Winter moonlight

Marianne von Werefkin’s work is a joy.  This painting is entitled Moonlit.

An ekphrastic poem in the spirit of the dverse prompt, if not following it to the letter.


In the winter there is nowhere to hide,

the cold strips and splits, and ice cracks on the river.

In the moonlight the shadows are black,

and even old monks with backs bent

by the weight of other people’s sins

have spindly alter egos that trot lightly across the snow.

In the dark by the light of a cold moon,

there is a stillness

that not even the promise of a blazing hearth can stir.

In the moonlit winter cold the world is starved thin

and black as sin.

When the sun

A poem I wrote last month. Out of season now, but I remember the feeling well. For dverse.


I remember when the sun

had lover’s hands

that warmed the skin

and teased the knots

out of bones grown winter cold.

I cover my face from this pale crone

who pinches cheeks

with fingers gnarled

as a dead oak tree.

Thrush in a winter hedge

A revised version of last night’s rubaiyat for the dverse prompt. This one is in strict iambic pentametre rather than my usual rambling tetrametre. The second stanza inverts the stress for variety.


The frost that lingers furs the hedge where bird sings

At raindrops, snowflakes, all that winter cold brings;

His song, his soul fills our dark days with sunlight,

His heart too full too hear how distant bell rings.


Cold cracks the stone that gleams in moon-pale light,

Stills placid water with ice, silver bright;

The thrush is silent as mice in the hedge,

Hopes in the spring and bitter winter’s flight.