Things with wings

Photo ©Imran Shah


Through the lashing rain we peer

at sky that heaves with waves of spray

and windswept trees, their gilding stripped,

the grass once green, a sodden grey,

and shiver by the wood stove’s glow.


Through the sheets and steely shafts

above the field where water streams

a kestrel hangs despite the rain,

defies the wind with wings deployed,

a bird, a thing of feather brain.


We tread the earth with feet of clay,

our roots go deep as any tree,

when bird-wing shadows cross our path

we raise our eyes in jealousy;

no pinions have we to spread.


Though in pride we trample lesser things

we only in our wildest dreams have wings.

Microfiction: Bronze Ocean III

Six lines instead of three in this installment.


The fumes of alcohol mingled with the pink clouds of mist and left his head clear but empty—he still had no idea where he was, up or down, dead or alive.

Somewhere, everywhere, coarse laughter reverberated and he remembered the whispering voice, the hand that shoved, and he searched the air for a face—instead he found a gull.

Don’t take any notice of him, the gull said, banking off into the scintillating cloud, just follow me.

“How?” he asked, immediately feeling stupid, but raising hands that dripped molten bronze.

Fly! The voice came back to him, muffled by the mist and fading, but he found himself spreading his bronze-dripping arms that became long, bronze-feathered arms, and beating the misty air in pursuit of the gull.

Liquid bronze and pink cloudy air vibrated with a roar of anger that he knew came from the mocking presence, but before fear could take hold of his wing beats, the gull wheeled about, fixed him with a bright, black eye and winked.

Microfiction: Struggle

This is for the Daily Post prompt.909px-Johannessen_-_Kräftiger_Sturm_-_1918-22

They stand side by side in the road, not touching though they have only each other. The trees, caught by the gale bend and sway, shrieking in anger. The mother turns and looks back at the house through the quaking pine branches and she leans, almost imperceptibly, her back to the wind, letting it catch her steps to push them back the way they have come.

“No!” her daughter screams above the furious wind. “It’s finished. We’re not going back.”

The woman hangs her head, hiding her face as if sheltering it from the lashing rain. Her daughter knows better, knows that her mother’s eyes will be full of tears.

“He’s a pig and you know it!”

The daughter stands firm against the gale, glaring at the black clouds and the squat house where the windows are dark. She waits but she will not give her mother her arm.

Reluctantly, the woman turns away from the house, her home, her life, bracing herself for the force of the wind, the storm, and her daughter’s anger. Stifling a sob, she takes the first step and feels herself break with the effort.

Flying and falling


Waiting, tranquil, on the cliff,

ears full of the ocean’s roar

and the swish of the surf,

hands held out

to the falling light.


The red kite drops,

rust wings folded,

into the reeds.

A scream, and the air quivers,

a small death.


Life lingers in the blue air,

but the gull calls,

the seal beckons,

and with the setting sun

I will fly.


Beyond the edge,

beyond the last shores,

into the misty blue,

the last gull soars,

taking my soul home.


The Daily Post prompt is ‘underestimate’.


You held out dreams of moon and stars,

And a boat to carry us where we would.

Instead you sailed away alone,

Bright shards I gathered as I could.


Black night fell, joy turned to dust,

Cold ashes filled my mouth and eyes,

A pinpoint in the darkness calling,

Beating through tumultuous skies.


Gull white and grey, the free sky soaring,

Beat back the dark and cloudy night,

I found a spark amid the shambles,

Feathered hope in broad-winged flight.

Triolet: Above the waves

This one is in response to the Secret Keeper’s word prompt. This week’s words:



Above the waves the geese are flying,

No vain whim stops their homeward flight.

Watch their wingbeats, hear them crying.

Above the waves the geese are flying

They ride the spring, white winter dying,

Through bright day and cool of night.

Above the waves the geese are flying

No vain whim stops their homeward flight.


The other morning I wanted to photograph the gulls sitting on the rail by the river, but wasn’t able to get close enough before an enthusiast filming them had the whole flock launching out over the water. I had to take a few pics of them flying about instead.






In the paper today, was the film made by the amateur film-maker—he’d  posted  it on You Tube.



glide in a



gravitating to the

glitter, river-bound.





gabbling then soaring,

galvanised by fish movement,


gaily surface-sweeping.

grapple silver scales.