Blue Heelers

I’m still on the Villanelles, and I managed to write one about Blue Heelers with all my favourite characters making an appearance.

Blue Heelers

If I could move to Mount Thomas –
Is it hard to imagine that?
Sounds like it has so much promise –

Relaxing in the pub with Chris,
But no; I’d have to watch my back
If I could move to Mount Thomas.

Tess came along; an injustice
When Ben’s promotion dream fell flat?
Someone who showed so much promise.

They tell you ignorance is bliss,
But the crime rate’s sky-high, in fact –
If I could move to Mount Thomas.

Jo wants commitment; happiness,
But PJ seems to just hang back –
Shame, when they have so much promise.

With that old country way of his,
The boss can always bring a laugh;
If I could move to Mount Thomas –
Sounds like it has so much promise.

Musical Monday: Frontman

After my last poem, Linda commented that she preferred 70s and 80s music, so I thought I’d write about someone who dominated the 70s and 80s, at least to my mind.

Frontman

The lovely Freddie Mercury,
He joined a band and called them Queen;
His songs are more than cursory.

With multi-layered harmony,
You know he’s talented and keen –
The lovely Freddie Mercury.

From soft and lilting melody,
To heavy rock of great esteem;
His songs are more than cursory.

On-stage he might seem hard to reach,
But he was a man of extremes –
The lovely Freddie Mercury.

A passionate delivery
That bids a crowd follow his lead;
His songs are more than cursory.

He sings a line you can copy;
His voice draws you into the scene –
The lovely Freddie Mercury –
His songs are more than cursory.

The 90s

Sticking with the challenge from yesterday, a fun one this time. Still a Villanelle, loosely on the ‘Country life’ theme … very loosely; like, “Country House” by Blur.

The 90s

The joys and trials of 90s songs,
And all those precious memories –
You just can’t help but sing along.

You know Celine’s heart will go on,
While an ice cap shapes history –
The joys and trials of 90s songs.

Oasis or Blur, number one?
Pop music’s full of rivalries –
You just can’t help but sing along.

Never forget where you’ve come from;
Take That are stunned when Robbie leaves –
The joys and trials of 90s songs.

A novelty that’s not so strong?
Plastic, not porcelain; Barbie –
You just can’t help but sing along.

Euphoria – the dance goes on;
You may cringe at your two left feet –
The joys and trials of 90s songs,
You just can’t help but sing along.

Country Show

Thanks to its structure, a Villanelle is the most complicated form of poetry I’ve ever written! I loved trying it out though. From the Latin ‘Country house’, it was originally a poem about rural life, so I decided to go with that. We were challenged to use at least 3 of these: Marigold, ice cap, deep-sea vent, Earl Grey, porcelain, elephant, euphoria. I don’t usually write about my locality, but it had to be done this week.

Country Show

Visit the local country show!
There’s certainly plenty to see;
Many directions you could go.

To look at vibrant marigold?
Giant home-grown turnips or swede?
Visit the local country show!

Maybe if you’re weary and cold,
You might fancy an Earl Grey tea;
Many directions you could go.

If you like a splash of the bold,
Climb in a Morgan; have a seat –
Visit the local country show!

Is your taste elegant and old?
Worcester porcelain’s sure to please;
Many directions you could go.

With friends or relatives in tow,
That would make your outing complete;
Visit the local country show!
Many directions you could go.

Mountain Town

Here’s another challenge – metonymy. I don’t totally understand this one, but apparently it’s something used to represent something else, like a crown would represent royalty, I guess. We had to pick one of these to write about: Gauze, sagebrush, looking glass, rabbit hole, quicksilver, Plymouth Rock, mountain town. Linda suggested a sonnet, and I haven’t written a sonnet for a while.

Mountain Town

A mountain town would represent to me
A lovely place to stay and to repose:
Awakened early in the quiet street,
The horses’ hooves clip-clopping on the slopes.

But if you chose to travel on a plane,
A mountain might not feel so tranquil then;
Alerted by the threat of wind or flames,
You’d have to change your plans and try again.

Perhaps remote and rugged is your thing,
And climbing till your muscles start to ache –
An awesome view that makes you want to sing,
The beauty of a waterfall or lake.

So keep on persevering to the heights –
With every step, adventure in your eyes.

The Beach

One of Linda’s past challenges today – a poem to convey an experience or emotion, using at least 5 of the following: Pearly gates, habanero, mud, pins and needles, breezy, quicksand, indigo. Today is a lovely sunny day here in the UK. I expect lots of people are wishing they were by the sea.

The Beach

Those first painful steps onto a beach
When it’s breezy, and sand swirls up in your face;
I’ve never sunk in quicksand,
But I have been somewhere that’s more mud than sea.

Closer to the water’s edge, the sand is firmer and flat;
You might get pins and needles
When you finish paddling in the sea,
And your cold feet start to come back to life.

I always preferred other treats at the seaside:
Salty chips out of paper, or a cone of ice-cream;
Shops selling sweets and gifts to take back for loved ones;
Boats that chugged along with increasing speed.

As a child we’d build sandcastles,
And there would be stories of a ball;
Ladies in dresses of every colour, even indigo,
Hurrying over the drawbridge to dance and romance.

As we left, I’d think of the tide coming in;
Washing our creation away, maybe while the ball was mid-flow,
But that was ok; there was always next time,
When we’d bring buckets and spades and do it all again.

Chocolate

In a quintilla, every line has eight syllables. There are only two rhymes, and the last two lines can’t rhyme with each other.

Chocolate

Chocolate can be soft and silky
Inside cookies, chewy and baked,
Or with crunch on-top of a cake:
I prefer it white or milky;
Dark’s too much of a bitter taste.

Verse Letter

This week, Linda’s challenge is to write verse letter – a poem in the form of a letter, using at least 4 of these words or phrases: Monk’s robe, relish, tongue-tied, night owl, black cat, red clay, sunburst. Bonus points, she says, for anyone who works ‘Monk’s robe’ into their letter. Well, thanks to a fellow-author, I found that quite easy!
Dear Joy

I know I haven’t read your book yet, but I want to. I like the idea of a wounded soldier finding healing in a secluded abbey – of someone in a monk’s robe guiding him back to his true self.

I’m a bit of a night owl when it comes to writing fiction. I have to write when I get the ideas, even if that’s at three in the morning. I wonder if you’re inspired at night too, or whether you’re up with that first sunburst of the day. Either way, I know it’s a joy to be creative. Some choose a wheel and red clay, but we have our fingers and keyboards!

Take care until our next writers’ chat.

Love Sarah.

* * *

If you’re wondering about the book that inspired this letter, it’s “The Healing” by Joy Margetts. I'd love to know if you decide to read it too.

Nan

Lately your stories have come to my mind;
Smiling, I can reminisce –
Don’t want to forget with the passage of time.

You came to England and went into service –
A timid girl from the Welsh valleys,
But some of the people did you an injustice.

Pruning the leaves off dead pansies:
Like slave labour, they wouldn’t see you idle;
You left that job homesick for family.

You soon returned, willing and vital;
You kept a house with an open door,
Welcoming every arrival.

Those people you had to stay in the war,
Thinking they were husband and wife,
But Granddad wasn’t so sure.

Then there was earlier on in your life,
When boys threw wet sponges and you threw them back –
A maid in the dormitory last thing at night.

So neatly those pasties in newspaper wrapped
For lunch on a day out in Cornwall,
But someone put them out with the trash.

You loved to sing, but your critics were scornful:
You couldn’t read music, so you were unheeded;
They shut you down – it was awful.

Life was cruel, but you weren’t defeated;
Electric shocks that frazzled your brain –
They tried to treat, but only mistreated.

I hope you felt it was worth all the pain
When your ninety-five years drew to a close,
In that cold December of twenty ten.

We were glad to have you as one of our own.

Overcomers (Ubi Sunt)

I enjoyed writing last week’s terza rima. This week, Linda’s challenging us to write ubi sunt. It’s Latin, and literally means ‘Where have they gone’. We have to use at least 3 of these words: Peachy, illumination, graphite, rattlesnake, spring, octopus, pizzazz, but the form of the poem is up to us. One suggestion was a sixain, and I’ve never written one of those, so I thought I’d try it.

Overcomers

With pizzazz we studied and worshipped God,
Learning and growing together:
We shared our lives and the bond was deep;
From spring to spring we continued to meet –
We’d go out of our way for each other:
It was peachy and won’t be easily forgot.