I haven’t been posting much this year, indeed my own father berated me this morning for not giving him anything good to read. (Or was that a critique of my writing career in general, Dad?) But please sir, I have an excuse! Every day this month I have been busily engaged in an outright war of words with my friend and colleague Susan at Reading Upside Down. Susan was interested in taking part at Kat Apel’s Month of Poetry blog, and since poetry has never been our forte, I may have scoffed loudly at her. She threw down a challenge, I laughed even louder, she may then have double-dog-dared me, possibly after plying me with caffeine and sugar, and well that was the end of me.
Since the Month of Poetry blog is restricted to #MoP participants only, we’ve decided to post weekly updates of our war of words on our blogs.
It isn’t too late to join in the poetry fun and the opportunity for a little creative thinking if you’re poetically inclined or even if you are just, like us, interesting in giving your creative grey cells a little bit of a workout. You can get all the details at the Month of Poetry blog.
Poetry War – Day 1 (Susan)
“You? You write poetry?” she asked with some doubt
“Do you even know what such stuff is about?
Not to be mean, but I am worried my friend.
I’m kind of concerned where such madness will end.”
“Your doubts are in vain,” I replied with a smile
“My thoughts are quite deep and my mind is agile
My writing skills can take on poetry too
And I’m challenging you, so what will you do?”
A friendship of years is now put on the line
Whose verse will be better, Meredith’s or mine?
Her laughing dismissal of my skills and art
Has fostered a battle of mind, will and heart.
A poetry war with our battlelines drawn
A new challenge to face with every new dawn
A war of words using rhyme, meter and pace
A chance to put Meredith into her place
So draw up a chair and prepare for some fun
My wit will sparkle like glass in the sun
I’ll show her what poetry is all about
And make her retract all her words of doubt.
Poetry War – Day 2 (Meredith)
Oh Susie, oh Susan, oh “Guiggy”, oh Sooze,
You think you can scare me? Your poetic muse?
Lay down your quill, from your word doc log out.
Of my Seussian skill, it appears you know nought.
I write this late Saturday – first of the year,
With mind partly addled by last night’s fine beer,
But to battle I must, for the gauntlet was threwn
“A poem or bust!” And it must be done soon!
Still I wont go alone to my heroic last stand;
An army of poets are at my command.
At my left is Lord Byron – that scandalous rogue!
His debaucherous ways are still very in vogue.
To my right lurches Coleridge – Samuel T. –
Wielding rimes of a man who sailed on the sea.
Behind them the ranks swell with poetic sons,
Shakespeare throws sonnets, Blake pitches puns!
The women as well, in a frightening blitz,
Dickenson! Plath! Both sharpening their wits!
My formidable army of verse-plying rabble
Will assist me in fighting this poetic battle.
Till at war’s end we lie in the battleground’s ooze.
Oh Susie, oh Susan, oh “Guiggy”, oh Sooze!
Poetry War – Day 3 (Susan)
Coursing through your mind and veins
At the thought of facing me
Desperate, you call to your aid
Aged and weary warriors
Byron, Coleridge, The mighty Bard
Watch for traitors in your midst
Secretly planning to aid your foe
For I am not without friends and influence
Your flippant wit and blithe asides
May cause flesh wounds and fleeting pain
But my strength will not be diminished
And my words will carry the battle to new heights
Gather your troops and take false comfort
In their companionship and poetic camaraderie
Poetry War – Day 4 (Meredith)
A Sonnet (with my apologies to Mr Snakesbeer!)
Thou canst not imagine the fear in my heart
At thy words of battle, defeat and woe.
Yet here I stand gallantly playing my part
As once more into the fray I doth go.
My purpose is hidden at present from thee
But o’er beckoning days it shall become clear,
As we are entangled in sharp repartee
Tis time to consider that which thou holdst dear.
The follies of youth fade as memories age
But a friend can remember the stories of old
P’raps I shalt share them, writ large on this page
For the rages of war do maketh me bold.
Together we spent our teens, hour after hour;
Time equals knowledge, and knowledge is power.
Poetry War – Day 5 (Susan)
Your juvenile posturing impresses me not
Threats of confidences broken and other such rot
I think you’ve forgotten your past indiscretions
Rest assured I have not, you made quite an impression
I could embarrass and disarm you with an account of your life
But what need have these dear folk for such tales of strife
We disrupt their deep thoughts with our battle rhetoric
And with your talk of matters now deeply historic
And as others share words of great beauty and form
With their imagery richly creative and warm
You threaten and bluster and call out my name
Your attitude childish, have you really no shame?
We need to return to the source of this battle
Something far more profound than name calling and prattle
My challenge to use words both clear and discerning
To craft poems that capture life, love, thoughts and learning
The others are teaching us how such things are done
Poetic creations shared by those old and young
Homages to friendship, love, cats, dogs, bees and trains
Celebrations with fireworks, the deep flooding rains
Whimsical verses with fireflies, roos and flowers
Verses with thoughts that linger for hours and hours
Where are our creations of great beauty and grace?
Instead I call you names and you get in my face.
The time now has come to transform our petty fight
To wage a war of skill, not a battle of might
Do you dare to continue on this higher plane?
I have no doubt at all that my poems shall reign.
Poetry War – Day 6 (Meredith)
Ode to a Good Girl
the requisite length from the floor
as measured by fussing home ec teachers
who probably didn’t care.
correct and complete
handed in on time
rewritten if it was messy.
a neat half-windsor
top button fastened securely.
gelled back hair
rolled up skirt
blotted and scrunched assignments
tie at half-mast
there was a meeting of the
and twenty-seven years later
we still find
our common ground
Poetry War – Day 7 (Susan)
There once were two friends from The Hunter
Fighting war to see whose wit was blunter
Their words were for fun
One was smart, one was young
Those girls battling with poems in The Hunter
Poetry War – Day 8 (Meredith)
The Queen of Organisation
Every few months she goes on a spree
Of tidying, organising, things to-do,
She is quite in love with lists you see,
Just look at her blog, you’ll see it is true.
She’s ne’er met a spreadsheet she didn’t love
And owns quite a few books on cleaning.
She lends them to me when push comes to shove -
I take it as friendly intervening.
Although these organising frenzies she starts
Month over and month again
I know that deep in her heart of hearts
She finds cleaning so much of a pain.
It’s one of the few things on which we agree
(Including that leggings aren’t trousers).
We raise our glass and declare with glee
That dull women have immaculate houses.
Poetry War – Day 9 (Susan)
Too complex a thing to be defined
By mere words
So there you have it, at the end of the first week (and a bit). More next week!!