In the primal darkness

For the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt. The words this week are:


Photo©Helgi Halldórsson


In primal darkness when the earth

Came to birth,

She spread her wings,

Embraced all things.


When first we dared to sing and dance

In magic trance,

Beneath the light

Of stars at night,


We sought to master all of life,

Created strife,

Our downfall pride,

The turning tide.


And now the dark rolls back again

With no birth pain,

No joyful cry,

This time we die.


Scent of autumn

This haiku sequence was inspired by twitter prompts that came round full circle.

Photo ©Roger Kidd


Rain falls steely cold,

rose petals tumble, mud-stained,

crushed scent of autumn.


Black wind, death-bringer,

Ice-fingered with snow-flecked eyes,

bare-boughed winter stalks.


Not forget the sun

when enfolding darkness falls,

beyond night, dawn breaks.


My glass overflows,

wine-dark winter torrents pour,

no more tears to weep.


Tick-tock the clock,

creeping into tomorrow,

past echoes dragging.


Clockwork oracle,

Tomorrow will come, she says,

beating with times past.


Truth comes with the dark,

lapping through sweet candied walls,

listen to the pulse.


A handful of dreams,

tossed like dead summer flowers,

seeds for the future.

#writephoto: No beacon

The piece of short fiction I was writing Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt is a sequel to the story I wrote for my own microfiction challenge (yes, I do them too), so it doesn’t stand alone. This is a poem I wrote yesterday though, that might fit the bill instead.


The air is black between us,

though honeysuckle hangs unseen,

and all the birds, down-soft, song-sweet,

are fluttering with the pinking clouds.

Mist hangs like shrouds, or is it sails?

of that ship we were meant to take

across a corrugated tarmac sea,

nailed down and charted every inch,

to that ‘place for us’ we’ll never see.

I could smell its fullness, rich and sharp,

Of sun-bathed earth as green as life

and apples, running silver rivers-laced,

but you never said, I never knew

what engines, whirring cogs and gears

criss-crossed that paradise of yours.

The air is black, not dusky grey,

where prowling cats shine beacon eyes,

the air is black as pitch and darkest sin,

and echoes empty as deepest space,

the void where old love goes to die.


This is the way, the bright sky calls


This is the way/ the bright sky calls,

To dusty death/ at the end of the path.

The tired push and shove/ to the haven of peace,

With no respite/ we follow our longings,

But the dream recedes/ into a blue haze.

Though I can almost touch it/ this magic we longed for,

Its glitter is veiled/ this place we constructed,

By the unyielding cares/ of our heart and bones,

Of a world full of darkness/ to cradle our ending.

Dark phase

Another cascade poem, this one for the Daily Post prompt: phase.


At the dark phase of the moon,

Wild creatures prowl and night owls cry,

For only stars light up the sky.


Poplars whisper in the wind,

Stories of cold and bitter times,

At the dark phase of the moon.


Beneath the forest with the shades

Of things long dead and best forgot,

Wild creatures prowl, and night owls cry.


We bolt the door and shutters tight,

Against the things that haunt the dark,

For only stars light up the night.


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There are no stories in the woods

This poem is in response to the Secret Keeper’s prompt. The words to use are



There are no stories in the woods,

Only truths, hard-fast, clinging.

The wild wind blows through the last dry leaves,

On its rough back, black times bringing.


There are no stories in the woods,

No fairy tales to serve with the sweet,

The bitter tales go deep as roots,

Down where tree and core rock meet.


There are no stories in the woods,

Told by the birds their sweet songs trilling,

Famine stalks and want and death,

Hopes of spring cold bellies filling.


There are no stories in the woods,

Their truths are harsh and full of fears,

The trees, the grass, the earth all dying,

Deaf and blind, we ignore their tears.

Microfiction: Lost temple II


“At last,” the older monk murmured. “To have found it after so many years. And on this night of all nights.”

The acolyte gazed through the tall lancet windows, still full of light, though they seemed to let none fall into the building. Through a window of a side chapel, glassless now and empty, the moon appeared, red and bloody. The acolyte licked dry lips and tried to convince himself that this was a good omen, but his eyes were drawn irresistibly to the deep shadows that gathered where the twilight had receded. He wished that they had arrived in daylight.

The two monks stood side-by-side beneath a red sky slowly inking over with darkness, where once had arched the great vault of the nave. The older man raised his eyes and let his gaze roam among the delicate tracery of the windows, the columns and the buttresses. The acolyte knew he was seeing their former glory, not the stark ruins where no vegetation had taken hold. He looked about his feet. Not a single blade of grass encroached upon the smooth stones of the pavement, not even where they were cracked and broken. The old man was murmuring prayers. The acolyte curled his fingers round the amulet hidden among his robes.

Lost in the pitch black

This poem is for the Secret Keeper’s weekly writing prompt. This week’s words are:


I’m not sure this one works. I might try to write a tighter version.


Lost in the pitch black, clinging dark,

Wandering through the empty rooms,

Filled with shadows and drifting dust,

The hollow creak of footsteps’ echoes,

I scratch at the locked and bolted door,

Though I know it will never open more.


Beyond is the silence, tender and opulent,

Violet folds of petal-soft night.

The passionate stars are all still there, I think,

Radiant scraps of hungry happiness,

Caught in the black sky’s tenebrous web,

But night is balanced ’tween flow and ebb.


When the harsh sun returns they’ll fade,

Those tiny sparks of love’s fierce fire,

Filling the dark and dusty room

With the unforgiving blue of day,

While the creaking footsteps fade and die,

For it was you who walked away, not I.