When shadows lengthen

A poem in quatrain form for the dverse prompt.

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When shadows lengthen and the world is still,

The songbirds’ day is finished, all abed,

I watch the fire in the sky until

Its flames into the dark earth all have bled.


Among long shadows stretching from the hedge,

The furtive movement starts of stalking things.

Birds with their young, that summer’s yet to fledge,

Keep silent watch and spread protective wings.


This is the time, when dusk fades into night,

I think of endings, never a new start,

And children whose stars take them to the light

Of other skies but never from my heart.


Three Line Tales: Assignment

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Les Anderson via Unsplash


Spring morning, not too hot yet for the shade thrown by the awnings along the street to be more welcoming than the warm sunshine—I wait for her to leave her rendez-vous.

She dresses up nice for him, I think, and wonder if she’ll hail a taxi or walk the short distance to the apartment on boulevard Haussmann where her husband, my client, will be tapping his desktop with impatient fingers.

She walks; I follow, visualising the dark mouth of the side street behind the glamour of the boulevard that will swallow her up, where a bullet will burrow its way behind her ear.

Last light star light

A first attempt at a contemporary ghazal for the dverse collection. I’m not sure if this is how it works, but I like it. Inspired by the last two prompts from the Daily Inkling, Among the branches and Among the stars.


Last light slants, gold and soft as still ears of corn

through branches heavy with birdsong.


Notes full of sunlight, gold and silver as fish in deep pools,

roll and ripple, a tidal river slipping to the sea.


High, the stars pause, listen perhaps,

enraptured by the gold-touched music.


Low, they bend as darkness deepens among far branches,

gather in glittering hands the threaded chords.


From galaxy to galaxy, they string spiral garlands

of blackbird glory to set the silence of space ringing.


It hurts my heart to hear them go, the fading notes,

unearthly and so deep rooted, to fly among the stars.

Two ravens from out the west

For dverse, a cascade poem inspired by this painting by Jackie Hurlbert.

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I saw them at the break of day,

Two ravens flying from the west.

They settled on the roof ridge, waiting.


Watching from the walls, impatient,

Peering where the sentries pace,

I saw them at the break of day.


You’d been long gone, I wished you home,

Hoped to see a messenger not

Two ravens flying from the west.


Harbingers with ill luck bearing,

Stench of battlefield in their wings,

They settle on the roof ridge, waiting.