NaPoWriMo Day 16 Lucky Duck

bactaboy.deviantart.com

Lucky Duck 





No longer a young buck, 

our Mandarin duck, 

was as cheap as muck, 

and as salty as fuck. 

A naturalised Canuck, 

tough as a hockey puck, 

had the bad luck, 

to become moonstruck, 

lovestruck with a chuck, 

that had lost its cluck. 





Heart aflame with desire, 

hormones running haywire, 

composing odes on a lyer 

bird, hiring Town Criers, 

and huge gospel choirs, 

to sing of the fire, 

this chicken inspired. 





But the hen remained mute, 

the dispassionate brute, 

cocking a snoot, 

at the duck’s overshoot, 

rejecting the toots, 

of the champagne flutes, 

and left in pursuit  

of a mute bandicoot. 





How, you inquire, 

did the bird we admire, 

stop feeling dire? 

Did it cease to respire? 

Happily, it transpires, 

that the old duck retires, 

with a Whiby vampire, 

never expires. 





Lucky Duck.

Todays prompt was to write a Skeltonic... well obviosly if I'd of thought about it, there would have been skeletons in mine. But I took the prompt at it's word and didn't think too much. After all there on the coffee table was a note scribbled by teen daughter, her description of her favourite Tortilla Chips.


 

Dark is Easy …default setting.

Habits your parents had, that you have too… 

Fucking hell, I wanted to keep this light, 

write something humorous,  

dripping with doggerel, 

John Cooper Clarke like, 

funny yet visceral. 





So, I try hard to think past, 

his fairground arrest, 

my breakdown and lock up, 

on hearing the worst. 

“I am not like him!”  

I repeat like a mantra, 

“I will not be like him! 

My real Dad’s the Black Panther.” 





The sins of the father 

are pills swallowed by the son, 

the decrees of the gods 

are lies spoken in tongues. 





In the absence of truth, imagination spreads roots, 

In the stories we plant, to lay claim to the land, 

In the songs that we sing, to calm and understand, 

In the pictures we paint, to enchant or encapture, 

In the dances we weave, to move ourselves to rapture. 





“Dark is Easy”, as a great band once said, 

So, fight to be light, relax past the dread. 

Music is the magic, a balm for the soul. 

Books are the spells, to make the lost whole. 

Friends are the foils, the safe place to fail. 

Words are a way out, of whales or of jails. 

NaPoWriMo Day 15 “Dark is Easy” (Light Mix)

Dark is Easy





The sins of the father 

are pills swallowed by the son, 

the decrees of the gods 

are lies spoken in tongues. 





In the absence of truth, imagination spreads roots, 

In the stories we plant, to lay claim to the land, 

In the songs that we sing, to calm and understand, 

In the pictures we paint, to enchant or encapture, 

In the dances we weave, to move ourselves to rapture. 





“Dark is Easy”, as a great band once said, 

So, fight to be light, relax past the dread. 

Music is the magic, a balm for the soul. 

Books are the spells, to make the lost whole. 

Friends are the foils, the safe place to fail. 

Words are a way out, of whales or of jails. 

NaPoWriMo Day 14 The Marculus

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Marculus 





Warlike and manly, 

soft and tender, 

employed 

to beat or to crush, 

an impact tool, the Marculus 

was music to Pythagoras. 





In ancient times,  

in the smithy, or 

in the gospel, 

this Warhammer 

made its mark, 

beating and shaping hot iron, 

fighting totalitarian regimes. 

NaPoWriMo Day 13 Woke up this morning…

Woke up this morning to silence, 
checked the phone, no signal, 
switched on the radio, static, 
booted the computer, blank.  
 
Woke up this morning to silence, 
no hum of traffic,  
no drone of planes overhead, 
no metronomic alarms, 
no piercing sharp sirens or horns, 
no mowers or blowers, growling and chewing, 
no drills or clippers, pounding or ripping. 
 
Woke up this morning to birdsong, 
a noisy throng of sparrows animating a bush, 
crow and pigeon exchanging one and two note refrains, 
robin and blackbird battling for dominance of the tree, 
trading virtuoso crescendos, a concerto for free.  
 
Woke up this morning to silence, 
Within. 
Basked in the gentle motion of daisies in the breeze, 
wallowed in the rustling and swishing of the leaves, 
gasped at the electric touch of cool air on the skin, 
feasted on the fecund smells of the garden, 
tasted the musky aroma of the earth,  
 the thrill of still dewy grass on still bare toes. 
 
Woke up this morning… 
 
 
 
 
 

NaPoWriMo 12 I am not a robot.

photograph of a favourite print which I’ve still to frame! https://www.instagram.com/stephenjeffrey_art/

I am not a robot. 





Fell through a wormhole, 

investigating a poetry writing prompt, 

in between two dictionaries, 

one of the classical world,  

one of science fictions. 

through a film I have not seen,  

though it is culturally hard to escape, 

to a choice of two pills,  

(Funny how fucking binary 

even imagined worlds are.) 

one blue,  

to remain blissfully unaware, 

and 

one red,  

to face the unpleasant reality. 





Down a rabbit hole,  

into the manosphere, 

into misogyny, and men’s rights, 

the alt-right, an alternate universe, 

where all lives matter,  

moderated by a Morpheus. 

Not the oft winged ‘child of great corpulence’,  

described in classical literature, 

not the character who offers the dark truths in the film, 

but a young man, hidden on the internet,  

who finds enlightenment in delusion, 

who feels disenfranchised in his white privilege, 

who seeks Illumination in the shadows, 

who decrees that women have all the power… 





As a middle-aged white man, 

as a father of a teenage girl  

and a teenage boy, 

I could list the ways 

these toxic dreamers are wrong, 

but I have to stay sane, 

go to work, carry on. 

I don’t want to take your pills. 

Should I take the pills? 





I am tired. 

I avoid the news most days, 

Another black youth killed. 

Another woman attacked and killed. 

Hundreds of refugees die daily. 

Food banks are used daily, 

in one of the richest nations on the planet. 

The billionaire backed newspapers look away, 

an old Duke dies, we should all cry, 

politicians spread hate, our Prime Minister lies… 





I am not a robot. 

I hide in poetry and music.  

Art enables me,  

to look at the world afresh. 

NaPoWriMo Day 11 Questions

Bee, 

How can you be? 

 

Human, 

You ask too many questions, 

I just am. 

I just be. 

 

 

Today I wrote North Sea Woman #2 
but it is too personal to post.  

It asks the questions I could never ask someone. 

I shared it on a WhatsApp writing group I am part of... my safe space for writing and sharing...a friend replied with a quote from a poet I had never heard of...
so I will share...

Rilke from Letters to a young poet. 

I want to beg you, as much as I can... to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. 

NaPoWriMo Day 10 North Sea Woman #1

Todays prompt, a favourite song meets an odds and sods drawer.

North Sea Woman is inspired by an exhibition at The Old School Gallery, Alnmouth.

https://theoldschoolgallery.co.uk/product-category/north-sea-woman/

There are ghosts in the close microphone… 

salty breezes, sea fret,  

rising mist, a wish list, 

Kraken swirl of electrical wires, 

cables and sea-weed, 

plugs of twine, twirled and tied, 

pens that no longer write, 

but still sparks ideas, 

all thrown together, colours clashing, 

toes wet in the freezing water, 

acid sharp smell of the chip shop queue,  

keys echo like bells, repeat and swell, 

rockpool rhythms roll,

tide ebbs and flows, 

stories slowly dissolve 

into dreams 

and sleep and disease. 





So close up, breathy and intimate, 

in my ear, in my heart, in my mind, 

North Sea woman, woven from piano wire, 

strong and fragile,  

a voice so high, 

so heartbreakingly fucking high, 

you allow me, momentarily to fly… 

Past flaking paint bridges, 

boarded up windows,  

whale bone arches, 

Whitby, Saltburn, 

Skinningrove, 

South Gare. 





Saint Saviour,  

Saint Hilda,  

my Auntie Hilda, 

Marjorie, my Nana. 

Short vowels take me home 

but strand me in time, 

I ran from the place, 

from the past, 

from the deaths. 

Yet the yearning in your voice, 

the song bird, soaring above 

the dizzying cliffs,  

the sweeping coast, 

the supernatural sound  

of an angel broken by the darkness 

behind the fairground. 

The shadows, the threat, 

the thrills, the dazzling illuminations, 

“it’s too dark and it’s too light.” *





* Line from Let it Go, on the Saint Saviour Album, In The Seams.

NaPoWrMo Day 9 I don’t do, to do lists. But i do music.

(Write a to do list as a poem, they said. Oh no, I said. They suggested writing from Genghis Khan’s perspective, I toyed with writing as Boris, but felt dirty within seconds. Bloody self help shit, thinks I. …accentuate the positive… sang the song in my mind. Now it is four hours later, and by no means finished…this could be my life’s work. All the titles are from albums I physically own…they are alphabetised as I have to get on with my day now….but in places they make more sense than I do most of the time. I like the ‘D’s, the ‘L’,s and the ‘W’s in particular. Enjoy. Suggest more if you like…. the song title could not be altered to make it fit…sorry Lampchop.)

Accentuate the positive. 

Ask. 





Catch my breath,  

Catch the wind, 

Come again?  

Come down easy,  

Come together. 

Conservation conversation, 

Cool it down. 





Dance to the music,  

Dare to fly.  

Do as Dela does,  

Do it better,  

Do the dog. 

Don’t be afraid of love, 

Don’t fight it, feel it, 

Don’t think twice it’s alright. 

Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing. 

Dream a little dream,  

Dream, dream away 

Dry the rain. 





Elevate my mind,  

Fade into you 

Find a new way,  

Fuck the government (I love you). 

Get the balance right,  

Go out and get it.  

Go to hell. 

Hang out, Have a good time. 

Hide in from the day. 





Journey through time,  

Kick, Jump, Twist. 

Leave the planet,  

Let it be,  

Let it flow,  

Let it go,  

Let it ride, 

Let’s get lost, 

Lets go swimming wild, 

Let’s go to bed… 

Listen the snow is falling 





Make a better man, 

Make em laugh, 

Make me feel, 

Move on up. 





Never learn, 

Never learn not to love. 

No more drama. 





Open the light, 

Pull up the roots. 

Race for the prize. 

Relax. 

Respect.

 

Ride into the sun,  

Ride my arrow,  

Rise intently,  

Run to the sun. 





Save the children,  

Say a little prayer,  

Share it.  

Simmer down,  

Sing.  

Sleep in the grass, 

Slip into slumber. 





Smile more,  

Stay high,  

Step in the Arena,  

Step on. 

Stretch out and wait, 

Take it all in and check it all out. 

Take no notice of the world outside. 

Think for a minute…  

Try a little tenderness. 





Walk on by,  

Walk on the Wildside,  

Walk tall. 





P.S These things take time. 

time machine

time machine 

The phone box stinks of bodily fluids 

but that’s no surprise as it connects me to my brother and sister, 

who died over 30 years ago. 

I don’t see the… 

But when the metallic clunk of the dialing tone hits… 

the black plastic handset fills my senses with them. 

I hear them softly,  

I smell the bunk beds 

the bubble bath,  

the gungy air fresheners in their plastic cages. 

It makes me want a brother and sister  

who are not trapped in time and photographs, 

who are not distant echoes in a cloudy aging mind. 

The fire red phone box wants to connect me. 

It wants to be a Tardis and take me through time. 

It wants to disguise the madness,  

the crying into empty spaces 

the supernatural imaginings, 

the voices I’m sure I hear in the static, 

the echoes of the big bang, 

the formation through destruction. 

This piss stinking box wants to put me back together again. 

Wants me to remember  

the clammy hands and cotton mouth 

as I rang Jackie Denim in 1977 

and asked her to go and see Grease. 

So many intimate moments, 

unsanitary seeming in Covid times, 

trysts arranged, deals made, cards displayed, 

for fetish, cos play and dominatrix, 

that led teenage me straight back to the dictionary 

and then the Grattons catalogue. 

A ledge to skin up on, 

build a spliff, 

A place to meet your mates 

when there was no cash 

and nowhere to go. 

A time machine.