Blooming

Bang!

This week I have been mostly… blowing up all the pretty flowers! Or rather, they  have been blowing themselves up in some sort of petal-strewn apocalypse. This poem featured on the lovely blog The Wombwell Rainbow this week, but I thought I’d share the fireworks here too.

Blooming

A celandine went first,
and if we had ever looked, we would have known
it was a freeze-frame of a live firework,
we would have expected
the violence that sparked from the inside out,
the heat petalling sweetly,
each stamen springing a hellmouth.

A rose caught,
thorns spitting pop-pop-pop from the stem,
the leaves crisping, and as an afterthought,
the buds, like charged kisses,
lipped the flames to ragwort and vetch.
An oxeye daisy burst,
white-hot in its eagerness.

We dialled nine-nine-nine,
we called the press, but our words burned away,
and as day bloomed into evening time,
the honeysuckle, its lashes
glowing in the last light of the sun,
tipped a long wink to Venus
and blew like an H-bomb.

 

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Artwork by Thomas Suisse on Pixabay.

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Araucaria Araucana

I recently visited the weirdest place with my family. Called Robin Hood’s Bower, it has literally nothing to do with Robin Hood – it’s a clearing in Longleat Forest, Wiltshire, where the late Lord Bath decided to randomly plant some monkey puzzle trees.

The clearing is the site of an ancient settlement, and has also been a gathering place for battles of all colours and flavours. But what is particularly eerie about this dark patch in the forest is the evidence of human rituals that take place there to this day. Anyone fancy a night hike?!

It was a place that most definitely needed a poem, and you can find it here at Green Ink Poetry:

https://www.greeninkpoetry.co.uk/poetry-submissions-all/nina-parmenter-araucaria-araucana

 

 

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Night Rails

I don’t know about you, but my dreams are often rooted in my late teens and early twenties, which does rather suggest this was a pivotal time in my brain’s development. This is slightly worrying, given how much beer was being consumed at the time.

Trains, and things that can go wrong on trains, are a massive recurring theme. I am forever chasing around labyrinthine railway stations trying to find platforms that don’t exist, zooming past my stop, accidentally abandoning luggage, losing friends in shape-shifting carriages… I rarely travel by train these days, which is no surprise.

Anyway, here I am, putting in yet another nightshift on Great Western Railways. I should get paid for this.

Night Rails

At night, the trains roll in,
and I run the warp of the concourse
bagged down by luggage. Around me,
to the fizz of missed announcements,
stairways stretch and extend
like the veins of a living labyrinth.
These are the same treads I chased
decades ago, when the rails boot-laced
the two sides of my life. But now,
I am a broken node, a traveller out of time,
tuned to the beep of the door buttons,
yet two beats afloat.
Some nights, when the points align,
the train doors open, and the dark
grants me a seat. For a moment,
we drive the lines together.
But the tracks soon curve
to steal my purpose, the signs
morph to hieroglyphs, and I am stuck,
hitched to my early adulthood, looping
from Coventry to Castle Cary,
destined only ever to change
at Reading.

 

First published by Snakeskin Poetry

 

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Shock – It Doesn’t All Rhyme

Bit of a shock announcement. The poetry on this site will no longer all rhyme. Please, take a moment if you need it.

Yes, it’s true. Corrupted by poetiness, these days I read and write more and more poems that don’t rhyme.  Oh, I still love rhyme. I still write rhyme. I quite often sneak rhymes into supposedly non-rhymey poems just as a gift to myself. But I have also taken the broken, non-rhyming things into my heart and found them quite… lovable.

So, anyway, look, if you clicked on itallrhymes.com, you will have been rudely conveyed here, to ninaparmenter.com and a site that appears to be called Nina Parmenter Poetry. But never fear. It’s not all about me. I’ll be posting other poets and poety stuff too.

And if free verse is not for you…
Don’t worry. There’ll be rhyming too.

 

 

 

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

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Back To Me

Nothing wrong with a little feel good poem from time to time…

Back to Me

This my nothing-happy,
my stone-faced bliss,
this is my sweet release
from grinning artifice.
I am floating on zero,
life-sloughed and stuff-free,
I am guileless, I am tribeless,
I am back to me.

 

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Bellows

You are supposed to mellow as you get older. I have not. I am barely able to watch the breakfast news any more, for fear of whichever condescending windbag politician is to be wheeled out at 7:30 to trot out the party line. For fear of the rage they will provoke!

So! Today, instead of breakfast news, I am posting my little poemy rant. Enjoy!

Bellows

Hand him a twitch to wake the bag,
breathe him a wind and watch him blow!
His leathery skin will show no marks,
the flames need fuel and bellows.

Offer him up to breakfast news,
pipe him a phrase and watch him blow!
his spasming mouth will puff and squeal –
the flames are fuelled by bellows.

Now cycle it out to the populace!
Pump up their passions and watch them blow
and blurt on their garrulous timelines; feed
the flames with fuel and bellows.

And when some commission arrives to prise
his apertures open – watch them blow!
Why, empty has nothing to answer for.
The flames need fools and bellows.

This poem was first published in the May 21 edition of Snakeskin:  www.snakeskinpoetry.co.uk

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Image by suju-foto from Pixabay

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Lunacy

You make one simple mistake…

Whoops

Lunacy

I didn’t mean to kill the moon,
Your Honour. Just bad luck, I guess –
one hiccup, and the sky was strewn
with moon-rocks. Whoops! Who doesn’t mess

with isotopes from time to time?
I didn’t mean to kill the moon.
Ballistics? Well, if that’s a crime,
they’ll ban my vortex factory soon,

then what? Some health and safety goon
declares my new black hole a sin?
I didn’t mean to kill the moon.
Uh-oh – the shrapnel’s coming in,

prepare to die! No, seriously,
can we get under something hewn
from rock?  What’s up? Don’t look at me –
I didn’t mean to kill the moon!

First published in Snakeskin Poetry

Geek note: This poetic form is known as a quatern. It has four stanzas, each of four lines, with a refrain which appears in line 1 in the first stanza, line 2 in the second, line 3 in the third and line 4 in the fourth. It’s a really fun form to write in, as you fit the poem round the refrains like a jigsaw, and also very satisfying to read, I think!

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A Short One

Dating dating dating. Ah, the fun, the joy, the humiliation, the hollowness of rejection. I met my husband fourteen years ago so it’s been a while – but I’m sure if you’re single it also feels about fourteen years since you were able to date normally. Rubbish.

So, to remind you of the  ups and downs, here’s a poem about the tedious joy of being attracted to someone who’s most definitely not marriage material. Much has been written about falling for the bad boy – but what about falling for the dull boy?

A Short One

You’re not much to look at
My body says hot
Borderline dull
My libido says not
My friends think you’re average
(I checked)
I’m literally aching
I’m wrecked

We kiss in a nightclub
I’m painfully willing
Our fling is like curry
Spicy and filling
My body’s a twist
A sigh
You bore me to tears
Bye bye

Bored

 

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Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

 

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A Tousled Boy

A little poem I wrote upon discovering that Our Beloved Leader messes up his hair before speaking to the press. Glad he has his priorities right. I mean, I’ll grant him, it’s been a quiet month.

A Tousled Boy

This is the hair I used to mess
to win round Nanny. “Oh God bless
that tousled boy,” she used to say
It made the bad stuff go away.

When cricket balls met greenhouse glass,
I’d muss my hair in one quick pass –
“There there,” she’d say. Or, caught pants down
with Daddy’s maid, I’d play the clown –

she’d smile and pass the girl a scone!
It’s different now that Nanny’s gone.
Quite baffling. Take Barnier.
I went FULL RUFFLE. Could not sway

the man. Now even Murdoch seems
immune! The stuff of lurid dreams!
The markets fall, the lorries queue,
I tease each foppish strand askew,

the bodies pile, the untruths stack,
Rees-Mogg is smirking at my back,
the germs mutate. Oh, save me, mop!
Please Nanny? Nanny? Make it stop…

 

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A Funny Old Form: Double Dactyls

Of all the forms of poetry, the bizarre “double dactyl” has produced some of the most wonderfully bonkers poems. And for that, I love it.

Here are a couple of my double dactylic efforts. If you would like a go (and who wouldn’t?) the rather odd rules are provided below. I’ve also added some links so you can read some more examples.

Queen of the Dancefloor

Ooyakah Booyakah!
Dear Queen Elizabeth’s
ninety third birthday
turned into a rave.

She did the running man
extraordinarily,
crafting a move from her
famed royal wave.

It’s been a blast

Agedly sagedly
David F Attenborough
said we were doomed
with a very sad face.

We dragged our knuckles round
uncomprehendingly,
wrapped him in plastic
and launched him to space.

And Here Be The Rules

  • A double dactyl has 8 lines divided into two stanzas.
  • Each line should consist of two dactyls. A dactyl is a rhythmical foot with a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables like this: “YOM-pa-pa”
  • Lines 4 and 8 are the exception to this, rounding off each stanza with a “YOM-pa-pa YOM.”
  • Line 1 should consist of a pair of slightly nonsensical rhyming words. These can be relevant to the theme, or not. They might simply be there as a little oral warm-up. Flonkington plonkington.
  • Line 2 should consist of a single name. Now, some people’s names are simply MADE for double dactyls, (Gillian Anderson, Christopher Ecclestone, Edward Jehazaphat*) but many are not. A middle initial (“David F Attenborough) or slightly illegal adjective, (“Dear Queen Elizabeth”) can help, but some names, alas, are just beyond the reach of the double dactyl.
  • Line 6 should ideally consist of a single, six-syllable word. Quite a lot of double dactyl writers gently ignore this rule however. Why? Because it’s REALLY awkward.

And there you go. Simple. Right?!?

 

If you’re loving the double dactyl, by the way (and what’s not to love), Snakeskin Poetry recently did a rather marvellous DD special feature, which you can find here.

And if you’d like to find out more about the origins of the form (ie who on earth thought this was all a good idea and why), take a look here. There are some more examples to enjoy too.

And finally, if you’d like some lovely, or fun, or slightly odd poetry to pop up on your newsfeed now and again, all you have to do is follow me at www.facebook.com/parmenterpoetry

*At the time of writing, Edward Jehazaphat does not exist. But should. 
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