At close of day

For the dverse quadrille prompt.


At close of day the light falls thicker,

golden syrup honey dew,

and shadows deepen in the hedges,

woodland, maple, oak and yew.

Remember when brash jingle- jangle

rattled every summer night?

The notes of blackbirds’ singing now

fill with wild beauty each twilight.

The dew lies glistening

A poem for my Pictures and Poetry Challenge (that has already changed its name…)

Added to the dverse open link night.


The dew lies glistening on the grass,

And through the trees the white stone gleaming,

Through the trees let morning pass

In gold and silver half light streaming,

While on the hill the bones lie dreaming.


Dead on the ridge that’s grown again

With green and forest where walkers go,

Dead in the mud and bitter cold rain,

Tangled in wire and buried in snow,

We built them all crosses, their ghosts below.


They’re quiet the places ringed in stone,

And hid behind hedges where blackbird sings,

They’re quiet the men who lie all alone,

In their rank upon rank. No comfort brings

The spring, flown like geese on their northbound wings.



François GOGLINS



For the dverse prompt, a red poem.


Always held in the ropes that web the world, the net of next

please and not for you, the night falls full of starry promise.


Out there, among the waves of darkness, there is a pier and

at the end, a light that invites, perhaps, if we were to dare.


We wait by the water’s side where the waves slop and

the boats creak, moon-shining or mirroring the stars,


watching for that green light, the verdant hope to shine,

and though we hold hands and prepare to run with the wind


swim with dolphins through phosphorescent trails, it glowers

always, dumb, baleful-eyed Cyclops, unblinking, stubbornly red.

Haibun for snapshots of home

This is what I should have written for the dverse prompt, since the illustration was a gift.

In the house where I grew up there was a print of Seurat’s La Grande Jatte on the sitting room wall. I used to think it was Batley Park. In the hallway there was a print of the Madonna from de la Tour’s Le Nouveau-né. I used to think it was a picture of my mother. It looked like her, and she also had a red dressing gown. Funny how for children there is nothing new under the sun.

paintings chime

with memories

like spring flowers

Haibun for a person

I can’t remember writing an overtly autobiographical poem, and I don’t keep any track of what I write anyway. I’m happy with the general, uncomfortable with the specifically personal, so this is about as close as it gets. Written just now for the dverse prompt.


I wrap myself in the cool of tree shade, walk in rubber boots with dog and cat, stringing words. I live where I live with the one I live with and our hours roll like waves up the strand, foam-frilled and hissing. Birds sing and we hear, blackbirds, thrushes, orioles and on summer nights, nightingales. Every day there are (metaphorical) shells and bright pebbles set in the (metaphorical) mirror sand, (real) flowers that open, petals that fall, and every night there are stars even when cloud covers the sky.

days at spring’s birth

the weather is raw—cats curl

by the ticking stove

On the razor’s edge

For the dverse prompt, a poem in rhyming couplets, a sonnet of sorts.


Quiet falls so soft, it’s all there is to hear,

Except the dull remorseless beat of fear,

That intrudes upon the tractor’s busy hum,

Its harsh, relentless beat a warlike drum.


Listen, quiet fills the heart with peace,

The world stands still, a wingbeat of release

Of tension stored. The sky is rain-washed clean;

Look, beyond the stars, the night’s bright screen.


Our tears and weeping mingle with the rain,

There is sorrow in the silence, loss and pain,

Yet blackbirds weave their song from evening gold,

And love remains the greatest story told.


I would live always on the razor’s edge

With arms to sound the depths and dreams to fledge.