Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Poverty Trap

Remember this?

Remember, remember, the fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and  plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason,
Should ever be forgot!

Ah, those were the days when any half-pint shnip could go into the newsagent's with his pennies begged for the Guy, and buy a box of fireworks with which to burn, blind, and otherwise maim himself without first applying for a permit (in triplicate) from the 'elf'n'safety. Mum would bake potatoes in the oven and then slip them, wrapped in foil, into the ashes around the bonfire when they were done. Dad would light the taper and hastily retreat: "It hasn't taken, shall I go back and check it's alight?" No, the man on the telly said, "never return!" A handful of friends and neighbours warming their frozen fingers on mugs of hot chocolate ready to gasp, "Ooooh!" at the Catherine wheels, jumping jacks, rockets and, of course, sparklers for the kids. Don't forget that pets don't like fireworks - are yours safely locked indoors? The days before we all wanted to be American and the Hallowe'en hype took over. Anyway, enough nostalgia and on to the 100 word challenge from Julia's Place.

It is to write a ditty in the same style (21 words, rhyme, rythmn) as the one above, including the words - In winter we shiver. I must admit that I went to bed in a huff last night: it's too restrictive, I'm not a poet, not fair..... However, I read some of the other entries (click here) and realized I needed to lighten up a bit. Once I'd started I couldn't stop. As usual I've not counted the prompt words so my total is actually 25 words each (I wrote three entries, not one poem of 75 words). And thank you Google Images (fineartamerica.com and sydneydailysnap.blogspot.com) for the photos.

In winter we shiver, poor people dither,
Heating's expensive alack.
But up at the top, there's a charity shop,
Where thermal's become the new black.



In winter we shiver, poor people dither,
Heating's an extravagant cost.
Buy nought to eat, indulge in heat,
And think of the weight you'll've lost.





In winter we shiver, poor people dither,
Choosing is the thing.
Give in to heat cravings, blowing all your savings,
Or hibernate until next spring.

35 comments:

  1. Not fair....I haven't managed to write one - and you've done THREE! They all made me laugh and I really enjoyed reading your reminiscing at the beginning as well.

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  2. Thanks Sally-Jayne, I found reminiscing about Guy Fawkes very refreshing after all the articles about trick or treating.

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  3. WOW- I love these. (and glad to see that I am not the only one who struggled to keep to the word limit) Keeping to the rhythm doesn't make keeping to the word count easy. I love the humour in these. Fabulous posts. Am very envious! x

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  4. These are great! Truly fabulous.

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  5. Thankyou Anna and Lisa - I was a bit irritated by the word count restriction as I felt that the rhythmn was more important. Anyway it worked out fine once I'd taken the liberty of not including the 4 prompt words in my count. (Julia - sorry Miss).

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  6. Yes, yes, YESSSSSS!!!! Actually we celebrated Hallowe'en as well but that was because we were deeply odd as a family but Guy Fawkes was the biggie... Now got very fond memories of firework wars... :)
    Your ditties are inspired - hilarious and thought-provoking in equal measure, which is clever stuff. xx

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  7. Thanks Jane - praise indeed comong from you. Btw, I'm not surprised you celebrated Hallowe'en as well, your family may have even invented it Your affiliation to the spirit world is still shines through in your writing.

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  8. Here come the girls - Thanks for saying it's clever. As for being true, it's one of the reasons DD is still sharing my bed... only one bedroom to heat in the winter.

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  9. Great job! Really enjoyed the second post . . G Sussex

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  10. All three make a fun single poem too :-)

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  11. The first one is my favorite...how it goes from serious to lighthearted, hard to do in 21! Well done, Robin

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  12. Well done! Looks like you enjoyed doing that. I enjoyed reading! I'm no good at the rhyming poems I'm afraid.

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  13. Another one doing multiples? Good for you! One just about drove me crazy. Yours work really well. Fun, yet a little sad just underneath.

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  14. An entertaining read. The trio of verses do create a good poem, the repetition works well. Nice work.

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  15. Constraint sometimes leads to being truly creative! Well done for persevering. Third one is my fave!

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  16. Thanks for all the positive feedback everyone!

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  17. Great poetry - I was intrigued by the blogpost title and then the whole thing was just wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. I am so impressed. I struggled to write one verse and you managed THREE!! Congratulations

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  19. Brilliant! Echo Alexander Residence. Am currently giving in to my heat cravings (also serving the purpose of radiator drying uniforms for tomorrow!)

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  20. @motherporridge - excellent idea to double up the use of the heater. I sometimes cook just to have the oven and stove on to generate some heat.

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  21. Great response, I'm sure you're forgiven for the extra 4 words. I love thermal being the new black!

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  22. Yup - nicely done , Rach.

    Here's an offering, also ignoring the first 4 words:

    "In winter we shiver, government must deliver,
    They don’t always seem to perceive,
    That as we get older our bones do get colder,
    Our pension we need to receive."

    And one of 25 words total:

    "Snow’s on the ground, sleigh bells sound,
    Goodwill, cheer to all men.
    But the homeless quiver as in winter we shiver,
    Cirrhosis already set in."

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  23. Wow, I love this post! The nostalgia really made me reminisce about my childhood, thank you so much for sharing.

    And huge kudos for managing three verses - I struggled enough trying to pen one!

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  24. @bubbleboo - I also got caught up in that bonfire night nostalgia. No firework parties in back gardens nowadays though.

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  25. Not one, but three excellent pieces. Show off!

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  26. Doing one nearly killed me!

    I am in awe!

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  27. Thank you Bill, Dughall, and Joanna. *blushes while beaming*

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  28. Thank you so much for such a great entry! I love each of the verses & the repetition is just brilliant! A very clever picture (sadly all too real for some I fear!)

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  29. Lol! They're all fabulous but my favourite is the first! :D

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  30. Julia - you know I wait for your comment :) Thank you. Btw, what do you mean for some!?

    Thanks Livi, me too. :)

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  31. You have a knack for poetry and an irrepressible spirit. You really enjoyed this prompt, didn't you? ;))
    All excellent.

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  32. Yes Ventahl I did enjoy it, once I got into it. And thank you for your kind words.

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