For dverse a spirit quadrille.


Spirit, ineffable,

in wisps of mist,

leaves driven by the rain,

wind among branches,

rustle of deer’s passing,

heat haze rising, drifting clouds,

breath of birds, of tiny shrews

shrieks in the night

(owl bravado)

smoke rising, logs sighing,

our whispered words before sleep.



A quadrille for dverse


Beneath the hedge

long ears turn


capturing vibrations in the air,

nose twitches

with the scent of dog stalking,

flanks quiver

with pounding heart muscles

tensing with the vibrating, quivering


alert in every pulse of the blood

for the moment to leap.

On freeing a walnut tree from an invasive fig tree

The dverse quadrille this week has to include the word ‘set’. I have spent a goodly part of today wandering about in a badger’s set (virtually, for the purposes of a story) so I had to join in even if the poem isn’t about a badger’s home at all.

Fig and walnut

While it is wet

it will not set

but the clay


is dry as bone

and alone

I cannot dig

around the fig

to get it out.

No sprout will shoot

nor root

delve beneath this tree

if I can’t get it free.


Leap in the dark

The dverse quadrille theme word is extinction. A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words.


She hurried her child through bone-dead streets

where shadows played giants on crumbling walls

to the chasm where millions wept and leapt

into the dark and the roar of flames.


The child peered down and troubled asked,

‘What place is this?’

‘Extinction,’ she said.