Prized – #NaPoWriMo20 – Day 17

#NaPoWriMo 2020, Childhood, Other Poetry No Comments »

Howdy do!

 

Today, I challenge you to write a poem that features forgotten technology

Whispered the NaPoWriMo site to the poetic part of my brain….

 

I won it in a competition,

Got my picture in the paper

Grinning; with my hands clutched around the unopened box.

I suddenly had a source of isolation

In others’ words

(And from them…)

 

I could wander with song!

 

My Grandfather introduced me to the lyrics of Queen,

His neat capitals

On a black and beige cassette;

A gesture I really appreciated

Despite the sarky comment:

TO HER MAJESTY – THE QUEEN, FROM GRANDAD.

 

Someone had obviously tested

That my prize worked:

A Chris De Burgh tape

Was nestled within.

 

Grandad approved of him, too.

 

So: I went for many a walk, man!

Dancing in public was always a risk…

Maybe more smiling than grinning?! 1987, 9 years old, (I’m the one in the middle) having drawn a “house of the future” that was also a rocket. Mum said it was my descriptions of it that swung the deal 😉

Do you have a gadget that you remember fondly from your childhood? Please tell me about it in the comments, or link to your NaPo offering for Day 17. I’d love to read it!

 

Big hugs, stay safe, and off we go to Day 18!

 

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!

Imprint – #NaPoWriMo20 – Day 2

#NaPoWriMo 2020, Childhood, Mental Health, Other Poetry No Comments »

Hey there 😊

 

Today’s optional prompt, on the NaPoWriMo site, was to “write a poem about a specific place” and to include details to make it feel real to the reader.  

 

Imprint

 

I stared at the flowers on the wallpaper

And they looked back.

I traced their faces

With imaginary ink,

Whilst sat on the loo.

 

I look for similar designs

In swathes of

Vintage material.

 

And a Liberty print,

Or crisp gingham check,

Can catapult me back

To the smell of the tile

In that childhood porch.

(Always that smell!)

 

And a black marble’s swirl

On a worktop…

 

But,

Somehow,

The patterns I seek

Are not available to buy.

 

As we watch more and more Dr Who while the kids are at home all day, I keep seeing ‘portals’ to the past everywhere and reflecting on their significance. I feel this is shaping up to be a bit of a theme…but there are 28 poems to go in the month, so maybe Day 3’s will veer down another path 😉

I hope you are all well and taking time to get creative yourselves? Take care, and I’ll see you in my third NaPoWriMo post…

 

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!

Of Volleyball and Meditation

Childhood, Random poetry, Relationships 1 Comment »

Hello 😊

I am a bit late this week with a post, time has marched ahead of me as usual. I hope you all had a good weekend?

The poems I am going to share today both came from my dabblings with the Randomlists generator on the 21st, in my writing session after my last post.  The first poem floated up after listening to some Mindvalley talks on YouTube (especially by Vishen Lakhiani) and the second just popped into my head from the words I was presented with, as often happens.   

I hope you enjoy them 😊

 

 

 

 

Prefer   Beg   Massive   Library   Stretch   Donkey   Guiltless   Sisters   Story

 

I prefer to meditate,

Then I feel I do not have to beg

For inspiration.

 

Instead, I am handed it

From the massive library of human consciousness –

Melded together in a new form

That seems a stretch for my mind.

 

But it is really the universe

That does the donkey work.

 

And I can sit here:

Revered and yet guiltless of fraud,

Pulled in the right directions

By a force greater than any of us.

 

Come, my soul sisters and brothers,

Let my story wash over you

And bid you strive for greater things.

 

 

 

 

 

Volleyball   Sheet   Calm   Jam   Lush   Injure   Collect   Next   Tempt

 

The smell of the ink

Made me think of long-ago Sundays

With my dad propped against the sun lounger

Hiding from our games of volleyball;

Turning each smudged sheet

While cultivating calm.

 

I would keep him company sometimes,

Dribbling strawberry jam

Down my t-shirts

While he pointed out the best football players

Or read to me a bit.

 

Our un-lush grass

Would see me injure myself a lot:

The smallest body

Jumping for the ball.

 

He would collect up my limbs,

Count them theatrically

And put me down next to him;

Tempt my smiles back

With sweet treats or songs.

 

It doesn’t matter how old I get,

Those memories keep me whole.

 

* WordPress seems to be messing about with the size and position of my images today, but hopefully you get the idea…

 

[additional pics are from Pixabay, here and here]

 

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Copyright © 2019  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!

Same Difference

Parenting, Random poetry, Random Short Stories 2 Comments »

Hello 🙂

I have been at the random word generators again, but this time I liked the words that Randomlists gave me so much that I used them two days in a row! The result was a poem and a story, which are below. Enjoy!

(As a quick note on the poem, ‘greet’ can mean ‘to cry’ in Scots)

Greet, thumb, trucks, supreme, damaging, vegetable, defiant, knowledge, cake

And greet he did:

His small, wet thumb useless –

Spat out against a hot wall of rage.

And none of his trucks were worth

Stemming the tide of his supreme ire for.

Didn’t we understand we were damaging his little brain

With our penchant for a vegetable-eating tot?!

He remained defiant

Safe in the knowledge

His tired mum would still bring cake

 

 

Greet, thumb, trucks, supreme, damaging, vegetable, defiant, knowledge, cake

He would always wave to greet them before sticking out his thumb.  Sometimes he knew who the driver would be, he’d been doing this so long, but not always. 

It would depend upon the company running the trucks, of course.  There were some who had strict regulations these days about picking up extra weight, or stopping before scheduled to and so on. He described all of this as a supreme “pain in the posterior” that was damaging his way of life.

He claimed that he had travelled the whole country beside one trucker or another – worked in various places for a colourful succession of low life cheats or miserly drunks.

He sat writing what he said were songs in a beaten up notebook marinated in the vegetable soup he always ordered.  The manager asked him if he could sing once, and whether his old guitar could still do a turn.  He said he’d give it a go, and we made good money on the bar that night – he definitely looked the part in his shabby slept-in clothes and with that defiant twinkle to his eye.

I haven’t seen him for a few years, however.  There were reports he’d struck gold somewhere doing…something…but no one I’ve talked to has what I’d call concrete knowledge of his whereabouts. 

So, I continue to serve cake in this lil backwater place, give free coffee top-ups and hope he blows in again someday soon.  I have made a pact with myself that I’ll tell him next time instead of making small talk awkwardly and hanging around waaay too much.  Maybe he sensed trouble and that’s why he bailed?  Mum has always said that’s what his father was like, too. 

Maybe I’ll just have to settle into the thought of wearing this floofy pink-striped apron for at least another year? If he hopes to wait me out he’ll find I can be juuust as stubborn as him.

 

And that’s all for today, folks! Have you been doing any art or other creative goodness recently that you would like me to come and experience? Please post a link to your blog or website in the comments below this post 🙂

 

[pics are from Pixabay – here and here]

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Copyright © 2019  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!

Sketchy Details

Arty Pottering, Parenting 2 Comments »

Hi everyone!

 

I have been taking a break from the poetry and doing a bit of sketching instead since the end of April!  I strive to draw at least part of something every day as one of my daily creative goals (and have done since the 19th of February this year).  As I explain in this post, drawing is a mostly relaxing activity for me, and I frequently surprise myself by achieving small details I thought would be beyond me.

This week I have been looking at hands.  I Googled ‘reference pics of hands’ and was inundated with choice!  I went with one from this pic on Pinterest as inspiration and drew a pretty awful one:

But I had a bit more success with following Mark Crilley’s advice in this YouTube tutorial, and actually like what I achieved:

 

Youngest was drawing alongside me while his brother was in the shower this evening, and he challenged me to draw “a man holding a gun”.  Lego Star Wars, you have a lot to answer for…

Youngest actually asked me for this a while back, but was feeling cheated because last time I ‘messed up’ and just drew a groovy long-haired purple-suited guy holding a hairdryer in some random desert, as one does (I’ll dig that out for you in another post, it’s in a different sketchbook…).  

In the name of furthering my art skills, then, and because I wouldn’t know where to start drawing a gun (!) I found this photo to eyeball, and drew the below using some of the tips I’d gleaned from Crilley:

 

 

Both boys were suitably impressed, and I had again fulfilled my daily drawing quota.  Hurrah!

 

We took a family jaunt together today as well, circumnavigating Linlithgow Loch and letting the boys use up a bit of energy. 

Unfortunately, the midges and other, larger, flying yucky things were out in force and not afraid to chow down on us; but we did see a Heron and lots of other water birds, so it was a good walk all in all. Youngest didn’t even complain about trekking over two miles! (But he did fall asleep on the way home, bless him!)

We didn’t get a decent pic of the Heron, but here are my menfolk beside a swan who was trying (!) to take a rest.  If you look closely, you can see all the flying insects against the sky in the foreground!!  Oh, and that’s Linlithgow Palace to the left in the background 😉

 

I’m not sure yet what we are going to get up to with our Bank Holiday Monday, but both the kids and hubby are off so it will be nice to continue to hang out with each other.  If the weather holds, we will probably go for a wander again…hopefully without beasties in our hair this time!

I trust you are all having a great long weekend, and I’ll catch you again in the next wee while – probably with more creative news to share 🙂

 

Montaffera X

 

 

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Copyright © 2019 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!

 


	  

Meditation? – #NaPoWriMo19 – 29

#NaPoWriMo19, Childhood, Mental Health No Comments »

Hello!

 

“…Today, I’d like to challenge you to blend…concepts into your own work, by producing a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully. You might try including a dramatic, declarative statement, like Hass’s “All the new thinking is about loss,” or O’Hara’s “It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so.” Or, like, Baudelaire, you might try addressing your feeling directly, as if it were a person you could talk to. There are as many approaches to this as there are poets, and poems.” [from the NaPoWriMo site]

 

Well, I don’t know about you, but if I ‘meditate’ on an issue I’m having, my inner wisdom has a way of never pulling her punch.  I get it squarely between the eyes and have to stop flinching and actually accept the lesson before I can move on.  I get a lot of these home truths dealt to me while doing mundane things like washing our dishes, folding laundry or just wandering back from the school run looking at the sky…

Something I read (or someone said) might stay with me, and my inner wisdom will shrug and tell me that I might not like it, but if I look across the patterns of my day-to-day there is this piece of evidence, this silly sabotaging habit, this phrase I use that proves that person/book was at least half relevant to something I’m wrestling with.  There is usually a very annoying list of achievable steps that gets presented to me as well, or a YouTube video pops up that is ridiculously well timed…don’t you just hate that?!

This poem came out of our need to start tweaking things around the house now that the kids are getting more independent and the fixtures and fittings are not holding up as well as they used to, etc etc… 

 

If it gets too good they’ll change it,

Better not get comfy here;

Then your confidence won’t be hit

When ‘they’ turn – and you can’t steer.

 

So: these walls did not get painted

And this carpet’s still the same

As the day the previous owners

Picked it out – yes I’m to blame;

 

And there’s still unopened boxes

Lurking in our storage piles

That I have no heart to ditch yet

So keep lugging o’er the miles.

 

I think I’m waiting for some signal

That I can trust what is good

Not to vanish like a mirage

If I drop my guard. Then: stood

 

In the glow of my achievements

(And the knowledge I now hold)

I’ll stop running scripts from childhood

And refusing to be bold…

 

So that’s my little pep talk with myself over for another day 😉

That’s the penultimate poem of NaPoWriMo dusted, too!  Whoa!

Catch you tomorrow…

 

[Pic is from here]

 

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Copyright © 2019 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!

 

Sprightly Spring – #NaPoWriMo19 – 25

#NaPoWriMo19, Childhood, Parenting No Comments »

Hello!

 

The prompt on the NaPoWriMo site had very specific criteria today:

“I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that:
• Is specific to a season
• Uses imagery that relates to all five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
• Includes a rhetorical question, (like Keats’ “where are the songs of spring?”)”

After faffing about writing a kind of ode to our Cherry Blossom tree in the garden (which is looking very pretty just now) and failing to include more than two senses, I came up with the below. I originally forgot to include the rhetorical question, but tweaked the end to incorporate it 😉

Every morning this week
The aroma of earth, cut grass and breeze –
Collecting up my wanderlust
And making me despise routine.
Just let the children sleep in!
The sun has created a masterpiece
In gold and fluffy pink;
And the best soundtrack
Is peaceful breath
From dreaming kids.

(Woodpigeon agrees
As his call he silences)
I curse the window-squeak
As I inch it wider.
I’m yearning now
For the delicate velvet of petals
Against weathered hands,
And the unmistakable waft
Of neighbours’ charcoal;
Seeming to coat my tongue
In the promise of feasts…

But the next moment
The most pressing ‘spring’
Becomes that in my Youngest’s bladder.

Isn’t it marvellous how perfect
A single curl can seem,
Burnished by a rogue ray, as he runs?

 

Only five days of this challenge left! I wonder what I’ll be writing about tomorrow…?!

 

 

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Copyright © 2019 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!

Artistic Space – #NaPoWriMo19 – 22

#NaPoWriMo19, Parenting 2 Comments »

Hiya!

 

I have been dabbling in drawing recently.  It seems to calm me more than writing does (!)

Back in 2007 I had bought Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain by Betty Edwards (I got a discount as I was working in a branch of Waterstones bookshop at the time), and through my reading I learned about negative space and using what isn’t there, among other tricks. 

I completed the exercises for about two thirds of the book.  For example: I traced my hand onto my cobbled-together ‘picture plane’ with a black felt tip, took marking points off it and jotted them onto my charcoal-shaded piece of cartridge paper; then went ahead and drew a passable representation of said posed extremity with a pencil! 

The original sketch on the plastic ‘picture plane’

The finished drawing, shaded in charcoal and drawn in pencil on cartridge paper. March 2007 🙂

Later that year we moved  to our first house together, started to plan our wedding, I got a new job that was nothing to do with exploring my creative side…

I did draw a few things in the years after that, but nothing too brilliant, and (as I became a mum in 2010) that hobby just fell by the wayside pretty sharply around seven years ago (there was a brief resurgence in July of 2011, according to my sketchbook, when Eldest was 15 months old, but I would get pregnant again a year later…yada yada…).

Then the idea for drawing the kids for my mum sprang into my mind in October 2018 and I have been drawing consistently ever since.  I sketched our boys from two photographs in time for my mum’s 60th birthday on the 30th of December 2018.  They turned out a lot better than I had anticipated, and thankfully she loved them!  I have never been so nervous about handing her a present I’ve made in my entire life 😉 The sketch of Eldest took me something like 12hrs, and Youngest’s around 8hrs. 

Detail from sketch of Eldest – December 2018 – charcoal and graphite on paper

That’s not including all the thinking about starting that day’s session I would do before knuckling down and just drawing, of course…

Detail from sketch of Youngest – December 2018 – Charcoal and graphite on paper 

The kids asked for sketching pencils for their birthdays, and I draw with them as part of ‘mummy time’ multiple times a week.  It sparks a lot of interesting conversations, and they loved watching their own faces emerge out of the paper last year! 

We frequently visit this YouTube channel for fun and contemporary drawing tutorials.

Anyway, the 22nd prompt on the NaPoWriMo site said:

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that engages with another art form”

Which brought me to talk about my little drawing journey (sorry if I’ve written about it before…I don’t think I have?!)

 

I was attempting to draw Steven Tyler from this photo, but did not heed the advice in the poem… October 2018, graphite on paper

A nose is to be drawn out of shadow.

A chin is often crucial to a face.

A jawline’s known to dance,

And a hairline takes its chance;

But an artist’s hand can craft with empty space.

 

I know that after all that preamble it is a very short poem this evening, but I like it! So I hope you do, too!

See you back here tomorrow for day 23!

 

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Copyright © 2019 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!

Of Malt and Pandicorns – #NaPoWriMo19 – 21

#NaPoWriMo19, Childhood, Random poetry No Comments »

Hey 🙂

 

Happy Easter, dear readers!!

 

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like The Color of Pomegranates and “City That Does Not Sleep,” incorporates wild, surreal images. Try to play around with writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic.” [from the NaPoWriMo site]

I got to the end of the day and once more was extremely tired, so I think I was actually dreaming when I wrote this poem!  It’s a bit Enid Blyton meets nonense-y, which kind of fulfils the prompt?  Anyway, it also rhymes, which I thought was impressive for my attention span after lots of Easter fun with the boys in the (sunny!!!) back garden 😉

It is reminiscent of the stuff I used to write in early high school, come to think of it.  Awww, my subconscious mind is still semi-childlike (!!)

Oh, and because I was supposed to make the poem a bit weird, I enlisted the Jimpix generator’s help, too…

 

We should have gorged upon their finest Malt

And eaten scabby horses

(A mammal most delicious when

The second of six courses)

 

Our location swiftly hidden from

The Pandicorn stampede,

(Our host-gnome having promised

Our safety was guaranteed)

We went onwards with our merry march,

Shown fairy-crafted arts.

 

Somewhere near humans’ Bradiford

Griffin dances made their start.

 

Showcasing colours various

With sequin-like great wings

Dragons rendered combustible

All elven garland strings…

 

But soon the time did come again

When we had to depart –

Step out of fae imaginings

Real life’s course once more to chart.

 

Ach, it’ll do 😉

Take care, and I’ll catch you later!

 

[Pic is from here]

 

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Copyright © 2019 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!

 

 

Vigil – #NaPoWriMo19 – 17

#NaPoWriMo19, Mental Health, Parenting, Relationships 5 Comments »

Hiya 🙂

 

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that…presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop” 

[Glo/NaPoWriMo prompt, from here]

 

I have concealed myself

At the foot of your bed many times;

Waking to the dawn,

The dust,

Your steady breath at last.

 

You never discover my vigils.

You’ve not spoken to me in days.

 

I know how he hits you:

How your sobs sound

Through two floors

And many tight doors.

 

Why does he always return?

Why do you allow such violations of your peace?

 

He reeks of things

I’m not sure you quite fathom.

It’s hard to tell he ever came from you.

 

Your face last night looked different.

I know it made you flinch, but I just had to lick it clean.

 

 

What’s happening there, then…?

 

Catch you back here tomorrow 🙂

 

[Pic is from here]

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2019 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!