the wrong poem

Years ago, I used to participate in an online poetry forum. It was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time, as I learned a huge amount and stopped writing teenage-angst, hearts-and-flowers poetry and started to – occasionally – write something worth writing. Perhaps even, though more rarely, worth reading.

I posted my own poetry, and I learned from the comments and critiques, and the subsequent discussions. When someone misunderstood what I’d intended, or found my word choice or phrasing unsatisfactory, it was always helpful, as it encouraged me to look more closely at what I was trying to do and where I had failed.
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slightly festive

I don’t celebrate Christmas and try hard to avoid the consumer chaos, so this time of year is always a bit strange: I feel there should be something a little special, but am not quite sure why or what.

Some wintry weather might help – there’s nothing like a bright frosty morning for clearing the mind and restoring the spirit. But when I went for a brief walk in the park this morning there was really nothing particularly seasonal, just vast expanses of sodden leaves and an unpleasant amount of mud.
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words and birds

I mentioned recently that I sometimes need to ‘top up’ my supply of words by reading voraciously just about anything I can get my hands on. It doesn’t have to be anything of any great literary value; indeed, I think what I’m really looking for is not so much words as such, it’s colloquial and fluent usage and phrasing that can perhaps be repurposed so that not all the clients I work for in a particular sector end up with the same wording on their websites and marketing collateral.

Since then, I’ve been wondering generally about vocabulary knowledge and learning: how many words do we know? Do adults continue to learn new words and, if so, how many?
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for the birds

Although the afternoon was dull and drear, this morning there was bright sunshine and it felt like spring. So, camera in hand, I went for a walk in the park.

There weren’t many spring flowers, or buds on the trees, but there were lots of dogs and their owners, dozens of gulls on the football pitch, three or four fishermen by the river, and several families feeding the ducks.
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tastes like pigeon

I try not to walk around while looking at my phone, after all, there are already far too many ‘candid’ videos online of people walking into glass doors, lamp posts and fountains while checking their emails and text messages. But when I am trying to find a meeting location in an unfamiliar place, I admit I am sometimes guilty of paying less attention to my surroundings than to the smart phone maps.

Although it meant I missed getting a better photo, I think I am probably glad the seagull in the photo was more alert than I was and quickly dragged his meal out of my way before I could fall over it or him.

It seems that it’s a bird-eat-bird world out there.