Night of Sparks


I remember
my first 5th November:
I was five,
bundled up in coat,
knitted gloves, scarf and hat,
breathing smoke and stars,
a fizzing sparkler in my hand,
spellbound by the Catherine wheel
spinning sparks on the garden fence –
it cost Grandad sixpence.

© Kim M. Russell, 2016

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille

This evening, De is our host for Quadrille, what she calls ‘little 44-word gems’. I agree with her, they are fun to write and read. For today’s challenge, she wants us to include the word ‘spark’ as a noun or a verb. We can make sparks fly or we can spark an idea that sets fire to the page. We can even ‘sparkle’. We just have to make sure the root word ‘spark’ is in there somewhere and that our poems are exactly 44 words long (not including the title).

I have taken inspiration from an early childhood memory.

‘Remember, remember the fifth of November Gunpowder, treason and plot I see no reason why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot.’ – from  a traditional English Rhyme from the seventeenth century.


63 thoughts on “Night of Sparks

    1. I did it in Word, with text effects in Word Art drawing tools. Then I had to print it and scan it because of WordPress not liking any formatting from other programs. Tricky but quite effective. The only problem was I paid so much attention to the shape that I forgot the capital G in Grandad!


    1. Thank you Grace! It took me ages to work out how to do it and in the end I had to print it out and scan it because WordPress won’t accept any formatting done in Word!


      1. We are not keen on bonfire night because of the pets especially. I grew up in The Netherlands where we did not celebrate bonfire night but the smells and sparklers in your poem reminded me of New Years eve as a little girl.☺

        Liked by 1 person

  1. So much is so wonderful about this. I love the circular penning first – drew me right in and I was trurning my iPad round and round here in the airport! And oh yes — I can imagine that sparkler being handed to you by grandfather – grampas are magical when we are young — and then add the sparkle! Yes!


  2. Well you win the prize for most artistic sparkler. I love the dual meaning of the poem in that the spinning wheel flings off sparks of memory. I have a desktop so my neck got a crick. 🙂


  3. I love the shape version of this poem, although it took me a bit to figure out where the second circle was to start. I was glad to have the other version to verify I’d read it correctly. 😉 What a sweet memory, too. Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Remember, remember…I have similar memories, and this brought them all back, with the smells and sounds of fireworks, and the damp ground. I quite liked the fact that I could decide where I wanted to start the second circle, and could change the poem a little each time. I sometimes find concrete poetry gets a bit more about the clever shape and a bit less about the words, but you really made something special.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Sarah. Sometimes it can be so difficult to convey special memories , when you wish you could transfer your thoughts to someone else so they understand. And then there are those fabulous times when the words just fall into place!

      Liked by 2 people

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