Sunday, 10 April 2011

The April Food Poetry Competition's Winner is...

Hugh Metcalf!

Congratulations! £50 will be on the way to him shortly.

Please see his poem below:

Fruit and Veg is a graveyard
of barren totes - two weeks
and the pillow of snow has smothered
the breath from the earth.
Grocery shopping with my mother
has become a matter of preservation.
The tins make her nostalgic,
she remembers the cuboid of corned beef
being carved at the table like a brisket.
We'll look at it as broadening our palates,
savour the trip of the tongue
over the strange new adjectives - creamed
mushrooms and marrow-fat processed
peas. Our fruit bowl won't be glut
with apples and satsumas, we'll have
the peach segments' aluminium tinge,
the alien shapes of lychees and guava halves.
The frozen aisle has a fairer offering -
a scattering of broccoli, Black-forest berries,
but my mother insists there's no space
in the freezer. I wonder
if we couldn't keep them in the garden.
Maybe we'd lose them in the snow-drift
until the sky thawed and the first shoots
of spring were unkernelling.

Hugh Metcalf

National Poetry Month: Day Eight and Day Nine

Day Eight


All you've got is now.
This poem. My voice
and you. That is all.

No yesterday, tomorrow.
All you've got is right now.
Get up. Go.

Day Nine

A New Bathroom Moves In

But the old one is left on the grass,
rejected, empty, alone.
It looks like an abstract painting
by a surrealist; Dali or Magritte.

The sink is on its back- little birds
drink from the water that remains.
It's the inside looking out,
and the outside looking in.

The avocado-green bath blends in
with spring grass and closed buds.
Mud starts to settle in the hole
where bodies liked to slow down.

A poppy has sprouted
through the toilet;
and, somehow, nature makes
our waste beautiful.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Essentials...

I was giving some thought into 'Kitchen Essentials' and what a cook should have to create good food, (this doesn't include major things like saucepans and roasting tins etc., because everyone should have those), and I came up with my Top 10, which so far contains (in no particular order):
  1. Wooden Spoon
  2. Microplane Grater
  3. Large Mixing Bowl
  4. Balloon Whisk
  5. Decent Knives
  6. Y Shaped Peeler
  7. Tongs
  8. Wooden Cutting Board
  9. Multi-tool Hand Blender
  10. Mortar and Pestle

This list got me thinking about the 'Essentials of Poetry'; what do we need for good poetry? Well, I came up with my Top 10...

  1. Diction
  2. A Title
  3. Euphony (Tempo, Tone)
  4. Rhythm
  5. Rhyme (not necessarily full rhyme, internal or half rhyme should be there somewhere)
  6. Good Line Breaks
  7. Clarity
  8. Imagery
  9. Volta
  10. A Resolution, surrendering to a silence.

Do you agree? What would you add to either list?

National Poetry Month: Day Six and Seven

Hello all, I am now writing this on a big screen which is a great comfort to that of a mobile phone's tiny screen I was using. It's been a wonderful day in Oxford today, the sun has been shining and my university work was put on hold so I could indulge in some rays. I hope everyone that is trying out the National Poetry Month is getting some decent poems written, or if not, try going for a walk to clear your head, or a bike ride to get the creative thoughts flowing. I wasn't that productive today but a few poems cropped up, albeit very under developed!

Day Six

Tide Line

Our bodies move
like two pebbles

that roll up and down
a tide line,

rocking with motion,
grinding to sand,

and weaving
in and out

until one wave
pulls us far out

and in to sea
where we can

still for a second
and then settle.

Day Seven

Right Now

is the fine line
past and present,
dark and light,
floatation and gravity –

the exact second of
right now
will rapidly be
into the past,

where the future waits
to be swallowed
and yesterday
is inhaled
by tomorrow.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

National Poetry Month: Day Five

The List

I've done everything on the list
and ticked them off, one by one.
Washing, ironing, cooking.
Writing, researching, reading. Done.

I've even exercised for an hour,
had a bath for a while with poetry,
made dinner for Dad who popped by,
but nowhere on the list was you.

You've been in bed all day,
I've been your nurse.
You ate two rich tea's
but no hope, still sick.

I've done everything on my list,
yet you still lie there, asleep,
unable to be helped, I watch you
weaken into something I can't fix.

Monday, 4 April 2011

National Poetry Month: Day Four

The Bat Cave

His mother has waited months,
starved of any daylight,
for his wings to grow by moonshine.
He grows while clawed feet
grip onto the ceiling, holding on
to fly in tomorrow's sunbeams.
In the dark, he weakens and falls.
The hundreds left up there
are helpless and can only squeal.
The bottom of the cave is alive.
They crawl up to the weak to nip
at his flesh; the softest juice
their only chance of survival.
They suck up all his wings,
every inch explored and foraged.
While his mother has to hang on
and cry for her only son.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

National Poetry Month: Day Three


You roll over to me,
hug me from behind
and reach round to rub
circles on my belly.

Circles of turmoil
have occurred under
your fingertips –

our dreams thinned
in one single day,
one single moment.

Mummy's Day!

Mothering Sunday has been hectic to say the least. I baked and cooked all day yesterday in preperation for the buffet I put on for the family. It was wonderful to relax in my new kitchen. I will begin with the sausage rolls:

Makes 28 Rolls
Puff Pastry sheets or block to roll out (or even homemade if you've got hours of spare time!)
Sausage Meat (I used Pork and Apple ones I had in the freezer)
1 Egg


1. Pre-heat oven to 200'C
2. Take the sausage meat out of the skins and roll into fifty pence balls.
3. Lay out the pastry. Measure so that the pastry fits the width of meat and can wrap around it once:

4. Egg wash the end part of the pastry so each end can stick together:
5. Roll up and egg wash the entire top of the roll:

Cook for 20-25 mins until golden.


Next, Mini Pavlova's. My Mum can't eat dairy so I created them for her so we could have dessert together.

Makes 10 Pavlova's:

2 Egg Whites
4 tablespoons of sugar (icing usually, but I had to use granulated because I've run out!)
teaspoon of red wine vinegar

Double Cream
Any berries that you fancy.


1. Pre-heat oven to 150'C
2. Whisk up the egg whites, either by hand or with electric mixers.
3. Add the sugar, towards the end of the beating when the egg whites whiten and start to stiffen, spoonful by spoonful until you can make peaks:

4. Spread onto a baking sheet (either non-stick or with a baking sheet on.)

5. Bake in a cool oven for an hour and a half then turn oven off and leave the meringues to completly cool down inside the oven:

6.Spread with whipped double cream (with a little sugar in if preferred) and top with sliced strawberries:


Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

National Poetry Month: Day One and Two

My internet failed last night so I am attempting to type up my first two poems via my mobile phone. This is a first for me so I hope it works!

Here goes...

1st April

22 Mill Street

It's the time of night
when lightbulbs are warm
from an evenings glow,
where eyes are closing,
and the only light
is the flickering streetlamp
or when the clouds
part for the moon.

The houses quietly hum,
awaiting the morning sun.
I stroll streets in grey light,
patrolling your pavements,
until I find you alone.
The knife tucked up
inside my sleeve
is twitching.

2nd April

House not yet a Home

Bricks and Mortar,
Drills and Drillbits,
Walls and Timber,
Windows and Paint.

Sofa and Cushions,
Cups and Kettles,
Chairs and Tables,
Books and Bedsheets.

You and Me.