Spectacle Calcium Directive – dVerse

to want them, even

copy paper and of you will

an scissors, some cut

each the order infinitely

one, all unappreciated

each length left

the there

the herd in

conscientiously cut in

the this

the sensibility

poem article put bag-words

make newspaper

take which

shake you out, author

the out carefully

that by a next other article

choose – after

take poem

bag up you – gently though –

the an from original in vulgar

your take and resemble

article this cutting they are

a the of make next charming



This week, on dVerse Meeting the Bar, Victoria has asked us to write poetry as if we had taken a trip back in time almost 100 years, and were living and immersed in Dada.

This era and movement fascinates me and so I am delighted to be taking part – such fun! I have chosen to randomly re-order the words of the (translated) instructions of Tristan Tzara, who wrote guidance on how to generate what were/are known as ‘Chance Operations’ – methods of producing poetry independent of the author’s will or influence. He wrote, in his ‘Dada Manifesto on Feeble Bitter & Love’ the following:

“Take a newspaper.

Take some scissors.

Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem.

Cut out the article.

Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them all in a bag.

Shake gently.

Next take out each cutting one after the other.

Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.

The poem will resemble you.

And there you are–an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.”

I hope you enjoy my randomness – I can see me doing something like this again, just for the fun of it, and just because it makes no sense, perfectly. Which was kind of the point, was it not? The First World War made no sense, and Dada was a commentary on and response to it.

Please pop over to dVerse to read some excellent poems, Dada style. Join in – we don’t bite!



CC41 – dVerse


Image source – Graphic Journey

In my mind, the world is flat,
laid out like a tattered Persian rug,
a little singed here and there by embers
jumping from the coals of another well-laid fire.
Our cheeks are rosy, fingers chillblained,
and Puss is semi-supine, small chest rising and falling,
sleepy-breaths long and deep,
sliver-shut eyes adoring the flames, glinting.
She too is reluctant to leave this warm envelope
bounded by the hand-me-down sofa and
twice re-used and re-loved armchairs.
There is the world beyond –
Utility-stamped sideboard hugging the cold back wall,
its teacup-ringed top bedecked with old photos,
the small chest that contains St Paul’s fingernails
(joke-blasphemy courtesy of grandad
who served his God well,
if sometimes with a nod and a wink),
and Mum’s sewing basket, overflowing as it will ever be.
The Anaglypta wallpaper, its lumps and bumps
beating a steady rhythm under my fingers
is Apple White in my mind
and I press yet another piece of pattern to the wall,
This is my safe harbour.


This week, on dVerse Poetics, Abhra has asked us to write about where in the world we would be, if we could choose. Hmmm… this has caught me off-guard, because at this moment, I am feeling very much of a home-body. I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit and there are places I would like to visit, but not at the moment, and not enough to write about them.

Perhaps it is to do with how my life has panned out of late, perhaps it is to do with knowing how quickly someone can be lost to you with no second chance, but nostalgia is pervading my waking moments right now. So really, I would love to be with my family again, as a child. We didn’t have a lot when I was growing up, but we had lots of love. Really, isn’t that all you need? I’m time-travelling this week. It’s still travel, right?

I do like to educate where I can. CC41, my poem’s title is named after the Utility brand that was stamped on furniture and clothing during World War Two until 1952, here in the UK. CC stood for ‘Controlled Commodity, and illustrated that the merchandise met the government’s austerity regulations. It was designed to cope with the shortage of raw materials and ration consumption. We were still using the Utility furniture in our house when I was growing up – it was strong stuff, and I really liked the design!

Please pop over to dVerse to read some excellent poems on the travel theme. Join in – we don’t bite!