Postal Nonsense

Rebecca only gave me three words this time: ghost, with and global.  I wrote the three words on a stickynote and thought they would do their magic on me, worming their way into a piece of poetic brilliance – or at least a piece of poetic averageness. But nothing happened. My mind played a bit with the alliteration of global ghost, and flickered briefly to global warming and the ghosts we might become if we don’t take stronger action, but that seemed a bit dire for this blog.

So, some weeks went by and the words were still just three words. Till my son asked me whatt heyw ere and I explained that I needed to put all three in a poem. “That’s easy!” he said: “There once was a ghost/Who got some post…” His words trailed off, but my mind started, at last, to tick away. Because I’ve been working on a workshop about forced rhyme, and there was one staring me in the face. “Hmm,” i thought. “I think I can do soemthing pretty corny here.” And the res, as they say, is history.

It’s not poetic brilliance, but it is a bit of fun, and perhaps an example of what happens when you try to force rhymes to a topic. (Sarcel? Thanks for that one, Rhymezone.)

Here’s my effort:

 

Postal NonsenseAdvance Sage 3

Can you exchange post

With a ghost?

Write mail

To a snail?

Send a letter

To a red setter?

Or a card

To a St Bernard?

Can you write a note

To a goat?

Send a global parcel

To a hawk’s sarcel?

 

(You’ll want to go

And look that up).

I guess you know

The answer’s NUP.

 

Poem copyright Sally Murphy, 2017

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A Homophonic Musing

Yet again I have been slow to meet the challenge Rebecca gave me. I have been lost in the depths of a doctoral thesis focussing on children’s poetry, as well as releasing two new books and working. Still, I shouldn’t neglect Poetry challenges!

Anyway, when I finally sat down and looked at the word Rebecca had given me:

foul all or use

I instantly thought about the homophone pair of fouls/fowl. It only took a few moments to realise that all four words were homophones, and so the idea for a homophone poem tickled my fancy. This is the result:

A Homophonic Musing

As I stand and look in awe

I know it’s neither oar or or

That I should use

When admiring ewes

And feathery fowl

Who are not foul.

My brain’s a metaphoric awl

That helps me manage pinpoint all

The different ways of spelling

Things I see and tales I’m telling.

 

Thanks for the challenge Rebecca. Watch out for new words coming your way.

(Poem copyright Sally Murphy, 2017)

Summer Swim

To be honest, the set of words Rebecca gave me weren’t anywhere near the hardest she’s given me, but it’s still taken me a while to get around to using them in a poem. It’s summer here in Australia, and  this means that when I looked at the word ‘lazy’ I immediately thought of lazy afternoons at the beach. So here’s what I came up with.

20170112_162907Summer Swim

Summertime

And I am lazy

Smell of sunscreen

Fills the air.

A thousand bushflies

Drive me crazy

As I make  my way

Down there.

I plunge myself

In cooling ocean

Feel inertia

Wash away.

Flies have vanished

No devotion

To watery fun

They’d rather stay

Beachside where they’ll

Leave their print

On backs of sunsoaked

Sandbound teens

Who’ve left the water

For a stint

Of games, or food,

Or magazines.

 

(Poem copyright Sally Murphy)

Family Hound

It’s only been a few days since Rebecca gave me a new set of words, and I surprised myself by knowing instantly what to do with them. Maybe because this was an easier set than last time (when she gave me Shakespearean words) or maybe my muse was just having a good day.

The words she game me where am, spot and slip. As soon as I read them I had an image of a spotty dog. slipping and sliding around. Which lead to this:

I am Spot

Dotty hound

Grotty hound

Sometimes tangly

Knotty hound

 

I am Spot

Slippy hound

Yippy hound

Sometimes wet and

Drippy hound

 

I am Spot

Leapy hound

Creepy hound

Sometimes tired and

Sleepy hound.

 

I

am

Spot.

 

(Poem Copyright Sally Murphy, 2016)

Thanks for the words, Rebecca.

Too Many Sleeps

When Rebecca gave me the words ‘envy’ and ‘run’ I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them, especially since envy is such a negative emotion. But as December ticked along, and I kept thinking I must get the poem written before Christmas, I started wondering if these were words I could use in a festive poem. Here’s the result.

Too Many Sleeps

Run, days, run!

Stop dragging leaden feet

And scurry, hurry, flurry

To Christmas Day.

 

Hop, days, hop!

From one to next to next

Quicker, slicker, ticker

To Christmas Day.

 

Skip, days, skip!

With speed Santa would envy

Racing, pacing, chasing

To Christmas Day.

 

Glide, days, glide

Like runners on a sleigh

Dash, slash, smash

To Christmas Day.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Poem copyright Sally Murphy 2015

A Merry Magnet Poem

So, I have been a bit slack and it’s been over a month since Rebecca gave me the words YOU, TO, POISON, THAT and MERRY to put into a poem.  So, I thought to reward her patience (she hasn’t nagged me once!) I would do something different and see if I could do the whole poem using magnet words. I have lots and lots of magnets, and it’s been a while since I sat down to make a whole poem with them.

Anyway, I got out my magnets and got to work. The only problem was: I didn’t have all five of the words. I have hundreds and hundreds of magnets but not one of them has the word ‘merry’. I almost abandoned the quest but I’m hoping that Rebecca will forgive me if instead of merry I chose two other words very similar in meaning – joy and happy. And, for good measure, I popped merry into the title of this post.

So, here it is, my merry poem about poetry.

Merry Poem

 

Really Estate

When Rebecca gave me the words thrilled, modern and inspired, I had no idea what I would do with them, though the word ‘thrilled’ seems to me so often prefaced with the word ‘really’. When I started work on the poem I had just been working on a blog post about repetition,  and wondered if I could somehow use the technique in this poem. It was as I started writing that the idea to repeat the word ‘really’ came to me, but it was only after I’d finished that I thought of the play on words with real/really estate.

Anyway, here’s the poem.

Really Estate
‘I am really thrilled to meet you
Follow me now. Come this way!’
Trilled the eager estate agent
At the home open today.

‘You will really be inspired
By the things that you will see
In this modern, marvellous mansion
Come along  now. Follow me!’

We were really very nervous
But we hurried down the hall.
Tried to ignore dirt and mildew
That was oozing from each wall.

Mum was really disconcerted
By the holes in every floor
And the eerie sounding creaking
Every time we touched a door.

Dad was really worried
By the cobwebs overhead
Plus the smell from the old kitchen
And the worse one in the shed.

But what really got me worried
And it would have scared you too
Was the ghostly weepy wailing
That was coming from the loo.

We were really rather hasty
As we raced out to the road
‘Wait!’ shrieked the poor agent,
‘I haven’t fully showed

How really really awesome
This lovely house can be.’
But her pleas on us were wasted
We had other homes to see.

(© Sally Murphy, 2015)

Wishes

It’s been almost a  month since Rebecca gave me the words form, age and fervent. I don’t know why it has taken me so long – I do know it was the mix of fervent and form which kept taking me down intriguing paths, then tripping me up.

Anyway, I ran into Rebecca at the Perth Writers Festival yesterday and she was very polite about my slackness, which of course made me feel guilty. Since I’m also doing a challenge this month to write a poem n a Post it Note everyday for February, she suggested I use the words for one of my postitnote poems.  And voilà, today I managed to write a poem that  meets both Poetry Tag and Postitnote Poetry requirements:

 

Wishes

At age 5

I dreamt of the tooth fairy

to replace my tiny offerings

with silver coins.

Now I’m older

(and told such things aren’t real)

but I can’t stop

the fervent wish that forms

when I look round my house:

send me a cleaning fairy!

(© Sally Murphy, 2015)

 

And, just to prove that it does indeed fit on a postitnote, here it is again:

Embedded image permalink

Last Supper

When Rebecca gave me my latest batch of words – my, virtue and supper – I couldn’t stop thinking about the biblical Last Supper. I tried to write about something different, because I have not ever really written religious poetry and didn’t know where I would go with it. But this was the topic that I kept coming back to. Finally, it was the word ‘my’ which gave me a way in: who was there at the last supper who might want their story told? Finally, I decided it was a woman, and here is what I came up with.

Last Supper

At that last supper
the men ate and drank
and hung on your every word
Little knowing it would be
their last meal together –
even when you, my heart,
told them one would soon betray you,
one deny.
Centuries later,
artists recreated that moment
showing your quiet virtue
their various states of adoration,
disbelief,
confusion.
What they forgot, those masters of the arts,
(or perhaps it was their priestly chiefs)
was that we women were there,
and children, too
not hangers-on
not underlings
but equals.

(Sally Murphy, 2015. All rights reserved)

Measure

Both Rebecca and I took a little time to come up with poems to our last set of words. So I was determined when she set me new words to get straight onto it. Fortunately the idea for this one came quickly. I think the arrangement of the magnets made me immediately think of measuring lives, and the rest just came.

Walk Pic June 14

Measure

Some people measure their lives
by the achievements they’ve made
the people they’ve met
the money they’ve earned.
Some people worry
how they’ll be remembered
and who they’ll be remembered by.
But stop for a moment
and take note
of the breaths you take
the songs you sing
and the loves you love.
Treasure immeasurable.

(Sally Murphy, 2014)