It Ain’t Junk – Day Ten – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Random poetry, Relationships No Comments »


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]


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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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]

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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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]


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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Dormant Fibs? – Day Seven – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Childhood, Other Poetry, Parenting 2 Comments »

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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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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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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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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My Universal Truth – Day Three – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Childhood, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Parenting, Random poetry, Relationships No Comments »


Welcome to day three, where the prompt asked me to spend quite a bit of time setting up the material for my poem:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to make a “Personal Universal Deck,” and then to write a poem using it. The idea of the “Personal Universal Deck” originated with the poet and playwright Michael McClure, who gave the project of creating such decks to his students in a 1976 lecture at Naropa University. Basically, you will need 50 index cards or small pieces of paper, and on them, you will write 100 words (one on the front and one on the back of each card/paper) using the rules found here.

If you follow the link in the quote above, you will see why the rules necessitated me getting a good chunk of time to myself.  Indeed, number 11 even reads:

Select the words in isolation, preferably alone, with no distractions, in candlelight. Approximate a meditative state. Even the cat must not bother you.

 Well, I don’t have a cat, but I do have an Eldest son.  He could be heard rustling about in his brother’s room at 6.38am this morning.  Upon being questioned (and informed of the time), he rolled his eyes and told me in a not-so-inside voice that he was searching for a book.  He then proceeded to flounce back into his own room (with a few rumpled pages of a comic), complaining of a sore throat, promising that if some honey was administered, he’d go back to sleep (which he categorically did not do) and generally felt slighted that he couldn’t barge into others’ rooms whenever he chose!  My morning only went downhill from there, and so here I am rushing to get my laptop free of my tappings before Youngest commandeers it for his Fortnite forays at 3pm.  

How dare I try and carve out some morning quiet time to be creative?!

Having made my deck of words and roped Youngest into drawing me out 9 cards at lunchtime (Eldest was still in no mood to participate) I finally had all I needed to compose my poem. 

It took me about seven minutes to write. 

I wonder why…?! 😉



Violent, Breathe, Envelop, Loquacious, Connect, Geometry, Tactile, Yarn, Silky


Violent protests meet my small attempts to breathe.

We envelop them in love,

Only to suffer their loquacious assaults.

I had thought my striving to connect

Would mean they understood me, too.

(It seemed just simple geometry

A tactile  triangle of fulfilled needs?)

But my intertwining of words

Is not seen to be as worthy

As, say, my playing with yarn;

That wooly/silky/squishy/fuzzy/touchy-feely stuff






Big hugs, and I’ll catch you tomorrow 😉


Monty X



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In Plain Sight – Day Two – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Other Poetry, Parenting, Relationships 3 Comments »

Hi 😊

Today’s prompt was to write a poem along the lines of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. So, I came up with this, which leaves the reader to search for any other “roads” the narrator may be alluding to:


In Plain Sight


When she met him, she was hiding:

Toying with possible futures

From inside a retail whirl.

A newly toasted slice

Of utter self-loathing

Glowed from the embers she wouldn’t sweep up.


She was good at talking:

That mouth, when properly engaged,

Could spin attractive escape ropes;

Accommodate all angles,

Run far with fantasies

Until even she forgot their falsehoods.


So, they hid together,

Worked hard and “grew up”,

Bore new people, tangled with traditional roles.

Dishevelled wings fluttered from their piled laundry,

Followed her around, their offspring

Unravelling fabrics in awkward places.


Time squatted between the couple’s brows,

Encircled their smiles

And crept up their necks.

Something old and blue,

Borrowed from their intertwined histories,

Tapped at the veneer of “new normal”s.


Two prized photographs moved in –

Now reaped from the home

She’d never revisit,

From people she’d never re-hold –

Catching her on the brink of things

All set to rock her core:


The cosy coat of childhood

Still buttoned against the world…


The empty scroll of promise

Still clutched by too-thin hands…


Her older face, reflected, stared aghast,

Whilst he could see her happy, in the past.


I started writing this around 7am this morning, but made the error of going for a coffee break which alerted our eldest that I was awake, so it has taken until this afternoon to get it the way I want it and post it up here 😉 it’s so nice to wake up and know I’ve got a planned writing exercise, though!  I hadn’t realised just how much I’d missed it.

Hope you are all feeling good today, leave me a link in the comments to any poems you have been posting on your websites if you’d like me to visit.  Take care and I’ll be back here tomorrow, so please drop in again!


Monty X


[Pic is from here]


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Rhythm – #NaPoWriMo21 – Day One

#NaPoWriMo21, Other Poetry 2 Comments »


How the heck are you all?! This may be  a first, leaving the blog for MOST OF A YEAR before I mosey on back?!  *slaps forehead*

However, it is the first of April again, and I am going to attempt to write a poem a day following the prompts from the NaPoWriMo site for the fourth year in a row 😊 The Easter holidays begin for our not-so-little-now boys (8 and almost 11, eeek!) tomorrow, so I am hoping to get my poems written and posted up here before the kids properly get up, but we’ll see how early the prompts appear (I am in a different timezone, being in the UK) and how chaotic things get when I think I can have a lie in at some point over the next fortnight…etc etc 😉

I’m excited, though, to get back to some regular scribbling.  I’ve written the odd poem over the year, through the weirdness of pandemic parenting and living, but it is lovely to have a focus again.

So! Today’s prompt was to write a poem after watching “Seductive Fantasy” by Sun Ra and his Arkestra on YouTube.  I started writing from about 1.10 mins in (see here) and the rest of the images fuelled my poem.

As a precursor, may I explain that we are are watching the original (1966, Kirk era) version of Star Trek as a family at the moment.  Also, “Peterson’s snakes” refers to Jordan Peterson, (to whom I am obsessively listening on Audible and YouTube) and his preoccupation with malevolent forces in a human’s life.




All my colours in rhythm:

Star Trek beeps

Warped through the mesh of everyday.

I’m schlepping Peterson’s snakes,

And my Sisyphus rock,

To the world in the palm of my hand;

The cacophony rising as I face

Something familiar that I’ve never known.


Kaleidoscopic images

(Whilst still that beat).


Words out of place

In a planetary spin.


What did the animation make you think of?  In what still feels like a topsy-turvy world due to Coronavirus, were the images of “out there” things maybe a little more understandable than usual?

I hope you are keeping ok after this rough past year, and that you will continue to join me throughout my April forays back into prompt-poetry.  Hugs to you and yours, and I will endeavour to catch you tomorrow!


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!