Poems about the ordinary

After watching Jim Jarmusch’s amazing film Paterson, where the main character writes poems about the ordinary and mundane, I was inspired to have a go at writing my own. Enjoy!

Monday morning
Another week
I’m at the edge of the platform
The tracks dull and still and suddenly
A rumble
A clatter
The rails creak as headlights flood the station
An iron behemoth charges into the station
Full of power
Full of anger
Brakes grind and the beast has stopped
The great behemoth tamed by us

The road stretches miles and miles
The road erupts like a hose following the bumps and dips of the land
The land which is a garden that blooms and decays
The water splashes and winds until it collides with another stream and then
The hose stops and what has been sprayed is what we walk on.
Sometimes the road is straight
And you know that the gardener had a steady hand
I cross the stream, careful not to get my feet weT

Powerlines strung up between poles
Sagging under the weight of a bird
Or a pair of sneakers
Sometimes when I’m in a car, I watch the powerlines from the window
Sometimes they cross
Sometimes they never cross
Will they?
Won’t they?
But they’re just powerlines. Does it really matter?
I like to think they have something to say about relationships and love


Bernard Tso 10H


Who Am I? – A Slam Poem By Declan Saunders

As A Year 9 student, we were asked to write slam poems. This is my first venture into that field.



Who am I?

I am the pile of work that greets you when you walk through the door. Even though you wrestle with me every day, I never seem to lessen. You’re close to breaking point, and we both know that when you reach it, you’ll never be able to put yourself back together.

Who am I?

I am the hours you spend forging the perfect text for the perfect girl, the girl who might vbe the one you marry some day. I’m the overwhelming silence after the text is sent, you holding your breath like you’re in water.

And I’m the mocking laughs that echo in your ears the next day after she sent your message to her friends, who sent it to their friends who sent it to their friends and over and over again until everyone at school knows. And when you look at her again?

I’m the barely concealed contempt that’s plastered across her face.

Who am I?

I am the anger, the sadness, the guilt, the rage, the shame that fills you when you get back that test.

You know the one.

The one you spent forever revising for, the one that was the difference between success and failure, the one you wasted every last wish on. The only one that mattered to your parents. To your family. To you. But in the end, it wasn’t even good enough to keep.

I’m that feeling that creeps up on you when you lay in bed. The feeling that you’re falling, sinking lower and lower, drowning in an all-consuming darkness, the feeling that you will never again dance in the sun, or hold someone close in a quiet room, the only sound the beat of your hearts.

I’m the scars that you hide under fake laughs and fake smiles, the scars that no one else can see. I adorn you, decorate you like pines on a Christmas tree. I scorch like fire and burn like ice. You strive to hide me from the public eye, your shame like a fountain ready to burst at any moment.

Who am I?

I’m the one who’s never letting go.


Death’s Grasp (Slam Poem)


(Photo: Mat Collishaw , Burning Flowers , ca. 2010-2013)



We are volatile temporary beings,

We are not immortal,

We are not omnipotent,

We come to this earth with a purpose,

A purpose to live, to love,

But the grasp of death is never far,

And that’s what makes us who we are,


We fear death,

For existence is all we have known,

Though life we take our initial breath,

But with every breath we step closer to death,

And as we approach death,

We lose all of our breath,

And collapse into a respite,

Which we may never wake from,


Our life is a sweet summer marigold,

Its buds bloom into a series of colourful petals during the summer,

Its beauty vivid and enchanting,

But evanescent in the end.

As the cold of the winter approaches,

That flower loses its petals,

And like us, collapses into a deep slumber,

Which it may never wake from,


Death deprives us of our loved ones,

It leaves us in solitude,

It reaps the souls of our sons,

And leaves us subdued.

We preserve ourselves,

We try to distance ourselves from the inexorable,

But the knowledge of our eventual demise,

Lingers deep down inside of our minds,


You may say that you wish to live forever,

That you wish to die never,

But our eventual passing is what gives our life it’s merit,

The looming presence of death is what motivates us to get out of bed each morning,

Because we may not always have a tomorrow,

The looming presence of death is what lets us perceive the true beauty of our lives,                                           

The looming presence of death is what gives our life its momentum,

It is not the vindictive venom we make it out to be,

Can’t you see? 

Death is what coerces us to be alive, 

We may blame death for our sorrows,

But rather, we should thank it for the happiness that it gives to our lives,


So ask yourselves again,

Do you want to live forever?

Do you want to live an endless reality of immortality?

Do you want to live a life with no motivation,

a life with no purpose,

a life where you can always adjourn your dreams for tomorrow?

Because I don’t,

I want to live a complete life,

A life where I can say that I have truly lived,

Because when I die,

I want to be satisfied with the life I have lived on this Earth,



We are not immortal,

We are not omnipotent,

We come to this Earth with a purpose,

A purpose to live, to love,

But the grasp of death is never far,

And that’s what makes us who we are,

Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions – TED talk by John Koenig

John Koenig writes The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. 

Here are some of the words he’s created to express certain emotions:

Morii: the desire to capture a fleeting experience

Zenosyne: The sense that time keeps going faster

Let’s think about complex emotions that don’t have words to express them, and then create words for these emotions.

Here are some emotions identified by John Koenig:

  • a glimpse of what may have been
  • the moment a conversation becomes real and alive
  • feature of modern society that suddenly strikes you as absurd and grotesque
  • the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time
  • the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it
  • the awareness of how little of the world you’ll experience
  • the desire that memory could flow backward
  • the fear that everything has already been done
  • Sometimes it feels like your life is flashing before your eyes, but it’s actually the opposite: you’re thinking forward, to all the things you haven’t done, the places you intend to visit, the goals you’ll get around to…
  • the awareness of the smallness of your perspective
  • a kind of melancholic trance in which you become absorbed in vivid sensory details
  • the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable
  • the realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense any more
  • the desire to care less about things—to loosen your grip on your life, to stop glancing behind you every few steps, afraid that someone will snatch it from you before you reach the end zone

During our meeting we had a go at creating our own words for different emotions.

Declan Saunders:

  • Aralia: The imprint of a forgotten memory
  • Burrin: The comfort of being alone
  • Droldent: Being cold on the inside even though you are warm on the outside (when you step inside from the cold)

Jenzen Yau, Haotian Yang, Julien Finti:

  • Jeon: Post holiday depression

David Ly:

Fain : The awareness of how little of the world you will experience

Alex Cheriyan and Bernard Tso:

  • Jekus – The feeling of trying to convey a meaning or feeling that does not have a word
  • Valare – The desire to step out of your life for a period of time and have somebody else take over
  • Falatious – The feeling of thinking that nothing you do will have much of an impact in this world
  • Nillatts – The feeling that you think you will die with no one loving you

Edward Jin:

  • Nilia: A state of intense concentration, where you are aware of nothing except for the task at hand

Thanks everyone, for giving this a go. Looks like you enjoyed the challenge – and the doughnuts.


Little Red Balloon

I’m not sure what made me write this short story; I had just finished reading “IT” by Stephen King, and I was feeling particularly inspired. I guess this could technically be interpreted as an IT fanfiction, but I personally believe this piece goes beyond that – an amalgamation of what King gave us in the novel, and my own take on the character of Pennywise. I hope you enjoy, and I deeply encourage you to go and read King’s novel – it is truly a modern masterpiece of writing.



     It was cold that evening. Although this was not unexpected (it was early September and the frost had yet to fall off of the gum trees outside), Edward’s spine tingled with unease. He looked over to the window residing across the room. Bolted firmly shut, the ugly floral curtains which covered the glass stood still, the roses embroidered on their front looking old and faded, barely discernible beneath a thick layer of dust. Edward twisted on his second hand sofa which barely held enough room for one person (he also suspected the couch of being the home of a dog in the past, with dog hairs decorating the couch) and glanced towards the clock hanging on the wall. The clock, one of only a few things in the house that were of value to him, sat closer to four than three. A low ticking could be heard emanating from it, the only sound in the room apart from the low murmur of the television sitting on the opposite wall.
 Edward glanced back down towards his lap, and the book which had been occupying his attention until moments ago. It, by Stephen King. His thoughts drifted back towards one scene that seemed to have stuck into his mind like flypaper; Pennywise the Dancing Clown, holding balloons which floated against the breeze whilst standing downstream of the town canal. Edward shuddered at the thought.
     He had read enough that night.
     He gently closed the cover and stood up, the couch moaning in protest. He walked over to the quaint bookshelf standing underneath the clock which Edward had built himself, and placed the book gently upon the third shelf. The bookshelf housed Edward’s other favourite objects; over a hundred books, sitting in the shelf with no sense of order, yet not seeming out of place in the slightest. Everything Edward thought worth reading was housed here. Some of the books, like his copy of the hundred acre wood by Enid Blyton, had been in his possession since he was a child. He remembered vividly one occasion where he had been reading that book whilst the sun was setting outside his house. Back then, he had lived in France, and just out his bedroom window and over the street was a dark, looming forest which had frightened and excited him for as long as he could remember. He thought back to looking out and seeing one tree which seemed taller than all the rest, and though it was most likely fog hiding the top of the tree from view, it had appeared to go on forever. Edward smiled as he thought about that moment. He had ran downstairs to tell his mum, and when he had told her, she had given him a taste of the truth,
     “Edward, we’ve lived here for almost a year now,” she blinked slowly whilst leaning against the kitchen counter, the weight of the day already pushing here towards a deep and restful sleep, “And in that time, do you really think we wouldn’t have noticed a tree that went on forever?” she questioned.
     “No mummy,” Edward mumbled in shame. He was at an age where he believed his mum knew all the secrets to the world, and she could not lie to him about anything, even this. She reached down towards him with a smile,
     “now, what do you say we get you a hot chocolate and then you can hurry off to bed” she said as she stood up from the stool behind the counter. Edward nodded happily. His mum made the best hot chocolates, and he knew if he was good, she would pop in a marshmallow or two. After drinking the hot milk and kissing his mum goodnight, Edward proceeded back towards his room. He shook his head as he walked. Why had he thought that a giant tree had suddenly grown in the neighboring forest? He giggled to himself as he walked through the door, no longer scared of the thought of the Faraway Tree. He gazed out the window. The fog had cleared, and he could now see clearly that all the trees were the same height, and he laid back down in bed, forgetting about the book which had fallen onto the floor as he had repositioned himself under the sheets.
     Edward focused back on the world around him. A sharp tap on the window had dragged him out of the mist of his memory, and turned his focus to the misty glass window. Edward’s stomach began to flutter. “stop it, you idiot. The only reason you’re freaked out is because you just read that stupid book.” Edward shook his head and tried to laugh it off, but the restlessness in his gut would not cease. Edward took a deep breath and marched over to the window, determined to put his mind at ease so he could get a peaceful sleep. As he grabbed hold of the curtains and pulled them open, a thick plume of dust rose into Edwards face, forcing him into a coughing fit. He bent down and wheezed, racking harder than a life long smoker. After a good thirty seconds, Edward managed to regain some sense of composure, and stood straight. He gazed out the window into the fog. A misty form stood out in the distance, barely visible to his eye. Edward focused harder, the fear in his gut growing. Shifting and swirling, it was impossible to discern what, let alone who, was standing out there in the darkness thanks to the cloud. Without warning, a branch slapped the window in front of him.
     Edward gave a short cry and fell backwards. He swore under his breath, and began to pull himself up using the window pane as a stabilizer for his now shaking legs. His put a hand to his chest and felt his heart, which had already been beating faster than usual, racing. He shifted his gaze back to the figure in the fog. The fog had diminished, and now Edward could see that there was no one standing in the clearing. His heart began to settle, and he turned back to the room, determined to put this all behind him for the night and wake up with a fresh mind. He walked towards his bedroom, his legs still not entirely steady, when something caught his attention in his peripheral. He turned and gazed in horror at the bright red circus balloon, floating lazily on the back of his couch, moving back and forth like it was caught in a summer breeze. Edward backed away from the red monstrosity in front of him whilst suppressing the scream steadily rising in his throat, all the while forgetting to watch where he was walking. Suddenly, Edward felt his head connect with the floor. stars danced in front of his vision as he tried to see what had caused his sudden descent, but as his vision cleared, he turned his head to the clown towering over him, red balloons in hand.
     “Hey, Eddie. Nice to see ya!” It cackled with a hyena like wail, “I’ve been waiting for ya for while now, and i’m glad we’re finally getting the chance to a-ca-ca-ca-quaint ourselves,” he smiled, putting the horror that was his gaping maw on full display. What little teeth were left had nearly rotted away, but in there place, It had packed his mouth full of shining razor blades, the light bouncing off them like baubles a christmas tree. Edward sat there, numb with shock. Denial flooded his head as he tried to figure out exactly what was happening. Before he had time to react, It’s hand flashed out and grabbed his arm just below the elbow.
“Well Eddie, It’s been nice chattin’ to ya, but i gotta get me a going, you know the deal; places to be, people to see, and all that,” he wailed out in laughter, but just below, the sound of something else could be heard; hissing, like, well, like a balloon slowly being drained of its air. “Oh, and by the way, my name’s Bob. Bob Gray.” Edward began to cackle, his mind teetering on the edge of a blade, and soon he had fallen into a fit of hysteria. At that moment, Pennywise began to laugh, and in seconds, the room was filled with laughter. Not the laughter that follows a good joke; no, this laughter was more like the sort you might hear floating down the halls of a sanatorium after dark, the sound of a person beyond the point of sanity, locked in a room with white walls and white floors. Edward eventually silenced, his eyes darting around like a cornered animal looking for a way past its hunter. Eddie looked up at Pennywise, still laughing like a madman, and felt tears prickling the edge of his eyes. This set off a fresh bout of cackling from the clown.
     With a gaze that was leaning towards bored, Pennywise lifted Edward’s arm and tore it off at the shoulder like a drumstick being pulled off a chicken at Christmas. Edward gazed down at the torn patch at his side, and the arteries, now hanging loosely where his arm was only moments ago, blood spurting from him like water from a burst pipe.
     “Oh god,” Edward thought, “This is going to make a mess.”. He felt the front of his pants growing warm. In an instant, It unhinged his jaw and tore down into Edward’s exposed throat, pulling out his spinal cord in one loud rip in the same manner a dog might pull on a toy. Edward dropped to the floor like a sack of potatoes, his skull smashing against the wooden planks running the length of the room.  It took one look at the Mangled remains of him and continued his mad giggling. Gazing around the room with a final nod, It began to melt like a snowman under the sun, his liquid form trickling slowly into the floor until all that was left was Edward; alone, and very, very dead.
Oh, not to mention the red balloon floating back and forth, tied to the back of the sofa.

Title prompt: Surprise of Dawn, Edward Jin 12N

Author’s note: the writing prompt was to choose or generate a random title and base your piece on the word you get. My title was “Surprise of Dawn”. I hope you like my piece!!


It jumps out of nothing, from the depths of the past it bounds out of its dark curtains and drags with it new possibilities. The echoes of the previous day disappear and another takes its place. The clock keeps turning, following the trails of time as it runs, and runs, about to reach its destination. A dull glow shines in the distance, becoming brighter the closer it gets, and when it does, a sudden jump! The sun takes its baton and leaps off the ground, amongst the cheers of the roosters’ call. It’s the start of a new day.

The people wake up from their innocent slumber and see the sight before them. They wonder what today will be like. No one knows what it contains, but it is mesmerising, and fills you with expectation and excitement, like a child about to open their first gift. It’s a jack in the box, ready to spring out, give all people a shock.

Such is the surprise of dawn.

The Official blog for Melbourne High Writing Interest Group (WIG)

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