A friend wrote a poem

A friend wrote a poem so beautiful it made me want to stop writing altogether because, and I’ll quote myself, “how could I write anything with as much gravitas as these twenty lines?”

What is it about poetry that takes all the unspooling nature of human thought and emotion, that I write down in half non-sensical paragraphs and unending pages, and distills it into a metre, enjambes its thought over two lines, and delivers a gut punch with the last three stressed syllables?

I saw my friend read their poem in a pub. I was three beers deep, and anxious about another friend’s all too closeness, and the moroseness of the evening was met by the hammer tetrameter, and the power of the iambic throb in my limbic system; is this heartbeat or…?

Out into the November air, the street lamps curled like talons or gnomic fishing rods waiting to ensnare a passerby. I am ensnared in the net of my own anxiousness, and my friend is talking with our friends about somebody else’s trousers, and how’s about going back to someone else’s place for a night cap, and how’s about going back inside.

A friend wrote a poem so beautiful I felt like crying because, and I’ll quote myself, “what’s the point in dry eyes if they don’t see the world that way”

A friend wrote a poem so beautiful I felt like dying because, and I’ll quote myself, “what’s the point in wide eyes if they don’t see the world at all.”

Near Window 19: Far Window

Now I wander in confusion (4,6) – Megan Courtman

A window in Devon

I cried when I saw my crumpled crosswords.

The Roomba had mangled them, whirred over their edges and swept at their corners. The paper plains become crags and creases and trenches.

“Oh,” I said weakly, and sank to my knees.
What metaphor was this? Half-done, half-loved labour in tatters? How to explain my grief for these squares?

My finger hovered over the first of the puzzles. I dreaded the feel of it, hated those contours. I tapped at a peak, it pricked me right back. I looked at my littered letters in valleys.

“You can still do them,” husband comforted. “We can flatten them out – they’ll be just the same.” But what of the folds and the scars and the tears?
There is spirituality in perfect minutiae – in the crispness of bedsheets and pages and grids. This: the essence of the perfectionist’s faith.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. My sin of carelessness had begotten this plight. On the floor beneath the window I had discarded companions.

Several hours later I took husband’s advice: they are squeezed between tomes, like flowers in a press.

Faith is delicate, like a crossword.

Et in Arcadia ego.


Megan is studying data science and is currently teaching machines about crime. She still loves words though, especially crosswords. She can be found on Twitter, @CrypticMeg.

Near Window 16: One near one far

I listened to the queen.

You can find here two poems about listening to the queen. One from @extrajugo and one from me. Both written following the queens speech. Not that I didn’t like the speech, which I did, and not that that negates my anti-monarchy political leanings. But just that I thought you’d enjoy these two specimens.

The whale in question

Near Window 14 : Far Window

A near window in London
Time for something a little different

Pearce Lid…

munched on his sourdough, it was rock hard by now, as were the other 16 loaves. “Waste not want not” he sputtered on to one as the blood from the roof of his mouth trickled onto the wrinkled empty sac of strong white flour he’d bought when the idea of unlimited leisure time had seemed novel. Swilling his Dentyl, the taste of iron fading slowly from his tongue, he remembered a time the PM was mocked for using the word ‘O-NAN-ISTIC’ and was glad he’d googled it when he did.

Today’s Near Window is a guest post from Eden Henderson (you can find him @extrajugo).

“Eden is a chef with a penchant for rollies and drawing in notebooks. He lives on mars and has never read Les misérables”

if u wanna do a guest Near Window from ur room, or wherever u find urself quarantined, just send me a message w/ a pic of ur window and some words 💕💕💕

Near Window 13

This is just to say

That I have eaten

All the biscuits

That we’re in

the cupboard

Of which

I should probably

Have saved you

At least one

Forgive me

They were quite nice

Even though I

Sicked them up after

A hungover poem from me to my flatmate after we drank all our alcohol, i ate a bad egg, and cried in my bed about eating all the biscuits. to clarify I was sick bc I was really very hungover and the sugar hit was just too much ✌️

PSA: do not buy biscuits in quarantine- I will eat them