Colours of hope

A poem for The Secret Keeper’s writing prompt. The words to include are:



How do I count the colours bright,

that paint the fields and fill the light,

across the waves and out of sight?

All these hues a heart can hold,

the reds and blues the green and gold,

fiery hot and winter cold—

a wealth to store against the past.

It fell, a shooting star, so fast,

our love no longing could make last.

With no regrets, I look ahead,

with green of hope and little dread,

to find a new love in your stead.


Starless times

This is a cascade poem for the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt. The words to include are



Starless times, I walk the paths of darkness,

All through the inner reaches of the night,

The sound of rushing waters fills my ears.


No bright day breaks to chase the ghosts away,

Bleak is the morning that will never dawn,

Starless times, I walk the paths of darkness.


Soft silence falls to fill the starlit space,

And gently silver moonbeams brush my face,

All through the inner reaches of the night.


You take my hand; we watch the sun return,

To brave the shadow-madness, all is bright,

The sound of rushing waters fills my ears.

Where will we go when the darkness falls?


Where will we go when the darkness falls

And from green depths the ocean’s voice calls?

Are there safe places in city sprawls?


We could follow the swallow so swift

And hope for a wind, black clouds to lift,

But flight, narrow-winged, is not our gift.


Air and ocean are bound into one,

All are equal beneath the bright sun,

We’re left with our hearts, when all is done.

An island garden

The NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem about a small but important place. This is a haibun about a short-lived, tiny project.



The ranks of slender metal posts along the kerb stop street parking. When you unscrew the top, they make ashtrays for the street-smoking residents. He filled a dozen of the posts with earth, the boy on the second floor, and planted them with seeds—sweet pea, nasturtium and cornflower. Because he hasn’t got a garden.

Every day I walk this street, past the posts on either side, and I have watched the seeds sprout and push above the narrow edge, leaves uncurling, bright and green.


In poor earth they thrust,

any shoots, roots fed enough—

sun draws them higher.


There were twelve at first, tiny gardens bounded by a rim of dark metal, a small world raising a miniature forest of leaves. Healthy little plants they were, spreading broad leaves to catch the afternoon sun. The kids dug some out; some are once again ashtrays. Only one is left, the leaves a little weary, a little scared at the desert around them.

Every day I pass and wonder if the last island of life will have been submerged in a sea of dog ends, or grubbed out by careless, idle fingers. It was such a splendid idea, snuffed out by ignorance and the wilful destruction of potential beauty.


Crushed beneath the weight

of ignorance life dies back—

cold spring, no summer.

Spring songs and rain

Starting another blustery day with a collection of tweet poems from yesterday


You cup my face,

as delicately as if I were made of rose petals,

as if I might drift away.


Take my hand and I will show you

the colours of the sky,

the colours of the earth,

and the fountain of happiness.


Spring pours a torrent of colour,

a rhapsody of perfume,

and gives it to the blackbird

to make an ocean of song.


One by one,

tight green buds unfold,

each hard scale reveals tenderness beneath,

unfurling in the golden sun,

rose dawn touched.


Rain drums the memories,

a beat of never forgetting.

Sometimes, I fear

the deluge will never end.


I went out walking when the night

was drawing in its coal black horns,

and grey as pale as winter cloud

was colouring the eastern sky.


I went out walking in the cold,

because the night had grown too old,

and birds were stirring, why not I?


I walked to where the river runs

beneath the bridge of golden stone,

and waited for the sun to rise

and broider lights of petal rose

among my thoughts gun metal dull.


I touched the wind, its biting breath

and tasted salt in every word,

I sang a song so silently

that only early sea gulls heard,

and they had little time for me.


At this ending of the year,

I catch the tail of falling stars

of leaves and plumes, fox flash of red,

and with a paintbrush wand I spread

the rainbow hues of light and life

and turn my back on all that’s dead.

When all the leaves

Photo©Tiia Monto


When all the leaves have fallen,

The gold all turned to lead,

Will all the lies be spoken

And all the liars dead?

Will winter turn to springtime,

The branches green again,

Or will our loves be washed away

In cold and heartless rain?

Birds still flock the treetops,

Stark black beneath the sky,

While sorrow drifts before my eyes,

Flint-faced, my tears are dry.