Friday, 1 July 2011

Hokum, Clown, Ichor, Today

In the first post I blogged about writing a hundred poems from other people’s ideas I mentioned that there were four in the batch that I started with. I posted the one from Gem Fox (@Gemma_Fox ) over there. I’ll do four at a time so the first three here are the others that were written a week or two ago and then the last one is from the new groups.

So far I’ve been sent 20 ideas out of 100 and I’ve written a total of 11 of them.

Wilf Kelleher Jones (@wilfkell) gave me the words “hokum, persiflage and rabbit” to work with.

"Once upon a time"
Sickly sweet stories heard
too young to filter out the
unrelenting persiflage.
Tales full of perfect holidays
and rabbits in Armani suits.
A wealth of ingrained hokum
to be learnt and passed on.
Not the greatest but the lightest survive,
the dark filtered out
until one day a wall crashes down.
Not leaving a broken egg behind
but an illusion
That can't be put together again.

Mark Chadbourn (@chadbourn) suggested “clown, cephalopod, catalyst” and I jokingly said that I should title this “You-Tube”. I’m still unsure, so for now it will keep the one it has.

“A Canvas Sky”
The circus came to town
every Tuesday at 4pm.
A clown in small shoes holding hands
with a tiger,
Face-painted acrobats are scared of trolleys
so the human-cephalopod carried an armful
of baskets. And another.
Smiling tears; torn stripes; colours tumbling; watered ink.
A diverse society, a changing catalyst, a dying art -
to stare or to run.
Now that the freaks are everywhere,
What's left to look at?

Jyoti Mishra (@JyotiMishra) sent me the strangest of the first bunch “sideboard, axolotl, ichor”. When I looked at it I had no idea where to go and it did take a while but here we go.

“Moving Day”
She stood as a small girl in borrowed clothes
perched high on the edge of the sideboard,
to be taller - ever reaching for maturity.
Keys in the door,
announcing the new and pushing her to the street.
Everyone else has already taken their boxes
their regret far less making hers greater.
A caterpillar axolotl looking towards the
Butterfly salamander with love and confusion.
A thumping in her ears of the city drones
Her next world a fearful adventure,
Not an ichor of the gods nor a poisoned heartbeat.
She smiles at them
As they wish each other well and re-start.

Lynette Dubbels (@lynettedubbels) was the first person to reply to my plea for ideas with “smooth, bright, today” on Twitter.

A moment for the city to be new,
we only had a few weeks
before each today was yesterday.
We took the train far away
where doors opened on bright evenings
and we held onto each other’s past.
We had adventures.
went into the smooth urban sprawl,
to stare at things that we all pretend
to understand
And create our own.

I’ll keep putting these up as the ideas come in and I get them written. I do have a long way to go before I get enough ideas so please keep nagging people. Thank you!


p.s. I don't like blog posts with no pictures at all so I'll keep adding images in here but they probably won't have very much to do with the contents, just something to break up all the text!


  1. I love 'A Canvas Sky' so much. Proud to set the creative wheels turning - you did a fantastic job.