Category Archives: challenge

To No Avail – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – What could you talk about for thirty minutes without preparation?

Photo: found at

“You throw the sand against the wind; and the wind blows it back again.” William Blake

To No Avail

Any topic,
eminently unqualified really,
but keen to impress,
well, maybe myself,
so, what shall I speak,
what can I say in this
unbridled moment?
I'm not sure and I sense 
that I can't gain a foothold
on a lucid thought that 
might be coherent and I
ponder and ponder,
reframing my endeavour,
to no avail can I form a
meaningful sentence as
my half hour slips by, 
and yet I know what I want 
to say but I cannot say it.

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®


Filed under challenge, Free Verse, poem, quote

Passing – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Lisa is hosting poetics with an invitation to flip the meaning of a poem written by self or other, or to write a Diamanté form poem (seven lines) which flips the first word at the end. I have attempted a Diamante form.

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Flipping Meanings

Photo: Geralt at

“Getting old is like climbing a mountain; you get a little out of breath, but the view is much better.” Ingrid Bergman


smooth, creamy
inviting, inciting, enfolding,
youthful, erotic, mature, parched
ageing, dwindling, passing
old, dry

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under challenge, death, Diamante, Free Verse, life, poem, quote

Such Fun – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Snippets

Photo: Robert Collins,

“Maturity is a high price to pay for growing up.” Tom Stoppard

Such Fun

Westerns on the telly,
I pistol whipped my old man,
but after the gun-fight, of course,
melting in the Suez on P&O,
armless beggars in Colombo,
shark alarm off South Freo,
dangerous creatures in straya,
but we're all having fun mate
peeing how far up the dunny wall?
Chasing girls for curiosity's sake,
mixing the books in the library
and wagging boring school,
dreaming of joining a rock band,
idly playing a surf champ but
really a clerk, no, labourer with
bell bottoms and platform shoes,
fumbles and kisses then
a car of my own and the
world was wide open.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: Australian usage – Old Man = dad; Freo = the city of Fremantle; straya = Australia; dunny = toilet; wagging = bunking off.


Filed under challenge, Free Verse, history, life, poem, quote

Fiction – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Describe but don’t reveal

“Controllers, abusers, and manipulative people don’t question themselves.” Darlene Ouimet


unlabelled, even when
labels seem apparent,
the friend who is an enemy,
who is transparent only with
lies and manipulative smoke
that mirrors for the observant
a path of broken glass hearts,
twisted into a sculpture of
sticky dark love like bitter
treacle on the tentacles of 
lost hope, you stood apart
from everything and denied
everyone who you really are,
and sucked the life out of all
who trusted your pain and 
felt for your narrative fiction
as if it were their own child.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under challenge, Free Verse, life, poem, psychology, quote

Hungering – poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJ’s Weekly Challenge – Waves


“Ecstasy is a glass full of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth.” Alexander Pushkin


Day's hours slowed to soft sand and
she marked the moments of deep longing 
for sunset by the cool, summer shoreline,
breakers crashing the encrusted rocks,
punctuated by the scree of grey gulls,
she turned to him again, hungering,
greedy for the waves to wash over her
and carry her to the crest of ecstasy.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under challenge, erotic, Free Verse, love, passion, poem, quote

She Was – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Laura is hosting Poetics with an invitation to paradox using inspiration from two sources, my choice is Paul Dunbar.

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Beyond Meaning or The Resolution of Opposites


“I am the fool in the morning, thou art my slave in the night.” Paul Dunbar (The Paradox)

She Was

Dressed of innocence in the light
she revelled as mistress by dark,
when maxis gave way to minis in taxis,
water surrendered to whiskey, and
walk gave way to strut and swagger
of rounded hips, explicit though hidden,
between cotton and leather, though
lace was ambivalent and undecided,
her breathtaking purity as decadence
or sultry vamp as coy as a maiden,
she was as enigmatic as any code
yet unbroken though known.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under challenge, Free Verse, life, passion, poem, quote

More – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Urge

Photo: found on

“Some of the jam we thought was for tomorrow, we’ve already eaten.” Tony Benn


So hot,
the toast is steaming,
melting the thick slices of butter
into savoury pools, wafting its 
salty aroma as I layer juicy, 
thick, blackberry jam in all its
decadent sweetness,
rolling round my tongue,
dripping down my chin,
tantalising my senses,
eliciting divine sighs,
O' my goodness, the
urge to have another.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under challenge, food, Free Verse, passion, poem, quote

Reper-cussions – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Repercussions

Photo: The dove who got into the house but sadly hit the window attempting a way out.

“Death is not the opposite of life but a part of it.” Haruki Murakami


Soft percussion tears,
sombre funeral beat,
who will mourn her
choice of passage or
dare to judge the
repercussion that is 
her ending or, perhaps,
her beginning, this dove 
at peace, but it was I who 
left the door ajar and the
window closed.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under challenge, death, Free Verse, nature, poem, Quadrille, quote

Je m’accuse (I Accuse Myself) – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – The Other side

VJ has invited us to write from the other side, which involves us reflecting and writing from a perspective of ourselves.

Image: found on

“Self-doubt imprisons those that never overcome it.” Obiora Embry

Je m'accuse (I Accuse Myself)

The darkened cell shrinks and enlarges 
with every swing of the yellowed light
overhead while my hands are restless
upon the greasy table as my narrowed 
eyes stare back at me, interrogating my 
every emotion, there is nowhere to hide,
I know myself even when I don't, at 
least I know that which I most want to 
deny of myself; what is this rage that
coddles within me when it suits, to
justify my wounded, fragile self, by 
hurting others, of this I accuse myself,
of this I absolve myself, I reach for 
water and begin again.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under awareness, challenge, Free Verse, identity, life, poem, psychology, quote

No Surrender – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

For a double dare by Beverly Crawford, and with sympathy for Jane Dougherty, following my poem The Next Dance.

Photo: found on

“There is a grandeur in winter, stern and wild it may be, but a grandeur which speaks to the soul.” CJ Peterson.

No Surrender

The sly cocktail dress sits sublime in ice
upon the line all formal and smooth,
while my dungarees have actually taken shape
as if possessed by a ghost, all stiff and 
starched, no wrinkles or sag like the sack 
of potatoes they normally pose draped upon me, 
the ice has claimed the denim and holds it in 
its steely grip as if fit for Ned Kelly's last 
stand where there will be no surrender until
the sun breaks free.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under challenge, Free Verse, life, nature, poem, quote