Weds poetry prompt: ‘blackdog.exe’


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


I feel like a corrupt file
Searching for its place
In an uncaring space
That only permits perfection
Into its hallowed conception,
No room for a wretch like me,
Tainted by the cruel infirmity
Of flawed mood and mind,
Never able to quite find
The code of contentment,
Instead, stuck in resentment;
Sickness through self-doubt,
Unable to act or speak without
Second-guessing myself;
It ain’t good for my health
But right now it’s all I know
This deep spiral of sorrow.

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

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The ‘To Read’ List (Updated 22nd January 2018)


EDIT: Updated 22nd January 2018 – Alias Grace and The Blind Assassin added to list.

Last update to this was way back in August, apologies – but rest assured I have been reading since then (honest!)…

…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: ‘Little Niggles’


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

Little Niggles

Those tiny irritants
And tongue-biting habits
That cause the grief
Of constantly clenched teeth
And many an involuntary twitch
Can soon rapidly multiply,
Becoming an unholy mass
Of abhorrent annoyance
And blood-boiling anger.
What started as little niggles
Threaten to become titanic
If kept bottled in the humble vessel
Known as the human body,
That can only take so much;
It has a certain limitation
For unreleased frustrations,
Ensuring certain annihilation
If kept confined to chests
Or at least, a pained, wailing roar
From a face that can’t take anymore.

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

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‘Blue Monday’ /Writing Resolutions so far!


So today is ‘Blue Monday’
Or so they say,
Hang on, who is ‘they’ anyway?
Why, a purveyor of sunny holidays,
Who are hoping you’ll pay to fly far away
To keep post-Christmas blues at bay.

I mean, they must be right,
We must escape those cold, dreary nights
By giving ourselves that fleeting high
Of booking some random flight,
Run away to the heat, and hide;
Unfulfilled resolutions, out of sight, out of mind.

Today marks a day of which the concept I was not previously aware of, ‘Blue Monday’  ; supposedly the most depressing day of the year, according to various factors. As you can surmise from reading the linked Wikipedia article, the ‘calculation’ is largely based on absolute nonsense, inspiring me to write the slightly cheeky poem you see above. Yes, it is raining outside here in the UK today and in all honesty I rather would be on a beach somewhere, but it is also my day off, meaning that I have been able to get some writing done and look into potential submissions while my cat sleeps on my lap, coffee still within my reach. Doesn’t sound like too bad a day to me! Reading about the ‘failed New Year’s resolution’ factor, however, did prompt me to have a look at my previous post, detailing my writing new year’s resolutions for 2018, to see how I was getting on so far…

  1. Produce more content for the blog

Well, I’d say this post was a good start, seeing as it is not a Wednesday Poetry prompt nor part of any Poem-a-Day challenge. I do still need to figure out exactly what I want to post regularly on this blog though. Perhaps Mondays can continue to be pensive musings like this one…

2. Establish more of a presence on social media/online in general

This is something I’m still working on, trying to motivate myself to post something or at least engage with others daily, and also get things going on my Youtube channel (which already has a few videos of me performing – check them out!)

3. Submit more poetry for publication and competitions/put another poetry collection together

This is basically what I’ve spent most of this morning looking into! I think I’ve found somewhere to submit my 2015 and 2016 November Poem-a-Day Chapbooks (and the 2017 one has been submitted for that year’s competition), and I’ve also began the process of putting together a second full-length collection, with the intention to submit somewhere for publication – likely collating poems together around the theme of mental health, which I have discussed before as being a recurring theme in a lot of my work. So I will be very busy on that front 🙂

4. Continue being active in the Open Mic/Spoken Word circuit

I’ve already put myself forward to perform at this event in March, and there will be other events I hope to perform at as well 🙂

5. Work on my novel, as well as the short stories I have on the back burner…

…Still working on this! I need to figure out a healthy poetry/prose balance in my life…

6. Read more!

I am starting to get into the habit of winding down with a book before I go to bed in the evenings (instead of looking at a screen…), meaning I have been a lot more productive in my reading since Christmas. I intend to keep this up…

7. Start that other blog I’ve been meaning to for ages…


My blog around a video game series that has became a great passion of mine is making steady progress. I have a domain set up, and have started work on content steadily. Expect to see it live by the end of the month, or in early February, hopefully 🙂

So yeah, not doing so bad too far, I think! Hope fellow writers out there are beating those January blues and keeping productive too!

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

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Weds poetry prompt: ‘The Wrath of the Writer’


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

This one sort of became more about questioning the idea of something being harmless at first glance, but hopefully still fits the criteria of the prompt! I’m sure fellow writers will agree with the sentiment, at any rate…

The Wrath of the Writer

Whoever said words were harmless
Has clearly never been on
The receiving end of a writer’s wrath;
For words are their weapon of choice
Whether in harsh ink or voice;
Those cutting “k’s”, stabbing like a knife,
Or venomous “sssss’s”, with deadly bite,
Their point is clearly made,
A pen becomes a dagger, thrust into the skulls
Of those foolish enough to cross the writer,
Because writing is their chosen revenge
In a world ravaged by so much inelegant noise.

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

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‘Leave the Past Behind’ / Nov PAD Challenge 2017 chosen poems


So following on from my previous post about the Nov PAD Challenge, I am now nearing completion of the ‘next steps’ and submission for the competition, having now selected the poems for inclusion and revising parts here and there. One poem that saw a lot of revision and re-working was ‘Leaves of Change’, now titled ‘Leave the Past Behind’ , which I present for your perusal today. Change is indeed something that ended up becoming a running theme through the poems, leading me to choose the title of the overall chapbook as ‘Changing Lanes’ – though this may be subject to change (ha!) if I think something else fits better before the final deadline of 15th January for submission.

Anyway! Here is the revised poem originally written for Day 19:

Leave the Past Behind

Summer sheds her dress
As we speed past dying trees
Driving to our next life;
We witness once-green leaves
Wither to sallow, sickly browns,
Sinking slowly into the ground.
But through less cynical eyes
They are perhaps turned gold
Still shimmering in the wind,
To then join a crunching carpet brimming
With abundant possibilities.
We stop here, so we may start anew,
Meaningless cloth is cast aside,
A cold breeze breathes upon our bare skin
As we run care-free through the leaves;
We then share chilled wind’s embrace
Allowing our dreams to lead the way
In the journey to a happier place.


And, these are the 15 poems from the 30 day challenge that were ultimately chosen for inclusion, in the chosen order:

  1. Say Something If You’re There (Day 9)
  2. What I Meant to Say (Day 17)
  3. Waking Dissonance (Day 14)
  4. Chasing the Light (Day 26)
  5. New Day (Day 1)
  6. This Life TBD (Day 12)
  7. Sapphire City (Day 13)
  8. Nameless Roads (Day 10)
  9. Reality [Remixed] (Day 25)
  10. Stranger Souls (Day 15)
  11. The Map of the Sky (Day 6)
  12. New You, Before a New Day (Day 29)
  13. Leave the Past Behind (see above – originally ‘Leaves of Change written for Day 19)
  14. Preface to Another Life (Day 23)
  15. Remembered by the Words (Day 24)

Anyone else still currently deliberating their poem choices/title for the challenge? I do find it fascinating to see what it leaves me with every year, definitely a great motivator for writing poetry…

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

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Weds poetry prompt: ‘The Calming Code’


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

The Calming Code

Just what is the password
To a peaceful existence?
What is the secret combination
To serenity and contentment?
What are the elusive letters
When once arranged together
In a certain, yet arbitrary manner,
Will assemble into that mystic key
Which unlocks the calm thought lost in me?
Whether it be some soothing mantra
Or a cryptic lyric within life’s song,
The search for it keeps me strong;
Striving past incorrect guesses
By dreaming of future successes,
I am determined to crack the code
That enlightened souls already know.

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

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