The more observant among my regular readers will have noticed that I’ve been writing a lot of poetry over the last week or so. It’s mainly because I’m doing yet another WordPress course and this one is called Writing 201: Poetry. Everyday I’ve been writing a different kind of poem and thus far I’ve attempted the following poetry styles – Haiku, Acrostic, Prose, Limerick and Ode.

It all seems to be going to plan, but I thought I’d better offer a bit of an explanation to today’s effort as the task was to put together a ‘Found’ poem.

So I decided to use extracts from my ‘Spam Comments’ folder.

I think you’ll agree that there is a lot of wisdom contained within… Continue reading Spamaletto

Chocolate Face

I don’t think about my skin
Very often, although it is a colour
That has provoked a reaction in others
Both negative and at times

Patronisingly positive
Because my ethnicity might look
Like a really nice sun tan
But it isn’t a really nice sun tan.

Living in a cosmopolitan town or city
I am just another person
Of little interest
Or consequence

A far cry I suppose
From a childhood in which
I was the only brown kid in the school
And the other kids called me ‘Chocolate Face’

I don’t blame them
They were infants
And it was the eighties
When casual racism was acceptable

But to the adults who
I turned to for help
I would just say
The following advice is less than helpful
To an emotional and frightened
Five year old boy

“Call them something back”

“It could be worse – everyone likes chocolate”

“Stop telling tales”

To the kids I would, however, point out
That they got the colour wrong
I’m not the colour of chocolate
If anything I’m more the colour
Of toffee or possibly coffee

It does make me lament the state
Of the Education system
In Thatcher’s Britain
If children back then
Were unable to make
Such obvious distinctions
When it comes to colour

A Day In The Life

James Proclaims (4)

Day 14 of Writing 101 was to write a post that takes place within a single day. I think that particular ‘time constraint’  already applies to the vast majority of the fiction I post on here, so perhaps a recollection of a particular day in my life would be appropriate here.

The problem is that I’ve been alive for well over 13,000 days. I can’t recall every single one of them, but it’s still pretty hard to pick one to focus on. So I’m going to choose yesterday, because it’s reasonably fresh in my mind, and I can’t choose today, because I actually wrote this last night.

So yesterday it is. The last day of September 2015.

It was a far from significant day in most respects. I woke up at 6 am and had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast. I then had a shower. I set off for work a little later than usual, though not for any particular reason. I still arrived by 7.45 which is a good thirty minutes before I need to be there.

I taught my lessons. The kids were mostly well behaved.

Two colleagues managed to annoy me during the day, but that’s not unusual.

I found time for two cups of alarmingly bad coffee during the day, which is more than I normally manage to fit in.

I escaped at 4.15 pm.

When I got home I logged onto my bank account to see if I had been paid for September.

I had.

It was, as ever, a disappointment to discover how little I earn.

Nonetheless I will be able to pay the mortgage this month. So that’s something.

For the evening meal I reheated last week’s leftover curry that I had removed from the freezer the night before.

It was actually quite nice.

Mrs Proclaims and I watched an episode of a fairly undemanding TV show on Netflix, before she headed off for the first of her new German evening classes. I had the house to myself for a couple of hours, during which time I did a bit of work for school and started to write this.

Mrs Proclaims returned at around 10 pm, mildly disappointed by the quality of her class, but resolute to make the best of it, having already paid for the next fourteen weeks.

We had a chat. She went to bed. I finished writing this and then went to bed around midnight.

I’ll be honest, I’ve lived more exciting days in my life.

Last Saturday, for example, would have made a much better subject for a blog post.

Frankly it demeans both me as a writer and you as a reader that I chose yesterday.