Damselfly sonnet

For dverse.

Photo ©Vengolis

I skim, I dip a shiver of motion,
A dart, a sliver of glittering light;
Water beneath, a glimmering ocean,
Its depths acurl, aquiver with bright

Soft-shelled food things, I bite, and thrilled
I suck and grip, in a tremor of wing beats
Beating stronger with sustenance filled.
Is this all, a life, flying thing that eats?

And then the bright, the dazzle is why?
Sated, I search, another bright skimmer,
A winged, sun-searing skimmer, and I
Join in the dance above water glimmer,

He and I joined, wheel of dip-dazzle flight,
This is the why and the how of what’s right.

Theirs but to do and die

I haven’t done one of these in an age. For the dverse prosery night.

The general finally wound up his speech.
‘So, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.”
His horse shook its head and the general raised his, to stare into the middle distance, a heroic poise. He pulled on the reins, and to whoops and cheers, turned his horse around to ride off majestically to the rear.
“They need not fear the firing squad for insurrection, he means.” Alfred spat on the ground and nudged Bill in the ribs. “He wasn’t talking about that lot out there.”
The two men stared over the sandbags at the line of men, advancing through the dust raised by armoured cars and tanks. Bill wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“Because they’re going to do more’n harm us. They’re going to fuckin’ wipe us off the face of the fuckin’ earth.”


My first attempt here had too many lines. This is the second attempt, a poem with nine lines. For dverse.

I walked today beneath the oak trees dark,
Boughs heavy with their fruit, a harvest for
The small and humble. Touch the rugged bark
And hear the whisper from the sappy core;
The jay the squirrel, this is all for you,
Smooth satined, take however much you need
Bury some to see the winter through,
Remember that each acorn is a seed—
Dig deep, for this is how the world is treed.

Sweet child of mine

I had thought this would occupy me most of this evening, but it has taken roughly ten minutes. For dverse.

Sweet child of mine

The light is dying in the west
Time I love best
That I love best
Daylight is dying in the west.

The swallows gather on the line
Oh child of mine
Sweet child of mine
Bright swallows gather on the line.

Like them you’ll spread your wings and fly
Remember why
Remember why
I taught your childish wings to fly.

This home will keep your laughter bright
I’ll hold it tight
Lamp in the night
Your home will ring with laughter bright

Though light is dying in the west
While swallows gather on the line
And you will spread your wings and fly
Here’s still your home, sweet child of mine.

I hear thunder

For the dverse prompt.

They seem so few the days, so short the hours,
The balance broken; nothing comes out right.
The wind is dark that blows the clouds away;
I hear the thunder in the sudden night.

Such brittle words break up the fragile peace
And scatter hard-won happiness astray;
I hear the thunder in the sudden night.
The wind is dark that blows the clouds away;

We snatch at straws that drift like wounded birds.
Though I held it in my hands awhile, the light,
The wind is dark that blows the clouds away.
I hear the thunder in the sudden night,

Too hot to breathe, this air that tastes of ash.
As we sit in silence wondering why we stay,
I hear the thunder in the sudden night.
The wind is dark that blows the clouds away.

Six pomegranate seeds

For dverse
painting by Evelyn de Morgan

Pomegranate seeds

For the first, he took away the sight of the sun,
filled the sky with dark of no moon, no stars,
where no bird sings, so tree waves in the wind.

For the second, he forced me, because
I was just a woman, he a god, and his desire
was all that mattered in the round of his world.

For the third, he kept me from my home,
the one who loved me, to lie in his bed and listen
to his rutting, feel the coarseness of his hands.

For the fourth, he stole the autumn beauty
of leaf fall, the flocking of south-bound birds,
the gentle touch of the cooling air.

For the fifth, he made the people curse me
when the crops refused to rise and grow,
the earth, winter hard, the summer long.

For the sixth, with the falling leaves,
he made me return to the dark. He has made
the turning seasons a torment, beauty haggard.

He has made me a prisoner of his lust.
Never call it love. And no one called it a crime.
He took beauty, and he gave me hate.

Haibun for Lúnasa

For dverse.

First day of August is Lugh’s day, harvest day, the day of festivities and games in honour of Lugh’s foster mother, of Puck fairs, wild goats and bilberries. Balanced between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox it marks the high point of summer, the gathering of the crops, the slide into cooler weather, when plenty gives hope of surviving the winter.

The wheat was harvested here weeks ago and the hay. Crops ripen and the next is sown with little help from nature, and Lugh turns away from those who think they know better. I picked the first blackberries, a gift, but gifts are meagre in these days of plenty, and who listens to the growling of the sky?

summer scarce begun
ill-used by storm winds
the first leaves fall

Blue are the hills that are far away

For the dverse prompt. I might spend some more time on this one.

Blue are the hills that are far away

Far is the blue in the evening sky,
and loud are the hills with your calling voice,
the sky and the wide open spaces below
are bird-strung and sounding with distant blue.

I remember the sky and the waves of the sea,
pounding the cliffs and the salt white spray,
and the fields with their stone walls, a mesh of hopes,
your voices I hear in the blue of my heart.

Close is the blood that throbs in the ears
and holds in its arms a lover, a child,
the last fire burning, the spire of pearl smoke,
and blue are the hills that are far away.