Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Daily Spark Word: Break

Happy Easter! Sorry for the delay in posts - I've been in Madrid for the past five days. To acknowledge the Easter break, today's spark word is the homonym 'break'.


i snapped the bones in my
left and right wrists
playing when a kid

despite tears and a loud cry
the swelling was missed.

no one believed what i did.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Daily Challenge: Smell

Sorry for the long delay! Work is a nasty time-eater :( Today's challenge is 'smell'. Enjoy!


her grandmother had a
powdery florally scent that
though dulled
was still there behind the
musty fleshy earthy
damp of death

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Daily Challenge: Touch

Today's challenge is a poem to do with 'touch'.


there was something
about slipping that
glove over my hand
the inside so
it felt still damp with

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Daily Challenge: See

Sorry - my challenges are slowing down from daily to weekly due to time constraints. Hopefully I'll be able to drag them back up to daily soon! Today's challenge is another sense: see.


we stood on the shore
you and me
and purple clouds drifted
before our eyes

you asked me
'where does the sun go?'

i replied
'can't you see?'

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Daily Challenge: Hear

I'm back from my holiday! In keeping with the theme of the previous poem, today's challenge is the sense 'hear'. Enjoy!


when young we spoke in
whispers, our
peevish words
slapping against plump
lobes and our
sugary breath
snaking into our
then one day we
noticed -
after days of
we could no longer hear
our own thoughts.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Daily Challenge: Taste

Today's challenge is to write a poem focussing on one of the five senses. Today's sense is 'taste'.

first kiss

the taste of you is
lawn fresh and sky
clear, and your lips are
ripe grapes, and your
tongue is sweet
but your breath
is spicy, and your too
warm skin breathes
liquid fumes that make
me want to

Friday, 15 February 2008

Daily Challenge: Elegy to an Everyday Object

In response to Tamara's suggestion of writing an elegy to an everyday object (ala Carol Ann Duffy's poem Valentine), today's challenge is to take an everyday item and make it significant.


she had always eaten lychees from a can
not knowing the true roughness of their
till she stood in the misting rain
one held in her

he told her to close her eyes

he peeled the fruit
he placed it between
her lips
and she bit into an

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Daily Spark Word: Love

Because I'm a corny sod, today's theme is 'love'. Let the gooey, V Day sympathy or antipathy flow!


red heart bleed grow sing love grin cry win rose love circle fizz roll dance love feather link far steam love blaze pass envy bloom laugh wail holler cycle thorn love water shine throb lick love chocolate question jump kiss love power belong glisten love touch wait arrive fret love play edge elbow friend love zeal vault dark love meaning kite soar love tingle jazz fire love loll bridge love tank mark love joined love magnificent love jester love hurt love protect love cower love hold love consume love adore love endure love

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Daily Spark Word: Apology

In celebration of the landmark move of the Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, who today apologised for the Stolen Generation, today's spark word is 'apology'. Doesn't have to be a political poem!

the hardest word

how can five letters
be so
to say?

Monday, 11 February 2008

Daily Spark Word: Click

An onomatopoeia again today! Now get writing...

clicking into place

there were several things that
day that

one. her earrings. as she
snapped them in
two. her handbag. as she
clipped it
three. her heels. as she

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Daily Spark Word: Tear

Today I've chosen a heteronym. Feel free to read the word 'tear' however you like - as tear (as in to rip), or tear (as in to cry). I'm going to attempt a poem about the word in both contexts, just because I am fascinated by the complexities of the English language.


i can't remember the last
time a tear was
torn from my Winter grey eyes.
was it when light
last made the storming sky tear?

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Daily Spark Word: Flight

Today's spark word is 'flight'. As pointed out by Martha, not everybody needs to or wants to write so don't feel afraid of speaking up if you are just reading. If you do want to write, then copy your poem into the comments section or add a link to the poem on your own website.


for years she dreamed of
she wasn't sure where just
the world was too far
for her
to see
she dreamed of a flight
that was
fast enough
so when they grounded

she cried.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Daily Challenge: Slang

Inspired by Jim's post on swearing, I thought I would look at how many people from various corners of the globe pass by this blog. Today's challenge is to write a poem entirely in the slang of a country of your choice (preferably the country you most identify yourself with). I've chosen to write my poem using London slang, since I've been away from Australia for a little too long to remember anything but cliches right now!


he ain't got time to be
gabbing rubbish to
no well hard, right
geezer like her old man
but he ain't gonna let
himself be shanked
by no bird no he ain't
no he ain't
no he ain't

PS> That challenge was harder than I expected!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Daily Spark Word: Paper

An object today, rather than a feeling. Enjoy!


she used to bring him the
paper every day but
he never looked her in the
face or said her name or
touched her hand but
every time she'd see on
his cold, thin lips a

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Daily Spark Word: Warm

In celebration of blue skies and the hint of Summer in London, today's spark word is 'warm'. Don't forget that, if you haven't already, contributing a poem to a daily challenge is as simple as either posting your poem as a comment, or commenting on the post with a link to wherever the poem is stored. Have fun!

the warmth of a sun

there is little in this world
as engulfing
as time vaporising
as critical
as a day spent in the sun

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Daily Spark Word: Splash

Today's spark word is 'splash'. I look forward to seeing what people come up with!


as a child
i knew how to swim
but i didn't dive in.

i sat on the fence
and watched my brother's friends
running wild.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Daily Spark Word: Ache

In celebration of my rubbish back and the fact that it has made me bed-ridden for the day, today's spark word is 'ache'. Enjoy!


two women sit at a bus stop
one says
'i can't feel my fingers
or my toes'
the other says
'i can't feel my body at all'

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Daily Challenge: Acrostic

I remember writing acrostics a lot as a kid at school, but it's a form that can actually be quite cleverly done. Acrostics are, in their simplest form, a poem where the first letter of each line reads a known word top to bottom. My favourite example of this is a poem by Australian poet, Gwen Harwood, who wrote a beautiful poem about Abelard and Heloise, with an acrostic down the side spelling out a amusingly nasty secret message to the Bulletin newspaper.

Looking at the Wikipedia entry, it seems that acrostics don't need to be just the first letter, but can also be the first syllable or word. So, I thought maybe it would be fun to attempt an acrostic that is a little more than just the first letter. Enjoy!

the working person's lament

weakening cells in cells of cells and
ends of capillaries expand and
are breathing through
never-ending honeycombed pores
longing for respite in
enough air in air of air

Friday, 1 February 2008

10 For 10

This was a challenge issued to me by Kat of Poetikat fame. The idea is to do ten verses about me, and then issue the challenge to ten others. Considering I don't usually write about myself, this will be a real challenge (and makes a difference from me always challenging you!). After I've done this, I'm going to be challenging ten of you in return!

10 for 10

i'm afraid i don't know where to start
my life is not far along
i guess i'll just write from the heart
and hope it doesn't go wrong

i currently live in london
i've lived here for two years
though i miss the aussie sun
i don't miss the lack of careers

i don't think myself a poet
i prefer writing tales
i just like to have a go at it
and i don't mind if it fails

i go out of my way to find animals
and dream of seeing a puffin
but i have less luck than most fools
and usually only find nothing

i love to watch flicks
of every shade and style
my music is an eclectic mix
and i sing all the while

i spend my spare time abroad
i've been to a few strange places
but sometimes i feel like a fraud
for not going through touristy paces

i love doing quiz nights
but i'm not particularly good
i love to see the local sights
and eat hearty food

i resent the need to exercise
but i've always loved to swim
i'm not too bad at tying ties
but on someone else, it looks grim

i spent my youth working in pubs
and now i prop them up
i've never really been one for clubs
and i've never bought a toilet Chupa Chup

i think that's me all done
i've nothing more to say
perhaps i'm just a boring git
but hey, that's just my way

Daily Spark Word: Late

To acknowledge my lateness in getting a daily challenge up (today has just slipped away from me!), today's spark word is 'late'. This started me thinking about watches, and inspired the below poem.


when i try to sleep in the night
i hear my watch
against my ear
a micro maestro keeping beat
to an unheard
which sounds to me
of a song my mother once sang

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Daily Spark Word: Fill

Off you go, you wonderful poets!


there comes a time
when the glass must

where do you catch
the spilled liquid?
in your

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Daily Spark Word: Free

Today's challenge is the word 'free'. I look forward to reading your creations!


there are hills that roll with pea-green meadows
and cliffs that are jaggy and grey
there are oceans that churn with ice-white sea-spray
and woods that are earthy with willows

but all of these places are nowhere near
and none are as loving and fresh
as your hands and lips on my morning flesh
or your thumb as you wipe away a tear

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Daily Spark Word: Old

Today's challenge is to construct a poem based on the word 'old'. Enjoy!


dust-filled grooves are
blown by
lavender breath

engraved words read
don't touch
but who can stop?

Monday, 28 January 2008

Daily Challenge: Don't Think!

Okay, today's challenge is to write a poem for as long as you want, but you're not allowed to change it at all. You have to write the first thing that comes into your mind, and you just stop when you feel it reaches a natural conclusion. My attempt is below!


Go down young son to the riverside
There you will find a youthful bride
Her hair is flax and her mind is strong
And she will love you her whole life long

Go down old man to the fireside
There you will find my youthful bride
Her hair is straw and her mind is weak
And she will hate me all day every week

london fog

there is something so cleansing
about clouds smothering alleys and alcoves
there is something so beautiful
about sparkling dew on Thatcherite towers
there is something so peaceful
about london in the fog

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Daily Challenge: Alphabet Poem

Slightly delayed on today's challenge, but I've decided to do something a little different. I challenge you to write a 26 word poem that uses every letter of the alphabet consecutively a-z (or z-a if you find that easier!). I'm sure the poems will be nonsense more often than not, but it should be fun! I look forward to seeing what you all come up with.

waxing lyrical

a broken charisma doesn't emerge fallow
going home isn't just kindness lost
maybe now overt philosophy quits
rivers suddenly till uneven valleys
when xenophobics yield zealously

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Daily Spark Word: Confession

Today's word is 'confession'. Add your poem to the comments section of this post. It doesn't need to be brilliant or polished - it's all about giving it a go!


thoughts trickle from my mind
and words tickle my tongue
but when the sentence is ready
and my lips part
you are not


take your time to tip down throat and twist toes to timing float skirt hems over feeble shod feet and flood face with fun rise shoulder hugs as rich sounds return and rune rings fall round

Friday, 25 January 2008

Daily Challenge: Haiku

Haiku is an often misunderstood form of poetry. Some see it as being the simplest style (being made of three lines of five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables), but to get a haiku just right is very difficult. So! I challenge you to give it a go. I'm certainly going to try!

spring flowers

the winter frost fades
as from rich and choking earth
daffodils emerge

a watched pot

a recipe that should take two hours
somehow takes five
as you slice and chop
and dice and lop
the dish won't thrive
and slowly slowly your effort sours

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Daily Spark Word: Clap

Today's challenge: a poem somehow relating to the word 'clap'. Get writing!

Clap Your Hands

expressing joy through sound
curve left hand
curve right hand

expressing joy through sound
curve right hand
curve left hand


how can it have reached eight a.m?
the sun still sleeps through the winter
and my blood is frozen water

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Daily Spark Word: Drop

I have decided to use my blog to encourage other people to write daily as well. I know at the moment this blog is read by barely anyone, but it's for myself as much as for others. If you do happen to come across this, and would like to participate, then fantastic! All you have to do is comment on this post and, using the daily theme, write a poem in any style on the Spark Word.

Today's Spark Word is Drop. My attempt is below.


dewdrops on the window
hiding raindrops outside
and teardrops inside
dropping drippily into my lap


sometimes when i walk along
my shoes will start to squeak
i start to step much softer
to make the squeaking weak

i wonder who can hear it
and what they'd think of me
and wonder why it's shameful
to have shoes squeak endlessly

Tuesday, 22 January 2008


don't worry about me
churning dumpy dyspraxic dough
kneading needy lungs
and bleeding buttery bile

don't worry about me.
i will go at my own pace.


today i read
of Camus' car crash
of Coward's craven killer
of Carter's carcinogen concomitant

what happens to brilliant minds
when touched by moist earth
and feasted upon by worms?

do worms just keep chewing and pooing
until they put someone new in?

Monday, 21 January 2008


disgrace only had friends
because you're not around

a saigon corner

the street is heroin-free public-toilet blue
and the buildings are linked by a mess of
power lines
tangled like capillaries.
women with toothless grins try to sell aging fruit
and a man offers opium? cocaine?
a light rain
no wetter than breath
sprinkles on our exposed knees and elbows.

my boyfriend’s stigmata

we ponder buying
most exquisite of champagnes
or bargain three pack of red.

my boyfriend says:
Oh. Shit.


I joke:
It’s Stigmata!

But, despite tired smiles,
and casual, unconcerned laughter,
beneath the shop clerk’s quivering smile


passport control

we arrive
with dry hands
dry lips
dry eyes
and hair designed by airplane

EU to the right
left for Non-EU

the difference is

- but!

i say

- i live here!

wry smiles
and a choir of accents reply

- don't we all?

why poet where rhyme?

ive no idea
how to write poetically

form and rhythm
are like a northern line train

impossible to get a seat on

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