NaPoWriMo: When Minjung Slayed the Dragon

There was a town upon a hill
Where the trees were green and the lakes were still
And the people lived in peace until
There came a mighty dragon.

Then every night it came to burn –
The sight would make your stomach turn –
Every man who’d tried to learn
How to slay a dragon.

The villagers, tired of its claws,
Tried oh so hard to make it pause
But soon learned just how cruel it was:
It was a brutal dragon.

But in this village, thankfully,
There lived a girl named Minjung Lee
Who wanted to live peacefully
Without a fearsome dragon.

The elders, they began to laugh
When she offered to slay on their behalf
The beast that shrank their village by half
And went by the name of dragon.

So up she stood without a word
And chose a sharp and deadly sword
And her footsteps were never heard
By the smug old dragon.

So, at the dragon, Minjung rushed
And soon its treacly green blood gushed
For, at last, someone had hushed
The deadliest of dragons.

So now they sing in voices gay,
Though centuries pass, they always say
It was quite the most joyous day
When Minjung slayed the dragon.

This post was written as part of NaPoWriMo, but also for The Daily Post’s “Time for Poetry” writing challenge. Check them out!

> I’m very touched that this post was selected for Freshly Pressed – Thank you very much!



NaPoWriMo: Emeralds and Axinite

I often hear word of the emerald isle,
Of green shamrocks and four-leafed clovers,
And blue rivers that flow for mile after mile,
Grassy mounds with rainbows stretching over.

But each month I trek back to old Donegal –
To the land of wet mud and dry rushes,
Matted sheep here and there and trees ready to fall
And dead twigs sticking out of beige bushes.

So I know for sure all that’s gold doesn’t glisten,
The richest men are those with land to roam.
And green or not green, I just wish they would listen:
It may be brown, but to me it is home.


Shoulder blades like angels’ wings,

Each rib visible, each deathly,

She stands alone, frozen:

A spectre under flickering hospital lights.


Her once-beautiful smile

Turns to a painful grimace,

Her musical laugh now

A dry croak in the dark.


And as painful beauty turns to beautiful pain,

An abandoned stomach gives in,

Unfed lungs refuse to fill,

And a weakened heartbeat ceases.


15 is too young to die.

More NaPoWriMo:

  1. The air thickens with bird song | diffidence that faltered
  2. A “On Writing” Sonnet | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  3. Some Questions From Facebook | The Tower of Babble
  4. Alliteration Apocalypse | Seasick For Thirty Days
  5. Slowly | lightning stones
  6. I’m grateful for the dark. | Life’s little mercies
  7. Ode from a Cult Member | rhythm’s nest
  8. Springtime in the City | The Jump
  9. Names I’ve Been Called | Men$aBlondEsq
  10. Question Time | Jake Reynolds

Happy Birthday, Philip! (+ NaPoWriMo)

Another day, another birthday. It’s a busy week!

Yesterday, it was Philip’s birthday. We didn’t have a party, really, but at least part of the day was spent eating cake and flying a remote-controlled helicopter (Shannon got him the helicopter because she hates us all and wants us to suffer)!


To explain Philip: He’s going out with Shannon, likes Doctor Who and is a ridiculous human being. He also has the bedroom next to mine, so he’s the one that’s most likely to be bothered by my music (sorry). Frankly, Philip was the person I expected to get on with least of all, because he struck me as a “sports guy” who didn’t really talk to anyone that much. And in part, I was right – he goes to the gym all the time, sometimes twice in a day, and stays in his room a lot of the time. But I was wrong about us not getting along, as he is now sort of like an older brother.

When I say he’s like a brother, I don’t mean he’s a super close friend, which is what most people seem to mean by that. What I mean is that we laugh and joke a lot, but we also take the piss out of each other a lot. And, of course, he also enjoys the Older Brother Traditions of wrestling me to the ground, throwing food at me or farting while standing directly in front of me. I guess those are just the perks of the role. 

So happy birthday, Simba! I hope you had a great day, and don’t break your helicopter too soon!



NaPoWriMo: Rows

One by one,
Standing in
Single file
We begin
Our marching.
The time has
Come to put
Our worries
Behind us
And do what
Must be done
Because now
The bell is
Ringing and
The man is
Shouting and
It is time
For us to
Learn how to
Count to ten.


More NaPoWriMo:

  1. Dreams of Fire | mcscriptor
  2. The Gaia Room | Voiceless Fricative
  3. Sky Diamonds | Salsachica’s Ramblings
  4. April the ‘Unlucky for Some’ Thirteenth | hangerfarmpoets
  5. The Bumblebee of ForgivenessSun/Son | Graceful Press Poetry
  6. No Ordinary Pub | piazzanewyorkcatcher
  7. Break It Down | Angela Hickman
  8. It’s a Life | Backwoods Walking
  9. The Sisters’ Room | Retirement Legs
  10. NaPoWriMo – Day 13 | Bob’s Blog-O-Rama

Happy birthday, Brian! (+NaPoWriMo)

It’s a birrrrrthday blog!

Yesterday, it was Brian’s birthday. Whoop whoop!

Celebrations for the big day actually took place on Tuesday, but I was still sick at that stage and didn’t get a chance to write about it. In any case, my little green book of blog topics dictated that I wasn’t to write about it until today anyway, so here we go!

The lead up to the celebrations was a little bit tense. Brian’s friends were all meant to come up, but cancelled. Then they un-cancelled. Then they cancelled again. Then, finally, they un-cancelled once and for all. Hurrah!

It was a little odd being in a room with Brian and his friends, because it was just like being in a room full of Brians. Irish accents floated from all directions. Mock-insults rained down like confetti. I always get a strange image in my head of lots of identical people in a little room walking into each other and bouncing off like the balls in one of the lotto machines. This was probably the closest I’d ever see (though, of course, they didn’t actually look at all alike).

Later, I was working in my room and Shannon came and got me to come out and chat to people over pre-drinks (even though I wasn’t going out with the rest of them). It was later revealed that Shannon then got in trouble for trying to kill me, as there were strangers in the kitchen and people were worried that I would have a nervous breakdown or something. So to clarify: I’m not like a new puppy who can’t help but pee itself when it gets overexcited. Yes, I get stressed out in social situations, but I do have the presence of mind to remove myself from these situations if needs be! Promise!


Now seems to be as good a time as ever to say a few things about Brian. Brian is one of my many, many, many flatmates – there really are quite a few of us. You’ll meet the others as time goes on. However, of my several million flatmates, Brian is probably my best friend. We alternate between talking about serious things, talking absolute nonsense, and talking about serious things in a ridiculous way. He also seems to know when he should be helpful and understanding, and when he should just tell me to wise up. That’s important. (No rose-tinted spectacles here though – he can be a tiny bit aggravating every once in a while!)

So happy birthday, Brian! Try not to fall on your face!



NaPoWriMo: Tribute

My grandmother was not like others:

She wouldn’t confuse you with your brothers.

She didn’t spend her evenings knitting.

She wouldn’t waste a second sitting.

She wouldn’t let them perm her hair.

She had no doilies anywhere.

She never wore a floral dress.

Her room was always in a mess.

And her joy was not concealed

When she played rounders in the field

Or showed us how to cross our eyes

(or how to tell our mother lies).

So how do you honour one so rare,

Fantastical beyond compare?

Her headstone’s a rosebush with blooms in cream,

Her resting place a bubbling stream,

And for her distaste of unhappy times,

Her eulogy’s a nursery rhyme.


More NaPoWriMo:

  1. I Will Disappear in BostonMy Hometown | Coordinated Mayhem
  2. Replacement | A non-poet’s attempt at poetry
  3. Divine Transportation | Christian Poetry by Robert William Haddock
  4. PSA | Fine Things
  5. Keyboard warrior | Sarahflint’s Climbing Blog
  6. a poem for adrenaline | inktuition 
  7. NaPoWriMo April 12 | tigerprofessor
  8. A Fireplace Called Passion | chattinatti
  9. Joy springs | Finding the North Star
  10. Swings | by Julie Blue

Return to Blogging/Generic Poem (Number 86)

It’s alright, guys. I’m still alive.


Alright, so maybe me missing three days of blogging isn’t really a reason for you to worry, but it was weird for me. I’ve spent the past few days dead to the world in different places around the flat. Fun!

My immune system isn’t great, in that if there is a cold or anything going around, I will catch it. But generally, what renders other people unable to function acts as a mere inconvenience to me. You’re sick in bed? I’m 5 minutes late for my tutorial. You have a migraine? I have a slight headache that will go away with some paracetamol. I don’t know if I just don’t get as sick as most people or if I’ve just been raised to ignore that sort of thing, but either way it works out pretty well for me.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I suddenly became bedridden-sick for the first time in maybe 10 years. I couldn’t stand without getting dizzy and toppling over, so I spent most of Monday crawling to and from the bathroom to avoid falling and hitting my head. Bizarre. I finally managed to get vertical at about 5 in the evening, and proceeded to go to sleep on the sofas in the kitchen, at the table, and in my bed (again). I even dozed for a while in Curtis’s room when I was invited in to see his new clothes (don’t worry, I warned him in advance that I seemed to have caught the plague). 

I’m over the worst of it now and able to go back to work, though I’m pretty sure that my blood is currently about 50% paracetamol. So you can expect daily blogs once again, as of today (hopefully). I’m also going to blog normally along with the NaPoWriMo poems, as I far prefer writing blog posts to poems (I’m no poet). 




NaPoWriMo: Generic Poem (Number 86).

Although my blood ran cold,
I could see the light at the end of the tunnel
As I forged my poetic licence.
After all, beggars can’t be choosers.

At the drop of a hat,
I realised that this was a piece of cake:
There’s no time like the present
To cut to the chase.

 I bend over backwards
Only to find that I’m barking up the wrong tree
So I find myself between a rock and a hard place
Crying over spilt milk.

 I must bite my tongue
Or I might bite off more than I can chew.
And even though it’s just a taste of my own medicine,
I’ll end up with a chip on my shoulder.

 Once in a blue moon
(but only when I spy pigs flying past my window)
I wait until it’s raining cats and dogs,
Then add fuel to the fire.

 I like to put all my eggs in one basket
Then count my chickens before they hatch,
But I always end up going back to the drawing board.
This is the straw that broke the camel’s back.



NaPoWriMo: Dancer’s Lune

A lune is a sort of English-language variation on the haiku, meant to better render the tone of the Japanese haiku than the standard 5-7-5 format we all learned (and maybe loved) in elementary school. There are a couple of variants on the lune form, but just to keep things simple, let’s try the version developed by Jack Collum. His version of the lune involves a three-line stanza. The first line has three words. The second line has five, and the third line has three.

Slowly she spins,
Rhythmic movements across the floor,
Figures of eight.

The audience gazes,
Made speechless by the display
Of kitchen dancing.


Normal blogging service will resume shortly! In the meantime, check out these other NaPoWriMo poems:

  1. Lune-y Tunes | Mute Expressions
  2. Bridges | It’s A Long Story…
  3. A Lune: 3x5x3 | His Coy Mistress
  4. In Tribute To My Sons | tmy_chronicles
  5. Lune in the Wind | Sounds of Time does NaPoWriMo
  6. Handshake | The Turtle Moves
  7. Comes & Goes | Upward Facing Frog
  8. Lune-ey toons | supazubablog
  9. Unspoken | Inky Highway Oasis
  10. Three Lunes | Deb’s Few Words


A Charm for Students

Sunlight, please help us take heart
As our eyelids drift apart.
Boil the kettle, toast the bread,
Drag weary limbs out of the bed
And warm the water that anoints
The tired souls with aching joints.
Sing, you birds, and share your cheers
With half-awake and muffled ears.
Fry the bacon, brew the tea,
And hope that kind this day shall be
To those of us with sluggish treads
As we nurse our pounding heads.


This post is a charm written as part of NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month. Why not check out these other poems?

  1. A Charm to be Charming | Consciencenonsense
  2. Measure | Shabbysnap
  3. NaPoWriMo: Catchup | FredHerring
  4. A Charm Against Writer’s Block | Watchful Creature
  5. NaPoWriMo Day Three | Writing and Works
  6. NaPoWriMo-Day 3-Write a Charm | Rick Cagnolatti
  7. Pink Eye Charm | Samoan Sword 
  8. Charmed, I’m Sure… | Spilledicecream
  9. A Charm against Negativity | His Coy Mistress
  10. Chocolaty Charm | NJSays