Tuesday, May 17, 2011


(based on suggestions from - deep breath - @realnixwilliams, @facelikethunder, @GretasTARDIS, @TheEndeavour, @PipHaz, @lucyrogue, @pinknantucket, @SeanMElliott, @notcharming, @ernmalleyscat, @johnnypurple, @timsterne, @suz_la, @dogpossum, @_boobook_, @msmisrule, Mark, Erin and Janet)

Dark blue morning opens sharp as a cat’s eye.

Magpies awdle louder than light switches;

gargling day to prayer with broken vase voices.

Whisper kettle towards rhymes, tuck up long feet.

Dim screen pins my arms like Golgotha nails,

evening vodka corrupts. Absolut vodka corrupts absolutly.

Last night’s endeavour leaves no spirited insignia,

blank missions to colour in; crayon may not be enough.

Back of my head houses deep pockets of

words expensive as flowering macadamias.

Squirreled away references to fish fingers,

recipes for lamingtons, the need to go swimming.

Pretend this head is buttered dish, all I need do

is place the cherries triumphant. Not so easy.

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts

of his aren’t very new at all. Flowers among thistles.

Breathe quietly; small blonde boy wakes soon.

Wriggles free of blankets like a bag of kittens

exclaiming dreams of triangles and how cows go MOO!

Skin smoothed cream as ostrich eggshell

arms wider than the moon is far. His smile

is achievement, tiny ritual of baby teeth

enormity of lit-up eyes at my greasy face.

It is a miracle that our children love us.

Leave in hurried goodbyes, carry home and friends

in our pockets. Snail shells have room for hundreds.

The internet is bigger inside, we find what’s needed

in a flurry of little endings, mouse and monkey tails.

Hashtags cast rubber fishnets, sweep for laughter or rage.

A small white bar asks: ‘what’s happening?’

Fearing tumbleweeds: speak softly to the keypad.

Loved and beloved, we are surprised by the warm chorus.


Today's poem is based on 35 suggestions from 19 peeps:

  • @realnixwilliams: “small rituals”
  • @facelikethunder: “rage”
  • @GretasTARDIS: “The TARDIS! Ostrich egg. Fishing nets. Lamingtons. Fish fingers. Abraham Lincoln. Feet. Triangles. Vodka. Cows. #many”
  • @TheEndeavour: “yes. The Endeavour is about to go up. Second last shuttle launch EVER. ME SAD.”
  • @PipHaz: “swimming! or small children…Well done on 100. Impressive tally…”
  • @lucyrogue: “colouring-in. (I feel sad about this ending) xo”
  • @pinknantucket: “Clafouti! Also that feeling you get when you’ve achieved something great.”
  • @SeanMElliott: “Calvary"
  • @notcharming: “kittens!”
  • @ernmalleyscat: “breath”
  • @johnnypurple: “well, I always like your cat poems, so how about the best things in the world: cats, books and love.”
  • @timsterne: “Magpies. Rhyming. Swimming.”
  • @suz_la: “going back home”
  • @dogpossum: “squirrels and nuts”
  • @_boobook_: “pockets”
  • @msmisrule: “broken vases”
  • Mark: "Ultramarine negritude"
  • Erin: "Endings!"
  • Janet: "Goodbyes"

This is officially the most suggestions I've crammed into a poem - I suppose being #100, and the final #poemsbyrequest, it was going to be a big one. I was determined that it not be longer than the four 8-line stanzas, though (perhaps at the expense of density, but poetry is about distillation, but no one wants to read forever).

Appropriately enough, the 100th poem is mostly about the #poemsbyrequest thing as a whole, and the rituals it has created for me around writing a poem each day. For something I started on a late-night whim, I'm somewhat surprised I kept it up for this long.

I'll leave it at that for today, though tomorrow I intend to post some kind of...reflection, I guess, and a thank-you to you all for being so enthusiastic and encouraging.

Because I am very, very grateful.


nixwilliams said...

Thank you! It's been fun!

Anna said...

Thank you too! You've been an absolute star with suggestions :)

Pip Harry said...

What a joy to read... Love the line about absolut vodka and the childs face. Such a cool idea....

Barefoot Magazine said...

Sigh. I'm going to miss these. Well done, Anna!

Anna said...

Thanks Pip, and Jenny!

I will miss them too, I think! But - other fishies to fry up :)

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

I think this has provided a nice ending, and a little peek into the craziness of your daily ritual to achieve it.