Not Being A Poet (Again): Not NaPoWriMo

In my last post on National Poetry Writing Month, I mentioned that my own attempt at writing 30 poems in 30 days was resoundingly unsuccessful.

Since then, I’ve collected what I did write in that time, scrapped some bits, added some bits, moved some bits, and decided that they might as well live here until pride persuades me to take them down again and hurry them into a dark drawer.


April, 2013



If there’s an open heaven up there

its armies march invisibly along

with no jingling, in silent song

marching off somewhere.


Joshua saw (whether or not in a vision)

the army’s commander come

neither for nor against him

(“No,” it said, like a mathematician)


and then Joshua, with bare feet,

walked round the walls of Jericho,

and now I walk through dirtied snow

down Kastanaevskaya street.




Snow is obtuse, sits in lumpish heaps

from which, as spring comes, cigarettes emerge,

metro cards littered along the verge:


riddled like a crumpet, sheepish snow

drips away slowly, is taking forever,

snow and slush and dirt creamed together


make it all white and brown in Filyovsky Park:


at least the river is dark,

the water’s moving.




A day got left behind


as time went on


not meaning to walk faster but

with those long legs it was inevitable


The day struggled


the sticky mud in the field

the rising slope


Time was already easily over the crest


The day lost hope

kept on struggling




dipping dolphin

‘snow pashed like fish-ice,’ where was that?

child on a swing

children who say hello! and run away

sunny day sweeping the

hop-scotch chalked on the pavement

so to arrive




Always the way

Always somewhere else the grass is greener.


It’s true


Where the winter’s shorter April grass

is greener… Grass appeared today, thank goodness,

stubborn grass frozen under snow all winter I would guess—


snow melts away

and a highway will be there




Starting again

while a half-cauliflower cooks in bright green water

hello brain.


Maybe it will cook faster if I





“pop,” says the toaster,

meaning what poor poetry as

opposed to pure poetry:


wham wham wham the wooden spoon.




For everyone for whom I’ve prayed I should have

prayed better


Everyone I’ve loved I should have

loved more


Everyone today I should love





Because when the rain comes a mad-cap

hope splashes from huge

puddles at every street corner oh

my word it’s spring,

the water is running in the streets and skies:

vesná, éta vesná


And on the first of May leaf-curls

vigorously unfurl, the woods are emerald,

the streets are all airy


Right down the old Arbat on Sunday

teenagers walk and wave placards saying Hug Me, Free Love


No snow suddenly, ‘this

is no thaw.’

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5 Responses to Not Being A Poet (Again): Not NaPoWriMo

  1. You have obviously sold yourself short in the previous posting ! – and I read this all through, drawn in, in one go.

    Just, maybe, a comma or two in the opening of nos 5 and 8, to aid the sense ?

    Lovely ! I shall come back to these poems soon, I trust…

    • lucysixsmith says:

      Thanks for such a lovely response, and for the remarks on your own blog too. I am honoured 🙂

      • Don’t mention it ! – the blog is to tell people of things that they might to look at, after all, and they should certainly look at these poems :

        I am sure that you must conceive of them as a sequence, as I understand from numbering them 1 to 8, but maybe that goes without saying…

  2. I really like these poems – their quirkiness and originality. I hope you don’t put them away in a dark cupboard.

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