For the dverse prompt, a red poem.


Always held in the ropes that web the world, the net of next

please and not for you, the night falls full of starry promise.


Out there, among the waves of darkness, there is a pier and

at the end, a light that invites, perhaps, if we were to dare.


We wait by the water’s side where the waves slop and

the boats creak, moon-shining or mirroring the stars,


watching for that green light, the verdant hope to shine,

and though we hold hands and prepare to run with the wind


swim with dolphins through phosphorescent trails, it glowers

always, dumb, baleful-eyed Cyclops, unblinking, stubbornly red.

Second colour

A haibun for the dverse frustration/heartbreak prompt.

When the summer drawls to a close, in leaf-turn and mellow light of evening, the swallows mass. Blackberries are finishing, I pick the figs the birds have left. Rose hip and hawthorn red fire the hedge, where birds flutter-flash and unseen things crack and rustle. Red stained fingers I can wash, but not this sound that rattles in the brain. All this lazy fruitfulness, replete and summer-full is scattered in the red staccato as the killing season starts

red is autumn

colour too of winter dearth

these last mild days

peppered with dog and gun

cold is not hardship enough



I wore red
though you said I shouldn’t
or because you said
I don’t remember now
but I wore red and I danced
though you said I couldn’t
or shouldn’t
I forget
so I wore red and I danced and you watched
with your best black look
and while you watched I danced in my red dress into a pair of arms
that wanted
or wished
or desired
or all three
to dance
with me.

She names the colours of the world

Morning paints the sky the palest rose

Mist curls pearl along the riverbank

Tender green each unfurling leaf

Turquoise blue the evening sky

And the robin’s egg in the dark tree shade.

Red the fire, the embers’ glow

The blood on the snow when the hunters pass

Red tints the petals of the thorned rose

The ruby dragged from its rocky bed.

But reddest of all is the heart I give

With all its pleasure and its pain

If you can bear its sunburst fire

And drowning waves of subtle moonshine

Its shooting showers of starry sparks.

If you can bear to hold such passion

In the tender curve of your hands.


Attribution: Margret Hofheinz-Döring/ Galerie Brigitte Mauch Göppingen
Attribution: Margret Hofheinz-Döring/ Galerie Brigitte Mauch Göppingen

Red poems

This is a poem sequence, inspired by a painting of a Flamenco dancer, one idea leading into another.

Red skirts swirl
Gestures arrogant
Fire to the tips
But her heart flinches
from the avid watchers’
greedy eyes.


Red flamenco skirts swirl
Red shoes dance their endless rhythm
Cold eyes watch and appraise
Beneath the glitter of the cruel sun
That beams uncaring
Of the sorrow in her heart.

Red seeps through the earth
Of the cold damp north
In Flanders’ gentle fields
Where red poppies bend their graceful heads
To catch the whisperings of the dead.


War ends
The dead fade
Into weeping memories
But the poppy
Is forever red.

In the west
Red boat clouds sail slowly
Sinking into the fiery sun
Carrying their cargo of souls
Into the dying embers of the day.
Viking sunset.


My green pen draws a red boat
With a cargo of words in its hold
A cargo of shoots and delving roots
A floating forest of stories painted
All the colours of morning.

Red boat


My green pen draws a red boat
With a cargo of words in its hold
A cargo of shoots and delving roots
A floating forest of stories painted
All the colours of morning.

Red boat on a green sea
With blue wind in its sails.
On the rim of the sky a yellow sun hangs
And white gulls soar
Through a rainbow of mist.

Boat is fire-red sea glass-green
Reflecting a sky the colour of hope.
From the horizon the sun shows the way
And prow breaks the waves in a rainbow of spume
To follow the call of the gulls.

Red boat on a green sea
Sailing east with a cargo of dreams.
Take me with you into the morning
For the west is blood red and tints the green sea
With the death of aeons of suns.