NaPoWriMo 2.18: Good Friday 2009


a tall empty form...

Something that started as a sort of ‘mock poem’ but I thought I’d turn it into a slightly less mock-poem…Based on a little moment five years ago:

Good Friday, 2009

I’ll straighten my tie, press
the shaking red icon to hang
up, glide a straight line
towards the light
coming through
the door.

It will knock
twice only –
slowly, precisely.

A back-lit cut-out,
a tall empty form:
“Do you want any
fish?” he’ll enquire.

“I’m sorry,” I’ll reply,
“this is not my

NaPoWriMo 2.16: Pet Shop Boy

“She’s the actual one, you know, who hooted through the hall of Hogwarts. In the film. Really.”

Up to Wednesday! The prompt/challenge was to write a ten line poem in which every line is a lie.

Here’s my poem, which seems to be part of the same ‘range’ of weird shopkeepers as last year’s The Pies of Awareness (a sinister existential baker) or this year’s A Charm Against Losing It As Spoken by Debonair Metapharmasista Crisby LeFross (who is, as it sounds, an eccentric pharmacist with a twist).

In fact, these may become a pamphlet of first-person poems by a whole high street-full of oddities…Hmm…



or Pet Shop Boy


She’s the actual one, you know, who hooted through the hall of Hogwarts. In the film. Really.

Not so active now. They’re nocturnal. What? Yes, in real life the eyes seem much more…shiny.


Peer in here – they’re such low-maintenance pets, clamped to the branches with their camo legs.

What’s that? You could say so. Yes, very similar. But they’re not, though. No. Not clothes pegs.


How about some drama from far-off Siam (that’s Thailand now). Look! A bit of one just fell off!

I know it’s not usual to keep several together. Or that they’re gold. No, the fins just look like J-Cloth.


You’ll barely lift a finger for this little fellow. Underneath that branch…So still, so calm. The gecko.

Yes, I have been in the toyshop next door. But this, this is your actual toy – I mean pet! Pet dinosaur.


Budgies: so bright! Like highlighters. Hmm. Pigeon-size? Err. Don’t touch! Oh…green, pink or blue?

No? I’ve so enjoyed our conversation. A key-ring? Every penny goes towards my conservation.



NaPoWriMo 2.14: Questions To The Huddersfield Broad Canal Fishing Lady

But is she among them…?

It’s a catch up day again – I’m finding that poetry gathering- and writing-binges are how I’m doing NaPoWriMo today…

So here’s the all-questions-and-a-statement poem which – without knowing about the imminent terza rima (which I’m doing next) – has a similar-ish interlocking rhyme structure.

The subject for my questioning poem is a lady we see fishing in the canal near where we’re moored. Fishing being largely dominated by white blokes, she stood out in being of East Asian descent (or East Asian, I know not) and not carrying all the kit (as many anglers do as they populate the towpath of a Sunday). So she stands out in that regard as an angler – and in her manner.

She sits looking quite mysterious and rather well-dressed, sort of glamorous. We’ve tried saying hello when we’ve gone past on the boat, but she seems then to slope away unsmilingly. Perhaps it’s interrupting her quiet thinking/fishing time, time to gaze at the water – which is, I think, the real/main reason for fishing as sport…

(As my Mum once pointed out, if you took a bag of kittens to the local river and started dunking them to the point of drowning, there’d be an outcry – but sticking a hook in a fish’s mouth and hauling it out of the water until it’s nearly dead is, apparently, entirely different).

So the Huddersfield Broad Canal Fishing Lady is something of a mystery – and here’s my poem of questions to her:


To The Huddersfield Broad Canal Fishing Lady


Why do you fish in the Broad Canal?

Is your little white handbag stuffed with worms?

Do you model for unseen cameras, so stern?

Have you always fished in the Broad Canal?


Does your handbag flash-bulb, when it is time?

What need of such style for a sport so banal?

What towpath could call to a runway girl?

Is your bag paparazzi at fishing time?


Are the hooks that you use made of thin air?

Do the fish fill your silence, are you always a mime?

Do they peep up like journos, from down in the grime?

Are your hooks in the water just bubbles of air?


Would you be heron, or would you be crane?

Do you speak with the others, know all the right terms?

Are your sequins scraped scales, whereon sunlight squirms?

I cast out enigma, I reel in the same: a feathered reflection, a vanishing crane.