Sings the moon

I haven’t done a cleave poem for a long time and thought I was due for a bit of self-inflicted punishment. I’m adding it to the dverse open link night because these poems are so hard to write, and I’m pleased with the way this one turned out.

If you don’t know what a cleave poem is, it’s a three in one poem. Each side is a separate poem to be read vertically, one side dark, the other light, opposites. But they can be  read horizontally as a single poem too.


Loud the city silence                 sings the moon

Breaking glassy fragments      in a sea of darkness

All about                                      the brittle stars blink and listen

I stop my ears                              to the swell tide’s refrain.

Though scraps of anger            ride on peaceful calm,

White or red                                 sails full of dawning

Grow round and full                  like moons on water

Fruiting in the heat                    lily blossoms, reflections

Of a summer night                     in a still forest pool.



Hot Sunday



The man who roars above the high-pitched chatter of the crowd, to prove that his enjoyment of the enjoyment is more intense, is always among the clients—him or his brother or cousin or someone with the same ideas about the right way to behave in a public place. The woman who shrills on the same register as the whine of the mosquito is also here, drink in hand, or could be her sister or cousin. Mosquito woman and lion man lead the dance, sprinkling their drinks like pixie dust among the splinters of Sunday calm with their asinine braying. The shrieking laughter of their children, allowed to play their idiotic games with empty cans and plastic bottles while parents drink and bray at one another according to the rules of adult enjoyment, drills into my brain with the precision of a dentist’s drill. Oh death, where is thy sting? Come, sting liberally around here—this enjoyment needs you.


Dust, red pepper hot

stings eyes with sweat-stuck lashes—

spring seems far away.

Heat noise

Photo ©AS990


Heat crackles with the cackling of laughter,

shatters in brittle fragments

with the sparkle of broken glass,

glints like restless water,

and my head throbs with the whiteness of it.

Why so much laughter

and red shafts of anger

when all else is quiet?

Too hot for birdsong,

when the dust rises and drifts

on the wind of traffic noise.

Evening comes in a hot belch of exhaust

and the stink of other people’s cooking.

No peace falls as the tempo increases,

and the staccato whine of the world

is a sea of needle teeth to smother in.

No more

A list for the dverse prompt

Photo©Steven Lek


I want no more of this drunken din,

the brash and bold brawlings

that tear the air into flying shreds of noise.

No more smoke, greasy and grey,

from other people’s fun cooking.

No more paper trampled into meaningless pulp

and bottle glass strewn in shatters.

I have no use for cars,


music blaring,


ripping up the night,

nor the braying laughter of the lost.


I will have some peace sometime,

grass-damp and silent mornings,

where the only sound is the tiny swish

of starlings waddling through the dew.

Microfiction: Followed

This piece of microfiction, inspired by the previous piece for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, is for Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch—a story of exactly 99 words about a rattling sound.


It was bitterly cold, and the heater in the old van was barely keeping her feet unfrozen. The narrow country lane that wound in a picturesque way in daylight was simply dangerous at night, and trees leaned overhead blocking out even the feeble light of the stars. Two pinpoints of light glittered in the darkness—the headlights of the car she was convinced had been tailing her since she left the main road. She was still miles from anywhere when the sound she dreaded broke through the rattling of the chassis—the knock knock knock of a dying engine.

Poetry challenge #49: Painful silence

Yesterday was a migraine day. It hasn’t gone entirely so screen work is still slow and difficult. Pain in the head makes it hard to think straight and it distorts thought and vision. The poems that form when we are in a state of tension or pain are different to those that spring from a more placid, stable frame of mind.

The Daily Post prompt for yesterday was silence, a very tempting one when the inside of your head is a mass of jangling nerves, but also one that seems impossibly elusive. The poem below is the first ‘silence’ poem I jotted down. I don’t suppose this is an original form and there’s probably a name for it, but is seemed like enough of a challenge to me yesterday. You can try one out if you like. I think you need at least three stanzas of three lines each using the rhyme scheme:

abb acc add aee

This week’s challenge is to write a poem about pain, physical and emotional. We’ve all suffered pain of one sort or another and it could be a productive exercise to channel the emotions generated by pain into a poem and create something beautiful from it.

Same rules, post the link to your poem in the comments box before next Tuesday, and please don’t let the theme get you down 🙂

Suggested words to think about, not necessarily use

Silence, raucous, pulse, haven, lethargic, silver

The image is entitled ‘Deep dream, white noise’.



No silence in the city,

No soft pools of darkness between the lights,

No infinite velvet in the nights.


No compassion and no pity,

Where cold shadows fill with ragged lives,

And the night wind is sharp as knives.


Close your eyes, the dark’s duplicity

Winks with ceaseless, flashing pain,

Mocking laughter in the rain.


To dream of life’s simplicity,

Of gentle swell on oceans deep,

Is all a lie when there is no sleep.

Silence slumbers

The Daily Post prompt is: silence. Appropriate for a migrainy day.


Silence slumbers on the far reaches,

Sand slips between clawing fingers,

And the pounding roar of the surf

Fills every hollow inside the skull.

Where does the darkness hide

When the night is full of light?

And the streetlights throb like open wounds,

Their gaudy lament jingle-jangling

On the hard glitter of the streets?

Silent sleep evades, furtive as cat shadows,

And the clanging of the night train,

Rollocking through the last tunnel,

Draws nearer and louder,

But though I wait with anguished withheld breath,

It never arrives.

Cat stalks the night roof

The Daily Post prompt is: Elegant


The elegance of the cat, stalking across the night roof,

Pads making no sound on the sprawling vines,

Is one with the silence I reach out to and never catch.

Between open fingers it seeps and sifts,

Clanging on the hollow ground like iron saucepans.

Flowers nod in sleep, and the blackbird stirs,

Feathers ruffled against the cat scent,

And the city hums and throbs with an irritated rhythm.

Cat pauses to listen between the red-hot threads of noise

And hears the bird heart pulsing.

But I slip and slide between planes of babble,

Falling into a boiling pit of sound thick as tar.

Is there no silence in this world of compressed humanity?

Elegance of the poised paw, the spread wing,

Parabolas of beauty, slicing the stillness.

While I struggle with the viscous blaring and glare of the crass and the futile,

Cat melts into the night.



A turtle dove sits

on the chimney,

the gentle sound

of its love song,

like wind in the trees,

a mother’s murmuring

over a sleeping child,

settles on the house,

in a wave of peace,

and I almost forget,

the insane discords

from the nightclub

where revellers linger,

refusing to see

the pure light in the sky

or hear

the gentle remonstrations

of the turtle dove.


The Daily Post prompt suits my mood today.


So hard to bear the jangling noise

That beats the drum inside the head

And takes away balance and poise.

So hard to bear the jangling noise,

That jumbles thoughts like babies’ toys

And meshes them like tangled thread.

So hard to bear the jangling noise,

The flashing lights, the taste of dread,

The chaos in sweet order’s stead.