Tag Archives: prompts

Sonnet agin my pig

For the dVerse prompt MTB: Palinode this is a retraction of my earlier Sonnet for my pig, which was one of my first blog posts. Since I wrote that she has eaten hundreds of dollars of bulbs, two chickens, three doormats…. She has also stolen clothes and sheets from the line to build a nest, and bitten me unexpectedly.

 

My piggy’s eyes are little and evil,
But it’s the use of her snout that does tell,
That she’s the most wickedest of devils,
That has ever risen to Earth from Hell.
She snuffles and wuffles through the garden,
Leaving holes where once were lovely flowers.
I see the mess and feel my heart harden,
But the foolish pig ignores my glowers.
And standing now below the washing line,
As I hang the clothes, my piggy has come,
All quietly sneaking up from behind
and that monster pig has bitten my bum!
Oh piggy, to love you, I really tried,
But you’ll be your best as bacon crisp-fried.

Pigs can be taught to sit. But not to refrain from eating anything left outside, including doormats, tins of paint and garden beds.   

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The ghost kangaroo of Gundaroo II

I’ve written about the ghost kangaroo of Gundaroo before, that white beast that appears suddenly beside the road just after dusk.  But this time, as it’s in response to the dVerse prompt “Poetics: Exploring the Narrative Voice“, this is the story from the roo’s point of view… 

When the sun sinks behind the Brindabellas
and the darkness rises from the valleys,
I rise from my bed of leaf litter
and wait for the moon to light my path.
Then through the dry eucalypt forest
my footsteps pound like a heartbeat,
harder and faster as I cross the fields
to the Gundaroo road.

Ears twitching, I hear you coming,
the engine roar and rifle crack.
I see the headlights, spotlights
and the glint of moonlight on gunmetal.
I scent your sweat, your excitement
the beer on your breath
as you get closer to where I wait
by the Gundaroo road.

And as you close on me I leap from the trees,
white fur glowing in the headlights,
as I confront you and all your kind.
I see your pupils widen in shock,
your hands jerk on the wheel
as I stand here, unmoving,
beneath the trees, on the dust
of the Gundaroo road.

I stand still, pale in the moonlight,
as the wheels spin, sending up
a plume of dust between the trees
that wait, tall, sturdy, unmovable,
to receive you with a final crunch of metal,
as you futilely fight for control
already knowing you are spinning
off the Gundaroo road.

When the night is silent and dark again
I turn away, return across the fields,
feet pounding like a slow heartbeat
to the dry eucalypt forest
and to my leaf litter bed
leaving you in your crushed metal coffin,
just another unfortunate accident
on the Gundaroo road.

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less than half the story

I’ve been thinking about seeds a lot as I keep planting peas that get eaten by mice, and I’ve written a few poems about them. But pruning one into 44 words for Monday’s dVerse quadrille prompt “planting seeds” didn’t work for me. So I tried to think of what a seed is – enough genetic information for an organism (diploid), the machinery of a cell to start it all going (mitochondria, etc)… Did you know that mitochondrial DNA comes purely down the female line? Yours is the same as your mother’s, your grandmother’s, your great-grandmother’s, stretching back along a line of a hundred thousand women…

 

What arrogance,
what masculine conceit,
calling your semen ‘seed’!
Spill it on the ground,
wait for an army of sons to rise,
from those sad wrigglers –
haploid,
halfwit,
not even half the story.
Wait forever –
it’s not seed you sprayed,
just pollen.

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truss no one

I couldn’t help thinking of my students when I read today’s dVerse prompt, Poetics: build a bridge” I tell them truss analysis is just like Sudoku but more fun – just lay out your equations, fill in the gaps, and truss me, that’s all there is to it! Until the build and test, that is. 

Every member – tension or compression?
Every joint – apply Newton’s second.
Have you considered load distribution?
What external forces make a contribution?

~put theory into practice~

Embody your equations in concrete and steel,
Now do the forces balance, for real?
Have you proved yourself a truss design master?
Or will your bridge feature on Engineering Disasters?

 

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no loose ‘roos in here

This is for d’Verse’s Haibun Monday: The present moment. I got into the office, opened my email, my calendar, my magic pudding TO DO list, and then… though I knew I oughtn’t… checked the Monday dVerse prompt.

 

H_ opens the gate at the top of the driveway, swinging on it the last 45 degrees, though I always tell her not to. She gets back in and we barrel on down the hill. A flock of cockatoos, white against a blue sky, swoops across the road in front of me to land in a paddock among the ‘roos. “Got a ‘roo loose in the top paddock” I say, but H_ doesn’t get the joke, yet.
We lurch and bounce over potholes and gullies, until dirt gives way to gravel, gives way to bitumen and we admire the autumn colours as we trundle into the village – claret ash, golden ash, scarlet pin oak, Chinese pistachio and liquidambar… even the names speak of flames, of flaring vivid transience, of an excitability beyond tulips.
A quick hug, an “I love you, have a good day” and H_ is running for the school gate and I am heading for the highway, the parkway, past the airport where a jet roars overhead, white as a cockatoo in the sun, packed with pollies heading for Sydney. Traffic lights, merging lanes, security gate, carpark, swipe card entry so my presence is known, my whereabouts tracked. Down corridors where crimsons have been safely ritalined into placid rose, all verdant greens safely, sagely, Valium-dulled (although I think the ceiling is giving me separation anxiety).

Don’t swing on the gate,
it could come unhinged – we don’t
want ‘roos loose in here.

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hopscotch and vegemite sandwiches

This is for the dVerse prompt “hopscotch with anapestic tetrameter” and is another collaborative effort with my daughter, although it reflects my school days more than hers – she wanted to know why a teacher would use chalk instead of a screen… 🙄

Term’s begun,
back to school.
No more fun,
that’s the rule.
Teacher writes,
squeaky chalk,
“All be quiet!
No more talk, Continue reading

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bothersome quadrille

For the bothersome dVerse Monday quadrille #126 prompt, and with thanks to H_ for scribing for me on the school run this morning:

 

What a bothersome great fuss,
another morning weekday rush
just to get to school on time
on a day so sweetly fine.
Look, the sky’s so brilliant blue,
Mum, can’t I stay home with you?

Absolutely not my dear,
get your butt outta here!

 

A quadrille is exactly 44 words, no restrictions otherwise, and must contain the prompt word or a variation, in this case ‘bother’.   

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make $$$ while you sleep!

For the dVerse Monday prosery prompt “meet me where the sidewalk ends“, with the requirements: 144 words or fewer, NOT a poem, and using the line from Shel Silverstein “if you are a dreamer, come in” with any punctuation:

 

The kids were on the couch in front of the TV when I got home, as usual, each plugged into their phone – networking, gaming, blogging. But not picking up their dirty dishes or getting dinner ready, of course.
The little one in her thirties now, and the twins almost forty! Where did the time go…?
I used to think they’d finish school, then college, get jobs… but we’ve made ourselves redundant. There’s nothing a human can do that a machine can’t do better. Even designing new machines.
The blaring TV got even louder as it went to a commercial – a gold-toothed shouty-droid proclaiming “So if YOU are a dreamer, come in today! We pay top prices!” as dollar signs flashed in his eyes.
Well now, maybe there was still one thing machines couldn’t do.
“Alexa, call ‘Androids don’t dream of electric sheep’”.

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a handful of herstory

This is an expanded and edited version of Bee sting, for the dVerse prompt “The body & Poetry“.

I have since given away my beehive, so no revisits after this. 

My hand swells as the venom spreads,
until it is smooth and puffed;
an inflated glove
or a giant toddler’s hand. Continue reading

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flood moon; toad; morning commute, still

The Tuesday dVerse prompt this week was “flipping meanings“:

Flood moon

The round orb,
washed white by rain,
floats high in the stream.
It is a record
of what has been.
It asks a question
about what was lost.

Original:
Bushfire Moon (April 2020)

A thin crescent,
bloodied by smoke,
hangs low above the ridge.
This is not a portent
of things to come.
It is a statement,
of what is here. Continue reading

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