Thoughts perhaps

For the last ten days or so I’ve been struggling to find a reason to keep on writing. It’s the time of year when death is uppermost in my mind, my mother’s birthday, the anniversary of her death, the festival of the dead and the start of the dark half of the year. Thanks to a friend insisting (nagging) that I don’t give up, I went back to the Oracle. I think the message is that some things don’t need a reason.

Forgive me if I don’t feel like ‘joining’ though, and have bowed out of the interactive scene. Hanging around on the margins is enough.

What follows starts with the eight square poem I wrote yesterday, leading into the Oracle’s response this morning. I have ended it with a coda of my own.


There is no more in these hands to

shape and form into butterflies,

no more music in the flute of

the wind. There was little of worth

and nothing to match the ripple

of stream or birdsong. Now I watch

the rain, the mist rising, sunlight

falling, and that must be enough.


Listen to the words in the wind that pours,

see how the ice grows red as fire in the sky,

fly in the face of the poison men spread,

and perfume the night with the scent of roses.

I will sail into this sky wet with stars (or is it rain?),

where the broken and the brilliant fish

their slow desires in the well of eternity,

where the morning wakes like thunder,

and your soft ghost of a smile

dances blue as the overwhelming salt ocean.


Wind blows sea whispers (from rock and wave)

across the skin of the sky,

rain sings in water shadows, purple and

black as a night far from the land.

I wonder if the moon is less than the sun

when she swims with dolphins through spray

petal light and creamed with foam,

and why I can no longer hold the elusive blue

and gold of twilights in my hands.

Is red the only colour of time?


These are questions few can answer,

perhaps the black pearls sleeping in deep waters,

perhaps pearls of moondrops falling in deep waters

or rain in puddles beneath a November sky.

Perhaps there are no answers,

perhaps they are the wrong questions,

but I will paint my thoughts in the sky

at the back of my head behind my eyes,

full of this sunset obscured by rain.



A murky morning became a bright afternoon spent with two of the birdlings.


In deep water fish make magic,

their silver eyes explore the ocean’s belly,

where fallen stars lie among crabs and spent arrows.

Voices draw staves in the sky with their songs

but not where fish dart;

nothing disturbs the secrets

that pave the halls of merfolk and the drowned.

There myths abound, darting silver

and swift as fish and speeding arrows.


You look for laughter and joy among the weeds

but find only coloured stones.

You listen for music in the booming of the waves,

hear only echoes, and the dancers are ghosts.

Raise your eyes, peer through the glassy green

to where the blue is singing, swallows dipping

where the silver scales of fish glint,

and sun streamers caught in the sardana of seaweed

sway between sand and sky—


Earth colours


Silver the river in the sun

serpentine its coiled meanders

sombre the birdless trees

in this silent spring.


Golden the light

that falls from a sunless sky

in the time between

the end and the beginning.


Black and endless

the night that seeps

while stars sleep

into our final dreams.


Red as flames are red

that leap and eat the sky

the cool green leaves

and all is crying.


Green with hope

the new grass growing

and kinder hands tilling

this rich earth.

#Three Line Tales: First timer

For Sonya’s Three Line Talesprompt. A topical one this week.

photo by Josh Hild via Unsplash


He had been walking all night, set off from his village at sunset and hit the outskirts of the city just after midnight.

The rain had been falling steadily for hours as he walked like a zombie along silent streets where only foxes were about, going through the bins, and by daybreak, he was dropping with weariness.

He found the signpost, slumped in a tired heap outside the door—just had to wait now for the polling station to open.

A day


all night the patter of rain

in the chimney

through the morning fog

the erratic movement

of a hunting dog



and the grass ripples

water glitters bright as feathers

clear as a bird’s sharp eyes

watching the cat


at the edge of the dark

between the line of shadow trees

and the lowering cloud

the place where the sun was

a strip of sky bird’s egg blue


Merril’s poem yesterday reminded me that I haven’t used this image in a while. Today is my birthday and I am planning on being a spark.



When we dig beneath the fallen leaves,

brown in the incessant rain,

and there is only cold earth,

and overhead there is no sky,

just the sodden stuffing of a burst mattress,

when the cold is, and the rain is,

and nothing comes to fill the outstretched hand,

no joy, no timid, whisker-twitching hope,

we shrink, tempted by the swollen river

and its powerful embrace.

Every day, dull as ditch water,

chill and bleak, I give thanks

that there are always the birds,

cold, hungry, watchful,

dancing like sparks

from the furnace of the universe.

Rushing dark

A poem that rushed itself off without waiting to be thought out properly. I’m not even sure it fits the prompt! I’ll have another go at this one tomorrow. For Merril’s dverse echo prompt.

Painting is a Winslow Homer



The night is full of wind

(rushing dark rushing loud)

the night is full of wind

that batters shutters tight.


The wind is full of night

(rushing loud rushing dark)

the wind is full of night

that balances the moon.


The moon is full of light

(silver bright falling far)

the moon is full of light

and it catches in your hair.


In your hair I see a star

(fallen light shining bright)

and you toss it in the wind

full of rain rushing clouds.


Rushing clouds balance the moon

(in the night rushing dark)

and the star tossed in the night

for the world to see its light.