Thursday, November 20, 2008

November - Poetry Prompt 2


......A sealed stillness
––only the stream moves,
tremor and furl of water
under dead leaves.

......In silence
the wood declares itself:
angles and arabesques of darkness,
branch, bramble,
tussocks of ghost grass
––under my heel
ice shivers
frail blue as sky
between the runes of trees.

......Far up
rooks, crows
flail home.

Frances Horovitz
Collected Poems
Bloodaxe Books 1985

Frances Horovitz's poem precisely captures a scene, a moment, a season through well chosen concrete imagery. The poet is only just present (my heel) yet the poem still feels suffused with the human emotional experience: tremor, declares, ghost, shivers, frail, flail home. It could be the last word that 'saves' the poem from bleakness - the comfort we associate with 'home'.

You could use any month, but why not start with November? You'll be able to go out and witness first hand the world around you: what you can see and hear, how those things make you feel. But try and avoid directly stating what you feel. Let your language choices suggest that.


Stephen Fryer said...


I begin by congratulating Spring. What expertise
of nature to have grown so many leaves, once green
but now a russet cloud to clothe the trees!

If the sky were not blue, this scene would disappoint.
Russet’s no colour against grey, but look at this –
a portrait at my feet where the rain is in ponds.

It’s indirect. Spring’s largesse, this generosity of light,
this rain - all make a mood. Without them, the leaves
of russet colour would be, well, just leaves. The joy

is in the sweet conspiracy.
And in me.

charlotte segaller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Returning from the station on a November afternoon

just getting dark,
the houses, with their curtains still open,
lit up like Chinese lanterns.

A little boy plays aeroplanes
on a dining-room table.

Televisions flicker colours
through dimpled glass.

Upstairs in her house, Linda folds washing
while below her in the kitchen
her mother-in-law, June, sips tea and reads.

A car turns into the unlit drive of a dark house.
Soon it will be ablaze.

Alyss Dye

Gordon Mason said...


Chill is shredded
by the wires.
Kerosene whiffs unseen
from the airport.

Spiders of ice
crystal a roof
where last month
did not shadow.

Pillow fights of gulls
explodes behind chugs
of a tractor; furrows
crack stubbled fields.

In the old cottage,
chopped wood lines a shelf:
hardbacks below
cookery books.

Stood to attention,
an axe handle warms
by the stove.
Red spits in black.

A miner’s blink:
an early mince pie
is temptation
on my plate.

charlotte segaller said...


Ice cream wrappers, plastic bags
are tangled up in trees -
fluttering fragility.
Wings catch
on squabbling winds
which snatch a scarf
to tug a human chain
across the park, child first,
adult trailing.
Everything is back to front.
Leaves lash
shackles round ankles,
fabric unravels.

Like a flag,
blue-grey heron flaps in,
settling beside a pond,
stands still as winter,
his beak an icicle
concentrated to a point,
wild eyes fixed
in freedom.

Anonymous said...

Findhorn (November)

Payne’s grey-
when sky and sea
into eerie sleeplessness

indigo and saffron
are forgotten
dreams, and playful
words have lost
their sun filled shape

the bay is like a frown
a moody mistress
hidden from the light.

Sharra said...


Waves rip
into the shoreline, flaying it
with uprooted seaweed.
Twitchers cling

to the shelter of the cliff
their sand-grazed faces
wrapped in black balaclavas,

seabirds huddle
on the pebbles, not daring
to launch themselves skyward.
Beach huts, buttoned-up

for winter, stand
shoulder to shoulder
against the wind that blurs
my eyes.

linda w said...

November rain

Fireworks soon fizzled and the month set in
to unrelenting gloom. Lights on at four pm
in library and living room. Black-bellied clouds
ached for relief, and then the rain
began, slanted stripes turning to angry spots
on window panes.

People in the street leaned
into umbrellas, coat collars a makeshift screen,
while their feet pulped wet leaves and water seeped
into the crevices of shoes,
set them shivering
soaked them through

from toes to hair .But some
recalled the fetid air and scorching sun
of long dry days, when with upturned faces
they prayed for the bliss
of cooling, healing rain
like a lover’s kiss.

margaret beston said...


Pumpkin still smiling
Alone in empty garden
Snow flakes fill his eyes

david santos said...

Excellent! I love your creation!!!

Lynne Rees said...

Thank you, David! How lovely of you to take the time to comment.