NaPoWriMo 2.19: Stopping Above Huddersfield on a Sunny Afternoon

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The view from Castle Hill above Huddersfield

Here’s my rubaiyat (though I think I lost the rhyme scheme in the last two stanzas – gah!), inspired by how sound carries on a bright day, above an urban setting…The title is a nod, of course, to the Robert Frost poem mentioned on the NaPoWriMo site.

Stopping Above Huddersfield on a Sunny Afternoon

From the great lawn below, sounds shine up:
each dandelion instant, each buttercup
that dots the afternoon, this warm air’s stave
with symphonic gulps from each pint’s sup.

On her cracking patio, she’s trying to save
the barbecue from doom. Despite the grave
warnings on the sausage’s pack: Defrost
five hours. She gives her guests a half-baked wave.

He’s tracing each bubble, counting hours lost
last night. How many did he accost
in the primal lights of Lloyds No 1?
Yet no new contact, just lines crossed.

On the bus, they’re avoiding each other’s eyes,
holding singles tightly. Craving KFC fries,
a giant Pepsi. Alone, with the sun.
From the driver’ seat, a blackbird harmonises.

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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.

 

NaPoWriMo 2.13: Upmarket Sunday Kennings

Upmarket Sunday. Nom nom nom.

Today’s challenge: to write something with the Old Norse tradition of kennings. These are a kind of compound-noun, which evoke a particular thing, ie. “Whale-Road” for “Ocean”. (I’ve also head them done with a noun and verb – “Bin-Diver” – but not mentioning the name of the thing itself.)

As we went to the market in Huddersfield today for Upmarket Sunday – and had a very nice time talking about delicious things, trying delicious things and buying too many delicious things – I thought I’d evoke some of what we acquired, or saw, through kennings…

 

Upmarket Sunday Kennings

 

Buzz jar.

Pastry oink.

Moo smoothness.

 

Apple fuddle.

Tiger stamp.

Spirits Sherpa.

 

Oat oracle.

Mother pulse.

Allspice elder.

 

Woof weave.

Chick covers.

Podge pleasure.

NaPoWriMo 2.4: A Lune

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Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a lune – a kind of English language haiku which goes, line by line: three words / five words / three words.

I enjoy the focus of a short verse form – the spaciousness of it. Just as when you cut a poem down, sometimes it gets bigger.

So I fitted an overheard quote I heard a couple of days ago the form, with a cheeky denotative title (with more words than the poem)…

 

1530 BST: Two School Mothers Conclude Their Retrieval and Investigations in Foggy Conditions

 

“That plane,” one

laughs. “It’s hiding.” The other:

“Hide and seek.”

 

 

NaPoWriMo 2.1: Eat Chips

“Ten trillion flies can’t be wrong…”

**WARNING**

Parental Guidance – (Mildly) Explicit Lyrics

 

So it begins. And I do enjoy the challenge of NaPoWriMo – it’s amazing what you can generate when you sit down for half an hour and actually focus…

Today’s first prompt from NaPoWriMo is to write in response to a randomly-generated quote from the Bibliomancy Oracle – which is a fine and useful resource. Here’s what the Oracle returned for me to work with and what I did with it.

So as per my warning – it was poet Bruce Andrews who swore, not me, Guv…

 

Eat Chips: Voice Over for a Culinary Tourist Film

 

“Ten trillion flies can’t be wrong: Eat Shit.”

– from ‘Seven Poems’ by Bruce Andrews

 

Or failing that, why not come to sunny Hudders

where rather than eating shit, you could eat chips instead.

 

Here, there is no need to fear or ever be very afraid

for long ago was laid in the streets between the wounded

mills, the industrious larvae of the potato.

 

These days, you see, such as flies are we

to the Chippy: their homely tabbards

invite us to the counter

– glinting, silver, sleek –

into this slick of chips.

Here’s tea.

 

Behold your wriggling chips:

chips that crawl from the fryer’s

mouth, chips that whisper trans-

lucence through thinning paper. Chips that,

like copious ketchup sweet, squeeze

the days from your

pavemented

arteries.