


In the unknown
you clutch vestigial memories
of night journeys and of trains
and being surprised by
grey granite segueing
into lush greenery

but once you cross
the Bridge across the
Firth of Forth
Hope awakens
‘Cos you’re Home.

On train journeys, coming home and the Forth Road Bridge for the prompt for Day 28 at NaPoWriMo, a truly gorgeous sight on a (rare?) sunny November day as I found many years ago…

NaPoWriMo Day 27 – How To Make Small Talk

On the corner of Kings’ and
23rd North West and smile,
let your face crumble like
a cookie dipped in spring milk.

Tell her the musky scent
of her perfume reminds you
of spring wafting in on the wind
heady, yet subtle, hardly felt.

about the weather, of
snow pelting down like hail
of sunshine shoved into a corner
by clouds and then nightfall

When you find she’s
clutching Chaucer to her chest
and McEwan in her bag,
read her a line from Komunyakaa:
‘I took seven roads to get here
and almost died three times’*.

But if her fingers linger
or tap dance on her phone
because sometimes the nostalgia
of an unsoiled memory
is worth more than the pain
of paradise lost.

* Borrowed from one of my favourite Komunyakaa poems, ‘Providence’; from the Pleasure Dome anthology.

NaPoWriMo Day 26 – The Leaving

train 2

For Mag 267

You and I
are sweeping up
the shards of something
blithely broken,
something shattered
into a thousand
jagged things,
by this weight,
this unshifting
burden of this we,
we nearly were.

There is leaving,
and then this,
Leaving, headed west,
chasing closure,
across the valley,
beyond which
there is no returning.

NaPoWriMo Day 25 – Delirium

mosquito on skin


You feel the fever
the morning after
the strangers leave,
engorged by their suckling
of your life sap.
The gift they leave
is the delirium. Dry skin,
heavy head and the shivers;
the sense of warped time
and a bubble of discomfort
They rob the future
of the joy of present presence-
one dies every minute
but for those who escape
there is only the
burning burden
of relief.

For World Malaria Day… And the one child every minute stolen from our future by the disease.

NaPoWriMo Day 21 – For Justice


For Prompt #21 at NaPoWriMo – Erasure, and an inexplicably unsettling Ted Talk by the International Justice Mission’s Gary Haugen, even though this probably doesn’t count as an erasure poem. 

I’m not much of a crier-
In Rwanda tears just aren’t much help
Compassion – cum passio – mean(s) to suffer with
Up close to human suffering.

Your first introduction
Might have been We Are The World.
A mom from Zambia, three kids,
Widow, coals on the cooking fire
Completely cold, watch
Peter suffer, grow cold.

Where were you when
They were marching
Our Japanese-American neighbours
To internment camps, beating
Our African-American neighbours
Because they tried to vote?

I hope we can say we had compassion
Raised our voice, moved to make the violence stop.

NaPoWriMo Day 20 – Lessons Learned

A bloke can do no worse
Than believe his own hype
Unless it is to hope
That a grand Messianic gesture
Might turn the ebbing tide of Love,
Where a simple one would do.

For everything there is a time
And a season for everything under the Sun
But what virtue does Hope have unless
She stir in dire times?