Six Words? Twelve Words? All nonsense.

Fish – clutter – drain – banana – starling – umbrella – buttermilk – sky – walking boots – bibulous – carbuncle – brain.

Just look at that.  Twelve words. I have to weave those twelve random words into a single poem.

Our U3A writing group is one of the few things that’s continued throughout lockdown.  It’s a positive activity at a somewhat negative time.  But what CAN you do with a list like that?  This, it turns out.  I’m not too displeased.  And here too are a few photos to illustrate the day.


Wanting to de-clutter

my brain, I drive to


Walking boots? – Check.

Map? – Check.

Sandwich? – Check.

Banana? – Check.

Umbrella?  Don’t be silly.


No starlings here, but

curlews, skylarks

crest the sky –

that cobalt sky, patched

with buttermilk clouds.


A chattering brook

drains into the reservoir

where fish silently dawdle

and spongy bibulous mosses

make soft mats beneath my feet.


Contented now, 

I drive back to town.

I pass that new carbuncle and see

a socially distanced queue 

snake round the recently-opened 



Jo’s Monday Walk

Six Word Saturday

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

54 thoughts on “Six Words? Twelve Words? All nonsense.”

  1. Well done, Margaret. I’m not sure I could have emerged from that list with any sanity!
    And I loved your poem. Until you mentioned social distancing, at least, as that was a real tug back into the real world from a dreamy walk.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was a great walk Debbie, but ‘rugged’ rather than ‘dreamy’. But there was no place in it for a ‘carbuncle’. Hence the last verse.


  2. Well I think you rose to the challenge brilliantly! Hard to see how it could be bettered. Love the ‘spongy bibulous mosses’, and you got carbuncle in well. It all works. Btw, when I said I’d never heard of Colsterdale I’d forgotten the name of the place where those Leeds pals did their training for WW1, though the story you featured about them was deeply etched on my memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes. I’m glad you remember Colsterdale. This was a different side of Colsterdale – wilder but still beautiful. And a fun catalyst for the challenge.


  3. Love this, Margaret…well done with hat list of words. The second and third stanzas are great, except that I found myself wanting to read “make soft beneath my feet.” Instead of your “make soft mats beneath my feet.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Now that is talent! I would have given up before I had even started with a list like that – bibulous ? and Carbuncle?…. my mind is going to strange places now. Your poem, on the other hand, is a delight to read. Although what is the new carbuncle?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s not that clear. It’s the supermarket building (in my mind – there isn’t one in real life, but I had to get the word in)


  5. Absolutely brilliant poem Margaret and I loved meeting each of the 12 words as they appeared in place. I also like the way (in the second photo) the dry stone wall apparently cosies up to the huge rock.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know – we were astonished as drystone walls and monumental stones aren’t usually bed-fellows. But apparently the stone was relatively recently moved to meet the wall, rather than vice-versa. Astonishing really.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Brilliant! I am so impresssed; I would have given up before starting faced with that list. And the walk was fun too! Though I think I would have detoured to avoid the carbuncle 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m still impressed. And also wondering whether you will get the opportunity to put together your own list of words for your fellows U3agers. If so, might I suggest you include ‘outfaced’? I love that one!


      2. Ah, the words were our suggestions. I’d love to know who suggested ‘bibulous’ and ‘carbuncle’. I deliberately kept it simple. Next time we’re asked, ‘outfaced’ definitely goes on the list. Thanks for the hint.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. How clever you are! Faced with just this sort of problem my mind goes a complete blank so I’m very impressed by your use of 12 random words. I’ve just read your ‘henge’ piece from 2016 which I picked up from Suburban Tracks but comments are closed. I’d just like to say how much I enjoyed this and you’ve given me something to plan for my next trip to Yorkshire (next year, I hope). Thanks for awakening me to this.


    1. Yorkshire next year? How wonderful. There’s so much to explore in this, England’s largest county (well, several counties now). Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you think I could help in any way.


  8. Posting your poem followed by an associated image sequence prompts thoughts on the intriguing links between word and image. A tight brief certainly concentrates the mind doesn’t it, with a successful outcome here.


  9. oh this is just brilliant – I am so impressed. Come straight from your camera playing to your word playing. You are a very talented woman 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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