Warming earth. Can we once more become a better loyal friend?
wind farms increase, plastic uses cease, exhaust emissions decrease
Ignore at our peril, how friends should go the extra mile
The prompt for the day is to write a sijo, a traditional Korean poetic form. Like the haiku, it has three lines, but the lines are much longer. Typically, they are 14-16 syllables, and optimally each line will consist of two parts – like two sentences, or a sentence of two clauses divided by a comma. In terms of overall structure, a sijo functions like an abbreviated sonnet, in that the first line sets up an inquiry or discussion, the second line continues the discussion, and the third line resolves it with a “twist” or surprise.
Full prompt: https://www.napowrimo.net/
...the need for speed...
With the highest speed Wi-Fi our money can buy,
I’m still waiting minutes for a page to open,
you never get this with opening a book!
Anyone would think, after all this time, that something was broken
First there’s the time it takes to find an obscure address,
If it was a postal delivery, the letter would be giving up under protest,
Found the site and I’m asked to accept cookies, though I’m not sure
Of the reason why,
something to do with protecting data,
if they tasted like their culinary namesakes, I wouldn't mind
Sometimes ‘accept cookies’ takes up half the screen
meaning not even being to peer around the edge to see the page
if I wasn’t so tolerant,
I’d think this robot was being mean!
There’s still adverts to download,
All manner of things to try,
Nothing that I’d even imagine needing,
At a crazily inflated price!
The screen has now gone completely blank,
Nothing there even scrolling up or down,
This machine is at AI’s heartless best
Hiding behind a download speed
and its annoying buffering round
But all might not be just its fault,
A search engine confirms a thought I’ve had,
So, ‘you have 30 seconds to comply’,
before I throw you out the window and replace you with a new iPad!
Photo by Mika Baumeister on
'Terra: from dirt to mother earth'
On Everest the cold runs deep
The mountain climbs, the Rongbuk creeps
This great river of sliding ice
first obstacle in roll of dice
Last barrier to climb's retreat
To summit near six thousand souls
Each one shared a single goal
To stand atop Chomolungma
The Goddess Mother of Mountains
Takes care of ghosts, dead souls retained
All gave themselves 'because it's there'
As are Mallory's brave words shared
From dirt to snow topped summit gained
Influence tangible in tidal ebb and flow,
Waxing turn waning around of face
Sickle smiling shining silver silhouette
What fortune might these horns portend or betray
Your presence based in tranquility
Your surface pocked in crater’s varied size,
Full face, crescent and new are your passage
Even as by lunar gods you inspire
Speak to me of your face booked in profile in June,
Whether it is reality to talk up the benefits of a spork,
Or of the relative merits of a runcible spoon,
Or just the nonsensical imagination of Lear about a fork,
Carrier of the silver light of night,
Some fortunate to have braved the flight
To stand upon your 'beautiful. Magnificent desolation'
without recourse to any physical restoration.
The hats on the bats in the castle,
Are in leather so the weather is no hassle,
As the cats chase the rats as they prattle,
Sending gnats over mats into battle;
Perhaps the host is a ghost feeling boastful,
About the coast, a Sunday roast and waste disposal,
On a boat with a goat feeling doleful,
Warmed by a coat as they float to Constantinople;
Where they meet on a seat in a street,
Listening to a beat in the heat then retreat,
As a fleet of bleating sheep make concrete,
A trick so neat that birds tweet and repeat
And repeat and repeat and repeat...
A Skeltonic, or tumbling, verse Prompt: https://www.napowrimo.net/
There is a man from Rotherham
Who thinks washing clothes is no problem
When home at the end of the day
Like his dad, he would change right away,
Before relaxing and surveying his kingdom!
Part not only a measure of great distances,
Or time from end-to-ending?
Or a wild animals hidden retreat, a lair
It appears as Langedune in the Domesday Book,
the end, 'dun', a hill or slope,
Or 'den' olde English valley, or Shropshire village
Yet most prevalent now in South Yorkshire, where I
hail, of acute town terrace,
Red-brick, small to these older eyes, bearing austere
hard-working, laboured, toiled for livelihood in steel
ignites the hard, clean cobalt mix,
or soldier for country in war to end all wars
ten centuries in existence, from distant den
by fluorescent northern light
guided from tome to newest historical home
The Loch Ness Monster is real!
A Prehistoric monster is alive and well and living in Loch Ness,
That's the conclusion of the latest research team who confess,
That while they were sceptical, their evidence is compelling,
There is a Plesiosaur, perhaps not the original, dwelling
In the cold, dark waters that plunge to extreme depths.
New photographs have been taken showing a steely eye and nose,
Others show its short forelegs, it's large flippers with webbed toes;
The monster has been followed by divers in a submersible craft,
While sound and water disturbances were recorded on a raft,
This new evidence is conclusive of Scotland's fantasy hero.
Locals in Fort Augustus are delighted with what they hear,
'We've always known!' says Mrs McDonald wiping away a tear,
'that Nessie is real has always been what we believe,
'now that we have proof, I can't say we're not relieved!
'such a boost to the economy, we'll be full all year.'
So Nessie has been found at last, of its existence now no doubt,
Whoever made the inflatable monster will hope not to be found out!
Does the 'M' in 'class M planet' stand for 'Mother'?
only one 'Mother' orbits our Solar System
is she lonely for company of her own kind?
near neighbours Venus and Mars, are they alright?
looking further into the sky of darkest night,
is there another alluring liaison in the air:
the impossibility of a different story?
in annual trio conjunction, romance might arise:
yet aloft! what sight over distant horizon wakes?
It is the zodiac, and Venusian is the sign
surprise! Dare Saturn, croggle her with your moons
show clean your dirtside to bring early elsewhen
while jovial Jovian tries to raise her smile
that saturnine Saturn can only see but not improve
Mother smiles as Venus returns a Jovian favour
From: Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction
Croggle = Astonished, baffled, bewildered
class M planet = Earth-like planet
different story = a science fiction, fantasy or weird story
Dirtside = Surface of a planet
Elsewhen = At some other time or times
Jovian = Of Jupiter
Dear Mother Earth
Mother, we feel confused; by you yes, if I can be so bold as to speak on behalf of Humankind: confused by the way you treat our home.
With your incessant weather changes, same days it's hot and then it's not; some don't have that luxury, it's either cold while you appear to think so what?
Why can't your rain be spread all over and rid the world of deserts and flooding and dangerous mudslides?
Some places are hit by hurricanes, some others by typhoons, they leave a trail of devastation, the like of which is hard to conceive. What's your thinking behind this?
Then there's your sudden judders that make me shudder, takes out a village or two in the mix, I don't want to seem over-critical but would some compassion be such a risk?
The other thing that frightens us is when you discharge magma down a volcano side, it's red hot and spectacular I admit, but couldn't you give us a bit more warning? Enough to clear out of its way and leave a clear path for the lava to the sea?
Don't get me started on bush and forest fires, they just seem too much to me. All that destruction when you create a tinderbox, well, couldn't you make it burn a little slower.
Mother dear, I hope you don't mind me writing, there's so much of the Earth that I approve; I’ve even liked the picture of you from the moon; certainly, if there was a choice of here or Mars, I wouldn't want to move.
It's good to hear from you, though it has taken you awhile. You've been here some six million years, I was beginning to think I was forgotten.
Don’t think that I’m ungrateful, in these social media times it’s always nice to receive a letter, but I think what you are raising in it could have been expressed a little better!
I know some things about me are unusual and might seem alarming, but I'm really concerned about what you're doing to increase global warming; the resources I have are yours to use but don't think that they're elastic, and, if I could change one thing, you should never have discovered the formula for PVC, you know...plastic! Don't worry so much about my earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, while you destroy the oceans, weather changes and glaciers melt, the seas will rise causing population disruption.
It's funny how you come to me after such a long time, I was beginning to believe in absent children, I may be old but I'm not ready to be put into a care home and you certainly don't need to wrap me in bubblewrap. Just take a little more care with me, I can't promise you an end to the quakes and eruptions, but the weather might be something you can mend, that way you won't need to think about Mars.
One final thing, you have heard of email haven't you? Only whenever you send me a letter, more trees are cut down, so emailing me is better.
Well, it's been good to have this chat after all this time, don't be so long in future. You may not think this true of me, but I really love humankind!
Photo: Apollo 8: Christmas at the Moon: www.nasa.gov
He wanted to be just one of those blokes,
now look at the mess he's made
the stopwatch in the drawer ran over
each lap time marked off to signify the end
as the hammer fell
still his ego swells
his opponents turn and drive the screws
against his oddment of unused tools
misuse of his Twitter feed
might have been the final nail
to send him packing his celebrity rucksack
travelling down the super-highway to Florida keys
closing this chapter of his self-signed autograph book
no more to be self-indulged
in his own stream of disjointed consciousness
no insight but to incite is a riot
no chance of a failed remake
in the battle for the two towers
democracy stands strong in one
while the republic tries to survive the siege in the other
relaxing biking, swimming laps and golden tanned strikingly in bad shape
scandals keep appearing and dancing in his lap
what does anyone see in him
with thin blond hair and eyes azur
the only thing we ever got from you is...sorrow
sorrow? They tried to fire ya
cos they thought they oughta
only fathered one devil's daughter
here one day then gone tomorrow
your sorrow...don't bother
an apprentice in the failing
just what is he taking these days?
some mind altering
making him forget all the bad things he's done
accused, arraigned, refused not expunged in his impunity
it's the anti-hero therapy
how far you going to fall?
ninth circle of inferno?
Oh no! your treachery has already taken you there!
Photo: Ksenia Makagonova Unsplash
'What's to do today?' I say, to myself as I'm rudely awakened,
Its usually not by the sun on its rise,
Nor is the sounds of the parakeets in the trees,
I enjoy lying awake listening to the sounds of the isle;
No, it's usually Tinkerbell who's flitting around noisily
Becoming annoying so much so that I get up for relief!
But there's mischief to be made, no time to waste,
No sense in me turning over a new leaf!
Mother has already made us breakfast,
There's berries and nuts, some bread and a cool cup of milk,
But she'll tell me I smell and can't eat til I'm showered
So I fly away to bathe in a lagoon smooth as silk.
I don't sleep well because the Lost Boys have been snoring,
But they're up, eating and fighting by the time I return,
Mother is getting teased and annoyed but the jealous fairy is no help,
So I grab a bowl of fruit and go out to hide in a bush of tall ferns.
When I'm not here, Neverland is usually quiet on the island,
even the pirates and lost boys do not fight,
But I hates lethargy so when I'm here I like to stir it up
Til you the whole island seething with life.
After breakfast Mother will send me out to hide on the island,
Soon, I'll be being chased by the lost boys,
the pirates will join in looking for them,
the pirates avoid a crocodile that ticks like a clockwork toy!
What to do in the afternoon? I thought,
That's the time I reserve for Hook!
My favourite to do is to fly around, tease and torment
That scheming pirate crook!
I'll pretend to let him catch me,
he'll relax and joke as he makes me walk the plank,
But I'll turn the tide on him by my sharpness:
my wit, my speed, my pranks
That’s about number nine on my to do list,
But there’s only one thing each day is about:
It’s to carry on behaving like children,
making fun of Captain Hook until the sun goes down.
'Eat out to help out'
I was locked down in life, for the while,
now locked out in death;
'Eat out to help out', that’s what I thought I was doing,
For want of a good meal, out of the house,
Now forever caught rueing, Sunak's smiling face
that they used for promoting
the Bank of Rishi opening
no decent track and trace,
and he didn't wear a mask
as the cameras took their picture
and journalists wrote their words
millions took up the offer, some,
like me, are consumed by regret
But they didn't say it wasn't safe to do so
by these sage and wise advisors
only to be cautious; but it's in the air
from a dozen sources,
who knows when I breathed it in
before the itching eyes began
and my appetite ended,
the headaches, the stomach cramps
then the shortness of breath
until an ambulance came along
took care to find proper ventilation
though that was at the end for me
to look back upon my epitaph:
"Ate out to help out"
until all my fight had gone
like more than a century of others
condemned by the reluctance to act
first the quickness to react to reopen
for economics sake
not for my families sake
Based on one of the stories in the Guardian’s ‘Lost to the Virus’ series: ‘The stories of people who have died of Covid-19 – and the systemic failures that may have contributed’
coax seed head’s
golden mean spiral
excite a tournasol delight
tournasol absorb sunlight rays
helix caught each turn
head set true
A Fib poem which is based on the first six numbers of the Fibanacci sequence: 1 1 2 3 5 8 (stanza 1, reversed stanza 2)
...mirrors to the soul...
Every book, every volume you see, has a soul
it will bear its soul to everyone
but only those it trusts will find its beating heart
those who never judge a book by its cover
might be taken as a lover
held in its embrace until the words have shone one
only then will the whole story unfold
Open the cover to the first page
Hear a voice speaking every word
turn the page as dreams may alter
it is its dreams that find a voice for you
every passage the story cuts through
nothing that makes what you hear absurd
even if the voices speak to you from a different age
Turn each page for its reveal at every chaptered stage
the words emerge in carefully ordered rapture
become consumed as if disappearing into dreams
not just skim the surface as plot and characters connect
weaves itself to allegory as ideas and thoughts collect
awaiting the souls essence captured
by the end line on the final page
 Based on Virginia Wolfe: Between the Acts
First line from 'Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
...a costume hides a multitude of sins...
Is the shape of super-villainy based in super-ego?
champion Thanos, unavenged, has the power of gems in hand
vicious Harley Quinn spares no quarter in love of chaos
ruthless Lex Luthor believes he is superior to all
fuelled with his weapons-grade Kryptonite
by far most insane is Joker no another built in his image
as he is so opposed in clownish code to his arch-enemy
administering madness his shifted sanity in thrall
His face has the appearance of a smiling clown in view
with astonishing white face and green hair on his head
which befits the crowned prince of crime
a vice that is his transport of delight
yonder is a world waylaid by mayhem
takes his bearing in cavalier acts of anarchy
all with the casual stroll of a ballroom dancer
Beyond to see the mayhem he is causing
an autobiography by Joker would miss timeline dates
they underestimate the springing of his crimes
laughing at distress readying for two-by-two attack
the bat shape projected prepared for a fight at its worst
illuminating his hatred for his nemesis with every strike
these illustrated by the craze of the infamous Joker smile
incredulous of the powers of his own intention
when lighting in the sky marks an explosive glow
imagine him flipping the switch in the depths of the cave
overturn the shadows now fallen on hidden walls
“Chaos,” he says, “I couldn’t have painted it better myself”
as alone he is lost in the passion of the moment
illustrated by the craze of the infamous Joker smile
Base poem: 'Candle Hat' by Billy Collins
Can I stand by and watch this changing space?
This once clear cut path that leads to...somewhere?
Its transition from clarity to blur
It will alter me as it alternates itself
Perspective differs as event horizon breached
A singularity in the making awaits
Snow hides footsteps that might lead to oblivion
Here or where, lost in space and time
A hip-thrust jetty to extend waters edge
Is this Alpine and will a lodge appear
Or lead to a Japanese pagoda in the mist
To bathe in steaming geothermal waters
Joining macaques in their meditative soak
snow monkeys muse and ponder
Their liminal space
Part-Escher, his return path might lead me back
Left, right, left like some dictated marching orders
No chance to break the line or rhyme
Reach by and touch the ever changing space
The path clear cut through its own transition
Retread from here to where to there
Prompt: https://www.napowrimo.net/ Photo: Liminal Space @SpaceLiminalBot
...once upon a climb...
I stood upon that mountain top
Once upon a climb,
With spectacle and grandeur
Tenacious traveller in time
From the depth of the deepest valley
Where, eyes wide, I strolled
The risk of exposure unseen
My inhibition uncontrolled
The aroma left on the breeze to meet
The taste all to be sought
The geomorphology of the moment
To aid my train of thought
The darkness quickly left behind me
Sunrise seen on the edge of sight
The soft smell of cut grass welcomes
Overcomes the taint of addicts fight
The words may have helped to save
Poetic licence, no quarter,
overcome days count from one to many
The climb to the mountain top still runs
New pages present empty white leaves
One book cannot be read before other
Choose one for then another received
Only now see the wood from the trees
No choice made now that others govern
Is this a risk now that I've retired?
The time allow what has often flowed
To write the words so often travelled by
No more to stand by, a writer shy
No more to hide stories to be told
So long to wait the step to take
Perhaps now I write in another tense
On pages where the stories now break
With telling words on which to partake
And this will make all the difference
The thrill now felt that others now read
What's written but have never been sent
The new path taken the way believed
The one now travelled the fancy freed
Could become what makes the difference
Based on the prompt of the Robert Frost poem, 'The Road Not Taken', the challenge is to write a poem about my own road not taken – about a choice that has “made all the difference,” and what might have happened had I made a different choice.
discordant jazz blues
pulls cobra’d head
of Sun Ra king
shapes pattern hues renew
musical world in
‘Monet's Bridge’: a villanelle
A frog watched from a lily pad eyes wide
Camouflage hiding his green skin from view
Unseen with the sharpness of Monet's eyes
in shadow of the bridge helps him to hide
Painter comes each day when the light is true
A frog watched from a lily pad eyes wide
this curving arc lends passage side-to-side
he paints, as a frog sits, pinks greens and blues
As seen with the sharpness of Monet's eye,
Why not the view from the bridge, has he tried?
Another impression for Monet's use
A frog watched from a lily pad eyes wide
with easel and paints, impressionists pride
colours of awakening emerge through
As seen with the sharpness of Monet's eyes
he's watching not seeing, give him a sign,
reflection hides as he paints deja vu
A frog watched from a lily pad eyes wide
Unseen with the sharpness of Monet's eyes