Sits in my palm
like something old
polished with handling
through the generations

and yet

I am the first to see
this flat blind nipple
this warm belly, swollen,
marked with the swirled
thumbprint of life.


Welcome to dVersee, where we are using all our senses to write mindful poems. 


Harbour – quadrille for dVerse

Curved arm walls
gentle sea, still wind –
so rest here,
in this harbour –
moon be your lantern,
wave be your pillow –
sleep peaceful,
where stars hang deep
in mirror water,
and mackerel sparkle
in high arching sky –
breathe in,
breathe out,
be the tide.


Lillian is hosting Quadrille Night at the dVerse bar tonight. Come and join us – we’re quadrilling harbours tonight. 

That one

That bitch

elbow deep in my sweat

eating my dreams

and the dark mouth on her

chewing chewing chewing

that one

looking now

at the bones on her plate

and her sharp teeth


as she smears my blood

across the table



Mish is hosting open link night at dVerse tonight. This is for that.

Tightrope walking

The trick is to not look down.

The trick is to find that still place deep in your belly,
and hold it firmly,
and let the world move past you.

The trick is to look straight ahead,
to the end of the rope.

The trick is to make nets,
festoon the world with tightly woven webs
so that if you fall, you’ll be caught,
held gently by your own foresight.

The trick is to hang above the void
and sparkle.

The trick is to keep it balanced –
work and life and kids and friends and keeping fit
and what’s for dinner and the school run and facebook
and shopping and sex and cake to take into the office
and ringing your mum and cleaning the bathroom
because you’re so wonderful and so on top of it all.

The trick is not to mind the pain.

The trick is to hold out your arms.

The trick is to hang suspended and smile
your brightest smile.

The trick is



I’m the ringmaster at dVerse tonight, where we are writing poems on a circus theme. Do come and join us!

Carry me

Or at least carry something –
the shopping, a tray,
this raw and bleeding heart
cut from my chest,
the burden

the burden of my
foolish choices, my misplaced faith,
the washing basket,

the drinks

I don’t know.


carry yourself
head high back straight shoulderblades pulled together belly tight chin up
point your toes
move your hands smoothly or keep them tight at your waist

carry me home with one shoe dangling swinging from my left foot,
or carry me off trussed in too tight dress and thrown sack over shoulder
or carry a tune
or a message in code that only I can decipher and burn after reading



Chasing rabbits with Ms Quickly today. Two words: “carry me”. 

Hold your breath – for dVerse

Everything stopped moving –
Feathers hung suspended,
Grass was green and frozen,
Held in that still moment:
Ice in a blue prism –
Just speak and it’s broken.


The lovely Lillian over at dVerse asks us to write an alphabet sestet – a six line poem, where each line begins with a sequential letter of the alphabet – in this case, E-F-F-H-I-J. Short but sweet. 


Free gift in every packet –

it might not be what you expect. Anticipate delight, or fear, or that bright tingle of desire that sets your fingers splaying –

in that anger you spilled
over the kitchen floor, there is
the seed of change –

rise up and use it. Breathe in deep and roar. Build roads and bridges, use your strength, haul on the rope, tighten your grip. Don’t let go –

 and in that weight of fear there
is some love,

as if they’re sisters, love and fear, arms linked, flip sides of the same coin of passion, an old coin, warm in your hand, sticky from sitting in your pocket –

and in that great, grey,
overwhelming grief, you’ll find

somewhere in that cloud, that blocks your sight and leaves you groping, hands out, blinded by loss, reading the air with your fingertips –

a memory of joy.

Hold out your hand.


This is for Amaya at dVerse. She asks us to take something we previously posted on a past 11 September and play with it. My original poem was published last year Free gift in every packet – for dVerse – and it’s here in italics. It was interesting to review an old poem. 



I’ve better things to do than sit and cry
I don’t have the time for self-indulgence
If I keep busy here, time will have to fly
and if I fill my day up with employments –
the email that I have to send today,
the meal that must be cooked, the lunches packed,
the dishes washed and dried, and put away,
the TV programme meant to counteract
the fear and pain and anger that I hold,
the dark tide lapping at my easy chair,
the clouds that gather, the advancing cold,
the sharp-clawed crab that clacks and scrabbles there –
I cram my days with work and love and light,
but cannot build a wall to keep out night.


Frank is running things at dVerse, and asks us to write about heartbreak or frustration. I find few things more frustrating than a sonnet, so this is frustration in action! 


It’s morning, and she’s up before me, making sure her hair is right and her make-up is perfect. She’s not nervous, or not noticeably so. It’s not like her first morning at secondary school – photographs in the driveway; shiny black mary-janes; waiting in trepidation with her best friend at the bus stop – or her first morning in primary school – big grin; left arm in a bright pink plaster cast; holding my hand tightly as we walked through the gates.

No, today is the first day of college, and her hair is straight and shiny, her brand new over the shoulder bag is full of brand new books for brand new subjects, and she’s the only one waiting for the bus. I offer to wait, but she’s fine. She texts me when she gets on board – she’s reassuring me. How did that happen?

autumn breezes blow
each chick must take a first flight
falcons spread their wings

It’s haibun night at dVerse, and Mish gives us the theme of “morning”. Perfect prompt for today!