He Calls Me…

Mental Health, Other Poetry, Random poetry, Relationships No Comments »


Today’s words (from Textfixer) unleashed a fed up and feisty female speaker.  Woe betide ‘him’ if he messes with her much longer 😉


Egocentric  Compulsive  Fragment  Decoder  Think  Parasite  Gunrunner  Teen  Village


He calls me egocentric and compulsive,

When in truth I repetitively do things

Because others need me to.


He says I analyse each fragment of his conversation

Looking to trap him;

Become a random decoder

Reading things he never meant

Into his words…


But who taught me to think that way?!

Who showed me

That what is declared

Sheds little light

On what occurred?


I’m not some parasite:

Sucking his life-force,

Plotting his downfall,

Stockpiling ammo

In my gunrunner’s lair!




I am not huffing like some teen

Grounded for ten misdemeanours

On his way home from school…!


I participate in my village,

I can be relied upon to contribute;

I don’t scurry out of sight

When my curtain is pulled back…



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Copyright © 2017  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!

Pudding Factory

Other Poetry, Random poetry No Comments »


The words that came up on our anniversary post included ‘pudding’.  I dug the below out afterwards, as I knew I had seen that word come up before, but I do not have the screenshot as it was pre-blog days.

I was getting into my stride with the random poems, giving myself the 15 minute rule and inserting the words into my work in the order they came up.

I got these words that day (the 19th of December 2016):

Factory  Pudding  Mosaic  Chop  Latest  Differ  Positive  Fountain  Leadership

and this is what I wrote with them:


Outside a factory

That makes pudding,

I found a small mosaic.


I listened to the chop

And whirr of the machines

As they turned out the latest goodies.

Looked at the little tiles,

Each one blue, but seeming

To differ from each other in some way.


I thought about Rome…

All the stories from my Classics lessons,

The positive spin put on

Shenanigans in fountain and baths –

And all their questionable leadership.


Page scribbles

It doesn’t really go anywhere, but I can see the speaker in front of a building, scrabbling around in the dirt 😉

I repeated ‘each’ in the second verse.  That annoys me, but I like the poem anyway.

I even thought to doodle on the page for you – future reader I didn’t know would see it.










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Copyright © 2017  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!





A Poem For Cohen

Other Poetry No Comments »

A Poem For Cohen

There’s a man that I knew,
And he did what I do;
But his talent was greater than mine.
He could summon his prose,
Or a fable compose –
Always conjure the masterful rhyme.

He told stories that taught,
Conveyed messages caught
From the air us mere mortals ducked under.
Not a feeling as such,
But a soothsayers touch;
Like the universe was his to plunder.

Rivers filled my eyes
When I heard that he’d died;
For a beauty has left us forever.
But his words they remain –
We can tune in again –
In the midst of our questioning fervour.

(c) Montaffera 16.11.2016

I was humming “Chelsea Hotel” to myself as I wrote this, so it kind of fits in with the music.

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Copyright © 2017  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!



Other Poetry, Parenting 1 Comment »


Quite a few people have asked me how I came up with the idea for my blog, and although I didn’t start writing a poem every day consistently until mid-November – or use random word generators until December –  I like to think the real genesis can be dated back to around the time I wrote the poem about the Muse.

It was late September last year (my sister’s birthday, actually), the season was on the turn, and I could feel the ‘November Melancholy’ starting to settle in already.

I came home from dropping our youngest at nursery (he had only started there the month before) and felt that instead of cleaning up or plonking myself in front of the TV (at that time I was glutting on Medium in my new childless 1.5 hr window in my day)  I would write something.  It couldn’t do any harm, could it?

Sitting on the edge of my bed, in the midst of the school morning madness, I had already taken it upon myself to pop a little writerly post on Facebook:

And so it was: the dark mornings began to close in upon her, and our heroine’s muse fluttered about the room unbidden.

“Start your sentences with conjunctions, while sitting for long periods penning angsty tomes into the small hours” he breathed.

“I can’t, my love” she whispered back “I have grown up too far, have too many responsibilities.”

“Nonsense!” a mischievous smile played across his lips “let me show you the way…”


So I decided to write a bit more of the conversation, this time in poem form, imagining this ‘muse’ was looking over my shoulder and commenting, on the blank page in front of me.  I had a LOT to think about by the time I’d finished…:


“Oh! How black your pen today! No thought for creativity?!”

“I have thought, but I am pushed for time these days…”


His eyes filled as he held her gaze.


“I have waited far too long already.”

“I know. But you’ve had others” she snapped.

“That is true, but none as worthy”


She turned from him and sighed, mourned the enormity implied.


“I stopped so other things could start…” “But you and I weren’t meant to part!!

Your venturing forth without my wings has led to uninvited things.”

“I know! I see! I hear your truth! But my heart is full of others’ youth…

I cannot run without restraint, lest life around me grows too faint!”

“Intoxicating as I am, we shall not deem said life a sham!

Our two realms can coincide, I promise that not much will slide…”

“I remember your florid dance and, frankly, I can’t take that chance!

The time it takes to extricate makes me fearful to create!”


“Just trust in all you have become (and destiny’s not near begun!)

Don’t grow old and all forget – that brain of yours can still be whet!

Use your gift, I beg you dear…for one day I might…” “Disappear?!

Be gone! Desist! Away! Vamoose! Such talk just tugs upon my noose!”


“Your gift is not a threat, dear heart – you’re just questioning the art.

That’s how you grow and reach new heights; furnish the world with new delights!

It’s healthy, not the gloom you see – you’re not surrendering to me!

You’re delving deep, unearthing pain, to purge and make you whole again!

All Motherhood’s bright hue and cry, somehow negates the need to try?!

No NO sweet child, this cannot be! (Delude yourself, but please spare me…!)”


She wrung her hands and held back tears: each word of his, her heart had seared.

All that time wasted, pages blank; her ideas into boxes shrank…


He closed the distance, ‘cross the floor, and touched her with his wings once more;

Growing taller, broader, til: he’d shielded her amongst his quill…



I had to put the pen down on the first draft and run to pick up our Youngest, but I went back and tweaked parts through the day, posting bits on Facebook as I went, and getting a few likes. 

The poem stayed with me.

Gnawed at me, actually.

I often speak in this blog about my subconscious being responsible for writing most of my poetry, and the one above seemed like a loud frustrated scream from the depths of my soul 😛

As I reread the poem, I took in the fact that the female speaker doesn’t fall in line with the Muse straight away.  Her first answer doesn’t scan well, and has a weak rhyme, so makes the Muse feel that he has lost (or failed) her, and needs to keep convincing her that their partnership is a good thing.

The first page of scribbles

Her second answer is a blatant dropping of his conventions, because she is angry at him for flitting to other writer types, leaving her in a creative dip as she tackled motherhood and pressing reality.

It is not until her fourth answer that we see the female speaker embrace the rhythm and rhyming conventions that the Muse has started, and it seems to be a spilling over of how she feels: two successive lines of explanation, then another two once he responds; and she lays out her fears and obstacles.

The Muse rebuffs all his charge’s protestations that she can’t attend to her creative life while upholding her responsibilities as a mother.  He takes down all the arguments I would have thrown at him, in the process, of course!

In the end, he envelopes her, and it is not an entirely settling feeling I get from that line most days – though on some hard ones it can be greatly comforting to think I have feathers cushioning me from the world!

So I kept coming back to this, and thinking about the conundrum posed by wanting to be a good mother, but also needing the release that writing gives me.

I thought about how I liked having this sudden empty time to just sit and stare at a screen, or sort out some housework, or catch up with Facebook…now that Youngest was at nursery.

I also realised that I was feeling guilty for ‘just’ doing those things, and I had been silencing a huge part of myself in order to be content doing ‘just’ those things, then pitching back into the hurly burly of motherhood straight afterwards.

Corners of the house started singing to me: siren calls of creativity.  The unfinished novel, the half-crocheted objects, the piles of crafty books and magazines I’d barely touched were harmonizing.

I was restless in this (apparent) comfort. It’s just not me.

I ignored it for a while, but the advancing darkness outside started to affect me as the weeks went by, and I decided that I was going to ride that and use that to propel myself towards whatever the ultimate thing that I needed was.

So here I am: still unsure that these two ‘lives’ of mine are compatible; still under the protective wings, but flexing my own.

Some day I hope to soar.


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Copyright © 2017  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!


Other Poetry, Parenting No Comments »


Today, in honour of the date, I have decided to post up a ‘conventional’ poem.

I don’t like the title I gave it, but it is the one I wrote when I was 18; four days after the horror at Dunblane Primary School.

The children and teacher that died were much more than ‘victims’, in life.  The survivors are too.

There are many clichés I could use when speaking of that day, but I will say that it moved me then – and goes even deeper now I have children.  The twentieth anniversary falling last year, when Eldest was in P1, was particularly poignant.

[I tried hard not to think about how vulnerable our schools still need to be in order to make them welcoming places – I tried not to cry as I waved my child into his classroom the next day and had to pass the big windows of the gym hall to reach the school gates.]

But we do not (and did not) live in Dunblane.

Any empathy I can muster is absolutely a drop in the ocean compared to the grief and continual heartache those families have, I am well aware of that; and I wish I could find the words to comfort them every day they have to live with the aftermath of 1996. 

They must never be forgotten. I admire the spirit and poise the community of Dunblane have shown, and they are in my thoughts often.


Parent of a Victim


She can stare out her window

And watch the panto.

The playing young kids that



She wonders how others

Remember to breathe,

Without remembering, too,

What happened.


The pillows are wet

With the huge sorrow tears –

It won’t make the second hand



She could smile and tell them all

That she’s okay, but it is

All a farce

It won’t last.


No matter how busy,

No matter how rich,

No matter how ‘fulfilled’ –

It gapes:


The hole, where that bonny wee

Lassie was held

In the heart; now lying

In silent ground.


Living for others, her window is smashed;

The splinters jab her memory.

That fateful Wednesday, 1996.

She’ll never forget March 13th.




The messy type-up I have kept from my electric typewriter days. My spelling has really benefited from advances in  technology!


Copyright © 2017  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!