Woke Up Buzzing – Day Thirteen – #NaPoWriMo21

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Hiya 😊

How are you all?

I had a rude awakening this morning, with a massive bee somehow having got into the house!  It was making a LOT of noise and luckily it was just outside our bedroom door on one of our landing’s lampshades, and not in the room with me, as I had first thought.  I woke hubby rather abruptly and made sure the boys’ room doors were tightly closed, then coached from the sidelines while hubby caught the bee in the jar I had provided.  The bee was NOT in a good mood, but conveniently landed on the stairs for a breather so (she?) was able to be scooped up unhurt.  Hubby says it gladly flew away when he opened the jar outside!

All our windows were closed overnight as it was a bit chilly, so I take it the bee had been kipping over somewhere in the house?! Bit too much excitement for 6.15am, I feel.

Anyway, on to the prompt:

write a poem in the form of a news article you wish would come out tomorrow.


This was my response:



Thanks to ‘wonder-plant’ of bliss

that can be grown anywhere

(despite it once being deemed ‘rare’).

A tincture of the special leaves

rejuvenates and, one soon sees,

symptoms desist and health restore;

terminal patients sick no more.

It’s thought this feted foliage

works on cancers at any stage,

an outcome more than could be hoped

in science before, and has provoked

a flurry of experiments

and joy at this turn of events.


I tried to pop a text box around it, but my formatting is being silly!

It’s lunchtime again here (I wrote my poem after the bee incident, then lay down for a bit while the kids snoozed on…) so I’m going to have to hurry up and post this, as usual 😉  I have promised both boys I’ll go for separate wee wanders with them after lunch as there is yet more glorious sunshine today!

I hope you enjoy yourselves whatever you get up to, and I’ll meet you here for day 14.

Take care,


Monty X

[pic is from here]

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Fiction from Diction – Day Twelve – #NaPoWriMo21

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Hey 😊

I wrote my poem before 8am, got showered etc, went out for a walk about 10.20am, came back for a quick lunch around 1pm and then took the kids to the park 2pm-5pm!  Youngest came in and immediately took my laptop off to play Fortnite with one of the friends he’d just seen in person, then it was dinner and all the shenanigans of getting kids down…so this post is going up much later than usual.

The NaPoWriMo site said:

 This prompt challenges you to write a poem using at least one word/concept/idea from each of two specialty dictionaries: Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

I chose the words ‘flitter’ and ‘filk’ from the sci-fi dictionary and ‘Dictys’ from the Classical one (see the screenshots I took from the dictionary links).  My poem is a nonsense really, but it pleases me 😉



From the Classical Dictionary P284, explaining who Dictys was.


From the Sci-fi dictionary, P9, explaining Filk.


from the sci-fi dictionary again, P9, explaining Flitter.


Dictys, that Cretan!

Causing shockwaves

by spewing forth

history to Shepherds

from beyond the grave.


Why is it always Shepherds

with their tall tales?!

(Rivalled only by fishermen)

Do these green men flitter down,

their filk songs

blasting through the sky;

or is sheep dung

on a campfire

good for opening third eyes…?


I did read somewhere that burning dung can produce harmful stuff like arsenic, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility for it also emit a hallucinogenic, haha.

I am pretty dozy myself after all my fresh air and glorious (but chilly!) sunshine today, so I am going to tootle off before my head hits the keyboard 😉

‘See’ you tomorrow for day 13, take care my lovely readers!


Monty X


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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Dear InstaMama – Day Eleven – #NaPoWriMo21

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My poem prompt for today (see here) was to write a letter to a fictional or famous person and then for them to write back. 

I am a sucker for watching people give me their opinion on how to live a better life (particularly other mums) on YouTube and Instagram.  Most of what I see I really admire, some of it I cringe at and some I never subscribe to because it has a vibe I can’t really get with. 

At the outset, I will stress that I know these are legitimate businesses, I have purchased and read a lot of books (and enjoyed them!) from and because of people I have followed on different platforms (whether they be mum vloggers, psychologists, decluttering experts, crafters, TED talk givers, business gurus, artists or whatever) and I am always fascinated by the discipline and thought that has gone on behind the scenes.  I know it sometimes takes hours for me to construct just one blog post, so I don’t know how they can put out so much content and not go crazy!


Dear Mama,

Your pretty kiddies in a row

Your business – thriving!

Husband – jiving!

All your cupboards out on show…


Thick make-up, in a hospital:

a quick procedure,

tweaked some feature,

home again and chores corralled.


I see you smiling, through their noise –

Planned activity

“neat” proclivity

exercises ‘midst the toys.


Inside this blessed benevolence:

kids’ private lives?

exhausted wife?

No camera trained in evidence.


You – weeping ball of stress, unseen?



Just extrovert in the extreme?


P.S.  I do not ask in ‘hate’

with your work upon my plate

I’d crumble; so I ask in awe,

and really hope your human flaws

have space, are honoured just the same

as other mamas’ in this game;

This life of service that we have

You guys sure make look pretty suave…


Dear Monty,

Thanks for your interest

in us –


Can you please invest

in this course, this tee, this new set

of homewares – oh, and don’t forget

my new book launches in two weeks!

(I’m so excited ‘cos it seeks

to change bad habits into wins

and all these other fabby things

So please buy…)

Oh, now, where was I?

Yes!  Your letter! I can tell

that your comments do mean well

but, really, I am one smart girl,

I’ll teach you how to get great curls,

Whip yo’self into fab shape,

Tone your abs, portion your plate,

Fix money worries, clean your house,

Menu plan, crochet a mouse

D.I.Y shelving, paint your rooms,

Find 15 uses for old brooms

And still get my kids’ outfits neat,

conquer my laundry, feed the street;

attend meetings, scrub my floors,

put home-made wreathes up on my doors!

So really, when you look at YOU,

Then all the things that I can do,

There is no contest – is there, chick?!

So quit moaning,

and pay me



Please don’t take the above personally if you feel I am trying to drag other people down, (though I see a lot of the first letter’s stuff posted in comments etc and sometimes do think it myself, depending on the video).  Most people I follow are very open about their mental health and how “imperfect” life can be vs Instagram or YouTube ideals, however, and most look at advertising as “icky” in the early days of them gaining traction, but then begin slipping it into everything and it becomes “normal”. 

Every business has to advertise, and this is just the new model of doing it that society has adopted in the digital age.  I fully believe these mamas work hard for the money they get, and part of me is cheering that we are maybe finally recognising that the act of child rearing definitely needs stategy and planning – which isn’t easy!

There’s just part of me that wonders if we are falling into a new trap with it all? Hence the satire. But I still consume a plethora of this content myself 😉

Again, who am I to pipe up though, sitting on my backside writing a poetry post, whilst my hubby and Youngest sleep in til past 10am on this truly Sun-day morning?! My Eldest is whooshing about free-playing in our ‘sunroom’ with some superhero toys, and the only childreary/housework stuff I’ve done so far today is: hugged  my Eldest loads, denied him some screen time, listen to his long complicated ramble about Minecraft – and put in a laundry load full of underpants.

Plus my hair is a mess

Take care of yourself, and I’ll catch you tomorrow 🙂


Monty X


[pic is from here]


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Copyright © 2021  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

It Ain’t Junk – Day Ten – #NaPoWriMo21

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As I said yesterday, I’m now a third of the way there! It’s felt a bit strange this year, writing after so long away.  It’s nice to get a post out before the day properly starts, to feel like I’ve accomplished something for me, but I don’t know…it still feels like a tug in a dangerous direction?

My prompt for today said:

It’s called “Junk Drawer Song,” and comes to us from the poet Hoa Nguyen.

  • First, find a song with which you are familiar – it could be a favorite song of yours, or one that just evokes memories of your past. Listen to the song and take notes as you do, without overthinking it or worrying about your notes making sense.
  • Next, rifle through the objects in your junk drawer – or wherever you keep loose odds and ends that don’t have a place otherwise. (Mine contains picture-hanging wire, stamps, rubber bands, and two unfinished wooden spoons I started whittling four years ago after taking a spoon-making class). On a separate page from your song-notes page, write about the objects in the drawer, for as long as you care to.
  • Now, bring your two pages of notes together and write a poem that weaves together your ideas and observations from both pages. [From napowrimo.net]


Well, I chose “The Beautiful People” by Marylin Manson 😉 because who doesn’t need some industrial/alternative metal to listen to before 7am?! This song was one I was introduced to around the time I decided to go do a University Access Course (at the age of 20).  I was hanging around with some 2nd year students that were friends with a flatmate that the letting agency had thrown into my life.  They signed me into the student union before I even got my own card, and there were glorious rock nights!

This song brings them all back, and that feeling of being in a bubble from life where we circulated thoughts and theories and dress rules were broken, but it was ok because we were young and intelligent and could write/speak our way out of most things…

It’s weird to me that there are so many milestones that I haven’t recorded about my own life.  I really should be my intrepid biographer, using this so-called love I have for writing to document my time on this planet.  But it wasn’t until I ‘had a Google’ that I re-learned that my graduation day was the 3rd of July 2003.  As I had spent the best part of 5 years prior to that aiming for it (not to mention the 13 years of schooling 1982-95), you would think I would be smiling at that date every time it appeared on my calendar. 

But no. 

I had an inkling by then that my intended launch from it into High School teaching wasn’t for me, and I kind of slunk through it all in my head, feeling adrift again. Like I had, in reality, failed. 

The associations with the groups of friends I had accumulated dulled afterwards because it was as if I had broken the covenant that was between us: that we would talk trash and pretend we could be this way forever, but still emerge with degrees and take our places in society with growing modicums of respectability, etc etc.

But hey, the song also reminds me of the early days with Hubby, whom I met on 27th of March 2005, less than two years after I graduated.  We listen to a lot of rock in the car even now. Plus we’ve made two cool little people, and weathered all the ups and downs before and after, so there’s that 😉

Anyway, I have taken a pic of our kitchen junk drawer and I’m sure, if you look hard enough, you can see how heavily my poem is based on its contents!




Let’s cut up a dance floor

with our bag of bands –

from rock, to cheese, and back

we’ll measure out our alcohol trips.


Stick our photos in albums,

string our past along with us

through permanent mistakes

and marked successes.


The best days of our lives

form on us like lint

whenever life tries to brush us off.


We’ve no instructions, but

our memories are beautiful.


It’s getting late and the kids are wanting to watch something with me (I’ve wandered away from  this write-up loads and Hubby has returned from his Saturday morning foodshop already) so I’m offsky til tomorrow…take care of yourselves 🙂 


Monty X


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Copyright © 2021  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Collaring One’s To-Do List – Day Nine – #NaPoWriMo21

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Hiya 😊

Today’s prompt was, indeed, kinder to my melancholy tendencies!  I did manage to get a darker poem out of it in the end, but the first one I wrote was more upbeat *shrugs*

Our (optional) prompt for the day is to write a poem in the form of a “to-do list.” The fun of this prompt is to make it the “to-do list” of an unusual person or character. For example, what’s on the Tooth Fairy’s to-do list? Or on the to-do list of Genghis Khan? Of a housefly? Your list can be a mix of extremely boring things and wild things. [from napowrimo.net]

As usual, the birds were pretty loud this morning.  A Woodpigeon woke Youngest up around 5.50am (how rude) but he (Youngest) went back to sleep after a bathroom visit.  His room is at the front of the house, but round the back with me it was mostly doves that were shuffling about.  Which gave me an idea…




I’ve got to: wake that poet up,

Peck dumped seeds out of the muck,

Clean my branches,

Preen my wings –

Oh! So many little things!


Silvia has asked me to

keep an eye on Flora’s crew.

(She’s had some trouble

down the block,

after hatching quite the flock.)


Mr Owl’s got a cold,

Wee Holly Squirrel’s found some gold!

I’ve buds to tap on

Ants to shoo –

There really is so much to dooooo!


I quite like the above poem 😉 the syllables are a bit off in places, but it has that Blyton-y feel behind it that I like.

Just after I had written it and got myself a coffee etc (so getting on for 7.20am or so) a disgruntled and out-of-breath-looking dove landed on a branch near my window at the right moment for me to take a pic.  I’m not good at telling birds apart, but I assume she was a female because she was warily watching another Dove that landed above her.  Sure enough, the other Dove started chasing her from branch to branch and trying to land on her, and she was giving out lots of calls that (to my human ears) sounded like “NO!!”.


Cue my darker poem…


I do protest

Mr Dove;

I have clearly voiced

my unwillingness

to sate your strong desires.


Please desist,


the nature of Spring.


Do not give chase,

my cries

can be heard throughout the garden.

Dozing humans know

my suffering.


Please may I keep

my body – soul intact –

and not be exhausted into submission?


What use are wings,

when all my freedom’s seen as merely moot?


I think I need to work on this second poem a bit, but the children are awake and the first laundry of the day has reached its spin cycle, so I’d better vamoose!  Can’t believe I’m almost a third of the way through NaPo again!

I hope you have a great day, whatever you get up to, take care and please come back tomorrow so I can share Day 10 with you 😊


Monty X


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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Rappel – Day Eight – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Childhood, Other Poetry, Parenting 1 Comment »


I hated today’s prompt. I awoke later than planned and didn’t get the time to really sit with the feelings that came up for me, either: 

I call this one “Return to Spoon River,” after Edgar Lee Masters’ eminently creepy 1915 book Spoon River Anthology. The book consists of well over 100 poetic monologues, each spoken by a person buried in the cemetery of the fictional town of Spoon River, Illinois.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. [from NaPoWriMo.net]


I scribbled another poem that was whispering to me, but it wasn’t related.

My sons barrelled in around 8.45am and found me staring out of my bedroom window with tears on my cheeks, and I couldn’t explain that my thoughts are with a friend facing her grief head on today, as well as with those the pandemic has touched, and my younger self, and with all the tellers of the stories of loss and pain I have ever heard.  Where does one start with that?! 

The boys were offering hugs, so I gladly took them, but it all soon descended into a drama about Nerf Guns (!)  (If you have seen the Snickers advert with the Gremlin, you will understand why Eldest is not at his best before breakfast!  😉)

So anyway, I had read the parts of the specified anthology that talked about the Pantier family, and couldn’t really get into it.  I wrote half a ‘poem’ before the kids came through, and half after they went to get themselves fed (eventually. Why do they refuse so much?!). 

I don’t want to play about with what I scribbled, I just want to post it up and move on.  I hope tomorrow’s prompt is a kinder one!


Welcome to the pit

Where my hushed bones lie in order,

No longer protesting

At my wasted energies.


Gone is the womb that held

Your beginnings, wrapped in my second born.


Gone is the brain we prized,

Gone is the perfumed flesh,

– my laugh

– my tears.


My spark is out.


How much do you love me now?



Urgh 🙁 


In happier news (!!) Eldest really enjoyed the Fortnite-themed shenanigans in the park with his friends yesterday.  It was lovely to hear our boys (Youngest went too) relating all their team manoeuvres and near-misses to both sets of (slightly confused) grandparents over the phone 😉 I’m so glad another mum suggested I booked them in for the event!  Poor Eldest never got a party last year for hitting double figures, but he’ll definitely remember his 11th .

We were also doorstepped by some friends later, and the naughty twosome gave both our boys presents.  I always feel a little guilty for having bestowed birthdays just eight days apart, but our friends and family are lovely about it! I dread to imagine what any joint  21st/18th party will look like, however! I think I’ll move out until that hangover subsides from them…

Take care, and I’ll ‘see’ you tomorrow 😊


Monty X


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Copyright © 2021  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Dormant Fibs? – Day Seven – #NaPoWriMo21

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Hello there! 😊

It is Eldest’s birthday, he’s a whole eleven years old.  Not sure quite what to feel about that, but yesterday’s Harry Potter viewing went well and we all enjoyed our ‘cinema snacks’ too.

I have been up for about an hour (it’s 7.10am), the rest of the house is snoozing peacefully…we’ll see how long that lasts while I write this up 😉

There were two possible prompts to go with on the NaPoWriMo site today, and they were short poetry forms so I attempted both.  The prompt said:

…there are many…syllable-based forms. Today, I’d like to challenge you to pick from two of them – the shadorma, and the Fib.

It then went on to describe the first form:

The shadorma is a six-line, 26-syllable poem (or a stanza – you can write a poem that is made of multiple shadorma stanzas). The syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5. So, like the haiku, the lines are relatively short.

I actually wrote this first one second, but no matter 😉


I light up,

fill a grey room with


spider scrawl.

What clarity I’ve gleaned here,

Whittling at my soul!


I love this pic that I took in our local park on 16th November 2020. It quietly says a lot to me.


There is then an explanation of the second form (on the NaPoWriMo site):

Like the Shadorma, the Fib is a six-line form. But now, the syllable count is based off the Fibonacci sequence of 1/1/2/3/5/8. You can  link multiple Fibs together into a multi-stanza poem, or even start going backwards after your first six lines, with syllable counts of 8/5/3/2/1/1.

Well! I am allowed to write a form one way, then reverse it?! You can see why I originally chose to play with the Fib first 😉





coos low.


slow-stirring, ruffling

feathers in dismay at dawn’s light.


As I take pictures of him sleep,

my child transitions:


year has




Enjoy yourself, whatever you get up to today, and I’ll come back here tomorrow with tales of birthday celebrations and some more poetry.  The menfolk are all still quiet, so I’m off to get this published quickly…!



Monty X



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Copyright © 2021  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Torch – Day Six – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Mental Health, Other Poetry 2 Comments »


The plan for today is for us all to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on our home projector, with popcorn and Schloer.  Then there shall be hot dogs at lunchtime, liberally spread with tomato sauce.  This originally was to be tomorrow’s birthday treat, chosen by our soon-to-be-11-year-old  Eldest, but we are hoping for him to get to an event in the park tomorrow with his friends and little brother instead 😊 I am so glad we live in an age of being able to buy films to stream directly to our devices so I didn’t have to go and try and source it at Video Drive In…!

I got up about 7am this morning and I’m hoping to get this all typed up by 9am so that I can go and sort stuff out in the livingroom. So my poems today have again been kept short!


This prompt, which comes from Holly Lyn Walrath, is pretty simple. As she explains it here:

Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.

[from NaPoWriMo]


One of the first fantasy novels I ever read was The Awakeners by Sheri S Tepper.  I need to reread it because I really enjoyed it.  Hubby has been using it’s bulk to raise his stand for his work phone, so I had a flick.  Near the bottom of page 405 (in the 1989 Corgi edition) there is the line: They searched by torchlight.  So I went with that. 

(I divided what I wrote into two separate pieces because they didn’t feel right as one, although related)



Crawling about on unkempt floors,

we two forage

for truth in dusty places.


Multi-headed things

gasp in unswept corners,

throw up many arms

against the intensity of our glare.





Seize all the files!

Blot out my name,

rent my biography.


You beam in my beam,

I wake in your wake,

we’ll break if we brake.


Ok, that’s all for just now, I hope you are doing well and you’ll come back here to see me tomorrow 😊


Monty X


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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Hearken – Day Five – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Random poetry, Relationships 2 Comments »

Happy Easter Monday!

This prompt challenges you to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem… [from here]

I had a Google, and ended up choosing this poem:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by W I L D E R (@wilderpoetry)

[above should be a picture of Wilder’s poem that starts “some things are left unsaid” from her collection entitled Nocturnal]

I first found this picture on Pinterest, and then followed it back to Instagram.  I really love the poet’s style and all the art that goes with her poems.  She has notebooks and journals out too, I feel I am going to have to investigate if I can buy some of her merch on the UK Amazon…!

Wilder’s poem has 8 lines and follows a 6,8,7,8,5,5,7,7 syllable pattern.  As it was in the prompt to reuse the first letter of each line, I took it as an excuse to incorporate alliterative play 😉


Sequestered suppressed slice

languishes listlessly; leaving

worryful whispers winding

behind baleful banality.

Time tendrils taughten.

Masks, make-up, make-do

leeching lustre, lessening.

Youth yields. Yesteryears yellow.


After I wrote the above (and walked down to my kitchen to meet reality, etc) I thought that maybe the poem warranted a different level of “play”.  So I looked closer, and went on to write:


some creature shirks the light

like yearned dreamscapes maddeningly

waiting out unconsciousness,

but I will hearken back and feel

the world’s cruel folds and

me once razor-edged

like there could be beauty here

you wanted to return to.


I think the second one fits the prompt better? I use the whole words that the poet began with, and the lines are around the same length as Wilder’s, too. I kept the syllables straight for each line, and played a bit with her imagery, but I know there is more I could have done with running the ‘creature’ and ‘dream’ theme through the whole piece.  Anyway, with all my word-wrangling, kid-soothing and keyboard-tapping it is now lunchtime, so I’d better go…

Hope you are well, and I’ll meet you here tomorrow!


Monty X


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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Golden Cloak – Day Four – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Other Poetry, Parenting 3 Comments »

Good Morning!

I hid Easter eggs downstairs last night, and I am keeping one ear open for Eldest deciding he is just too bored to stay in his room, despite him already having had breakfast and been asked to amuse himself in his bedroom until about 9am, by which time I should have managed to get this all typed up.  His dad and brother are still snoozing, and I would like the egg-finding to be more of a family affair! Welcome to another day in the Restless house 😉

It is Day 4 of NaPoWriMo, and this was my task:

In honor of the always-becoming nature of poetry, I challenge you today to select a photograph from the perpetually disconcerting @SpaceLiminalBot, and write a poem inspired by one of these odd, in-transition spaces.

[from here]


I chose this pic:

and managed to scribble down two quick poems in my distracted state. Here’s the first:


Showing strange solidarity,

Whilst raising money (and eyebrows)

Queen Rapunzel threw her lopped tresses

From her former prison’s walls.


A golden cloak descended on the land,

Insulating her people

Through their harsh lockdown winter.


and on to the second:


Through deserted streets pound

Giant legs:

Two chasing four.


Four bounded

Two commanded;

Four ignored,

Two implored.


Four rested

Round a mountain,

Settling for a snooze

After a nice, comfortable scratch.


Two did not retrieve

What his golden pup deposited,

Did not stick around to hear

What the waking townsfolk thought of it…


I started reading The Land Of Stories series to the kids recently, so we have been exploring related Disney movies and talking a lot about Fairy Tales.  Does it show?!

I hope you have a lovely Easter Sunday, whatever you are allowed to get up to where you live.  Here (Central Scotland) there is actually a chance of a snow dusting, so we’ll see how that pans out when considering a walk later!

Keep safe 🙂


Monty X


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Copyright © 2021  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!