The Great British Obsession (poetic prompt: weather)

Following weeks of hot weather and very little rain, this evening we had a real downpour. There were rivers of rain streaming down roads and overflowing drains and guttering. Leading me to write a poem on the weather and how we Brits have an extraordinary obsession with it.

The Great British Obsession

we moan about the snow, the hail and the sun
we complain in all seriousness and often in fun
we mock our nationality, we’re never content
whatever the weather you’ll hear a complaint
this June has been hot with almost no rain
will July bring storms and downpours again?
but are we happy with the sun and long warm days
leaving raincoats at home when we go out to play
you’d think it was great to have a summer of sun
but we like to complain, we need no reason
so now we have rain and grey cloudy skies
and we fondly remember the days gone by
the hot days of summer, oh wasn’t it great
it always rains in Britain, loudly we state
complaining about the weather is just what we do
and if you want to conform then you will too

copyright © Karen Horsley 2018


A chance to get organised

I’ve decided that today is going to be a very low energy, sitting around the house sorting out my poetry/author stuff kind of day. Bearing in mind teenager-1 has only just come down for breakfast (11am), it’s certainly good that I hadn’t planned to do anything exciting with him before lunch. Teenager-2 is at school until 7.30pm as he’s helping with the catering for a big event. He will, no doubt, be very tired after a nearly 12 hour day at school!

So, in an attempt to be vaguely organised with regards my “business” (sounds rather grand!) I have finalised my self-assessment tax registration, sorted out my goodreads author page and joined a ‘Writers & Artists’ community forum. Not sure if there’s much else I can be doing right now, so might take a quick trip out to the garden centre and then settle down to some poetry writing this afternoon.

[although have just told teenager-1 we’re going out for a bit and he’s stomped off in a huff… maybe I will sit around all day after all?!]

My running week (28)

My running week actually started with a late evening run last Sunday. With the weather continuing to hit mid to high 30s for the next couple of weeks I wanted to get out in the relatively cooler air of sunset. It’s incredible how much nicer it is to run without the glaring sun, even if the temperature is similar. I completed a slow and steady 6k to complete my #equalitywins virtual race.

I went to the training session at running club (with my kiddo) and, although hard work, enjoyed it. Everyone there was very friendly and encouraging, I’m sure it will become a regular feature of my week.

I also went to parkrun with my son, I was tail walker and had a lovely chat with an older gentleman, he was recovering from illness so we walked the 5k. Even though, as tail walker, I was last across the line I still came 3rd in my age category(!), there only being three women in the 45-49 group.

But the main event of my running week was my somewhat ill-conceived desire to complete a half marathon distance sometime this month, combined with my determination to just get out there and do it! Having signed up for a 20k virtual race (awesome Viking medal!) and a half marathon being 21km, on Wednesday morning I decided to give it a go. The first 8 miles felt good but then my legs began to tire, I was certainly regretting the 7 mile bike ride I’d done with my older son the previous evening. After walking most of the tenth mile, I then alternated walking and running until the end.

Despite stopping to photograph some donkeys, alpacas and to chat with some very cute calves, I completed the 13.1 miles in a very respectable time of 2:36:44. Running a half marathon is pretty tough so I absolutely deserved my Viking medal and the big bar of chocolate I treated myself to, which was needed to replenish my glucose-energy stores, honest!

2018 YTD                      2018 Medal Collection

#equalitywins 6k                              Viking 20k     

World Cup Final: A to Z poem

A game of two halves

Bringing the world together

Capable players with

Deft footwork

England just missed out

Final, France vs Croatia

Goal! France score first, Croatia equalise

Half time approaching

Incident occurred, penalty to France

Judgement by VAR, handball, it’s controversial

Kicked and scored, 2-1 at half time

Lead extended by Pogba, then

Mbappé makes it 4-1

Not looking good for Croatia

Or can they find a way back

Push on lads, the game’s not over yet

Quickly Croatia get one back

Red flags waving now, 4-2

Substitutions for Croatia and France

Touchline activity as players switch

Unsettled fans sense time is running out

Viewers around the world, watch the clock, 5 added minutes

Whistle blows, game over

eXcitement overwhelming the French team

Yet Croatia saddened at their loss

Zagreb flooded with disappointment

© Karen Horsley 2018

I Rise (again)

It’s proving a little more difficult to bring myself back up from my mini-relapse, this will not linger, I will not let it. I am in charge, not depression.

So, I share my inspirational mental health warrior poem with you once again and take the opportunity to mention my book (oh no, not again!). As soon as I’d written I Rise, I knew that it had to be the last poem in my book, and that is where you will find it.

From Kaleidoscopic Beauty, I Rise.

copyright © 2018 Karen Horsley

Peace: A to Z poem

Continuing from yesterday’s very sombre A to Z poem, today we have Peace! I was in full flow until I hit ‘U’, the remainder took a lot of thinking!

Peace: A to Z poem

By the sense that all in the world is
Calm and peaceful
Days filled with blue skies, and warm
Evening walks
Forget all worries and distress as
Golden light streams down from the
Heavens bathing us in tranquillity
Illuminating the world
Jewel-like colours fill the air as
Kites fly on gentle breezes
Light glinting on
Meandering streams
Nowhere holds such beauty
Or restfulness as the
Place we call home, a place to
Quietly reflect
Remembering love, laughter
Sorrow and joy
Through good times and bad
Ultimately we hold the key to unlock our own
Vision of contentment
Whatever happens, make no
eXcuses, the only things that matter are
Your attitude and
Zest for life

copyright © 2018 Karen Horsley

3-2-1 Quote Me

Thanks to Rory from A Guy called Bloke for the tag 🤗

Today’s theme is “greetings”.

And my inspiration comes entirely from The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson (although my favourite is The Snail and the Whale) 😁

The Mouse on meeting the fox:

“Where are you going to, little brown mouse?
Come and have lunch in my underground house.”
“It’s terribly kind of you, Fox, but no –
I’m going to have lunch with a Gruffalo”

The Mouse and Gruffalo on meeting the Fox:

“It’s Fox,” said the mouse. “Why, Fox, hello!”
Fox took one look at the Gruffalo.
“Oh help!” he said, “Goodbye, little mouse!”
And off he ran to his underground house.

My three tags are:

Beckie from Beckie’s Mental Mess

Katie from How I Killed Betty

Cherilyn from Post Modern Apocalyptic Failure

321 Quote Me Created by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!
Everyone loves quotes right?
So l figured to introduce a bit of light hearted and simple fun with this game.
Every day l will pick a topic, post 2 quotes and nominate 3 bloggers, who in turn will post 2 quotes on that topic and nominate 3 bloggers of their own.
321 Quote Me Game Directory
Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!
Thank the Selector
Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.
Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’
Note: Although this is the topic for today there is no specific deadline to it, meaning you can answer as and when.

Depression: A to Z poem

An A to Z poem is not something I had any awareness of until I saw it on another person’s blog (apologies I can’t remember who). It’s like an acrostic poem except the significant letters list the alphabet instead of spelling out a word.  In my desire to master ‘all things poetry’ I am willing to try any, and every, poetic form, structure and writing style.

Depression: A to Z poem

Blinkered by emotion
Caught up in thoughts, and
Dwelling on fears, we are
Existing not living
Freedom bound by lethargy
Grieving for the loss of who we used to be
Hating ourselves for failing
In life, in everything
Judgement rains down on us, like
Knives, their blades piercing
Lacerating heart and mind
Monday morning dawns
No hope that this week will be different
Oblivious to the world outside
Passing us by, we
Question and doubt ourselves
Remaining isolated
Trusting no one, not even ourselves
Unable to do anything
Vacantly we stare ahead
Watching nothing
eXcept the tears that fall from our eyes
Yearning to be free from this
Zombie-like existence

copyright © 2018 Karen Horsley

[I could have worked an authentic X-word into it, but it would have been very contrived… I will use eX-words in any and all A to Z poetry]

Banished from the Kingdom of Serenity

Write post – delete – start again…

I want to write of how hurt and upset I am but fear that doing so will trigger more tears and start another negative spiral down.  And what I want more than anything is to move on from this and get back to the happy me that I was this time yesterday morning.

But I’m not able to just move on.

A person I considered a friend, someone who knows the difficulties of my situation (social/emotional/family), someone I have confided in, has been criticising me behind my back.  And I would not have expected this of her.  That’s all I’m going to say because my mental health is still fragile, despite everything in my this time last year post, despite all the progress I’ve made, despite my achievements, success and positivity, it just takes one thing.

One upsetting moment and all the emotions flood back, depression is still there, it’s waiting for any opportunity to tell me that I’m worthless, that I shouldn’t bother, that I’m a failure.

I know that’s not true.

I know the reality.

I can write a list of all the stuff that contradicts depression, but it doesn’t make it disappear.  My knowledge is not a magic wand that can banish depression from the kingdom of serenity.

Today will be a self-care day, I will build my resilience back up and continue with my managed existence of minimising stress and looking after myself.

Thank you for reading,
K x

ps the poem I have scheduled to post later today I wrote yesterday morning, it’s very appropriate to how I feel now.


I Heard the Skylark Sing (Cento poem)

In my recent poetry course, I learnt of Cento poems which are poems constructed from the lines of other poems. A poetic collage.

I Heard the Skylark Sing

I heard the skylark sing
And thick with white bells the clover hill swells
The grey sea and the long black land
And a cool well for crystal water
Your hooves have stamped at the black margin of the wood
But seek no haven in my shadow

This poem was constructed from lines of the following poems, all credit to the original poets.

The grey sea and the long black land (Browning – Meeting at Night)

And a cool well for crystal water (Hardy – The Spell of the Rose)

Your hooves have stamped at the black margin of the wood (Yeats – On a Picture of a Black Centaur by Edmund Dulac)

And thick with white bells the clover-hill swells (Tennyson – The Sea-Fairies)

I heard the sky-lark sing (Coleridge – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner)

But seek no haven in my shadow   (Angelou – On the Pulse of Morning)