Quadrille – as we sink

Abide with me, they play
as the clear, cold waters rise.
Don’t let me slip away
under the midnight ice.

As the clear, cold water rise
I reach my hands to you,
under the midnight ice
where the world is sun starved blue.

Lisa is hosting at dVerse tonight, and our quadrille word is “abide”. I’m making December a month of forms, so this is an embryonic pantoum.

Advent Calendar alert!

A few years ago I created an advent calendar here on WordPress, full of poets I loved. This year I’ve oomphed it up a bit, with even more poets, and a proper click on the door calendar that links it all up:

https://adventmyfriend.com/101755/da6c0e0a61/

I’ve called it an advent calendar, but it’s got elements of other Christmassy things, to. At times I felt I was hosting a party, full of poets. At times I felt I was receiving Christmas cards – especially from people a long way away. Then again, it’s a bit of a selection box – there are poets I love who I just couldn’t squeeze in. It’s a bit like my Christmas tree – there’s not much of a theme (apart from the time of year). There’s some old friends, decorations I’ve had for years – and a bit of new stuff to liven things up.

The calendar starts with a bit of last-minute shopping, takes in some wintry walks, some calls from abroad, at least one monstrous hangover, a bit of pagan magic and mysticism, – and it all ends with a very special Christmas tree.

I do hope you’ll join me, and maybe discover some new voices. This winterlude is going to be a bit different to the usual – let’s make the most of it!

Seven

Seven whispers of secrets:
seven sisters hiding smiles.
Seven stars shine clear tonight,
showing us the north. And, yes,
seven swans are swimming, and
seven spinners spin their threads
spanning sky and earth and sea.

Seven x seven x seven – a second Pleiades poem for Laura at dVerse. Just to see, really. This is one of those niggly little forms that gets under your skin.

Starstruck – haibun for dVerse

During lockdown, the weather was beautiful. Long midsummer days of blue skies stretching out, full of walking and reading and lazy conversations. The nights were just as wonderful – clear skies sprinkled with stars, sagging under the weight of so many stars.

We decided to stay up late one night to watch a meteor shower. The aquariids, I think. We took the beach blanket out and lay on the lawn, snuggled in sleeping bags and Dryrobes. There was some wriggling, and some giggling, and a bit of complaining, before we all fell silent, and just watched the sky.

There’s one.

There’s one.

There’s one.

We didn’t see many meteors, it has to be said. But we did spend time outside, gazing up at the sky. The more we looked, the more stars we saw – star after star after star – the Milky Way a band of light arching over our house, reaching towards the horizon. We were very quiet.

so many stars

how could we count them?

we could only gaze.

A haibun for Kim at dVerse. Kim wants us to think about the last time we gazed at nature in awe.

Advent Calendar

I’m really excited to be sharing the run up to Christmas with you. I’ve created a poetry advent calendar – there’ll be poems here every day from 1st December to 24th December, or if you want the full opening little doors experience, you can find it here: https://adventmyfriend.com/101755/da6c0e0a61/

I realised part of the way through that I’ve actually created a rather wonderful Christmas here. There are some winter walks, some last minute baking, some stocking fillers, some greetings from the other side of the world, and at least one whacking great hangover.

Hope to see you there!

Shopping.

Yeah, well, clothes shopping is my only vice –
you’re crazy not to buy it at that price –

you see these shoes? I have to wear them twice,
they’ll have paid for themselves, at that low price.

That red top? Yes, I’ve worn it, what, 3 times?
I got this new one – why not, at that price?

Those trousers? Well, they never fitted right –
I bought some others. Can’t believe the price.

The blue one? Washed it. Doesn’t look so nice.
I’ve just replaced it. You won’t guess the price.

This stuff is throwaway – it’s just designed
to be worn once, and tossed. Look at the price.

It’s crazy not to. You won’t pay the price –
I tell you, shopping is my only vice.

Jim Feeney is hosting at earthweal this week. He asks us to invent a fictional voice, the voice of someone who doesn’t care about climate change. There was a news article on the BBC a few months ago, showing mountains of discarded UK clothing that had been dumped in Ghana. It sickened me. I might have gone on longer, but I ran out of rhymes…

Wombwell Rainbow Ekphrastic Challenge Day 9

after the mines

TC9 Early shift

Afterwards, after the town died
in a cloud of coaldust,
and was reborn, a little more
corporate, a little less itself,
after all that, my brother met them:
big men. Men who’d wrestled
with the world, gone down
into the dark places, juggled
earth and fire and water,
strong men, proud men,
screwing the tops on lipsticks.
You have to work. Coal isn’t king.
Money rules. Cash wins everything.

Paul at the Wombwell Rainbow is doing a month long ekphrastic challenge for November. If you haven’t been over there yet, you should check it out. There’s some great poetry there. This is my poem for the image Early Shift by Terry Chipp.

Day Seven: Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for November. Artworks from Terry Chipp, Marcel Herms, MJ Saucer, P A Morbid, the inspiration for writers, Gaynor Kane, Peach Delphine, Sally O’Dowd, sonja benskin mesher, Anindita Sengupta, Liam Michael Stainsby, Helen Allison, Sarah Connor, Sarah Reeson, Holly York, Jane Dougherty, Gayle J Greenlea, Susan Darlington, Lydia Wist, Dai Fry, and myself. November 7th.

-Dr Butler by Terry Chipp -Celebrity by Marcel Herms Celebrity Dr. Butler 1979: sleazy outcastshidden by red shiftmicrophone poisedsuited and bootedmaking historyfading, obscurity -Sarah Reeson ..day 7..:: day of the dead :: so it was yet no one did anything here drew on experiencekept quietfor no onehears they are deadas deaf as a dodo *** […]

Day Seven: Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for November. Artworks from Terry Chipp, Marcel Herms, MJ Saucer, P A Morbid, the inspiration for writers, Gaynor Kane, Peach Delphine, Sally O’Dowd, sonja benskin mesher, Anindita Sengupta, Liam Michael Stainsby, Helen Allison, Sarah Connor, Sarah Reeson, Holly York, Jane Dougherty, Gayle J Greenlea, Susan Darlington, Lydia Wist, Dai Fry, and myself. November 7th.

#WorldBeesWeekend poetry and artwork challenge. Have you written published/unpublished poems about bees? Have you made an artwork about bees? Please submit by DM to my Twitter account or message me on my WordPress account. All submissions will be posted.

– `ees by Neal Zetter Bee Safe Cut eyeholes in an old bucket.Stuck an old welder’s visoron the eyeholes. Stuffed and tapedan ancient towel under the rim.Got my mate to tape welder’s glovesto my thick jacket and my wellingtonsto jogging bottoms. Put bucket on my head.Mate stuck it to my jacket. I struggledthrough the […]

#WorldBeesWeekend poetry and artwork challenge. Have you written published/unpublished poems about bees? Have you made an artwork about bees? Please submit by DM to my Twitter account or message me on my WordPress account. All submissions will be posted.