NaPoWriMo 2017.06

Still playing catch-up! Day 6 asked us to look at one thing from several view-points, ao of course I have looked at a fox. Not very poetically, I have compiled an alphabet of alliterative kenning-like descriptions that could all be applied to vulpes vulpes.

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Agile animals,

Barking burrowers,

Cunning climbers,

Den-dwelling diggers,

Excellent egg-thieves,

Folkloric favourites,

Gorgeous gambollers,

Hearing-led hunters,

Indolent individuals,

Jewel-eyed jumpers,

Keen killers,

Limber leapers,

Monogamous mammals,

Nocturnal neighbours,

Odorous omnivores,

Pesky poultry-predators,

Quick-witted quarry,

Russet rubbish-rummagers,

Spry slinkers,

Tameable tail-waggers,

Urban underworlders,

Vulpine vermin,

Woolly-footed worm-eaters,

Xenodochial extroverts,

Yearlong yelpers,

Zippy zoomorphs.

 

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NaPoWriMo 2017.05

Aaand back to the foxes, because today we’ve been asked to write about our personal connection to something in the natural world, for example an animal. Like a fox? Yes, like a fox.

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Brief Encounter

To endure the late walk home,

all buses gone to roost, and stars

muffled in sodium clouds; to pass

graceless retail parks framed

cloddishly in jobsworth shrubs,

dull with after-hours; to skirt

heavy-headed buddleia guarding

chain link and litter, exhaling

purple rankness; to navigate

the emptied junction, on the round-

about the inexplicable silver balls,

big as bales and rusting quietly

in the plain sight of the darkened

carwash; and then, to see him

in the lit delta of the goods

vehicle entrance, his spirit level

spine balancing caution, curiosity.

Brief arrow of blaze; to meet,

unexpected yet unmistakeable,

the most beautiful thing in the world.

 

Not NaPoWriMo 2017.04

I’ll get on with it tomorrow – in the meantime here’s a little prose-poem thingie that dropped out of my pen this evening at my TWP writing group…

A Life In Five Sentences

After you were born, female and healthy, your mother had her tubes tied so you were forbidden from ever dying. Until the age of nine, you could hear the unspoken thoughts of the neighbours in the back of your brain whenever you tried to sleep. As a teenager, you became obsessed and terrified by the image of your life stretching unbroken out before you, an endless chain of identical days. Lying in your cheap rented room in the rougher reaches of London, you imagined the snowflakes outside could carry your kisses over the channel to the man you loved like a muse. Years later, revisiting your old haunts and feeling the ghosts thick on your skin, you turn to see a message scrawled in the white-out paint of an abandoned shop’s window – “I don’t mind if you forget me”.

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NaPoWriMo 2017.03

Oh so soon I fall behind! Yesterday’s prompt was to write an elegy for someone dead, lost but not forgotten. I’m afraid I just didn’t get myself in gear, but I have written a VERY SHORT not-really-an-elegy-more-like-a-ditty about the long-extinct sharp-toothed fox that lived in what is now Tibet during the Ice Age.

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Vulpes qiuzhudingi

 Mountain-top prowler when Tibet was polar,

Prehistoric, cold-adapted, hypercarnivore.

Lament this lofty canine reduced here to molar,

Body, pack, species now just one fossil jaw.

NaPoWriMo 2017.02

A recipe prompt! But, but – foxes? Surely people don’t eat foxes? Oh yes they do. In the case of the Fat Lady Clarissa Dickson Wright, they eat them stewed with chestnut pasta.

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Fox Stew

Remove guts and skin,

That’s how to begin,

Says Clarissa, when prepping a fox.

Now submerge in a brook.

Do it all by the book!

Nags Clarissa, when cleaning a fox.

In only three days

That smell washes away,

Claims Clarissa, when drying a fox.

And after its bath

I just chop it in half,

Laughs Clarissa, when jointing a fox.

It can taste rather nice

With a touch of allspice,

Winks Clarissa, when cooking a fox.

But the best by a mile

Is Italian style,

Slurps Clarissa, when eating a fox.

NaPoWriMo 2017.01

Oh heaven help me, here we are again! Some of you may know that last year I completed ‘National Poetry Writing Month’ or NaPoWriMo for the very first time, not by following the official prompts but by combining them with a personal imperative to feature otters in every poem. No-one was more surprised than me at the success of this gambit. So, this year…..

FOXES!!

Again, I have every expectation of abject failure.

The first official prompt is inspired by Kay Ryan, sometimes known as a ‘poet of compression’, and looks for short lines, tightly-woven rhymes and an animal. An animal, you say? Riddle me this…

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Compressed Fox

Squeeze ‘fox’,

out pops the ‘o’,

a slippery pip,

leaving behind ‘fx’,

shorthand for tricks

cinematic, pixels

magicked to Orcs.

Reduce by ‘f’ and

fleet-foot bloats

to a lumbering

cart-hauling beast;

oxen-free, an ‘f’

will play louder

than pianissimo.

‘X’-less, it leaves

back-street, after-hours

border disputes

for international

corridors of power,

but tell the F.O.

to f.o., it’ll leave you

with a vote on

a treasure map,

a perfect kiss. Press

‘fox’ if you must,

it will be the greater,

no less.