The charts

I had a look this morning to see if my new baby booklet was registering in the amazon sales rankings yet. The first few days after a launch are when the figures look the best so I want to make sure I get every drop and crumb of glowing fuzzy satisfaction out of them.

The figures are coming in, in a surprising way too. On the .co.uk site the paperback is sitting at 791 in #poetry which is gratifying and quite enough to make me feel proud of myself. Amazon has decided to stick the kindle version in the #love poetry category where it’s at a very respectable (and totally unexpected) 67, but to see my little book of what are essentially nature poems (water and all that) sitting at 152 in #erotic poetry made me laugh!

If you haven’t ordered a copy yet, don’t worry. There are a few left, just don’t expect Anaïs Nin. Links are on this blog post which is a hypocritical way of saying, I’m too modest to push it, but go on anyway.

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Disillusion

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this path is straight

has no turnings

it leads to the mountain of words

and unopened books

and it has no end

 

the hedges are dark

at either hand

though white cups of roses

float here are there

and birds flutter

 

the path is a stream

between stony banks

its course relentless

carrying its debris of fellow travellers

to the sea

 

where drowning in disappointment

awaits those with empty hands

and the worries

that ran alongside

like tireless hounds

 

swim now with jaunty fins

still here

they roll their silver-glitter eyes

reminding us of wild roses

in a forgotten hedgerow

Haibun for snapshots of home

This is what I should have written for the dverse prompt, since the illustration was a gift.

In the house where I grew up there was a print of Seurat’s La Grande Jatte on the sitting room wall. I used to think it was Batley Park. In the hallway there was a print of the Madonna from de la Tour’s Le Nouveau-né. I used to think it was a picture of my mother. It looked like her, and she also had a red dressing gown. Funny how for children there is nothing new under the sun.

paintings chime

with memories

like spring flowers

Well water

For the dverse prompt. I wrote a first poem, and it was too long so I wrote another. The first poem below is the quadrille, the second is same theme but just a poem.

 

I dip a bucket fill it full

Of dancing, silver mirror water,

Ask the silent fairy’s daughter

For a seeing, bright or dull.

 

In the mirror-silver deep,

I see my love upon the field,

Lying on his broken shield,

Willow, clouds and blackbirds weep.

 

*

 

I dip a bucket in the well

And fill it full of silver water.

On my tongue are rowan berries,

Sailing clouds a story tell

 

Of wishes granted, curse stones cast,

Of mad hares leaping in the meadow.

Yet are these clouds of future dreaming,

Or are they clouds of dreaming past?

What they do not see

1.

The thread of compassion is

broken, their hearts lie bleeding,

drained pale, and yet they never

know, those who scrute the skies, gun

muzzle raised, never see when

some small craft of light bone and

feather falls so far from home.

 

2.

Tell the wind the story of

how you followed your passion

for death (the death of others)

into the coverts, where life

lay trembling after a night

of cold rain, and snuffed it out.

Dare its cold disdain, minable.

 

3.

And when the stars look down and

the sun sends light into each

covert where those feathers and

scraps of fur cold as night lie

stiff in reproach, do you see

a stolen life in that soiled

beauty? Are you the wiser?

Nights of no moon

One of the poems I wrote for the Ekphrastic challenge and forgot to send it. The painting is by Cristobal Rojas.

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Nights of no moon

 

Nights of no moon,

it’s easy to hear the voices.

When the wind winds rags of dying sun

among black branches,

we hear the hiss of flames.

 

We share the fear of darkness,

wear the same chains

of upbringing and blindness.

Our eyes pits of obscurity,

desires crass mediocrity,

hands full of futilities

grasping for more.

 

We look for salvation

in hypotheses,

in the flight of angels.

 

Nights of no moon,

an owl passes on silent wings,

feathered in forest fronds,

all-seeing—eyes deep and dark

as the night

when there is no moon.

 

Wind from the south and the north

It’s been a long time since I wrote to twitter prompts.

 

Nothing is certain,

the path lies beneath the brambles,

sky is full of unfallen rain

and the blackbird’s song falters,

but there are infinite maybes.

Perhaps the rain will fall

the sky will clear

and I will see you

pushing through last year’s thorns

to meet me.

 

Between the soft rain of dawn

and the fierce sun of midday

lies the shallow time that flows

stream-babbling and bright

where you and I watch the world

through the same eyes,

and the same dream drapes us both

in promised tomorrows.

 

Sun-gaze withers the summer grass,

the deep shade shrinking

to a tepid green puddle

and hollow frog-voices,

while in the north, winter waits

with ice in his breath,

and in his eyes

the withering gaze of death.

 

Wind from the south

and the stars are flickering

the leaves are whispering

on swaying boughs

while a hunter’s moon

climbs slow and glittering

owl cries twittering

as the south wind soughs.