NaPoWriMo 2017.01

Oh heaven help me, here we are again! Some of you may know that last year I completed ‘National Poetry Writing Month’ or NaPoWriMo for the very first time, not by following the official prompts but by combining them with a personal imperative to feature otters in every poem. No-one was more surprised than me at the success of this gambit. So, this year…..


Again, I have every expectation of abject failure.

The first official prompt is inspired by Kay Ryan, sometimes known as a ‘poet of compression’, and looks for short lines, tightly-woven rhymes and an animal. An animal, you say? Riddle me this…


Compressed Fox

Squeeze ‘fox’,

out pops the ‘o’,

a slippery pip,

leaving behind ‘fx’,

shorthand for tricks

cinematic, pixels

magicked to Orcs.

Reduce by ‘f’ and

fleet-foot bloats

to a lumbering

cart-hauling beast;

oxen-free, an ‘f’

will play louder

than pianissimo.

‘X’-less, it leaves

back-street, after-hours

border disputes

for international

corridors of power,

but tell the F.O.

to f.o., it’ll leave you

with a vote on

a treasure map,

a perfect kiss. Press

‘fox’ if you must,

it will be the greater,

no less.

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