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Be quiet and listen

15 Jun 2019 Category: poetry

Open mic nights are wonderful spaces. They are brilliant places to try new work in front of audiences and get instant feedback. But more than that, they are places where you can listen to the voices of others and learn from them. It’s essential in these times to be in the same space as others and listen to their words.

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NaPoWriMo Lessons

18 May 2019 Category: poetry

I’ve done NaPoWriMo for the last three years. I’ve found it hugely useful to create new poetry and improve my craft. The process of writing thirty poems in thirty days is not a great achievement, but it is a useful one. It highlighted a couple of things to me:

Pushing Through Resistance

Each time I work on this challenge, I get sick of it. There comes a point where I feel I have nothing left to write about. This generally happens around the third week, where I have lost the initial momentum and the end seems far away.

This year...

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Napowrimo 2019 day 30

30 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Faster Than Light

Let us wander around the symmetry
and geometry of narrow alleys
that shift around us as we meet
ourselves walking towards us
smiling as we will do soon.

Streets flicker. Buildings are destroyed
then rubble flies upwards and they are
newly constructed. The moon slams into
the welcoming ocean and the planet grows.
Somewhere we are briefly under stars.

It's hard to see anything when
we bend the light around us,
cocoon ourselves in the silence
beyond possibility as our bodies
bruise...

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NaPoWriMo 2019 day 29

29 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Rewritten

Eyes flicker and head reels.
I am lost and dizzy from
another reality adjustment.
Precious seconds to get my bearings,
probing my memory for gaps,
a tongue checking missing teeth.

A nerve twitches, a sign of change.
Last Tuesday no longer existed.
Not the worst to reconcile,
nothing of great importance lost.
Perhaps just a rainy day gone,
work, tv and cups of tea.

Whole months have been deleted before,
years when they were inconvenient.
We accepted them without protest
not often knowing...

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NaPoWriMo 2019 day 28

28 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

An Invitation

Come cross the sea at night
when the moon is a target
pierced by an arrow, a jet
stream shot from distant lands.

One small solitary figure
alone under the moonlight.
No sound but your constant engine,
Your breath distant and faint.

You are not pushed forward
by constant explosions but
pulled towards us, dragged
on invisible spider's silk.

Your perception sprawls out
over the mutable waves.
As horizon and sea blend,
you twitch, trying to wake.

Our island is a shadow
...

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NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 27

27 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Emergency Protocol

If you are hearing these words
then our efforts were futile.
We were an ant trying to halt
an avalanche, a single voice
trying to cross the endless void.

I was no-one important, a bureaucrat
following the train tracks left
by countless generations. Not many
of us can switch tracks or derail without
wrenching metal and screaming sparks.

I record this message as an emissary
from the past, from your former government,
but it will be clear to all of you listening

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NaPoWriMo 2019 day 26

26 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Conversion Rate

You are a grizzled space marine
reporting for duty on the SS Hermes.
Humanity faces a new and terrible threat.
You are our only hope for survival.
Whilst saving the galaxy, why not
look stylish with optional upgrades?

(The waking world is a buried memory.)

Superhumans swarm above your head
battling an ancient foe, standing up
for what is good and just. You must
stay on the ground and duck for cover,
having never fallen in radioactive waste-
but you can buy their merchandise.

...

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NaPoWriMo 2019 day 25

25 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Tempest

When storm clouds spell put your name,
it's hard not to take it personally.
Shifting letters, miles high, grow heavy
and dark as they fill the sky.

Sunshine appears in patches, a
mismatched jigsaw. When you step in,
it flickers and fades, the fuse board blown.

Rain, when it decides to fall,
seeks you out, small homing missiles,
following your frantic steps down the street.
As it slams into your ears, soaks through
your cheap anorak, it whispers threats,
drawn from details you only told...

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NaPoWriMo 2019 day 23

23 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

The Kite Festival

The dates are always unknown.
It is never scheduled or planned.

Rumours circulated it was banned.
A few news in brief articles
stoked our speculations. Years passed
and life happened. It was forgotten.

Until yesterday, when unusual sunlight
kissed bare skin and breeze blew blossom
making confetti. We started driving
when we saw flashes on the horizon,
bright purples and oranges that
swooped and darted and flickered.

Moving down the road, we saw it all;
saw the fishes and birds jiving
in...

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NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 22

22 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Ordinary Omens

Thousands of seagulls descended
yesterday on one street corner.
The air was thick with wings,
No-one thought it strange.

We are a cracked river bed
just before it dries out,
water still barely flowing,
leaving rock and rust deposits
snaking down bare hillside.

Lead and mercury storm clouds
appear overhead in seconds.
We dodge and weave between
rains of first generation iPods,
avoid fax machine strikes.

Streams run green with lithium.
We breathe in chlorine and
we are grateful for it.

While...

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NaPoWriMo 2019 day 21

21 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Thread

Plane trails cross the sky,
thin lines from one hub to another

Small boats over the ocean
drag the same white trails behind.

On a blank page, write out the names
of everyone you've ever known
even passing acquaintances and colleagues
you haven't said a single word to.
Then draw lines of connection.
You will have a map of the cosmos
and a diagram of an molecule.

From above at night, the cities
towns, villages and roads are glowing
cells and veins. Grids are subsumed.

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NaPoWriMo 2019- Day 20

20 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Seduction

The past whispers in your ear
when sleep seems so distant
with tales and promises told
in sweet singing tones
"Society was better then,
if only you could go back."

Still humming a forgotten tune
it pulls you out of the bed
and towards the floorboards
where the sour and sweet smell
rises from underneath. "Damp
has set into the bones now,
nothing left but a slow descent
into disorder and anarchy.
If only you could go back."

Lies, of course. The rot

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NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 19

19 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Spinning

That morning had the clarity of a story,
we whirled and spun around each other,
hypnotised by the orbits we wove
and the stars above us were **[Redacted]**.

Looking in your eyes, perfect models
of the galaxy, with the central black
hole eating all light, I exclaimed
"**[Redacted- Harm to Ongoing Matter]"**

In that moment, everything made sense.
The closest I have felt to epiphany.
You, [Redacted], laughed and replied "**[Redacted]**"
as spring blossom erupted around us.

The feeling faded, confusion reigned again,
our separate...

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NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 18

18 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Liminal

The sea is a distant silver chain
hugging the horizon.

Wind laughs, dances and sprints
giddy at the space.

Grains bounce and tumble through
her outstretched palms,

each and every falling dot
another universe.

The shore-line sighs and is erased
so gradually

by the careful, precise hands
of advancing waves.

Names, messages and castles
blur, then vanish.

Wind tires herself out and calms,
dampens the sea peaks.

The hidden beach slumbers underwater
waiting for the tide to turn.


All the poems I wrote last...

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NaPoWriMo 2019 day 17

17 Apr 2019 Category: poetry

Unmoored

Stranded in the nothing,
spinning like a planet
My thoughts are still and calm
like the first light of dawn
through willow branches at home,
which I will not see again.

Giving myself to chance
I start to count all the
different types of infinities.

One slip and I fell upwards,
my body only a loose collection
of dust,rejoining the cosmos.

I glance over my years,still
calm. Each moment inevitable.

As oxygen runs low, all I see
is orange, red, blue and white.

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