The Worm Moon

For those who weren’t aware, the full moon (a “supermoon”, no less) last night is referred to as “the worm moon“. I had never heard this description before… it sparked the following, for World Poetry Day. I hope you enjoy 🙂

 

Every dog has his day,
And the worm gets its moon…
Not an obvious choice
for celestial nomenclature.
Its wormy good points
Buried beneath the surface
Of secretive earth.
Blind. Emotionless.

But they carry on, they wriggle on,
Chewing through the endless
To reach destinations unseen
By routes non-linear

Surviving scissor cuts of
Inquisitive children
And early morning raids
By well-prepared birds

Just existing, and being,
Content as they are
Ready to one day,
Turn

The Worm Moon

Zombie Airwaves… Dead Air?

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share this with you – it’s a podcast recording of an interview with the lovely Jo-Ann Carson, where she finds me in unusually talkative form! I go through a potted history of my writing journey so far, what inspired me to start writing, and my top tips (such as they are) for any aspiring and emerging writers … I also give a performance of some of my poems, including ZombieLife…

I’d love it if you checked it out, shared on social media, told your granny about it… all that good stuff! 🙂

https://www.bloodsweatandwords.com/bsw-024-zombie-poetry-thrillers-al-lane-mark-oneill-20190205/

Copies of Haiku of the Dead are available through amazon on the links below. A perfect Valentines gift for the man in your life… just saying!

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07K1Q8MKY

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K1Q8MKY

 

haiku of the dead cover pic

The Shambling Undead Tour…!

I’ve got lots of things in the pipeline, including a couple of forthcoming podcast appearances, but I’ve also arranged to get myself out there to promote my book in the next few months… so if you are near any of these towns and cities, and fancy checking it out, then please come along! More will be announced for April and May in due course… lots of poeting miles to be clocked up this year! Hope to see you there 🙂

Copies of Haiku of the Dead can be purchased through amazon globally, including:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07K1Q8MKY

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K1Q8MKY

the zombie cometh...

Zombie Zombie Zombie!

Yes, that’s right, Halloween’s coming, so it’s time to talk zombies… And the value for money in this post is incredible. Not one, but two, yes a whole two!, zombie items to share!

First up is a plug… long time readers may remember an A to Z challenge I completed some time ago, on the theme of surviving the zombie holocaust…in haiku form… Well, I’ve written a bunch of new ones and collected them all together, and will be publishing these on Amazon IMMINENTLY (ie when I get a spare few hours in the next week) as … THE HAIKU OF THE DEAD….

Here’s the cover reveal, for those who like that sort of thing…

haiku of the dead cover pic

And to whet your appetite for all things zombie, here is a NEW zombie poem. Over a few drinks in a bar, I joked to some fellow poets that most of my stuff in my first collection was either about cats or zombies… so they challenged me to write about zombie cats… This was the result. I hope you like it. 🙂

Zombie Pet Store

Went down to the zombie pet store
To pick myself a pet
(There’s not the widest choice of these,
So you take what you can get)

A zombie goldfish seemed too lame:
I wanted something cooler!
Some creature that could scare my sis,
Lure her in and fool her…

A zombie guinea pig could be fun
With their amped-up feral nature.
As long as it’s fed some daily flesh,
It’s never gonna hate ya…

Or a zombie hamster spinning ‘round
Within its blood-stained wheel?
Perhaps a zombie bunny
Trying to make you its next meal?

Zombie dogs are a big no-go:
Too strong to be man’s best friend.
Even with a muzzle on,
Spot will eat you, in the end.

But zombie cats? That’s where it’s at,
On this, can we agree?
They’ve the same sense of superiority
And indifference to humanity

Although the purring and the miaowing
Is now more like …growling
After brutal night-time killing sprees,
There’s the same old midnight howling!

So, it’s time to make your choice:
Buying a zom-pet is no game.
But whether a cat’s alive or undead,
Its behaviour’s just the same!

Golden Shovel, after Charles Simic “Watermelons”

A golden shovel takes an existing short poem, and uses every word as the end of each line for a new poem

Watermelons, by Charles Simic

Green Buddha
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.

Golden Shovel, after Charles Simic “Watermelons”
I lazed on the lawn, summer green
Calm and peaceful, an urban Buddha
Eyes closed, nothing on
My mind, just enjoying the
Moment, this day, this sun, the fruit
Of nature. Feeling its rays, I stand,
Arise without thinking, realising we
Are one; nature, earth, people; we eat
Of the soil and feed the
Soil; reaping what we sow, every smile
Breeding a dozen more, joy spreading and
Growing, an infection of hope that spits
On salty pavements, letting out
The poison of doubt, and the
Self-constraints of “can’t”, through newly-revealed teeth.

Al at the Maze4 - May-18

Alistair Lane performing at The Maze…

YouTube

For those who hadn’t already noticed through other channels, I’ve put a couple of videos of my poetry performances up on YouTube, and have more to drip-feed out over the coming weeks.

I’d really appreciate it if you could check them out, maybe even subscribe to follow me on YouTube… if you like it, feel free to share!

This is the latest one I’ve uploaded. It’s my first ever live performance (aww!), at a Crosswords night in a cave in Nottingham (still my favourite place to perform). The first poem, Memory, has been rewritten substantially since this performance… one of the benefits of testing material in front of an audience. Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

Alternatively, you can subscribe here

Thank you!

 

 

Pets and their owners

They say that pets look like their owners… This is called “my cat’s a sexy motherf*cker”

Your dachshund may be a darling
And your terrier drive a truck
You may think your pet’s amazing…
But mine’s as sexy as f*ck

So your gerbil’s got some game
And your schnauzer isn’t a schmuck
Your pets each have their qualities…
Mine’s as sexy as f*ck

You may really dig your degu
Think your Pekinese is full of pluck
I couldn’t be any happier for you…
But mine’s as sexy as f*ck

Your ferret may bring you good fortune
And your black cat carry good luck
I’ve won the bloody lottery, mate…
‘cause mine’s as sexy as F*CK!

catwoman-1741484_1280

My cat, this afternoon

 

Me, Me, Me

I attended a poetry workshop on Saturday, as part of the Nottingham Poetry Festival. I’m barely home this week for going to various poetry gigs (sadly not performing, but am hoping that will come), and consider myself blessed to live in such a poetry-hungry city!

At this workshop, I wrote a number of poems that will eventually see the light of day on this blog. This was written for the opening exercise, to write a tanka to introduce ourselves. I wrote two… the second explains why!

Really a rhymer
Who then got hooked on haiku.
In recovery.
I’ve been clean for a year.
Damn! I’m back on the wagon!

I love a challenge.
Stupidly competitive.
Fitting these words in
Gives me great satisfaction,
When the syllables all fit

🙂

 

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Grabbing 2018 by the B&lls!

Let’s be honest, 2017 as a year was… a bit shit. Too much hate-filled terrorism, too much idiocy-filled Brexit, too much asshole-filled Trump… even the celebrity deaths looked a bit shit compared with the previous year (RIP David Bowie and Alan Rickman). Not to mention that The Last Jedi was also…a bit shit. (Sad, but true. Feel free to fail to convince me otherwise below…)

But this isn’t the “a bit shit” blog. (Quiet at the back.)

I’ve had a poem saved in drafts for over two years now. It’s about feeling low in the new year (“the calendar moves on/ I remain still”)… it’s not going to get published here this year either. It’s just not what I want to share. Life is “a bit shit” enough without me releasing my faintly whiffy poetry into the air. It would be as welcome as a fart at a funeral. (As I’m fairly sure Geoff Le Pard would/has put it!)

I’m also not one of those annoyingly cheerful positive types. I know some of my American readers lap that stuff up, but us Brits don’t really go in for that either.

Modesty.
Awkwardness.
Self-deprecation.

Those are our “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” equivalents.

I digress.

So… a middle way. A smidge of positivity, without the odour of negativity. A sustainable, splash-free course through the swirling turd-hills of terror, Brexit, Trump, #this-year’s-evil…

In terms of my poetry, things are starting to move along… I have joined a supportive poetry collective, DIY Poets… I will continue to attend open mics (am back to The Cave next week)… I have a brief slot supporting the brilliantly funny poet John Hegley in March… I got my first publishing credits last year (in a charity collection – Diverse Verse – and then in a wonderful local Christmas ‘zine through Mud Press)… I have collated poetry for at least three different collections I intend to self-publish (pending me arranging some cover art)… I hope to soon be sharing a few videos of my poems on youtube…

In terms of my other writing, I am currently developing an idea I have for a sitcom, and am trying to get to grips with screenwriting… I may even go back to a novel I started in 2016… plus some unfinished business with drafts of a handful of children’s picture books…

A few different options!

So… back to grabbing 2018 by the balls (or throat, if you prefer a more violent but less sexual image)…

I have volunteered to help organise the Nottingham Poetry Festival in April. I will be the official blogger in the build-up to and during the festival. What this means in reality, I can’t yet tell you (not because it’s secret, but because I don’t yet know either!), but when the call went out for people to help a month ago, I took an afternoon off work, got the tram into Nottingham, sucked in my gut, and said to a room-full of strangers “err…anything I can do?”

I am very excited about this one!

I hate “takeaways” (unless being used in the British sense of food delivered to your door, obviously), but if there is a takeaway from this, it’s just this:

When whatever-your-thing-in-2018 sends a call out for people to help (and it will)
– Get on the bus/ tram/ boat/ unicycle
– Suck in your gut
– Say “err… is there anything I can do to help?…”

To your success!

 

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Last Christmas

With apologies to George Michael…

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
You bought me a Lynx deodorant gift set from Boots, £4.99.

I’m not a materialist
But that feels a little one-sided to me.

I don’t even like Lynx.

 

 

Merry Christmas!

tim-gouw-165547