November Verse 1: The Second of November

It’s November already.

In the middle of moving house, I’m currently in South Australia to celebrate a sister’s 70th birthday and a niece’s 30th, with any number of other siren calls on my attention. But November is LoSoRhyMo (Local Sonnet Rhyming Month), and I am obliged to produce 14 x 14-line poems over these 30 days. Rhyming is essential and quantity matters more than quality. (The fact that I’m the sole LoSoRhyMo-ist doesn’t render the obligation any less binding.) So here goes:

The Second of November: Memories of a Catholic childhood
On All Souls’ Day, each church visit
sets a suffering sinner free
from Purgatory. How could we miss it?
Duck inside and bend a knee,
Our Father, then a Hail and Glory
Be, and out. Repeat the story.
Girls held hankies to their hair.
No time to sit and think and stare.
Yet this cuckoo-clock palaver
held coding from a long-gone day
like amber that traps DNA.
Now I learn from calaveras
that those acts then, inside my head,
built friendly shrines to all my dead.

4 responses to “November Verse 1: The Second of November

  1. Thinking of your beautiful Innisfail church on the hill! Being reminded by contrast of the dour plainness of my Tamworth Seventh-day Adventist faith and church – no friendly shrines – but lines of hymns and Bible verses that spring to life still to-day – given the prompt from random sparks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Jonathan – love the cuckoo palaver/trapped in amber imagery! I was reminded by Ecuadorian Spanish teacher about how they see the day as remembering those they love and by doing so, making them live on. xx


  3. Thanks Deb. One good thing about the 14-line form is that you can’t put everything in , so you inevitably get less wrong, and I’m sure if I’d gone on to actually name the Día de Muertos I would have made an idiot of myself!


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