Long Time, No Write

If WordPress had a tumbleweed app it would have been visible here for ages. It’s been a very, very long time since I posted anything here. The reason is simple; I’ve hardly written any poems this year, and that is what my readers are looking for, right?

It has been a bumpy year, with occasional suggestions that life might be about to take a turn for the better, followed fairly quickly by the familiar taste of disappointment. And in the middle of it all, I just haven’t had anything much to say, so I haven’t.

Here’s hoping for more inspiration in the near future ….

No Words

His pen lies
coated in neglect,
cold and lifeless on the desk
beside an empty page as barren
as his mind.

© 2015 A B Maude

Over at dVerse, Brian has us breaking traditional poetry forms for his Meeting the Bar challenge. I’ve chosen to adapt the cinquain form by adding an extra syllable to each line. This has two results: first, you have a little more room to work with (27 syllables as opposed to 22); second, each line now has an odd number of syllables which breaks the temptation to write in nice, comfortable iambs all the way through.

Edited 23/01/2015


Garden Shed

The hinges squeal in protest when I pull
the door. The air inside is fragrant
with the aroma of sawdust and oil, grass
and soil. I find a discarded pack of screws

lying on a shelf beside a hammer, a slowly rusting
steel rule and an engineers square. A tenon saw hangs
from a nail in the wall. On the wooden bench
I see a rasp, a plane, an electric drill,

various sanding blocks, and an old metal box
filled with assorted washers, nuts and bolts.
Behind the door the spade, fork, hoe and rake
are lined up beside your old boots, still stuffed

with last year’s news to dry them out.
This was your domain, a place where I came
only at your invitation. But you have gone
and I can never come here again.

© A B Maude 2014

It’s my turn to tend the bar at the dVerse Poet’s Pub again. Today’s prompt is for list poems. The link goes live at 8:00pm BST; that’s 3:00pm EST in the US.

The Fangenschnapp

The fangenschnapp is a scrumtangulous fish;
it keeps its teeth in a mulberry dish
while it sleeps all day in a polonia tree
by the shore of the Abresian Sea.

To see these creatures at their best
you should watch them as they build their nests.
The male is brave; he takes great risks
by entering kitchens where he steals egg-whisks.

He carries them back to his intended mate
who reclines on the beach drinking Cabernet
until she sees a whisk that she likes,
whereupon she suddenly strikes

the male on his spindly legs ….
Seven days later she lays her eggs
and settles down to watch ballet
wearing nothing but a blue beret.

It takes four weeks for the eggs to hatch,
then the adults go hunting for fresh brandy snaps,
which they catch at the bottom of wells,
to feed their young, for they’ll eat nothing else.

The fangenschnapp is a scrumtangulous fish;
it keeps its teeth in a mulberry dish.

© 2014 A B Maude

Today at dVerse, I’ve challenged the pub clientelle to write Nonsense Verse in the style of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear et al. Go on, try it. It’s not as easy as it looks.

To Break a Man

To break a man
you must poison his mind until it screams.
To break a man
bury him in blame and shame. If you can,
annihilate his hope and destroy his dreams,
then crush the last vestige of his self-esteem
to break a man.

© 2014 A B Maude

It’s my turn to act as host over at dVerse. Today I’m inviting the pub clientelle to consider the effect of repetition in poetry. The link goes live at 8:00pm BST (that’s 3:00pm EST in the US)


The poet takes his seat, turns on his light;
he doesn’t mean to waste another day.
He lifts his pen, then wonders what to write;
his neighbour starts her car and drives away.
He flips his lap-top open, just to check
for status updates … and to read his mail.
At solitaire he fails to clear the deck,
he needs another coffee, his mind’s stale.
He stands and clears the clutter from his desk
then stares at the reflections on the pond
where nodding coots are busy building nests …
and all too soon the hours have come and gone;
it’s not his fault there was no time to write.
He lowers his pen, then switches off the light.

© 2014 A B Maude

Today at dVerse I’m inviting the pub clientelle to consider matters of rhyme. What better way than to ask them to write sonnets? This one is in the Shakespearean (or English) sonnet form, which seems appropriate given that Shakespeare would have been celebrating his 450th (or thereabouts) birthday last week.

A Long Hard Night

A long hard night we had of it,
throwing our nets over the side,
then hauling them back to our boats.

He came when we were mending nets
the next day. The carpenter’s son
called us by name, Simon, Andrew,
John and James,

come, follow me. He told us tales
of weeds and wheat, of coins and sheep,
and sons returned. With just his words
he healed

the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised
the dead to life. We hoped that he
had come to set Israel free. Then
he died.

A long hard night we had of it,
lying awake, unable to sleep,
afraid of the knock that would mean
we were next.

© 2014 A B Maude

It’s been quiet around here for a long time – too long.

Tonight it’s my turn to host Meeting the Bar at the dVerse Pub. I’ve written an article inviting blank verse where the focus is on the rhythm of a poem rather than any specific form or other poetic device.