A new star rising

The Oracle always knows. Last days of waiting.

I listen in this morning’s damp light
for the child coming
through the rhythms
of the air of another world.

Cat watches for the coming
like a fish in a bowl
a bird in the sky

and I remember those times
raw and tender that dripped with joy
tumbling like spring clouds
full of tiny hands curled and perfect

the milky noises unabashed
and oceans of laughter.

The stars sailed slow then
in their course
and we understood
the wild voice of the night.


Long day ending

Waiting while the boughs bend
and sway in the swell of the wind.
No sound but the soughing and sighing,
patter of flung raindrops.

Waiting for the train to wail its way
in wheel-turning journeying
across the river plain
as the dim light sinks lower

and all is the colour of drying kelp
and all is the patch of lane
swept by the bending and swaying
that I watch for the turning wheels

bringing you home.

On the night lake

Another of Paul Militaru’s photos with the lovely title of Night and snow over birds prompted this poem. Thank you, Paul!


On the night lake, grey gulls glide,

While snow falls thick upon the ride,

Where foxes pad and pheasants hide.

In summer waters small boats plied

Across the lake so smooth so wide,

Where mallards swim and grey gulls glide,

And many came here, sat and sighed

For lovers lost, for lovers died.

While snow falls thick upon the ride,

As cold as tears I’ve shed and dried,

Like stone I sit in lonely pride,

Among the gulls that drift and glide,

And wait for turning time and tide.



Haibun for the dverse waiting prompt.


The gold is stripped from the poplar tree, and on a bough the last leaf clings, and on the leaf a raindrop hangs, trembling with each gust and leaf-tremor until it falls into the open arms of the brown earth among the rotting brown of leaf mould and sinks, seeps, slips around a seed a bubble of life to wait with seed and brown earth for the spring.

Black and bare the branch

specked with nut hard buds—

life in waiting.

The waiting game

I had intended to write a terribly serious poem for the dverse prompt, but got this instead. I shall now try to write a serious haibun.


From waiting to be fed,

to be sent to bed,

under shelter from the rain,

at the station for the train,

waiting for the date

until it gets too late,

life’s one long wait.

Waiting for the phone to ring,

the post to bring

the longed for letter,

waiting for things to get better,

the rain to stop,

the temperature to drop,

waiting for inspiration,

in hair-wrenching frustration

when the words don’t come,

waiting days and then some

for a reply,

to get just a goodbye,

and in the end,

we wend

into the great beyond—slow, don’t run,

after all, waiting’s more fun.

Microfiction #writephoto: Restoration

Another odd photo from Sue Vincent for her Thursday #writephoto prompt. They always seem to capture something that perhaps the naked eye missed.


Clearing out the Victorian clutter from the old house was easy. There was plenty of room in the cellars that stretched deep and wide, and there would be time to open them up to the public once the upper floors of the fortress had been restored to their original state. The plaster and mouldings of the bedrooms and drawing rooms, and in particular the mock Gothic of the main rooms and the entrance hall were being stripped out, with the mounted boars’ and stags’ heads, the dark-stained wooden staircases, and the fake spits in the fake hearths. Anything of any value would be sorted and donated to museums dealing with the nineteenth, eighteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The curator supervised the transfer below ground and closed the heavy oak door on the trophies of the Victorian lunatic who had turned a fourteenth century fortified manor house into something out of a Walter Scott novel. The key wasn’t in the lock. He remembered it well, a curious key, particularly finely worked for such an old lock. It must have been hanging up with the others in the office. He was on the point of going to get it when the site foreman shouted out that if he was ready, guv, they’d turn the power back off and call it a day. He shrugged. If anyone wanted to steal any of the horrors he’d seen shipped downstairs, they were more than welcome. He called out to go head, that he was leaving, and the lights were turned off.

Later, much later when the wires and pipes had sighed their last sighs as the site settled, when the dust lay in a fine film over the newly-exposed parts of wall and pavement, the shadows moved in the cellars. For the first time in two centuries, the door had not been locked.



A minute poem (I must stop writing these) written for Shawn Handfast’s FB poetry prompt. The prompt is the photo below and the theme is ‘alone’.


Tonight, you’re coming home, you said.

I wait with dread,

Sun almost set,

You’re not here yet.


A second drink to calm my fears,

All these lost years,

Such wasted time,

Both yours and mine.


Deep night falls, no longer waiting,


Your broken vow,

You’ll not come now.


Rain coming

A cascade poem for the Daily Post prompt: Storm.


Strong winds blowing from the ocean

Chase wild clouds across a storm sky;

In the air I smell rain coming.


Cares hang heavy, dull as street lamps,

Sombre glow that wavers not in

Strong winds blowing from the ocean.


Gulls cry out with laughter, mocking

My bowed head and heavy heart, they

Chase wild clouds across a storm sky.


Wind tossed leaves and summer dust fly,

Blinding eyes with stinging salt tears,

In the air I smell rain coming.


A cascade poem for the Daily Post prompt. I know, I use this painting often.

Miranda - The tempest, by John William Waterhouse
Miranda – The tempest *oil on canvas *100.4 x 137.8 cm *signed b.r.: J.W. Waterhouse / 1916


Waves curl green upon the sea,

Foam sprays salt upon the leaves,

I watch the line of night come near.


Setting sun turns red the rose tree,

Crimson stalks the summer wheat sheaves,

It will not light your boat, I fear.


No sail shines out despite my plea,

No boat bobs home to one who grieves,

The ocean keeps one I hold dear.


Still I wait and watch in sorrow,

My last voyage starts tomorrow.


The Daily Post prompt is: fork.


At a fork in the path where I wait,

There’s a dog rose bends close to my ear,

Whisp’ring low that the evening is late.


Two paths, can I choose my own fate?

Though there’s only a dog rose to hear,

At a fork in the path where I wait?


The pain in my heart won’t abate,

This loneliness is what most I fear,

Whisp’ring low that the evening is late.


Through the dusk, is that you at the gate?

Or the shadows that turn the light drear,

At the fork in the path where I wait?


The sun sets, the dark I berate,

And hark for your voice drawing near,

Whisp’ring low that the evening is late.


Hope fading, my heart’s a lead weight

In my breast as the first stars appear,

At the fork in the path where I wait,

Whisp’ring low that the evening is late.


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