Weds poetry prompt: ‘Mr. Negative’

mr miserable

This week’s prompt: Write a ‘negative’ poem

‘Mr. Negative’

I’m often accused
Of my mind being skewed
Towards doom and gloom
And a cynical tendency
Of believing worst-case scenarios;
(Negative by name, negative by nature)
But don’t blame me
For taking a bitter stance,
Considering the circumstance
And hardly desirable traits
Of the ugly world around us;
For one might evade pain
And deceptive little games
By not having blind faith
In those who masquerade
As someone who gives a damn…

To trust is to be hurt
At some later point
When they’ve utterly exhausted
Your wavering usefulness
And discard you ruthlessly;
To believe the worst
From the very beginning
Is the best way of living,
To avoid disappointment
And pointless sniffles and tears-
Or maybe I’m just a grumpy bastard,
So blinded by anger of the past
That I can’t see the wood
For the vexing trees in front of me
And thus can’t see the light
Hiding in plain sight
Even within the darkest times.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

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Weds poetry prompt: ‘The Quiet Warrior’


This week’s prompt: Write a weapon poem

So this marks my 500th(!) post for the blog – so what better way to commemorate than a poem about the power of words 🙂

‘The Quiet Warrior’

I try my utmost
To be unassuming
On immediate surface,
But underneath
Is my secret weapon;
My armoury of words
Just waiting to strike
When the time is right.

Amongst these tools
Are sure-fire implements
To outwit life’s fools-
The piercing refusals
To silence all pleading,
The damning truths
That stab like daggers-
Blades to conquer all others.

Also, answers impenetrable
To any irrational argument-
Cased in the sacred armour
Of careful and rational thought-
These are the armaments
Of the quiet and studious warrior-
The paced, deliberate strategy
Of our once supposed timidity.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

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Weds poetry prompt: ‘The Impossible Day’ /End of April PAD Challenge


This week’s prompt: Write an ‘impossible’ poem

And just like that, straight back to the weekly prompts – and now I shall be taking a few days respite from poetry! This poem may well sum up a struggle most of us are familiar with, especially anyone else who undertook the April PAD Challenge…never enough hours in the day…

‘The Impossible Day’

It feels like it’s impossible
To squeeze it all in
Within the waning day,
Getting in exercise daily
Is surely the stuff of fantasy,
Time purely to myself
Is constantly shelved,
Moments to stop and breathe
Are merely found in stories,
Chances to catch up with friends
Are frustratingly condensed,
The hours to read all those books
Become minutes for a quick look,

We can but do our best
To steal back slivers of time,
By daring to coldly deny
Those who threaten to use it
On irksome trivialities;
We can decide what is possible
By breaking chains of expectation.


And here for your perusal, the fruits of the previous month’s labours -a list of each of the poems, with links, that I wrote for this year’s April PAD Challenge – to now be re-read, revised, etc. I am in the process of putting together a collection that will incorporate poems from this and previous years…and looking for publishers/competitions to submit to…so watch this space…

  1. Precious Mornings
  2. The Fate of the Stress Collector
  3. Truth in Claws
  4. An Ode to Pablo Picasso
  5. The Glowing Thief
  6. After Uni
  7. Writing Through Green Eyes
  8. The Power of Seven
  9. Lovebirds
  10. Lone Wolf
  11. To Distant Friends
  12. The Art of Avoiding Confrontation
  13. View from the Spare Room Window
  14. In Defence of Essex
  15. The Folly of Cold Hard Prediction
  16. Releasing the Red
  17. Reasons to Wake Up 
  18. Little Irritants
  19. A Poetic License Revoked
  20. The Cave
  21. Behind Veil of Scribble
  22. Yours Insincerely
  23. The Cost of Growing Up
  24. Complete Madness
  25. Exile from a Screen
  26. Slivers of Stillness
  27. Up and Down and All Around
  28. The Stress Collector’s Nightmare
  29. Monday Again
  30. How to Stop Losing Yourself

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback –


2019 April PAD Challenge Day 30: ‘How to Stop Losing Yourself’ #aprpad


Day 30’s prompt: Write a ‘stop’ and/or ‘don’t stop’ poem

So once again, we’ve reached the end of another April PAD Challenge. These year’s prompts have produced some interesting results for me for sure – I’ve written about the life of Pablo Picasso, red balloons full of anxiety, how much Mondays suck, the perils of social media etc. I hope you enjoy the final poem today, and that it provides some useful advice as well (again, need to follow my own…)

As I generally do with ‘Two for Tuesday’ prompts, this incorporates both…

‘How to Stop Losing Yourself’

Stop doing little favours
That take up the whole day,
Stop adding to the pile
And smiling through denial,
Stop flapping over tiny things
Before they swell uncontrollably,
Stop giving precious time
To dismissive, uncaring eyes,
Stop sacrificing sleep
For red tape and bureaucracy.

But don’t stop being yourself
When the day is said and done,
And don’t stop believing
In the dreams beyond this banality.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback –


2019 April PAD Challenge Day 29: ‘Monday Again’ #aprpad


Day 29’s prompt: Take the phrase “(blank) Again,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write your poem. 

‘Monday Again’

And so the day rolls around again,
When it’s all on your shoulders
Because of excuses of others;
Tasks not yet completed
Despite repeated reminders,
Questions vexingly presented
That you’d never know the answer to.

It all seems even more tiresome
After two days of freedom,
When none of this mattered.
But somehow we blunder through
From one hour to the next
Without shouting or screaming
Or wringing someone’s neck.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback –


2019 April PAD Challenge Day 28: ‘The Stress Collector’s Nightmare’ #aprpad


Day 28’s prompt: Write a remix poem. That is, remix one of your poems from earlier in the month. 

So this ended up being a sort of sequel/reversal of Day 2’s poem – was quite interesting to re-write the poem with a different intent…

‘The Stress Collector’s Nightmare’

The Stress Collector is taunted
By visions of his balloons
Strewn in tattered remains,
A dancing pin thrust at last.

The cursed bottle is now open,
All thoughts and emotions on show,
The release he tried to escape
Has finally been unleashed.

His addiction is no more,
A collection of worries cut short,
And coveted worse-case scenarios
Are lost to the yawning wind.

The tight hold he once had
On these fantasies of futility
Is now forever out of reach-
His perfect anxieties tainted.

It was out of his control,
When the burst had come,
His breath had overtaken him
And released the worst of him.

He’d blown with all his might,
Blinded himself by the burn
Of panic’s deadly fire,
Unable to stop where he had before.

It was not his fault,
All he had tried to do
Was make tiny worries bigger,
Not blow them to smithereens.

But now it was too late,
The lethal gas was in the air,
Pure, undiluted anxiety
Clouding everyone else as well.

This had not been in his intent,
He wanted it all to himself,
Selflessly hoarding the world’s problems
In a row of red balloons.

He wakes up with a start,
Realising it was only a nightmare;
His paranoia still safely encased,
Such was the want of the Stress Collector.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback –


2019 April PAD Challenge Day 27: ‘Up and Down and All Around’ #aprpad

Confusing Directional Signs

Day 27’s prompt: Pick a direction, make that the title of your poem, and then, write. your poem.

Naturally, I was reluctant to conform to a particular direction for this one- so enjoy this twisted (*cough*) take on the prompt…

‘Up and Down and All Around’

They tell me things are looking up,
And that my chin should firmly point
In that direction as well,
(Even if the mind insists
On pivoting firmly downwards)
They’ll try to convince me
That it’s the only way from here
(Regardless of the direction
I’ve just stumbled in from).

The truth is, my perpetual state
Both mentally and geographically,
Is quite frankly, all over the place-
Not confirming to points on a compass
Or some vague hand gesture-
Up, down, left, right, whatever,
They all apply on my anxious map
Of haphazard lines and dead ends,
But somehow, I cope and soldier on.

Not necessarily ahead-but somewhere,
The thrill lies in finding out
A destination when I come to it-
So don’t talk to me of looking up,
Or warn me off looking down,
My head is like a merry-go-round
Always arriving at an answer eventually,
Even after all the spinning and fretting.

Last year’s poem for Day 27: ‘Stories Without Glory’

Speaking of things without a clear direction…

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback –