Writing 101, day 20 – “The things we treasure”

I have many special treasures

I’ve collected through the years

Most of which have brought me joy

But some have brought me tears

I keep them in a special box

But get them out once in a while

For each of them bring pleasure

Memories with a smile

Too many to mention every one

So here are just a few

A sharing of some memories

Especially for you.

My Yogi Bear spoon free with Cornflakes

When I was a lad

A Batman card from bubblegum

Many sticks of which I’ve had

A ticket from a discotheque

From nineteen seventy-seven

One from an unpronounceable place

I went in Wales when eleven

A William Wordsworth poems book

Page thirty-five my favourite still

“I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vale and hill”

A Nineteen Fifties ration book

A great aunt left for me

Complete with unused coupons

For eggs and cheese and tea

A ticket to see Van Gogh’s museum

Amsterdam in seventy-eight

An art college trip I almost missed

When I overslept and was very late

And finally a drawing

By my daughter, all of three

A very treasured picture of

Her Daddy in a tree

©Jemverse (June 2014)



Writing 101: day 19 – “Rhyme”

So here goes nothing for the challenge today

It’s going be fun, if not messy

For I’ve to ‘free-write’ at least 400 plus words

That’s a a tall order and really quite stressy

Particularly when I am told that I must

Keep on typing once I have begun

And not pause for a breath or an edit, or even

Second-guess what I’ve done

I’m not at all sure what ‘trash talking’ is

But that’s something else I can’t do

I’ve just got to write and hope the result

Works well as a poem for you

The one thing I can do, which seems a bit daft

Is write about something that’s silly

A subject I haven’t thought to tackle before

(What rhymes there? I know – piccalilli).

Actually whilst we’re there on that theme

I can tell you that I’ve never much liked

Pickled onions, or anything else that is dipped

In vinegar that I despise.

But pickles and vinegar is not what I want

To waste time on the words that would take

Instead I’d rather just talk about rhyme

(What rhymes with that? Oh, I know – mistake)

But don’t get me wrong, that’s not what I’m saying

It’s no error to talk about rhyme

One just needs some patience, a thesaurus perhaps

That, and a good deal of time

For rhyme is a pedantic beast I have found

Sometimes it works for you well

But somedays, when it’s sulking or in a bad mood

It can make your writing like hell

There are some words that rhyme and some that don’t

Look for antepenultimate stress

Or if you’re really clever and know your words well

There’s always pre-antepenultimate stress

You see what I did there? I cheated a bit

Used the same word to fit in a rhyme

But I don’t like to do that as it’s not the done thing

Well not least most of the time.

For to me all my words, the ones that I know

And the new ones I learn on the way

Are like colours on a palette that I use to paint

Life in words that I see every day

There are beautiful words and ones that are horrid

There are those that make you feel sad

There are those that bring a smile to your eyes

And there are those which make you quite mad

And most of the time, the words that I write

Have like a rhythm to flow

With a timbre and cadence that follows with ryhme

(What rhymes with that? Oh…come on – you know!)

… … … … …




Writing 101: Day 19 – Don’t stop the rocking.  Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

And that’s honestly what I’ve done here – Non-stop typing, no self-editing, no ‘trash talking’ (whatever that is) and no second guessing. I just went and here it is – all 400+ words of it.

What do you think? Comments below…



On page

Writing 101: day 18 – “Robber lady”

The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, has come to evict Mrs Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years. Write this story in the first person, told by the 12-year old sitting on the stoop across the street

Not really sure what’s going on

At the house across the street

But the law’s on Mrs Pauley

Who’ve I’ve always thought was sweet

That big fat bloke is with them

The one who upset Mum

I don’t like him much because of that

As it made her sad and glum

Just like Mrs Pauley looks

As the cops lead her away

I’d really love to know what she has done

On this lovely summer’s day

Maybe she’s a robber

Who’s robbed a grocery store

And hidden all the loot

Beneath her shabby kitchen floor

Or maybe the way she acts quite sweet

Is really just a lie

And she’s really rather horrible

And, like the fat man, makes you cry

Mrs Pauley, robber lady

I’m pleased you have been caught

‘Cos it’s not nice for you to do that

Instead of paying as you ought

She’s in the cop car now and is

Looking rather sad

Quite unlike the fat man

Who’s looking really glad

I hope nice people move in next

Someone my age would be great

‘Cos when you’re twelve, it’s not the best of things

To hang with sisters who are eight.

©Jemverse (25 June 2014)

This was quite a difficult challenge to put into verse. However, I reasoned that a 12-year old (we don’t know whether it’s a girl or a boy) wouldn’t care about Mrs Pauley’s history; they probably wouldn’t even know. All they’d see is the perspective from their viewpoint. Excitement, police and a little old lady being led away. Imagination runs wild and turns supposition into fact.


Writing 101: day 17 – “Wasps”

I’ve always wondered what’s the point

Of wasps, the horrid things

With their intrusive little buzzing ways

And their nasty little stings

I’ve got used to Bumbles and even bees

(except when in a swarm)

But I do so hate those waspy things

When it’s nice outside and warm

Why can’t they all just go away

And leave me well alone

‘Cos when they’re out there buzzing round

I’ll just stay at home



Writing 101, day 17 – “Your personality on the page” – What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. If you’re up for a twist, write this post in a style that’s different from your own.

Addressing my worst fear – wasps – is enough for me I think; forget the twist.

Wish I could say the same of wasps!

Writing 101: Day 16 – “Found”

I’ve found it at last

It was lost but now found

And that’s good – it’s quite a relief

For despite all the hunting

In the obvious places

It was gone, such was my belief

Perhaps I had binned it

Or filed it away

To be found many years down the line

And puzzled over

By some other person

As to misdemeanour or crime

I thought I had slipped it

Inside a newspaper

Or a magazine in my bag

But having been through them

All several times

I’d not found it such was the drag

Given up then I had

A mystery to me

No clues had I where it lay

Until quite by chance

I happened on it

Right at the end of the day

So I’ve found it at last

I’m at peace once again

The niggling worry is gone

I’ll be off now to home

No more work for me

Now all the searching is done






Writing 101: Day 15 “Beach Dreams”

Beach Dreams festival cancelled? Surely that can’t be right?

We were only sent the running order just the other night.

And we’ve been preparing for it now for weeks, we’re pretty nearly there

The instruments are ready and we’re sorted what we’ll wear.

Who’s to blame for that decision at this eleventh hour?

Who’s got the right to cancel, who’s even got that power?

Oh them! That bunch of charlatans, you’re serious I think

That really is disastrous and it’s going to cause a stink.

All the people who were coming will be very, very sad

And  the bands who’ve been rehearsing will be livid, if not mad

So, do you know what we’re going to do, despite what has been said?

We’re going to boycott that decision – Beach Dreams is going ahead!

… … … … …



JUNE 20, 2014
Writing 101, Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You
You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!

The Beach Dreams community festival in Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex (UK) is now in its 15th year. Originally a one-off family event to showcase a community samba band formed specifically for the occasion and the brainchild of a very special vicar, Father Marcus Ronchetti, the festival has gone from strength to strength and, even though Father Marcus has moved on, the true spirit of what Beach Dreams set out to do lives on. It’s a lot different to those early days but retains its family feel. Held annually over a weekend in June, the festival now attracts thousands of people from all over Sussex and provides a showcase for unsigned local bands. Beach Dreams – run by the community for the community.

Fortunately, what the poem suggests is fictitious; this hasn’t happened and hopefully never will.



Writing 101: day 14 – “Page 29”

First word that I came to

On page twenty-nine

Was one that is quite tricky

To weave into any line

For the book that I had nearest to hand

Was the Oxford Dictionary

Rather wished I had instead

Picked up on ‘airy-fairy’!

But no, I’ll stick with what I’ve got

And find a way somehow

Of getting the word ‘ajuga’ in

To what I’m writing now

It is a plant quite like the bugle

In shape I think, not sound

And so ‘ajuga’ is now within these lines

The first and last one that I found.

… … … …



Today’s ‘Writing 101’ challenge is headed “To whom it may concern”:

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.

And I get the word ‘ajuga’! Brilliant!


Writing 101: Day 13 – “Flower”

Found a freedom in the day that the flower opened its fragrance to me

Saw at once the depths of its pleasure confirmed unequivocally

Spent a while with the breezes of seldom, paused at the bridge of relief

Smiled as the waters released their freedom absolutely to me

Wondered at the dream that had led me to them, refused to submit to the day

But knew for certain the moment was ending as movement began where I lay

Sleep, its dove-cote doors of slumber relinquished its hold once again

And I found myself back in the land of the living as the sun hastened in a new day.

… … …




Writing 101: day 12 “Having a chat”

Father God I’m sitting here and it’s twenty-five to eight

We have time to kill this morning and not much fear of being late

The children have had their breakfast and, as seems to be the rule

Are watching something naff on tele before off they go to school

And I’m thinking in this moment I should spend some time and pray

Give you all the things that fill my each and every day

But I don’t know how to start it, sounds dreadful, yes, I know

What to say to you my Father before on my way I go

So I guess I’ll sit here for a while and talk about my life

My home, my work, my family, my leisure time, my wife

For I know that when my children tell me about their day

Some little thing that’s happened in their own and special way

I am inclined to listen, dropping anything I do

And it really must, I reckon be just the same with you

So here I am, your child, telling you about my day

Just asking you to listen in my own and special way

It would be so easy just to mention all the naff things in this world

Because we’re really spoilt for choice as the daily news unfurls

But those would just be empty words filling up a space

They wouldn’t really mean much with no compassion, care or grace

And really, if I’m honest, sometimes it’s hard I find

To talk about these distant things with worries on my mind

So I think it’s more important to bring these things to you

As they’ll have a bigger impact on what I say and do

I want to thank you God for listening, for being there a while

For that feeling of contentment, for that endearing smile

It’s all I need to keep me, safe throughout this day

Knowing that you’re always there in all I do and say

You’re there in every single thought, there in every whim

Protecting and upholding me, keeping me from sin

And yes I mess it up sometimes, I’m fallible I know

But I know that you have saved me by this warming inner glow

It’s good to have these little chats, thanks for listening again

It’s good to know you’re there for me and that you’re always just the same

Time to go now, catch the train, take Holly off to school

Face the day that’s up ahead, the norm it seems, the rule

But this morning there is something else deep down there inside

Something to keep me smiling instead of trying to hide.

…  …  …  …

©Jemverse (October 2001)



Writing 101: day 11 – “Lawn View”

Lawn view was its name, rambling by nature

Five floors and five bedrooms to boot

Croquet lawns opposite, tennis courts too

Open fires and chimneys and soot

Apple trees in the garden, climbing ones too

A pantry and stone cobbled floors

Secret passage in the attic, hiding places galore

Dark corners and Victorian doors.

Too cold in the winter, ice inside and out

No warmth save the drawing room fire

Short trouser shivers, cold naked knees

Bedtimes were dreadful and dire.

But a haven in summer when school was out

The verandah in sunshine haze

Those halcyon years smiled upon now

As I remember those precious days.




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