NaPoWriMo Day 24 : Will Ingrams – Aroma

Use your nose to sniff out a poem today, as we welcome back Will Ingram’s for today’s NaPoWriMo podcast.

Today’s prompt is about smells, but hopefully in a nice way. I find that sometimes a
waft of a certain scent or aroma can be very evocative. It might be the scent of lilac or
of coffee roasting, or maybe the spicy coconut smell of gorse flowers, but it can put
you in mind of some forgotten experience, or take you off to some other place and
I’d like you to think about such scents and aromas, and choose one or more to start
you off on a poem. No form or subject limitations, just follow the scent, like the Bisto
Kids, if you can remember them.
Here is one I wrote recently:


Electric car, no tank to fill, but
dodging pumps for Sunday papers,
drifting skeins of petrol whiff,
that swirly scimitar-sharp tang,
and wallop…

I’m twisting the cap from a Hillman Minx,
sun-flash off chrome on Nicklen’s forecourt,
all swallowed up in a stiff white coat on a
Sunday afternoon.

Ten shilling note and some silver in hand,
ringing up change in a windowed booth
between the pumps, National Benzole at
five and nine.

Oil and water? That’s all right, sir, bonnet
up and rag in hand, a pint of Castrol, keep
the change. Then Mrs N with tea and cake
on a flowery tray.

Malcolm cleans his Humber Sceptre once
the boss’s wife’s gone in, Pick Of The Pops,
day slowing down. Driver rolls his window as
I’m jingling the tip.

Zephyr Six. So where’s the filler? Try
behind the reg plate, son. The rising haze
of petrol vapour twists my head round.
Jolts me back.

Will Ingrams

Will Ingrams writes poetry, short stories and the occasional novel at a cottage in rural Suffolk. He has been shortlisted in several competitions and has a blog at , where more poems can be found. Will’s flesh and blood avatar has spent time as a postman, a forecourt attendant, a teacher and a computer geek before turning to writing and growing vegetables.

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