My Default Mode

Photo by Jordan Benton on

Time has run away with me this week – as it does – and my intended posting day passed unnoticed in a welter of painting and re-carpeting.

Having nothing prepared, I’m falling back on yet another poem, originally penned for the “12 poems in 12 months” challenge from Writers Write website at .

The prompt for this poem was “Default”.

I’ve also posted it on Commaful (profusely illustrated) at

Default Mode

My kids grew up with nursery rhymes before computer games,
With treasure hunts at Christmas and on holiday when it rained.
‘Doctor Foster went to Gloucester in an April shower.
‘You’ll find your next clue lurking in the cleaning-dragon’s bower.’

From picture clues for young ones through to anagrams and verses,
That’s how my rhyming first began: clue-spells and witches’ curses.

In time they grew, as children do, moved out and back again,
but mostly went, their childhood spent, and I took up my pen.
Retirement would bring days of leisure: silver hours to spend
creating more sophisticated output. Shape and bend
my words to fire the senses, in lines wrought to touch the heart;
learn rules that underpin blank verse and understand at last.

But time, that inched and crept before, now strides its way downhill.
Elusive words I know are there – somewhere – evade me still.
And grandchildren are growing: ripe for rhymes and picture clues
to search for treasure, as their mums and dads all used to do.
And I can churn out jingles with no care for ballad, ode
or sonnet:
                        just rhymed doggerel.
I’m back in default mode.


How do you motivate yourself to keep self-appointed deadlines?

And does it matter if nobody notices?

13 thoughts on “My Default Mode

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