One Hundred Words of Solitude

In this time of lockdowns and isolation, the prompt reminded me of a poem I wrote several years ago, about a would be writer with writer’s block. He’s in a very negative  frame of mind, unable to find or see anything worthy of writing about. He calls on the muse to help him and they go for a walk. This is an abridged version, the original was called, ‘None so Blind as a Horse to Water.’ Alternatively, you could call it ‘Spot the Poem.’




I strolled with the muse and took the less travelled path. A poppy-eyed fiend stood ranting on a sailor’s torments at sea, probably collecting for charity and a chap in a clearing championed writing about a wasteland.

There’s nothing there!

Wearying, I would’ve sat down but for the daffodils covering the ground and the loon babbling about burning tigers. Another, demanded to go to the sea again and there on the beach a Walrus and a man named Lear, proposed writing nonsense.

More nonsense?

So, if I should die, think only this of me, I tried to write some decent poetry.

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

The Morning After at Wordsworth’s Glade

A quick note to say ‘From the Edge of an English Summer’ can be downloaded for just 99p/99cents until Sunday. Thanks again to everyone who has already purchased. A special shout out to America, you’re doing me proud. Your support really is flattering, encouraging and humbling all at the same time. The prompt picture has fallen well for me this week, I’ve selected a short episode from one of the several spent round Wordsworth’s camp fire in the book.






PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

Despite the tiredness and alcohol, Sunday morning came repeatedly, every hour it seemed. To say I had an interrupted night’s sleep would be uncaringly inaccurate. Sleep punctuated my moments awake. Wordsworth had helped me cobble together a makeshift mattress of bracken and lent me an old jumper but I was cold and uncomfortable.
He stoked the fire back to life, placed a pan of water in the embers and we were soon enjoying a reviving cuppa.
“It wasn’t cold last night and that’s a very comfortable bed. The problem is not with the world, it’s you,” he said, “you’ve grown soft.”

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.







None So Blind As A Horse to Water

In one of those moments of mind blank, writer’s block, can’t think to write my name let alone anything else, I got to wondering what we would have lost, if the poets of history had had the same problems, if they hadn’t recognised what was before them and subsequently were unable to turn out the great classics.
This pondering led to the following poem of my own. It’s a bit of fun and features references to 12 great poets and/or their works. You might enjoy trying to identify them all and if you have an idea for a couplet or quatrain about any of your favourites, then feel free to send them over in the comments and I’ll add them to the poem.
Hope you enjoy.






My writing mind blocked and searching for clues,
I thought to stroll awhile with the poetic muse.
At first, she bizarrely suggested I might
Take an old Grecian urn and upon it write.
Be assured if I possessed such an ancient thing,
I wouldn’t deface it with my scribbling.

At a leafy fork in the road we bore right
Where we chanced upon a black bearded miner up for a fight,
Insisting I couldn’t do better than take
For my subject, of all God’s creatures, a snake!
Miserable, scaly, belly slithering vermin!
Now I wished I’d taken the more travelled turning.

Round the corner a poppy-eyed fiend was relentlessly talking,
So naturally, I ducked my head and carried on walking
He ranted on about a poor sailor’s torments at sea.
I suspect he was really collecting for charity.

Wearying of it all I would have sat down
But for all the blooming daffodils covering the ground,
And the naked loon babbling about tigers on fire.
Imagine that, must have smelled like the foot and mouth pyre.

In a clearing a man with a cat in each hand
Championed writing about a wasteland
What’s that all about? There’s nothing there
Hello? Definition of wasteland? Barren and bare?

My muse introduced yet another, bawling a strain,
Demanding to go down to the sea again.
We awaited a suitable pause in his speech
Then joined him for an ice cream on the beach.

Finally, on the sand a Walrus and an odd man called Lear
In a pea-green boat and quite crazy I fear,
Proposed I try my hand at some nonsense verse.
More nonsense? I had to leave, otherwise I’d curse.

So, if I should die, think only this of me
I tried my best to write some decent poetry
If, with all that going on, you could pen a beautiful something,
You’re a better man than I am Gunga Din.