<a href=””>Chaotic</a&gt;

C      cataract of clutter, clumsily cascading

H         hurrying heedlessly

A          anxiously awaiting anticipating

O         order only order

S          stretching saving surmounting surrounding




Painted Faces

<a href=””>Eyes</a&gt;

This was one I made earlier – much earlier – when I attended a creative writing class at Lancaster university. 

Make your face up,
make up your eyes,
blend the colours,
paint the skies,
gild the lily until it dies.


Mask with mascara betraying eyes,
lengthen the lashes add to the lies,
brush on the blusher, don the disguise,
put on a brave face, a sage face and wise,
colour the lips but hide the eyes.

Make up stories make up lies
save your face, shut off your eyes.





Elegy on the Death of My Muse

<a href=””>Muse</a&gt;

Sounds good.
(I knew it would!)
My muse is dead,
that’s what I said.
I’ve lost the urge
to splurge on verse
and, worse than that,
my prose is flat,
dull as a lake.
No breeze to shake
the surface stillness.
Is this an illness
that I can shake off
like a sneeze or a cough
or final and fatal
and from this date I’ll
write no more,
write but to bore?
I won’t entertain it,
can’t explain it,
But I just know
It can’t be so!



C a R e F r EE

<a href=””>Carefree</a&gt;



I’ve time to spare.
to do and dare
I’ve time to share
With friends.

I brush my hair
What shall I wear?
the forecast’s fair
“Begone dull care”
The Bard once said. Depends
if weight of care
can bring despair
so I don’t dare
to leave my lair
or climb the stair
to reach the rainbow’s end.

I yearn to be
I’ll learn to be
Completely totally



Open…O, pen…Open

<a href=””>Open</a&gt;


Open your eyes
Open your ears
Open your mind
To new ideas.
Open your eyes
To the sounds of speech
Open your ears
To the colour of words.

Open the door
Open the box
Take out the key
Undo the locks.
Open your arms
Open your hands
Open your heart
To understand.

Open your mouth
Let the words come
Find your own voice
Loosen your tongue.

Open eyes
tight shut against the light
against the dawn
fear of new sights keeping them closed
brave the brave new world,
take off the bandages,
tear down the shutters
Open the window
pull down the pull-down menu
and choose.



North and South

<a href=””>Non-Regional Diction</a>

Write about whatever you’d like, but write using regional slang, your dialect, or in your accent.

Thing abaht yer own local dialect/accent/regional speech or whativver is, that ye don’t know when yer doin’ it. Ye talk like ye’ve allas talked an’ it’s ‘ard ter get it dahn on papper. (Spell checkers are even more than usually useless when you try to write in dialect.) A man in our village says “Ah’m ban yan” and asks if other people know what he is saying. If you’ve been around long enough you might realise this translates to “I’m going home” in standard English.

Of course it’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it. Accent rather than dialect and just like Professor Higgins in Pygmalion a careful listener can differentiate between local accents from places only a few miles apart.

Trouble is local accents don’t stay local once kids start to move away for work or study. This is especially noticed with the long vs short “a” sound – yes there is a better way to express this in phonetic script but basically it is whether you say “class” so that it rhymes with “gas” or so that it rhymes with…I was going to put “glass” or “grass” but both these are pronounced differently by northern and southern English speakers.

Children from the same lingusitic background and upbringing can talk quite differently once they have moved away and adapted their speech to a greater of lesser degree to the surrouding speakers. A case of practicality not snobbery – if you are a teacher or an officer in the forces or serving customers in a retail store you need to be understood by the people you interact with. Thanks to social and geographical mobility there are plenty of people now who sound like furriners in their home town.