A Nidderdale ramble

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A poem generated from random words over the course of April. See comment below for full details of how I wrote  it.


A chilly April morning. Lazy lambs 

couch lifeless in the fields like balled up fists 

in woolly mitts. I need no diagram

to clarify the Spring: the tousled strips


of trees beside the river view an uproarious 

theatre of water, the riot of the weir and lake

of calm above. A flour-mill hums a usurious 

din - such a pity! - but duck and drake 


mandarins ignore it. Early bees

relay communications I’ll not grasp,

fragmented by interference from the breeze.

Their industry ensures they break the clasps 


of celandines, scoop nectar from the space

within and rise up, humming hymns of glory.

The basic fascination of this place

is how it yields a diet to feed my stories


and how its peace enforces my reliance

on nature for composure. I see red

when systems of blind faith asphyxiate science;

when the high spate line is swathed in shreds


of plastic; when fellow human beings behave

in ways we haven’t seen since communists

controlled the Eastern Bloc. But now a navy

of mallards hold my fate, like battleships 


engaged when diplomatic conversation

fails. I pray they have power to construct something good

from garbage which festoons the vegetation;

to budge bad attitudes which have withstood

each sequence of reforms we’ve sought; that nations

will graze in amity, as nations should.


ramblingCountrysiderandom line poem

◄ Blue and Gold

August 12th, 2022 ►


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Tim Ellis

Sun 8th May 2022 10:22

Thanks Bethany & Stephen. I had some fun writing it.

Bethany Sallis

Fri 6th May 2022 19:27

a poetically faultlessly entertaining stroll

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Stephen Gospage

Wed 4th May 2022 17:17

It works well, Tim.

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Tim Ellis

Wed 4th May 2022 08:35

Thanks Greg. I did nearly despair some days when the word seemed impossible (communist?!!) but it’s always possible to find a way forward if you try hard enough.

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Greg Freeman

Tue 3rd May 2022 18:33

I think this poem is a real success, Tim. Despite the contrived format, you've managed to produce something with meaning, full of rich observation. Thanks for sharing!

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Tim Ellis

Tue 3rd May 2022 15:24

I wrote this poem as a challenge during April while some of my poet friends were taking part in NaPoWriMo. I didn’t have time this year for the NaPoWriMo thing of writing a whole poem every day, so I set myself a task of writing one line every day of the month, and including a random word in each line generated by the website randomwordgenerator.com. I kind of made up the rules myself over the first few days but I decided it would also have to rhyme abab in 4-line stanzas, in loosely iambic pentameters. When I wrote each line I had no idea what the next day’s random word would be. I tried to base it on a walk I did in Nidderdale in North Yorkshire on April 1st. It was quite a struggle sticking to the route as the random words tried constantly to misdirect me down alternative paths!

The random words were:
lazy, fist, diagram, strip, theatre, lake, flour, pity, bee, communication, interference, ensure, space, glory, basic, diet, reliance, red, system, high, behave, communist, navy, fate, conversation, construct, garbage, budge, sequence, graze.

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