Tag Archives: poems

Bad Words for Poems

One of the first things I saw yesterday morning was the condensation trail of an airliner in the sky. At 6.45am the sky was clear and still tinged pink with the sunrise.

Later in the day, while we were between the seals and the chips, I saw more contrails. By that time the sky was bright blue, and seemed huge.

Suddenly my brain went into alliteration mode, with “cerulean” and “cicatrice”, following with “ceiling “. I could have gone with “sky” and “scar” but where’s the fun in that?

Cerulean isn’t a word you see every day, though after consulting Wikipedia I see it gets used more times than I think. Despite this I’m pretty sure that it hasn’t been used seriously since 1895.

I once read that the word shard should never be used in poetry, and I’ve searched the internet to check where I read it. I can’t find the original, but I found this list when I was searching.  Cerulean isn’t on it, but I think it should be.

Same goes for cicatrice. Their heyday was in the 1920s when they were often to be found on the faces of sinister foreign henchmen. Although Ian Fleming did his best to keep them going the sinister foreign henchman had all but died out by the 1960s, and taken the cicatrice with them.

I think I’m safe with ceiling. It’s not the most poetic word but I’m tempted go have a go at rhyming it with “sealing”.

With cerulean, cicatrice and ceiling, followed with sky, scar and sealing I’m well on my way to what could be a spectacularly bad poem.

Now all I need is a poetry competition along the lines of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

Poppies – Yes, it’s That Time of Year Again

Julia and the Garden Group made poppies a few weeks ago, cutting the bottoms of plastic bottles, fitting wire stalks, spraying them red and sticking the bottle tops in the centres.

It’s not a very complicated process, though the step I missed out (smoothing the cut edges using a candle flame) does have the occasional interesting moment. Julia tried making leaves using green plastic bottles, but they turned out a bit see-through. She doesn’t have enough money in the kitty for green paint, in case you were wondering.

With the addition of some scrim netting (because it’s slightly military) and some rosemary (for remembrance) it is now forming an art installation in the garden. See how easily I slip into the language of the aesthete – art installation indeed. It’s some plastic flowers on a fence post. It also includes some sedums (because they are still in prolific flower) and some chicken wire (because there wasn’t enough scrim).

One of the group has printed out a suitable poem too. It’s the Moina Michael poem “We shall Keep the Faith“. I’ve left a link rather than displaying it in full. To be honest, I don’t really like it . Apart from the sentiment I don’t like the way it rhymes red and dead twice in seventeen lines.

As she’s the originator of Poppy Days I will cut her some slack and say no more. After all, my view may not reflect the views of posterity.

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Poppies and Rosemary