Weds poetry prompt: ‘Bugged by Life’


This week’s prompt: Write a ‘bug’ poem.

So I chose to combine the idiom of ‘something bugging you’ and bugs as in actual insects for this one – I’ll leave you to judge the result…!

Bugged by Life

‘What’s bugging you?’
‘Who’s pissed in your cornflakes?’
Ask those eternal irritants
Which only further frustrates
And deepens my distaste
For voices invading my headspace.

Hovering and talking away,
But ultimately saying nothing,
These vexing bugs sting not with venom,
But with tedious small-talk instead,
Threatening to take my very sanity
With babblings of utter banality.

Now don’t mistake me here,
I’m not some smug prick
Who’d compare the rest of humanity
To a bothersome cloud of flies,
But I do still savour silence
Above force-fed fakery to fill it.

So don’t drone on about the weather,
Or buzz in my ear incessantly
About petty things not worth the bother,
Talk to me of the wider world out there,
Beyond your narrow antennae,
And I might just tune you in…

…Above the noise of the many.

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

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Stu’s Writing / ‘Feel Good’ Playlist (Vol. 2)


So here we are with the next selection of tracks within my writing/feel good playlist, songs to cheer me up or lift that dreaded writer’s block. Anyone else out there have their own writing playlists? Feel free to link me or share 🙂

  1. Happy – The Lighthouse Family – ‘Who says you can’t be happy all the time?’ – well, exactly. A nice little reminder to just relax and let life float by sometimes.
  2. Imitation of Life – R.E.M. – Mellow yet upbeat at the same time, a fun one to sing along to, even if you don’t entirely understand the lyrics (a running theme with these guys I think…)
  3. Handbags and Gladrags – Stereophonics – Not bad considering this is a cover they originally recorded ‘just for a laugh!’
  4. Clocks – Coldplay – Powerful with quite an eerie, haunting feeling, this is one I constantly listen to. Have imagined this as an opening theme to a TV adaptation of a book series I’ve been working on for years, so should I ever finish writing the damn thing…
  5. Words – Doves – You might question a writer liking a song where the lyrics include ‘Words, they mean nothing’, but here it is in the context of not letting hurtful ones stop you in your tracks. A nice listen if someone’s pissed you off that day, I can assure you…
  6. Pounding – Doves – Another one from the same album, this has such an energy and reassurance to it – but perhaps a reminder time is limited as well…
  7. Just the Way I’m Feeling – Feeder – Another potential opening theme for my book series (the lyrics hint somewhat towards the themes within the story…)
  8. Love Pollution – Feeder – Again, I couldn’t just pick one from this album. A certain period in my life comes to mind whenever I listen to this – when I stopped fixating on the past and focused on who was right there in front of me…
  9. A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton – Was reminded of this one recently when I saw a rather amusing webcomic about it…
  10. Getaway – Stereophonics – One of their more soothing offerings, a nice chilled out one to listen to.

That’s it for Vol. 2! Feel free to share with me any songs you listen to to lift your mood or get your writing going 🙂

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

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Weds poetry prompt: ‘Land of Nod’


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

Land of Nod

Each and every night we drift
To the fabled Land of Nod
Where darkest desires are found
In the form of twisted dreams.
These are the restless visions
From the minds of vagabonds
Struggling to find their place
In the wretched waking world,
So seek solace in night’s arms instead,
Where wanderers are welcome,
As are souls strained by agitation
And embraced without expectation,
Here, they may find their redemption.
In this land under a lens of truth,
With no artificial rules to be made,
Nor any fruit unjustly forbade,
Travellers will arrive at the answer
And forge purpose with closed eyes,
So that upon their eventual awake,
Their life will finally be their own to make.

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

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Stu’s Writing / ‘Feel Good’ Playlist (Vol. 1)


So I’m currently attempting to put a writing/’feel-good’ playlist together, i.e. songs that always lift my mood and get my creative juices flowing. Does anyone else have to have some sort of soundtrack while writing? Would be interesting to know what my fellow creatives listen to 🙂

So here’s the first selection, with a few short words on each track.

(Currently these are in chronological order of release, but I may mess with the order a bit in future!)

  1. Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi – I can’t not sing/roar along every time I hear this. (and yeah, Gina, sometimes I dream of running away too, I feel ya girl)
  2. I Am the Resurrection – The Stone Roses – The lyrics are so deliciously venomous in this one – ‘You’re a no-one nowhere washed-up baby who’d look better dead’ is particularly satisfying. I consider this song what I’d wish to say to a particularly toxic person from my past, if I ever saw them again. (instrumental at the end is nice too)
  3. Sit Down – James – A good kick-up the rear song for when you’re feeling down; and used masterfully in a recent Game of Thrones Season 7 promo.
  4. Keep the Faith – Bon Jovi – Yeah, him again…part of the soundtrack of many a childhood car ride, and a rocking, reassurring mantra to follow in my adulthood.
  5. Lifted – Lighthouse Family – Relaxing and uplifting, one of the ultimate feel-good songs.
  6. So Young – The Corrs – Chasin’ the moon, just running wild and free – a good philosophy to live by if you ask me.
  7. Just Looking – Stereophonics – This seems to resonate more with me now as a sometimes aimless, often overly-cautious adult…
  8. Driftwood – Travis – For similar reasons as #7, I suppose. Drifting under bridges, never with the flow, indeed…
  9. Yellow – Coldplay -During their glory days, they don’t quite capture lightning like this these days, sadly…
  10. Buck Rogers – Feeder – I’m instantly a teenager in 2001 again when I hear this. I must admit, I thought it was ‘Drink cider from eleven‘ for the longest time (it’s actually ‘from a lemon’ – I guess the idea of drinking from 11am onwards seemed perfectly rational to me…)

That’s it for Vol. 1! Stay tuned for Vol. 2 to come very soon…

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

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Weds poetry prompt: ‘An Ode to Van Gogh’

Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night (1889)

This week’s prompt: Write a ‘historical persona’ poem

Blimey, I got a bit emotional writing this one! Van Gogh has always been one of my favourite artists of all time (and don’t get me started on how many tissues a certain episode of Doctor Who caused me to use), so I felt honoured to write this little tribute to him, the deeply troubled yet immensely talented artist. I’ve previously written another poem inspired by the man’s work too, so be sure to check that one out as well 🙂

So please, enjoy…

An Ode to Van Gogh

I’ve always been struck by your sunflowers,
Their round, yellow hopefulness
Revealing the precious bright spots
Within your own inner darkness.

I still stand in awe of your Starry Night
With its enchanting, swirly sky
That defies any orderly direction
But is so whimsically pleasing to the eye.

I see the true darkness of man
In the deceptive light of the Night Café,
Life’s misfits chasing green fairies
To wash away the misery of the day.

I can see your own dark heart too
That all artists know too well,
It afflicts painters and writers alike,
The crippling pain of the creatives.

But your torment made works
That stir and inspire even today,
And even deeply twisted hallucinations
Became truly beautiful creations.

I admire you from ages ahead,
Wishing we could shoot the breeze
Or that I could soften your sorrow,
But then, would your immortal name
Still be attached to such masterpieces?
This, I cannot hope to know,
But if your images draw such emotion,
Then maybe that in itself is enough.

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

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The ‘To Read’ List (Updated 6th June 2017)


EDIT: Updated 6th June 2017 –  Pompeii recently completed, review to follow. Link to review for Switch Bitch added. Misery and The Green Mile added to the list.

…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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Weds poetry prompt: ‘Silent Souls’


This week’s prompt: Write a ‘snap judgement’ poem

Silent Souls

Delicate and sensitive souls
Crack easily under life’s demands,
After burying them into the pile
Of things to be tolerated and/or ignored,
So that a strain so long suppressed
Must inevitably break and snap
Into the form of frantic outburst
And barely considered decision,
But these jumped-to judgements
Reveal the concealed wishes
Of limp and weak-willed men
That would otherwise remain hidden
In the harsh mists of silence
Never to be seen again.

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

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