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The First Day of Mourning

Soon, they joined together in hordes
of increasing size, shudders running over
their bodies like waves in a storm.
They sat together over the cenotaph,
the shopping centre, spilled out into two
lane roads, holding each other as their sobs
became life rafts. Confused crowds watched,
unwilling to leap over to understanding.
Soon traffic stopped altogether, drivers
unable to see through salt water.

Quick Dice Poetry Exercise

When I wrote about creativity and Dungeons and Dragons, I mentioned I had adapted roll tables to create a random poetry prompt. I thought I'd write up the process in case it's useful for anyone else.

Always That Chimeric Skyline

Streets now sliced streaks of
shimmering turquoise, scarlet and
funeral grey blurs, suggestions of
doors, signs and windows barely
registering. How long, running for a
lifetime? No wheezes, no stitches, no
sweat. Pavement treadmills, that
red car ahead suspended in
motion. I need to catch up. Why? No
time for questions. Legs now
pistons, push my hazy memory of a
body forever forward as the city
loops over again towards the
vanishing point, never reached —

Creativity lessons from Dungeons and Dragons

For the last few years, I've been playing Dungeons and Dragons as a Dungeon Master. This is the person who creates the world and encounters for the players to explore. Every session is fun and I enjoy inventing increasingly strange situations for the party to react to.

A Ritual

I have been unable to describe the shape
of my body. Birds sing laments, mourning
for our forgotten winter in a language
only they know, nonsense to me. The sky
is a sermon printed on cheap paper,
orange markers bleeding through the page.
My garden whispers like a fading dream
as thoughts transmute to smoke,
wisp and separate and float. Recently

G Man

When asked to provide an account
he spoke only in pollen drifts.


I found an old tape recorder/ conveyor belt of rhythm/a strange reconstruction/of this improvised night./ I danced/ in the cold darkness

Erasure poem taken from Tracing the Lines Magazine

How long until your inlet valve chokes up

with lint and grime? Oil seeps into every
exposed surface, delays the build up of rust,
but decline is inevitable. When did you last
consider your camshaft bearing, your crankshaft
drillings, your line shaft? You forgot to follow
the established maintenance schedule,
didn't you? Made a checklist then delayed
consulting it. Eventually, your pistons
will stop pumping, a spark plug will fail,
your alternator will burn out or a wire
to your battery will fray. How much grease
lines the walls of your intake manifold?
Is it enough? When did a professional
last give you a look over? Your catalytic
convertor is clogged, you are speaking
in toxic fumes. How long has your engine
management light been flashing on and off?

The Days Stack Up

Recently, I was speaking to someone about journaling, and I casually mentioned I'd kept a diary consistently for over ten years. As I said it, it seemed wrong, so I checked the next day. Yup. Over ten years.

Discovering My Allergy to Scallops

'You don't want to end up like me,'
the man on stage screeches.
Laughter unstoppable now, like
a falling body embracing gravity.
'I'm serious. Why is that funny?'
I feel three hundred people's heat

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