Strange but true

For the last day of NaPoWriMo, strange facts.



Strange but true

the orange bird

with zebra wings

and cockatoo crest,

the song the ripples all night long,

the darkness at noon of a spring storm.

Strange this swan-necked dinosaur,



the lightning struck tree that flares,

a torch in the night.

True they say, the Big Foot

and woolly unicorn,

the cat naked and wrinkled,

the place bathed in love and peace beyond death.

Strangest of all

the jumble of limbs,

don’t look, don’t look,

the children tumbled and torn,

and the guns that still point,

the bombs that still sear and scythe.

Strange but true.

The night is veined with silver

For NaPoWriMo just to say I’ve done it, but I don’t get Sylvia Plath at all, don’t understand her poetry enough to dislike it. So, here is a tritina instead with a bit of darkness in it.


The night is veined with silver

Starlight on water, snail’s shiny trail

Your face reveals what you call truth.


Too dark to see to speak the truth

You fumble for your reward bright silver

Will it leave a shining trail?


So many lies bestrew this trail—

If ever vengeance spoke the truth

It would be with a tongue of silver.


This silver light—trail of tears and truth.

Wish you were here

For the NaPoWriMo prompt—a postcard to an ex.


Sitting in this quiet place

where only sounds are unseen birds,

I wish you were here.

Wish you were here

to hear the silence of the road

where no cars come.

I wish you were here

to see the empty sky so blue

and in the night,

so full of stars

you can feel the universe,

a dead weight, upon your head.

Wishing you were here

to clear this rambling wilderness

and tame the tangles of briar and rose

that return with exasperating ease,

I shut the door put out the light.

Wish you were here

in this bed so white and wide,

where moonlight leaves no trace,

for if you were here,

I could be there,

in town where I belong.


For NaPoWriMo a tritina about pentacles.


Beneath the sea the sand is silver dark,

Pale pentacles wave blind among the weeds,

Where sunlight’s solace never ever falls.


Beneath the moon a silent river falls,

Slips slick and sleek from silver light to dark,

Swallowed by pentacle-fronded weeds.


Whiskered creatures wearing widows’ weeds,

Crawl in the tide and creep beneath the falls,

Their suckered-fingers draw light into dark.


Dark are the weeds where no light falls.

Absence: erased

For today’s NaPoWriMo prompt.


I watch you go, pull out of sight

along the narrow, leafy road

where nothing stirs except the gentle

flutter of the timid birds.

I watch you go while nothing stirs,

no breeze, no bending creaking boughs;

a rustle in last year’s dead leaves

the only sign that life still breaths

though out of sight, heartbeats away.

Mute and motionless, I stand

in the roadway silent now

and empty, waiting for the dusk,

the steady lowering of the sun

that marks the time until the leafy

narrow road will bring you back.

I watch you go, become a tree,

so still the blackbird starts his song

and weaves its honeyed thread about

the hawthorn blossom’s putrid scent.


Absence shrinks the heart as dry

as last year’s shrivelled fallen leaves.


I watch the road,

the flutter of dead leaves,

heartbeats silent,

mute the dusk,

the sun,



Birds and orchids

For the NaPoWriMo prompt, a warning to myself. A haibun followed by the erased poem.


Is it peace that falls in the green shadows with the trickling music of the birds that draws my steps deeper among the trees where sunlight flickers and wing-shapes flit? Is this where the key is hidden, beneath the heads of orchids, wild and strange, to open the final door? Feet tread, grass-swishing and bending stalks, deeper and further from the path, the road, the wide world.

I think I could live here, curl around myself like the foxes do and the winter squirrels

and all would be well, easy and without care. But in the patter of the rain, the damp where water spiders scurry and the cold that creeps from flesh to bone, I hear the sound of need, the cry to come back, the pulling in of the maternal bonds that tie so much tighter than briar and dog rose.

scent of dog roses

entangled and enchanted

sweet fiction


birds and orchids wild

open the path

I curl around the care and cold

the need to come back

dog roses

sweet fiction


The words we say

For the NaPoWriMo prompt. Sort of.


I watch you go,

while words crowd on my tongue,

so many left to say.

I watch you go,

slow into the morning,

lost now among the leaves and the frantic birdsong.

I envy them their easy chatter,

while these words chug sluggish in my throat.

I watch you go,

the apple trees watered with stream water and the cats in the barn.

I watch you go,

though the setting sun will bring you back,

if only I can keep you safe beyond my sight,

and I wish I had told you

that the tree with the burnished bark is a cherry,

that I heard the first oriole of the year,

and that nothing in this wide and glorious world

means more to me than you.


No wind in these willows

though the poplars tremble

and blackbird clucks warning.

Silent this earth,

that is ours to labour if we will.

Once we held the dreams of a clutch,

kept the wolves at bay.

Once night fell and sleep came easy,

easy as the contentment of babies,

rocked in our spreading boughs.

Stars still fall, but no one can find them;

they dart like timid fish among the silver grasses.

Once we thought it was enough

to wish and rock and spread,

our roots gripping this earth,

that this birdsong, day and night-haunting,

would fall into their ears too,

like the placid embrace of a lake.

But seeds, once scattered,

fallen like bright stars into the green ocean, grow,

and the sun will rise in the west

before these beloved seedlings

will weave their roots with ours.


I hate the Greek myths, full of cruel, spoil, spiteful messers. I wasn’t going to get anything about Narcissus for the NaPoWriMo prompt on my own, so I asked the Oracle. I should have know she would have something for me. She probably knew both Narcissus and Echo.


A broken flower,Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 15.20.25

a girl listening

beneath the wild sky.

He feels no desire,

no rhythm throbs

in his heart—

she hears only the voice

of his vanity.





I have been playing with this idea of ‘distilling’ a poem or a text by picking out and keeping only a few of the words. It doesn’t give something completely different, but it gives two poems for the price of one.

All my life I have longed to hear a nightingale and thought I never would. They have become very rare now in England and given the amount of pesticides the farmers threw around when I was growing up, I didn’t get to see a very varied birdlife despite living in a semi-rural environment.

For the last couple of weeks, we have been kept awake by birds singing all night. At three this morning, I gave up, opened the window, opened you tube to find the song of the nightingale, and to my great joy, the offenders were nightingales. All round the house, in the trees, the copse by the stream and in the hedge. It’s lunchtime now and they are still singing, louder than anything else. A dream come true.

All night the nightingales sang, cascades of tumbling trills and rippling runs of sound. All night as moon dipped slow and sickle sunk among the stars, I listened. And still they sing—tiny handfuls of feathers, heart and throat, yet such power. Did ever mortal musician play with such passion?


Night of moon and stars

spring soft and dark with song

heavenly woodwind.


And the erased/distilled version


Night trills,

moon, sickle-sunk with passion,

dark with song—