A blessing for my son.

May you always
know the ocean,
the steady beat
of her waves,
the great width
of her strength.

Even if you live
locked in a
land-locked city,
may you dream of
the sea.

May you always feel
the joy you feel
at the first sight
of the blue sea
sparking in summer;
the awe you feel
at the power of
the waves
in a winter storm.

May you always know
the salt water
in your
own blood.

Morning blessing

May the morning light
drift over you
gentle as
golden silk

May your eyes open
on hope:
a green seedling,
an opening flower,
soft in the
morning light.

May your ears catch
a tumble of birdsong,
a whisper of breath,
in the morning quiet.

May morning enter
your ears, your eyes,
your heart,
filling your day
with the colour
of peace,
the peace of colour.

May your hands reach
into the light,
and fill themselves
with warmth.

May you taste the
tang
of this new day,

May you smell the clean
scent
of a new
beginning.

May your first thoughts
be full
of compassion

your first words
full of joy
and love.

Paul Scribbles is running the show at dVerse tonight, and asking for blessings.

Summer – haibun for dVerse

We come here all through the winter. We’ve swum here on days when the sea has been a great, grey cat, tossing us like tiny toys. We’ve emerged shivering, glowing with cold and triumph. We’ve been the only swimmers, sometimes sharing the water with gleaming black clad surfers, sometimes sharing the beach with dog-walkers wrapped in coats and scarves.

Today, however, it’s summer. I’ve picked my son up from a hot coach, after a long drive back from a science fair. There’s a pair of shorts and a t-shirt in a bag on the back seat,and his swimming trunks are in the boot. We’ve collected his best friend, and an older brother who is wilting in the heat, and I’ve brought them to the beach. We’ve picked our way over the pebble ridge, clambering over the smoothly rounded stones, and slipped and slithered our way down the other side, carrying rugs, towels and ice cold drinks.

Up by the causeway there’s a gathering of people, brightly coloured, making their way in and out of the sea. Here, where we are, it’s quieter. We dump our stuff, and plunge into the water, relishing the coolness of it, looking due west, to where the hot sun will sizzle into the ocean in a few hours time. The solstice has brought us the longest, hottest day we can remember, and we are loving it.

Sun hovers, holds back –
cannot bear to leave the day –
gold path in the sea

Dverse is open, and the very graceful Grace is asking for summery haibuns. We had a mini heatwave last week, but we’re back to English summer weather now. Still, a girl can dream.

Ghosts at my table

there are ghosts at my table tonight
I write, not mentioning that
my table is a pale rectangle
of wood, so that perhaps
you picture your own table,
round, white, plastic –
or a dark mahogany oval,
and your ghosts are
the dark ring left by
a wine bottle, the last time
you had dinner with
a long lost lover,
or the scorched place
where you set down a pan
too quickly, the day
you heard that news
about your sister, while mine
are the assorted stains
and scratches left by my
children as they leave their
childhood, not quite ghosts,
waiting to fade.

Metafictionfor the Toads

Alice decides

Alice decides
that this is not wonderland
it’s just a space
full of spaced out people
and fractal music

but the friend she came with
has wandered off
into this wanderland
with some guy
with long ears
who murmured
“eat me”
as he led her away

and someone is shouting
her name

and somehow there are
roses
scent staining the air

Alice decides
it’s time to go
no more
drink me
just running
fast
into the clean air

 

I’m exploring the world of wordpress prompts. This is for Riding the Magic Mushroom – Alice inspired prompts on Wednesdays. 

Peppercombe – quadrille for dVerse.

We picked our way down
to Peppercombe bay,
where the cliffs are paprika
and the grey stones wait
quietly, to be ground by the surf;
through the green hush of trees
to the place where there’s only
the wide sky and the salt sea.

Kim is our  host at dVerse tonight. The prompt word is “pepper”. Peppercombe bay is one of our local beaches. You can find an image of it here.  We didn’t go to Peppercombe this evening, but we were just a little way up the coast – and there were peppercorns garnishing my gin and tonic, so there’s obviously something in the air tonight.  

The wild

I have seen flowers come in stony places,
Their fine roots crumbling concrete;
I have seen gulls nesting on sky scraping cliffs
And watched grass quietly creeping out over the lane.
I have held the gaze of a fox on a garden wall,
Heard a blackbird calling from a broken gutter,
Seen a tree growing from a long cold chimney
And ivy reaching blindly through a paneless window.

Who are we kidding? With our taming mesh of roads
And bridges, our glyphosates, our planned piazzas?
One day, this will fall,
In an orgy of vegetation – and daisies will sprout
Between our sanded floor boards, and bindweed
Climb helter skelter up the lamp posts,
And deer will browse among the rusted frames
Of our bark chipped playgrounds.

The wild is always there,
Waiting to return.

 

It’s open link night at dVerse, and Grace is in charge. This is one of the first poems I ever blogged, in April 2016 – for NaPoWriMo. The prompt was “a borrowed first line” and I chose one from John Masefield. In fact the whole poem is only 4 lines long, so it’s one I can remember…

I have seen flowers come in stony places
And kind things done by men with ugly faces
And the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races,
So I trust too.

 

Sport – haibun for dVerse

My daughter has grown through sport. I have watched her grow leaner, fitter, and much more confident through finding a sport she loves and working hard at it. She rows, which means watching the tides, fitting time on the river into early mornings and after school sessions, giving up time at the weekend when she could be shopping or Snapchatting, and getting up at crazy o’clock to get to regattas.

We live in the middle of nowhere, so I’ve resigned myself to driving the kids all over the place. I stand at the side of rugby pitches in the rain, and I sit in dojos on sunny days for my son, but secretly I prefer the rowing. I like sitting by the river, watching the movement of the water. I like watching the quad working together, perfecting their timing, their awareness of each other. I like their laughter as they clean down the boat and pack away their oars. Most of all, I like the determination on my daughter’s face as she pushes herself, concentrating on every stroke.

water flows swiftly

river dancing with the sea

white wings skim the waves

Bjorn is hosting at dVerse tonight. He wants us to write about sport. I wouldn’t say we are a sporty family, but we seem to do a lot of it. I run, and over the last year I’ve discovered cardio-tennis, but sport has most of its impact on me through my children.