In Defence of a Nightwatchman

I’ve had a few lapses with my writing a poem a day but maybe can catch up near the end of the month. I’m reading a few poets in translation at present and this poem is influenced by a poem by Dutch poet, Ester Naomi Perquin, ‘In Defence of a Nightwatchman’. from her collection, ‘Napkins…

On

On This watch is automatically aligned to the body movements of the wearer, meaning when that person lies down its hands close together at twelve o’clock, three o’clock and nine are brought on by sitting in opposite directions, and five and seven mean feet up, two, bent over, ten, bent back. In sleep, watch becomes…

Dewi Danur -Goddess of the Lake

Dewi Danu is a Balinese goddess who lives on Mount Batur and controls the crops. She hangs outside my bedroom with her ‘sister’ and a red dragon. I like to think she brings luck. Dewi Danu Like a figurehead, but longer and not fixed to any ship, she hangs outside my room, out of her…

Before – A Fibonarch

This is one of several made-up forms I and other poets devised in a workshop. This is N’s form and my poem having a go at using it. Fibonarch: The poem rises and falls to a Fibonnaci sequence of words (mathematical sequence in which each successive number is the sum of the two preceding numbers)….

Deleted

Deleted It’s the old story, over and over again, how someone travels to finish something ends up in bed, travels back to ‘confess’ to the wife who he’s living apart from anyway because of all this, then there’s the hapless other, receiving this by text and having lavished text- clucks of sympathy until the moment…

Depot

A depot, in this instance, is an intravenous injection of medication. The poem speaks for itself. Depot Not a storage hangar on the outskirts of the city but the injection brought by Ruth , ‘you’re doing really well, my darling..’ and me walking in on the two of you in the hall, as she punctured…

A Cento: The Patchwork Mermaid’s First Day on Land

According to Ron Padgett in The Handbook of Poetic Forms, a ‘Cento (from the Latin meaning ‘patchwork’ )is …a poem made entirely from pieces of poems from other authors’. I’ve been seeking out my favourite translated poems so today I’ll extract random lines from a lovely collection, ‘The Fifty Minute Mermaid’ by Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill…

Postcard of Flora

This is a fresco of the goddess, Flora, and was my favourite exhibit in the recent ‘Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum’ exhibition at the British Museum. She was rescued by the Bourbons, apparently, and was situated in the Vialla of Ariadne at Stabiae. She represents an archetype of Spring, in her saffron-coloured robe…

Experimental form -Equinoctial

This is a made-up form for an activity. It is called an Equinoctial. An Equinox denotes equal day and equal night. The Equinoctial has these features and rules: 24 lines A discernible shift from one state to its opposite/oppositional in either/and/or subject and form. A notable ‘hinge’ or ‘portal’ line when the shift happens 2…

1950, 2013

Today’s poem is a response to this painting by Edward Hopper. I have used it as a prompt for ekphrastic poems when teaching creative writing. As in all Hopper’s work, like Shaw’s, it is both grounded and ineluctable. at least the whether is brighter than it is today in Leicester. What is the woman looking…

Listen

Coventry-born George Shaw is one of my favourite artists and, as I lived not so far away during my childhood and teens, his paintings based around the Tile Hill estate where he grew up have great resonance for me. I find them ‘uncanny’: realistic but other-worldly at the same time, unpeopled yet denoting lives being…

A poem a day for April

Well my good intentions of writing a poem a day for April have already gone awry as I missed out on yesterday. I’ll resume my good intentions and post two today. In the spirit of all my posts on ‘Heckle’ I will continue to post a poem and an accompanying image. The poem will respond…