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  • Writer's pictureJL Nash

3 Poems, An Elephant’s Eye And Food Poisoning

OK, let's start with a few poems from the Quarter Crazy Marathon I took part in a few weekends ago. I've included the prompts so you can see what I had to create within each hour.


Prompt #7: Use as many of the following words as you can in your poem:

articulate, describe, decoration, justify, audience, distort, chorus, harbor, folklore, world, curve, obscure, neglect, tease, format, sequence, virtue, exclusive, theme, harsh, spare, fresh, social, stake, stunning, sanctuary, entertainment, influence, mention


When I think of how

you used to justify your folklore

as some exclusive virtue,

I see through the eyes

you tried to distort

using an obscure world.

But in the sanctuary of age

this chorus sounds behind me

With no longer an audience

of one who chose to harbour

harsh neglect of the soul

I arrive fresh in my sanctuary

You tried to articulate

your own format as if

it was the only true path

But your influence has fallen short

You see, I upped the stake

changed the sequence

You removed the decoration

of youth for your own entertainment

I have seen how to curve the theme

Did I mention

I have a spare point of view

Tucked away in my handbag?


Prompt #1: Write a poem about how one man's trash could be another man's treasure.


-It happened behind me

Her words faded in their answer

D.I. Valerie Carpenter knew the girl was lying

Forehead smooth, no apparent emotion

in replaying of the scene

The badge would need to find that one

tiny throwaway sentence, a fact, a half confession

to make the case

- I didn’t see it. I just heard it

Just. Such a small easily discarded word

-And that was that.

The law demanded so much more to get the result he deserved

in apology for the loss of his young life

-May I see the photos again?

Blood stained floors and wall, a broken glass door

the gruesome sight reinforced by will

-I never saw the knife

Valerie’s ears, like a bat’s, pulled in the phrase

As it dropped mid air

D.I. Carpenter slowly slid the scene photos away

from hands and eyes, a refusal to satisfy a murderous appetite

They were just words, thrown careless

a banana skin upon the concrete floor

but there was only one who was slipping

Deception has its own definition on the face,

in the body and amongst the trash talk of a murderess

lay Valerie’s treasure and the search began


And a personal one, for my mum...

Prompt #2: Write a poem about a specific accomplishment in your life and how it has improved you as a person.


No longer the child

The screams the fights the crying

the sound of you throwing up

playing music haunting your empty nights

The bottle of morphia in the bathroom cabinet

Covering the damage

I was already transitioning but slowly

Still enveloped in my guitar, song writing and poetry

At 14, too young to be introduced to the pain

you were destined to carry as you had once carried me

The only escape was a plane, a single suitcase and a guitar

My little brother, still with his stuffed toy, bringing up the rear

You had never been alone

From family to wedlock your entrapment over

I watched you humble, no more diamonds upon your fingers

thanking distant relatives for cups and plates and cutlery

Sitting on a rolled up carpet with my brother and I

Eating the little we could afford in front of a two-bar electric fire

I found myself sharing decisions with you

You taught me how to put up wallpaper using a plumb line

for accuracy and in that cold council house

A handout for your sins of saving your children

I took on the responsibility of a partnership

and we three survived the long winter of freedom

I painted this elehant's eye this week. I'm pretty happy with it.

I'm revving up for The 24 hour Poetry Marathon in September. The Quarter Crazy took place over 12 hours, starting at 11pm (9 am in U.S,). Yes, I know I'm a glutton for punishment but I love to write to prompt and then adapt.

My main drama last week was getting a bout of food poisoning from some reef fish. Holy Moly I was in agony but thankfully, all done and dusted.

Hubster is busy preparing for the Cairns Festival Parade - he is organising the Ukulele float with members of different uke groups coming together to walk behind a truck, playing and smiling to the crowds. Yes, I'll do it too.

My True Crime Course is amazing and soooooo interesting. This week I have learnt about lies - how the body and mind makes them and how to break them in others. I will plan a short story soon using the cues and clues I have gleaned. My characters are all being rethought with them telling lies here and there, as people do, to make them a little more believable and actually likeable.

This week's books of choice are - 'Everything you ever wanted to know about watercolour' which is really helping me step by step and 'The body language handbook'- Hartley and Karinch. I need a new fiction book. I must snoop on our bookshelves downstairs. I'm sure hubster bought this year's Booker Prize winner... I'll check before bedtime.

Went to art exhibition opening yesterday afternoon after the gang finished practicing for the Yungaburra Folk Festival. The festival is in October, creeping up soon. We've settled on a set list and are now shining the edges. Didn't drink the French champagne on offer at the gallery Artists At Work, Cairns, but scored some deliciously muddy chocolate cake. Yummy nom nom.

That's all this week. Not started my Vietnamese tourist language studies but I will, I will. There's time for everything.

Pip pip peeps

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