This poem is very loosely inspired by Migratory birds by Desanka Maksimovic. (sorry, can’t get the accent). For the dverse prompt.


Geese fly south when the cold bites

and makes them cry for fledglings

lost to fox and hawk,

to the death of hunger-weakness or guns.


Geese fly, and their cry echoes in the winter sky,

the cry of ice-bound reaches that I will never see.

The geese fly south to winter warmth because they must,

and the hunger-weak fall behind.


Although I am not a goose,

and my winter place is my summer place,

and my chicks never died of fox or hunger-weakness,

still their cries tear a reply from my heart


for all that is left behind

and all that will never return.





Tritina: Beneath the rain

Another tritina inspired by the Cornoyer painting.


We laughed aloud, our faces wet,

Beneath the rain of that first spring,

We laughed although our star was falling.


The endless summer night was falling,

August days were never wet,

I recalled our rain-splashed spring.


If only I could bring back spring,

When happiness was raindrops falling,

And only rain made my cheeks wet.


In the wet of spring you left, our lode star falling.

Storms and sunsets



That was the other speaking, not me,

not the one you know.

The one you know would never dare

look you in the eye,

tell you unpleasant home truths,

ruffle peacock feathers.

Why? For fear of this—

the slamming door.


In the sunset of your leaving,

even the cherry blossom drips scarlet,

and the sky bleeds with my heart,

black swallows dart,

filling the hollows

with their strident laughter.


Hands and heart tied to you,

I follow, a limping bird,

but would I take the right path,

would I even know it,

had I the choice?


Bright night-velvet fades to grey,

I cringe from the uncompromising light

that floods the empty white space

with cold tomorrows.

Microfiction: Chorus

For Ronovan’s Friday Fiction. The prompt is a concert.


It had been the longest night, of a fitful, light sleep between bouts of wakefulness. Each time she surfaced, the stab of pain had made her gasp. It had been the first night she had slept alone in years, and her body could not believe that he was not there. The space howled, the sheets tossed like an angry sea, and her hand reached out involuntarily as if it expected to find his warmth, that it had all been a mistake. But the night air moaned and muttered with his last words and she knew that those words could never be taken back. Even if she had wanted to forgive him, his pride would not swallow them.

Grey light fell through the cracks in the shutters and there could be no more pretence that there was still time for him to come home. The night was over, and he had not returned. He had gone where he had said he would, to those warm arms and fluttering, diaphanous smiles, all pulpous mouth and no words. As the light increased the hurt grew. She flung back the sheets and stumbled to the window, her back to the bed and the empty room. She raised the latch and pushed open the shutters onto a calm morning, lusciously damp and green. He had taken everything, she thought, even her pleasure in the secret dawn. Her mouth pulled into a tight, bitter line and she stared down into the garden angrily, as if she expected to find broken pieces of her heart lying among the flowers.

Then, slowly, hesitantly, the first bird piped the opening notes of its morning song. In the birch trees, the finches gathered, bright feathers catching the light, and the blackbird was joined by another, then the robin and the wagtails, the redtails and the tits, until the air throbbed and rippled with music. The tight line of her mouth loosened and she smiled. He hadn’t taken everything after all.

Once you were sunlight

Another pantoum, just to prove it’s possible.


Once you were sunlight on my face,

You were the moon on August nights,

The sun-bright days left ne’er a trace,

I strung our room with northern lights.


You were the moon on August nights,

And when the sky was filled with stars,

I strung our room with northern lights,

And brought our dreamings home in jars.


And when the night was filled with stars,

We walked the lanes beneath the trees,

And brought our dreamings home in jars,

Cast our wishes on the breeze.


We walked the lanes beneath the trees

Of all the world I saw only you,

Cast our wishes on the breeze,

But you would not stay the winter through


Of all the world I saw only you,

Once you were sunlight on my face,

But you would not stay the winter through,

The sun-bright days leave ne’er a trace.


Two short river poems

Driftwood on the tideline
Feathers scattered by the wind
Trees on the river after the storm
Rafts of debris covered in gulls.
Already you have drifted away
Into the bustle of the further bank
I catch your eye as empty as the sky
And our handclasp loosens
We let go
Drifting hearts.


Moon draws up
the ebbing tide
reveals the barebones
of the river bed
the sodden timbers
of some wooden sailboat
lonely as
my abandoned

She watches the boat on the river

This is my promotion weekend and I’ve been having fun tweeting spoof endorsements of my books. On a more traditional note, here’s a poem from the final book of the series, Beyond the Realm of Night.


The wind on the river has blown you away
And your little white boat that pulled out from the trees
With its cargo of shadows and dreams left unsung
And the song that you sung was caught up by the breeze

Oh will you come back to me, love she calls
And bring back the piece of my heart you stole
For without you the day is as dull as the night
And without you the pattern will never be whole.

You turn and you wave but the light in your face
Shows her a sadness that no words could say.
I’ll come back when the sun lights the night sky, you call,
And silvery moonbeams will light up the day.

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