Pankhearst Fresh – Pestle and Mortar


My poem Pestle and Mortar was the Fresh Poem of the week on the Pankhearst Blog today. Here’s the link!

Pestle and Mortar

Making it be, herb by herb
and crafting laughter
sown from buds of wilted ends
(either for lovers or for friends),
no sparks or smokes
but a burnt ring, brown and thin
like vintage tin
– firing –
blanking up a part of brain
and abruptly forgetting my own name.

Blindly grinding down choices
tough enough
to be conscious,
to invent that consequence,
so when I’m winding the weeds
there’s no skill spent with ill intent.

Inspiring visions to inward grow
reveal the raw thinking flows
from vein to lung to nose
to song sung out
as white silent shout
in need to make luck and give –
isn’t that sought by all who live?

© Caroline Hardaker 2015

This one came from a call out from a different publisher exploring myth, the other, magic. I hold these themes quite close to my heart anyway, I feel like I spend half of my life steeped in some sort of fantastical view of the world. I do think fables and myths are so ultimately universal that they resonate with lives spanning hundreds of years. They address core principles of humanity, such as morality, escapism, longing, to the very darkest of indulgences.

Thank you Pankhearst. I don’t think I’ve seen the last of you quite yet. 😉


The Thing on Your Shoulder



You Are The Thing on Your Shoulder:


Which would you be, if you couldn’t quite see

the way ahead, whether you were living or in fact, dead?

Do you sing like a bard or drive your purpose hard

through the darkling night? Do you like the light?


© Caroline Hardaker 2015


It’s hard to understand our natures, I know. What sort of a person we are, are we kind, are we less than kind, is what we choose to do deliberate, reactionary, or just due to learned behaviour? Perhaps it’s best to not think about it too much, but I’ve been working on a few pieces for a small collection of poems based some more obscure emotions. The latest one I’ve drafted explores the thoughts running through our head when we’re essentially ‘killing time’ – when we want time to pass, but we know we should savour our moments, and in the end we can’t be sure whether it is the distraction from ourselves that we are looking forward to. We can’t always like our own company. In that sense we’re not in control of ourselves, and we are subject to ourselves and how we make ourselves feel.

There is more to use than dark and light. We are all made up from a whole spectrum of colours.

Today, I’m ochre.

Words! Pictures! Sounds!

This is most definitely a bit of an experiment. A place to gather together words and pictures and ideas and all that jazz.

Not just my jazz – but other people’s jazz too, if it’s snazzy enough (snazzy is even more jazzy than jazz).

We all use words everyday, we say them without thinking most of the time, and it’s quite a novelty to sit and actually think about what we want to say. It’s normally when we want to control the emotional reaction we get from it, whether it’s to calm, to anger, to convince, to commiserate, or to entertain.

We are all wordsmiths and crafters and poets. We can all charm and bemuse.

The other requirement for writing is ideas, and thoughts about the world/worlds (why not have a dozen worlds?) Imagine black is white and the sea floats across the sky. Imagine the tang of eating a sour sweet or the burn of a hair straightened clamping down on your ear. We all think obscure thoughts sometimes, you might be surprised by how an odd image you think up can mean something to the person you least expect.

So henceforth, words! Pictures! Sounds! Bring on the brains.