Canine (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Dawn

Definition: Canine – adj. relating to or resembling a dog or dogs

Synonyms: mutt, pooch, pup, coyote, fox, wolf, cur, hound, lobo, dingo

Lilydog, my cocker spaniel, hates the cold and rain. Her spanner attitude to January is below

Form: Interlocking Pathya Vat

with her long ears,
melt your heart eyes
and love you sighs
she gets her way
and what she wants
a duvet day
and there she’ll stay
up on my bed
after breakfast
I know she’ll head
straight back to bed
walk ‘no, daddy’


Write (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Linda

Definition: Write – v. mark (letters, words, or other symbols) on a surface, typically paper, with a pen, pencil, or similar implement.

Synonyms: put down, note, compose, address, create, draft, pen, scrawl, rewrite, scribble, ink, jot

And I caught up after a delayed start, and here I am, 31 Jan, writing the first draft to the final prompt for JustJoJan – of course, it must go for editing before it sees the screen let alone gets posted

Form: Haiku

outline – jot down notes
pen and ink of rough ideas
something or nothing
pen roughing outlines
out of order but in sync
scribbles in first draft
edit and rewrite
read through and edit some more
until final draft
check meter and form
count syllables to be sure
are rhyme patterns, right?
syntax and vocab
and there in ink it is done
now ready to type
they think it’s easy
composing words into verse
it’s bloody hard work


Exercise (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Wendy

Definition: Exercise – n. activity requiring physical effort carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness; an activity carried out for a specific purpose. v. use or apply (a faculty, right, or process); engage in physical activity to sustain or improve health and fitness

Synonyms: movement, effort, work, use, employ, utilize, train, drill

Bina words: march, drill

Form: Bina

on the parade ground they march
respect in knowing the drill
working uniform practicing the drill
dress uniform for the city march
the precision of the military march comes from practicing the drill


Throw In the Towel (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Linda

Following yesterday’s shopping adventure for food for the dog and cat and talking to Willow

Original draft approved by the lovely Willow – so a few edits and rewrites later, thank you, Willow

Form: List Poem

Boxes of dog food
Boxes of cat food
Frozen fish fillets
Chicken thighs
And after all that
I’m skint – and can’t afford a towel


Amenities (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Kim

Definition: Amenities – n. a desirable or useful feature or facility of a building or place; the pleasantness or attractiveness of a place

Synonyms: facility, service, convenience, resource, utility, system, appliance, aid, advantage, comfort, benefit, arrangement, opportunity, equipment

Form: Tanka

getting in and out
not easy in a wheelchair
ramp instead of steps
to say you are welcome here
access is all that’s asked for


(Nonconforming) Family (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, J-Dub

Definition: Family – n. a group of people who are related to each other, such as a mother, a father, and their children

Opposite/Antonyms: nonstandard, ascent, disarrange, irregular, instability, nonconforming

Form: Lune

they see different
not fitting the norm
two mums or two dads
and the hate begins
why do they hate love
raising our children
they do not know hate
they see life’s beauty
open minds
love, their reality


Creative Journal (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Linda

A creative journal – well, I can’t give you a photo of mine as my camera is otherwise engaged at the bird table filming some blue tits so instead, I will share a drawing from last year’s sketch pad, I hope that will do

Gateway to the Soul — Jez Farmer 2021

PS I am not a photographer


Paintbrush (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Paula

Prompt: Paintbrush

Form: Free write

My paintbrush, well brushes are as vital to me as a pen. Art has become the driving force of my life, be it a painting or a piece of writing. Like my poetry, my paintings and drawings have a piece of me in them. Over the last year, I have been using art as a therapeutic technique. Brush on canvas, pen on paper, or pencil on card it is letting me be. This time last year my mental health crashed, dangerously crashed as I couldn’t see a way out except… yeah, we all know what the except was. I stopped writing as I didn’t see the point. My housemate was quick to react and dug out my pencils and sketchpad – draw, draw whatever, just draw. And yes, he was right to do that as when my words can’t release pencils and paint can even if the images have nothing to do with what is going on in my head, the lines and brushwork often do. Drawing led to painting from watercolour to oils, I had never worked with oils before. So for this prompt my first oil painting. The sea and sailing have always symbolized freedom to me, an escape from everything on land, and that was going in my head, I don’t know – maybe

Mooring — JezzieG2022


(Not)Ideal (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Astrid

Definition: Ideal – adj. existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality

Opposite/Antonyms: flawed, wrong, imperfect

Form: Kimo

the dreams of perfect love that cannot be
for the heart is imperfect
flawed before the first kiss


(Un)seasonal (JustJoJan)

Inspired and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Kaye

Prompt: Seasonal

Definition: Seasonal – adj. relating to or characteristic of a particular season of the year

Opposite/Antonyms: continuous, constant, eternal, perpetual, incessant, unceasing, everlasting

Word 1: Constant
Word 2: Eternal

Form: Bina

The passage of time is constant
what remains becomes eternal
A love without end, eternal
for the heart and soul stay constant
For love the only constant within the light eternal


(What) Phantom (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Tuba

Given the antonyms that have been thrown up for the word “Phantom,” I prefer the idea of phantoms to the alternative

Definition: Phantom – n. a ghost, a figment of imagination,

Opposite or Antonyms: void, nothingness, vacancy, emptiness, blank

Form: Dodoitsu

in voids of reality
where the nothingness is real
blank minds imagine nothing -
I need the phantoms!


Complaint (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, John

The prompt is “complaint” and the moment the post hit my notifications Michael Palin popped eagerly into my head. I love Monty Python, especially Michael. I was going to dutifully look up definitions and then some antonyms but Michael is much stronger so here goes. It’s a classic

So thank you John for allowing Michael to pop into my head.


Cleaned by the Moon (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Linda

At the time of writing it is Saturday which marks the beginning of the writing week for me, and of course, I start with wordplay. However, to make a change, this week I have added the parameter of using opposite or antonyms. The prompt is ‘stained by the sun’ so I am going with ‘cleaned by the moon’ here.

Form: Haiku

Lady of silver
cleansing beams refresh my soul
and life is alright


Optimism (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, June

Definition: Optimism – n. hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something

Form: Free Write

Let’s face it, none of us would do anything if we didn’t think there was some chance it will work out. Now, whether it works out how we imagined is something else. I see optimism as the spark that could ignite the light at the end of a tunnel. Could, if something is not meant to be nothing will ignite that light, and a new tunnel needs to be travelled.

I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic, I like an even balance. I believe in being realistic and weighing up the pros and cons before making decisions. In fact, being over-optimistic or over-pessimistic is not healthy and for mental health even dangerous. Optimism won’t be of any use if things go wrong and one is not prepared for that contingency. Likewise, pessimism is useless when things succeed.

Yes, all that means I analyze. probably over-analyse, every damn thing. but I am very aware if I go too far positive or negative my mental health breaks down into chaotic spirals, and I have no chance of coping with that – and that is never a good place to be. Balance is key

Gratitude (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Carol Anne

You know who you is

Definition: Gratitude – n. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

Form: Tanka

thankful someone understood
an act repaid by friendship
a warrior by her side
by honour of love


Once Upon a Time… (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank ye kindly, Linda

Form: Free Write

Prompt: Once upon a time….

…. a poet gazed at the prompt in utter confusion as to what it required. Was it a free write where the words fall onto the keys or something totally different? More likely the poet is just being a dumbass as it is getting late and he needs a nice cup of tea. Is there a time limit or word count? Knowing my luck I have already exceeded a word count or have so far to go I will have to invent some twatwaffle. Actually, I ain’t written twatwaffle in ages so it is long overdue. Already the autowhatitsface is red-lining as it doesn’t like the twatwaffling word nor being called autowhatisface – aww my heart bleedeth with raw I don’t careness. and there it is another red’un. Normally so many red lines would fry my little brain into a melt-in-the-mouth moment of sheer panic and terrorification. And there is the point of twatwaffling, dear gentlefolk, it is allowing myself to just write without thinking ‘oh no a correction.’ Or maybe it is a poet’s challenge of daring-do-do to see if the damn autofixit with the red pen melts down into a techie-puddle of goo before I do, In that case, it’s beat me every time. The prompt is once upon a time which is always a long long time ago or some such jazzification that leads to a maiden of fairness, yeah blonde hair and all that, and she’s normally a princess hitting hard times until the dozy plank on horseback, they call ‘im the handsome prince, he has to be a prince cos she is a princess and all, comes plodding along and in a brave and manly fashioning rescues her and they get married. Result they live happily ever after. So now my wee brain is thinking – oh gods no I hear ya all say – if a story starts with once upon a time it will end with they all lived happily ever after. So everything in between, by logical deductioning, must be twatwaffle. Now I’m going for that cup of tea. Tara!!!

Donut (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Liz Husebye Hartmann

Oh, one of my pet peeves is manky doughnuts on the same shelf as delicious Danish pastries. – so wrong, so very wrong.

Definition: Donut – n. a variation of doughnut, sweet ring-shaped fried cake

Form: Lune

hot bun in spiced dip
not Danish
on the same shelf - why?


Reversal (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Sadje

Definition: Reversal – n. a change to an opposite direction, position, or course of action

Form: Tanka

when things don’t work out
turn it around, start again
a change of heart yearns
for light in the darkness
destiny another way


Friendship (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Linda

True friendship is the purest form of love, unconditional, it is a rock and foundation stone of survival. Friendship is not a list of faceless names on Facebook, it is a relationship of the deepest trust, online or real-time, it is that special relationship that can’t be broken.

Form: Lunka

the purest of love
undemanding state
a safe place
the ears that listen
without words
never condemning
that bad call
that mistake
the ones left standing
when most fall
and don’t care enough
by my side
true friends stay


Out of the Box (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Linda

Prompt: Out of the Box

Form: Free Write

To be out of the box one first must be in the said box. The box, that safe place that gives us breathing time, time to pull the mess we make of living back together. So, it is not such a bad place and we all need our boxes at times.

However, it is not a good place to stay if we are going to actually do the living thing. So, I look at that box, that safe space, as a bit like a flat-pack box I can collapse and carry with me and put up real quick if I need to.

As a writer, the box is something different. Thinking outside the box is part of the job so to speak, but so is thinking in the box – it all depends on what I am writing about. When I am writing about art, I must stay true to what I see and that means staying in that damn box and not getting all fancy and flowery about it.

Of, course, art can also inspire me, and then I get out of the box and go into creative writing. For creative writing of poetry and fiction, it is a case of folding that box up and shoving it deep under the sofa where I can’t get to it. It is the only way I can explore ideas that come into my head, dust off the manky cobwebs and go with it, exploring the idea and writing it. I write fantasy – believe me I have never met an Orc, well, I don’t think I have, but I have written about them

Cancer (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for JustJoJan – thank you, Lauren

Form: Free write

Thanks to a bout of lurgy over New Year I am playing catch-up with these prompts. I knew this one was coming and have been dreading it. The C word doesn’t deserve a poem out of me so I am not going to write one. How can I write poetry for that thing that made me stare death in the face alone? How can I write poetry for that thing that stole my beautiful wife from me? Simple fact – I can’t.

I look up at my mantlepiece at a photo from when times were so different. A smiling couple with the world at their feet and a future in front of them. We were going to do so many things, but we didn’t know how little time we had to do them. And I think how many joys and sorrows of life we didn’t get to share. The silly things and the big life matters things – Gabbie didn’t get to see them. She didn’t see the boys grow into fine young men.

I now do the things we wanted to do on my own, but I take Gabbie with me in spirit because that is all I can do. Gigs, shows, art galleries, walks in the countryside, all those things we were going to do together and I feel the joy of them but it is tinged with a wee bit of sorrow that she is not there with me.

That C word destroys lives. For those left behind life doesn’t get better, it doesn’t get easier and the pain of grief never goes away. Sure, one learns to live with it and make an existence, but it doesn’t go away.

I will do the Walk of Light again this year for Blood Cancer UK as always in Gabbie’s memory and in the hope, it will be eradicated. That thing makes people suffer so much pain both those suffering it and their families

Courage (JustJoJan)

Inspired by and written for Just Jo Jan – thank you, Linda

I admire all of you who can pen one-liners, that is something I have never quite got to grips with. Respect!!! Not sure I would agree with the definition of fearlessness

Definition: Courage – n. brave, fearlessness (?), grit

Form: Lune

fear is the darkness
grit and guts
for the brave know fear


Blogging (Just Jo Jan)

Inspired by and written for Just Jo Jan – thank you Dar

Wordplay and short verses are such fun. This time a bina that revolves around two words to form two couplets and an envoy

Definition: Blogging – n., personal website building

Form: Bina

Online journals recording words
and thoughts there on the screen
Intimate moments shared on the screen
in a post of carefully composed words
Personal words exposed on the screen


Constellation (Just Jo Jan)

Inspired by and written for Just Jo Jan – thank you, Willow

Well, this is gonna have to be good, innit? Constellation, January – I’m a Goatfish

Definition: Constellation – n., destiny, pattern

Form: Dodoitsu

Tropic of Capricorn shines
rising in ascendancy
spinning his wheel of fortune
as written by stars
Not denying any of that