NaPoWriMo2017 Day 25


I am not strictly on prompt today. This is the set task for NaPoWriMo2017. “In 1958, the philosopher/critic Gaston Bachelard wrote a book called The Poetics of Space, about the emotional relationship that people have with particular kinds of spaces – the insides of sea shells, drawers, nooks, and all the various parts of houses. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores a small, defined space – it could be your childhood bedroom, or the box where you keep old photos.”

It’s doubtful this poem would qualify, but it did spark the conclusion for how to address a subject I have wanted to introduce to a poem for years. And I have got a serious crush on the elevenie since Sunday’s challenge.  A new way of “tricking around with words,” as my friend Christine beautifully describes the process.

I do still have those gloves in a box. They will probably make their way into an art project at some stage. The right collage are just crying out for them. Not even children have hands that small anymore. And this from a woman who has to buy kid’s ‘magic gloves’ so that winter woolies will fit her own abnormally tiny hands.


My Grandmother’s Kidskin Gloves



Kidskin tight

Inherited from Mom

They would only fit




Outgrew them

As did I

No one wears kidskin




Keep close

Those left behind

On my many travels



Grandmother Uncle Charlie c 1955

My Grandmother and her brother photographed around the time I was born

NaPoWriMo2017 Day 24


NaPoWriMo2017 Day 23


Poetry Day Ireland is April 27th. So I reunited with my fellow fools for poetry today in Cavan Burren Forest Park for a walk, picnic and poetry writing. The dogs got walked, too. I shared NapoWriMo’s Day 23 challenge. Which is a form hitherto unknown to me. But, like haiku, it has an unrhymed, strictly defined format.

The elevenie contains five lines of eleven words. Line 1 is a single noun. Line 2 contains two words about what that item ‘does’, with line 3 telling the where or how of Line 1. Line for is supposed to convey the meaning of it all. And Line 5 winds it all up with a single word. Apparently, it is very popular for teaching German as a Second language!

Today’s challenge was to write a double elevenie.


Letting the Stones SpeakCalf Hut Autumn


Stands still

Cavan Burren forest

Eon’s old limestone seabed




Stands proud

Stone Age craft

Art the first impulse



Day 22 NaPoWriMo2017


Happy Earthday. Today’s challenge is to write a geordic. “The original georgic poem was written by Virgil, and while it was ostensibly a practical and instructional guide regarding agricultural concerns, it also offers political commentary on the use of land in the wake of war. “



Hymn to Gaia


What shall we say

to the dying bees?

What shall we say

to the rising seas?


What shall we say

to the mouths we feed?

What shall we say

as great Gaia bleeds?


Once, we, with our bodies,

did give you worship.

Now, we, with our bodies,

practice global smash up.


Go tell the bees, Gaia,

name each dying species.

Go tell the trees, Gaia,

shame greed and anarchy.


What shall we say, please

to change this story?

What shall we say, please

to ensure Your glory?


Go tell the bees, Gaia,

to not breathe the air.

Go tell the trees, Gaia,

to please hear our prayers.


What shall we say

to all our grandchildren?

What shall we say

of our love of Mammon?


How shall we say

we somehow lost their planet?

How shall we say

why its left so desolate?


Go tell the bees, Gaia,

while some few are left.

Go tell the trees, Gaia,

of fraud and grand theft.


Go tell the bees, Gaia,

That we are bereft.

Go tell the trees, Gaia,

of this rock and cleft.


Once, we, with our bodies,

did give you worship.

Now, we, with our bodies

practice global smash up.


What shall we do, please

to change this story?

What shall we do, please,

to celebrate your glory?


Day 21 NaPoWriMo 2017


This is today’s challenge:  “I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates overheard speech. It could be something you’ve heard on the radio, or a phrase you remember from your childhood, even something you overheard a coworker say in the break room! Use the overheard speech as a springboard from which to launch your poem. Your poem could comment directly on the overheard phrase or simply use it as illustration or tone-setting material.”

Which had me schussing back to childhood, down the pneumatic tube of memory.



Pink is for girls. Blue is for boys.


Such was the wisdom

of my four year old playmate

who, like Barbie™ Doll,

was born in 1958.


Which confused me

as he lorded over

our snack time choice

of plastic juice cups.


I wanted the blue.

It was my colour.

My mommy said so!

I argued vehemently.


It was the colour

of my eyes you see.

We loved blue

my Mommy and me.


Pink just was not

in our palette.

Just open the door.

Look inside our closets.


There was orange in

The bodice of my carrot dress,

seed pearls stitched on navy taffeta

1961’s Sunday Best.


There was peach  – once-

in organza

for a wedding.

Pink wasn’t even


Branded Barbie ™ yet

She and I, last progeny

of the Baby Boom years.

But even when Ken


Came on the scene

they shared blue.

Odd in pre-feminist 1950s

that, in future, pink


Would paint and dominate

all things Girl today.

Just like Richie Good

said before 1964.


But my mother and I

she with the royal blue

chiffon scarf in the drawer

she never wore,


her paste sapphire

lapel broach last worn

on utility grey

power suit post-war –


I lift  it from

The Pinkie and Blue Boy

Embossed jewellery box

I inherited from her.


Turn the broach

over in my hand

Will I wear it?

Do I dare yet?


We are not pink. Blue is for girls.



Day 20 NatPoWriMo2017


Games…sport. I cringed this morning. Smith’s are not known for their sporting prowess. My sister and I have had conversations about how rules of the game makes a part of our brain freeze. Somehow or other, we have still managed to navigate this world. Although I have no clue what I can use for a featured image today!

Play Up


I was never good at games

The rules numbed my brain

The part preventing own goals

Slipping on autmn wet playing fields

Getting tackled by Charlene Bjueno


The rules of flirtation:

The nod, the feint, the fumble.

Opaque, just as pointless.

Fool that I was, without hesitation

I homed in, disposing of the banal


Which worked out okay –eventually.

Disposing of talk of rules and balls

(except those of your anatomy)

Even without understanding the game

I was not without wherewithal


So why care that I was lousy at darts?

That cricket, golf and tennis were a snore

I was born with arms too short to box

That I would only ever be Olympian in metaphor

I  was fluent in reading the human heart


Which comes without instruction manual

Ignores all the collected works of rule books

The whistle  blown calling  whatever – time or time out

It defies all that gaming gobbledegook

With its definite tendency to play up

Day 19 NaPoWriMo2017


Today’s challenge is to write about a creation myth. As I live not  a couple country miles from the Shannon Pot, the source of the River Shannon, it felt only natural to take as my source the Source itself. The poem is based on folklore about how Ireland’s longest river came into being.

Log na Síonna – Síonnan’s Pot


It always begins with a woman

curious, brave

wanting to be wise


Síonnan, daughter of mortal

and shining immortal one is

pot-bellied full to the brim

being told ‘no’ – it can turn a soul



being considered other

outside the covenanters

with power.  Bold  Síonnan –

young, lithe, subject to no man

stirred the Pot, undoing any

druid spell, freeing those nuts


of wisdom to flow as the Pot

roiled and boiled and rose above

druid ire, chasing Síonnan

as hound after hare

down the country, mile upon mile

making loughs, flooding


meadowed plains. Síonnan

ran and ran with that wisdom

running towards her grandfather

Mannanán mac Lir’s embrace

in wild Atlantic wave

finding his loving face


It always begins with a woman

curious, brave

wanting to be wise


Shannon Pot About to OVerflow