NaPoWriMo 8: An Ottova Rima


There’ll be plenty of this going on above the Atlantic in years to come, it seems…

Yes, I’m still running on something of a poetry-deficit – but I will catch up by the end of the month and have 30 poems!

The 8th challenge was to write an Ottova Rima; a formal type of poem in iambic pentameter, with the rhyme-scheme abababcc. I didn’t know what to write mine about and then heard a piece on Radio 4earlier discussing some climate researchers’ work about air turbulence. They have concluded that, as climate change develops/progresses/worsens, so will the bumpy ride across the Atlantic (ironic perhaps, as aviation exhaust fumes are no doubt a massive contributing factor!) due to the changing Gulf Stream…

So I wrote this Ottova Rima with aeroplane imagery, perhaps about not knowing what to write about, or something – I don’t know, but it’s another one down!




At thousands of ideas above this sea

My pen: the fluid action of a vein.

This isobar controls no more than we

Control the sky’s intention with a plane,

Can regulate its breath. But could it be

The pulsing of a heart’s soft hurricane

Becomes the pen’s propulsion, roaring loud

To pierce the floating ink within a cloud?

Prey or, White Metal Cave

A 3M-long scrub python is preyed on by a plane.

In my effort to write two new poems a week based on things I’ve seen in the news, here’s today’s attempt (a little more minimalist that yesterday’s asteroid effort, but rather more crafted!). It’s fairly self-explanatory – but based on the news story from the pic above and the excerpt below. Rather sad, I thought – despite it garnering plenty of attention for its ‘Snakes on a Plane’ connotations. So as is my way, I wanted to write something to present the other perspective…

“A 10ft (3m) scrub python was battling to retain its grip on the wing as a plane made its way between the Australian town of Cairns and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.”

– BBC News, 11th January 2013

Prey, or White Metal Cave

Hunger lured the hermit in

beneath the aluminium fuselage skin:

a white metal cave – a pristine space

for preying (on cloud rodents which were not there).

A head peeps out, tasting its lair,



Until the monster-bird takes to the clouds and so:

earthquake-shatter hurricane-roar at two-hundred-and-fifty degrees

below. It doesn’t look down at the scrub, shrinking trees, gaping coast. A rope

cut adrift, a tube loosed from its machine, it clings;

stains kangaroo fuselage,

sprays the wing.


The last image it might have caught?

Touching shoulder to shoulder, head to heart,

a human, chewing, with a camera-shaped face.

Click. Looks the other way. Python

becomes prey.