Sunday, November 30, 2008

Persimmons - Sonnet-4

Sweet  flesh
folds over my face
in summer time.
ledges of sand under
the trees. 
Autumn turns them
brown and over ripe
but deeply rich;
they attract flies.

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I'll Stop the World  

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'll Stop the World

Since I met you
the world has seen hurricane,
earthquake and tsunami.
Creatures have become extinct 
and others have evolved. 
Flying ants have exodussed
... four times and 378 people died
 from choking on a pen lid.
Opal fruits made a comeback
and changed to starburst again.
The average heart will have beat
136510000 times and mine feels faster.
I wish that
I could stop the world and melt with you.

This is a bit of a mixed bag, based on a poem I wrote for my partner a couple of years ago, but modified somewhat. I've named it after a song by Modern English which was covered by The Cure. But I had to do some research into random facts. Click here for Random facts and here for the bit about the heart from National Geographic.

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Friday, November 28, 2008


The last time I was really upset
my lawn was covered
in tandoori prawns
and I flew to Spain
and cried in my Sangria.
I left some of my feelings there
wrapped in plastic 
and shoved 
in an overflowing bin
with a shrink wrapped bag
of empty clam shells
and enough wine corks
to sail me home.

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more triangles  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Half Sonnet: Dignity

I thought I’d lost my dignity
but then I spied it on the floor;
somewhere in between the overflowing
jam jar ashtrays and the
empty crisp packets.
So I folded it into a triangle
to keep in my pocket at all times.

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understanding cancer  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Learning a new language

500 per mm3
(0.5 x 109 /1)
neutrophil count



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They're starting to take over!  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Half +2: Sonnetalisation

I’ve been dreaming sonnetically again
and waking with sonneticisms.
Sonnetifying language is becoming
a daily contribution to sonnetification.
I have agonised over sonnetalisation
and am expecting to overcome this sonnetophilia
sometime and resume life as sonnetal.
I wouldn’t describe my previous state as sonnetophobic
but perhaps I was a sonnetaramus before.

I have been thinking about sonnets continuously for about a month now and made notes to myself about what ideas I could 'sonnetify'. It occurred to me that these suffixes being attached to words are becoming more common. I was reading a blog on talented singer/songwriter Kat Flint's Myspace page where she referred to spreading things 'internetically', which I have adopted as one of my favourite made up words. This process contributes to language evolution, which this particular sonneteer* finds exciting. 

* N.B. Sonneteer is a genuine word, but I checked and none of the words used in the actual sonnet are in the dictionary!

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irony and ambiguity  

Monday, November 24, 2008

The theme for this week in my poetry seminar was irony and ambiguity. Actually the tutor was away this week, but we did a pretty good job of holding the seminar without him there. Anyway, it really made me laugh when my friend said words to the effect of this sonnet:

One Twelfth

I’m so excited.
He wants to spend Christmas with me
and my whole family.

We read the same books
and eat the same foods
and he’s taking me to Italy in March;

Amsterdam in May.
He’s so good for me
and I feel better now I have him.

Tonight’s our one month anniversary.

Perhaps I am an old cynic?!

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Prose sonnet  

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Prose Sonnet: Vices?

walking the cobblestones of my favourite streets I am marred by the ghosts of my former selves the eight year old draws herself inward shuddering hiding her shy face as she searches for her lost light somewhere in the shade confused and frightened she would love to love if she knew she'd be loved and the fourteen year old self pulls deeply on the perpetrator of her asthma glancing to her scuffed shoes and everywhere anywhere but in my gaze she breathes pain and snorts lines of unanswered questions for breakfast there she is again at twenty-one and she has felt the rupture of the unbreakable bond known loss so scarring she will never see the same at twenty-five she is somehow surer talks of peyote dreams and distant seas trinkets sparkling in her matted dreadlocks I see her eyes reflect in mine stoop down to pick up the lantern and pass it over with sparks of promise in my glance willing her to carry on all I wanted was a word and I got alphabet soup at twenty-eight the end seems closer she knows now life and fragility are intertwined and the promise of tomorrow soon becomes yesterday I blow the smoke from the corner of my mouth and it stretches and curls its way around causing circles eddies in the listless smoldering orange glow of peace

I decided to keep all punctation out of this piece to increase the fluidity of meaning and the ambiguity. It is a highly personal piece, which I often avoid, but I have often thought about the idea of my younger selves meeting my older selves on the street.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Half sonnet: Form

the forms
four ‘m’s
on form

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on the street  

Friday, November 21, 2008

On the Street

I can see him from the corner of my eye;
my next victim. He’s a smoker
and he pulls hard on a thin cigarette;
exhales and the purple plume unfurls
extending it’s tendrils across the street.
The night here is thankless.
His scrawny body leans against
a tree; the gnarled branches
hanging lifelessly down.
I’m stealthy in my approach;
showing my weapon to my victim;
though I sense his fear – “Salvation army”,
I say, holding my badge – “Come with me”.
I go to bed knowing I saved another life.

This sonnet was inspired by a clever story I found on I liked the duplicity of the word 'victim'. To read the original story click here.

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and more thinking about Mat...  

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Said you'd marry me at thirty;
we were only twenty-one and it seemed
that time would never come.
Then we lost Matt
to (sui)cider.
Watched as seagulls
dive-bombed his ashes;
apple shaped and milky in the tired sea.
Now you come to the pub
in your dressing-gown;
all drawling sentences and hands full of
nicotine scars
and I hate that you keep the worst part
of his memory alive.

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In rememberance  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Half sonnet + 2: Ashes

Birds fled past the tree tops and flooded the skies;
wingtips scraping the bloody clouds.
Under foot, the stones clattered
and crunched on the rocks.
We said our goodbyes and watched
your bones, now ashes,
colour the sea.
The clink of empty cider bottles
echoed our regret.

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Love sonnet  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Love Sonnet

I have photos of you
in every room
and your eyes
follow me about the house.
I think you would love me too
if only you would
to me.
I love you
with all of my


I recently watched an interesting programme about mental illness and liked the idea of saying 'I love you with all my OCD' - So the poem really evolved from that line.

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Monday, November 17, 2008


I'm still under the duvet watching ships and seagulls.
The only thing is you're missing and the bed's
grown silent. Isolation was a
choice. Solace in a voice to
cover my solecisms.
can be
but is
with a cascade of ice
and soporific substances.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

We almost had a baby

Every September when
the sea gets warm
I see your face
and can smell the fire
we sat beside
drinking mushroom tea.
When we were twenty-one
and nothing mattered.
We said then that we knew
that scene would be etched
into our minds forever
We almost had a baby
And it's the one part
of you I don't hate.

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4 letter word...  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

L = Loss

Your face screwed up when I told you I had
our baby.
You said you would run
And I thought: so much for LOVE.

It was all my secret and then
there was nothing.
Blood and suction
was all that remained of
what I thought was LOVE.

You smoked in the car park with
my neurotic mother.
And didn't know that was the closest
you'd ever feel to LOVE.

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sentences without 't'  

Friday, November 14, 2008

No ‘T’ in China

Walking in Spain’s hills
I spoke a word of silence.
Swimming French canals
I heard a crash of rainclouds.
Perusing an Afghan square
I found a discord in number.
Under Iran’s skies
I exposed an unheard lie.
A Russian sea froze my lips
and any speech from sliding.
In China I was hiding a
broken wing below a zephyr.
Reaching Beijing I eluded fire;
my consciousness like an island.

I found a blog online called Scribble Soup for Writer's Block and was interested in writing sentences with no letter 't' as suggested in the blog. I had decided on the title of this poem before I really wrote it so I then needed to also think of countries with no 't' in them - or creative ways to omit the 't' - such as Afghan as opposed to Afghanistan.

Scribble Soup has some other great ideas for getting writing. Check it out by clicking here.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

This is based on googlisms, which is a fantastic website for generation of ideas, wherein you can type in your word and find a selection of google definitions for that word! Some people even put their own names in there! I am a shipwreck apparently!! To check out Googlisms Click here


sonnet is not easy to follow
sonnet is a mystery
sonnet is over
sonnet is encrypted
sonnet is at poetryrepair shop
sonnet is love

sonnet is to poke
sonnet is composed of all associated fibre optic and copper cables
sonnet is a specially designed package
sonnet is composed of 14 lines of poetry each line has five iambic feet
sonnet is unique among poetic forms in western literature
sonnet is derived from the Italian for "little song"
sonnet is a moment's monument
sonnet is due no later than Friday

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Bee's Birthday  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bee’s Birthday

Autumn                     hits
                                             the day
                             a few

For my friend's birthday I made a special pass the parcel, and each layer contained a few random words from fridge magnet poetry. We all had to come up with somthing from the words given and so today's sonnet is based on this game.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Confused visemes

Sixpence                   Sucks pens
Slim women             Sleep with me
Colourful                   I love you

When I was at school we used to play a silly game where we'd mouth 'colourful' to people in the playground, mimicking the visemes used when saying 'I love you'. It got me to thinking of other embarrassing word confusions that could happen. I'm hoping to add to this list...

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Meeting Lee  

Monday, November 10, 2008

Half sonnet -2: Voices of War

Met a man who killed a man.
He smoked Lambert and Butler
one after another after another.
Words came out like gunfire
cracking in distant hills.

I met a really interesting character in the pub. He was a children's entertainer/musician/songwriter and many things besides; including an ex-soldier. He actually had seven confirmed killings and everything in the way he moved indicated an edginess, a nervousness that emulated gunfire. He has come to Falmouth to bring an exhibition called Voices of War, which concentrates on the art and creativity produced by other ex-servicemen. The exhibition is in town 10th - 17th November, which is really quite apt as today is armistice day. Lee Kamara has posted many of his recordings on You Tube, click this link to hear 'The Politician', which is a comment on the injustice of it being a man in a suit pushing a pen who decides who gets sent to War. You can also  click here to see the Voices of War website. 

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Predictive text (when drunk)

Jess n are
riot led
innit got be
bak soo
what happens
in drunkan
very walk.
Lovean cabb



This one may seem like a bit of a cop-out, and it was with hangover that it was chosen to represent today's sonnet, but hear me out first. I find the whole text messaging phenomenon interesting for the way in which it affects language evolution. Predictive text famously confuses the word pint for both shot and riot, which can have amusing effects when contained in the sentence 'Fancy coming out for a...' - all three words have connotations attached to drinking. Predictive text when drunk adds another level of total lunacy to messages and just mis-pressing one digit can completely invent new words. I am fascinated by this.

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ejective sibilance 2  

Saturday, November 8, 2008

ejective sibilance 2

This occurrence of cadence
marks the confluence
of ejective sibilance
an inconsistency of decadence
in language rife with complexities.
Our acceptance of this
mixture of sounds is what
makes English a pleasure to analyse.
The coalescence of opposing
ejectives and sibilance could be described as
succulence of language.
There seems to be a standard
rule in order.
To break it is acidic.

I wanted to experiment with filling in the blanks I had left in the previous poem. Perhaps it reads more like an essay extract, but it's interesting that the whole piece begins to contain other 'k' or 's' sounds.

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phoneme work  

Friday, November 7, 2008

ejective sibilance

occurrence                                     cadence


               inconsistency                      decadence





 I liked the idea of using the letter 'c' in both its phonetic utterances. The ejective 'k' sound and the sibliant 's' sound. In most examples I could think of, the ejective came before the sibilant, apart from acidic, acerbic and acetic  - words common to my past as a Science Technician in a school and interestingly all very similar.

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South Coast Road  

Thursday, November 6, 2008

bus to beachy head

Killer day for a journey,
blade of sun on water,
slicing cold desire.
Knuckles white;
holding sweaty palms.
Glances to the
caustic sea.
The bus stops;

and it’s over.

For any that don't know - Beachy Head in East Sussex is a famous suicide spot. I was visiting family that way recently and was told of the story of a boy who caught the bus to the pub we were in (actually on South Coast Road in Peacehaven) and just walked from the bus off the cliff. I was interested in thinking the way he might have. I made the decision to title it Beachy Head because it is quite an infamous spot; particularly after Jimmy riding his bike from it in The Who's 1979 film Quadrophenia. I have used some cliché to normalise the theme of suicide somewhat. Part of the idea behind writing daily sonnets is to often use very every day language to make a point. 

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5th November  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

5th November

Sinister                                     memories

                                         observe the skies



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Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I like people

                 falling                             short
of                      expectation.




As part of this project, I am interested in making some poems take up the same space as a traditional sonnet, when only containing few words. The apparent randomness of this sonnet compliments the title.

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Alphabet Soup  

Monday, November 3, 2008

I became interested in the use of phonemes and some of the sounds we make when speaking. I had to research this to ascertain some terminology, but hope for this to be the start of a collection. At least, I have this as a back up idea when I am experiencing Writer's Block. In 'Daily Sonnets' Brown uses dictionary poems in much the same way, and these pre-conceived ideas for poems can be really helpful when it is of importance to just write...

Alphabet Soup

Devouring the vowels first;
the ‘O’ rolling around like honey.
‘E’ sweet and melting like candy floss.
But the ‘K’ has fricative corners;
sticking and poking
from the mouth.
Next the ‘S’ – soft, sweet, seductive
sliding inside one’s esophagus
in sibilance.
Glorious ‘G’ goads
guttural glottal inflections.
The spoon swoops
and swishes in search
of the ‘X’.

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Number 10  

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I had an idea for an ambiguous sonnet wherein there is some confusion about whether it is the poem killing the author or the author killing the poem, but either way it was through over thinking the form process. This may require some editing before it is submitted, but it was good fun to write.

Number 10

Gargling with onomatopoeia,
y pensando en heteroglossia,
the killer’s assonance wakes at dusk.
Feeling murderous for hyperbole,
selective only in diction.
Acquiring admiration of alliteration, it

chooses enjambment as it’s weapon.
Stealthily, its broken rhymes are made
like those of a caped crusade
-er and ugh it mutters.
Too much thought about
Kills the poem

or the author?

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Quarter Sonnet: Dependence

The drain is filled
with blackened spoons;
another morning goes cold.
It looks like snow.

The use of cold words and imagery in this short poem is to indicate the bleakness of addiction. What that addiction is has been left slightly ambiguous for the reader to decide.

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