Although – poem

although the moon is full, the stars are out
although the stars are out, there’s frost tonight
although there’s frost tonight, the fire is warm
although the fire is warm, the room is cold
although the room is cold, I’m not alone
although I’m not alone, I’m scared right now
although I’m scared right now, my hands are quiet
although my hands are quiet, my mind is spinning
although my mind is spinning, I know what to say
although I know what to say, I’m keeping still
although I’m keeping still, I want to run
although I want to run, the door is locked
although the door is locked, I have a key
although I have a key, the night is dark
althought the night is dark, the moon is full

although ms quickly asked for a list poem, i’m kind of ignoring her…


Skin – poem for dVerse

My bare feet are cold against the kitchen floor.

I chose soft clothes today,
as if my body is a child
in need of comfort.

I’ve held on tight – the kettle handle
smooth beneath my palm –
me clinging on, like it’s
a lifeline linking me
to planet Earth

my feet are bare against the cold kitchen floor

I closed my hands around the cup –
heat almost pain,
pain almost heat –
but nothing warms me –

I trailed my fingers
over the wooden table,
letting the faint, fine ridges
of the grain be felt
letting the texture soothe me

my cold feet bare against the kitchen floor

I chose soft clothes today,
to hold me like a mother’s arms,
cradling me.

I’m hosting at dVerse tonight, and we’re exploring the sense of touch. Come and join in – it’s the poets’ pub, and it’s alway good to spend time there.

The Castle – flash fiction

It’s not even a castle, just two walls and a narrow tower. A folly, mum called it, and warned me away from it, and the cool kids who hung out there.

I didn’t listen, though. I was thrilled when Danny took me there. I thought I’d made it.

I didn’t expect the fumbling hands, the panic, the fear, the fall onto the jagged rocks. And the blood. So much blood.

The cool kids have started coming back now. Joints like fairy lights, tinny music, and whispered ghost stories. I listen. They’re finally talking about me.

100 words for Sammi’s weekend writing prompt. 


Winter afternoon – a poem for dVerse

The sky is a piece of paper,
crumpled and smoothed out
by grubby hands, smeared
with grey, mottled by time

all meaning rubbed away

the gull is a blade,
slicing through the air,
each feather sharpened
by the wind, each turn
drawing blood

the sky is a dirty
sheet of paper.

the gull is a
feathered blade.


Bjorn is behind the bar at dVerse tonight. It’s a Meet the Bar night, and he’s asked us to think about metaphors. 

I actually think it would be harder for me to write a poem without metaphors, and for it still to be a poem. 

Utopia is a library – poem for dVerse

The man on the radio said
the council will be cutting down
on non-essential services

I remember the smell
as you climbed the stairs:
fat radiators pumping out heat,
and shelves of books

We have to make sacrifices,
he said.

but I remember the new library,
and the light that came in
from the tall windows, and the
plump red seat

We will be cutting down
on fripperies and frivolities

and I remember my children
choosing picture books
from the primary coloured box

and I want to scream

and I remember all the pale wood tables
in rooms full of books
where I’ve sat and worked
and read and worked
and studied and written
and worked
and the worlds that have opened up to me
and the journeys I’ve taken
and the lives I’ve tasted
and the mountains I’ve soared over
and the oceans I’ve drowned in
and the stars I’ve gazed at
and the kisses I’ve felt

and I want to live in a place
where everyone knows that


Amaya is the bartender over at dVerse tonight, and she’s asking us to write about Utopias. I’m not sure this exactly meets the brief – and it’s the poem I never wanted to write – the one inspired by “something I heard on the news today” – that’s a heartsink at a poetry reading – but there you go. Sometimes you have to write about important things. I’ve been mulling over the fact that libraries are “non-essential” services all day, and realising that that is NOT the world I want to live in. 

Once upon a…again

Once upon a teardrop, a sixpence, a moonbeam

She smashed the mirror long blades of glass glistening on the carpet she shattered with it but now they can’t see her they can’t get in.

Once upon a rosebud, a lipstick, a ruby

The room is so hot, and she’s frantic now afraid but the only way out is through the door,and she can’t turn the handle her hands are wet now she’s fumbling now tumbling

Once upon a rainbow, a sunbeam, a daisy

It’s dark outside but she won’t draw the curtains not until he’s home not until she hears the car pull into the drive she’s turned off the TV she’s lying on the sofa there’s blood on the hearth rug the heart rug the earth rug

Once upon a mermaid, a fish slice, a teacup

She hates to be alone

A second “Once upon a…” poem for dVerse, where Lillian is hosting a “Once upon a…” extravaganza!




Once upon a – poem for dVerse

Once upon a diamond night
Music tumbled from these halls,
Stars hung like candles, clear and bright

Hands reach out and feet take flight,
Lovers join within these walls,
Once upon a diamond night

Her face is dazzling to his sight,
And as he gazes, he recalls
Stars hung like candles, clear and bright.

Mirrors reflect the dancing lights,
The to and fro that never palls,
Once upon a diamond night

She turns to flee as midnight strikes –
On the step her slipper falls,
Stars hang like candles, clear and bright

Now he searches day and night
For one who’ll answer when he calls,
Come dancing through the diamond night,
and stars like candles, clear and bright.


With a prompt like that, I couldn’t resist a little fairytale romance, and a villanelle seemed to fit. All our poems must start with “Once upon a…” – Lillian is prompting at dVerse tonight.

The seasons turn – haibun for dVerse

There was frost on the car this morning. It’s the first time I’ve had to scrape the windscreen this year. I allowed myself a moment of smugness for  having had the scraper to hand.

The clocks changed this weekend – fall backwards, they remind us – so it’s darker earlier. That feels like a big shift, but actually, things have been changing gently over the last few days – some trees are still green, some are gold and amber, some are practically naked now. There are bright red berries on the holly, the apples are all picked, and the blackberries are finished. We’ve had big moons, and impossibly clear nights full of stars, and we’ve had brooding cloudscapes hanging over us. The swallows are long gone, and I haven’t seen the first starlings yet, but the rooks are everywhere. We’ve put aside summer shirts, and I wore a woolly hat today to walk on the beach, even though the sky was bright, shiny blue.

rooks cast black shadows
trees throw golden cascades
nights are full of stars

Merril is hosting at dVerse tonight, and asking us to write about a period of transition. This is very simple, but the clocks going back feels quite significant. 

Polite – villanelle – poem for dVerse

I cannot see the kindness in your life,
yet I can’t say I’ve ever known you rude:
you wield politeness like a little knife.

I’ve sat through dinners without any strife,
the wine’s flowed freely, and you’ve served good food,
but I can’t see the kindness in your life.

I’ve watched you undermine your darling wife,
and mention things no husband ever should:
you wield politeness like a little knife.

You shake your head, and wince at modern life,
and hanker after times that weren’t so crude,
but I can’t see the kindness in your life

You say you hate the brashness that’s so rife,
yet somehow you afflict us with your mood:
you wield politeness like a little knife

Your jokes are sharper than a surgeon’s knife,
you’re confident, and yet I think that you’ve
not known of any kindness in your life;
you wield politeness like a little knife.



More repetition for Jilly at dVerse. A Villanelle this time.