Tag Archives: Elevenie

Utrecht (copy, paste, insert your own)

Today the first thing I do is to present a fellow participant: Shuku with her poem Family tree. Not only because the poem has SO much to offer (which it does) but also because of its beautifully written introduction. When you visit the blog, make sure you also check out Market District, Japan, 1945 (bomb-warning) and Call The Plumber, Paradise Is Stuck In The U-Bend (for a bit of lighter reading).

Enough brackets for now, here’s my poem for today. I’ve stuck to the prompt by not sticking to the suggested form. This is an elevenie about the place where I live:

Utrecht  (copy, paste, insert your own)

Rising majestically
Over mediaeval town
Visible from every direction

The prompt for day 12 was a to write a haibun, that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live. Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil describes how this form ended her long search for a way to write about her travels. For me, the elevenie was an answer to that unasked question, when it got introduced to us during NaPoWriMo 2017 (thank you Gloria Gonsalves!) I wrote a number during my visit to Hamburg for example. I’ve just reread them, and they take me right back to some beautiful moments that I wouldn’t have captured otherwise.

More about how I stuck to the prompt by choosing a different form. As Aimee describes it, and important feature of the haibun is not simply to provide a shape in which to jot mundane musings of landscape and travel but also to a evoke a sense of aware —the quality of certain objects to evoke longing, sadness, or immediate sympathy.

I guess everyone who lives in an place with a distinctive tower, recognises the feeling I describe here. Seeing the tower means coming home. Hence copy, paste, insert your own… 

Domtoren Utrecht Pixabay


Sat outside
Laughing, drinking wine
It’s getting rather late

Walking in
Showing his club
Mine has nine spikes

I like how #elevenies help to capture moments, like snapshots. Yesterday was a very warm day, too hot to go to sleep. So a number of neighbours gathered outside and shared drinks and snacks, and a lot of stories. A fabulous evening in lovely company.

Today when we were having dinner a caveman walked in. Which was not as surprising as it sounds. My son’s school will have a school camp next week, and they chose cavemen as a theme. My son has been wearing a caveman outfit non stop for two days, and today the son of the neighbours came to proudly show his club. All cavemen are playing outside now. My guess is they’re testing their clubs…

Cat’s meow

purring softly
at the farm
We await your arrival

I used the elevenie prompt to capture a real life moment. The neighbours of my parents in law have a nest of kittens, and if all goes well one of them will be ours in six weeks.

It took me a while to publish this one, because I wanted to add a photo. We only have one or two weeks of waiting to go now. This picture was taken when we first met our new housemate. She wasn’t very eager to stay on my lap, so we cuddles her brother or sister after that.

Elevenie snapshots

plays piano
in holiday cottage
fingers dancing over keyboard

drive through
huge miniature landscapes
endless amounts of detail

plays piano
away from breakfast
mother irritated as hell

standing still
everywhere I look
luckily I’m on holiday

plays piano
chooses choir sound
to annoy his mother

going up
In Hamburg playground
daddy falls off, laughing

plays piano
end of holiday
goodbye cottage and piano

majestically bridging
the Hamburg waters
this city once obliterated

It’s the last day of NaPoWriMo 2017! This was the prompt: “Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something that happens again and again.” I’ve been capturing our holiday near Hamburg in elevenies. One of the recurring things was my son playing the electric piano in the cottage. We also visited wonderful exhibitions, had great food, and, unfortunately, there were many irritations.

Thanks to everyone who visited my blog, who has read my poems, who has liked, commented, responded to tweets, etc. You are what makes #NaPoWriMo so much fun!


crumpled, Pollocked
in my pocket
containing your last words

#NaPoWriMo day 29, another elevenie. Off prompt because I wrote this one ahead, today is a travel day. The prompt is to use a word from your favourite poem as a starting point. I’ll be spending the rest of my day wondering if I have a favourite poem 🙂 Feel free to leave your favourite as a comment if you want to inspire me. English, Dutch and German are all welcome. I think Holly mcNish might be my favourite poet. Fresh, sharp, relevant, great sense of humour, and fabulous poetry.