That Was The Month That Was… June

June has been another productive month. 28 posts published before this one, so these are some of the “highlights”, in the tradition of that filler episode of your favourite TV show when they have enough content for a 22 episode series, but sell 23 episodes to the broadcaster!

Rhyming blog
I completed a short series on what I’ve learned about writing rhyming picture books – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/from-bad-to-verse/ . The last part of this series included a round-up of the key bits of advice, and a host of useful rhyming resources, – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/from-bad-to-verse-10-top-rhyming-tips-useful-resources/ – so if you are pushed for time then you could start with this one and dip into the previous posts as and when you have time/ inclination/ need to develop your skills and understanding.

Haiku
There has been some haiku… quite a lot of it actually. I love Ronovan’s weekly haiku challenge and have posted several attempts at these. For the prompt words “Bard” and “Water”, I even attempted bending some Shakespearean iambic pentameter into haiku form – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/haiku-challenge-water-bard-cntd-poems/

I wrote a short series of “love haiku” – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/love-haiku-1/

And for us office drones, in case you missed it last month, consider using one of these “out of office” haiku next time you are away from your desk… https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/out-of-office-autoreply-haikus-poem/

Poetry
My most popular poetry post this month has been “The Lie” – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/the-lie-poem/ – probably because it’s so universal… and short!

My favourite though is this one – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/lost-and-found-poem/ .

I have covered a variety of topics again over the month, from zombies – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/the-zombie-blues-poem/
– to GHOST slugs – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/ghost-slug-poem/
– to a Victorian version of Charlie’s Angels – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/the-original-charless-angels-poem/
– to a plea to be noticed (yes, the stereotype of the needy artist, but hopefully it resonates more widely than that) – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/i-just-wanna-be-noticed-poem/

Game of Thrones came up in two separate pieces this month. I love that show/ book… https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/jon-snow-has-gone-to-sleep-poem/ and https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/weekly-haiku-challenge-gain-hound/ . Is this the first time that The Hound has inspired a haiku?

I love testing myself with a variety of challenges, so I’ve also started entering Mara Eastern’s weekly poetry challenge – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/away-poem/

Coming Up
In July, look out for more haiku, more random poetry (the zombies and slugs will be back… probably!), and a blog post on rhyme and comedy. Hope you’ll join me.

Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to stop by and read my stuff, and double thanks to those who have “liked” and commented!

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Picture by kind courtesy of NB Photography (you can find them and more amazing photos on Facebook, or at www.neilbarr.co.uk). Loch Katrine from Ben Venue.

The Original Charles's Angels (poem)

The original Charles’s Angels
Gathered all together.
Bound within their bodices
(With not a hint of leather).

These Angels dress from top to toe
In finest regency fashion.
But you must take a closer look,
For hints of their true passion.

The bonnets are all bombproof,
The feather’s razor-keen:
Beneath those stylish dresses
Hide weapons, sharp, unseen

They seem so prim and proper,
Well-spoken and polite.
You’ll see a different side though,
If they’re forced to fight!

These Angels make their living,
Working underground.
Undercover, under wraps;
They rarely fool around!

Ada Allegra’s the leader,
She is a viscount’s daughter.
As brave and fair as anyone,
And a champion underwater!

Punchy Prudence Passionheart
Tends to lead with her fists.
A nifty getaway rider:
Make sure you stay off her lists!

Quick-witted Connie Connors,
The talker of the trio,
Learnt her trade in hustling,
On the streets of Rio.

Apart, they are a fearsome bunch,
With interests extreme.
But together Charles has moulded them
Into one “angelic” team!

This poem was written as my entry to join the funeverse – http://www.thefuneverse.com/the-competition.html . It is based on one of Katherine Lynas’ wonderful pictures – Image 1 here: http://www.thefuneverse.com/katherine-on-the-funeverse

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Creative commons / Picture courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xshamx/4154543904

Lost and Found (poem)

We buried Grampa in the sand
That day down at the beach
We buried him and off we went
To get an ice cream each

The sun was high so off we splashed
And had a happy day.
Having been at play for hours
We forgot where Grampa lay!

With Grampa buried in the sand
We got a little frit
If we left without our Gramps
We’d be in for it!

My brother, Billy, pondered
And glanced along the sand
“A-ha!” He cried. “I’ve cracked it!
The answer’s close at hand!”

He stopped an old man walking:
He was detecting metal
Beeping up and down the beach
And finding an old kettle

We asked if we could borrow
That beeper for a while
And set off up and down the beach
Cov’ring every mile

Eventually we got the beeps
That we’d been looking for,
From Grampa’s fifty fillings…
And then we heard his snore!

We quickly dug up Grampa
And woke him from his sleep;
Hugged him really tightly,
But never spoke a peep.

We never spoke again of that
Until all these years later
When we dug a hole again
A Grampa-shaped crater.

We dug down deep into the sand;
We carried on undaunted
Left his ashes there to rest.

It’s what he would have wanted.

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Creative Commons/ Stephanie Nurnberg

Have you heard the rumour? (poem)

Have you heard the rumour?
There’s a rumour going round
That people go weak at the knees
When a poet is around

Ladies and gents alike,
All go weak at the knees
And think the poet before them
Is as handsome as you please

Have you heard the rumour?
Make sure you tell your friends
Because sometimes knees go weak.
But usually it depends!

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Picture courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yamagatacamille/5233703048

Weekly Haiku Challenge – Gain & Hound

For Ronovan’s weekly challenge, the prompt words are: gain and hound. https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-50-gainhound/ I immediately wanted to do a Game of Thrones haiku for the “Hound” character, and then had an idea for a second one too. Hope you like these!

Gain?
Anniversary.
Hounded by your memory.
Gained only wisdom.

The Hound
The Hound lost a face:
Only dignity to gain
And he took his chance

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Love Haiku #5

21
Ran five miles home,
A long sprint to hide my shame;
A longer shower

22
An empty vessel.
I won’t miss you when you’re gone
I tell myself now

23
Last look through the door.
My heart stretched to breaking point
To see you with him

24
A look, lingering
Slices through my defences,
Leaves my wound exposed

25
My sun and my sin,
Guiding me through moonless night
Blinding me to faults

26 – For Emma
Purple skirt kisses
Next to the bar quiz machine
You looked amazing

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Picture by kind courtesy of NB Photography (you can find them and more amazing photos on Facebook, or at www.neilbarr.co.uk). “Ailsa Craig from Lendalfoot, Ayrshire”

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Love Haiku #4

16
Forbidden kisses
In the snow that Christmas Eve,
Furtive magic fell

17
Your love engorges
The heart’s necrotic chambers
With just a smile

18
I had brought you wine;
A thousand apologies.
Your heart’s course was set

19
Frozen heart shatters
Reflecting crystalline love
In her baby blues

20
Bitten by your ghost
Ethereal reminders
Liquefy reason

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Picture by kind courtesy of NB Photography (you can find them and more amazing photos on Facebook, or at www.neilbarr.co.uk). “Saltcoats”

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