This is my blog (now there is a surprise!). I will be sticking in it poetry, prose, random musings, things that take my fancy and more than likely lots of pictures of cats. I hope you find something to amuse and/or interest you here.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Never jet-wash your foot.

Regulars will have noticed a lapse in output from me over the last couple of days.  I have been thinking a lot and deciding where I wanted to go with my writing.
I doubt I will ever have a set style.  I write as the whim takes me and as topics strick me.  However, due to writing on another site (fanstory) where there are prompts, competitions and reviewing, I have felt my poetry to be inadequate.
 The question is, of course, why?
The answer is complex.  The first part is probably a hanging offence.  Those of a nervous disposition please look away now..
Confession : I don't 'get' the greats like Shakespeare and Wordsworth.
I don't know but it is probably because of this four letter word I have a poblem with.  Love.
I have read loads of books and poetry concerned with love.  I have never experienced the emotions described.  Maybe I am incapable of it.
But without that link I have no connection to the writing.  I can admire intellectually the form and use of words but the work doesn't speak to me.  It doesn't grip and hold me.
Similarly, I can't write about it other than academically.  I can write the words but never link with the work itself.  It is not what I want to be writing.

So, where am I going?
I don't know.  I will continue to write what the prompt, picture or mood provokes from me.  Hopefully, I will find a way that I feel comfortable with.  Hopefully, it will still be readable for others.  After all, there are other emotions we all feel beside love.

How would I love to be able to write?
Have you ever read Terry Pratchett?  Or perhaps heard anything by Flanders and Swann ? (if not, just click on the link and watch this youtube song).
You see, that is my kind of thing.  Taking the obvious and everyday and looking at it from a different angle.  Making people think about things in a different way.  If I have a poetic hero it is probably Kipling.  Read his poetry written from the perspective of the 'Tommys' (foot soldiers).  Brilliant.  You can hear them speaking and each one is a different person.

Will I ever achieve it?  You will have to let me know if I do!

Right.  Back to poetry.  Today Onestop came up with :

A Saturday Celebration: Something Different

 where Pete says 'yes, today I would like us all to try something new.'

So here it is.  A cross between free style and flash55 I think.  Certainly nothing I have tried before:


Hissing, spitting snake,
Squirming through the grass.
Cats, crouched, waiting,
Watching in frozen terror.

The snake convulses,
Head rearing up,
Belching forth water,
Spraying rainbows.

The earth relaxes,
Exhaling the fresh scent
Of damp soil
Where the water plays.

The cats flee,
Falling over their own paws,
Snake and water spray,
The ultimate horror.

And after finding this irresistable form on Bleeding Moon Poetry,  Thanks to Catherine Mackie, I couldn't resist a try:

is a
I can not grasp.
It’s meaning spills out
round my mental fingers,
evaporating under
the harsh glare of definition,
leaving me no wiser than before.

Love is a mystery I can not grasp.



  1. Hi Penny ...

    Yes we noticed your abscense, and we did go over to fanstory to see if that is where you were... Now please listen to me here Penny, there is no way your writing could ever be described as inadequate ! Shakespear doesnt really do much for me either ( Hang me if you must ) But your writing is wonderful, you have inspiried many of my writes and I have admired your abilities from the start.
    FanStory is a tough place to be... sometimes I felt like my posting there was not to my advantage, and if you dont have money to promote, you dont get read... that is why I love the blogs so much, no money needed, honest lovely poets and writers that help me along the way... Dont be discouraged, your a very talented writer, one I look forward to reading EVERYDAY !!

    Your hose poem cracked me up, I could just see the cat thinking it was a snake then being startled by the water... Great write there !!

    Now can you tell us the name of the form for the second one, it is familuar to me... No matter... your still one of our favorites !!!


  2. hehe...i rather like the hose in the grass poem...and as long as you are happy with what you write...it can be easy to fall into the trap of writing for others or the ego boost we get from their comments, at least for i.

  3. Ditto!!!


    Penny, I also have been somewhat absent these last few days. I am use to writing on my own in the quiet of my own safe surroundings. Whenever I felt inspired, I would write…good, bad or indifferent…whatever. I am enjoying participating in the prompts, however I was feeling a little overwhelmed by so many. I feel that if I try to do too many, my writing may suffer. Yours words have helped me today, by realizing I do not have to compose a poem or a prose every single day…I have chosen to write everyday and if out of all the words and scribbles, births something worth sharing, then I will. You may not write about love Penny, but you write from the heart my friend, and I for one am glad I found you through a little game called fariyland lol!

    There is a certain magic about poetry and the people who create it. The imaginings of artistic talent is inspiring and hard to resist, no matter what form it takes. Creativity manifests as if by magic. Something from nothing ~ ♥ ஆ εlεɳa ~.^

  4. Hi JL. The form is Dectina Refrain. The form is a syllable count of 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 and then a repeat of lines 1 - 4 to stress the point made there. It was invented by Catherine Mackie. It is a bit like an inverted nonet with a twist. Tricky to do.

  5. WooHoo, off to try it right now... thank you !

  6. Penny I echo everyone here. Your writing is amazing! You are gifted. Dont be so critcal upon yourself.
    Continue to write and know you are very talented.
    I think writing whats on your heart is the best wrtiting. Prompts are fun! They help inginate the flowing juices. But truly You have a gift.
    The hose is funny!
    I rather liked your poem on love as well. As it came from where youa are.
    Blessings talented Penny!

  7. thank you all for being so encouraging.

  8. Love the Dectina Refrain, mine are never good enough to post! Really enjoyed the snake poem to, you've been a busy lady today!

  9. I love the snake metaphor... had me going for a while, and when I hit the third stanza, I thought: This is such a lovely moment captured in words. Poetry.

  10. Yeah, you had me going with the snake one. I feel the same as you sometimes, but I can only write when I get the inspiration so I don't push it along. That's why I can't do the one a day thingy. But I look so forward to your writing. I admire your beautiful talent.

  11. Well I echo the others. I write when I can, what I can. I kept a haiku diary for a while but when I had the grandchildren for a week it lapsed. There was no time to sit and contemplate. I do a lot now. I'm working practically full time as well as the usual things, plus keeping up with the poetry on OneStopPoetry which fulfills a deep need for me. Nevertheless, it's a rare week that I write more than one poem and sometimes not even that. Sometimes, I like to play with music, sometimes I do computer graphics. When it comes together, GREAT; but I can't get down because it doesn't. Sometimes it takes a while for ideas, words to come together..at least for me.

  12. Disagree Penny....each of us who write never really think we can...and from day to day I honestly don't think I can ever write anything meaningful again. I have learned and it takes discipline to write for yourself...from your heart...that is why I personally have chosen not to link with other sites...once in a while I might try a prompt or two...but only for fun. That why I don't feel under pressure to write for others. You must find what works for you...and put your signature on your writing. It will come...but let go of the pressure. Write from the heart and the heartache...

  13. Your "hose" poem is so much fun! It rollicks with mischief! But I think I tune best to the open soul in your second poem! Both poems are delightful!

  14. oh, yes! must try the Dectina Refrain

    loved your poems!
    thank you for sharing

  15. Penny, you are one of the writes that I look forward to finding in the list... or just stopping by to read. I find so much depth in your words, fresh angles to your perspectives... like the snake full of water! What fun!

    Yours is a view to be found refreshing. Thank you for sharing.

  16. there is a lot going on here...firstly i love terry pratchet and his ability to think around the norm....there is a lot you say that i can agree to and disagree..but that is typical of me and the mood that i might find myself in, which in turn dictates whether i write or what i write...the hose pipe/snake was great...loved the poem..cheers pete

  17. The cats flee,
    Falling over their own paws,
    Snake and water spray,
    The ultimate horror.

    Penny, just based on what I have read here now I think you are a very competent poet. Visually this poem works in every sense without becoming unintelligible. Like you, I don't get all those beautiful ramblings but they were suited to that time. Most of my writing can be very brutal because I try to write about life and not everyone likes to be confronted with the dark side of life. When I write about love it normally sucks. So keep on writing about the things that bring the honesty out in your poetry. I used to post on fanstory years ago (that is the time I invented the dectina refrain actually) but I found myself believing that people would give high ratings just to get the points they needed to promote their own work. I wanted more than just 'this is wonderful, great, whatever... I wanted very honest criticism, even brutal perhaps, and I wasn't getting that truth on fanstory so I never renewed my membership.

    I like both these poems very much and I am honoured that you tried the Dectina Refrain. You rocked it. I just have one question: wouldn't can not work better as cannot?

  18. Hmm. Yes can not probably would work better as cannot but I have the wierd prejudice against it written like that. I wonder why?