New Year snow

For the dverse prompt. Rarely have I wrangled a more difficult form.

New Year snow

The green of winter fields has gone,
no gleams, no sun-bright beams
in muddy puddles, pewter wan,
this new year seems

Only ice-breath from this sky
freezes trees below
Beneath the flakes, I wonder why
the purity of snow’s so
ghastly dark.


The stones in the path

For dverse. I hope this counts as a poem.

The stones in the path

We would watch for the bus going past on the lane, know it would stop outside Mitchell’s barn, run out the back gate up the farm track.
The pavement of stone flags outside the houses was cracked sunken, unused.
The ruts were deep, full of coloured stones, green and blue, not river-smooth, not pebbles, bright and sharp as flints.
We’d run and she’d be there, turning into the track ,with her shopping basket and handbag, wearing her white suit with dark blue spot-and-shadow markings, like the breast feathers of a great solitary bird. An osprey maybe
Her shoes were dark blue, with laces and tiny holes in the leather. Her hair was a white bob, cheeks apple-round with smiling.
I’d get there first, hang onto the shopping bag, peep inside, the deep blue-purple of chocolate bars, and I would smile back,
turn my step to hers, walking, still hanging onto the bag, chattering, though that world is silent now.
That world is silent, but I remember every green stone, every throb of the starlings’ babbling on the telephone wires, every pulse of that warm, haunted heart.

even in the puddles
those days.


For the dverse prompt, a loose sort of a sonnet. This coldest time of the year is when the Mozart Requiem haunts, coming up to the anniversary of Wolfie’s death.


Winter, the dead time,
when leaves long-withered
and stripped by gales, rot
beneath the frost, rime

on every dry leaf,
and ice crusts the puddles
in cart ruts, bitter
and sharp as grief.

Beyond the winter window, snow
fell, softening sharp black angles,
on the hearse with stamping horses,
stars on black veils. Below,

winter snow fell in frozen tears,
as you joined the music of the spheres.

Mme Cluny

For the dverse prosery prompt. 144 words.

Mme Cluny

I had always admired the garden, the way it held the old house in a gentle embrace, the sentinel trees, and the way the borders grew up from small-flowered creepers, through lilies, irises, hollyhocks, alliums to the climbers, woodbine, jasmine and clematis. Pergolas of wisteria and roses made a second rampart and the sky-blue paintwork of door and windows against the orange brick called back to the joyous flower pageant.
She was always outside, from first to last frosts. Always adding new plants, splitting and replanting. Like a painting, or a tapestry. I asked her once how she kept the plan in her head.
‘Everything I do is stitched,’ she said, ‘with its colour, the thread holding the pattern together. There’s no mystery really. The plants all know their places.’
As did the rabbits, the birds and lizards, the small dogs. Even the unicorn.

Tricks of the light

For dverse. I’ll add the links to the poems tomorrow. Bedtime for me. The title is the title of the poem I posted this morning.

Tricks of the light

This year the roses are tall
in all the fields that stretch about,
and there will be rain tonight.

Through dim light we watch
this night of festive fires,
though the wind,
through a crack…

Burly, with shambling gait,
ils ne passeront pas
for the dust on the wall,
the light is heavy, or perhaps the sun.
So, shall I paint a prism?

Dreaming of a dead friend

For dverse

Dreaming of a dead friend

Dark as every day is dark in sleep,
beneath dark trees that cast their shadows deep,
we walked my dog and I.

He walked before with loose long-legged lope,
I behind, the path that climbed a wooded slope,
a tumbling brook ran by.

His coat with shadows striped and moonlight pale
grew fainter, as he moved along the trail,
so fast he seemed to fly.

The winding path, the crouching trees, the light
too dim, I lost him to the swelling night
and woke, a final cry,

the echo of his name still in my ears,
the echo of a dream. I hope he hears
and waits my time to die.

Lost horizons

For the dverse prompt. Apologies in advance to those whose comments WP won’t let me reply to.

Lost horizons

We cast our nets with longing
into the distant childish past,
of golden clouds of glory, trailing

from the land of Counterpane,
the wardrobe door that opened
onto magic snow, those lands

where carpets fly and unicorns,
of Pegasus and Lamassu,
the burning dunes of Samarkand.

We wander the deep dark forest paths
In search of our child’s garden of verse,
innocence and Paradise lost.

Not lost for me,
for I was never there,
or perhaps I simply never left.