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The Rikweb Forum • View topic - NaPoWriMo 2006 drafts

NaPoWriMo 2006 drafts

Various miscellanea concerning Rik's poetic endeavours

NaPoWriMo 2006 drafts

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:00

Originally posted to the pffa websites - this thread is just the poems, no fluff.

Current status of poems (7 Dec 08):
Abandoned - 9 days
In abayence - 4 days
Untouched, awaiting redraft - 4 days
Undergoing redraft - 3 days
Redrafting complete - 10 days
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1 April: When the Battle Ends

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:16

Look out of the window: see how
the sparrowhawk plucks feathers, how
the pigeon flaps grit over the path?

I bought a brace of feathers once,
tied them to my arms and flapped -
elbows held acute above the shoulders.

Look at you, crying. Why cry over
the carcass of a bird you've never loved?
You need new eyes to see beyond
the unzipped barbs along the quill

Status: Redrafting complete
Final version:
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2 April: Mad Mary

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:17

She plucks history from the soil -
a poison-blue bottle here, a clipped
coin for which a man was hung. Each gives
her fingers a fuzz of images, a chain
daisying back from disposal to creation.

She does not touch people: the immediacy
of their sweat hurts her temples. Instead
she collects their detritus to review
their stories; keeps a library
of her favourite episodes in a pocket
away from the rain, where she can browse
through them randomly as she walks.

Status: Redrafting complete
Final version:
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3 April: Rogues

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:18

A grift of sunshine teases bulbs
to bloom through the snow. Purple petals
crease with the tread of bootstamps
across the lawn. Cold air huffs
through a window's gap; a policeman paints
the frame, looking for clues. Blocks
of fridges leak coolant on the driveway,
vapours to heist a layer of sky.
Folk gather to gawp at the crime,
hands covering whispers, incitements
to gossip, judge, convict. Bricks
support an unwheeled car where kids
catalyse a game of cops and robbers -
they'll harvest the world for a laugh.

Status: Redrafting complete
Final version:
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4 April: A man once grew a universe

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:19

Somewhere in the dark he rips a page
from a periodical, licks the husks
of bookworms from penny-a-word adverts.

Shelves squeak like the drain rats
as knowledge settles in heaps, unindexed,
when he scavenges their racks for glue.

In one nest a skylight high above
brightens and darkens like a heartbeat,
feeds his mouldering stacks with moisture.

He knows there is an exit - he saw it
framed in wood, with steps, once
when he was searching for fresh inks.

He scrapes thin fingers through his beard,
its turban curls an itch of galaxies
stitched in place by threads from his vest.

Status: Undergoing redraft
Current version:
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5 April: Something Maurice learned from a book

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:20

He once read of an ant
whose purpose in life
was to climb a grass stalk
to grow a mushroom,
whose spores would fall
on the ants below
as they trundled between
their gardens and nests.

And when the spore touched
a new ant it would grow
a thread up between
the leg and the belly,
and knit its slow way
through muscle and fat
to hug the mind
of its new best friend

whose purpose in life
changed to embrace
the love of long stalks
and daredevil walks
to the top of the world
where with care it would raise
its great belly above
its head, and so bloom.

Status: Undergoing redraft
Current version:
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April 6: Whitehall

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:21

"A fire destroyed Whitehall, the largest and ugliest palace in Europe", Duc de Saint-Simon, 1698

When I walk drunk through Saint James's Park
late, late at night I can smell the flames.

There was a map of this palace, but it burned
with the Dutch maid who fired her master's bed.

The ambassador kept an office above a room
where pigs were stalled; they paid a better rent.

I see these things when I'm drunk in Whitehall,
walking straight within the machine gun's sights.

Ghosts pack this street like grenades in a box:
horses trot through taxis soliciting trade.

I wave to Guido. He's waiting to be strung up
and disembowelled. Charles shakes in the cold air.

Still the starling cloud wheels, their parliament
an exercise in precision, beauty and noise.

Status: Redrafting complete
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7 April: Snowdrop (excerpt)

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:22

Beneath her feet they file in line:
the leader a lad who limps with a stick
towards a hollow wedged in the hill;
then comes the betsy, his clothes a bustle
of rags and patches - he pipes a roulade
of whistles and hisses through whiskers and teeth.
The troupe behind him trample and clap
to echo the beat, eager to reach
the performance space. Prancing at the back,
the hoodener twirls his totem high -
a fear of bone and broken feathers
impaled on a pole, its painted skull
a chamber of echoes for the clacking champ
of its metalled jaw. A man the size
of a sturdy house is heaping a stream
of abuse on the rider - a boy who lies
on a bed of bramble with bouts of laughter
bubbling smears of snot down his chin.

Status: Undergoing redraft
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8 April: Eight April

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:23

On this day
died Lorenzo, the Man
collecting rebirths
from a shrinking bank,
balancing states
like plates on sticks,
damned at death, perhaps.

On this day
birthed and died Henry,
ennobled on a dead port,
a glorious instigator
of Dutch invasions,
his last breaths proud
and drunk in London

On this day
The Senate of the United States shall be composed
of two Senators from each State, elected by the people
thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one
vote. The electors in each State shall have
the qualifications requisite for electors of the most
numerous branch of the State legislatures.

On this day
died Pablo, a cube
of infidelities
collaged through canvas,
a spike of spite,
nuanced detritus
left intestate.

On this day
the State strangled Dietrich,
a pastor from Breslau
and Bekennende Kirche
and the world, who opposed;
bid by Christ, he swung
religionless.

On this day
the sun shines in London,
there are buds on the sycamore
and children make play
in Kingsmead's playground;
I type, my lover showers,
soon we shall eat.

Status: Abandoned
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9 April: The Place Maker

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:23

I met Mother Drum when she came for beer,
her hair in a net and her tongue in gear:

she believed the mayor took backhanded cash
and offered his friends good contracts for trash;

she knew that the sewers were stuffed with snakes
which fed on pet cats and poisoned the lakes;

she witnessed the vicar steeped in sin
teaching the alterboys how to drink gin;

she heard that the doctor killed on demand
and sold newborn kids for ten thousand pounds;

she once found a needle stuck in a bun
bought from the grocer who had a bent son;

she told the police about the black man
building his bombs in the back of his van;

her son was a waste of time and good space -
one day he'd kill her, inherit her place.

Status: Redrafting complete
Final version:
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10 April: The Hooden Dance (part 1)

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:24

"There comes a time when ice defines
the fields, and ditches freeze
as solid as the stiffened corpse
swung high to tease the breeze.
The snow will gather in the streets
and cattle in their barns
and folks will gather round the fires
to watch the hooden dance.

"Now I's the Betsy, can't you tell?
My dress is made of silk!
my stocking cotton comes from France,
my gloves is white like milk.
My hair is fair, my heart is strong,
my honour is intact -
and I'll be first to clump the arse
of those who doubt these facts!

"This troupe of vagabonds and thieves
are here to tell a tale
of how the Lord our God Above
became a man so frail
that He could die upon the cross
in anger and in shame
and in His death to bring to us
forgiveness in His Name!

"A thousand years and more ago
around this time of year
a woman dressed in blue became
a mother, blessed from fear
and at that time the farmyard swine
and horses, sheep and kine
raised up a din to keep away
the Devil and his kind.

"And that's what we must do tonight:
a play we must perform
to keep at bay this winter's bite
and keep our bellies warm.
Our laughs will make the Devil's head
explode in blood and bones;
our dance will stop the Devil's legs
from straying near our homes.

"So meet my troop of merry men
who've travelled far and wide
to keep this hillside safe and hale
and true to God's own side.
I'll start with Carter, built of stone -
a solid churchman, him,
who keeps the dancers out of harm
and also very slim.

"Our Carter's staff is like the wrath
of God when riled to fight
and useful too for keeping safe
our stocks of food each night.
But who would steal such frugal fare
from honest folks like us?
What kind of beast would bust the reins
of friendship, love and trust?

Status: Untouched, awaiting redraft
Current version:
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11 April: TapTap

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:25

I'm in the hunch: the space a man will take
to cuddle his computer's keyboard, fingers
jelly-tendrilled from the nostrils, stinging
their paths across the keyboard - each button
a clack of flinch at the touch. I'm in the hunch,
my eyes a squint of concentration as I watch
the magic pointer dragonfly across the screen.
My lips synchronise as they interpret guidances
displayed on crystal jewels and when
the potlatched words inspire sense to fume
in lines my leg escapes the bend of hunch
and kicks the sleeping cat in victory.

Status: Abandoned
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12 April: Foxed Verse

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:26

The quazikov can score you points
when placed upon the board,
but challenges come thick and fast
from people poorly taught
about the beasts of Barkonleigh
that roam around at night
and eat the fruit of gamgam trees
while staying out of sight.

The trial of Lingus Mascabee
took sixteen days and nights:
the prosecuter told the tale
of robbers wearing tights;
then Lingus stood and showed the court
it wasn't him because
he only had one leg - and that
was close to being lost.

Twenty men climbed up the hill
to court the Maids of Skip -
they read them screeds of poetry,
they fed them mierushlip;
they led them by the hands on walks
across the cabbage fields
where the Maids of Skip stabbed the men
and burned them with their shields.

This football game is boring us:
we want to see some skills!
We want to see the home team score
a barrowload of goals!
We want to see the referee
regain his sight and mind
and then we want to drink some beer
and sing and puke and fight!

Malley was a carpenter:
he built himself a chair
and set it up upon his roof
where he could sit and stare
at people rushing to and fro
with screams and cries of fear
while Malley shot them with his gun
and lanced them with his spear.

Status: In abayence
Current version:
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13 April: Spring Haiku

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:27

The arch of the branch
drips dew from bud to crocus:
the swallow shivers.

This waterfall roars -
lions released from the depths
hunt amid the spray.

Mud on my fingers
crumbles to beads as it dries:
seeds mixed with dead skin.

Crowds in the high street -
shoes clomping across concrete:
weeds huddle in cracks.

The first bee wanders,
a cold flight through frosty air:
spring will bloom next week.

Status: Untouched, awaiting redraft
Current version:
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14 April: Limericks for Friday

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:28

Ms Carbon Kelly from Crewe
wanted a Turn of the Screw;
she went to the theatre
for a show that would cheer her
but ended up locked in the loo!

Oxygen Ozzie from Oxtead
suffered from visions of dead
ghosts who would sing
old songs and dour hymns
when he tried to seduce his guests.

Helium Hattie from Hull
once tried to cook a seagull:
she stuffed it with vines
and poached it in wine
then choked on its egg-like skull.

Flourine Flossie from Frome
liked the glamour of chrome
she did up her halls
with metal baubles
that glowed at the height of a storm.

Status: In abayence
Current version:
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15 April: Snowdrop fragment

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:30

"I'm grateful for the time you've offered me,
performing plays and making jokes that keep
the mists at bay, but time is short: it seeps
like fog through fingers. I've no energy
for entertainments, games - the Tallyman
must take his turn to entertain his guests
and I'll be first in the queue. I'll invest
my time in whelking out his secret plans
and plots and then I'll find solutions, ways
to make him pay for leading me towards
insanity - don't grin at me, my friend!
I'm done with folks who trash my hopes and sway
my eyes with lies! He'll pay! I'll stuff his frauds
where fires don't burn and then I'll see this - end!"

Status: Abandoned
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16 April: Faith

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:31

His fortune lies in heaps
before her front door.

They sit like old lovers
to watch the sun paint clouds.

"When we burn the offerings,
do You consume the smoke?"


She pours them wine from the jar,
drinks her portion unwatered.

"I married You when I was nineteen;
I was a virgin, once".


His hands that heal choose
not to smooth her wrinkles.

He sips her libation, watches her
worlds recycle.

Status: Redrafting complete
Final version:
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17 April: Brainstorm

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:31

She's fidgeting, strained crazy by the solutions
session we have to role-play: mad ideas
from top-of-the-head envelope-pushing
scenario busters shouted out and tattooed
on big boards. Laugh, joke, perform
for the office audience - her thoughts
are tracking across brows, creasing eyes
but they can't find her lips. She slips
her arms tighter across her belly -
'failure', her toes scribble on tufts
of corporate carpet: 'no one
will network me now!'


Status: Abandoned
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18 April: Portsmouth Thoughts

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:32

After someone shot him, they took him down
below and sat with him in the rocking dark,
alert to booms and splintering wood, the stench
of sweat and powder bags. He bled inside
his skin, salty and damp, and then he died.

Heroes have statues, squares and monuments:
Who cries for the barber surgeon sunk and drowned
with his chest of knives and herbs, his leather shoe,
his dice and coins, his bone nit-comb embalmed
in Solent mud four hundred years before?

I want to stitch the wounds of the world, make whole
the earth - but the skin that holds the needle still
was once the air I breathed, the food I ate
and soon becomes the dust that feeds the mites
who breed and shit and fight for the right to survive.

Status: Untouched, awaiting redraft
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19 April: Room

Postby Rik on 03 Dec 2008, 20:33

This room has five dimensions: the first
to walk through the door; the second
to stroll alert eyes along the turrets
of magazines by the wall, or browse
fingers through heaps of dried laundry
pert on the bed. The third requires
time to test the limits of the room
as they adapt to the distance of the sun
and the angle of incidental light. Do you
have time for inspection? The fourth
needs guile - tense the hairs on your nape
and wait for the tremors of ghosts.
And the fifth dimension? I cannot say -
I only learned of its existence
when you walked through my door.

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