Tuesday, 8 May 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Contents

In April 2012 I took part in NaPoWriMo. A challenge where you write a poem every day throughout April. These are the results.
Day 1-The Flute
Day 2-The World Today in Triolet
Day 3-Squashed Oaths
Day 4-Dont Panic
Day 5-Mock Interview
Day 6-Bean
Day 7-House Mouse
Day 8-The Note
Day 9-The Human Gods Lament
Day 10-Air to Air
Day 11-Sonnet of Conversation
Day 12-Mondegreen and Homophone
Day 13-Limericks
Day 14 The Cunning Plan
Day 15-Summer Daze in Ice
Day 16-The Phantom Pantoum
Day 17-Music Alarm
Day 18 Paeon of People
Day 19-Off road
Day-20-Excited Sun
Day-21-Secrets Uncovered
Day-22-Over River
Day-24-Twenty Pound Question
Day-25-Tree Oak Lock
Day-26-Train Times
Day-27-Round the Houses
Day-28-The Pot
Day-29-The Best Laid Plan
Day 30-Ballad of Many
Day 31-Waiting House

This was to raise money for the following charities. If you do like the poems feel free to donate to any of them.
National Autistic Society
National Literacy Trust

I received quite good publicity with an article in the Huffington Post and in Delilah's Blog

The keen eyed would notice there are more poems here than days in April. I wrote the bonus poem as a birthday request.

Also feel free to put any comments by the poems and let me know which ones you like best.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 - The days after

There's been a lot of activity around my poems since I finished. I've been getting in touch with other poets who were doing napowrimo which is great. And I'm hoping to be reading lots of other people's napowrimo poems over the next few days.

Today my poem on the 30th April has been featured on my friend Laura Nelson's blog.
Laura is a spokeperson on equality issues, quite often getting asked to speak on the radio or tv and someone we can expect to see a lot more of in the future.

The other part of that poem is about another friend of mine Rosalind Ereira who wrote to the London Olympic Committee and the  Equality and Human Rights Commission when she discovered she could miss the event she'd paid to see, because her baby would not be allowed in without a separate ticket. This sparked off another news story. Ros is a film producer who has worked on Time Team and produced and directed The  Pendle Witch Child


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Huffington Post Article

Rather excitingly, I have an article in the Huffington Post about National Poetry Writing Month and Fundraising
Writing a Poem Every Day


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Day 31 - The waiting house

A bonus poem at the end of Napowrimo.

The house
sits down amidst the pouring rain
stooped under its gutters
hankering down
to wait.

And while
the splashing drops proceed to fall
it feels its humans all
impatient for
its end.

They pace
from one room to another. Loud.
It feels their steps beat out
within its walls
and floors.

The door
could use a brand new lick of paint
it stretches in the rain.
to wear.

But house
knows this will pass
and it will green its grass
and clear the roof of all its mess.
Just so.

It gets
that it will dress
in all its summer clothes,
and stretch itself amidst the lawn

Monday, 30 April 2012

Day 30 - The ballad of many

When her Olympic tickets came,
after a twelve month gap,
she found her baby's not allowed
to sit upon her lap.

And so she wrote a stern reply
with strongly worded tone.
That at the time of ticket sale,
said baby was not known.

And lo behold they changed their tune
conceding she was right.
And what this incident has shown
is pens still have their might.

Another at a toy shop grand
had found the floors divided,
on some idea of gender lines.
It felt a bit one sided.

The boys' toys were all action men
the girls had pretty dolls.
It was quite limiting that these
were predetermined roles.

And so she launched a pronged campaign
with notes to press and stores.
Then got a call to hear the shop
had rearranged their floors.

To dance upon a raging bull
with studied balanced stance.
Your voice is heard a hundred times
from many throats at once.

So use your pen as you see fit
it really has a force.
To change this world a little bit
and that's a lot of course.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Day 29 - The best laid plan

In the desert lies a town. All the folk live underground,
as its far too hot to be out in the day.
For two hundred miles around not another soul is found
and the food supplies are brought from far away.

Now the reason why they're there in the arid dessert air,
is to mine the opals scattered in the sand.
And they ration with great care not a drop of water spare,
in that dry and empty unforgiving land.

For this reason they were chosen to embark unto the frozen,
vast and unmapped lonely gulfs of outer space.
As they left this planet's ozone to the asteroid belt supposin',
they thought of the faces left at their old place.

They were sent to build a mine for that gold and silver fine.
Suited perfect for the trip so goes the tale.
Now this mission had been planned down to every pin in hand.
There was no way that this mining quest could fail.

Though they rationed water fine they were liberal with their wine,
and it turned out there was none in the supplies.
So they turned the ship around and returned to solid ground.
And you couldn't get them back up to the skies.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Day 28 - The Pot

There is a broken saucepan in the bottom of the drawer.
This pan had served its purpose well so many times before.
For every time that it was used a different dish was made
by a chef who worked ten hours a night but still was underpaid.
Now in the restaurant that night a divorcee was sat
out dining with a group of friends with whom she chewed the fat.
The chef had seen her many times but always with her ex
and now he felt the need to ask her to a multiplex.
But first he had to cook for her the best dish he could make
that danced upon the palate light and caused the earth to quake.
To do this he required though to have his trusty pot,
that now lie broken up in two and in the drawer forgot.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Day 27 - Round The Houses

Today's challenge was to write a nursery rhyme. So round we go.

The Hungry Dolphin sat at home
eating her carrot pie.
I know she said I think I'll try
to visit my old friend.
I haven't seen him for a while
and that I must amend.
She went to Jumping Squirrel's house
with lots of time to spare
But when she knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so she left a letter.

The Jumping Squirrel sat at home
and drank a cup of tea.
I know he said it's time for me
to tell my friend hello.
I haven't seen him for a while
and that I must amend.
He went to Lazy Kitten's house
with lots of time to spare
But when he knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so he left a letter.

The Lazy Kitten sat at home
a counting with his toe.
I know he said I think I'll go
and visit my dear friend.
I haven't seen her for a while
and that I must amend.
He went to Laughing Tiger's house
with lots of time to spare
But when he knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so he left a letter.

The Laughing Tiger sat at home
a putting up her tent.
I know she said I'ts time I went
to tell my friend hello.
I haven't seen her for a while
and so its time to go.
She went to Dancing Badger's house
with lots of time to spare
But when she knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so she left a letter.

The Dancing Badger sat at home
as busy as a bee.
I know she said it's time to see
if I can find my friend
I haven't seen him for a while
and I must make amend.
She went to Thoughtful Monkey's house
with lots of time to spare
But when she knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so she left a letter.

The Thoughtful Monkey sat at home
with his favourite book
I know he said I'll take a look 
and tell my friend hello.
I haven't seen her for a while
and so it's time to go.
He went to Hungry Dolphin's house
with lots of time to spare
But when he knocked upon the door
there was nobody there.
And so he left a letter.

And everyone
went round and round
the houses all day long.
And they all thought
no one's at home
where's everybody gone?
They went back home
a little sad
but then what did they find?
Five letters from
their many friends
which they had left behind.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Day 26 - Train Times

There's a spot upon a platform
that is covered in mosaics.
If you stand there you can listen
to a busker far away.

If you want to hear the music
that comes pouring through the grating
of the walkway high above you
you must wait for trains to leave.

But the trains come every minute
and the rolling and the chatter
drowns the clear acoustic music
that reverbs around the walls.

As you stand there contemplating,
you think no-one else is listening
to the music as they're rushing
to their urgent destinations.

And you wonder what might happen
if they took the time to notice
that the walls contain mosaics
which the music helps you see.

But the  tourists pay attention
for  they're looking for the first time.
And they show us weary locals
How to look at
what we look at
every day.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Day 25 - Tree Oak Lock

The tree has been here longer than anyone else.
It has seen many people come and go,
all of them different, all of them playing out their parts.
Many have come here to sit under its branches when it was time to think.
It has glimpsed their innermost thoughts
they're like sparkling pieces of light,
even the thoughts the people think of as downbeat.
To the tree they are an incandescent display,
whirling and twirling around each other.
That's why it stands real still when people are nearby.
It's rapt up in the sheer spectacle
and too wrapped up in wonder
to wander about
or chatter.
Pity though,
the people would probably love to watch it move,
and to hear what it has to say.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Day 24 - The Twenty Pound Question

I'm standing in line with three items in hand.
Just waiting to pay, with but little time.
I've got to get back with poems to write,
and there's work to be done, so there isn't much slack.

While paying by card I quickly decide,
as my wallet is empty I'll get some cash back.
The clerk is distracted and talking to someone,
when I ask for thirty, well,  she gives me fifty.
And I'm standing there looking at it in my hand.
She's looking away and she's closed up the till.

There's nothing to stop me from walking away,
but I get her attention and point out the error.
She's smiles and is grateful and I head out the shop.

But as I walk out my mind starts to think,
what caused me to give back the money I'd got?
What was the process that made me do that,
Is it something I thought or is it something innate?
Did I do it because it might make me feel good,
or that the store may not miss it but she'd get the blame?
Or was it because it was what I thought ought?

And what if tomorrow it happened again?
And then for the next seven days, what then?
And the fact that I'm writing about it right now,
am I thinking too hard, well what does that say?

I could go round in circles I could worry all day.
But for all that I let my thoughts wiggle around,
on a day when I couldn't find something to say,
this poem came out of that scene that was played.
And to me that's got to be worth twenty pound.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Day 23 - Protection

I sit at meadow's edge,
looking out across the green,
unseen by all the creatures passing by.

Except for just one cat,
staring, sharply, right at me,
who sees my wing is broken
and who knows I cannot fly.
I know that if I move,
he'll be on me in a pounce
and so will end my life under the sky.

And while  I sit and wait,
though my heart bangs at its cage.
I'm satisfied with how I've lived,
I'd do it all the same.
Yes. Even to the part,
which has bought me to this turn.
The final drastic act which left me lame.

We'd flown for seven days,
flocking twenty thousand strong,
from the lake we called our home
to these green and rolling hills.
And on the way we dived
to the water catching fish.
And brought them up to crunch them with our bills.

My first migration flight
showed me this planet's shape.
And I drunk in the adventure
with each beat of my wings.
And when we had arrived,
exhausted but still breathing,
I saw the bird of which my heart now sings.

But there was danger high,
in a falcons fatal form.
I saw it dive towards my bird
and had to intervene.
I spun out of control
but before I fell I saw,
my sweetbird had escaped that peregrine.

So now with broken wing,
you may well think me foolish.
That I would give my life up
for somone I hardly know.
But care a jot? Not I.
I'm happy with my lot.
I'm ready cat, so make the final blow.

I see it prime its legs.
But before it makes the leap.
The bird I saved comes rescue bound
appearing from a tree.
It pecks upon its face,
and the cat soon runs away.
And now this sweet bird turns around
and hops over to me.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Day 22 - Over The River

I watched human planet on the bbc today. There was a piece about a father in the Himalayas taking his two children to school on a six day journey across a frozen river. There was also a piece about another father teaching his daughter to make a 'living bridge'. Essentially controlling a tree to grow over the river. In tribute to rivers (no pun intended) this poem uses a similar style to 'Kubla Kahn' with iambs of varying meter  and non patterned rhyming.  


The youngest mountains of the world.
Hold many rivers broad and wild.
And through them pathways are unfurled
where hardened trekkers feet are hurled
mainly in weathers mild.

But in the winter few are found
for then the rivers turn to ice.
And you must walk on frozen ground
beneath which raging river's bound
and where you walk could crack and splice
and kill you in a trice.

Far from the nearest town or school.
A father looks up from his stool
and knows his children have to make the journey
A hundred K along the perilled brook
should take six days and not be lightly took.
But school is goal enough for it brings learning.

With son fourteen and daughter eleven.
He starts the trip from height of heaven,
down to the far off town and hence to school.

He taps his stick upon the ice
to find out if its safe to walk.
And if unsure he taps it twice
and hears the thickness in it's talk.

And in the nights they sleep in caves
with sleeping bags to keep them warm.
They need their sleep for each one braves,
by day, new dangers of some form.

The Chadar path is what its named,
for ice walking it's rightly famed
along the frozen river of Zansker.
But what it shows is just how far
some people go to reach their destination.

Their perseverance should be noted 
and we should be just as devoted
to efforts spent in bringing education.



The living bridge is made of wood
not chopped apart but still a tree.
It takes some lifetimes to make good,
so knowledge to your children should
be passed down thoroughly.

And on  this bridge shall people walk
over the unforgiving river.
And on their way to work they'll talk
of the bridge building knowledge giver.



With these poems it feels apt to mention one of the charities I'm raising money for. The National Literacy Trust which also perseveres in bringing people to reading, writing, speaking and listening  http://www.justgiving.com/AthosPoetryNLT


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Day 21 - Secrets Uncovered

An engine coughs and splutters in the distance.
And somewhere from a hanger talk is heard.
The second door she tries gives no  resistance,
but she ignores it moving to the third.

This one is painted blue and has a warning,
that those inside are not to be disturbed.
Above it is a red and white striped awning,
that looks quite out of place, almost absurd.

It's locked. But that to her is not a problem,
the skills that she's acquired serve her true.
When she breaks into rooms it's not to rob them,
it's only if she needs to find a clue.

She bends to pick the lock just for a second,
and suddenly and silently she's through.
The scene that she surveys aint as she reckoned,
a barber's chair is freshly painted. Blue!

Around the mirror pictures hung portraying
air men and women with flamboyant hair.
Perms, crew cuts, mullets, beehives, all outplaying
each other in their bid to make you stare.

Off to one side a mohawked man stares wildly.
She picks his picture up with extra care.
The hairstyle's rather blue to put it mildly.
It matches with the door and with the chair.

She'd read about the story in the paper.
of how her local airfield was in debt.
And this was what had led her on this caper,
for something did not fit as it was meant.

She knew that if she were to solve the riddle
of where this tiny airport's money went.
She'd have to draw a line right throught the middle,
and find out where the money had been spent.

The only painted door led to this barber.
Why was it needed in a field so small?
What other telltale secrets could it harbour?
And ... What is that thing glinting on the wall?

Behind the mohawked picture was a lever.
She pulled it without thinking much at all.
The wall moved back, her eyes did not deceive her,
below, a secret hanger, ten floors tall.

Inside the cavern stood the most amazing
thing, in her life, she had ever seen.
A giant spaceship with its bay doors raising.
and coloured blue. Just like a movie scene.

In fact that was exactly where she'd stumbled.
The making of a Sci-Fi film unseen.
Secret cinematography she'd rumbled,
whose cast and crew now stared at her not keen.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Day 20 - Excited Sun.

Here I spin in a minor outer arm
protected by my court of planets
who dance eternally.

I make fresh atoms daily
that the universe buys off me
at a good rate.

Mainly Helium with some Carbon,
Nitrogen, Oxygen and Beryllium.

It does interesting things with the Carbon.

I won't get to make the really exciting stuff until the end. The heavy atoms like Iron and Gold and Vanadium. Ooh Vanadium. I see the bits of them floating around that the older ones have already made. They got there faster. Not long for me now - just a few billion years.

They heavy atoms make it more interesting and some have settled on my dancers.

I let off  a solar flare

There's this thing going on at one of the planets. It's moving too quickly for me to see.

But then.
I know something is happening.
I can see the colours
on the surface

Such beautiful patterns it makes. Its green and blue now, but there used to be more red.

And ooh.
It's getting faster,
I can't make it out.
It looks like little things are buzzing around just around the planet,
they weren't there a second ago.
Oh wow that's amazing, one has just got to the moon.
How's it doing that? That planet is brilliant.
Its sending off the little bits way out now.
They are their own dancers and one's got out beyond all the other dancers.
They're so tiny and cute.
Send one my way. Go on.

I ask the other stars but none of them have heard of anything like this before.
They're very excited too. They'll ask further out. We'll get a reply back eventually.

Awesome! That's made the dance even better.

But what's happening now?
It's changing again.
I .... 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Day 19 - Off road

I am standing in a road
and I'm wondering how I got here.
All my clothes are drenched in sweat
and my heart is thumping quickly.

Is this beating due to fear
from some terror that I've met.
Has my mind blanked out some sickly
gruesome scene from off this road.

I resolve that I won't let
this strange fear take me completely.
But the cause is still untold.
Does the danger still lurk near?

On my feet the mud is thickly
splattered. How does this unfold?
For no answers are there near
and my mind's in panic set.

I pause
         and look around.
dry fields
         lie left and right.
         else except
a hill
         above the road.

My breath
         returns to me,
         is steady now.
But where
         on earth am I?
And what
         has just occurred?

I resolve to climb the hill
though the going is quite rough.
My limbs feel slightly ill
and I've fairly had enough.
But I persevere to reach
the hill crest whence I look down.
And I just make out a beach
and beside it a small town.
And towards this town I drift
treading lightly as I go.
And the mist begins to lift
and the past I start to know.

I remember  there were people chanting .
Who wore painted masks to hide their faces.
And they made me drink a potent potion.
And they took me to some unknown places.

I approach the scene  in muted silence.
This small town somehow seems to know me.
There's a wedding on in the main square
and the dressed up people turn towards me.

Then suddenly I see what happened.
The reason for my loss of space and time.
For last night was my send-off party
And all those ringing wedding bells are mine.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Day 18 Paeon of People

I remember I was smaller and the corn from me was taller  
I would wander through the yellow of those fields of endless dreams.
Then, the land bought forth its plenty so the people never wanted.
And my childhood I remember was as easy as could be.

For our tribe it was the strongest and our elders were they wisest.
And the women and the menfolk lived as equals by the sea.
Taking turns to make decisions, taking turns to plough the land,
herding animals of burden, helping people by the hand.

I grew older, it grew colder and the winters lasted longer.
No more wandering through the cornfields, no more summers full of clover.
Until one year crops were failing and our lives were turned to hunger.
and we fed upon the beasties who had helped us sow the land.

So that next year none were standing and the hunger grew much stronger.
Out to gather food we wandered, out beyond the cliffs and rivers.
And we lived on nuts and berries and we lived on fish and critters.
Thus our life became the harder as we struggled to provide.

And the young men and the children grew in stages full of anger,
and they fought amongst each other and they fought with other tribes.
And they said that all the women had to stay home with the children
for they could not fight as strongly and they could not work the mines.

And we old ones knew no longer how to show them to live softly
For they only knew the hunger and the struggle to survive.
And they turned to us their elders who had lived a hundred seasons
and they said we were a burden and to keep us had no reason.

By Apollo by Athena I will give them plenty reason.
They'll regret their bad decision I will leave them high and dry.
I will gather all the children I will gather all the women
I will take a few who'll listen and  will lead them to new lives.

There's a boat out on the harbour, there's another four beside it,
I will take all five together I will leave them none behind.
I will plan all this in secret, it'll give them a surprise.
And will make them think quite strongly of the error of their minds.

And that time arrived quite quickly and the boats were well supplied
and we set off in the darkness and we sailed into the night.
And they never saw it coming when they woke to find us gone
and they tore out at their hair when they knew that they were wrong.

For five days we sailed the ocean till we saw a floating tree,
so we knew that there was land nearby. The shore was spotted soon.
This new island we discovered would be perfect for our needs.
There was forest, there was livestock, there was flatness for the fields.

I admit I had considered leaving those we'd left behind,
to their fates and to their fighting, and to wondering where we'd gone.
But i think they'd learnt their lesson and the tribe needed uniting.
So I took the ship the largest, and returned to bring them on.

But of course on precondition that all folk be treated equal
and its not on the condition this just happens when life's good.
For in hardship and in hunger there's more cause to work together
World will throw us joy and sorrow and we needs treat them the same.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Day 17 - Music Alarm

Throw a spanner,
watch it fly,
in the blinking
of an eye,
to the middle of what's being, currently by people spoken.

Let good music,
woes destroy.
If heard live
it's bottled joy.
And the floating sounds they're singing, they're from life a gift, a token.

So you sit there
raptly spun.
Your mind basking
in their sun.
When a fire alarm starts ringing and with that the magic's broken.

People bustle.
Things they gather,
as they reach for
their umbrella.
Make their way out from the singing and there's nare an ill word spoken.

Now you're outside
in the rain.
Still it lingers,
the refrain,
that the band were playing singing, sung before the spell was broken.

So when spanners
in the gear,
throw you off
from what you'll hear,
dont feel down by spanners flinging, if you're of a sudden soaken.

For the mem'ry
of that song'll,
linger on
the whole year long.
And you'll still recall the singing, for it was from life a token.

Thanks to LH for the phrase 'bottled joy' and DKO for 'watch it [a spanner] fly' and to my building for having a fire alarm test today.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Day 16 - The Phantom Pantoum

Deep inside a dreadful forest,
 where the angels hid their breathing.
There once stood a house immodest.
 They who made it left it screaming.

Where the angels hide their breathing,
 there's a creature made in error.
Those who made it left it screaming
 and their lives are full of terror.

There's a creature made in error,
 who regrets that they existed,
and their life was full of terror,
 for of spirit they consisted.

Who regrets that they existed,
 like that phantom crafted whole?
For of spirit they consisted.
 They were once somebody's soul.

And that phantom crafted whole,
 still remembers its old body.
They were once somebody's soul,
 and they talked to everybody.    

It remembers its old body,
 and the fragrant summer mornings
and will 'talk' to everybody
 who now fails to heed the warnings.

So one fateful summer morning.
 came a traveller through the clearing.
And they failed to heed the warning
 of no angel breaths in hearing.

Comes the traveller through the clearing.
 They should stop before the gate.
For no angel breaths they're hearing
 and the creature lies in wait.

They should stop before the gate,
 where once stood the house immodest.
For the creature lies in wait,
 deep inside that dreadful forest.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Day 15 - Summer days on ice

A subtle twist of sunshine floats in off a south westerly breeze,
 while ruffled mists of space time invoke another mouth fluttering freeze.
The twists spins round in front of you face,
 and the mist wins ground for want of a race.
You put down your sub zero glasses,
 look back on capoeira classes.
You gaze into the future with all its different paths,
 the days engaged in mutual pirouettes of disparate halves ,
from thirty seven polar bears
 to lights in heaven solar flares.
The ice has captured sunlight and it isn't letting go.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Day 14 - The cunning plan

They said  if she spoke of this it d'be treason.
But she could not stand by with all the horror that she'd learnt.
And now they'd given her another reason.
By stealing all her papers and then having them all burnt.

This weapon she had worked on without knowing.
It was the greatest terror that the world had ever known.
Ten scientists on different parts were sowing
the seeds of great injustice from a concept not their own.

You might be wise to ask how they were harnessed.
How minds intelligent could be misguided and misled?
The parts when looked at separately were harmless.
Behind them all though, lurked a plan the world would come to dread.

The portion she developed was genetic.
For seven years she worked on how our genes controlled the mind.
Ostensibly to make us less frenetic.
But her funding had provisos not to publish what she'd find.

The funding was the key to how this happened.
As long as those who worked on it were kept from each apart.
So none were free to say what they deciphered.
While the nanotechs, the neuros and the bios played their part.

See, you don't have to kill your foe to beat them.
If you can make them like you they will not stand in your way.
And with your voters, it would help you lead them,
if they did not keep questioning each every word you say.

So find a way to calm the population.
And spread this out to everyone as quickly as you can.
And you would have a very happy nation.
As long as you don't tell them of your foolproof cunning plan.

But you can't keep them in the dark forever.
She'd glimpsed the work of colleagues, nanobots to alter genes.
And she began to piece it all together.
The nanobots distributed by health promoting teams.

Unwisely the first thing she did was tell them.
They threatened her career, her home, her finances, her life.
They offered her a fortune great to join 'em.
So she pretended wisely that against them she won't strive.

But now the time had come to blow the whistle.
The consequence to her no longer held her in constraint.
The world needed to know with all the gristle,
the plan to spike its chocolate so it lived without complaint.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Day 13 - Its limerick time

Its Friday and that means one thing. Limericks.
A woman went into a shop,
and asked the cashier for a mop.
Said the seller "it looks,
clear we only sell books.
Every day the same question please stop."

A Washington boy on a bus ,
saw the driver from chest pains collapse.
He jumped up and steered,
turned the keys off and veered.
Saving several lives without fuss.

A hadron collider called Cern,
was constructed to help us all learn.
It looked like things might,
travel faster than light.
But the reason lay elsewhere it turned.

More to follow

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Day 12 - A Mondegreen and a homophone

The NaPoWriMo prompt for day 12 was homophonics and I took this one up. A homphonic translated poem is one that sounds the same as another verse in another language but with its own meaning (or little meaning) . A Mondegreen is a deliberate mishearing of a phrase or passage.

First a Mondegreen of a rather famous English poem. I'll leave you to work it out. Answer at the bottom.

I wanted only a sack loud
That flow sun higher, avails and ills.
We gnarl at one's eye sore wrack road.
Ach oh stuff goal tender for deals.
Bees hide they'll ache, bean eat that reads
Flat earing undone singing thy breathes

And this is a homophone from an old popular Greek song

Annex a stone keep. A moon peak at thee.
Nepotism taboulah.
Narcissism essay pro incur rather.
Sand my creed, rose hostel yah .

Earthen smooth rather. Met on a year ah.
Understand necks sicker thee are.
Super mellow Tara call its pairer.
Game o'er pest acre jarl.

Millets Emyl. Millets Emyl.
Then syphilis a poor tamer.
Millets Emyl. Millets Emyl.
Pose Nasa sick cat so bare myrrh

Millets Emyl. Millets Emyl.
Then syphilis a poor tamer.
Millets Emyl. Millets Emyl.
Moon on store near a moose. I feel low.

(You can hear it online if you search by its name 'milise mou' . And you could also try listening while reading.)

(The poem was from Wordsworth's 'I wandered lonely as a cloud')

(Apologies to Wordsworth, Nana Mouskouri and Grigoris Mpithikotsis)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Day 11 - The Sonnet of The Conversation

Now Ashley Judd this week had had enough,
of petty puffy things the press were saying.
The time had come with words to hit them tough
and show them what a shallow game they're playing.
'An actor and a woman who at times'
heard oft how half the planet ought to look,
with judgements made upon those fragile lines,
but value and esteem from self she took.
She wrote a piece both eloquent and clear
on how accomplishment and voice were lost
to chit chat based on just how we appear.
And in it you can read the human cost.
So next time someone slates your look and boils your blood,
just think of those words written by the feisty Ashley Judd.

Inspired by this article http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/09/ashley-judd-slaps-media-in-the-face-for-speculation-over-her-puffy-appearance.html

With these 30 poems I'm writing for NaPoWriMo I'm also hoping to raise a little money for charity. 4 different ones in fact. Today it's apt to showcase womankind which help women acheive rights around the world. If you want to help you can donate at this site   http://www.justgiving.com/AthosPoetryWomanKind


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Day 10 - Air to Air

Its crisp today the air is ripe
with possibilities.
The fragments of my thoughts bounce off
the flowers and the trees,
which rustle in the faint path of
a subtle summer breeze.
And all this freshness is enough
to set my mind at ease.

The light contains a quality
that frames the open land.
And you can see for miles around
depending where you stand.
So match the clouds with landmarks found
below them underhand.
The character of your home town
it moves like flowing sand.

The people passing by each day,
upon some quest they know.
Their minds full of the potent mix
of happiness and woe.
Anxiety and confidence
swim in each other's tow.
But little of this turbulence,
does on the surface show.

See like a duck we hide from view
the flurry underneath.
And of the questions in our mind
few make it past the teeth.
Though to our friends we often do
our inner thoughts bequeath.
But sometimes from our very selves
we hide the air we breathe.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Day 9 - The Human God's lament

And so in time the cats and dogs
           learnt from their human masters,
the power of speech, the use of tools,
           and philosophic answers.
And ways to build new cities up,
           imparted from our guidance.
They picked up all the bad stuff too,
           the arrogance and violence.

They did not need opposing thumbs
           as many people thought.
With virtual tools they could control,
           most anything they sought.
And when at last they learnt to stand
           on two legs and not four,
they now could do just anything
           that we had done before.

And what of us, where did we fit
           inside this new world order?
Well at the start we fared quite well,
           they worshipped us with ardour.
We were to them the deities
           who'd brought this world about.
But we grew fat and lazy
           and we never moved around.

And one by one we disappeared
           until but few remained,
and we were placed in temples each,
           observed through windows stained.
Our bodies no more did we need,
           and so they atrophied,
But the science of the dogs and cats,
           meant that we never died.

And so we sat and watched the world
           that we had them bequeathed.
And saw both splendour and great woe
           with every breath we breathed.
They proudly showed us wondrous works.
           In building they surpassed us.
But with the same amount of pride
           displayed their foe's disasters.

Each faction had a temple grand
           with  human being seated.
And all believed that their's was best.
           The rest must be defeated.
The thing that that hurts the most to know,
           that all these wars they fight,
are for the sake of us, their gods,
           which they say makes it right.

And so I sit and watch them kill
           in my name. They won't listen.
Now and forever am I cursed
           to see this tragic vision.
The cats and dogs have turned this world
           into a living hell.
But I can't hold them guilty
           'cos we taught them all so well.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Day 8 - The note

High  above the city lights
floating on an updraft,
a once discarded paper note
spinning in the wind.

Bathed in halogen
from twenty million lamps
it makes its journey through
the musky air.
An air fragrant with the lives of 8 million hurried busy souls.

A lull as the wind becomes a zephyr
brings it gently down onto a crenellated rooftop.
Just one from hundreds and thousands of rooftops.
The real number not the coloured candy pieces found on cakes and trifles
that dissapoint you the first time you discover there are only 84.

this rooftop crowns an elongated house squashed between two others
like a book forced into an already full shelf.

It pauses there as it takes a breath while traffic whirls around.

And in the house asleep
dreaming dreams of many things
a single person rests.

The wind picks up again
and the note tries to move on.
But it can't.
it's trapped between two green ceramic tiles.

The person wakes
the sleeping breath changes in an instant to a gasp.
As a sudden realisation of the interconnectdness of the cosmos
And in that gasp all is made clear.

They fall asleep again
And in the morning wake without remembrance
of what went on the night before

As we all do.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Day 7 - The House Mouse

The mouse looked out across the floor
and read the length to cover.
He didn't like this game no more,
what choice did he have other?

When he was young the speeds he'd move,
meant he was hardly spotted.
But now his movements weren't so smooth,
and went passed time allotted.

The steps with benches were the worst,
now such a pained manoeuvre.
And he's the one who owned them first.
Back then he was a mover.
But they put cameras in the joint.
And all the people watched them.
His speeches suffered at that point,
and many times he botched them.

He felt his party just wasn't the same
maybe the time was right.
To leave behind this politics game
on floor no more to fight.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Day 6 - The bean

A barely yellow blurry light falls gently on the square,
Where the traders selling worldly wares swear in the open air.
And the token words there spoken, heard by birds in oaks are broken,
down to chimes and cheeps unspoken, where the soaken herds have cloaks on.

There is seen a bottle green, mottled like a throttled spleen.
In the bottle can be seen, fossil of a tiny bean.
And the bean is not for sale, not for money nor for tales,
it is merely on display, clearly played for other sales.

All around the people gather, sister, brother, uncle, mother.
Chatting on the newest wonder and forgetting one another.
And behind the dipping sheep, creeps a slippy sneaky thief.
From a tent where people kipping, try to get from sleep relief.

Passed enclosures to the crowd , whose loud clothes act like a shroud
to the thief, who proudly walks up to the stall in fact unbowed.
He begins to tell the story, to distract them, of a locket.
Slipping bottle into pocket, fitting like a throttle socket.

As he thinks he is unseen, magic precious bean took clean,
he continues with the story, of the locket of a queen.
But he's spotted by the watchful dotted eyeball of the seller
and she points to his side pocket where the bean is glowing yellow.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Day 5 - Mock Interview

"Well don't just stand there come on in"
The clear clean voice calls out.
"Now let us see, where to begin."
You slide into the couch.

"I have here all your details,
and I've never seen the like.
You claim to've written Moby Dick,
designed the folding bike,
and when Mandela spoke once freed,
you held the bloomin' mike."

"Now I'm as easy going
As the next one, folks tell me.
I give the benefit of doubt
to everyone I see.
But can't see how you did all that
and still be twenty three."

"Well that's straightforward" you retort,
"it's now time to come clean.
I used all my timekeeping skills,
to build a time machine.
And went on an amazing trip,
to prove that I was keen."

"I used my own initiative,
to change the fate mankind.
And with team building skills I'd learnt,
I changed a nation's mind
against three wars. But now I'm back.
A steady job to find."

"I see. Well that makes sense I guess.
You come across quite well.
But in this corner of your form
you've erred in how you spell,
'liaison'. And we have strict rules
for spelling, can't you tell."

"And though you've done impressive acts
this job for Fulham council,
had twenty thousand applicants,
and nineteen thousand still."

But you don't give up easily
"That's quite a lot it's true.
For nineteen thousand folk to meet,
I'll tell you what to do.
Why don't you hire me today
to run their interview?"

"You have a point, these interviews,
six months have taken me.
At this rate I will not be done,
'till Twenty Twenty Three.
So you can take my job right now,
and I at last am free."

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Day 4 - DONT PANIC!!

Don't panic if the Government starts saying "must buy petrol,
cos' service stations running dry have very high potential"
It makes the situation worse and really 'aint essential.

Don't panic if the things you want aren't happening just yet.
Life takes its own meandering path and nothing's ever set.
So stop and smell the roses now. Good things one day you'll get. 

Don't panic if a ghost you see inside an ancient building,
and you've just read a scary book about a reaper yielding.
They've just popped by to catch the breeze, no weapons are they wielding.

Don't panic when you tell someone for first time that you love 'em.
Instead just speak coherently. Don't throw the words above 'em.
Don't give yourself a hard time if the way you cannot fathom.

Don't panic used by one who hiked to see our world from space,
Who put a new perspective on this harmless human race.
Well mostly, so the story goes. Just keep your towel in place. 

Don't panic if the sun don't set. You're likely in the Arctic.
Unless you've gone the seven thousand miles down to Antarctic.
And don't panic if you can't find another word to rhyme.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Day 3 - Squashed Oaths

The ball picks up speed as it leaves the racket,
hitting the wall obliquely,
finding the only irregularity on the otherwise smoothness of the plastered wall.

It flies off strangely
and player misses
   and stumbles
      and falls
         and swears.

A brief exclamation nothing more.
An immediate link between brain and voice that shows us to be real and alive.
Not hidden but human and visceral and part of the world.

It is enough.
The opponent is not impressed.
"That'll do for today"

Racket slides into sleeve.
Sleeve is pushed into bag.
And bag and owner squeeze themselves through the door. Like that.

Sudden silence.
A little way off  can be heard the bounce of balls in other courts.
Other worlds.

Swears again.
A mirror to the first expletive, but one of loss.
The opponent so crucial to progress is out.
District attorney, client, publisher, celebrity?
Back to square one.

Outside a hop,
a skip,
a consideration of a jump,
is enough to disentangle the webs of the mind.

The sun shines regardless.
The world is abuzz.
Another profanity,
one of sheer joy.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Day 2 - The world today in triolet

The people of Burma are happy today,
what we take for granted they fought for.
Although true democracy's still far away,
the people of Burma are happy today.
The army should harken what they have to say,
raw power for decades they sought more.
The people of Burma are happy today,
what we take for granted they fought for.

The people of England are worried today,
the whole public sector's in danger.
Though other world problems might seem to outweigh
the people of England are worried today.
And all that was good will be carried away,
the government couldn't act stranger.
The people of England are worried today.
The whole public sector's in danger.

The people of Syria're dying today,
reports say explosions continue.
Though 83 countries denounce Assad's way
the people of Syria're dying today.
UN's called a ceasefire, will start soon they say,
the power to stop it's within you.
The people of Syria're dying today,
reports say explosions continue.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Day 1 - The Flute

A speckled broom leans lightly 'gainst a wall
that in a southern sun gleams crisp and bright,
and shows the cracking paint in all its funk.
All framed by two ash trees to left and right.

A growth of vines has spurted to one side,
though of its crop but two small grapes remain.
The rest in metal buckets carried off.
And one such pail is left upon the plain.

A hooded figure enters from the north
and picks up broom and bucket in each hand.
Then  turns to wander slowly down the path,
with feet that know the contours of the land.

The land has known the seasons long and dry,
and crunches 'neath the hooded figure's boot.
The figure has but little to her name,
except her prized and precious silver flute.

Through all the toil and hardship of her part
that she plays out below the scorching sky.
The only thing that let her heart feel light,
was when she played her flute to passers by.

Her mum had passed it down to her years back,
along with knowledge of how flutes were played.
Her mother's mother passed it down to her.
None knew how long ago the flute was made.

But after many years of heavy work,
the world's become a harsher harder place.
She knows there's only one way to survive,
and that is something she cannot yet face.

But sell the flute she must to pay for food
if only for her little daughter's sake.
The pain is more than she can well endure
but hunger is a keener sharper ache.

So knowing this she takes out silver flute
And looks at it across the many years.
And for the first time and indeed the last,
she plays a tune just meant for her own ears.

Saturday, 31 March 2012


Its been eleven months since the last National Poetry Writing Month in 201 The challenge was to write one complete poem a day for the month of April. I didn't know if I could do it but after 100 hours of writing I managed it. This year I'm planning on doing the same but for a number of charities - thereby given myself an extra incentive to make sure the poems are of a decent standard. Gulp!!
I'll be listing the charities later today. In the meantime look down to remind yourself of the poems from last year.