Napowrimo day 1

Napowrimo (or for those who enjoy real words, national poetry writing month) has begun. You can find daily prompts at, although I think personally I shall be more interested in trying to do some writing rather than following instructions.

I have been thinking about writing for a while, but life has been quite frantic. Perhaps this month signals the start of a period of proper writing.

by process of elimination

it may be possible

to determine what I am

by gathering the discarded scraps of what I am not

the cathode fortune cookies

curled and yellowed

assembling them with paste and conjunctions


there are so many more things that are not

than are

I am not a blood cell

or a tangerine

I am not infallible

nor am I a coffee filter

this could go on for some time

perhaps therefore

it is wise to be positive


Defeated … by the ballad

Apparently there is just something about ballads that I cannot write. Day 25 of the napowrimo had an exercise to write a ballad, and I just couldn’t do it. There is something about the rolling, rhyming lines of the ballad that I couldn’t do. Not that I can’t rhyme. I have written quite a few rhyming things in the past and all of them seemed to work fine. But the ballad seems an insurmountable obstacle.

Oddly, this isn’t the first time that this has happened recently with a ballad. I’ve also been working through exercises from Stephen Fry’s excellent ‘The Ode Less Travelled’, a book I would absolutely recommend to beginning or even advanced poets everywhere. What is an advanced poet exactly? I’m not sure. But anyway. There was an exercise in that book to complete a ballad started by Stephen, and I couldn’t do that either. I’d written one once before (done the same exercise) and all that kept popping into my head was the lines I’d already written. Clearly there is something about the ballad that drives one towards insanity, or at the very least, non-productivity.

So I shall end this quick post with a question or two. Have you ever run into a block when writing something, especially a ballad? Do you have any advice for me writing ballads? And finally, what on earth is your appendix for anyway?

Day 23 – triolet

A triolet is a poem of the form ABaAabAB where A and B are repeated lines and a and A rhyme, as do b and B. I’m sure I could make all that into a poem but I don’t think I shall.

It makes me think of diamond rings

the house all empty and decayed

a lonely voice, abandoned, sings

It makes me think of diamond rings

All falling and precarious things

An eye so pretty, yet dismayed,

It makes me think of diamond rings

the house all empty and decayed

Day 22 – Earth day

In the beginning was the word

And the word was ‘ouch’

And the word was in pain

And the pain was palpable

In the beginning was the word

And the word was ‘seriously?’

And the word was flabbergasted

And the word looked upon all that man had made and said

‘It is not good’

In the beginning was the word

And the word was considered

And the thought behind it was great

And from the word sprung many tiny violets

And the word was settled

And the word was peaceful

And the word was ‘earth’

Day 21 – Fortune cookies

I found a new place for prompts – thank you


You will bring great happiness to others

You will be as fluid as mercury

You will travel to strange and unusual destinations, and stay inside the whole time you are there

You will meet a tall handsome stranger on the bus, and never say hello

You will fall in love and out of love and in love and out of love…

You will have a child whom you love above all other things

You will bring great unhappiness to others

Beware of those who throw tomatoes

You will never stop moving

People in glass houses with stones are probably up to no good

You will have an unhappy birthday

You will eat too much and feel bad about it the next day

You will never learn your lesson

You will stop, and in stopping, learn to live