The Alphabet Poems: a psychic pilgrimage to the letter Z

On April 1st this year, spurred by 'NaPoWriMo' (National/Global Poetry Writing Month) which challenges writers to produce a poem a day, I finally began my fool's journey through the letters of the alphabet, writing a poem a day (more or less) for each of the 26 letters known to English speakers today.

After some crossing some hurdles I finally made it to 'Z' on the first of July.

The rest of the sequence is now taken down for editing (and publisher-seeking), but the first drafts of 'A' 'B' and 'C' appear below; after an idea of an illustration for the letter 'A'.


A crack in the cave wall – an aperture to
a view with a horizon.

A capped pyramid.
A mountain.
A man made of clay.
A scaffold,
a plough, an ox.
A ram.
A road.

Anything: a five-pointed star.
Anything: a dance in the heavens.
Anything: Aphrodite.
Anything: an acorn.
Anything: all girls’ names.

an apple
and you should
always take
an apple with you
at the beginning of
adventures, especially
a long journey or,
anyway, a journey into
the unknown.


Beyond the bull, you reach an ancient building. A ruined house.
Before the house, on burnt ground, stands a birch.
Beneath its branches: butterflies.
Between its boughs: birds.
Behind its bark: beetles.
Below, bright against the blackened soil, beds of borage and buddleia bushes burgeon.
Bumblebees bother its buds as it bends in the breeze,
basking in blue skies, that bless its white trunk, its green leaves.

You brought a box of questions for the tree,
but it will give but one word back. Just,




Of course, the clock and our conscience will not allow us simply to ‘be’, eternally.
Crickets chirp. Crows caw. The celestial ceiling clouds over,
then clears again, to uncover a crescent moon
so crisp you can see the curves of the craters.
The carbonated soil is changed twice over by the light it casts.

What can you make out, down there?
Everywhere in the black ground, certain things, once concealed,
catch the beams.
Collapsing to your hands and knees to dig, you can feel them –
crab's claws. Continue.
Champagne corks. Carry on.
Copper coins…

Curling into your fingers as if it was conceived and crafted for no other purpose,
is a… a… what is it?
A cane? A cudgel? A club?

You come to your feet again. Savour the weight of it in your hand,
then chuck it like a champion

all the way over the house.


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