Cross Words (#NaPoWriMo Day 2)

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

Hey there!

I have a second piece for #NaPoWriMo and it was put together before 9am!  All hail the power of the Easter holidays 😉

Today’s suggested theme was to explore voices within a poem.

 

CROSS WORDS

 

I saw you!

[So did I!]

You hit her!

[Did her die?]

She was bleeding!

[Did she cry?]

Why’d you do it?!

[Yeah Jake – why?]

 

I was angry

[Was you red?]

So I punched her.

[On her head?]

She deserved it

[What she said…?!]

I’m not sorry!!

[Uh-oh…! Bed…!]

 

GET UPSTAIRS!!

[Don’t tell dad…!]

 

SUITS ME PERFECT!!

[Jakey’s sad]

 

Less of the CHEEK!

[He not bad]

 

ARGH!! WhatEVER!

[He dust got mad…]

 

Mumma! Mumma…?

Jake my fwend:

That girl was

Hurting me AGAIN!

You no see her –

Her too quick –

But Jakey knewed her

Thw-owed that bwick.

 

Her taked my doose cup, too

(‘n’ said Jakey smelled o’ POO)

Her didn’t not give BACK my dwink

So Jakey PUNCH-ed her, I fink…

 

Is that true, Jake…?

[Tell on Jo!]

 

Yeah…she’s stupid.

[Way to go!]

 

 

Can’t think where this poem came from…

 

*Hears raised voices through the playroom door for the umpteeth time this morning*

 

[Pic is from here]

 

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Copyright © 2018  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!

Departure Glance Pt. 1

Childhood, Departure Glance, Facebook Collaborations, Longer Shorts, Random Short Stories No Comments »

Good Evening!

Gemma gave me a picture prompt on my Facebook sticky post today, and asked me to use Random Word Generator to conjure up all my words for this week.  Thanks Gemma!! 😀

Prompt pic of Icelandic waterfall

(This particular waterfall is in Iceland, you can read about it here.)

As usual, I asked for five words initially to get my title; then changed the options so that I could have nine words to inspire my first instalment.

Title word mix

I chose ‘Departure Glance’ as my title because it seemed to have more possibilities than any other combination 😉

Then I got stuck in with today’s ‘big nine’:

Today's nine words

 

Reptile   Turn   Relative   Judicial   Wander   Shower   Mixture   Dismissal

My Grandfather used to gather us all and tell us legends of the ‘reptile of the falls’. It had various abilities: could turn you to stone, or hypnotise you so you went back and murdered every relative you had; that sort of thing.  There seemed to be no judicial wiggle room for the creature – wherever he decided to wander in our lands, he was deemed to be up to no good.

As he continued to shower every impressionable young mind in the village with these exciting myths, Grandfather looked on inscrutably while we responded with a mixture of dismissal and a healthy respect for the waters’ edge.

There was a pilgrimage of sorts, taken by older teenagers with rebellion on their minds, once every year or so.  Mostly they came back disappointed and poured scorn on Grandfather’s stories.  But occasionally there was a tragedy that left us all a little unsettled, and looking over our shoulders more often when alone.

 

Join me tomorrow for Part Two!

 

Pssst!!! I need inspiration for the coming weeks – follow the instructions on my Facebook’s ‘sticky post’ challenge if you want to help me out and choose a picture and generator for me to play with!

 

 

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Copyright © 2018  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!

Lake Heaven Pt. 4

Childhood, Facebook Collaborations, Lake Heaven, Longer Shorts, Random Short Stories, Relationships No Comments »

Hi!

We are on the penultimate post for this story already!  The picture from here is the one that Sandy (one of my regular readers on Facebook) asked me to use as inspiration for this week, and I again utilised her specified generator to decide what direction this part of the narrative would take. 

(Here are parts one, two and three if you missed any)

These were the words for today:

 

And this is how I used them in my 20 minute writing session…

 

Rider   Fair   Distortion   Complete   Pursuit   Represent   Glimpse   Publication   Owner

 

I shudder when motorbikes pass by.  If the rider looks at me I hold my breath and wonder if they notice.  I always imagine guns and shattered bones and blood.  I see my once-fair hair soaked in scarlet, my life ending, illuminated by blue lights.  I know I shouldn’t give the universe such visual prompts, but I can’t help it.

I have my Father’s hair.  It doesn’t suit my dark eyes, but I live with the distortion.  The rest of me is Mother.  I am standing trying to make out what she saw in this complete fool of a man, and his pursuit of material gain.  Maybe she found his confidence refreshing? 

He doesn’t defer to any higher power, he’s all about the now: this moment, how he can squeeze it to produce the ultimate gain.  I can’t remember if he’s always been like this?  I know he was forever working late and that they rowed.  But I don’t quite understand how he came to represent the opposite to all I feel to be real in this world.

I idolised him once, my Mother said.  There are photos in the cottage of me sitting on his shoulders, but I feel that they are other souls.  I catch no glimpse of him today, that man with the adoring eyes and gentle hands.  Where did all our vulnerability go?

I think it left with mother…

Back at Lake Heaven I can forget he exists.  There I feel like Mother is in every leaf and stone.  She caresses my cheek by the water, and guides my hand while I write; whispering wisdom through the wood-smoke and always visiting in peaceful dreams.

The publication of my experiences did not mean I became the assured owner of them.  Instead it felt like sacrilege: an alchemist exposed.

 

How will this end?!  Come and see what the generator spits out for me tomorrow, and I’ll try and fashion something fitting 😉

 

(see my Facebook’s sticky post challenge if you want to bagsy a week inspired by a picture and generator you chose)

 

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Copyright © 2018  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!

The Noodle Marvel Pt 4

Childhood, Longer Shorts, Parenting, Random Short Stories, The Noodle Marvel 2 Comments »

Hello 🙂

I again rolled nine kubes, this time to give me some direction for this penultimate instalment:

rolled kubes for the fourth installment

 

(Here are the links to parts one, two and three).

 

Sucker   Along   Return  Happy   Gorgeous   Brother   Water   Villain   Grace

Feeling like a complete sucker, I took Myla along to her third weekly lesson; wondering if this would be the last time she would semi-agree to return to the swimming baths…

Sarah again looked impossibly happy as she ushered me to my seat – but I had to concede that today she had a very good reason.

Kneeling by the pool was the most gorgeous man I have ever seen.  Somehow his beauty was able to transcend the ridiculously bright hooded top the complex made all of the instructors wear, and he didn’t look unnaturally pale, like the other guy had.

“He’s Franchie’s brother,” Sarah breathed into my ear, “quite a sight to behold, isn’t he?!”

“Yeah!” I managed to sigh.

“Must be all that Italian blood coursing through his veins.” Sarah went on, “If I wasn’t married…!” She giggled.  “I hear he’s single…”

Her nudge was forceful enough to make me thump into the glass of the balcony.  The Adonis looked up and actually waved at me.  It took me a second to realise that he was tending to Myla, and she had waved first, so he was just following her lead.

At least that meant my loony grin and big wave back was ok.

Myla also didn’t have her water wings on, I noticed with a jolt.  The lovely man was holding them!  How had he managed that?! (I suppose it is hard to see someone so beautiful as a villain who is trying to do you harm…?)

Myla was handed a pool noodle and seemed to take it willingly: returning to the water with a smile, and astounding good grace.

“I have to meet him” I whispered to Sarah; “he’s definitely some sort of god.”

 

Oooo, how will the kubes help me to wrap up this story tomorrow?!  Come visit then, and find out…!

 

 

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Copyright © 2018  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!

 

 

The Noodle Marvel Pt.3

Childhood, Longer Shorts, Parenting, Random Short Stories, The Noodle Marvel No Comments »

Hey There!! 

I am onto my third instalment of this story about Myla and her hated swimming lessons, already!  The first instalment is here, and the second is here; should you need to catch up 😉

I decided to elevate the ante a little today: as I have been rolling some easy joining words with my kubes, I thought I’d make my chances of getting harder-to-incorporate stuff greater by using nine instead of five kubes (that is also the number of words I use for my random word poetry)

I did, indeed, get a better mix today:

kube roll for the third instalment

 

Bust  Flesh  Science  Etc.  Licks  Or  Flock  Home  Gentle

 

The next week was even worse. 

This time Myla hurt the knuckles on her left hand, apparently having had a bust up with a rough tile while she was trying to “hold on and push off” the way the instructor had told her to.

I joined her in the changing rooms as she gingerly touched the broken flesh and exclaimed about how sore it was.  This, she said, meant that swimming was definitely not for her.  Her argument went along the lines of there being an invisible force in the water that clearly didn’t like her: “a wave or sumfin, like at the beach…” either that or Rachel’s brother was working some Voodoo science on her “cos he knows I don’t like him”.

I helped her dress, and gathered up the obnoxious amount of paraphanalia her agreeing to step into the water seemed to demand (Peppa goggles, spare ‘wings’, the two towels “in case one dwops on the flo-wa”, etc…).

Back in the car, I tried to persuade her that doing ‘dog-licks’ every two seconds was not going to heal her hand very well, and that a plaster would be a better idea.  Or at least more hygienic.

I watched the startled flock of Starlings nearby take off home as Myla’s less than gentle reply reverberated through the open windows.

Why was I doing this to myself?!

I hoped she’d go to bed early (and her third lesson would pan out much better).

 

Two more instalments to go…what will the kubes do with Myla and her lesson loathing?! Hit me up tomorrow to find out!

 

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Copyright © 2018  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!

The Noodle Marvel Pt.2

Childhood, Longer Shorts, Parenting, Random Short Stories, The Noodle Marvel No Comments »

Hiya 😉

I continued with yesterday’s story.  Again I rolled 5 kubes to get words that I had to include in today’s instalment, then set my 20 mins and got to work:

Second installment kube roll on 'spring' fabric

 

Words I rolled:  Finger    A    Realize   Torture   For

The ice cream wasn’t remedy enough for a sore finger, apparently.

“It’s weely sore!”  Myla complained “you’re a bad mummy for makin’ me do sumfin so dane-ja-wus!  I am NOT going ANY MORE!!”  The arms got crossed and everything.

“C’mon baby!” I said, in my sing-song voice, “you liked splashing your feet and getting to meet the other kids.”

“Didn’t!!” Myla frowned “I alwedy know Amy, she can show me the udder peetles.  That man was stoopid.”

I hadn’t stopped and thought about all of this properly.  If I’d begun to realize how much she’d torture me for making her learn to swim, I’d have probably just let her be a couch potato.  Like me. But I’d paid for the lesson-block now…

“You know that learning to swim gives you a superpower though, yeah?”

Myla sighed, and gave me a long-suffering look. (Do they teach them that at nursery?!)

“I’m not joking, Myla.  You can save people’s life if you know how to swim!”

“Shhhh, I’m trying to eat, Mummy.I know superheroes don’t swim with babies.  It’s not NICE to lie.  I’m NOT going ANY more.”

I sighed.  “There were no babies in that pool today!”

“Yes there was!  Rachel’s little bruva was there.  He has a nappy on!”

“He’s three…”

Myla gave me ‘the face’ again.  “I KNOW that!  But he only dust GOT three!  He was two the udder day!”

“His birthday was…” I thought back “4 months ago, Myla.”

“I KNOW, so he’s a BABY!”

I gave up and cleared away her (now empty) bowl.  “You’ll learn to swim and start loving it. You’ll soon be the best there”

“I’m going away now” said Myla “you hurt my finger super lots when you lie, mummy.”

 

She’s a handful, isn’t she?!

Be sure to come back tomorrow and see if I’ll roll tantrums or tranquillity for these characters with my kubes 😉

 

 

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Copyright © 2018  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!

 

The Noodle Marvel Pt 1

Childhood, Longer Shorts, Parenting, Random Short Stories, The Noodle Marvel No Comments »

Hello!

Jane put a comment on this post yesterday, and suggested using random words to dictate the direction of a story.  I decided to do this by first rolling one of the Haikubes that gives a theme, and also five word-kubes to try and assemble a title:

Haikubes rolled on purple checked material

Theme: ‘A Desire For’ Kubes: the, noodle, not so, marvel, went.

 

I then thought I would roll 5 kubes to start the story off, write for 20 minutes using what I’d rolled, and pick up with some Haikubes tomorrow to continue the story 😉

So my first roll had provided a theme of ‘a desire for’ with a title of The Noodle Marvel and I had thought all about food and China (and Kung Fu Panda)…then I was gifted the roll below (I re-rolled any blanks til I got words) and was suddenly heading in a different direction…!

Second Haikubes roll

 

Words I rolled: Left   I   Swimming    Baby    For

 

Then I left.

Scrambling up the stairs to the gallery to watch her, I was wondering whether a swan-dive from there would just crack my head on the tiles, or actually see me slicing through the water, on my heroic way to save my child’s life…

I’d been lugging her to those swimming baths since she was a baby, but for some reason Myla had not taken to it very well.

The look of panic that came over her wee face if I even SUGGESTED ditching the arm bands was almost comical, but the almighty tantrum that ensued the first time I tried to gently remove them in the water…?  Not so funny.

Myla had always had a strong will, and a great work ethic when it came to things she was interested in; but swimming seemed to be a complete road-block for her.  I’d even had a few people suggest to me that she’d had a bad experience with water in a past life, and that I should get her ‘regressed’ at some practitioner in town.  A more helpful suggestion came from Sarah, whose daughter had just started at this swimming class, and we hoped Myla’s competitive streak might be engaged.

I could see Sarah waving to me as I rounded the stairs to the gallery.  She looked happy and calm.  “I saved you a seat!” she trilled from the middle row “I love Myla’s swimsuit, and you’ve plaited her hair so nicely.  You’ll have to teach me how to do that!”

I tried to look like I was happy to have a conversation like a normal person, but gave it up in a nanosecond, gripping the rail and almost launching myself over it [for real] in an attempt to spot my girl.

Myla was looking up with a mournful expression on her beautiful face.  As soon as she saw me, her bottom lip started to jut out and I could see the anger rising.

I said a little prayer, then, that the whole line of 3 and 4 year olds wouldn’t suddenly be prematurely dunked by my upset little whirlwind…

 

So there we go: a 350-word start to our little tale!  Come back tomorrow and we’ll see what way the Haikubes decide the story should progress 😉

 

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Copyright © 2018  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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘Ballad’ Of The School-Day Morn

Childhood, Other Poetry, Parenting No Comments »

Hello 🙂

Today I was looking at the description of ‘epic‘ poems, and something I wrote in November 2016 popped into my head.  It doesn’t fit within the ‘epic’ parameters as there are no heroic deeds (other than getting two children to school/nursery on time…) and the rhyming scheme is not compliant, but something about epic poetry being a story brought that older work to mind.

I wanted to share it with you anyway, so I dug it out (that took a while as I hadn’t realised just how many notebooks I had gone through since I started this crazy idea of writing a poem every day…I need to catalogue them properly with the dates on the front, etc!).  A lot of the beginning of my poem jarred me because it went from quasi-blank verse into one rhyming scheme half way through, and then progressed into a more complicated one still!

I tweaked the first 20 lines into a second and fourth line rhyme scheme (5 sets of four lines), then tightened up a few rhymes from the 21st line onwards – where I keep the second and fourth line rhyming at the ends, but also have an internal rhyme in the first and third lines!! (Still with me?!)

Why the rhythm changes within the work?  I did it subconsciously when I wrote it originally, then realised that I had changed to the internal rhymes just when the children and I had left the house in the story, so it was mirroring our need to keep moving/the sound of our steps on the ground. 

Maybe…?!

I just go with what flows, according to my poetic ear at the time, usually, and add a dash of logic later 😉

This being the case, I thought it might be an idea to look at the syllable count per line that I had ended up with, and figure out if what I had created was any recognised form of narrative poetry.

I keep coming up against metrical terms as I look deeper into poetry, and I must admit that it still all fuddles my mind.  I read Wikipedia’s take on the Lyric and was lost in the realms of di and tri syllables (see the table in this Wikipedia entry for why I am a tad bamboozled) and their corresponding names and significances! 

I feel a bit like a fraud!! 

If a poetic line doesn’t scan, I know.  Just don’t ask me to explain the technical reasons as to why it annoys me, ok?!

I looked at the Ballad form, and found that the rhyming scheme abcb matched mine, but the number of syllables to a line is waaay ‘off’ in my work.  A Ballad is supposed to go 8-6-8-6 or employ ‘fourteeners‘ and, as you can see from the grey numbers in brackets after each of my lines, mine go 11or12-8or9-11or12-8or9; with a few lines of 10 syllables thrown in for good measure.  

Shall history consign my work to dust or hail me a rebellious genius?? I’m not sure, but here’s the poem anyway:

 

 

We gathered, as usual, at dark Monday window, (12)

Reflections of us in the glass. (8)

The children spun ‘round in the curtain, I turned; (11)

Tried hard not to get too harassed. (8)

We marvelled at fog, as we watched Daddy leave, (11)

Strained to see through the murk and our light. (9)

My eldest, excited, pondered if Daddy had (12)

Done one extra wave, out of sight… (8)

 

The kids ran off to play, a large box a ramp; (11)

Whizzing cars, comparing distance. (8)

I dried off my hair, put the buggy outside (11)

Scrubbed at tough shoe-mud resistance. (8)

Their playtime now done, boys careered back through, (10)

Refused to succumb to their coat zips; (9)

I bargained and shouted, and cajoled and kissed (11)

(Wrestled wriggly toddler’s strap clips) (9)

 

Our bags all accounted for, clock on the run (11)

We set off: two walking, one rolling; (9)

Our breath adding weight to the mist all around, (11)

And thankful for all our warm clothing. (9)

 

Blue eyes to the sky, my eldest asked why  (10)

While within it, the ‘cloud’ wasn’t thicker;  (10)

As I pointed out, behind us had a shroud,  (11)

And the road ahead, seemingly, flickered.  (10)

 

Eldest’s chatter went on, his brother hummed a song,  (12)

The cacophony making me edgy;  (10)

Combined as it was, with a street-sweepers buzz  (11)

(The pavement in front being sedgy(9)

A pungent whiff of earth, cut through their mirth,  (10)

Both boys asking now what it could be; (9)

I said it was soil (patience starting to spoil)  (11)

Brushes having churned up boundaries.   (9)

 

Eldest took this in, with a slow little grin,  (11)

Proclaiming it clever to do that.  (9)

(He likes getting to see what lies under his feet,  (12)

Visualising the layers of our planet).    (10)

Fog and a dandelion clock hot air balloon

As the cars muffled by, Eldest expounded why  (12)

(‘case we’d missed it) this spot looked so clear  (10)

Still pushed for time, I said “don’t look behind”,  (10)

And “try to stay focussed, my dear”.  (9)

 

The bundled up kid, in the buggy, outdid  (11)

Himself in the vocal department:  (9)

As the traffic lights loomed, and his mummy fair zoomed –   (11)

A new warble he started to invent.  (10)

Eldest was amused, thought his brother confused,  (11)

And suggested a ditty less gaga; (10)

Buggy boy got annoyed, and again raised his voice,  (12)

Soon those kids were crooning a cappella…  (10)

 

Playing-field wall in view, Eldest’s out breath blew:  (11)

“I think the fog is the most at the school”  (10)

Buggy boy bobbed his head, and no more was said:  (11)

With such wise words it’s best not to fool.  (9)

Through those green gates we raced, the brothers embraced,  (11)

And went off to their separate haunts;  (9)

Little brown eyes, big blue – my adorable two  (12)

To face their own educational jaunts.  (10)

 

I hugged buggy boy tight, and tweaked his jumper right,  (12)

Then watched him just starting to play.  (8)

I don’t like to leave, but Eldest receives  (10)

My big hug, too, before his school day.  (9)

I wave and I smile, chat to mums for a while,  (11)

And I notice the fog is still there;  (9)

Hungry to consume: people, feelings, and soon  (11)

Two sweet children I have in my care.  (9)

 

I slowly walk home (Leonard Cohen, headphones)  (11)

Empty-buggied, with only one bag  (9)

Quick looks on and behind, and yes, I still find:  (11)

All that’s clear is the patch I impact.  (9)

 

 

[Pic is from here]

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Copyright © 2018  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!

Tetractys

Childhood, Other Poetry, Parenting, Relationships No Comments »

Hello!

Apparently the Tetractys was invented by Ray Stebbing, and the challenge is to write a poem in twenty syllables over five lines, that follows the pattern 1,2,3,4,10.  There is also the Double Tetractys, which have 40 syllables over 10 lines, going 1,2,3,4,10,10,4,3,2,1!

I had a bash at both…

 

In

the stead

of goodbye:

I refuse truth.

You’re still here if I say that you aren’t gone…

 

Then the double:

 

I

pummel

the air and

think bad thoughts cos

inside I am a frustrated small child.upset little girl

But I also have a real one of those

who shouts right back

so I don’t

escape

whole.

 

 

[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!

 

 

 

Blitzing

Childhood, Other Poetry, Parenting No Comments »

Happy Neeeeew Yeeeear!!!

I am kicking off 2018 with an ‘Ottava Rima’ style piece today.  The first site I read said it should have eleven syllables per line, but Wikipedia says it should be written in iambic pentameter (so have only ten).

It is harder to do eleven syllables per line, so of course… 😉

Both sources agree it should be written with a rhyming structure of

ab

ab

ab

cc

so I went with that, too:

 

Dust bunnies run, a monster in their midst: “Mum!cleaning implements

Tell us why you want everything much neater?!

We’d rather continue to be tablet bums

(Why budge when underneath us is a heater?!)

Just come here, play our games and have some good fun;

We’ll hug you, sit on your knee, and be sweeter”

 

“Alas, the year has turned – got my butt moving;

According to my plans all needs improving…”

 

In truth, it really is lovely sitting on our warm playroom floor.  When I was an exhausted mum of a toddler and pre-schooler, I took the odd cheeky half-nap stretched out (blocking the door!) while the kids played with cars and blocks. One or both boys would come and snuggle in after a while, usually begging room for teddies 😉 

 

[Pic is from here]

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2018  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!