So I recently entered a local poetry competition, and apparently won a prize. I’m really chuffed! It was the Radcliffe Science Library Parallel Universe poetry competition, with the theme of science or medicine. You can read more about it here. I wasn’t able to be there at the reception event on 11th October (I was here doing my own event) but you can go see all the winning poems at the Library, during November (I think).

I wanted to write a piece about the breakdown of a family by using scientific theories. Here is the poem.


Family Unit


It’s probable

We are a well-established theory,

A proposal of unification of matter in 1972.

The magnitude of your unified decision

Cancels each other’s charges.

As gravity gathers its greatness

We escape the friction, your

Attraction, and repellent natures,

Your strange methods,

Objectives unwritten.

Your independent velocity

Displaces our elementary particles until

We are empty squares,

Poles opposite in electric air.

Our new observations gathered in

Hushed togetherness, in hiding.

Our childhood becomes a

Paper-thin palimpsest of

Skin and tears and open suitcases.

We are a puzzle to be dissected as we

Count the sand with little fingers.

In this complex new dimension, we are a

Matter of property

Travelling from A to B and back again

Always waving in one direction or another.

You, like light propelled

Not following the rules of constancy.

At least you returned to your original state;

For us it became unsolvable as you

Expressed our disorder.


The challenge was to put our name into an anagram generator, and create a self-portrait poem. I rearranged a select few results to create sort-of-poetry.

Here’s my real name:

Ah Anon Snob.
An Anon Bosh,
A Nab Hon Son,
A Ban Nosh On.
Bah An No Nos
Ban Ha! No Son
Nabs An. Oh No!
Ah An Snob No!
Bash Anon On,
Nab Ah Noons,
Nab Has Noon,
Nab An Shoon.

And here’s the closest thing I have to a pseudonym, ‘annacreates’:

A Cares An Ten
A Nascent Ear
A Narc As Teen
Satan Careen
Act Nae Saner
Act Nae Earns
A Scar Neaten
A Can Tears En
A Cat Ensnare
A Can Art Seen

Your sickness veil, like an aura,
Grip bottled tinctures, carry close.
Dead and dying drying flora,
Your sickness veil, like an aura,
Wisps and clouds of halo soar, a-
-bove your syrupy spoonful dose.
Your sickness veil, like an aura,
Grip bottled tinctures, carry close.

I wish to dance with you alone
In fields of many golden thrones
We’ll clasp to us our earthly fears
And fling them forth in welcome tears
Yet dancing close to you, my love,
Is featherlight as turtledove
No more do troubles and our woes
Corrupt the earth between our toes

‘This should not be translated into English.’

‘After reading, this will self-destruct.’

‘Do not break the cookie.’

‘Don’t believe everything you read.’


I chose about 7 words from a long list that inspired the following:

bilious clouds implode,
the slapping ripples arrive and
your rhythms chime
with the gutting of fish,
an artillery of scales
squandered on the slabs
amongst thick feet heavy with salt,
rope frayed and drifting
absconds from fingertips
cleaves the soft wood
now willowy with those
Dogger and Fair Isle gales,
solitude remains elusive
under sails and seeking gulls

Today’s prompt: ‘Write a poem in the form of a personal ad!’ So I did, sort of:

I like my men how I like my tea: hot, strong and sweet.

This also leads me to shamelessly promote an earlier piece I did based on dating sites- here is my Flarf rendition of so-called ‘relationship sites’.

Today, I collected seashells
For you
Caught sand in my mouth and
Wind in my hair,
Danced away from
Creeping waves,
Shook the sun off my cheeks.
Every sinking step
Closer to another

This happiness
Laced with anticipation
That morning awakening
A growing sense of
How close we are to
Losing this
Intimacy if
We take our eye off the ball
Caught off balance
Off our guard
And yet falling asleep
After the haze of dusk
We find each other again
A welcome embrace

I LOVED this one! We were challenged to find a poem in another language, and ‘use the sound and shape of the words and lines to guide you, without worrying too much about whether your translation makes sense.’ See the full instructions on the NaPoWriMo site and the original poem Poetry International site.

Becoming you, a lullaby

You beautiful lullaby, you win your kerosene looking-glass,
You, youthful, make me want a nuclear gala
In the gangway
I can dance a gay nymph
You help us on a theme of yellow workhands, Virginia, Wyoming, Iowa.
Your youth, it shines an emblem of delphine, unkempt, you sow the seeds
Pungent gasoline anaphylaxis is the inside cane
Look beyond and back, and into.

Phase ill-health, our eyes beginning to fame you
And give a second glance a-lengthy
Disaster is as disaster does, my baby,
Take an umbilical oesophagus.
And thumb he says, try invoking a-loco
I have been lacking in cosy when you went to India-land
This gang and jog-a-way is a delightful dahlia
Can you cling and be un-clung to, my baby,
Can’t I, not in nor too nor beyond your horizon again
Your truth is a sizzling land of lullaby and disaster.

And the original, from Zimbabwe:


Ube ububula, uhwinye okosane lutshilwa
Ube uthi uyemukela kwande ukudangala
Ibe inganganani
Ibe ikudonsa okungayi ngaphi
Ube uhlephuna eyomthelo wekhanda, wezinja, weyomuzi, lowedibha.
Uthi uyatshona embhilaphini unkeme usubona esisele
Kungasenani lanxa ibe isiba ncane
Ube ungadobha okobili okuthathu
Lokhu bezincwebeka izinto

Phosa ilihlo ezisebenzini zamafemu
Ngovivi sezehlukane lengubo
Zizakhasabula zize ziyekuthi wo emsebenzini
Zifika umzimba usuvuthiwe!
Amathumbu esetshaya imvokloklo
Asebikelana umkhosi wenkulu indlala
Zizangena ejogweni zisadalale
Kungathi kukhulu okuzazibuyela
Kanti ngitsho kuzakuza yona eyokuziyenga
Eyokuthi zisale zisaphila zibe lamandla okuzala ezinye izichaka.

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