Writing in the Afternoon (A Pantoum)

by Annette Snyckers

My heart leaps up
my limbs are light
I write to remember
I write to forget

my limbs are light
I write mountains and molehills
I write to forget
the fear that fetters me

I write mountains and molehills
I write terror and tenderness
the fear that fetters me
a remnant of wholeness

I write terror and tenderness
I write to remember
a remnant of wholeness
my heart leaps up

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Hooked

by Michael Keeling

I’m getting hooked on this poetry lark

It’s fun and it fills up the time

When trying to sleep

It’s better than sheep

I’ll be snoring before the third line.

While cleaning my teeth

While laying a wreath

While taking a walk in the park

Where’er I meander

I’ll write the odd stanza

When hooked by this poetry lark.

I’m getting hooked on this poetry lark

A lost word while combing my hair

A couplet or two

When I go to the loo

A thought when I hit the fresh air.

While sweeping the yard

While playing a card

While finding my way in the dark

Where’er I meander

I’ll write the odd stanza

When hooked by this poetry lark.

I’m getting hooked on this poetry lark

I can’t get it out of my mind

It swamps the grey matter

It’s fish in beer batter

No finer dish will you find.

While pruning the hedge

While signing the pledge

While joining the aard to the vark

Where’er I meander

I’ll write the odd stanza

Yes, I’m hooked by this poetry lark!

Waiting for Inspiration

by Elaine Edwards

Despite the sharpened pencils and moleskin notebook she’ll not be enticed.
Nor does my glistening monitor and expectant keypad impress her.
If I want to see her in the day I have to be gardening,
or cooking, or chatting to friends;
pretending indifference, watching from the corner of my eye
as she lurks behind the shrubbery, hides in the pantry, skulks among the cobwebs
in the cracks above the door.

Mostly she likes to come at night
when Paul is breathing gently next to me (finally asleep after a punishing day).
Gliding into the bed between us,
she whispers promises , fills my head with images,
stirs my blood and takes away my breath.

By morning she is gone.
My moleskin notebook is intact.
Its pages still virginal.

Becoming a poet

by Michael Keeling

To be a prolific writer

I would have to have discipline.

And discipline I have not.

 

I would have to have

an all-consuming passion to write.

And this all-consuming passion I have not.

 

No I shall be a poet;

fill pages with my thoughts;

write anything that comes to mind

in an order out of sorts.

Have_ punctuations: anywhere?

or not as no one seems to care

keep it all in lower case

 

stanzas starting

 

any place

staggered lines

in fu

nny shapes

neednt bother

writing verse

or rhyme

thats even worse

in fact be as lazy as I like

but will

they read it

Double-jointed Girls

by Pam Newham

Behind the bicycle shed the older boys
passed around a single joint, while
on the playground, we sat in a circle
and watched the double-jointed girl.
Her skirt tucked into her pants,
she did incredible things with her limbs.
Like a bizarre bird she stood on one leg,
the other pulled up flat against her back.
She manoeuvred her rubbery shoulders
and made us shriek.
She bent her thumbs backwards
to reach her wrists.

I longed to be a double-jointed girl.

Years later, somewhere on a stage,
a troupe of Mongolian girls
with white faces and red lips
flipped backwards on hands and feet
and, with dispassionate eyes,
stared at us through their legs.
Then, like human scorpions,
slowly sidled around in circles.

I thought, so this is what life unfurls
for double-jointed girls.
I thought, perhaps it’s just as well
we do not get to choose.
I thought, it’s better to be
a single-jointed girl
who spends her time
pulling up,
manoeuvring,
joining
words.

Cliches

by Kerry Hammerton

Last month I heard myself say
baptism of fire. Last week
stand shoulder to shoulder
and all that glitters is not gold slipped
out from between my teeth.
Yesterday it was from pillar to post
and all talk and no action.
Today I’ve started with
what goes around comes around,
I even tried tomorrow is another day.
Tomorrow I’ve lined up in for a penny,
in for a pound, don’t count your chickens
before they hatch and all hands on deck.
I may even use glass shards in a poem,
although that may be taking things too far.

Viewpoints

by Annette Snyckers

I woke up to mist this morning,
in stillness it draped
its wispy web
over the tallest treetops
and lingered languidly
in the valley until midday.

Now the mountain
has reassembled itself
in my window,
droplets shimmer in the filigree
of bare winter branches
and catch the sunlight
in a prism of sparkling colour.
Depending on which way
I tilt my head –
flashing crimson,
flashing green.

If I could look at problems
in this way,
vary my viewpoint
even slightly,
perhaps I’d also be amazed
at the change I see.