The wind

The wind goes rushing, rushing,

but can’t put anything to rights –

half the world’s burning, half is flooding,

the wind goes rushing, rushing,

the milk is boiling, phone is ringing, baby’s sobbing,

wild sounds round the house all night-

the wind goes rushing, rushing

but can’t put anything to rights.

A triolet of sorts for Frank at dVerse. 


On the transience of the beauty of flowers.

The tulips are already opening,
in the brown, fat-bellied vase –
the vase that came with love
from your tired brother.
That’s my springtime vase,
pregnant with hope. The brown
sets off the clear bright springtime colours,
oh so well. Somehow, I never take it down
for roses, plump with scent and self-importance,
or autumn leaves, or winter berries.

How luxurious, I think, to have a choice
of vases for the flowers we bring home.
I’m not sure if they are dead or living,
picked like this. They’re buds. They open up,
they fade – tulip stalks twist and buckle
as they die, but still, they’re beautiful,
already opening on the windowsill.

Merril is hosting at dVerse tonight, and asks us to write about transience. 


Somehow, I trust you

to unpick the peel

layer from layer – all

the blankets I have wrapped

around myself

all the bright armour

all the skin

that sits between my soul

and the clean cool air. 

Under your patient hands

I will be freed. 

It’s quadrille night at dVerse– 44 words to write a poem. Our inspiration tonight is “peelings” – thank you to Mish for hosting.

The green clock.

Samhain, and the nights draw in
and we move closer, stand together,
a little out of time, a little closer
to the edge of everything. Tick tock,
and it is midnight, and all we can do
is hope the light will make its way to us,
this darkest, longest night, tick tock
Imbolc – first signs of spring,
the snowdrops standing in the rain
and the fat buds of daffodils –
tick tock – the equinox – the world in balance

We stand on the edge
but how much leverage do we have?
We’re the disruptors –
that’s what humans do,
we tinker with our clever fingers,
fouling the mechanism. Tick tock.

Beltane, and the fires are lit
and lovers leap across the flames,
the heavy scent of mayflowers –
tick tock – and we hang suspended
in the light, right at the top
of the year’s wheel and tick tock
Lugnasagh and we start
our harvest, knead the first dough
of the first loaf, bite the first apple,
and we are rich and tick tock
equinox, and now we reap
what we have sown.

Samhain, and the nights draw in
it’s getting colder. Hold my hand.
let’s stand here, close together,
struggling by firelight,
trying to fix the mechanism,
fingers not so clever now,
each tiny wheel, each cog.
We scrabble for them.

Tick tock.

This is for this week’s Earthweal challenge: A Clockwork Green. 

I was really uncertain what to write for this one, and then something kind of bubbled up. I’ve been bumping into druids recently – not real ones, but I heard a pair of druids on the radio, and then a druid cropped up in a book, and then another one. Sometimes you are tuned into something, and I wondered if this was one of those times. One of the things that struck me was the fact that druid’s see the year as a circle, with celebrations every 6 weeks – the solar festivals of solstice and equinox, and then intervening festivals – Imbolc (1 February), Beltane (my birthday festival! Obviously), Lughnasa (first harvest – start of August) and Samhain – roughly Halloween.

Obviously the druids worked to a northern European calendar.

I quite like the idea of regular celebrations, linked to the seasons, to nature and the cycle of planting and harvesting. We have lost so many of these festivals. We still have Christmas, obviously, and Easter, but the harvest festival has slipped away, and who celebrates Imbolc now? We need more celebrations and more awareness of the natural world.

So this poem is where the druids led me.

Hope – again

and so I’m not quite giving up on hope

the backs of my hands are scratched
I broke a nail

and I’m still gathering up the shreds
of hope
the broken bits

I’m stitching

I’m no seamstress, and my wonky banner
with its wobbly lettering
is kind of sad and saggy

but I’m carrying it
foolish and fluttering
all the stitches showing
as the sun shines through

Turns out I had more hope in me than I thought. This is for Earthweal and I’m linking it up to dVerse’s Open Link Night. Both good places to hang out.

Apple blossom

Me, I’m pink and wholesome
opening to the spring,
letting every bee come,
their buzzing kisses cling,
and the wild birds sing,

and when my blushes fade
see how my belly swells:
in every orchard glade
where I shed my pink petals
you will find apples

This is such a lovely prompt fromLinda at dVerse – she asks us to imagine we are a flower. I wanted to use a traditional form for such a pretty prompt, so I’ve opted for paired cinquains.

Prosery: between heartbeats.

If I concentrate, I can slip between the molecules in the wall. I can absorb the energy of a bullet, make it my own. There are moments caught between heartbeats when I can stretch time. I’m not sure what that makes me – angel? demon? blessed or cursed?

I’ve always done this: slithered out of my own body, wriggled under the skin of lovers. I have survived car crashes, conflagrations; I’ve sought vengeance: spread my fingers in the rapist’s brain; I’ve sought mayhem – guided the arrow that started the battle.

I have watched everything I love grow old and worn. I’ve moved on and started over a thousand times. I’ve passed through ice and flames. I’m not even sure of my own name now, wouldn’t recognise myself in a mirror – except for my eyes. There are galaxies in there, burning in the darkness. I’m lonely.

Kim is hosting the prosery prompt tonight at dVerse. What’s prosery, I hear you cry? A piece of prose, 144 words, incorporating a line from a poem chosen by the host. Tonight the line is from Louis MacNeice – “there are moments caught between heartbeats”


Hoping – poem for Earthweal

On days like this, hope’s easy –
it’s right there, in every swelling bud,
each new shoot pushing through,
each leaf unfurling. The robin sings it
and the fieldfare carry it on fluttering wings.

Don’t let Pandora fool you.
Hope’s the last demon in the chest,
the one that sends you walking blind
into oblivion, smiling. Hope’s the Fool’s card,
hope’s the joke.

Take that hope and weaponise it, then,
mix it with love and anger, braid them together
weave them into the plaits you wear. Take a stand.
Temper hope with knowledge –
sharpen it. Hope’s just a spark,
pressed out by a wet thumb. Nurture it.
Feed it fiercely, with the fuel of joy,
and light a candle from it.

All those candles, moving apart
and then together, forming a web of light
under the great dome of the sky.

Is that enough, now? Is it?

Sherry is hosting at Earthweal tonight, and our theme is “finding hope”.

On second thoughts, I don’t need your forgiveness – poem for dVerse

It sickens me, to see those silly men,
and women, too – let’s not forget
that women can be silly, too – waving
their silly flags, so happy
that the world got smaller,
and I realise that I’m out of step,
so out of step – that’s my flag,
and I’m wincing at it – me
with all my blithe assumptions
that the world would soften,
all those barriers would blur-
race, class, religion, gender,
it would all fade away,
and yet, these people love their walls,
they cling to them as if
that’s how they find themselves,
so when I see you wave your silly flag,
forgive me if I don’t wave back.

Amaya is hosting at dVerse tonight. She’s asking us to write “death sentences” – poems with 3 rules – they must be a story in a single sentence, based on an event witnessed or heard about that symbolises the end of the world, and they must be improvised.

I’m quite experienced in writing long, breathless sentences, but it’s hard to leave them alone. This poem is about the last session of the British in the European Parliament, and the pathetic antics of the Brexit Party, but I guess there’s a lot of flag waving about all over the place at the moment, so if it works for you…