Bun – SOC

Buns are children’s parties – back before fairy cakes and cup-cakes, there were buns – soft sponge, vanilla scented, iced with dribbled glace icing, topped with a lurid cherry. Glace cherries, too, as if the whole thing were some frozen creation, sugared with frost, preserved in the freezer of memory. We use those icing metaphors – so obvious, when you see snow. Frosting, icing, the white sugar coating.

Technicolour, too, the artificial well e-ed icing of childhood, when we were expected to scream around the garden, wild as wilderness, free of bills and mortgages and working out what to make for dinner. Buns are not dinner. Buns are tea, with tongue puckering orange squash and thin, pale sandwiches. Buns are shiny.

Bread buns, currant buns, hot cross buns – it is Easter, after all – they are sitting downstairs, plump and glossy and stuffed with fruit and spices. I’ll split them toast them butter them try to make them last but they are best eaten warm with the butter a liquid golden lubricant. My fingers will be slightly sticky.

Linda prompts us with the word “bun” for the Saturday steam of consciousness. Five minutes, unfiltered, unedited, still warm from the oven. 



There are no images here.
I have stripped the walls
so that I sit in the dull
pearled opacity of clouds.
I burned my memories –
brief flaring bursts
of rainbow chemicals.
Even the ash has gone,
drifted out on
breezeless air. It isn’t
midnight – there are no stars –
or morning, or any time
I recognise. I am
anchorite contained by
emptiness, walls built
from the vacuum. I am
an empty pixel on
an empty screen.

For the garden over at Toads. We are invited to use imagery, to pile it on, for Fireblossom Friday. 


Her fingers flew

Nobody was coming.

Her fingers flew over the keyboard. She’d accepted that there was no escape, but she wanted to tell their story, so that if anyone came here, they would know not to go into the lava tunnels, not to disturb what was down there.

She wondered if there was anyone else left, now. There had been screams from the infirmary, but they had quietened now. She might be the only person alive on this world.

Not for long, though. The creatures would find her eventually, might be outside the door even now. She typed on, frantically.


For this week’s Carrot Ranch challenge – flying fingers. 

The circle

Once the blue flames faded, she allowed herself to look again. The circle had done its job – there was no damage outside the black line she’d carefully drawn with charcoal from a hazel log. The demons had been kept inside, and returned now to whatever dark dimension they came from. Not even sound escaped the circle.

Shame about the luncheon party. The guests had expected to consume, not be consumed.

She shrugged. They had challenged her, after all, sniggering at the idea that she was an archimage. She wondered when they’d stopped sniggering and started screaming.

Photo by Fatima Fakia Derier. Prompt by Rochelle. 

Egg – quadrille for dVerse

My child sleeps
nested like an egg
smooth skinned
full of the future

my child curls
in the unheeded
sprawl of sheet
head covered
full of dreams

my child is warmed
by this home
of soft feathers
full of hope.

Easter is coming, and the birds are nesting in the hedge, and there is a general feeling of spring in the air, despite the cold wet weather we have been having. Kim asks us to write a dVerse quadrille – 44 words, including the prompt word – egg.


Carved – Leverett Island stories.

Up on the top of Stony Peak, there’s a rock that looks like it’s been carved. If you stand by it and look round, you can see all down the west coast of the Island. It’s probably just erosion by wind and rain, but the story my mother told me is that it was a bathing place for the little people. If you were to go up there after dark, you might see them, jumping and splashing in the water there. Midsummer Eve is the best time to see them, she said, but you must carry an iron horseshoe in your pocket to prevent them stealing you. You should never bargain with the little people, you’ll always come off worst. If you bathe a child in the little pool on May Eve, that child will  never drown, but if you go up there and there’s no water in the hollow, that’s terrible bad luck, and you shouldn’t let that child leave the Island. If you’ve a loved one lost at sea, you should go up there and leave something to call them home – something they treasure. The little people will help you if they’ve a mind to, but they can’t be depended on.

Here’s a little something for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge. Leverett Island is a place where stories grow out of the stony soil. I’m in the process of cataloguing them. 

Following Footsteps

It’s after midnight, and the streets are empty. She’s a woman, walking alone, in a skirt that’s a whisper too short, and heels a shade too high. They lengthen her legs, giving her the vulnerable look of a deer picking her way through the forest.

The darkness has heightened her senses. She can hear the footsteps, following behind, even though they are soft. Someone’s wearing trainers. They echo her own steps. When she speeds up, they speed up. When she slows down, they slow down. When she pauses, they pause too.

She waits for a moment to be sure, then lets herself dissolve into the shadows. There’s silence, and then the footsteps start up again. They’re moving towards her.

She smiles and licks her dark red lips. She’s going to feed tonight.


My first twiglet! Thank you, Misky. 

Soul – for dVerse

If you knew the name of your soul –
that single word that calls,
and binds, and frees –
how would you use it?

Would you spray it
on the subway walls?
Or carve it into your
own skin?

Would you tattoo it
into the flesh
of that beech tree
on the hill
behind your house,

or scrawl it
everywhere you go,
in marker pen,

Or would you write it
in the midnight air,
in sparkling fire,
to burn
and fade?



Paul at dVerse is asking us to look deep into our souls and see what we find there. 

Writing – a haibun for dVerse

This is the book that stared me off. A Christmas present from my parents when I was seven. On the back it starts off by saying “This is a book to grow on. It is also a book to grow with…”, and that’s what happened. There are poems in here that have become part of me. It’s a children’s anthology, but here is Robert Frost, both the Brownings, Yeats, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Dickinson, Whitman – so many great poems, so many great poets. Poems that have been absorbed into my bones, that sing in my blood. Poems that still influence my writing, because of their simplicity.

But why do I write? I write because I love it. I love the shaping of words, I love capturing a moment, a mood, an atmosphere. I jokingly say I write because it’s better than meditation – and that’s the truth. When I’m writing, I’m totally caught up in what I’m doing, in the act of creation. Does that sound grandiose? I don’t care. I write because I’m a writer.

Rook sits on the wire
Naming the world with his gaze
Black feathers on snow

Toni is the guest host at dVerse tonight. She asks us to write about the Who? What? Why? of our writing, our earliest inspirations. 

Music is general

Music is general over Ireland:

There’s a kid with a fiddle

On Grafton Street, and out

In the West, in Ballydehob,

There’s a German couple

In Rosie’s bar, who are playing

Bob Marley. Your parents

Are fox-trotting across the floor

In the golf club, and the army band

Is practicing “Faith of our Fathers”.

In Limerick the pipes, the pipes

Are calling, and in this little church

By the sea, there’s music dancing

Where the altar used to be.

There’s a ceilidh tonight

In the community centre

On Clare Island, and the pipes

Sing like a bad woman

And in Toners there’s a poet

Who suddenly bursts into

“My Lagan Love”, and high

Above Ben Bullen, there’s a

Skylark rising, rising, rising.


For Brendan, over at toads. We are asked to write a poem for St Patrick’s Day. It was hard to narrow it down. Toner’s is a pub in Dublin, if you’re wondering.