Night wind and light

For Jilly’s Days of Unreason challenge, a tritina.


“A violent windstorm the night before the solstice. from Solstice Litany


Sun-tossed sky of cloud and wind,

The day is longer than the night,

And even summer dark is light.


This eve the burden seems so light

Like leaves of feathers in the wind,

Like softest voices of the night.


To walk the lane when falls the night,

When calms the tangled cloudy wind,

Is all I need to find the light.


No wind can gutter this night light.

All there is

For Jilly’s days of unreason challenge. I remember this quote from last year but if I wrote a poem for it, I can’t find it.

“Saw a poem float by just beneath the surface ”   from Songs of Unreason


Water weed tangle,

dead wood fallen,

celandine and kingcup bound,

this stream runs,

babbling its stories that heron drinks

and marten paddles,

deer sip, and the great trees seep and soak.

I dip my hand and listen

to the drip of bright drops,

the falling song of the thrush,

the breeze in the poplar leaves,

and know this has to be enough.

Said the rabbit to the child

This odd and dark little poem came to me last night as I was taking Finbar for his final outing up and down the lane at 11pm. There was a bit of a moon, the stars, and it was still light on the western horizon. There in never any traffic on this lane at night. We get maybe half a dozen cars go past all day. Just the neighbours.

I like walking at night when it’s still light enough to see. There are rabbits and hares, sometimes martens, deer and fox. And lots of owls. It’s their place, not ours. I keep Finbar on his lead so he doesn’t disturb them. It isn’t wilderness, just small holdings and woodland, but it doesn’t belong to people, no matter what they say, and however close they shave their lawns.

Jilly’s Jim Harrison quote for the days of unreason challenge seems quite appropriate.


“His mind’s all black thickets and blood”   from Songs of Unreason


It must be hard to be

a rabbit, said the child,

to hide beneath the hedge the day

for fear of man and running dog,

the shadow of the hawk,

to tremble night time at the sound

of hunting owl, the moonlit fox.

Rabbit listened sadly,

wept for the gentle child,

said, Life is hard for timid folk,

but little one, you’ll find

that unlike you, we’ve naught to fear

from our own kin and kind.

Choice, what choice?

Another Jim Harrison prompt for Jilly’s days of unreason challenge that rubs my fur up the wrong way. It’s easily done, you might say.


“The world that used to nurse us

now keeps shouting insane instructions.

That’s why I ran to the woods.”

~ Jim Harrison from Songs of Unreason


This world gives us

no nursing, no cradling,

just birth, death,

and in between is life.

That’s all we get,

no running no hiding,

the opt out is for the rich,

the privileged few.

Not for you and I,

the fox in the ploughed field,

the thrush in the shrinking hedge.


For Jilly’s days of unreason prompt.

“Love is raw as freshly cut meat,

mean as a beetle on the track of dung”

~ Jim Harrison  from Songs of Unreason


Beetling beneath the skin,

clinging to blood cells,

filling the empty spaces behind the eyes

and the empty air between the fingers,

love grows, swells, never ending,

the cauldron that never empties,

the wishes that are never done,

an addiction, a prop,

the lynchpin and the hub of my tiny world­—

treat it gently,

because only you can crush its magic.

Horned moon

This haibun is in response to two prompts. My head is full of story and it’s hard coming out of it. I’m terrified I’ll lose my grip on one of the many threads, so I’m economising my words.

For Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday, the prompt is synonyms of Dry and Wet, and for Jilly’s Days of Unreason, the quote is

“I’m quite tired of beating myself up to write.  I think I’ll start letting the words slip out like a tired child. “Can I have a piece of pie” he asks, and then he’s asleep back on the cusp of the moon.”                                                             ~ Jim Harrison from Songs of Unreason


In the dark, clutching the horns of the moon, afraid of falling into needle-sharp stars, she sleeps, fitfully, rocked in her precarious cradle, while silver sharks nibble her toes, and in the garden, the moon hound howls.

Fear is grey, parched

and moist—it sings the song of

no morning after.

Of rare metals and clean consciences

This is for Jilly’s Days of Unreason challenge.

“We’ll know as children again all that we are
destined to know, that the water is cold
and deep, and the sun penetrates only so far”
~ Jim Harrison from Death Again


The child drops a pebble in a pool

and sees a sapphire.

The trafficker drops a child into the waves

and sees one encumbrance less.

We drop our eyes when they show the pictures,

afraid of plucked heartstrings

that call into question the price of petrol or beer.

What price a dream?

And do children dream,

or are their rock pools really full of sapphires?

There are things in the dark

Word count achieved, so time for a poem. This is for the 16th day of unreason, Jilly’s Jim Harrison challenge.

“You can’t write the clear biography
of the aches and pains inside your skull”

~ Harrison from Skull /  Songs of Unreason


There are things in the dark

that should stay in the dark,

sorrows that should be forgotten,

swept away on the black river

that flows into the nameless sea.

I take your hand in the night

and find a light among the shadows.

We follow ourselves, dance steps leading,

while the path creeps and the path winds,

but when the morning comes,

there will be flowers in the meadow.

Run dark

Word count almost reached. Time for a break. This is for Jilly’s days of unreason challenge.


“The hardest part is when the river
is too swift and goes underground for days on end”  

~Jim Harrison from Songs of Unreason


Run dark and silent,

secret beneath the boughs,

diving and delving far from the light,

but promise me that when you find

what you are running from,

you will run with me to the sea.

Always a reason

Done my 2000 words, time for a break. This is for Jilly’s days of unreason challenge.

“I took a nap and wept for no reason”

~ Jim Harrison from Songs of Unreason



Sun in the wind,

wind in the sunlight,

and thrush and nightingale sing duets.

Sun and soft rain,

water running, overflowing ditches

lush and plush as mole fur

and hush pale as gull-grey clouds.

Sunlight and shine,

quiet fills with honey

and the scent of wild roses,

yet look, not far,

listen close—

there is always a reason to weep.