Month of Poetry 2016

Last year I did a poetry challenge for the month of January, created and convened by Kathryn Apel.


The idea was to write a poem a day. Every Saturday there was a poetry challenge where you get to write in a different style of poetry. It’s great fun and it’s oh so challenging. It was quite inspiring and it gave my writing a real kick start for the year. I’ve had six poems published since (all from MoP2015) and I’m still polishing some of them.

So, this year I’d thought I’d have another crack at MoP2016. I’ve stuck with the same group of writerly buddies I made last year and we have our own FB page where we publish them. Unfortunately, it’s a closed page, so I thought I’d post my poems here, on my blog, as the month progresses.

I encourage anybody who wants to write poetry to do this challenge. It gets you into good writing habits and it’s a real opportunity to get your work critiqued, and trust me, you get some excellent feedback from some fabulous poets. So be BRAVE and do it!

This is my first poem for MoP2016…my youngest (11 years) stayed up on NY to see his first fireworks. He slept in in the morning but he was totally wrecked.

1st January 2016

‘Happy New Year’

A barking dog,

most likely ours

wakes those

sleeping in.

My youngest



down the hall.

Hair salty stiff,

Sticking up,

At all angles.

Dark circles,

Shadow his eyes.

His first fireworks.

A proud moment,

staying up so late.

Happy New Year, Mum.

And he tumbles

towards me

curling up

in my arms,

as he falls



Our first poetry challenge for MoP2016 was the french form of poetry, the ‘Villanelle’ It’s a fascinating structure and, quite frankly, I found it terrifying. I don’t mind what I’ve come up with though…

I have a cheeky little Jack Russell who often nicks off on me…so it was inspired by him.

2nd January 2016

‘Come back!’

I hollered and yelled, come back!

But he scarpered off without a look,

Into the wildness, dark and black.


The little devil changed his tack,

Through the marren grass he took.

I hollered and yelled, come back!


I searched my pockets for a snack.

Running hard I saw a white foot.

I hollered and yelled, come back!


I hoped he’d run along the beach track

So I doubled back around the brook.

I hollered and yelled, come back!


Thunder boomed, a frightening crack,

A dash of white blurred and shook,

Into the wildness, dark and black.


Come back, my naughty little Jack,

Not sure how much longer I can look.

I hollered and yelled, come back!

Into the wildness, dark and black.


3rd January 2016

(I love being back home in the country for our summer holiday)

‘Country Quiet’


was missing.

She felt dizzy.

Her ears hummed.

Relief dawned.

No rush of cars,

No clanking trams,

No roar of the trains.

No buzz of air conditioners.

None of the whirr

and grumble of millions

of machines,

transmissions, lifts, escalators.

No reversing trucks,

trains braking,

heels on gravel or stone.

No base driven music

From hoods two

doors down.

No crackle of skateboards.

No clatter of scooters.

Sunday quietness.

No droning,


No artificial light,

fake oxygen,

glowing screens,

information overload.

Clean air,

bursting lungs,

popping ears.




This is the view from my desk looking onto our little cottage garden. So many birds…it’s so peaceful. No excuse for not writing 🙂



  • Tracey Fanning

    Just beautiful Neri. Your writing always takes me away when I read it. Enjoy your garden and peace and keep the poems coming to steel me away for a moment or two. :) xxx
    January 04, 2016 at 01:45 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Thanks lovely, Tracey. Loving the sound of your new business venture 'Tracey Fanning Photography' How exciting :-) xx
      January 04, 2016 at 01:07 am Reply
  • Ian McMullin

    Great start Neridah, I love the Villanelle and your first three poems. You are very clever and seemingly full of fresh ideas. Can't wait for next 28 poems.
    January 04, 2016 at 01:36 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Ideas are all around us, all the time. I know you think I'll run out! I won't
      January 04, 2016 at 01:21 pm Reply
  • Lynette Bade

    Well done Neri, 2nd jan. Reminds me of someone we know!
    January 04, 2016 at 01:57 am Reply
    • lynette Bade

      Bart all over!
      January 04, 2016 at 01:07 am Reply
  • Kaylene Savas

    Your view is so tranquil Neridah. I love what you have written so far.....its a break from our everyday lives. Well done!!! Great challenge. Looking forward to reading more. X
    January 04, 2016 at 01:28 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Beautiful kaylene! You're a star. Thanks for blogging wherever u r. L.A? Or home. Xx
      January 04, 2016 at 01:20 pm Reply
  • Jude O'Brien

    Think Janet will relate to Come Back. Chilla is sooo naughty
    January 04, 2016 at 01:10 pm Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Hi Judith, they are so naughty! Ive discovered its best not to yell and walk away :-)
      January 04, 2016 at 01:18 pm Reply
  • katswhiskers

    Fabulous, Neridah. Glad you're taking the challenge again. I love (and can so relate to) that last poem. Love the sounds of the Aussie bush - particularly in the summer.
    January 06, 2016 at 01:30 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Thanks Kat. Thanks for letting us keep going with MoP2016. Such a great discipline to write everyday. Glad u liked it :-)
      January 06, 2016 at 01:54 am Reply

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Neridah McMullin

Photo By: Prue Sheed



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