The Cloak

You came upon me like a blanket suddenly

thrust upon a flame

to smother me

to choke me

to quench me

I ran with you clinging to me

Covering me

Shrouding my path in darkness

burning me out

A caricature of a ghost

I failed to shrug you from my shoulders

I had to learn to see again

From the shadows you cast

The colours, the light, the road ahead

I had to accept you.

Two Challenges, oh yeeeah! 

The lovely Cheryl over at Tropical Affair nominated me to take part in the Love in Ten Lines challenge. I say challenge because this: 

All of this…

Source 
I sat down to do this challenge thibking “pfft, I got this.” Cheryl’s genius post made it look so easy. I forgot that she is a skilled poet and I struggle to make word good sound nice. See? Check out her lovely poem at the link above.

The challenge is to write ten lines of poetry, with four words in each line, all including the word love. It sounds deceptively easy. Just as I was about to hit publish on my “I love Nutella sandwiches X 10” post, I saw that the lovely Mecia Not Quite London from had nominated for the Love/Hate tag. You are supposed to write down ten things you love and ten that you hate. Simples. That when this happened:

  
Source
Why don’t I just combine both challenges? I can write ten things I love using four words per line. Ah, being a genius, it’s not always easy.

So here goes:

I love red lipstick

I love milk chocolate

I love my fiancé

I love my pets

I love scented candles

I love being weird

I love to laugh

I love warm cuddles

I love being outside

I love funny people 

Okay, so not exactly W.B. Yeats material but it will do. Now I’d better list what I hate:

  • Rude people
  • Standing still for too long
  • Stubbornness
  • Raisins
  • Animal cruelty
  • Crowds
  • Being separated from those I love 
  • Doubt 
  • Being misunderstood 
  • Waiting for too long 

So, just because I cheated doesn’t mean you guys have to 😄

The first challenge is the Ten Line Poetry competition and I have plenty of poetically-gifted friends who will smash this! Just to recap the rules:

-you must compose a ten line long poem with four words in each line, one to be the word “love”. It’s, er, not that difficult. 

I nominate the wonderfully talented Melanie over at Wordifull

The very creative David from toofulltowrite

And the brilliant Floridaborne over at Two on a Rant

If anyone can do this, they can! Although there’s no pressure to partake guys. 

Next, I need to nominate some people for the Love/Hate tag. It’s simple: you basically list ten things you hate, ten things you love and then choose ten bloggers to do the same. That I can do. 

  
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My nominees are: 

I Prefer Deep Blues and Sea Foam Greens
Mother Hen Diaries
A Cookbook Collection
Tropical Affair (gotta return the love😃)
The V-pub

Post Curfew Bewonderments 

Again, no pressure to take part guys! Have a great day, wherever you are! 

Two Poems about Mothers

For all my eccentricities (there are 42, I counted), the one thing I am very serious about is poetry. As an English teacher, it is probably my favourite aspect of the subject. There is such a wealth of beautiful poetry out there and there is nothing more rewarding than searching for your own meaning in a verse. (Except pizza. Pizza is always more rewarding.) 

Here are two poems written by Irish poets that I think you guys will enjoy. The both have a common theme, in that both poets are fondly remembering their mothers and their respective memories of them.

The first is by one of my favourite poets, Seamus Heaney. This poem was recently chosen as Ireland’s favourite poem. 

When all the others were away at Mass

When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.

So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives–
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.

(For those of you who may not be aware of what ‘Mass’ is, it’s what Catholic people call going to church.)

The next poem is similarly poignant and evocative. It is by Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh.

In Memory of My Mother

I do not think of you lying in the wet clay 
Of a Monaghan graveyard; I see 
You walking down a lane among the poplars 
On your way to the station, or happily 

Going to second Mass on a summer Sunday – 
You meet me and you say: 
‘Don’t forget to see about the cattle – ‘ 
Among your earthiest words the angels stray. 

And I think of you walking along a headland 
Of green oats in June, 
So full of repose, so rich with life – 
And I see us meeting at the end of a town 

On a fair day by accident, after 
The bargains are all made and we can walk 
Together through the shops and stalls and markets 
Free in the oriental streets of thought. 

O you are not lying in the wet clay, 
For it is a harvest evening now and we 
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight 
And you smile up at us – eternally.


I hope you enjoyed these lovely poems. They certainly evoke some powerful emotions in me. Have a great evening 🙂

Posing for Catmopolitan

My little piece for the wonderful Cats at the Bar. Check out this purrrrrfect page 🙂

Cats at the Bar

Modeling
Night-Pelt: ‘So when they ask me to model the t-shirt, do you think I should pose like this?’

Jr.B: ‘What are you talking about? Don’t you think they’ll get a human to model the shirt?’

Night-Pelt: ‘Erm, no. Obviously they’ll go with me. I was the first black cat to grace the cover of Catmopolitan. Anyway, my pose…what do you think?’

Jr.B: ‘I think you’re delusional.’

By guest writer Janey of Cupid or Cats http://wp.me/3ItRB a truly gifted nut. 🙂

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Is Orange the New Black?

My contribution over at the wonderful Cats at the Bar. I adore this site, pop over for a look!

Cats at the Bar

Is Orange the New Black
‘Sphinx?’
‘Yes Possum?’
‘Am I….different to the other cats?’
‘Whatever do you mean?’
‘I mean, I’m different somehow. You all love Posh Spice.’
‘And…?’
‘I love Ginger Spice.’
‘Oh.’
‘And all of you have the same favourite celebrity cat.’
‘…Sylvester?’
‘Yes….whereas, I love Garfield. And when we go hunting, the prey always spots me coming a mile away and you guys just seem to blend in with the night.’
‘True.’
‘And remember that time you guys lost me in the autumn leaves for three hours?’
‘Orange you getting it, Possum?’

‘Huh?’
‘Never mind.’

Guest writer; Janey of the wonderfully funny https://cupidorcats.wordpress.com

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Here

I see you suffer
Hiding behind the burnt skin and thinning hair
Smiling a little weakly
A feeble frail finger taps a hollow cheek to where my blood filled lips can touch
I fear a kiss may kill you

I see you moving
Crossing deserts in your kitchen
Glancing through your window at horizons you’ll never reach
The timer on the oven seems to be moving too quickly, too quickly
The dinner won’t be ready
The time will be up too soon

I see you folding children’s jumpers
Holding them close to your chest for seconds before you let them go
You’ll have to show them how to get creases out, so they will know
When the folding is done, and plans are made
You need to sit

I see you now, as you are, and I see you as you were
Vibrant, dancing, living,
Teaching, learning, yearning, dreaming
I see you now, hopeless, lost, frightened, blind…but at least

I see you

-JG

RAINBOW THREADS

I thought it would be a lovely way to celebrate 500 of you wonderful followers by reblogging this collaboration with the wonderful Hasty Words. Enjoy!

HASTYWORDS

Wings by HastyWords Wings by HastyWords

WRITTEN BY JANE GOOD AND HASTYWORDS


Flocks of butterflies landed in front of me
Oranges, blues, and wine colored reds
Their wings were a cacophony of beats
Stitching my wounds with rainbow threads

Transfixed by nimble and delicate flight
I contemplate their careful crimson dance
My motionless body masks my delight
Viewing a rare moment of flighty romance

The carefree display of life on barbs of light
And the way they give nothing to the past
At rest or in motion, always in the moment
Speaks a needed truth into my troubled soul

Oh, if I could ascend from my tainted reality
Unimpeded in my search for meaning
I would join these creatures in heavenly flight
My colors would change from dark to bright

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A present for you guys

So I wrote a rap to name check some of my favourite bloggers as a massive thank you to you all. I have provided you with a SICK beat to listen to so that you can actually rap along with this. Please, ignore the name of the song, I do not want to see your genitals.

So go on, press play, and proceed:

There once was a girl, we’ll call her Jane
She set up a blog, and its content’s insane
But she met some people who’ve made it so easy
So she wrote this rap to rival Jay-Z

She wants these guys to know one thing
That she once had a weird crush on sting
And also, she loves you all
Ok…that’s two things

First there’s Ben, who’s been here since the start
His blog is bitter
But he has a heart

Then there’s Trent, who’s so talented
And I can’t think of a word
To rhyme with talented
So I’ll just say that Trent is…really talented

Everyone say hi to Julie
I’mgonnagiveheranewnicknameforthepuposesofthisrhyme and call her “luley”
She’s one of the best
And her blog kicks more ass than chuck Norris’* (if he has a blog. He probably doesn’t…)

Then there’s Rob, who has a great name for rhyme (take note, Julie)
His blog is wonderful, all the time
Between weight loss tips and recipes
He showed me how to get guys drunk with ease (neat whiskey, I believe)

Lisa is one of my favourite chicks
I know you think the obvious word to use next would be d—
But get your mind outta the gutter
And check out this superstar of a blogger

Say hi to Z she’s one cool lady
She’s a teenage blogger with talent so crazy
She’s also as sweet as a bee
I’m actually allergic, but not to Z

Robin reminds me of my mom
Except she’s cooler than my mom
Now I feel bad for my mom
I’m going to stop rapping about my mom
Robin has the sweetest blog and it makes me smile
It’s a place I spend a while
Yes, that totally does make sense
Because it’s a rap, that’s the difference

Hacker, ninja, hooker, spy
This blogger is ill, she’s so fly!
You don’t need to go out foreign
To see a chick as hot as Aussa Loren(s). Ahem. (And in my case I do, because I live in Ireland.)

Helen likes wine and tea
But not together, is that just me?
She’s funny, she’s cute, she has blond hair
Her blog is great so head over there (but then come back because I’m not finished)

I can’t forget Sean cause he cracks me up
He’s reminds me of my guy friends that used to feel me up
His blog is great and he’s also cool
I can never read his stuff when I’m in school

There’s also Shit Show
Who speaks her mind
She is hilarious
Her blog is quite a find!
You’ll be hooked to her naughty anecdotes
And I really want to go drinking with her, like, TOTES!

The ‘S’ word also is a great blogger
Why don’t more words rhyme with blogger?
Anyway, she’s funny and talented in equal measure
Go check her out at your leisure (but really, do it now, she has good boobs. Apparently.)

Cheryl is a multitasker
What’s your favourite shark?
Mines a basker
Oh, is basking?
Well that just sucks
Because this rhyme now doesn’t work
Anyway, I love Cheryl to pieces
Not literally, cause that’s weird…Jesus

Minnie is as adorable as she is kind
Her blog really is one of a kind
Did I just rhyme kind with kind?
It’s my rap,so I’ll do what I want, kind

Running Betty likes to run
She also likes to blog, and it’s fun
I think that she’s one kick ass chick
And again, I’m not going to use the word d…

An upturned soul is classy and smart
So I hope she doesn’t mind being in my rap
I’ve also made a tenuous rhyme right there
But I wanted her to know that I care

Pouring my art out has the coolest name
And his blogging skills are so insane
He’s funny, he can draw and he looks like Jeffrey Lebowski
Oh crap, I’m never going to get a word to rhyme with Lebowski

The Hook sounds like a movie villain
But he’s actually really nice
He has a cool job where he meets some weirdos but I’m also weird and wait, I’ve always wanted to use the word kudos in a rap and it totally would have fitted in there…crap.
The Hook writes so hilariously
And I love his blog so *mumbles*

Mikey B runs a movie blog
It’s funny and clever and what rhymes with blog?
He’s an all round cool guy
and on a completely unrelated note,
Why can’t hens fly?

Melanie can rhyme a lot better than me
Check out her page and you will see
Her poems are amongst the best I’ve read
You won’t get her words out of your head
(Kind of like Vanilla Ice lyrics. But good.)

Speaking of poets, there’s too full to write
David Ellis, he’s the shite
Just to say, that’s a total compliment
And he deserves it, he’s a total talent

Ispontein is spontaneous
There’s a little inside all of us
His blog is clever and fun to read
Check him out and you’ll agree

I also cannot forget Whitney
She’s totally awkward, just like me
She makes me laugh with her awkward tales
Tales not tails cause what the hell?!

Finally, there’s Cats at the bar
Whose cats are adorable, they really are
I think he has about 18 cute cats
And cause he’s not a single lady
It’s not creepy

If I’ve left someone out
I’m awfully sorry
You can come over here
and scissor kick me

*for the purposes of the rap, just pronounce is nor-is-aaazzz. Go on. DO IT.

My First Poem

I have never written a poem on my own before and I don’t know how this happened. I wrote this, on my phone (which is very unpoetic of me) and in less than ten minutes. It just poured out (probably because it’s not very good, but I suppose you should never ignore what your mind sends you). It is dark and personal but I felt like posting it. I teach poetry comprehension on a daily basis, but I have always struggled with writing it. So here you go guys, my first poem:

Mother

I couldn’t have known when in your arms
That you were longing for something else, somewhere else
Away from my cries and outstretched arms

I couldn’t have known why the tears in my blue eyes
Mirrored the tears in your blue eyes
I couldn’t have known how my screams echoed around an empty room
Bare
The pictures of faraway places ripped from the walls
You would never go there

When I laughed it broke your heart
I didn’t understand, you thought
I didn’t yet know pain, yet I saw it everyday
In your white knuckles and your strained smile
Assuring visitors of my placidity

Now, a woman, I see you smile
Sometimes you laugh
But she knows the pain you harbour
She remembers the tears
She remembers studying your face, searching for comfort and hope

The baby
The girl
The child

Don’t worry guys, I’ll be back to my weirdly humourous self soon.

A Beautiful Poem: The Skunk by Seamus Heaney

The Skunk

Up, black, striped and damasked like the chasuble
At a funeral mass, the skunk’s tail
Paraded the skunk. Night after night
I expected her like a visitor.

The refrigerator whinnied into silence.
My desk light softened beyond the verandah.
Small oranges loomed in the orange tree.
I began to be tense as a voyeur.

After eleven years I was composing
Love-letters again, broaching the word ‘wife’
Like a stored cask, as if its slender vowel
Had mutated into the night earth and air

Of California. The beautiful, useless
Tang of eucalyptus spelt your absense.
The aftermath of a mouthful of wine
Was like inhaling you off a cold pillow.

And there she was, the intent and glamorous,
Ordinary, mysterious skunk,
Mythologized, demythologized,
Snuffing the boards five feet beyond me.

It all came back to me last night, stirred
By the sootfall of your things at bedtime,
Your head-down, tail-up hunt in a bottom drawer
For the black plunge-line nightdress.

Today, I read the poem ‘The Skunk’ with my pupils. It is one of my favourite romantic poems and my students loved it. It elicited a great discussion of what constitutes romance and I left class knowing that my students had personally connected with this beautiful poem.

In terms of being “romantic”, it is unconventional to say the least. The poet compares his wife to a skunk, which on the surface, is not the most flattering of comparisons. However, a deeper look at the poem reveals the affection and tenderness that is evident between the poet and his wife. I love it because it is not cliched; it is affectionately teasing and the comparison makes sense to them. His deep love and desire for his wife is obvious.

Heaney died last year at the age of 74. His last words, to his beloved wife, were in beautiful simple Latin: Noli timere, meaning “don’t be afraid”.