Daily Archives: January 3, 2014

52 – A Project to Get Your Teeth Into!


52 – Write a poem a week. Start now. Keep going.

jo bell

Jo Bell is planning a year of amazing projects both for herself and the community – she has kicked off 2014 with one for us all called 52.

52 is basically a project that will generate 52 poems, one a week for a year. That’s if you are able to join in every week and there is no penalty if you don’t. CHECK IT OUT HERE

She will post a prompt weekly on the 52 blog and there is also a closed Facebook group you can join to share and comment on work.

Give it a go, hone your talent, spend a week chiselling away to create the perfect poem (or as near as your ego will allow) and then do it again, week after week for the year! I am going to attempt it, even busy weeks can handle a poem, besides I have so many gigs lined up I need new material. 2014dl


January A Writing Project


mindful writing challenges

Over at Writing Our Way Home they have kicked off the year with a small stones writing project for the month. Small stones are basically a moment of focus, encapsulated in a few words. You can see examples of the past 3 days of stones on their website (link above).

I joined them in November when they had just 1 mindful day of small stone writing on the 1st. This was when I discovered what ‘small stones’ were. I was gutted when I realised it was only a one day thing and delighted to discover they are running for a month in January. Sometimes wonderful ideas can come from small stones, I will be building up my own collection of small stones here.

It is a good focus exercise and gets you observing the day better, trying to find a small stone.

I hope some of you join in too.


MY SMALL STONES morning write


The day full of promise
is cloudy and overcast,
a parallel match to
the state of your mind
after welcoming the new year in
through the slim neck of a bottle
or two.
Your own neck and legs ache
you don’t remember dancing,
no amount of water re-hydrates you.
Slipping quietly back beneath the covers
You hear the bleak weather
rain lashing angrily at your window
begging to be let in.
An unwelcome visitor.
Your plans swallowed by flood waters.
You give yourself permission to sleep,
glad to be inside
on the first wet day of the year.


Grey clouds like puffs of smoke linger in a pink, blue sky.
The rain has disappeared and the sun has shone.
The air is cold and full of promise.


Lying in bed,

my favourite place to be


searching the words to find opportunities.

Circling possible ventures


in freehand straight lines

with a thick purple pen.


I sit with these women I love

Looking at them, reading the stories

held in wrinkled skin,

I buy lunch – it is the least I can do.


Sitting at a sticky-edged table in a room full of writers

writing silent scribbles across blank pages

Atmosphere alive with open hearts spilling.

I write a poem about walking up the volcano without you

on our first Valentine’s Day.


Standing outside I can usually hear the buzz of the playground

I hear the birds

as term doesn’t start until tomorrow.


Land littered with puddles,

children relishing getting shoes wet and laughing

as they splash each other.


In the role play corner, now a house,

a little blonde girl wears a colander on her head

and waits for the boy to give her

her baby back.


The sun shines through the pale, unlined curtains,

greets me with promise after days of rain.


I pull my clothes on in an attempt to make myself
feel awake.
Technically I have got up.
I am wearing a combination of clothing
I would never brave the outside world in,
I am comfy.
I have not restricted myself into too tight for
me undergarments or bothered to cover
my naked feet in socks.
There is no need as I spend the day
beneath a blanket
and sleep.


The excitement of being found
by your lover.
His face lights up as he discovers
me in the room
next door.
I love these moments.
These moments confirm he loves me
More than words ever could.


The rain falls
all day,
the rubbish waits
in bags
by the back door,
waiting to be taken out.


I watch her growing older

and forget that I am also


Inner vision paused

on twenties.

No portrait in my attic.


Mixing glitter in play-dough

such a simple idea

people forget how magical childhood is already

you only need to sprinkle in a slight


to create a whole new universe.


I watch them play

I am working

Post-it notes in hand I scribble what I see

until the game on chairs.

That I watch

and am instantly transported back to a

childhood of smiles.

The boy and girl

sit opposite each other in the home corner

(now a home)

she sits with her feet up and baby doll on lap

he tickles the doll’s feet

and each time she mimics the baby’s giggle.

Making make believe.


Sirens and

the spoken word

don’t mix well

out in the open.


Looking through rails
in the vintage clothes shop
I am transported back in time
to my own teen-hood
when all of this was still retro
but could be found in my own wardrobe.
Shopping at the Rag Market
and in charity shops
for a fraction of the cost.


Hazy, heavy head


early waking

from the night before

little more than a few hours sleep

feel the tilt of the Earth

and in each step

the gravitional pull.


Sitting in a room of writers

a prayer like quality

a peaceful belonging

one that reminds me of home.


Frozen windscreen

sitting behind the wheel

of my own private ice world.

No-one can see me



Dark lanes, unknown roads unwind before me

thoughts turn to turning back

something prevents me from being this sensible,

onwards I travel, tyres through rain.


A conversation makes me feel awkward,


Revealed too much

spoke too soon,

Wishing I could run back into the shadows and

not be judged.


Too tired to keep up the smile.

Emotions snap

and crackle

like a wild fire.


The journey seems further

roads are busier.

I know what to expect.

A day as grey as the tarmac

unfurling relentlessly.


Overdosing on sleep

I can only write from dreams

and just like fading light

they dimly form a memory

in my head.


The garden Centre is filled with a treasure trove of colourful temptation.

We should have just gone in

grabbed the half price seeds and gone back home.

We lingered, we looked, we touched.

We hoped and wanted,

lusted and longed

coming home with empty pockets and a full boot.


A new week

fresh and wrapped beneath a shiny layer of possibilities.


Home in tears, too highly strung.

Emotional girl.

He didn’t understand,

I deemed him cruel, but it was probably for best.


Tightly wound like a coil.

I wish to be something simpler

than this.


The snow fell.

Tiny sprinkles.

E minus effort,

it started as rain,

fell as tiny tokens of snow

and then, later – rain again.


I see a small bird,

a wren, a sparrow, a thrush.

It eats berries off the bush and makes it way

up the garden path.

A Day of R & R and Planned Action


I wrote this post this morning and then spent the rest of the day asleep!

shrew ch6

I am exhausted after my poetry day yesterday (and the late night caused by post performance adrenalin) – I think I dragged myself to bed at 4a.m! I am going to have to start a post performance routine of a hot milky drink and quick costume change into PJ’s as soon as I walk in through the door and bed as soon after if I am going to survive 2014!

So this morning I treated myself to a much needed sleep in followed by a laptop lie in – this is where you basically get up to sort the tech and then crawl back under the covers!

I have spent 2 hours on admin this morning – offline. Sorting spreadsheets (finances – all still outgoing) this will turn around, I will be in a position to pay myself back every penny and now I have the challenge of doing more in 2014 but not using as much self funding as I did in 2013, it’s petrol and transport costs mainly! I spent time on a January Action Plan (only 3 days late!) and have my writing tasks set up in my desk diary – as well as in my electronic action plan. imagesCA6R9C43

I have 3 websites to check out and then a short story to conceive, some Haiku poetry to write, I have to organise 2 sets of poetry as I had confirmation last night that I have a spot at this month’s SpeakEasy (hooray) and have two other open mics before that. Plus a mid-month gig that I am desperately attempting to learn my poems off by heart! So that’s the next 3 days sorted.

Good job I am not back to work until next week, I am trying to use the weekend to visit relatives who I was too ill to see over Christmas though, I need to see them before work starts again.

So I have chiselled out some writing time to focus on this little to do list, some of today and tomorrow evening and Sunday daytime.imagesCALAS5MY I am hoping to make my next workshop and open mic event this Sunday if I haven’t collapsed in a pile of post-it notes, sharpies and writing by then!

© Creative Commons

© 2013 Creative Commons

I also hope to complete the review posts in this blog and pass the Dragon Award forward AND we are about to CELEBRATE 1 year of blogging as AWF turns 1 on the 4th – I started the blog in the small hours and edited a post which meant the first live message went out on the 5th! So like the Queen, I guess we can have 2 birthdays!

Party hats anyone?

Happy Writing!

2nd Gig of the Day


2nd Gig of the day and I wasn’t the only one – Gary Carr had also made it to both events today!

Liz Lefroy’s New Year Poetry Open Mic with Uncharacteristic Largesse – which is a title I didn’t fully understand until I got there – so many performers made it to the mic, I don’t think I have ever experienced anything like it before!

A great evening at the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse shrews coffee housewith readings from myself and Meg Cox, Gary Carr, Rob Stephens, Paul Francis, Steve Thayne, Nadia Kingsley, David Davis, Ted Eames, Lucy Aphramor,  Michael Carding, Gill Carding, Kate Innes, Mike Alma, Tom Wyre, Graham Attenborough, Carol Forrester, Neville Street, Adrian Perks, Jonathan Day, Peter Shilston, Bethany Rivers and Brandon & Coey.
Unfortunately the only accessible photo shows me like a Buckaroo Donkey carrying my wallet, phone, 2 drinks and then climbing over chairs and across legs! I could just not post it – but as I will be losing weight this year and know that at least one of the double chins comes from all that loose change in my purse I will post it – plus it gives you some idea of the fantastic PACKED turn out they managed at the coffee house.
 shrewsbury coffee house

I had only ever once been to Shrewsbury (to take the train into Wales) and that was years ago, the bright weather didn’t last and the journey was a dark and rainy one so big thanks to Mike Alma who became my poetry chauffeur! I would still be on a Ring Road somewhere otherwise!

It was the first time at this event and if it was closer to home I might be able to regularly attend, I hope to make it back later in the year when the weather improves. It was a great mix of material and great to hear new poets (new to me that is!) shrew ch2