Thursday, 27 May 2021

Repeat it if it's good

Inspiration for this week came from a song by Bob Dylan called 'Shelter from the Storm' which includes a repeated line similar to the title - 'Come in she said, I'll give you shelter from the storm'. The line is repeated at the end of each verse and creates a powerful structure. Repetition can be a useful device in poetry so the task was to use a repeating line. Thanks Bob!


This needs to be held

Not quickly spent...


The warmth as I enter 

My new home


The shaft of sunlight


As the sun glides around

The "other building"


The green, tenderly painted

Cast-iron ends of my

grandmother's seat

Standing guard

Offering rest


My mother's

Carefully chosen birdbath

Standing to the south

Reflecting sky

And shells

thoughtfully placed


All this

Needs to be held...


not quickly


- Pauline

Monday, 24 May 2021

If I was a Unicorn...

A chance meeting with a unicorn led to today's topic - unicorns! Okay it wasn't a real unicorn but what if? The challenge set for our writers was firstly to write a poem with the title "If I was a unicorn..." The poet could become the unicorn or look from the outside in a more detached way. And how does a unicorn move, think and feel anyway? So we had a bit of fun with that and then doubled down on the unicorn theme with a second poem that had to feature not only a unicorn, but a fluffy cloud, a sheep and a snowflake. These ideas were inspired by a lantern installation in Dunedin in the month of June at the Meridian Mall as part of the 2021 Dunedin Midwinter Carnival.


From grassy bank, sky clear blue

in whose fluffy clouds imagination sees

a sheep jumping over a snowflake

a crystal tearing off, becoming a horn

ovine legs grow strongly long

now bouncing tail flows long and free

a fast and running unicorn, until

fluffy clouds reform, and all are gone

- Kate Jenkins


Unique horn



Piercing eyes


To the heart

Lit from within

Shedding light outwards into

The dark and cold

Blackness of


- Pauline


If I was a unicorn.

I would talk to animals.

Gallop along a field of grass.

I would jump over fences to explore the rest of the world.

I would feel free as my mane blows in the wind.

I would see animals in a different light.

I would meet people brave enough to meet a unicorn.

If I was a unicorn.

I would be happy forever.

Living in this fantasy world.


- Julia Godfrey



Clamped in sediments am I

Old bones still strong and tight

Once in a forest I laid down

caught by storms of disbelief and doubt.

Historic?  Mythical?  Gone.

This life did not exist

But words held my pulse, and

Art kept my being light

A nursery tale, wandering, sought

Stories wished into open thought

I wait the day when scraping trowel

reveals my bones to show the 'now'

that I exist, I have not gone

Your dreams, your hopes

will trot my song

- Kate Jenkins

Monday, 10 May 2021

Micro Fiction

This week we were inspired by the national Flash Fiction competition which we didn't enter but at least it prompted us to write! We limited ourselves to 100 words and had four topics to choose from. Below are three using 'Night creature' and one for 'A letter in the wall'. The aim was to tell a dramatic short story in as few words as possible and to brush up on our editing skills as we often had to cut the story back to fit the required word length. We also focussed on ensuring our first and last lines were compelling as this is especially important when using so few words. Well done all!


Her eyes were lost in a cloud of darkness. She blindly felt for switches. Scrabbling silence like muted a thriller.

All she could hear was a creaking floor board. Her creaking?

She was alone surely. Torch, she’d found a torch. It flickered like a dying candle.


She desperately pressed the button on and off.

A giant shadow moved torward her. She screamed as someone grabbed her around the body.
She pulled an arm free and shined her stuttering torch at a maniacal laughing face.

“How dare you,” s
he shouted in frustration as her husband hugged her tighter.

By Julia Godfrey


He woke, afraid, black silence slicing dark holes in his mind.  Intruders?  Earthquake?  Flood?  Rain drummed heavily on the cast-iron roof, pulsed by incoming wind gusts, poured along the channels, cascading where the down-pipe wasn't.

Detected again; a scratchy snuffling, wheezing, below the overlaying rain and wind.  He sat up, feet on the blanket, stretching for his shotgun.  Blast!  He flicked the bed lamp;  only darkness.  Bollocks!  He leaped, and stamped his feet heavily, drumming the floor; books from the untidy shelf cascaded into a literary mound.  Silence grew between the sounds of wind and rain.

- Kate Jenkins


It was dark and the path was steep. The gradient climbing upwards, hugging the predator-free fence that wound around the eco-sanctuary - a ribbon draped on the rounded hills of Orokonui.

My breathing was becoming increasingly laboured. I needed a rest but was afraid of stopping. It was late and a warm hearth beckoned. Although the short-cut home had seemed like a good idea at the time, doubts were now creeping in.

From the quiet of dusk, night noises were beginning. A rustle here, a snuffle there. The crunching of gravel underneath my feet. The thumping of my own heart and then came that noise, the one that chilled my blood...

- Pauline


Chisel and crowbar worked around the chimney; mortar blew powdery onto face and arms; bricks crashed down.  David wiped dust from his eyes.  Among the bricks, a paper corner showed.  He drew it to the light.

"My Dearest Joe,

I heard today of the passing of your dear Mother.  A lovely lady; so kind to me, particularly at that dreadful time. 

I do wish we might have stayed together.  

My thoughts are with your family.  Please convey my sympathy to dear cousin Elsie.

                                                                                    Yours faithfully,

                                                                                           Florence  "

David slid the letter back into the envelope and, opening the wood burner, threw it in.

- Kate Jenkins

Today we feature one of our regular writers who has diligently written up the poems she has developed at the Artsenta Writer's Group ove...