2022 prompt/hour 12: “my hobby can beat up your hobby”

2022 prompt/hour 12:

“my hobby can beat up your hobby”


Generic questions are offered when meeting most people

Generic answers are given back by most too

What do you do for a living?

Are you married?

Do you have kids?

Or if not – when are you going to?

But – where it can get interesting is…

What hobbies are you interested in?

We’re your hobbies ever different?

People are fascinating

People can tell you so much with this answer

Many have –

quiet hobbies

ordinary hobbies

reserved hobbies

calm hobbies


It was different – when I was younger


I learned to fight

I learned to throw axes

I learned to dish plate

I learned to sew under armour

All of this so I could chuck axes

All of this to rage *safely*

All of this because a safe outlet is important

All because everyone at events knows the rules

All because marshals enforce them

But don’t forget …

My former hobby could definitely beat up your hobby!


Merry – LordCricket 2022 poetry marathon

2022 prompt/hour 11: “In memory of Helen”

2022 prompt/hour 11: “In memory of Helen”


I walk there, to see her – taking a folding chair

I cannot go in  – between covid and cancer treatment it isn’t safe

I sit beneath her verandah – she on her own chair, well above

Telling her stories of the very odd and strange things that happen at work

Telling them as well as I can from a ‘safe’ distance

Telling the stories with the uglier parts buffed out

Telling them with a pleasing light shone on the more amusing elements

Knowing it’s worth it …

Her face scrunching in joy

Her shoulders beginning to hunch and shake …

Her head then releasing back as her joy is shared with the sky

There were fewer of those days

As time wore you down – but I appreciated them all 

Though I do recall that one with the most fondness

The clear, true sound in your voice at the absurdity of life

I shall not forget it

I miss that sound

I miss you


Merry – LordCricket 2022 poetry marathon

2022 prompt/hour 10: “owl is stupid – about being smart …bc trauma-anxiety is real”

2022 prompt/hour 10:

“owl is stupid – about being smart …bc trauma-anxiety is real”



Position Vacant: Magister Library Owl

Desirable characteristics

*older owl

*needs to be willing to dress the part when on duty

*needs to be able to pull off wise-owl-owl voice when necessary

*must be able to sit at the information desk for extended periods (if you have back or wing injuries please consider if this is the correct role for you)



He’d answered the advertisement

He’d met the stated criteria

He’d gotten through the interviews, somehow

He’d just skirted around the obvious

He’d been aware of his lack, of course

He’d been told not be be stupid about it

By friends

By family

By former workmates

But he knew

He knew they were looking for a *wise* distinguished old owl

Not a {stupid, thick as two planks, can’t get anything right ever can you? useless} owl


Yet somehow


They said yes

They offered him the job

He’d got it

He’d been accepted

He’d got a magical contract to be paid for life

He’d never go hungry again – not even if he was {stupid and useless and got it wrong again}

What was he going to DO?

Any moment now the magister librarians were going to figure out he was a total fraud

Find out do you hear

Find out he was a fraud

Find out he was stupid

Find out he got things wrong

Find out {he dropped things …and I’m so sorry I’ll fix it .. please – I’ll try harder … I can do better… I promise ..}

Find out he wasn’t *wise*

Find out he didn’t have a clue

Oh, OH what was he going to DO?


Merry – LordCricket 2022 poetry marathon

2022 prompt/hour 9: “strawberries”

2022 prompt/hour 9: “strawberries”


Spilling from the car

Shaking off the tiredness from the trip

Shaking off almost as much sand from the beach visit to Kings’

We are here!

The strawberry farm – a local institution

Any trip to the farm needs:

1 – a drive to the beach – with a swim for the hardier souls for its *winter* after all!

2 – Strawberry picking with the family on the way home from the beach

Grabbing pails

Turning I wave at mum

She waves back

She is used to me

Same rows

Same part of the farm

Same strategy

Most won’t go so far

Most don’t have the time

Better to go the extra rows

Better pickings -literally

Excellent haul – 2 pails

Excellent quality – snuck 2 to check

Looking up to mum I beg for ice cream with strawberries for dinner

Looking up at mum dad suggests thickened cream as well

Looking at my brother he shrugs and says both is good

Looking at all of us mum sighs and says – ok, roast tomorrow

And there was much rejoicing


Merry – LordCricket 2022 poetry marathon

2022 prompt/hour 8: “buttons”

2022 prompt/hour 8: “buttons”

As a child

I enjoyed visiting

I enjoyed all the colours

I enjoyed all the sounds

The flash of the metal as it shuttled by

The soft sway of fabrics

The many coloured bits and bobs that all rattled differently

I was so small

I didn’t quite know they why of what any of it was for exactly

I was just happy to be there

People walking everywhere festooned in fabrics

People somehow managing not to crash into one another

People all moving in a wonderful dance where they all seemed to understand

From there I sat watching – upon the table – too small still to be underfoot

From there I overlooked my domain and knew that everything was colourful and good

From there I could see a man come towards me with trays – colour upon colour. Always my favourite was blue.

I was good at this ans day I was happy

I look back now knowing it was to keep a child occupied

I know it likely wouldn’t be allowed now for safety reasons and that saddens me in a way

For – oh!

I recall the sounds

I recall the colour

I recall the movement

I recall the love I was looked after with

And I know that sitting there, on a table

I found my place

I found my happiness

I found the task that suits me

I make buttons

When I tell people they look bored

Middle aged man makes buttons. Yawn.

But, to me – it’s about love.

Love for the people in that room so long ago

Love for the colours

Love for the sounds

Love for the textures

Love for the people I meet every day who understand what I mean.

When I say when I make buttons I can still be in that room with those people I loved

I still work

Everyone works

But, for me, there will always more love than miserable grind to it

So if you can – find something with more love to it.

Life should be full as possible of joy


Merry – LordCricket 2022 poetry marathon

2022 prompt/hour 7: “Don’t call me inspiring”

2022 prompt/hour 7: “Don’t call me inspiring”

People sometimes tell me I’m inspiring

People sometimes tell me I’m strong

People who stay that are kind

People who say that do not understand

They seem to think it’s a certain kind of culturally acceptable praise

They don’t *really* know

They don’t know I see them looking at me

They don’t know I look back and see them and know

Know that they don’t *really*, viscerally, comprehend pain

Know that they know *really* understand what the choice of keeping on going actually *really* means

Know that they don’t *really* understand that there a point where it’s possible to stay down and not get back up

Know that I’ve been with people who made that choice

Known that it was their choice, and that was ok – for them and that was strong af too in so many *many* ways – and I miss them still

Knowing in that choice that ‘staying down’ can, legitimately, lead to difficulties including death

Know that they don’t understand that you can choose between ‘getting up’ and ‘going out’ – daily, hourly, even every goddamn minute

“Fall down 7 times; stand up 8” is not *necessarily* an inspirational message

Sometimes it’s just instructions on how not to die on an unending route march

Sometimes it’s literally getting up

Sometimes it’s literally doing it again

It’s knowing I need to

Knowing that the alternative is to ‘lie down’

Knowing that’s the first step in giving up

Knowing that of each of my cohort for each 5 years half die, most by their own hand

Knowing going out ‘feet first’ is not the ‘best foot to put forward’ if you want to live

Knowing I choose not to “go gentle into that good night”

But please – let me be mother fking gods damn CLEAR here

I am not your lesson on ‘clarity of purpose’

I am not your ‘motivational of the day’

If I am anything at all?

I am the middle school PE teacher you loathed who made you do every sport half

I am the basic training drill sergeant

I care – so my inner drill Sargent forces me up into the day to fight once more

I care – and care doesn’t always look soft

I care – and sometimes care is a swift kick from me, to my emotional self, to keep me going

Get up!

(Fall down)

Get up!

(Fall down)

G e t the goddamn hell U P

We can do this

We can

We CAN and we gods damned WILL – are you listening?



Merry – LordCricket 2022 poetry marathon

2022 prompt 6 / hour 6 “sonder adjacent”

2022 prompt 6 / hour 6 “sonder adjacent”


Are you here? Are you there?

Are you above ground? Or below?

You helped me, taught me, encouraged me and caught me

You drilled me in skills to instil and fulfil

What I learned I passed on

When I could. Where I could.

You may not pass this way again

You may have passed away already

But I say here, clear

You changed me *your teachings* changed me

Teaching me allowed me to help others

Wherever you are, or were

Whatever you believe, or believed

You go tell your higher power you did good, k?


Merry – LordCricket 2022 poetry marathon

2022 prompt 5 / hour 5 “you’ll understand when you’re older”

2022 prompt 5 / hour 5 “you’ll understand when you’re older”


Goddammit he had finangled his way here to the study at the centre of the castle

Only to find that the senior sorcerer’s favourite mirror only showed *clouds*?

This could not be real?

This could not be all there was?

All enchanted mirrors could show

Other lands

Other worlds

Other places

Other possibilities

Other times

Other alternatives

For what could, might, should be influenced by

The enchanters,

The magicians and

The sorcerers

But here

In the inner room

In the calm

In the quiet

There were *clouds*

There was a never ending, never failing clear sunny day

He breathed in and shook his head

This was a stupid challenge

What was he going to tell the other guys?

He was going to just have to make something up

Because seriously this made *zero* sense

All that skill

All that power

All that potential

And the senior sorcerer had a magic mirror of a sunny day with fat fluffy white clouds?

He shook his head again

Maybe his mum was right

Maybe he would just need to be older to understand some things

Then again…older people were always telling you that while either

-looking really grumpy; or

-looking really sad

He just hoped this one wasn’t sad


Merry – LordCricket 2022 poetry marathon

2022 prompt 4 / hour 4 “ghosts dancing in the forest”

2022 prompt 4 / hour 4 “ghosts dancing in the forest”


The piano sits now, silent

He moved it out of the house long ago

Couldn’t bear to have it inside

Couldn’t bear to part with it either

It was *hers*

Took it to deep into the forested area, well behind the homestead

There is stays being reclaimed by nature, as all things eventually are

He visits, sometimes with family

His granddaughter comes with him often

The mannequin was her addition and he doesn’t mind

She’s 8 and saw it and thought it was a good idea

And there’s a symmetry to it, to his mind

A broken mannequin, playing a broken piano, on the property of a broken man, who visits because it holds *her* urn

Symmetry is good, he thinks

Best to be ready

So when it’s time his ashes can be put next to her, within the piano

Then their spirits can rise and dance in the forest to the tunes from the ghost piano

She always did love music


Merry – LordCricket 2022 poetry marathon

2022 hour 3 / prompt 3 “tension”

2022 hour 3 / prompt 3 “tension”


Prompt: chose – audio prompt ‘city of stars’ arr. for 2 cellos


Dance, like life, is an exercise in tension

So much can be expressed with so little

Knowing when to reach out

Knowing when to not

Knowing when to let go

Knowing when to hold on

One gets rehearsals

One does not, more’s the pity

Both have beauty

Both have risk

Both have the capacity to encompass the best

Of art, of motion, of love, of wonder, of passion of joy

Of pain, of sorrow, of loss, of lack

In all of this tension, this possibility

… is life, is timing, is trust…

Put your best foot forward, hold out your hand and dance onward

For you cannot back into the future


Merry – LordCricket 2022 poetry marathon