how the gloom of rain sky drips

from pale flower faces and from leaves

in a monotonous whisper,

seeps, sinks or swims,

clings to the spirit and drags it

into the wet weeds,


until the sun




the sullen, sunless mood of gloom

and dull, dripping melancholy,

rippling in pools rain-stippled,

to a forest, emerald-treed, glimpsed ruby petalled

among subtle pastels,

with a slash of light,


brush of butterfly-gold powder.

Could it be blue?


Could it be blue

the answer to the question this time

or a blow crushing the head

the tearing of hair

like rags of mist rising from the lake?


We tongue words

who when what

but life is no less purple-red

the sky still glows brazen bold and

you you you

beneath it still gaze at your feet

making shadows that scream at the light.



peer through distant rain to the sea where blue blows

longing to soar on sail-wings over diamond-spray

and curling wave water.


toss you a rose

urging asking willing

you to raise your face to the sun

to smell the wind full of salt and flowers.


Take my hand and we will go there

into the blue


And the deep dark follows us


And the deep dark follows us into the earth

along the path to the mountains’ roots,


no warm wandering in the sun,

blossom to berry, dawn to dusk,


a river of light.


Watch the fruit fall from the horns of the moon

and the stones bloom with the colours of happiness.


Will they seed-spring, tendril-twine,

or will all wither on the vine and

water run dry, bird, bee fall silent

and leave the rain-quiet glade?


The air still breathes gentle in the grass beneath the shade of

forest trees, singing the songs of why and which, you and I,


making poetry from frost flowers

and the rustle of rose petals

falling though a summer night.

Blue is gone


Blue is gone

swept up by bird wings

and sky-glitter drips only

in the bright trickle of bird call

sun yellow lapped up by buttercups.


Wind blows from the north

cold is coming

red as ice

cutting bone and marrow

and what will poor robin do then?

Hands flutter scattering food

we watch fear pass along the lane

holding breath


listening to the ocean roar among cloud billows

seeping rain


a a a

dream cries from the depths

run please the black is coming

breath belching where the tractor rumbles

over the wild hill.


Sleep whispers from her blue yellow boat

(waves heaving rain streaming)

the storm is close

but but but

there are cracks in the sky

and beyond

we can see the stars.

A cry in the night



A cry in the night,

dark of the moon,

the sky is sleeping,

and we are in this purple bed barque together

at at at

sea beneath the rain.


Listen to its music,

smell the blue beauty of coming day.

Still, even shadows hide only peace,

darkness and owl-cry, mystery.


We whisper

s s s

What did you dream?

Is it still running behind your eyes?


I remember no raw sloe-scratching bitterness,

only your breath tongued by the wind,

urging my wings through the light,

s s s

soaring with red rose petals

into the pink-flushed waters of morning.

Things that are lost

A quadrille for the dverse ‘rise’ prompt. A poem which I wrote with Redon’s painting of Orpheus in mind, after he has lost Eurydice I imagine.


The wind rises with a fiery voice

like angry hornets,

swelling the rising oceans that roll

over people risen against their empty bellies,

thirsty rivers,

dead children

and others against the rise in petrol prices,

and I, weeping,

I will arise and go now.

#writephoto: The unknown

This is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt. The standing stone looked eerily familiar to me. There has to be a link somewhere.

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The house has gone now, burned, pulled down, the stones scattered, the park reverted to wilderness and the gate walled up. There is nothing left of the people who once lived and died there, and no living memories of their persecutor. But there is a strange stone on the hill that casts a shadow even when there is no sun, where no grass grows and where frost glitters even in August. And in the local museum there is a painting with no name and no date that is fixed to the wall and cannot be moved.

Strange cries are sometimes heard in the park at night, cries that no bird ever made, and the room where the painting hangs is locked now, the other exhibits removed and displayed elsewhere.


In the big house that stands alone beyond the last bend in the lane, the electricity has become erratic, doors and windows stick and locked doors open. There was a guard dog, but after a couple of weeks of howling, the dog has fallen silent. Its kennel is empty. The owners pass, fleeting and white-faced as ghosts. In the village, we watch and wait, and wonder how long before it happens again.



The place where love sings

Since Colleen is off on her travels, there is no Tanka Tuesday. Since Colleen isn’t around to make the rules, I have used last week’s prompt again (Past and Future) to make an ottava rima.


The sun has set on that long ago day,

Hundreds of times—these small deaths of the light,

Snuffed out by the dark, since you went away—

And I walk alone with shades of the night.

Echoes of laughter and sunlight still play

In the halls of the past, bright birds with no flight.

Through mists of tomorrow I search for my wings,

Feathered dreams, flying home to the place where love sings.