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 2.5: Talking Dogs


Borders need Boundaries…?

Off-prompt today as I’m doing day 5 and 6 today (was out and about yesterday) and this had started forming in my head already.

Something light, silly and sound-oriented, which occurred to me after a chat on the train yesterday – and the general number of talks you end up having when with a dog. I hope you enjoy it…


Talking Dogs


And on the train

she says,

That labradoodle

she got the blues

if she didn’t have shoes

while she snoozed.


And on the towpath

I say,

These Borders

they need boundaries

to be happy. To taste, to see

the limits of two countries:

the line between

Dog and Me.


And in the pub

he says,

Our mongrel –

his history’s unknown

but what kind of a home,

what breed of person,

could think to leave him

on his own?


And she says,

That labradoodle

she’d choose the shoes –

but she wouldn’t chew.

She knew whose

shoes were whose.

She’d place them,

neatly, at the foot

of your trews.


And none of us knew

 – that shoe-choosing labradoodle,

my Border and my boundaries,

his mongrel, left alone –

none of us knew

or needed

human names.

NaPoWriMo 1: Borrowed First Line

This was the most tasteful dead dog I could find. Or maybe it’s asleep – let’s just say it’s asleep.

Catching up 33% complete: here’s my first NaPoWriMo effort. High-speed poetry!

The prompt was to write a poem using the first line of another poem.

I used the Poetry Foundation app to find a random poem – which turned out to be ‘Time of Need’ by Allison Seay – which you can read here.

The first line is ‘In the road, a dog. Days dead…’ (As a dog lover, this was a sad one to get).

I only read the rest once I’d written my own (vastly inferior) effort – read the original after, it’s a wonderful short poem. Seay’s has much more redemption than mine!

And so on to April 2nd’s prompt…


Mail Order


In the road, a dog. Days dead,

halo’d in flies, its lolling head

still points towards a door

across the street: number 13.


In that house, a man. Weeks lost,

tangled in light, his right hand

still clutches the dusty remote,

a finger hovering toward the screen.


On that screen, a face. Months mute,

gasping for air, its orange jaw

still selling in goldfish memory-loop

this fabulous product, that mail-order dream.