November verse 1

Since 2010, inspired by National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I’ve had a project of writing fourteen 14-line stanzas each November. Mistakenly believing my favourite stanza form was a sonnet, I called this project LoSoRhyMo – Local Sonnet Rhyming Month. It turns out that my form isn’t a sonnet but an Onegin stanza, but I’m keeping the label anyhow.

If you want to read past Novembers’ verses you can click on the LoSoRhyMo tag at the bottom of this blog post. Or you could go to my Publications page and buy one of the four little books made up from these and others of my adventures in verse.

Here goes for November 2020, a fresh start:

Verse 1: Unprecedented again

You can only be unprecedented once 
(Michelle Goldman, Asthma Australia, 
on ABC News, 31 October 2020)

A cataclysmic bushfire season
should be no surprise next time.
We've raked the ashes, learned the lessons,
know just how to lift our game.
Unprecedented 2020 –
fire, flood, plague and Rio Tinto –
warns us that we won't be spared
in days to come. Best be prepared!
Yet here's our precedented morning –
juice and coffee, jam and toast  
the fifteen-thousandth time at least.
Each microsecond freshly dawning,
despite our habit-blinkered view,
is absolutely, freshly new.

5 responses to “November verse 1

  1. How delicious that you, too, play with the choruses of “unprecedented” and point out that precedented is the actual – even though the everyday is like that spot in the ever-flowing river – re-newed each time or moment thenceforth.

    Now reading Louise Milligan’s Witness – and the ugliness of Richter in his demeaning browbeating attempts on witnesses as well as of the Court magistrate. Nothing brilliant – just ugly insinuation and bullying. A disgrace as far as I am concerned to the entire legal profession. A legal system which sees answers demanded either Yes or No – no nuanced explanations and in which the veracity or honesty of the witness is sneered at and impugned almost without check. I am now at two-thirds through. My respect for Louise Milligan has never been higher.


    • Haha! I was going to mention Heraclitus’ river, but it seems to have gone from my mind to yours without needing to be mentioned! I hope to have the strength to read Witness one day.


  2. Love this Jonathan. Looking forward to more this November 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Jonathan Shaw, None of us alone (#BookReview) | Whispering Gums

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