Colleen reminded me of the Essence poetry form.


There were deer on the hill,
fled in fear, never still,

on the hill, till they heard,
not the rill, not a bird,

but the crack of a gun.
Looking back, through the sun,

saw a man, metal bright,
and they ran, feather-light,

in the green, left a glow
where they’d been, so I’d know.

Another fire

Another fire

Tide rose and rose all night,
the wind among the poplar leaves,
a swell of foam-hiss dark as dust,
and in the dawn the swollen roar
is unabated, wave on wave.

Not fallen leaves of compost brown,
nor sand churned in deep ochre pits,
gouged from some dead planet’s crust,
that choke this restless, turbid air,

but burning chaff and weary twig,
branch and feather, tiny ashy bones,
infernoed by this outrageous sun.

The end of something

The end of something

Waking is a dog-bite, rapid, unforgiving.
It leaves scars of the night,
snaps tight on dreams,
leaving only a scattering
of feathers.

You walked in distant places,
the dusk swilling around your walking shape,
your face a cloud.
This morning, a smile says more
than words.

We met a dog, hunter,
its approach hesitant, eyes evasive.
The sharp bark of command to return
was like an electric shock.

This season is sad as the death of trees,
of partings, getting older,
watching understanding dim.
We retreat into our shells
for comfort.

If, when this time passes,
we could walk without fear
that the sky may fall on our heads,
rivers may run again, and next year,
the roses.

Random word generator poetry

A selection of words for anyone looking for a Sunday prompt. My poem follows.


Sun rises in the silence
like the tolling of a bell,
rolling over stricken treetops,
not golden fall but the fall
of godlike things, charred and dead.

Once, there were swamps and giant reptiles here,
now dead frogs litter the lane,
feathers drift in dry ditches
where cats crouch,
their eyes narrow slits, distant.

The story fills a thousand books,
how it was, is now and will be.
Fish still glint in dwindling pools,
too many float in the liquid heat.

Soon the rifles will sound again,
the cracks in the armour widen,
and I fear we will follow the echoes
of the last flying hooves.

Standing on the edge of this moment
with the internal clamour
of jangled connections
I search the trees, oaks still green.


For the dvserse prompt. The painting (as so often) is by Franz Marc.


They hunt by smell,
chase by sight,
and their world is a million colours
we cannot see.

Dog sees a scent trail,
a burrow in tall grasses,
a trail of spangles,
tangy symbols,

confetti strewn across space,
fallen stars that come to rest
tangled in these damp foxtails
that hide the thirsty stream.

We follow, watch,
and if we hear an echo
of the ancient wild wisdom,
we try to learn.

World in a shell

For the dverse prosery prompt, to fit the line from Oliver Wendell Holmes: Through the deep caves of thought, I hear a voice that sings into a 144-word piece of prose.

World in a shell

I hold the shell to my ear and listen to the rise and fall of the ocean. Where are they born, these echoes that roll through the deep? Caves of thought? I hear a voice that sings with the voice of the whales, and the song is older than mankind, old as the ocean and those who first learned the currents and the tides.
The song tells of the making of the world from air and water and woven strands of kelp, the birth of mountains and rivers that run always back to their sea-home. Of trees that mimic coral forests where birds dart like feathered fish.
The shell spirals in and out, chambered like a heart, all the pearly hues of a dawn sky and it sings the ages of the earth until the silence after the final echo, the age of Man.

Random word generated poetry

100 words to inspire a poem for Sunday. My poem follows.

Apple secrets

Deer flit,
shadows amid the shade,
about the glade, sun-warm,
about the pool, cool-deep,

that spills spangles
like leaves
beneath an apple tree,
age-bent, lichen-hoary,

above the sun-glint,
above the water,
and an apple falls,

and a fish rises
to taste, to eat,
mouthing secrets,
while I watch

and wonder,
what wisdom
has been learnt this day,
by fish, by me,

as the apple sinks
with its secrets,
and the deer slip
silent away.