Who Am I? (poem)

I don’t know who I am any more.

The mask has stuck fast
Public face absorbing private truth
Rictus grin fixed firm
All softeners and simpering
Homilies and ha-ha-has

Jargon and jelly beans

A rough diamond smoothed,
Ground to sand
Trickling through fingers that would claim it
Then hate-baked into a distorted parody

Dead eyes peer out
Locked into a part picked by past practice and present perfidy
Playing the role of a lifetime.
A life.

Hear my silent cries, the dry tears,
The balled-up fists beating against the invisible bars
In melodramatic stillness

I pause. This is me.

This has always been me.

Picture courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/fotorita/1687023676 / Creative Commons

Haiku Challenge – Five & Thrive

This is my contribution for Ronovan’s latest weekly challenge – check it out at https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-55-five-thrive/ . The prompt words are “five” and “thrive”. Mine is based around Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – technically it’s five haiku and a verse at the end (is there a name for this?). Hope you like it!

Mother Maslow

Mother Maslow’s start:
You gave me food and water,
Shelter from life’s storms

At the second stage,
Taught me how the world worked,
When to run, or stand

At Maslow’s third stage,
Showed me love’s reality:
You give, and you get

Then at the fourth stage,
Taught me to believe in me,
Hold my head up high

Now at Maslow’s fifth,
I unfurl my wings and fly,
To thrive, not survive

For all this, I thank you
In the only way I know
I carry your love inside me
And never hide its glow


Last Day of the School Year (poem)

Thirty tiny Santas
Struggle up the street
Loaded down with presents
Sweating in the heat.

Middle-class one-upmanship
Has claimed another thing
An excess of extravagance
Bundled in pink string!

M&S has emptied
Of fancy cakes and wine;
Handfuls of handmade jewellery
Ostentatiously designed;

Bouquets of beautiful flowers;
Diamonds and green gems;
Darling designer dresses,
All with tailored hems;

A personally signed picture,
Of footballer David Beckham;
A weekend at a health retreat,
In regency Cheltenham;

Crystal champagne flutes;
A piece of the Turin Shroud;
Original Oriental carpets;
(Olga looked ever so proud)

Sultry, silken scarves;
A fine, fake, fox-fur coat;
Some early designs by da Vinci…
And little Susie with a SPEEDBOAT!

So if you’re looking for a bargain,
Get onto ebay tonight.
It wasn’t like this in my day,
But for some the price’ll be right!

Couldn’t resist this picture, courtesy of flickr.com/photos/queenbeebh/8179594890

Haiku City #3

More episodes from Haiku City…

Combine poetry
With advanced cooking lessons:
Home haikunomics

The name’s Bond, James Bond
Her Majesty’s Government.
Licence to haiku

Haiku juggler
Keeping three balls in the air
Who knows where they’ll land?

Tears of a clown
Sad smile, facepaint smudging…
With a happy twist

Syllable counting.
Never beyond seventeen:


www.flickr.com/photos/kessiye/8998156548 / Creative Commons

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Haiku – "Lamp"

TJ has set a challenge this week to write a haiku about a “lamp” – https://amaviedecoeurentier.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/tjs-household-haiku-challenge-lamp/ .

This immediately made me think about the joke about the drunk and the lamp post, which became:

Drunk and the lamp post.
Looking for some support, not

This felt a little clunky, so I tried again with this version:

Sodium buzz-glow
Advertises its support
Lighting the journey

I then started thinking about bedside lamps, and all they mean… I am not a subscriber to the romantic view of moths!

Guide through written worlds.
The vanquisher of monsters.
The bringer of moths…

This last one feels more like an idea for a poem, rather than a haiku in itself. Thanks for the inspiration!


Weekly Haiku Challenge – "Free" & "Think"

A batch of three haiku for Ronovan’s challenge this week, with the prompt words “think” and “free”. Top marks for anyone who can separate the two references in the second haiku…

The world isn’t safe
Despite our best intentions
Need more free thinkers

My life is a cage
Thoughts bounded in a nutshell
But onstage, I’m free

An old lie, I think:
The dignity of labour
That work sets you free


RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #54 Free&Think