Things I have decided today

I will write nothing new
until someone accepts that what is already
is good enough.

I will unpick and rewrite
turn the angle of the mirror
until a reflection smiles back.

Writing courses, editors, conferences,
and other events are for those with time and money.
I’ll be the thief who finds the back door open.

Hyperbole is easy as smiling
but it’s not a substitute for criticism.
Bite every coin before accepting it.

Inside my head there is a head
beating against a wall
but the same words keep falling out.

Beginnings endings

Heat is a vibrating mirror
of summers past
and cicada songs.

Along the stream
all the branches are black with winter
and lost birds.

You had a favourite scarf.
We wrapped it round and round ourselves
until each felt the other’s heartbeat.

How do I hold these stars
if even the sky
lets them go?

The most important things
run their course and die
but Disney lasts forever.


Chat haret from Old French harer to hunt

cat returned to the wild
to stalk the wild places
with backward glances

white robed and red
black pale grey
a tricolour banner

feline sore thumbs
in the green field
and the white

you watch the house
thousands of years of habit
too deep the memories

you watch
from the depths of field and hedge
stalking the prey of fox and hawk

ready to run
but I know you’d stay
if I tried hard enough

because the wild
is only half of the cat
half remains by the fire.

Cadralor anyone?

This is a new form I discovered today and gave it a go. You can find out how to write one here . Most of the examples in the magazine aren’t my thing, but I like the idea.

How far?

Into the night you go
and the cat into the dusk
I light a lamp.

Streets fall silent here
but further in the hubbub
strums night’s chords.

Take the bus north
and you’ll see the ocean
where the stars fall.

Winter breath streams
pale as river mist
but the sobbing is blood-red.

In dreams the sound
of footsteps leaving is the same
as footsteps hurrying home.

There’s a bird

There’s a bird that sings
in the trees by the stream,
a song repeated.
Another bird picks it up and replies.

In the trees by the stream,
hidden in shadows cool and green,
the summer sings

a song repeated,
slow and lazy,
a handful of notes.

Another bird picks it up and replies,
the echo of cool green and dappled gold
stream-babble of bird-peace.

Humming death

Another one I never sent in to the Ekphrastic Challenge. The painting is by Marian Spore Bush.

They let the boat drift
with its cargo of petals
and the woman, who some said died of boredom,
others, from sinful curiosity.

With its cargo of petals, the boat
carried to the sea by the great green river
sighed as the pearl-light called,

and the woman, who some said died of boredom,
sank with her petals into the sea-green arms
her moon-face silent as the pearls that were her eyes.

Others, from sinful curiosity
watched from the shore, how the humming death bird
hover-sipped the petaled soul, setting it free.


I tried the new ‘Happiness’ word set, and frankly, I’m not overjoyed. Three ‘happiness’, plus a ‘happy’, a ‘laugh’, two ‘laughter’, two ‘rainbow’ endless ‘sun’, ‘shine’ and ‘sunshine’ and there’s even a single tile of ‘blue sky’. There is such a thing as egging the pudding.

Happiness by the yard

The warmth of between shines
beneath the dark above.
shall we try for wonder,
the full sunshines of the weather report?
Will she give her heart to this one or to that?

All this dancing together hand in hand,
this spring of love and laughter
sounds like wishing, a desire to be surprised
by everything.

Life must be fun,
a procession of days without rain,
endless smiles, starry skies,
and we always dare to eat that peach.

Bluebirds and rainbows, unicorns too, no doubt
and love-flowers press us to enjoy, look away
and forget.

But barefoot bliss is strewn with the jagged fragments
of those dreams that never came true,
the nagging hand in the back,
pushing to the edge and whispering,

Drum beats

We lost internet Wednesday so I missed prompts. The dverse prompt was to write a chant poem. I saw it last night and wrote a response. I wasn’t feeling very good, so it reflected how I felt, I suppose.
This morning I consulted the Oracle, still feeling completely washed out, and she gave me a poem that’s practically the same as the one I wrote last night. Hmm.

Drums roll

Drums roll in this dark sky
and in this deep earth
and they roll and roll
in the silence of my head.

Sky is dark and dark is the drumming
holes punched in the night
and the light streaming through
comes from a world’s lifetime away.

Dark drums roll
through the hole in my head
that lets the light stream
like sand from my hand

and they wink in time
the stars in the sky-light
to the martial beat
just pips in the night.

The beat (in collaboration with the Oracle)

The beat is bitter
drums in my head
raking coarse fingers
through the garden of growing things
red water pouring among the lilies.

Even the sun sweats
cloud tears crushing the light
into pink fragments at dusk.

Is there life in this tongue
that screams through the rain spray
where swallows soared

or did it wash away among the lilies
and the debris of the roses?