napowrimo #19: Down in the benthic darkness

Down in the benthic darkness
where curious creatures dwell
is a species of hermit crab so big
it uses a boat for a shell.

The hatchlings start in a bathtub or fridge
and when that gets too snug,
first they move to a dinghy or sloop
and then to a sampan or tug.

Nobody knows how big they can grow
but don’t be surprised if one day
the wreck of Titanic lifts on its toes
and silently scuttles away.

I know it’s not actually Thursday any more, but this is yesterday’s poem for napowrimo so I guess it can be my poem for Poetry Thursday as well :)


napowrimo #18 – squiblet

How nice it is
to be in a location
where sunglasses
are not an affectation.

Napowrimo Other

napowrimo 17: The Death of Maradona

I’m in a Greek bar, watching football;
Giggs, Rooney and Ronaldo on the break
so fast and effortless
it almost seems like cheating.

Then at half time,
among the trailers for upcoming matches
in the Bundesliga and the NBA,
a slow-mo montage of Diego Maradona.

Mainly the fat Maradona;
waving to an screaming crowd,
singing with some chisel-cheekboned pop star,
waddling out onto a football pitch
in a tent-like no. 10 shirt,
his mouth and eyes reduced to creases in his face.

Does this mean he’s dead?
Or dying?
Perhaps they just think that it can’t be long now,
and want to advertise the wallowing
in grief, nostalgia
and self-righteous pity
as an upcoming attraction
for the fans.


napowrimo #15 & 16: ‘Gatwick, 5am’ and a haiku.

Poems for the last two days; I haven’t written today’s yet.

Gatwick, 5am

Were Dante writing the Commedia today
he’d surely model one infernal circle
on 5am at Gatwick airport.

Well, maybe not. Even piped music,
sulry staff, strip lighting
and the vacant stares
of travellers only awake enough
to slowly masticate
a sandwich
are not as bad as being made
to swim in boiling pitch.

In fact, he’d probably admire
the palatial scale of it,
the cleanliness and stretches of sheet glass,
the light, the WH Smith stacked high
with printed books,
the clocks on sale
small enough to wear as jewellery.

To think the inconveniences of modern life-
the pharma-spam, the traffic,
the people using mobiles on the train-
are uniquely dreadful
is as egotistical as thinking
you are the pinnacle of human culture,
the culmination of a thousand years
or progress.

We may not have Dante or Botticelli;
we don’t have the Black Death either.


Started out kind of jokey, ended up worryingly portentous. Oh well, that napowrimo for you.

#16 is a haiku-type thing:

Preparing for take-off;



I’m off to Crete tomorrow, and with all the packing and procrastinating I didn’t write a poem. And I have to get up in about 4 hours time [yipes] so no poem today. I’ll try to write two tomorrow— I have a longish flight to fill time on.

Posting may be sporadic in the next couple of weeks while I’m on holiday, although I expect I’ll pop into an internet cafe most days. I’m travelling on my own, so I’ll have the spare time. And I will try to keep up napowrimo, though obviously I may not be able to post all of them while they’re fresh.



napowrimo 14: Μπορίς να φας τον καρπό;

Please use a new blade.
Shave it all off!
I need an adaptor plug.
Can I see it?
Do I need to pay upfront?
I have a doctor’s certificate for this medication.
I regretted it (lit: It came out of my nose.)
Where can we hire an uncrewed boat?
Please give me a slice.
I’ll recommend it to my friends.
I’m not happy with these photos.
I’d like to see the labyrinth.
Can I go in wearing these clothes?
I need a sick bag.
I’d like to introduce you to … (a woman).
I (don’t) like… billiards.
I’m a little sad.
Is this a protected species?
I’m high.
You look like someone I know. (to a woman)
Can I dance with you? sit here? take you home?
Do you want a massage?
Touch me here.
Don’t worry, I’ll do it myself.
It helps to have a sense of humour.
my baby, my darling, my doll, my hunk, my soul, my treasure, sweetheart
You’re just using me for sex.
I’ll keep in touch.
I (don’t) believe in… fate.
I’d rather not join in.
What’s in the collection?
Is it an original or a copy?
I can’t.
I have an injury.
Is there a women-only session?
Where are the good spots?
Can I rent a hat and boots?
I need my racket restrung.
Are there any rockfalls?
Where’s the nudist beach?
I’d like it hot please.
I’d like (a/the)… meal fit for a king.
I don’t want it… boiled, broiled, deep-fried, fried, grilled, mashed, reheated, steamed.
a shot of gin, rum, whisky, tequila, vodka.
The same again, please.
I feel fantastic!
I feel ill.
I’m lost.
Is that a UN zone?
Where’s the demarcation line?
I didn’t do it.
I’m sorry.
Can I have a lawyer (who speaks English)?
I need a doctor (who speaks English).
I’ve run out of my medication.
I have my own syringe.
My … is swollen.
It hurts when you touch it.


A found poem; although actually ‘poem’ might be a bit optimistic for this one. All lines nicked from the Lonely Planet Greek phrasebook.