These are linked poems created week by week for a year, inspired by the book No Choice But To Follow, and the poets therein who did it first.

Friday, 28 November 2014

November #4

Old Lady with Cat

While my body snores
at last, on these humid nights,
he, my black-haired darling,
prowls the cool outdoors.

Mornings he's nearly always
back, sharing my bed,
accepting an embrace
before requiring breakfast.

If I wake up still alone,
by the time I open the door
he's running up the front steps
calling a greeting.

We remember the others
who were here, whom we loved,
but now they are ghosts, and this
is the end time (may it be long)

when we, being finally only two,
are all-in-all to each other.
In age we learn the true things
e.g. this is important, e.g. this is enough.

— Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Sunday, 23 November 2014

November #3

To sleep: perchance to dream…

I never know what to expect
each night I go to bed;
the ravelled sleeve of care stays ravelled,
tattered and in shreds.
In fact the action packed
into the theatre of my dreams
frays the fabric of my mind
and soundtracks it with screams.

I've swooped and soared above the clouds
and plummeted to earth,
borne immolation many times
relived countless births
from the point of view of mother
and from that of child,
I've even mothered fox cubs
then released them in the wild.

I've wondered where my husband is
while marrying another,
had long chats with dead relatives,
rowed furiously with Mother;
grieved for people still alive,
partied with the feted,
was once hailed saviour of the world
and simultaneously hated.

The only common factor is
my dreams are never bores;
I'm continuously fascinated
while my body snores.

— Michele Brenton

Friday, 14 November 2014

November #2

The World They've Created Comes To A Full Stop

The day my daughter saw
that I did not know what might live
inside a basketball,
and my impatient reply
of 'I don't know, maybe fairies'
sealed my fate.
I was no longer her goddess,
and she turned to the outside world
to see who might ascend the throne.
Friends' mothers, her grandmother, teachers
all failing that steep set of steps
sooner or later,
so Britney Spears and the Spice Girls
adorned her bedroom walls,
and she chanted nightly:
'Oops, I did it again'
while my bath water reverberated in time
to their backbeat songs.
I was never again offered the pedestal,
or the sceptre,
but deity light shone upon me briefly,
when she had her first baby,
and I was the only one
who could rock him to sleep.

— Helen Patrice


Saturday, 8 November 2014

November #1

Or Any Other Kind Of Pen: a Romance

One word lingers over a blank page
ephemeral, almost transparent, fading
as it wafts away uncaptured.

A second word strays in its wake
vanishes beyond thought, distracted
by a fascination.

There is a mild stir. 
A sentence appears.
For how long? And what was the crime? 
Dragging itself out into the open,
dangling voice and story in front of a jury?
Off the page with you!
Don’t even think of it!
Out!

But: mightier than the sword, a pen 
strides into view, leaps to hand, brandishes
ballpoint, strikes a blow for freedom and
in one frenzied dash crashes across paper
leaving a stream of consciousness
full of mixed metaphors
and darlings needing
to be murdered.

Words tremble as the world they’ve created
comes to a full stop.

— Jennie Fraine