Short story in Ekphrastic Review

The painting prompt for the Ekphrastic Review challenge was a blue horse painting by Franz Marc. Anyone who knows my admiration for Marc won’t be surprised that I was duly prompted. Lorette asked for short fiction, which is what I wrote. You can read Horse Dreams here as well as all the other entries.




Mist and night-cold cling and cloud,
Dripping grasses damp the ground,
And in the morning silence loud,
The crack of shot and bay of hound.

I wonder at the dark of mind
That finds its pleasure in the death
Of bird and hare and timid hind,
That steals wild beauty’s final breath,

If in the dark where hunters stalk,
Does shame, compassion ever break
Upon the bloody path they walk?
Is mine the only heart to ache?

Dark dawn bright dreams


Days still too short and dark,

though the nights are shrinking,

trees stretched stark against the clouds

that hang suspended on the world’s edge.


Cold breaks, sending waves

of chill, splashed spray and

frost furs—these winter

days still too short and dark.


No birds sing the sunset unseen,

bleak blanket suffocates the flames

and their red and purple veils,

though the nights are shrinking.


Tomorrow may come in golden

glory or colour of dirty snow and

drape with fog and dripping rain

trees stretched stark against the clouds.


Dreams still gallop through the dark,

the soft shadows of blue horses running

across the green and red meadows

that hang suspended on the world’s edge.


Earth colours


Silver the river in the sun

serpentine its coiled meanders

sombre the birdless trees

in this silent spring.


Golden the light

that falls from a sunless sky

in the time between

the end and the beginning.


Black and endless

the night that seeps

while stars sleep

into our final dreams.


Red as flames are red

that leap and eat the sky

the cool green leaves

and all is crying.


Green with hope

the new grass growing

and kinder hands tilling

this rich earth.

Sunday morning


Sunday morning and the hunt is on

chasing belling sounding

through the quiet fields

where quarry quivers in fear.

This world is raving


where peace once walked

barbarity stalks


the dream gone sour.


One drop

the rain begins

a curse—

the scent trails fresh and singing

sky weeps but not for us

feet trample

and in the rain-whisper

shots and death

where warm life scurried nurtured and loved.


In the gloom

I see the sky weep blood.


We walk


stirring ghosts and noise

displacing the silence of growing things

with our death wishes

and all our yesterdays shadows

cast by tomorrow’s fading hopes

and the monolithic mountain

of today’s body count.

Dreaming blue

Day six of OctPoWriMo and the theme is blue. Predictably, there will be blue horses.



Planet earth,

the endless summer sky,

a sun-spread chicory flower,

a secret blackbird’s egg,

a southern sea seen from white clifftop,

my mother’s eyes,

the pearly haze early morning when the sun comes up,

bright jay feathers,

the colour that enrobes the calmest dreams

and gallops them across green fields.

All this blue,

and like blue water it trickles through our careless fingers,

because there is nothing we will do to keep it

from seeping into desert sand.