AWOL Week #14 Responses

AWOL Week #14 Responses


This week’s task was to write something with the title ‘This is not a [Poem][Story] about…’ in the style of Victoria Adukwei Bulley’s poem ‘This is not a Poem about Parakeets’.

This Poem is not about Parakeets

On the bus back, two men make noise and all else
falls silent, or leans away. One woman gets off
altogether. I pull my headphones out. The air
thickens. The men are angry. Words leave their
mouths and hit the windows like flies. They’re
everywhere, everywhere you look. I’ve got seven
stops left. What we want is our country back.
My armpits tingle with sweat. I want to throw
something and then leave. Is that so much to ask?
I’m nowhere near home, so instead I think about the
parakeets that live on my road. They take up all the
housing. I want to tell the men how the parakeets
got here. All they do is take our jobs. How they
were brought here in the ’60s for a film, and then
escaped. They’re scroungers. I want to tell them
how despite the bad weather they never lost their
songs. Why are they so noisy? How none of April’s
showers ever washed their colours off. They don’t
even try to blend in. Or how these birds are so smart
they can talk human. They don’t even speak proper
English. The men keep moaning. It’s my freedom of
speech. I want to ask if they’ve seen these creatures
fly, these emerald green parakeets that live near my
home, I want to tell them about the brightest, most
beautiful birds I’ve ever known.

 Victoria Adukwei Bulley



It’s Not About The Night   by elisheva katz

It’s Not About The Night


And even now 


Even now when winter skies are splintered grey on a summer’s day, I can still feel the dread of the silent paralysis of all those years ago, as you killed me ten million times, with your double forked serpent’s tongue of Venom. It was not the first time I had been killed this way, and no doubt there are many more dying such a death as this.


Always did you push me into the night, until the night I became. Stole my light did you, and without my light I grew ever weaker, lost in the depths of loneliness. This is how I lived for so very long, that I had forgotten what it was to feel the warmth of the sun upon my skin. But never again will I let you put out my light. With my last breath that leaves my body, I will not depart from this world beaten down, I will leave with wings of iron steel flying into a beauty never ending. For my light will not be hidden by your hate and envy. This light within me will be shining long after yours has faded.


Don’t you know! Did nobody ever tell you!


It is a sin to hide your light

But it is a bigger sin to hide someone else’s light


We all have a purpose in life, every life is significant, every life matters


Every life deserves to live

Written by elisheva katz

June 20th 2020



This is not about lock-down Sunday by Jodi Glass

This is not about lock-down Sunday


Lock down Sunday is a normal Sunday

Cooking with cupboard stores

Chicken near its date, is now fajitas

The leftover tortillas, will be fed to the chickens


Hoover hoovering, clothes a spinning

Starting afresh for Monday

Cereal spooned in mouths

Between channel flipping

And medication that cannot be

Swallowed with water alone

So hastily spread, a jam piece

Will do


Far too big snacks while binge watching

Hand rolled cigs, a good friend

And a favourite white top sparkling

With glitter, sitting the washing

Basket, even after the 90 degree wash


Floors mopped, hoover pads drying

Starting afresh for Monday


Jam and salsa only meet on a

Lock-down Sunday

Clearing the cupboards and

Eating crap. All in the day

of lock-down Sunday


But careless dripping, salsa and

Black current jam, new



Jodi Glass



This is not about Miroslav Holub.   by Kathy Low

This is not about Miroslav Holub.  

           depressing postwar dingy street…

           dilapidated door yielding to a dim

           and fusty corridor, the packed earth

           floor familiar under my feet. Home:

           the muffled echo of soft memories.

                This one, cobalt blue once, now faded

                written on by the years and my palm.

                The cool interior enfolds me

                the afterimage of Southern Spain’s

                glaring sun purple on my mind’s eye.


           Months of claustrophobic rebreathed

           air…an inept fire smouldering under a 

           sooty kettle. The cabin fever slows my

           blood. I open the door to the icy

           invitation of a low sun casting glittering

          promise over a thousand miles of 


                               One step.


Kathy Low



Wonderland of Mine   by Lotty

Wonderland of Mine  

Will anyone please get me out of the rabbit hole before i enter into wonderland? Mind you, with all of the cruel and unusual things that have been happening  in this world recently, falling into the magic and madness of Wonderland does not sound that bad


Oh, when I get down there the first thing I will do is look for the Mad Hatter and the March Hare to have a tea party throwing off my cares. Hopefully I won’t bump into a certain Queen. From what I hear she becomes hostile to you if you dare paint her precious Roses red. Then you’d better run before she says Off with her head!


I wonder if I will meet the White Rabbit, who seems to be constantly late for a very important date, but I wonder who it could be with? Maybe it’s Tweedledum and Tweedledee whose constant riddles and rhymes certainly left my brain Dizzee all the time.


Sadly, as I wake up, I realised this was all a dream that had formed in my head. This sort of land does not exist – only in children’s minds, as they rested their heads on soft pillows as their parents took them off to bed. The imagination of a child is so fragile and easily broken and yet I’m in my 30s now and mine is yet to be taken.

Lotte 21st June 2020



This chōka is not about the sun or the moon by Peter Marshall

This chōka is not about the sun or the moon

Summer dusk is slow,

growing as the sun descends

not far below horizon.

The distant hilltops

prop up a scarlet challenge

against the new crescent moon.

Pale curve of whiteness

leaves not a moment of doubt

as to what it wants to be. 

And yet it dares not

show its placid dimpled face

when glaring orb hogs the sky.

Craters and mountains

long to prance in joyful arc

away from yellow monster.

Moon struggles vainly,

seeks to beat away harsh light,

and emerge in cooler night

Time will come around

when bother of hot brightness

eases back down once again.

Dark furred fox will skulk

along centreline of road,

in hunt for tasty morsels.

The moon will win out,

monochrome delight of night

to take happy place supreme,

though no single thing

will ever quite be the same

once this blaze of sun dies down.

2020 06 24   Peter Marshall

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