Day 15 – A-Z Blog Challenge ‘O’



O – Owl

Today we have a special guest, Maureen Cullen, a very talented poet and short story writer.

About Maureen:

Maureen writes poetry and short fiction. In 2016, she was published along with three other poets in Primers 1, a collaboration between Nine Arches Press and the Poetry School. She has poems published in Prole, The Lake, The Interpreter’s House, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Reach Poetry, Salopeot and forthcoming in Amaryllis.

Maureen has agreed to share her poem Owl.

Owl is from Volume One, Primers, 2016, Nine Arches Press


Teacher gied us an exercise
tae draw a picture of our fathers.

I drew an owl, coloured it in
wi shades of plaid, gied it glasses

like pennies. Owls wear glasses, I said,
cause they’re smart. I drew him a tie

like he wore for the church, a cap
for his clump of ginger feathers, sat

him on a branch of our oak tree
wi his Golden Virginia, a red spot

on the doup at his lip, smoke puffing
tae the top of the page, wished he’d fly,

stretching wing-tip tae wing-tip
but maybe he’d cough, need his back clapped.

I leant his walking stick on the bark
so he could wing-limp up the path.


Thank you for sharing Owl with us Maureen. I’m sure you’ll all agree with me that Maureen is a very talented poet.


Poetic Terms

O – Object Poem

‘A poem about an inanimate object. It may give us a fresh look at something ordinary, or it may transform a strange object into something familiar.’ (John Drury, Poetry Dictionary)

O – Octave

An eight-line stanza.

O – Occasional Verse

O – Ode

A song or lyric, often passionate, expansive, exuberant, rhapsodic. (John Drury, The Poetry Dictionary)

Here’s an ode that I wrote as part of my upcoming poetry collection In a Delightful Country. I wrote this following the Hoops and Haiku event, as a special request for the project manager at Worth Park, when I was completing my residency as part of my Communities module.


An Ode to Croquet

A smooth jade coat shines in the sun,
lawn cut low to strike and glide the balls.
Two-hundred and forty-five square metres
shimmer, waiting for croquet teams to play.
Hoops and balls are lined up on the court,
a sport where everyone is equal.
Grab yourself a mallet,
is the striker ready?
Janet scores a hoop, she makes a roquet
all in the same stroke – we hail thee Croquet.



O – Wilfred Owen

‘Wilfred Owen, who wrote some of the best British poetry on World War I, composed nearly all of his poems in slightly over a year, from August 1917 to September 1918. In November 1918 he was killed in action at the age of twenty-five, one week before the Armistice.’ (Poetry Foundation) Read more

Read Anthem for Doomed Youth here

Read Exposure here


O – Sean O’Brien

‘Sean O’Brien (b. 1952) has been described as the leading poet–editor–critic of his generation. He was born in London but grew up in Hull. The North East – its landscapes, history and culture – have remained a core influence and concern in his poetry. He graduated from Selwyn College, Cambridge, and spent the 1980s teaching in a secondary school in East Sussex,’ (Forward Arts Foundation) Read more

You can read one of his poems, The Calm, on the Poetry Foundation website.



4 thoughts on “Day 15 – A-Z Blog Challenge ‘O’

  1. Corinne Lawrence April 17, 2018 / 11:47 am

    I loved ‘Owl’- we have a Scots lady at our Literature class: she always brings in Scottish ‘dialect’ poems at poetry sessions. It was great to read one that left you in no doubt of its Scottish character, but was totally understandable at first reading!


    • Patricia M Osborne April 17, 2018 / 11:48 am

      It’s a great read, isn’t it, Corinne? Maureen is such a talented poet. Glad that you found your way in here at last. Do take a look at the previous letters ‘ A – N’ while you’re here.


  2. maureencullenwriter April 17, 2018 / 2:13 pm

    Thank you, Corinne. And Tricia, for sharing my poem.
    It was great to see your Ode to Croquet too Tricia. A reminder of summer days.


  3. Patricia M Osborne April 17, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    Thank you, Maureen. Let’s home those summer days soon arrive. And once again thank you for your lovely poem and we look forward to seeing you later again next week on the blog with another poem.


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