NaPoWriMo2017, Real Toads


For the whole month of April poets have been prompted by a variety of websites, clubs and groups to ‘pen a poem a day’ for the whole month.

This was my first napowrimo and a very enjoyable and challenging experience and i achieved my goal of 1 per day minimum.Thanks to Maureen for the work she does o this project.

I have used prompts from the napowrimo website at times this month past but the rudder for my craft has, in the main, been provided by the inspirational community of poets at The Imaginary Garden, all of whom have extended a warm welcome to this fledgling scribbler, for which I am full of gratitude. There is nothing like a support network to lift your feathers into flight.

So the month has passed and we welcome May Day here in Scotland. My first poem for the month reflects my thoughts on the process I have begun as a writer this last 30 days.

I have danced daily with my smirking muse (and desire to continue)

I am the better for it in so many ways.

See you along the trail.



writing for each day

spring’s muse ritual is done

but we write again



Till next Year.

NaPoWriMo2017, Real Toads


It is the final day of napowrimo and, as has been the case a few times this month, I have chosen to combine prompts from the napowrimo website (something that happens again and again) and Real Toads (on the photo electric effect).

Thanks to all who have visted, liked and commented during this month, to Maureen at napowrimo and to the Toads, all of whom have enriched my own writing process.

           to begin 

                  read from

                          line four}

                                  //:in this /experiment

                                                  we will use a



                to demonstrate

that a p.article

        exhibits wave~like


                                and that waves~

                                            can behave like  

                       this is known

       as wave~p.article

     :}to locate 

                the theoretical*


                                   you must move to 
                                                 the point

                               in space\time where

              the p.article becomes

       the wave~

{which happens 

             in the way 

                       of things


                                  line 1 and so


napowrimo 30/30

NaPoWriMo2017, Real Toads, Spirituality

Go n-éirí an bóthar libh


how to pen {ultimate} tales

or begin to measure that sweep and curve

which slows time to an almost




parable(ic) heights arc to

bend light homeward




we turn


bound to where back was forth


journeys end     it is their way

journey’s end       never is


so to the heart of it


our soft



onion heart


exposed layers

weep tear and tear strip

off colored skin


to paint

whirled and  wild

to bind word to soul

to bring blood

cursing to flesh


to body this ink

to call songs of tides

siren like to lure


then another

to the nib of it


to lay ourselves bare



brightened by it all



to laugh at the bard

in the mirror

while muse smirks

in the corner



threads can be


flayed ends borne on winds

to new ends

we cannot know


we never really do

not really


and here is the courage in it all


despite the gaping chasms

of nothingness

of not know-





we ride on


we do



journeys end     it is their way

journey’s end       never is



to paraphrase the Buddha


‘fuck the destination’



napowrimo 29/30


Go n-éirí an bóthar libh (addressed to two or more people)

Literally “May the road [i.e. the journey] be successful for you”. Popularly mistranslated as “May the road rise to meet you”.

Better to Travel Well

Photograph of Rhumm from Mull by me, words by the Budhha ( allegedly)

Today’s poem brought to you courtesy of this prompt from Brendan at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

Here we are, almost within sight of the end of our month-long journey in verse. What a strange road it has been! Along the way we’ve seen boats, sprouts, physics, children, signs, sketches, Twitterings, villains, rain, passageways, paintings, crows, bogeymen, outsiders and shoes: If months could sing journeys, April in the Garden has been operatic.

Today we are presented with this penultimate daily challenge.

Myths tell us that the next-to-last station of a journey is often its richest, pregnant with meanings which often don’t reveal themselves until we have turned some corner—given up on a quest, let go a loved one, endured through, made it home.

The penultimate is as far as we can get to perfection on this earth. As Joseph Campbell writes in The Power of Myth, “It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth–penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words. Beyond images, beyond that bounding rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told.”

In the 12th century Dutch version of the Voyage of Saint Brendan—the survival of a tale stretching back centuries to Ireland—St. Brendan burns a book of wonders of the world, saying such things could never be true. Immediately an angel appears and tells Brendan he must pay for his offence against God. For penance he is bid to set sail for seven years to see all the things he had denied, thus to prove the veracity of the ancient manuscript.

Brendan gathers his monks and sails off into the unknown, and his discoveries are legion. There is a heathen giant; a dragon; a fish the size of an island; a magnetic sea; a hermit who has lived in the middle of the sea for centuries; Hell; a siren; Judas; burning soul-birds; a magnificent citadel atop a high mountain; and strange creatures with the head of a pig, legs of a dog and neck like a crane, dressed in silk and who say they witnessed God in heaven before Lucifer’s fall. On each isle a wonder either heavenly or monstrous, hallowed or harrowing.

But Brendan doesn’t know that the point of the tale is that he must return home and write it down—in essence, fill once again the book of wonders he had burned as untrue. In the penultimate chapter of the tale, Brendan encounters a tiny man sailing by on a leaf whose errand it is to measure the sea with a drop-sized spoon. He’s been at it for a long, long time, and Brendan wonders if his errand, too, might be endless.

The saint’s ship is then becalmed in a vast misty sea, the boat’s anchor gripped by invisible people singing below. As no Christians can find Paradise on this earth, so too this is as close as mortals get to finding the Otherworld. The penultimate reveals the foolhardiness of the quest, and yet by doing so magnifies the endeavor. It whispers in one ear, you’re done now, while at the same time exclaiming in the other: But what a journey it was …

Brendan has seen enough; it’s time to write that book. He is boat is set free and sails back to Ireland, setting up shop at a copyist’s desk. When the book is finished Brendan dies, finding passage at last to Paradise.

If our month of poetry has been a journey, what do we find in this penultimate challenge? What is it that allows us to turn our boats finally toward home?

Write a poem that describes the penultimate in some fashion. Describe the door (or island) which opened to (or shored) a final realization. Stay with the turning of things before your vision cleared, the dream before you woke. Do you remember the next to the last kiss? What was in the foreground of that climatic event or turning point which shaped the way you see things now? And looking back, has that moment grown more fraught with meaning somehow? (OK, of course it has, you’re writing a poem.)

With home barely out of sight on the horizon ahead, help us discover what journeys as this are really all about.



NaPoWriMo2017, Real Toads

hell t’ skel t’

For today’s prompt, Rommy at the Imaginary Garden says:
I would like you to contemplate the idea of the childhood boogeyman. This is as wide open to your interpretation as you’d like. Feel free to really go wild with this. As always stop by your fellow poets and show they a little love to comfort them after contemplating the things that go bump in the night. Over at napowrimo it’s day 28 (phew) and the prompt is to write a Skeltonic or Tumbling poem. Two excellent prompts, one poem. Enjoy.



you lie awake

and dreams they take

root in your head

to fill with dread

and thoughts of dead

things in your room

in midnight’s gloom

whose ghostly glare

make cold the air

please don’t look there

i would not dare


how real the fear

of dark things here

can seem to be

when we are wee

but in the mind

i think you’ll find

what comes at night

delivers fright

just out of spite

it’s spooky’s right

in case you might


forget that this

is not amiss

and in this space

you find a place

for Dragon’s trove

and haunted cove

for vampire bat

and witches cat

for ghostly chains

and screams of pain

you hide in vain


under blanket

your body wet

with fear and sweat

it’s not done yet

the curdled scream

wakes up your dream

and then you see

it can not be

but creaky stair

stands up your hair

it is not ghost

but buttered toast




napowrimo 28/30


NaPoWriMo2017, Real Toads


sambaAt the Imaginary Garden the  assignment is to write about shoes. Pick a song (or two or three) if you like, use the photo if you like, or whatever works for you. And then let your words race, dance, fly!





wearing them


at least it seems

that way


now i look through

nostalgia’s glass


(eye) conic they were

even then


and so fucking cool



stripes and a name

that flitted


across the pitch




i am Jairzinho

Carlos Alberta


Arantes do Nascimento


in my mind

free flowing

beautiful game


mother bought me a pair

cheap from the market

two stripes


no taste no idea

i can’t wear

these to school


in that


plague  round


have you any idea

how much (she)



fierce eyes killed

any reply

so on they went


one stripe torn from

the dream

gauntlet to run



napowrimo 27/30





Haiku, NaPoWriMo2017

dark haiku

Today the napowrimo prompt is interesting.

Have you ever heard someone wonder what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today, I’d like to challenge you to answer that question in poetic form, exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist? The object or site of study could be anything from a “World’s Best Grandpa” coffee mug to a Pizza Hut, from a Pokemon poster to a cellphone.

Happy writing!



not present in this future

spring did not come here


alien beings-

human footprints gone forever

dark future summers


bone and ash layer-

remains of us in autumn

winter came for all





napowrimo 26/30(2)

Picture Credit

NaPoWriMo2017, Real Toads

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Karin Gustafson is hosting our prompt this morning at The Imaginary Garden.
Some of you may have noticed that I have had a hard time blogging the last few months. Part of the difficulty for me has been the feeling of being an outsider, in my own country and in the world.

Oddly, not writing so much poetry has led me to do more visual art work (a real bit of grace.)  Here, the feeling of being an outsider has been very freeing since (with no real training), I have very few expectations about my visual art.

There is actually a long tradition of outsider art in the visual arts, that is, of unschooled  artists making of a body of work; Grandma Moses was a famous outsider artist; Simon Rodia of Watts Tower fame another.

So, the prompt today is based on the idea of the outsider.  You can approach this from any direction you wish–an outsider as refugee or exile; an outsider at a party or at school or from a clique.

You could also use the prompt to try to write as an outsider–like someone unfamiliar with the established tools of writing (an “outsider literary artist”.)  Or you could write about simply being outside, that is, in nature.

Finally, you could use this as an ekphrastic challenge and just write about a picture made by an outsider artist.

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napowrimo 26/30(1)