Oh what a war

This haibun is the first poem for this Armistice Day, for Frank Tassone’s prompt.

Well, here we are, waiting in the mild sunshine, the clouds scudding past from the south undecided—rain, or just passing through—for the sirens to sound and possibly the church bell to ring if they can find anyone to do it. The grass is golden in the sun, lush and green beneath the morning light, and the sky is blue. Trees dance, oaks hanging onto their greenery, the poplars tossing gold largesse of leaves. And when the sirens sound the eleventh minute, and some chasseur can’t restrain his trigger finger, and the bells finish pealing, and we all speak again with voices full of relief, what then? Another war over, a new one just begun, because, to paraphrase the song, those who don’t want it, don’t count.

always the sun

the moon the stars and autumn

that peels back

to the heart of things  

Petals in the wind

I tried two different word sets, and the message was the same.


Night melts into day,Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 12.09.07

darkness opens up

with an ocean of morning,

yet ghosts dance with broken hearts,

remembering the sky and the stars—

now only red flowers

blow in the breeze.


A diamond mist fills the air,Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 14.16.18

still as lake water,

but in the shadows trudge

the feet of weary men.

No music soars,

their faces, sprayed with rain

show no dreaming sleep.

Red rose petals

blow in the wind of time.




A sea of stars

We’re in the big build up to the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in 1918. This triolet came out as a small tribute, and was inspired by Paul Militaru’s lovely photo. Thank you, Paul for letting me borrow it.stars-on-water


The river rolls, an ocean full of stars,

A constellation tossed upon the waves,

A pebble tossed, the sky’s bright tribute mars.

The river rolls, an ocean full of stars,

Embroidered notes of ghostly brass fanfares,

A coverlet of light for unmarked graves.

The river rolls, an ocean full of stars,

A pebble tossed, the sky’s bright tribute mars.


Red, red the poppies

A last offering for Armistice Day.
©Martial Gaillard-Grenadier


Red, red the poppies blow,
In the fields where the headstones grow,
White and pure as fallen snow,
That mark the place where the dead men go.
And have we learned from all these dead,
The stolen youth, the family head,
The terror blind, the slaughter red,
The hearts abroken, the life’s blood bled?
When I can see a poppy field,
And the deep, rich earth in spring revealed,
Where men have only a plough to wield,
I’ll know the broken world is healed.