Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 5- National Poetry Day 2020

Tomorrow is National Poetry Day in the UK and so this week’s podcast is dropping tomorrow to celebrate and I am surrounded by 4 guest poets from as far as New Zealand and as close as Dublin City centre who share their poems on movement, change, time and loss. Join us tomorrow and meantime- Stay […]

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 5- National Poetry Day 2020

Damien is ‘casting again. If you like to listen to poetry, I do recommend checking it out.



Beacons and battlements –
they build your churches
in high places, with long views.

I think we need you now,
warrior and angel, defender,
I think it’s time
to take a stand

in the heights,
to look out across the sea
and guide us home.

I’m linking this to earthweal’s Michaelmas challenge, and to dVerse’s vatic voice challenge, hosted by Lisa. There are lots of St Michael’s churches around here – always on high ground. Mounts, hills, and headlands.

The truth is

The truth is
your heart is as big as your fist.

The salmon’s a tin-foiled muscle
following the scent of truth
back to the breeding ground

and the swallow flies a trail of truth
across the gleaming sea
the glittering desert
to build a house of mud

and I just want a small truth
like a white pebble
in my pocket

but your lies
set bush fires
your lies
melt ice
your lies
break the world in two
your lies
are killing us

truth is a feather
on the tongue

a snowflake falls and melts
a million snowflakes
a million billion
form an avalanche

a starling
forms part of
a great moving shape

a fish
swings silver
in a sheltering shoal

and we are stronger together
standing against
your burning lies

Grace is hosting at dVerse tonight, and asks for protest poetry. I’m not sure this is one to shout at the barricades, but I am so sick of being lied to by politicians.


Episode 3 of the Podcast Eat The Storms is on your local platform or coming soon. Definitely on Spotify already and it is packed tight with talent… Thank you to the featured Poets Ankh Spice, Sarah Connor, Ruairí De Barra, Eilín de Paor, Jane Dougherty, Kevin Bateman, Catherine Ann Cullen and Aisling Keogh


Nine and nine

Laura’s hosting at dVerse tonight. She always comes up with interesting and challenging prompts – I think of them as architectural. Tonight we’re thinking about nines – nine line poems and nonets. Laura has given us some lines from great poems to use as the basis for our own work. I couldn’t resist having a go at both halves of the prompt.

Here’s my first one. The first line is taken from W.S. Merwin’s “To the Light of September”/

Summer fading

It seems as though you are still summer
clinging to the last pink roses,
but the early morning chill
lasts a little longer
every day. Autumn
is so close now,
cold fingers

And here’s the second, which is based on this line: Those/ pale /flowers /might /still /have/ time/ to /fruit from Karina Borowicz’s ‘September Tomatoes


Those geese flying overhead
pale wings spread out, like
flowers on a blue bedspread
might fly on. They are so strong, they
still have miles to go. It’s
time to seek out warmth,
to hunker down. Autumn’s brought
fruit and frost and morning mist.

In the moonlight

The children are brought to her for judgement. As ever, she takes them into her home for a month. As ever, they are a little in awe of her silver hair, her black cane.

By day, she feeds them, teaches them the names and scents of herbs, how to keep silent, to move in the shadows.

Now, these two sleep, huddled together in their dreams. They sleep with the moonlight slanting across their faces. She sits beside them all night, until the first rays of the sun fall across the bedroom floor. There’s no sign of change.

She sighs. They’re obedient, sweet-natured, bright – but no good to the pack. They are merely children, untouched by moonlight. The pack won’t keep them. They’ll be sent to the city, to walk hand in hand on stony pavements and forget the forest.

Merril is hosting at dVerse tonight. It’s prosery night – 144 words of flash fiction, incorporating a quotation chosen by our host. Tonight the quotation is:

In their dreams

they sleep with the moon.”–From Mary Oliver, “Death at Wind River”


Evolution stutters.
Stuff banks up, then cartwheels suddenly.
Boys become men. A woman dies.
A red leaf spirals down.
The rain starts – did you feel a drop?
I think I did – and then we’re running
under cover. Apples ripen.

These empty streets –
are they tomorrow
or a week ago? I couldn’t say.
Sculpted skies, birds calling,
spring morphing into summer
morphing into autumn.

How much do memories cost, then?
They sink into the soil,
red ice-pops melting sticky
the ground mouth-gaping,
gulping at ersatz cherry juice.

Stuff banks up. A pushchair and a rainbow dress,
sunshine on water. Piles of books,
things fluttering through my fingers.

Wait. I scribble in a yellow notebook,
tap on a keyboard,
then a typewriter,
I paint my phrases
onto parchment, vellum,
press letters into clay,
I chisel words into the rock.

I draw a horse head
on a half-lit wall.

Tell me a story. I’m all out of words.

It’s Peter’s first night hosting at dVerse, and he’s given us an exercise in editing. You can read the details here:

I don’t do much editing. I spend a lot of time working a poem out in my head, so I think I edit before I commit anything to paper. However, I regularly write for Brendan’s earthweal prompts and I find those poems tend to be a bit more relaxed and free-form than my dVerse poems. This was originally an earthweal poem. Do check earthweal out.