Scant Shanty – #NaPoWriMo22 – Day 9

#NaPoWriMo22, Other Poetry, Random poetry 1 Comment »

How do?!

 

“Because it’s a Saturday, I thought I’d try a prompt that asks you to write in a specific form – the nonet! A nonet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second has eight, and so on until you get to the last line, which has just one syllable.” [from napowrimo.net]

I found myself writing two random poems while dabbling with this one, so I went onto Pixabay and picked a picture I like the look of, then wrote a nonet inspired by that:

old sailing ship on a stormy sea

My salty sailors went to sea, all                             

Full of hope to treasure seek, and                           

Up blew storms far too quickly,                              

They yelled and prayed to God                                 

to be pulled from the                                                   

waves, brought back to                                                

me: ghost ship                                                              

floating                                                                                

free.   

 

In case it doesn’t look like it rhymes, I’ve also typed it out below as if it was a ‘normal’ shanty-esque wee ditty 😉

(It has five lines of 8 syllables, and then a 5 syllable line to finish):

 

My salty sailors went to sea,

All full of hope (to treasure seek),

And up blew storms far too quickly,                              

They yelled and prayed to God to be

Pulled from the waves, brought back to me:

Ghost ship floating free.  

 

I’m now off to ‘float freely’ into another episode of Dr Who before the kids’ impatience reaches fever pitch 😉 meet you back here for Day 10!

 

Monty X

 [pic is from here]

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

 

Copyright © 2022  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!

Lucy – #NaPoWriMo22 – Day 8

#NaPoWriMo22, Other Poetry, Random poetry No Comments »

Hi 😊

 

The prompt for Day 8 of NaPoWriMo:

“asks you to name your alter-ego, and then describe him/her in detail. Then write in your alter-ego’s voice.”

Well, I’ve had a few alter-egos down the years, but my first one was called Lucy, and I described her as “a dark-haired girl, ten years of age and quick-tempered” in the second instalment of the ‘series’ I was writing about her in my tweens. She was also a bit nosy, plucky, and not too much of a goody two shoes, if I remember correctly.

 

Lucy is my name

And I like to play a game

cartoon girl in a top that reads "You can do anything"

Where everyone else fails

Only my pluckiness prevails;

And I may be still quite young

But my poetry’s on ‘stun’

From this imaginary gun…

And now my rhyme is done

(‘cos I need my tea NOW, mum!)

 

To be honest, Lucy was a LOT more ‘Enid Blytony’ than that, but I’ve given her a bit of an upgrade and let her borrow my penchant for strained over-rhyming that I had at the age of ten (until Rennie McOwan read some of my work and sent me a letter in my mid-teens, which  prompted me to dabble in other forms 😉)

I wish I hadn’t let high school crowd out all my stories with its chaotic homework burden.  I might have got somewhere if I’d listened to my characters and not the ‘real’ world…!

See you tomorrow for Day 9 of NaPo!

 

Monty X

 [Pic is from here]

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

 

Copyright © 2022  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!

Age Related – #NaPoWriMo22 – Day 7

#NaPoWriMo22, Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »

Hello!

 

From napowrimo.net:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that argues against, or somehow questions, a proverb or saying.

As it is Eldest’s birthday today, I went for a couple about age [Source: https://proverbicals.com/age]

 

I have read, on that tome called the internet,

“Grey hair is a sign of age, not of wisdom”.

And to think I was quite looking forward

To my Nana Coco days:  more little hands,

Trusting and sticky, wrapped round a rock bun

My gnarling digits had helped them to make;

Dreaming wistfully of reading picture books

To listening littlies, answering questions

About the good old days and explaining

Why dictionaries, landlines, and cassettes

Had their place in the world when I was young,

To more wide-eyed wonder than their fathers’!

 

chocolate cake decorated with chocolate eggs

Germans apparently say a lot that:

“Old age is no protection against foolishness”

And this one seems to pan out, as I am

Already facing my mid forties and

My newly 9 and 12 year olds do claim

My idiocy gleams daily.  I know

They roll their eyes at the fuss and hug quotient

I deem as gifts.  They educate me on

‘Proper’ behaviour more frequently than

I remember doing for my elders.

My schooling’s not a match to their native

Digital genius.  I’m chopped liver.

 

And yet many a soggy shoulder or

Wakeful night worrying’s to come, I feel.

I would suspect, hair dyed or no, I’ll play my part

And maybe earn some respect on the way…?

 

 

Eldest woke up a few minutes before his time of birth this morning, and I got to hold his hand as he turned 12.  I also managed not to cry!! This meant he was bargaining for YouTube by about 7.05am but hey, he did show me some of his friends’ channels and also had a laugh with me over random videos about elephants messing about, so it was a nice start to the morning!

Eldest opened his presents and then we all watched Iron Man 2 on Amazon Prime together.  Afterwards, it was on to making buttercream icing and adorning the spongecake the boys and I made together yesterday morning.  There is a tradition here of poking chocolate mini eggs into the icing, as we have Spring ‘babies’ (Youngest did the same for his cake 8 days ago, see above!) but Eldest decided he and his brother would also add some sprinkles.  No complaints here!

We got a Domino’s pizzas in for dinner before we cut and sampled the cake.  It was a good meal!

Sponge cake with icing

Eldest’s birthday sponge

How on EARTH do we have a pre-teen in the house, though?! He hit double figures at the start of the Pandemic and time has just seemed to do crazy stuff since then.  Feels so weird looking at this kid, who is only a head shorter than me now, and thinking through all the transitions he and I have gone through to get here.  He’s definitely been one of my greatest teachers, this firstborn rascal of ours 😉

Anyway, I’d better go and watch some Dr Who with the kids before bedtime (as always requested) and save this draft until I have time to put the pics on it! Take care, and I’ll return for Day 8.

 

Monty X

 [pics are my own]

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

 

Copyright © 2022  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 Sphinx – #NaPoWriMo22 – Day 5

#NaPoWriMo22, Random poetry 1 Comment »

Hiya 😊

 

Again my brain kinda took off on a tangent with this prompt, and I just let it:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about a mythical person or creature doing something unusual – or at least something that seems unusual in relation to that person/creature. [From napowrimo.net]

I love Unicorns, and my mum is really into dragons, but I decided to choose a less obvious creature for my poem. Half woman, half lion seems an interesting mix, after all 😉

 

THE SPHINX

 

All logic-d out

(And dying to pee)

The Sphinx just retreated

And didn’t eat me.

I thought this was strange,

Not what one would expect,

So (impulsively)

I followed, with respect.

Poor old Sphinxy

Just sat in her stall,

Head in her paws

And then started to bawl:

A mournful old sound

that was whimpers and growls,

And some muffled snarling

Into paper towels.

“Oh dear!” she wailed

To herself (and to me)

“I ate him all up,

Now I can’t have my tea!

I’ve such a bad temper

I wish I would think

Through all consequences –

Not act in a blink.

I can’t go on living

As rashly as this!

He’d promised to wed me

And keep me in bliss!

I’d picked out the dress,

And my shoes, and my veil!

My mother will nag

When I tell her this tale…”

 

Sculpture, Sphinx, Naturtheater, Schwetzingen, Statue

She opened the cubicle

(Straightened and flushed)

Washed off the blood splats

Turned to me: blushed.

“Could you not mention this

To anyone?

I don’t want to seem like

My evil’s not fun.

Then there’ll be pitchforks,

And baying for blood,

And that’s so medieval, y’know?

Thank you, bud”

It felt pretty weird, fist-bumping a Sphinx;

Her rep says she’s really a dangerous minx.

But anyway, yeah, I survived her that day – 

And she still looked quite sad, as she sashayed away…

 

For some reason I see most of the above action taking place in the communal loos from the TV show Ally McBeal

Onwards to Day 6!

Monty X

[pic is from here]

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2022  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!

 

 

Prompting Feminism? – #NaPoWriMo22 – Day 4

#NaPoWriMo22, Random poetry No Comments »

How do?!

 

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem . . . in the form of a poetry prompt. If that sounds silly, well, maybe it is! But it’s not without precedent. The poet Mathias Svalina has been writing surrealist prompt-poems for quite a while, posting them to Instagram. You can find examples here, and here, and here.

[from napowrimo.net]

This one had a mind of its own.  I was listening to trance music on my headphones while I was writing (sometimes ‘busy’ music puts me in a flow state, with a bloom of ‘somewhat clarity’ appearing in the middle of my brain. I dunno, it’s weird…) and the rhyming scheme, theme, et cetera, just picked itself.

I was loosely thinking about the film Practical Magic and the whole maiden versus the hag debate, and my University’s (circa 2002) lectures about Foucault/Derrida/Gender Studies, and about broomsticks, and motherhood, and A Room Of One’s Own, and postnatal depression, and empty nest syndrome, and… 😉

Arm, Female, Lady, Muscles, Strong, Woman

  1. Sit in rooms, in the gloom, ‘til it’s already noon
  2. Til the grey on display has your head all dizz-ay…
  3. Put on beats, indiscreet, tap the rhymes through your feet
  4. And begin. It’s not sin to go vent’ring within;
  5. To pull out the fake-ed and slake it (while naked)
  6. This thirst for a burst of the ragged and cursed!
  7. It’s a sign from your soul, you’ve paid tolls – take control!
  8. Sieze your pens, wild women, taste your freedom again!
  9. The effulgent, as emulgent, is deliciously indulgent
  10. You deserve, so do not swerve, go and give your poems verve!!
  11. When it breathes, you’ll be relieved that this beauty you conceived
  12. Walks the world, fully unfurled, and its inner glow’s a girl’s.

 

Well anyway…

I’ll see you back here for Day 5!

 

Monty X

[Pic is from here]

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

 

Copyright © 2022  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!

Chronological Veto? – #NaPoWriMo22 – Day 3

#NaPoWriMo22, Other Poetry, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »

Hey there!

 

Today’s prompt from the NaPoWriMo site is a bit complicated:

It’s a Spanish form called a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza. Traditionally, each stanza has ten lines, but don’t feel obligated to hold yourself to that!

I have bits of others’ poetry in my head a lot from school and university, so it took me a bit of tapping around to alight on a poem I wanted to use.  I was looking for ‘straightforward’ lines with no enjambment and simple enough imagery that I could rework, etc.

I finally chose the middle four-line stanza of  Philip Larkin’s “I Have Started To Say”.  The theme was easy to expand upon and the lines were pretty short!  When reading about the Glosa, I had also seen that the line lengths are supposed to be roughly the same as the line in the original poem.  I have not accomplished this, but what I have done is made sure each line matches the number of syllables the last (borrowed) line has.  Plus, I did stick to the convention of making each of my stanzas ten lines long. Which was a challenge!

I have bolded the last lines so you can see what the original Larkin stanza said. I’ll let you decide whether the poem I ended up with works ok 😉

 

Reading my C V

Confronts me with dates

Of past endeavours,

Forces the chill of

Recognition when

The maths is done, and

I really feel the

Weight of all those years

Compound on my chest.

It makes me breathless.

 

A part of me likes to Peter Pan

(I would assume we’re all the same) but

This feels more existential than that;

Flicking through the official story

Of how I have spent my time on earth –

The employable me, the useful

So many memories assault my

Inner silver screen. It’s a mixed bag,

But my stomach swoops and suddenly

It’s like falling and recovering.

 

I am not sure about

Where the fear came from, as

In my mind I’ve embraced

My future Jessica:

A tad nosy, good friends,

Classy clothes, opinions

Expressed politely while

Using my teacher hands

To illustrate my points

In huge gesturing loops…

 

 

Mrs Fletcher, though,

Was not blessed with kids,

And seemed to fill days

With more worth than I

Surface things deceive.

Ask my boys, they’ll say

Mum’s ‘homely’ record

Shows she’s really not

Chartering lamely
Through an empty sky.

 

Incidentally, I found this tweet and really like it!!

 

Phew! Well, let’s hope Day 4’s prompt is a little less mind bending!

 

Monty X

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

 

Copyright © 2022  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

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

Hello!

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!

 

IT AIN’T JUNK

 

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

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

 

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!

 

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

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

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!

My Universal Truth – Day Three – #NaPoWriMo21

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

Howdy-doody-oh?!

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

Is OBVIOUSLY good…

 

 

**Sigh**

 

Big hugs, and I’ll catch you tomorrow 😉

 

Monty X

 

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

 

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!

 

Gifted- #NaPoWriMo20 – Day 20

#NaPoWriMo 2020, Random poetry No Comments »

Hello!

 

The prompt for Day 20 was to write about a home/handmade gift I had received:

 

On an old Christmas tree

That has seen its fair share

Of just-saved almost-topplings

And general wear,

There are treasures all nestled –

They grow every year –

Because one special crafter

Thrives on Christmas cheer!

 

We are not talking alcohol,

Mince pies or ‘nog;

A mishap with turkey,

Or mistletoe snogs –

 

No! She gets all a-flutter

With glue, paper and cloth,

And wee jingly bells,

Some pipe cleaners (and fluff)

 

It’s all just so damn homely

To survey that tree;

Each single decoration

Seems golden, to me 😊

 

As a bit of a ‘maker’ myself (the poem is about my mum) I really do appreciate the time and effort that goes into any handmade offering. I love that a person must think about you a lot while making you something, so it is already infused with positivity and pleasing memories. The way I see it, crafters have forever imprinted a piece of themselves into the materials they use, because time is something none of us have enough of in this life (no matter how bored you may feel in lockdown…) and yet a ‘maker’ has chosen to encapsulate some of theirs in their art or craft in order to make you feel loved 😊

The kids have great fun decorating our tree every year – and Christmas 2019 they really seemed to take an interest in telling me which deccies they remembered and why. Here you can see not only my mum’s lovely creations peeking out, but also sourdough offerings from the kids’ nursery days, my grumpy fairy I knitted over a decade ago, and various wee knick knacks others have given us over the years. It may look a jumbled mess to many, but I wouldn’t have our tree any other way 😉

 

Are you crafting in these times of social isolation? Do you have a cherished recipient in mind?

 

Big hugs, stay safe, and I’ll ‘see’ you for Day 21’s prompt!

 

Monty X

 

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

 

Copyright © 2020  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!