a mind-reading villanelle

Second-guessing makes me lose my own mind.

Yet I spend my life seeking approval from outside.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.


I’ve begun projects then ended up frozen,

unable to complete an abandoned idea.

Second-guessing makes me lose my own mind.


Reading minds is a skill I think I’ve mastered

but it leaves my creative output empty.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.


I’d love to roam free in the land of imagination

freeing my thoughts to dance on the page.

But second-guessing makes me lose my own mind.


I can’t take the critic, it pierces and bleeds

my fragile self to the point I submit.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.


I’ve spent my life waiting for the outside judge

to give a thumbs-up to my latest fudge.

Second guessing makes me lose my own mind.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.


NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 5: write a poem in the form of a villanelle

my cruel inner judge

There’s a cruel inner judge that lives inside my head

It shuts down doors and fills me with dread.


Doling out shoulds and musts and oughts

It steals my dreams and makes me fraught.


A thought may emerge that’s shiny and hot

But the judge will shame and tarnish the shot.


When I sit to write, the judge becomes strong,

Knowing what’s right, telling me I’m wrong.


It’s scary feeling my work with no sun

Where judge lives on, my words are undone.


Scarier still is realising the fact

that judge takes control with defence and attack.


I’m scared that judge lives inside for free

and its voice sounds uncannily just like me.


NaPoWriMo Day 4: Write a sad poem in 14 relatively short lines.

NaPoWriMo 2018 day 7: critic & creator


We’re broken and bruised,

battered from birth,

we were built so fundamentally wrong.

The world makes life so bloody hard.

Just give up trying to

create or belong.


You break my heart

with your wounded ways.

We’re not defined by our past.

Yet you’ve kept me stuck for five decades

with your sneers, your pokes,

my sad little un-started drafts.


Too right there: I get my kicks

when I sit on your shoulder,

sabotaging all that you ‘write’.

You’re far too old for all that hope

now in life you’ve reached

your twilight.


That’s enough! I’ve had an idea

about wounds and abuse and stuff.

If I begin to transform all of our pain

into fables strong and true,

you’ll lose your hold over my head

and my heart will take the reins.

pic credit:

Why a poem a day keeps procrastination at bay

I loved taking part in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). OK, so I didn’t manage the full 30 poems in 30 days, but I did post 26 out of the 30 ( I started two days late anyway).

I’m proud of what I achieved. I rocked up at the page pretty much every day for a month and wrote rhyming words about something front of mind that day.

Here’s what I learned from taking part in NaPoWriMo:

  1. I committed to something publicly. Therefore I felt duty bound to honour that commitment. 
  2. Poems are fantastic at capturing a tiny fragment of time. 
  3. I wrote poems about completely random things, like my kitchen skylight and a scarecrowess I photographed at a farm.
  4. I had no idea what I was going to write about until I sat down with my laptop.
  5. I only like writing poems that rhyme. They make me feel held and contained.
  6. The discipline of writing a poem kept my thoughts and feelings focused.
  7. I didn’t do any censoring. I just let the poems flow. 
  8. I wrote for fun and challenge, not for any other reason.
  9. I never found excuses not to write the poems. The only days I missed were times I was busy with family stuff and nowhere near my laptop.
  10. Today feels odd not writing in rhyme.
  11. Sometimes I ran out of ideas but still wrote a poem anyway.
  12. I love the discipline and shape of the poems I wrote. 
  13. I noticed that my repetitive themes are about shadow and death. Existential issues evidently emerging.
  14. I will continue to write poems as the mood takes me. I do anyway, but I have exercised a muscle that will need to be used and stretched regularly.
  15. Hidden pieces of me are now being seen. The act of revealing is where the healing happens.
  16. Other bloggers liked my poems. How generous the writing community is.
  17. Some of my poems got favourited on Twitter. How humbling that was.
  18. I felt resentment some days, but wrote anyway.
  19. I feel I have grown as a person.
  20. Procrastination didn’t even get a look in. If you want to get writing, get poem-ing.

Thank you, NaPoWriMo!