Napowrimo 2020 Day 27- Serenity Study

After Solmaz Sharif

Bare toes curling over grass before
the dew is done

Satellites describing ellipses
falling around Earth

Pain au chocolat, black coffee,
a notebook

Bristol harbour with no wind
a perfect mirror

Ohmmmmmmm the fridge chants

Prompt was from AmyKayPoetry to make concrete images out of abstract concepts, following on from Vulnerability Study by Solmaz Sharif

Napowrimo 2020 Day 23- Erasing

“I know how this goes!” I say to no-one
as light starts to intensify, obliterating
all detail. Trees will become indistinct
shapes in the mist, never coalescing
into objects. The grass will flicker
with blue fire sparks, but that will
be the least of my problems. Walls,
so dependable and solid, will become
transparent as the hungry light feeds.

“Bring it on!” I will shout towards the
rapidly dissolving sky. “So predictable!
You’re not even trying!” I will scream
as the outline of my body transforms
into scattered pencil smudges, as my
carbon is disassembled, as I become
the cyclone. “C minus!!” I will shout,
“Unlucky, try a lot harder next time!”

Prompt was the first line “I know how this goes…” from Apples and Snakes. They are also doing some great readings over on their youtube channel, so check those out.

Napowrimo day 20- Ritual

Thick mists and darkness linger. Crows try
listlessly to call the day into being, to
dissipate the vapour and somehow praise
the unknown. One plummets, arrow in the
fog, landing crooked. A fragile wing mutilated.
It cries, summoning the dawn, the golden world.

Prompt was to “make a golden shovel” from the Poetry in the Time of Being Alone group. I used a line from this poem for this one.

Napowrimo 2020 Day 13 – Things that have lost their power

After Sei Shonagon

Sunflowers in November.

A hospital before the backup
generator kicks in after
the breakdown of negotiations
between selfish men, far away.

Nebulae the size of our
solar system in colours
unimaginable and invisible.

Weston-Super-Mare beach
at low tide. Those discarded
phones that lie in a drawer,
former luxuries, former heights
of technology that collect dust
and wait to be useful again.

The wind after a storm.

A warlord sat by themselves
on a plastic chair, in a
featurless room, waiting.

Those three am thoughts.

Prompt was to “Rewrite a Sei Shonagon list” from AmyKay Poetry

I found a article of her lists here and was drawn to this title.

Time’s gone weird

I have a fancy new profile picture thanks to Sam Cavender and his restored Mayima. Oooh medium format expired film. It makes me want to dig out my film cameras again

It was taken after the Lyra Festival slam last Saturday. So only a week ago but it feels like forever. A lot has happened since then. There’s been so much rapid change to our way of life that time has expanded, so a day feels like a week and a week feels like a year.

I’m adapting best I can. I’m lucky in that both my girlfriend and I can work from home and live in a city where we have access to food and supplies. Still, it’s a major disruption to the whole of society so I think it’s going to feel strange for some time.

My point is: look after yourself as much as possible in these unprecedented times. Maybe start journaling, exercise or meditation, all things that have helped me with my mental health in the past. Connect with friends virtually. Or take some time to feel weird about it all, however that manifests for you. This crisis is going to affect everyone mentally and emotionally. Even if you think you are mentally healthy and resilient, it’s important to make sure you are checking in with yourself and doing constructive things to help, whatever that may be.

Here’s a good article by Josie George, who has a chronic illness meaning she has spent most of her time inside. It focuses on the mental resilience needed and I found it very useful. There’s also this podcast from conversations Against Living Miserably which has some useful tips.

Stay inside, wash your hands and stay safe and healthy. We’ll get through this.


Taken from Bristol Sounds interview with pet Shimmers, January 2020.

As a Friday bonus, have this song by Anna Meredith.

I was lucky enough to see her and her band last night and they were incredible. 1 So much energy and joy. It’s the most interesting and exhilarating music that is unable to be defined. It goes in so many directions and all of them are excellent. Plus at the gig they finished with a medley of cheesy songs, including Daniel Bedingfield and ABBA. What’s not to like?

On the radio

I was very lucky to have a poem on BBC Radio Bristol’s Upload show. The poem is called Encrypted and was written for Tonic, which is an amazing night. You get given a prompt and you have a month to write a piece for it.

The prompt I got was “threw postcards in the shape of airplanes hoping they get to where they meant to”. It pushed the poem in strange new directions I never would have thought of if I was just sitting down to write without a prompt.

Thanks to Chris Beale for recording it and Upload for broadcasting it. It is nationwide across the UK and is a fantastic initiative. I’d really recommend sending something in.

Listen here. My poem is about an hour and a half in. It’s on BBC Sounds until 23rd February.

(Now this song is in my head.)