End of the line

This is a bit of a rambler, and not exhaustive either. A poem about journeys for the dverse prompt.


It used to be the the terraces of Finsbury Park,

the solemn grey rows that said, we’re nearly there,

the rolling rows of houses packed so close

of this North London where I used to live,

home for a while, if ever such a beast could be a home.

Then the Eiffel Tower towered on the rim

of a skyline, low and light-specked at the end

of a day of travelling from the coast—the white

ghost of Montmartre, the Butte Chaumont,

slowing train, falling into a beloved’s arms,

and every time, the thrill, the privilege

to share the magic of this place and call it home.

Other towns, cathedral landmarks,

the train that hooted curving round the mountain

to scare the boar from off the tracks,

Later, a river crossed, slow, languid, southern, at walking pace,

alongside golden stone, warm as desert sand.

Perhaps we have reached the end of all these lines,

the dusty cities, bustling, river-woven streets,

in this tiny lane that rises, falls,

meanders like a stream between rows of oak,

a ploughed field, then meadowland with rippling hedgerows,

until through the elms and oaks, waiting,

a house blinks its eyes

in recognition,

and the journey


In the palm of memory’s hand

I saw this new haiku/haibun challenge on Janice’s (On the land) blog, and couldn’t resist the theme—journey. Thank you, Suzanne 🙂 My road started somewhere close to Malin Head, the subject of this painting.


We have walked this road for so long, from the fields full of rocks, the green mountains undulating in the silver mists of rain, to the ocean that never forgets. Though the sun has shone soft on my face and the wind has been at my back, the road has always rolled beneath my feet. We have stopped for a while in the shelter of stone walls and the clutter of familiar objects, in the growl of cities and the bird-swooping peace of gardens, but the heart is never still.

I wonder, as I pack the boxes full again and fold the good memories with the old and worn, whether there is ever any peace for such as us, castaways from a place inked on retinas in the vibrant hues of sunset and sunrise. And yet I know the answer—to stop is to die. Death is the endless repetition of the same gestures, the spouting of the same platitudes. It is walking the same streets and seeing the same holes in the path and caring less with each passing day.
I pack the cups and the silver that have been companions of generations now, add a few newer souvenirs, and prepare to take to the road again, the sinuous silver sea serpent that slips forever onward to some hypothetical home.


In the light you stand,

ghosts about a green rath, seen

through a veil of rain.



Wishful train journey

Having challenged myself to write a minute poem about a train, here is is. Turner as bonus.


Towns and copses flick flack backwards,

We rock homewards,

Tree-tunnel light,

Fields flashing bright.


Lurching feet-cramped round a tight bend,

Wish it would end,

You be waiting,



In my heart, cold-eyed your face shows,

Click clack echoes,

Stark reminder,

You’ll not be there.

Poetry challenge#37: Red boat

This week, I’m introducing the rondelet, a form I’ve just discovered. It’s short and has no rhyme pattern, which should please some people. There is also a refrain, which pleases me. It’s not as easy as it looks though, to get something satisfying out of it, so be warned. Operating instructions are here.

Oops. Forgot to add the bit about posting the link to your poem in the comments below. A pingback is best if you can get it to work. Always best to check I’ve got it.

No apologies for choosing an Odilon Redon painting for the image this week. I love his work and find it full of inspiration. Only one prompt word this time since the poem is very short. My poem follows.



My love and I,

In a red barque with yellow sail.

My love and I,

Crossing oceans, sunset headed,

Follow a dream or just a gull.

Hand in hand, heart to heart we glide,

My love and I.

#writephoto: Isolated

Another photo prompt. This one is Sue Vincent’s Thursday prompt. Follow it here and join in.


Wind howled down from the moors in a familiar way, like an old dog locked out in the rain. She wanted to tell it she’d heard it all before and she wasn’t impressed. The sun was setting. It was always at least half-dark when she arrived at this point of her journey. And often raining. In the winter there would be snow thick on the ground and she would walk in the middle of the road in the tracks of intrepid pioneer walkers.

The air was brisk, spring air, full of birds settling for the night, and the wind in the new leaves, rattling the branches black with rain. The road wound up the hill, into the teeth of the wind. Not a gale. Just wind. Noisy but not dangerous. Like that dog waiting to be let indoors. She took a deep breath and shifted her bag to the other hand. The last bus had gone hours ago and she liked this walk anyway, up the winding road, beyond the last straggling houses, and onto the moor. Round the next bend, after the ash trees, she would see it, set down like a sculpted rock, black and solid as the surrounding hills, thick-walled, strong-backed, amid twisted crab apples and ancient roses. Home.