Day 7: A Pantoum about the Moon

More revision! Who said poetry challenges weren’t useful?

So here’s a pantoum, which according to my notes is a “dance with words” that originated in Malaysia. 


I thought I saw the Moon


I thought I saw the moon outside

But it was just the lamps reflection

A mirage of a wire honeycomb

Wrapped in something between paper and fabric


It was just the lamp’s reflection

But for a moment it looked like a mystery

Wrapped in something between paper and fabric

Floating in an ink black sea


That for a moment carried the mystery

Like a pearl on a cushion of clouds

And floating in the ink black sea

Were whispers around it in jealousy seething


Of the pearl on a cushion of midnight clouds

And how well it looked between the stars

They whispered around it in jealous seething

Over this IKEA usurper of their night


How well it looked between the stars

This mirage of a wire honeycomb

An IKEA usurper in the night


I thought I saw the moon outside.


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Day 6: Yay revision!

I take a module called Practice of Poetry, for which I have an exam sometime in early June. So see this as my way of revising. I present to you: the Villanelle.

Not a particularly good one, but it’s the form that counts in this case.

As for the subject: the boiler is making weird tapping noises. 


There’s a Ghost that Roams the Hall


There’s a ghost that roams the hall

Dancing when you’re not there.

Listen! You can hear the fall


Of footsteps on carpeted floors

To silently sung airs

As the ghost that roams the hall


Taps the tune on the boiler’s walls

As she descends the carpet stairs

As if she can hear the fall


Of voices as the trumpets call

Her name, and command the crowds to stare

And she’s not a ghost who roams a hall


But a queen of a fairytale-esque ball

In a realm where no one would ever dare

Not to listen. But a door falls


Shut. A light switches on as someone walks

And scatters the stories, unaware.

And the ghost that roams the halls

Listens. She can hear them fall.



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Day 5

Because it’s late, I’m tired and feeling nostalgic.

Long distance

If I’d see you

Just for ten minutes

Just long enough for a cup of tea

And a hug

A real one rather than a

bear in a computer screen looking like it

Smothered a pixel

Just long enough for a walk

In the dusk, to watch the

streetlamps light

and cast the day into a realm

of dream and stars that make reality


Because the shadows no longer tell you

How long you’ve walked. Talked.

Discussed the politics of distance

And plans that teeter on the

Brink of sunlight and ones that are just

Stars beginning to form constellations


Just half an hour

To reminisce on that time you spoke English

Because you didn’t want to give me false hope of ice cream

And rapped in the streets like no one watched

And could still beat me down mountain slopes


Just long enough for a hug

Just one

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Day 4: The Room

During a tour of Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, Ireland

The room we’d been guided into couldn’t be more different from the corridor we’d just left. It was far more spacious than any of the cells we’d seen so far. The walls looked like they’d been recently painted, not like the scratched ones outside, the engraving of a man’s head with a name and a birth and death date almost blending into it. A window let the sunlight into the room, making it seem even brighter and bigger. There were about twenty of us, but we all fit inside quite easily.

The guide joined us, locking the door behind him. “Now you’ll notice the lock is on the outside,” he said. “Don’t panic, the next group will let us out. But in the meantime: what do you think of this room?” Some unintelligible mumbles as people look around. “It’s more spacious, isn’t it?” Some nods. “Do you like this room, compared to the other ones?” More nods. It did look better than the rooms we’d just left. He smiles a little. “Well. I did mention the lock on the outside. Do you see the spy hole up there, in that boarded up window?

This, ladies and gentlemen, was the room where condemned prisoners were held.”

The Room

It’s just a room

Four walls, newly painted

Slotted together like

Pieces of paper in a construction set

That forgot to add in furniture

Reaching up like the grand walls

Of state rooms

Just another room


There’s the window

Its frame betraying the

Room’s mask

Old eyes in a rejuvenated face

It’s seen many

In here

Out there

First out there, then in here

Passing like the flakes of paint

Leaving stains before fading

Or being painted over

Tried to paint over


There’s still the frame

The door locks

The spyhole in the wooden panel

Halfway up the walls

Like construction paper

Old eyes that


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Day 3: Silence

I don’t notice how quiet our neighbourhood is until I stay over at someone else’s. The one thing that struck me while staying with a friend in Wales was the car noise late at night. So it’s 11.30pm, and all I hear are the boiler and the clock. And I’m not even sure about the boiler.


All day there’s noise, all day they yell

They all ask questions, they all tell

The buses roar, the voices call

Like an auditory all day brawl


And suddenly there’s silence


And you hear the soft whirring of

The boiler across the hall

Tiptoeing on the edge

Of reality

Like the time

you held a shell to your ear

And thought you heard the


But you couldn’t be sure

You’re still not sure

The ticking clock doesn’t help

But ticks its own way through

The silence.

Till its ticks and its tocks

All sound the same

Carving its way through

The edge of imagination

And vanishes


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Day 2: The Hashtag

I’m sure you’ve all seen these things. Because they’re everywhere. Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. My friends have started casually saying things like hashtag awks.

So here’s my two cents on hashtags:


It was only a number sign

A button on your phone

You never pressed unless a faceless person

Told you to do so


“To connect to your top up service

Please press 4 and the number sign

The little gate, or the hash key”

And you did, and that was fine


The other keys never saw it coming


“Oh my God, hashtag awks

Hashtag food, hashtag selfie

hashtag no filter, hashtag beach



It sat there and it plotted

And consumed the internet

Until it was everywhere, absolutely everywhere


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Day 1 (ish): Character

So it’s NaPoWriMo again! Yay!

So I realise I’m starting six days late, but better late than never right?

So after not having written poetry for a bit too long, this is my attempt at getting back into it. Slightly inspired by a conversation with a friend who has yet to watch the Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones. Because when I thought about it, it’s a bit strange, being a character who dies. As a reader, you can just flick a couple of pages back, or re-watch an old episode, and there they are, completely unaware that they’re about to meet a violent (or non-violent) end. Like some kind of time loop.


I am but words

Blue scratches on paper

Forming things like

Brown hair

Blue eyes

Red shoes

My home a paragraph

Of adjectives, the streets the gaps

Between a skyline of B’s and K’s

Interspersed with vowels.

Maybe from close enough you can see



Can you see me?


Between the verbs and adverbs and full

stops? Do I become

Something more than black circles on paper

And rise up with the backlight

And the smell of old book

Out of my prison of paper and glue

In your head?


Until I disappear from the paper


Drowned in a red ballpoint line

Or a full stop.

Swallowed by a skyline

of Ms and Ns and Rs.

Reduced to a pronoun

That wanders the sentences,

And searches the commas for a reason.


Whose reason?


I’m still here

In the skyline

In the paragraph where the streets

run between nouns

When my ink body is torn apart by other words

You can skip back

And I’m still here

Unaware of the words

You know are coming



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