Skylab Stories

Poetry, Performance, Participation, Possibility. Huddersfield, UK. I write and perform poetry, and run workshops to get people writing poetry together.

NaPoWriMo 2.30: try May 6, 2014


lizard fish bird mammal shrimp brain innit


Here’s something for the last day which – (YES I CHEATED but I had nothin’ left for April, ya hear!) – was written on Saturday at a workshop. So there. I’m gifting it to April.

But, as it’s my response to a prompt ‘When I Write…’, it seemed apt to finish on. And being completist, I had to have that 2.30 title up there to finish.

So, finish it will – with NaPoWriMo 2014′s final…




to keep up with

the pen

pen with the hand

hand pulled along

on a lead by the mind


pushing and pulling

inside against

dawn chorus of

lizard bird fish mammal shrimp

impulses pen

attempting to keep

up with


jump in

around words

sit on the branch of ‘t’

in the corner

of this field

at Dedham Primary


everything else

slips away except

everything though

you can hop on

the word


ride it until

this wave



NaPoWriMo 2.29: Conviction


Twisty Tim Burton Trees…


Yes, I know I’m nearly a week late – but I really haven’t had the chance up to know to be a Completist and put the last couple of NaPoWriMo efforts up.

Here’s my 20-line poem in which I’ve done most of the things the prompt demanded…And was having a very flat day, as demonstrated by the rather bleak imagery.

It being the end of the month last week, I was running low on inspiration and so outsourced some of it to Facebook, as well as to the rather fun Brainstormer iPhone app, which randomly combines elements to give you some ideas…Worth a look – I like the animal creator a great deal.




Today will be an oil tanker named Conviction,

covered in twisted  Tim Burton trees.

Come and sit with me here, on the sixth

branch of this charred pine. You’ll see

for centimetres as the air-freshener

fumes soak into your skin, wash

beneath your tongue, rapping slicks

of black silk around the spectacle

of your mind’s eye.  We’ll suck all the

plankton from the sea  with a novelty

moustache straw, so they can’t complain about

whales anymore. Sing in Bulgarian:

“Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.”

Flick the Furry Dice of Failure so far they’ll become

two new moons. We will make this orchard

a home where only Yesterdays

are grown, in compost that whispers:

Aqui no es el problema. Today

still has shards of champagne

lodged around its name.



2.28: Big Deal April 28, 2014


The Sloth: A Big Deal (for real)

Here’s my news story-based poem (using pretty much just words from the article itself).

The story was from the BBC Science & Environment site and you can read it here and concerns new discoveries about the energy-saving anatomy of sloths.

So I felt any sloth poem demanded to be quite short and minimal. And noticed the scientists had used the phrase ‘Big Deal’ twice. Which, for an animal so energy-conscious – many things must be…


Big Deal


There is not much left

in the tank. 7 to 13 %

is a big deal.


For energy saving experts

anchoring organs

is a big deal.


Their stomach, liver, kidneys

and even bowels:

a big deal.


Nothing they do is normal.

They are ‘off the wall’.

An extremely slow

and low

big deal.


NaPoWriMo 2.27: Opportunity

“The shelves around his office are full of shiny awards, shrivelled words. “


Number twenty-seven and off-prompt. Something inspired by a news story from today and what must still be a commonplace practice in ‘Showbiz’ and too many other career paths, I daresay.

I used a random picture generator to find me something inspiring and found some empty shelves. And that’s where this came from…




The shelves around his office

are full of shiny awards,

shrivelled words. So much so,

they flex, bow. Not with the weight

of the hollow gold men, or the jagged

cut-glass shapes from this Academy

or that Authority. But with phrases

like, Well guess who I know…

or Sure, I’ll make the intro,



These shelves, where he stored

up lines on the wall. Clawed

his way up brutal ladders. Line

after line. Practiced until polished.

Polished until perfect as his Brasso

teeth. Line after line. Polished until shin-

ing. Again. Again. Again.


Polished, until you can almost see

projecting back from each of them

some other seized opportunity’s

Rimmel- streaked eyes.


NaPoWriMo 2.26: Zones 1 to 5

Like a satellite, all I can see of him is a distant silver spin -

Here’s an attempt / variation on a curtal sonnet, based on an overheard quote of a while ago…


Zones 1 to 5


Like a satellite, all I can see of him

is a distant silver spin:

a storm system on his thin-

ning scalp. He echoes every single

automated place name, loudly:

Cottingley. Morley. Batley.


“Lidl’s profits are up.” His eyes,

unseen, are its sun-yellow signs.

“Nobody lives where they work

anymore. We spend all our time


moving people.”


NaPoWriMo 2.25: Leisure April 27, 2014

Your orders…

Friday’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write something using anaphora, a way of repeating the same phrase in a poem to explore and expand the different ways it might be read – and of course adding a pleasing repetition and musicality to a piece. There was an excellent article from the Poetry Foundation, which you can read here.

One way of using anaphora in a technological way is Google Search Suggestion poetry, which I did a bit of last year – in this post.

This time I employed some popular phrases from online shopping and had a play with those, as the phrase for each stanza (‘Because you bought…’, ‘Your account’, ‘Sell an item’ and ‘Your orders’):




Because you bought the very latest heavily-branded carbon-fibre


Because you bought the memory of the juddering of someone

else’s skiing holiday.

Because you bought a new set of plusfour pores through which the second prototype

of the old you can breathe.

Because you bought into the blimp, you’re going to need

to hold on.


Your account will never be suspended or disturbed, it will grow

verdant and ancient.

Your account is embossed onto the roof

of your mouth.

Your account could become diamond, platinum

or coal.


Sell an item of light to the nearest

available star.

Sell an item before it takes insurance

out on you.


Your orders expand with each nanosecond, in the faltering sirens.

Your orders are to the primary addressee on your account.

Your orders are straightforward.

Your orders remain.


NaPoWriMo 2.24: Skag-Afforder April 24, 2014

"Egg raining aloe vera"

“Egg raining aloe vera”

I loved doing the homophonic translation last year – which produced this vulgar thing from a Danish poem.

As I seemed to do well with Nordic languages I don’t know, this year I ventured to Iceland and vandalised this poem into English.

It is, of course, utterly ridiculous and – like last year - quite vulgar. This probably says something about the juvenile translation words, lurking in my subconscious, but I’m OK with that.

No, I don’t think it has much artistic merit, but it does conjure some amusing and slightly disgusting images – so I hope you enjoy it:




Egg raining aloe vera:

a lewd leg vile, born in

so poo-herding, unleaded mitt -

beggar bar and lemur.

Miley coke, your oaf and I, grasséd.

Ah, Aluminium Minion.

Log Fairy met Joke Diddum,

Fingered UK RyanAir.

Pass Jeff, or dingo-mule of grey.


Sam, that egg, ever owes.

Peek your paw after

a hymn, nesting hosier, licked, tinny:


all taps screw-loose, pooing, my eyes of Cheddar burning.



Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

Cloudsforthoughts Blog

this and other poems

Peony Moon

A contemporary poetry blog


Poetry, Stories, Life, Mental Illness, Death, Divorce, Love, Hope, Pain, Journey, Honesty, Sex, Mystery, Horror, Art, Experience, Abuse, Addiction, Survival, Coping, Misery, How to love the dark.

Wordsmith @ Work

Calling Wor(l)ds into Being


My journey - The good, bad and the ugly

Froth and Bubbles

Just air and water, and a little soft soap, but it holds the rainbow.

Madstoffa's crunchy house!

Part time actor, aspiring writer of poetry and prose and full-time idiot with a heart.

Peter and the Hare

work-in-progress poems, also stories, from Peter Buckley and The Hare

rusty nuts and bolts

old railways, cars and mechanical gubbins


Magickal Arts

Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.


A great site


Read our Mission. Find out how you can help us adopt James.

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Clandestine Writing...

Stepping Out Into The Great Unknown...

Susan Daniels Poetry

Poetry from rural Western New York


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 859 other followers

%d bloggers like this: