Weds poetry prompt: ‘The Struggle of Stuarts (or Stewarts)’

stewert
Me holding a rather impressive mangling of my first name, which inspired this poem!

This week’s prompt:

Pick one, two, or all of the following prompts:

  1. Write a form poem. Sestina, sonnet, haiku, clogyrnach, golden shovel, etc.
  2. Write an anti-form poem. Don’t like forms? Vent about it. Or just bust free verse.
  3. Write a birthday poem.

…So I actually plumped for No. 1, quite out of character for me (I previously went for the ‘anti-form’ option when posed with a similar prompt a while ago) , but was inspired to write a clogyrnach this time (explained in the link), a form I had not attempted before. I was also inspired by the post author’s example of a Sestina in the post for this prompt, with the woes associated with his first name, so thought I’d write one about the struggles of people attempting to spell the name ‘Stuart’/’Stewart’. Maybe any fellow Stu’s/Stew’s reading this can relate! Any way, see what you think of my attempt at a clogyrnach…

The Struggle of Stuarts (or Stewarts)

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‘The Story of Charlie’ (A Pet Poem)

charlie-cropped
My handsome chap of a pet cat, Charlie 🙂

So a little while ago I wrote a poem about how myself and my partner came to own our now beloved pet cat, Charlie (all quite by chance – he really did literally find us), and I would like to share it with you all in this post 🙂 He can be a cheeky little troublemaker at times, but we both love him – and I found myself getting quite emotional as I was writing this, truth be told! Has anyone else ever been inspired to write about a beloved pet of theirs? Would love to see any other poems about pussy cats, pooches or otherwise 🙂

It’s quite a long one, so enjoy after the jump 🙂

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The ‘To Read’ List (Updated 12th July 2017)

toreadpile

EDIT: Updated 12th July 2017 – Link to review for Misery added.

…As for the subject of this post; yes, it is the dreaded ‘To Read’ pile that, for those like me who enjoy a good book, seems to grow ever bigger due to the heavy demands and committments of our everyday lives. It became a bit of a problem for me last year, as I was constantly buying books from second-hand bookshops/charity shops, thinking ‘I’ll get to all these someday’, only to find I had so many building up in my room, still unread. It was at that point I literally sorted them into a ‘To Read’ pile, and began, you know, actually reading the blasted things, further vowing to not buy anymore until I had finished them. I’ll admit I make the occassional exception – if there is a new Margaret Atwood coming out I will either buy it or ask for it as a gift, for example – but I’ve generally managed to keep to this pretty well. So, in order to keep an actual list for myself, here are all of the books that have amassed in the pile, with links to their Goodreads pages (I will give my account on there some attention as I work through all of these as well!). Click to read on…

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Why I Write Poetry: Stuart Peacock

speacock-headshot

Inspired by this post from Writer’s Digest. Why do you write poetry? Would be great to hear from fellow poets just what it is that compels them to write 🙂

Why I Write Poetry: Stuart Peacock

I’ve always found myself drawn to poetry – whether it is delivering a deeply serious message, or simply a light-hearted laundry list of words arranged in such a way to make people laugh. Deciphering the meaning behind more mystic, cryptic poems is also something I find enjoyable – as if you are cracking the poet’s secret code and being let into the state of mind that produced those stirring words.

As well as reading it, writing poetry is something I just naturally found myself doing from a young age. In the broadest sense, I suppose one of the reasons I write it as it acts as a sort of therapy, a necessary release of the thoughts constantly whirring in my brain, be they good or bad. Anxiety is something I have always struggled with in my day-to-day life, and sometimes the dreaded black dog of depression rears his ugly head as well. Writing poetry allows me to give shape and form to this inner turmoil, which for whatever reason gives me the freedom to break away from it once it is there on paper in black and white. Not that I only write on exclusively negative feelings, I should add; other times I will feel in a cheeky mood and write something that pokes fun at the ridiculousness of everyday life, sometimes the words will spark from a fond memory, or often people and places encountered in my life will provide the theme. I suppose when you come right down to it, it’s simply a compulsion in my mind, the writer’s instinct – I have to write these thoughts down and arrange them into their appropriate rhythm (it probably helps that I am a sucker for wordplay and alliteration as well).

I also want others to read my work and enjoy the words for themselves – and find their own meaning from it – even if it is one that I hadn’t necessarily intended – that is the great thing about poetry, one pair of eyes can view the words one way while another may see them completely differently. If I know someone has found the poem relatable, or it has spoken to them in some way, you really do get a very warm feeling and sense of accomplishment. Conversely, if someone can’t figure out just what the hell you’re even talking about, at least you’ve got them thinking – frustration and befuddlement are perfectly valid responses as well!

All in all, I write poetry because if I didn’t, my brain would have dissolved into a pile of goo under the weight of all the unexpressed words a long time ago by now. It’s a much needed channelling of all the constant chattering in your head, and once it is down on paper, they are your words. You did that. And for poetry and prose writers alike, that is one of the best feelings in the world.

Check out my debut poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

2017 April PAD Challenge Day 1: ‘Odd Hours’ #aprpad

wine-time

So here we go with the first day of this year’s April PAD Challenge! I will be posting a poem each day in April, derived from the prompts given at the Writer’s Digest website – of course some days may see me catching up with the previous days, but we’ll see how we go. Anyway! This is Day 1’s offering for you, the title you may notice referencing something I have previously reviewed on my blog 😉 Enjoy!

Day 1’s prompt: ‘Write a reminiscing poem’.

Odd Hours

Remembering the good times
Shared over a bottle of wine
That invariably led to another,
Fuelling our lunacy and laughter,
All part of the mutual language we spoke,
Littered frivolously with inside jokes
And a touch of tasteful crudity,
Only occasionally veering into vulgarity.

I recall nights like those with fondness
Where we embraced our oddness
Well into the smallest hours
That truly unique bond of ours.

And should you wish to reminisce further to last year:

Last year’s poem for Day 1: ‘What Makes a Fool’

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

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

The Power of Music and Rain (A Moment of Reflection)

music-and-rain

Now this post may seem a bit random at first, but I felt compelled to write it after walking home from work this afternoon. I just find it fascinating the things that can make you feel better when you’ve been feeling low, and the good vibes that suddenly start flowing through you. Now I understand I am at the risk of sounding a bit new-age and hippyish (‘Right on, man!’), but please bear with me as I describe my sudden epiphany today…

So I’ve been feeling a little depressed and/or stressed out as of late. It comes and goes, but when its at its worst I just feel awful, like a rock that just wants to lie there and not do anything or deal with anybody at all. I’ve tried various meditation techniques to try and help myself, and also have been reading the rather fabulous book Frazzled by Ruby Wax – who once upon a time was someone I absolutely couldn’t stand and found rather irritating, but I have to take my hat off for her for the good work she has done around mental health awareness. It’s no mean feat to write a book attempting to help those afflicted by stress and depression and yet be a humourous read at the same time, but she certainly manages it effortlessly.

It’s been a great help to me and calmed the rather erratic pressure cooker that is my brain somewhat. I’ve always been a mildly anxious person but lately all my worries feel like they’ve been dialled up to 11 – whether I’m writing enough, whether I’m being sociable enough, whether my friends and/or family really like me or not, whether I’m relaxing enough, whether I’m making enough time for myself, whether some random thing I said a week ago made me sound stupid or not, etc. Stupid, silly things. But it’s only after I have a near-enough meltdown about one of these that I realise just how ridiculous I’m being. It’s an extremely vicious cycle, and one I’m still trying to fully break free from.

So, cut to today at work. During a free moment I was sitting having a coffee and listening to the radio, when a familar song came on. I knew it, but couldn’t for the life of me remember who it was by. Of course, in this (debatedly) wonderful age we live in, I was able to whi out my smartphone and ‘Shazam’ it. And it turned out it was ‘Sit Down’ by James. As it turned out, I already had another of theirs on my phone, ‘Born of Frustration’, which I had obtained via the Shazam method as well at some undetermined point of time. The reason the songs were familar to me was because my Dad had been a fan of them, and I’d heard them many a time on the tape player on many a car ride in my childhood. So that already made me think of simpler, more innocent times. Noticing the link to buy their ‘Best Of’ album that both of these tracks were included on, I bit the bullet and thought ‘Why not’ – it was only £6.99 after all!

So when I left work to walk home (a half-hour walk- I really should get around to learning to drive one of these days), I found it was raining quite hard out there. Cursing myself for not thinking to bring my umbrella, I still got my headphones out (as I generally do walking to and from work) and stuck the album on as that journey’s musical accompaniment. And as I did, other tracks suddenly lit a spark in my memory as well, such as ‘She’s a Star’ and ‘Tomorrow’. It was a nice little escape to nostalgia after a long day. The lyrics of the latter particularly struck a chord with me and were a nice reassuring balm for my wittering, worrying old brain – ‘Gotta keep faith that your path will change/Gotta keep faith that your love will change tomorrow’ – a mantra that kept me (literally) pushing through the rain and on my way. I didn’t even mind the rain – I let myself feel every drop, basking in it, smiling to myself – it’s quite possible that I made myself look rather strange to anyone passing by – but I didn’t particuarly care. I suddenly had a fresh outlook on everything, maybe things aren’t so bad after all, things can only get better from here, who cares that it’s raining etc. I was feeling something after being somewhat on autopilot for what felt like the longest time. And it was through the combination of music and rain, of all things. I almost had to stop myself from just standing there dancing and singing in it.

And I think it’s a very real danger for all of us – even if you aren’t feeling stressed, depressed, or both – it’s all too easy to fall into this ‘autopilot’ and find yourself not enjoying or appreciating anything – it’s a requirement, in my eyes, to let yourself go every now and then. Listen to that old song that you haven’t heard in years. Stop a minute to look at the scenery around you. Walk a different way for once. In fact, I’m tempted to apply it to my writing – just stop thinking about it so much and see what words came out, as I have rather ended up doing with this post, to be completely honest.

I’ll be sure to let you know how I progress with the ‘sorting myself out’ thing. Maybe recently turning 30 is part of what’s causing these feelings (surely I’m too young to have a mid-life crisis already?) But today was a turning point for me, when I really wasn’t expecting it. You know what? I think it’ll all work out okay in the end. It almost always does.

With love and best wishes

Stu

Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Weds poetry prompt: ‘One Day’

wakingup

Today’s prompt: Write a ‘one’ poem.

One Day

One day we’ll wake up
With a clear plan in mind
To conquer days yet to come;
To tackle the trials of tomorrow,
The worries of coming weeks,
Nagging concerns of next month,
Crippling fears for future years,
And only one lifetime to prepare.
Eventually, it all comes together
In a time span not entirely clear,
So we wait for the elusive date
In which we awake content
And free from this frenzied state,
One day.

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

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M