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!

 

 

 

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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. 

After the storm – a poem for dVerse

My head is full of the roar of the rolling waves:
The air is full of water, all hazed with mist,
And my lungs are full of salt air and I crave
The sea, all laced with foam, with pale spindrift

The air is full of water, all hazed with mist,
The storm is gentling now along the shore,
The sea is laced with foam, with pale spindrift,
And each wave curls like a grey cat’s paw

The storm is gentling now along the shore,
The sky is white, there is no sun today,
While each wave curls like a grey cat’s paw,
The sea is blank-faced, dull, somehow opaque

The sky is white, there is no sun today,
It’s hard to say just where the ocean ends,
The sea is blank-faced, dull, somehow opaque
And all the light is pale, and cloud-softened

It’s hard to say just where the ocean ends
In the wild bleakness of the empty strand,
And all the light is pale, and cloud-softened
above the sea’s wild anger and the silent sand

In the wild bleakness of the empty strand
See the sharp- winged flight of a black-headed gull
above the sea’s wild anger, and the silent sand,
the shrill cry of the petrel, wheeling, heart full

see the sharp winged flight of a black headed gull –
my lungs are full of salt air, and I crave
the shrill cry of the petrel, wheeling, heart full –
my head is full of the roar of the rolling waves

 

Jilly inspires us to use repetition in our poetry tonight. I have a slight obsession with the pantoum – it’s such a tricky form to get to flow smoothly. So that – obviously – is what we’ve ended up with tonight.

Driving home – poem for dVerse

This road connects us
and divides us
and I drive it like
I’m on a quest

I drive it like
I’m cutting through
a hedge of thorns,
or like I’m climbing up
a mountain made of glass

I know each curve
each hill and yet
it’s new each time
and I forget this bend,
this climb. I hate
the lorries that
crawl so slowly
and the tractors
I get stuck behind

because I’m driving
like I’m crossing
a great sea of ice,
or creeping through
a forest made of
sounds and shadows

and this road divides us
and connects us
so that I love it
and I hate it – waiting
for that moment

coming over the hill

when I see the moor
carved across the sky

and the tree that bends
away from the west wind

and the rook on the wire

and I’m home.

Dead fox – poem for dVerse

The fox lay crumpled
by the roadside –
his fur a burning haze,
all grace gone –

caught by a car
sweeping through
the early morning
half-light.

Maybe the driver
felt a twist of guilt.

Or maybe not.

A fox, after all,
is just a fox.

 

It’s early doors at dVerse tonight and Kim is on quadrille duty. Forty four words, including the key word – tonight it’s “early”. 

Cigarette ends – a poem

And if each of these was kissed

by someone’s anxious lips –

if each one held a moment

of comfort on a day

of grief or fear or doubt –

if each one was a gift

of friendship on a rainy

station platform, as the train

pulled out, heading for darkness –

would that be beauty?

This is the second poem for Mich’s prompt – actually sticking to the pictures she offers this time! Check out the dVerse poetry place. 

Beauty in ugliness – a poem

I am an expert in not seeing –
my eyes can slide from face to belly
without registering what’s between –
smooth as the cool glass in the mirror –

they don’t stop

I am skilled in the fine art
of ignoring. I don’t see the thin line
where the blade bit me. I don’t see
the surgeon’s skill

there is no feeling

that line marks me, scrawled across my skin,
but under it there is the beauty
of scalpel, needle, years of training –
all those years of study given to me

by his steady hand

and my clean cells linking binding,
their interdigitation, their blind purpose,
has its own beauty. My skin weaving itself
my muscles cleaving to each other

in a blue womb.

Mish is hosting at dVerse tonight and asks us to look for the beauty in ugliness. Sometimes that’s hard to do. 

 

Objects at rest – a poem

Whisper a lullaby now for the universe,
a song of cold spaces unfolding through eons,
a slow sliding movement of planets away
from the core, from each other, adrift.

Murmur a tale of the dying of light,
of the wandering stars that break out from
the tender embrace of their own gravitation,
to hang lonely, unloved, bleak and lifeless, but free.

Sing the unfolding of entropy, blooming
and spreading like virus across space and time
’til each atom is single, and spinning alone
in the deepening dark,

in the silence.

A poem for the Daily Inkling prompt – Objects at Rest. That made me think of Newtonian physics, which led me on to this poem – which, again, ignores the context of the prompt. However, I’m a poet, so I can do what I like. 

It’s also an attempt at iambic pentameter, for the dVerse prompt tonight hosted by Frank – a master of rhythm and rhyme. I tend to write in short lines, so iambic pentameter is really tough for me.