Was seed

now spreads broad-leafed branches,

unfolds, scented,
in a complex origami
of curl-petaled bloom,

gallops the hillside,
a russet-red leaper,

pads the night paths,
a russet-tailed chancer,

and you,
milky-soft, pink and unfocused,
learning by the moment,
gallop-growing, unfurling beauty,

were once a microscopic

A quadrille for EJ and the dverse prompt.

April poetry challenge day 27

Today’s poem is inspired by Kerfe Roig’s Reticulation. You can see all images and poems on Paul Brookes’ site here.


Jewelled meadow, diamond-strung with laced nets,
early morning before the sun slides over each surface
and sharpens it to one definition alone,
capture and filter the light.

Spider-spun ephemera, fading in fierce beams,
spin their delicate patterns from stalk to stem,

a web of functional beauty,
crafted with unconscious skill,

unlike the ocean-dragging nets that empty the seas,
the criss-cross trails that drag the blue from the sky,
the endlessly orbiting rubble
that threads the night with the mark of death.

April poetry challenge day 25

For Paul Brookes’ challenge, I chose to write a poem for Kerfe Roig’s April Showers. All the prompt images and the poems they inspired are here.

KR25_april showers_wombwell


These April showers of buttercup gold,
the sky that flows into running stream,
and grass lush as waterweed, seep and soak,

rooted where the river runs,
seeded where the clouds
sweep their trailing locks.

Earth, sky, water join in this light,
beneath the spread-boughed trees,
dappled and stream-spangled,

singing with a thousand throats,
drawing up the buttercups
to catch the falling drops of sun.

Story in Prairie Fire

I am thrilled to announce, not another baby, but a story. I am so proud to have a short story published in Prairie Fire magazine. It’s a magazine that deals with the big issues, those that really count. The story is one I care about a lot, and Prairie Fire is the ideal home for it.

They have been lovely people to work with and it’s an additional thrill to find that something I have written resonates with people so far away!


Just in case anyone is wondering about the long silences and my general absence, I’m not ignoring anyone, just having internet problems. I’m getting email but can’t read it or reply. Posting is like putting a message in a bottle and chucking it in the ocean. No idea when normal service will be resumed.

A new star rising

The Oracle always knows. Last days of waiting.

I listen in this morning’s damp light
for the child coming
through the rhythms
of the air of another world.

Cat watches for the coming
like a fish in a bowl
a bird in the sky

and I remember those times
raw and tender that dripped with joy
tumbling like spring clouds
full of tiny hands curled and perfect

the milky noises unabashed
and oceans of laughter.

The stars sailed slow then
in their course
and we understood
the wild voice of the night.

On the wings of farewell

To the friend I never knew.

Yesterday was full of sun,
a song of birds and new leaves,
gold dandelion-wash swept the green,
a marten acrobated squirrel fashion
through the trees.

I spoke to children,
checked in, checked up,
wrote and cooked.
I walked while sun sunned
and ladybirds studded the panes
of open windows.

I didn’t know that a piece had gone
from the pattern, a small star fallen.
Perhaps the sparrowhawk shrieked it
or the rowdy jays, but I didn’t hear
your last breath fade and float,
a whisp of the past drifting free.



I submitted a couple of pieces to this Ekphrastic Review prompt, Composition by Sophie Taeuber Arp. Neither was chosen to be published, so I’m posting them below.


Battleship grey

“Sorry, but I don’t get it. I’m trying, but it means nothing to me. I know, you see all sorts of meaning in the colours and the arrangement, and yes, it is a nice, restful blue, but it’s just shapes, isn’t it? I mean, its circles and squares—I suppose they’re squares, they’re skewed so they’ve slipped off the canvas, but I imagine they’re squares—and there are right-angled lines. Crosses, like the sights of a gun on a ship in the sea, and the sea is Arctic, a grey ship and the turret’s rocking.”

“A glass of water? No, thanks, I’m fine. I’ll just sit down for a minute. I staggered, that’s all. Been staring at that painting too long, it made me feel as though I was on the deck of a ship, rolling, a cold grey sea, or maybe the ship was being chased by another, and the big gun was pointed right at me.”

“I’m not sure if the deck fell away, or the quay blew up. I slipped into the water, I think—it was so cold!—and all the time I was in the sights of that damn cannon. The noise was deafening, the report and the shells screaming, tearing up the water.”

“What do I think of the painting? Nothing much. It’s just a clump of geometric shapes when you pare away…the other stuff.”


X marks the spot,
the hit, the end.

Trigger-pull and it’s over
when the elephant falls
into the black hole abyss,

and the sky crumbles—
so much sea-sand,
clashing rocks but no Homer.

Red corner wins
because the blue bubble has burst,
and in-between
the ice melts,

and what will you do then,
poor thing,
you, the one
with your finger on the trigger
and nothing in your sights?


This short piece is inspired by Sonya’s three line tales prompt. You’ll notice it’s rather more than three lines. This is the first time I’ve gone into the realms of true flash fiction with this prompt. Must be something in the air.

photo by Marco ten Hoff via Unsplash

Screenshot 2021-03-25 at 10.09.49

We had answered the call, the secret, furtive summons on our group’s private notice board, and we waited with bated breath in the narrow room for him to appear and tell us what we wanted to hear.
His words had thrilled us, so full of the obvious that our leaders denied, pointing out their falsehoods, the coverups, urging us to take to the streets and show them we were duped no longer.
He burst into the room, a giant, backlit in silhouette, wreathed in smoky light, and we roared his name, stamping our feet. He silenced us.
“Your time has come, your moment of glory. They are here, outside the building, the dogs of the conspiracy of corruption, to silence us. Their guns are pointed at the doors and windows. Go! Meet them, like the heroes you are!”
We looked at one another, licked dry lips.
“And you, Master? Will you lead us?”
“I will be behind you, praying for your success, to wade through your blood to take power.”
Even in the murky half-light, his wide grin shone white as bone.