National Poetry Month: Tristich 11-20 #NaPoWriMo

It’s National Poetry Month – and I’ve taken up the challenge of writing a poem each day for April 2016. In my case I’ve gone with three-line poems to ensure that I keep up the momentum. Really delighted to have gotten this far with no slippage.

Thanks again to for introducing the concept. Thanks too @thepoetryschool (on instagram) whose prompts I’ve been using. Some very intriquing ideas coming through both in terms of subject matter and in format of the writing. Yesterday’s prompt involved burning and walking – both activities which I enjoy – although there is a bit of an after-smell of burnt paper today here that isn’t too lovely.  I’ve also been mixing it up with prompts from the NAPOWRIMO website – and that’s adding an interesting dynamic.


(Tristiches 1-10 are HERE)


11/30 Finders Keepers

It’s a different jurisdiction – and all the advice is for children.

Don’t pick it up, tell a trusted adult (what if that were me?).

On the firearm forum, they disucss whether they could get to keep it.


12/30 I Grant You This

When I am in the area, you find that you forget

to feel the need to be more – or maybe, sometimes, less;

Then magically it happens that others become less of a threat.


13/30 Golden Beak

Not shy, but you like to keep it low key when scoping out territory;

Bird of mystery – we’d never noticed you except for that trademark flashy beak;

Truly, we don’t need to know the score, just let your ancient/ordinary art stand us still.


14/30 Short Bio

Imaginary pastimes, who caused the sense of absence, a home-place painted red.

Fragile images become lines, how can a colour be quenched, now I am missing you.

Releasing the debt that red acrrued, what if day-dreaming were banned, what if dreams came true.


15/30 Exile

Cashmere and canvas: you pitch your tent tonight.

Wind-burnt dancer – disappear or relent tonight.

Say yes? Here in Ithaca I lament tonight.

after ‘Tonight’ by Agha Shahid Ali


16/30 Guided Meditation

By the black water, in the cleft of an oak;

An ornate box – contents: a hat pin,

Whole moon on a windy night, a milk tooth.


17/30 After-sunset Couplet (aka Heuston we have a problem)

In the beginning there was only one.

Then another – and two became one.

And another..o so wrong..felt so right 🙂


18/30 Dovecote

Actually it’s the sound that isn’t here that makes this home – none of their

entitled noise, angry, demanding to know whose fault it is: when will I fix it –

nor the neighbour’s pigeons cooing on the roof in their brief moments free from the coop.


19/30 How to Navigate the Storms of Winter

Remember the Daughter of the Wind, the Son of the Morning Star – their exalted union;

How they drowned – and were brought back to life by the gods but as birds named for seam foam;

Seek out the seven calm days close to the winter solstice – Halcyon Days – when kingfishers tend their burrows.


20/30 Burning your letters wasn’t easy



in a tiny window.


I’m adding them day-by-day to my instagram account @pearldiver32 – an ongoing creative challenge is the accompanying images! More to follow here, hopefully, at the end of April. Fingers crossed I clear the last ten!

Olive Broderick © 2016

Old Stile: Kissing Gate

WP_20150709_15_28_21_Pro Solvitur ambulando – it is solved by walking around, the man said. And so I walked out to Inch Abbey with nothing much on my mind to solve  – just ambling – when my eye was caught by this old stile. The gate was wide open and no sign of any kind of livestock for keeping in and no need for it anymore. But there it was set in stone, with the obliigatory bit of in-your-face vegetation hanging around to add the  element of natural world to the scene.


I love turnstiles and kissing gates – the old-fashioned kind – not the sort that won’t let your suitcase through or make you panic about where you put your ticket.

And though my research into the correct naming of things tells me that the turn, in fact,  refers to a mechanism that isn’t in this example, I had always thought it referred to the turnaround of climbing the stile in one direction and  coming back down the other side in another.

I suppose I know, for myself, what it is about walking and writing – the flow rather than sationary, the rhythm, the change of scene, the going out and coming back.  But, for me, there is a romance about the turnstiles I meet on my way – the way they make you stop, they narrow, make you aware of the wider context of  where you are and who else has access and exit, take you out of your way, turn your around when it would be quicker to continue on straight, show you the same view but slightly elevated and return you – almost – to where you started  from except you are now inside or outside of this somewhere boundary. A kiss as I pass through from the muse.


Turnstile at Inch Abbey


The full gate is wide open,

recently cleaned and painted

– an ornament – no lifestock

to keep in or out.


In the end

it’s the bright green leaves

of a low hanging sycamore

that makes the picture.


Looking through its filter

to the first stone step

of the kissing gate knowing

there is no need to take it.

Dundrum Imaginarium

Well a lot has happened since last I posted!!

Not least the inaugural Dundrum Imaginarium – which took place on the first weekend in June in Dundrum, Co. Down and hosted by Rachel Kennedy, Jane Waugh and myself.

Thanks to the intrepid pilot participants who made the weekend retreat to take a breather and to re-imagine the next steps on their journey. May peace and increase come to them all.

And we are plotting and planning a second run later in the year.

Keep an eye on the Dundrum Imaginarium website in the next few months to catch up on how it went, and what is next!