Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not.

Posts Tagged ‘Poetry

OLWG #27 and #28

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Here are my responses to two sets of OLWG prompts because I’m very behind at the moment, but I do enjoy the challenge of coming up with something for these. This week I’ve been superbly lazy and incorporated the prompts in my short pieces, as that gave me even fewer words to come up with. Sticking to the tried and tested I’ve gone for a haiku, American sentence and cinquain for each set of prompts. Thanks as ever to TNKerr and the OLWG for these.



full moon plundering

people asleep in their beds

get away with it


Auntie loved cats. Here near constant refrain, ‘Here kitty, kitty, kitty.’



How do you plead?

They shouldn’t ask me that.

Don’t know. Can’t remember. Don’t care.

Death row.




putting on a show to woo

those we love or need


Grandfather loved gratuitous sex and violence. Grandma left him.


Hoped for,

and there it was:

All she could ever need.

Her prayers answered by living souls.




Written by Sarah Ann

December 17, 2017 at 1:22 pm

OLWG#26 – Micropoetry – #amwriting

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This week’s New Unofficial On’Line Writer’s Guild prompts leant themselves to being an American sentence all by themselves. Very lazily and only slightly adapted, here are 17-sylables:

‘You can learn a lot from books,’ the gypsy woman said. ‘Mine’s out March 1st.’

I need to spend longer than 25-minutes coming up with a response to these, and to stop using the prompts as titles. However, taking each prompt in turn I’ve stuck with poetry this week: a haiku, a cinquain (although having read the original post on these, I’m not sure the stresses are right at all), and a shadorma. Having broken away from the grip of NaNoWriMo, I decided to have a bit of fun.


You can learn a lot from books


more read about than achieved

he practised daily


The gypsy woman said


I see you are.

May it last forever.

On the other hand it may not.



It won’t be available until April 1st

*Her new book:

glossy front cover,


badly writ.

April fools’ day a good day

to launch such drivel.


* ‘The’ did not fit here, feel free to replace ‘her’ with ‘his’.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 30, 2017 at 6:52 pm


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I have finally got to posting my response this week’s OLWG prompts and had fun with an American sentence, a cinquain, and a haiku. I used the prompts as titles, but that’s boring. For a great poetical example of what else you can do with them, go see TN Kerr’s wonderful post.


She smiled that way

He spent years waiting. And here she is. Time’s up. Gorgeous; his assassin.


It’s a curse


Springy tight curls

Sally hated her hair.

Everyone else loved it, not her.




Money to burn

shock inheritance

party hard and long, repeat

easy come, gone soon


Written by Sarah Ann

November 25, 2017 at 11:40 am

Posted in OLWG, Poetry

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OLWG #23 – #micropoetry, #amwriting

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To keep me on my toes and make sure I participate, I’ve gone for a haiku, an American Sentence and an American Cinquain again to address this week’s Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts. Hopefully I’ll mix it up a bit next week but NaNoWriMo is currently taking up a bit of time.


Diamonds on my windshield
autumnal showers
parked cars await drenched walkers
glistening treasures


Try this
Bill skates, flips, slides, loops the loop, shimmies. Dan, watching, feels inadequate.


I think I have one right here
Jumps and dances
Grins, plays tricks, undermines
Attempting to make others laugh


Why not play along. Pick a prompt and spend 25-minutes writing something.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 7, 2017 at 11:03 pm

OLWG #22 – a haiku, an American sentence and an American Cinquain

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There are some things that, once started, are hard to stop. So it is that I’ve pitched up again with a response to this week’s OLWG prompts. Sticking to micro-poetry means I can actually respond to the prompt. I am not a poet, but I am having fun playing with these tight structures. Once again I’ve taken the prompts as my titles.


What happened here?
door hanging open
possessions strewn everywhere
neater than before


I have seen the devil
Social services: baby snatchers disguised as ordinary Joes.


She won’t be having any more
She hurts
Stomach bloated
Fizzy pop rebelling
Food dissolving, churning, turning


With thanks to the New, Unofficial, On-Line Writer’s Guild and TN Kerr.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 2, 2017 at 3:10 pm

OLWG #21 – American Cinquains

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As usual, I’m a little late with these as the new OLWG (#22) prompts are already up, but I’ve had fun this week attempting to write American Cinquains. These are 5-lined poems with a 2, 4 ,6, 8, 2 syllable pattern. For a more eloquent description, click here. The titles below are the prompts.


I’m gonna be late for work


But not in time

To catch the non-stop bus

Jump on bike, race away quickly

And hope



Mud caked

Grey wallowing

Bulbous flanks, massive jaws

River horses dancing in lakes

Thick skinned


Wait till your father gets home


She thinks I am

Know I’m supposed to be

But dad doesn’t care about me

I know


They had one greedy son


Ate for them all

Forty-inch chest aged ten

Racing towards diabetes

Too soon


King of Clubs



To upset he causes

Committee will have him replaced

In time


I do

He asked

I smiled, said yes

My life became weddings

Dresses, seating plans and favours




With thanks to the New, Unofficial, On-Line Writer’s Guild for these prompts and a new challenge.


Written by Sarah Ann

October 30, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Poetry. Yes, really.

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Over the last few months I have taken part in a number of writing MOOCs, primarily to receive feedback on my writing from peers. This has happened with a varying degree of success.

I have really enjoyed the University of Iowa, International Writing Programme’s, How Writers Write Poetry. I would encourage anyone to take part next time it runs, or even log in now to see the video lectures. I didn’t know any of the writers – Robert Hass, Mervin Bell, Nick Twemlow, Lucy Ives, Sridala Swami, Alexandria Pearyor, James Galvin, Kwame Dawes, Larissa Szporluk (to name a standout few), or the course leaders, Christopher Merrill and Mary Hickman (although this might be simply because I am UK-based), but I am going to read more of their work. The course really has been fun and an inspiration.

When I started the course I didn’t know how to write poetry. Apart from the WWI poets, I have never really understood it. I am still clueless as to the rules of poetry writing, but the enthusiasm exhibited by these writers is infectious.  I’m not sure I’m any closer to being able to write poetry, but I’m throwing caution to the wind and posting a couple of my course efforts here. Criticise away – it’s feedback that I need.



I wrote the below following a lecture on free verse and prose poems. Mervin Bell described writing free verse poems using a sentence as a line, a line being a sentence. This is the form I adopted. He now writes poems in paragraphs.


I wonder did he ….?

Does he really want children?
With you?
I don’t want to upset you, but I have to ask, did he stop drinking?
When you were taking the hormones to bolster your eggs, feeling weepy, getting heavy, did he stop drinking?
You know why I’m asking.
Excess alcohol is the primary cause of middle-age infertility, creating drowsy, lazy sperm, or ones with their tails missing.
And excess weight.
Are you heavy now with hormones, alcohol or despair?

I watched you both the other night, enjoying the delights of yeast and grape, and I wondered.
I wondered how much you wanted a mewling babe.
How much you both wanted.

My mother criticised my 16-year old niece for having a child.
‘She only did it so she had someone to love her,’ she said.
I wondered then and wonder still whether we have children for any other reason.
Why did you want children?
You say you’ve given up now, that you’re too old, but I have to wonder why – not why you’ve given up, but why you wanted.
Do you want someone to love you because he doesn’t?
You know he loves only himself.
He’d deny that, of course, you both would.
He loves his children, the ones he had by her, and of course he loves you.
But he doesn’t.
Not properly.
Not in the way you deserve to be loved.
So, I ask again, but expect no reply, when you were filling with hormones, creating the perfect nurturing womb, did he stop drinking?



Two-thirds of the ways through the course, the lecture was entitled, Poetry as Pleasure. We were encouraged to find the delight in our writing. Hmm, well, I’m not sure this covers it at all, but it was fun to write.



Empty cold fridge.
Reach in, withdraw thin plastic pot.
Portents not good.

Pulling back lid.
Silver inner layer reflects
pink-flecked putty.

Hint of rhubarb.
Fibrous threads mashed to sweetened pulp.

Spoon dives in;
Rises overloaded with light;
Hovers, takes flight.

Lips held apart.
Tongue startled, teeth stripped, maw tingling.
Senses heightened.

Swirling around,
Overworked palate starts to heal.
Haltingly smooth.

Timid throat waits.

Creamy unctuousness passes through,
Drops to centre.

Taste and texture
Engender comfort and feeling.
Soul satisfied.



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