Monthly Archives: April 2013

NaPoWriMo 2013 – No 30 – The Sparrow



She loosely grips the land with feet;
Far from the moon – a busy street,
Squar’d with the reddened earth – her seat.

The smooth, clear sky above her sighs,
She disregards through half closed eyes,
Then like a lightning flash she flies.

So – the final day of NaPoWriMo for this year and the prompt was to “find a shortish poem that you like, and rewrite each line, replacing each word (or as many words as you can) with words that mean the opposite” so I took Tennyson’s “The Eagle” and wrote my version for the humble sparrow. The original is included below.

The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

~Alfred, Lord Tennyson~


NaPoWriMo 2013 – No 29 – The Grey Area



Grey suit, grey hair

Age and station

Flannel shorts and
No solutions

Dust and ashes
Old dress sashes
Thunderstorms and
Lightening flashes

Castle turrets
Metal bullets
Rocker guys with
Ancient mullets

Grey surrounds us
Grey confounds us
Without colour
Grey will drown us

The prompt was to pick a colour. Ever awkward, I picked an anticolour….

NaPoWriMo 2013 – No 28 – Plus valet in manibus avis unica quam dupla silvis



“What Did You Pay For Those Shoes?”

It’s better to have a lesser
but certain advantage
than the possibility
of a greater one
that may come to nothing

“My wife says I’m the second smartest. She claims there are 80 guys tied for first”

Indeed a living dog
is better than a dead lion
when you consider that
a sparrow in your hand is better
than a thousand sparrows flying

“One more question”

The Code Talker has said:
“There are a thousand paths
you can take in life.
But there is only one right one…
when you’re on the right path, you’ll know it.

“There’s something that bothers me”

The Lieutenant had it right
as he mumbled and stumbled.
We watched as he disassembled
the fiendishly clever cover stories
of the loathsome rats who
considered themselves his better

“Just one more thing….”

He was always on the right path
and though we cheered and knew
The criminal didn’t have a clue
(Unlike our Frank)

“Oh, I do a little cooking, sir. Nothing fancy”

Leftover pheasant,
bought months ago from Paul the butcher
and kept in the freezer until last week,
cooked with celery, as he advised.
Leftover rice.
Leeks and winter leaves from the farmer’s market.
Wild garlic.
Tossed in a pan.

“Well, it’s better than a gallstone. Did ya ever have a gallstone ma’am?”

Irrationality lies not in failing
to conform to some preconceived notion
of how we should behave,
but in persisting
with a course of action
that does not work.

“There are a couple of loose ends I’d like to tie up. Nothing important you understand”

The plain-spoke lad is far too rough,
The rich young lord is not rich enough,
And one is too poor and one too tall,
And one just an inch too short for them all.

“My ears pop in an elevator. As a matter of fact I don’t even like being this tall.”


This was written for the prompt which suggested taking a well known proverb or saying, (in this case “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”) typing it into Google and collecting phrases and words form the first few pages of results. Here it is and it also ended up being a tribute to one of my favourite Detectives! 🙂

NaPoWriMo 2013 – No 27 – Paradise



In Xanadu Kubla Khan


to a sunless sea

And there
blossomed many
forests as
spots of greenery.
But oh! slanted
Down the hill a cover!
A savage place
was haunted
By a wailing demon!


Huge fragments
beneath the
dancing rocks
flung up
a mazy motion
Through the sacred ,
And sank in to a lifeless ocean
Kubla heard
of pleasure
on the waves;
heard the
It was a miracle
A pleasure
A vision
once I saw
an Abyssinian maid,
Singing of

symphony and song,

with music loud and long,
in air,
That dome! of ice!

all who see them there,
should Beware!
His. eyes, his hair!
circle round him thrice,
close your eyes
drunk the milk of Paradise.

An erasure poem from the original by Samuel Taylor Coleridge which is posted below in full.

Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And ‘mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

NaPoWriMo 2013 – No 26 – Love Lost Hill



There was a girl on yonder hill
All in the grass a green o
Who loved a boy (she loves him still)
Di fiddle aye diddle aye day o

He told her that he loved her too
All in the grass a green o
And kissed her under skies of blue
Di fiddle aye diddle aye day o

One day she spied him in the town
All in the grass a green o
With a pretty maid in a yellow gown
Di fiddle aye diddle aye day o

She followed them to Bluebell Wood
All in the grass a green o
And watched, although her heart did thud
Di fiddle aye diddle aye day o

He took that maid into his arms
All in the grass a green o
And laid upon her all his charms
Di fiddle aye diddle aye day o

And then the girl from yonder hill
All in the grass a green o
Took out a knife intent to kill
Di fiddle aye diddle aye day o

She slashed and stabbed with all her might
All in the grass a green o
My friends, ’twas not a pretty sight
Di fiddle aye diddle aye day o

And now she hangs on yonder hill
All in the grass a green o
And yet in death she loves him still
Di fiddle aye diddle aye day o

My attempt at a ballad from yesterday’s prompt. I always work a day late because I write my verse before the prompt goes up 🙂