Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com

There was nothing.
Wide emptiness:
The sea, the wind,
the waves, whipped and white,
and us, small in this vastness.


Oyster catchers are calling. Wait.
They’re there, among the rounded stones,
neatly searching. And, suddenly,
an unexpected flock of plovers –
lifting – cutting through the horizontal
lines of sea and sky and strand –
flouncing and flickering –

and a herring gull dances
on the very edge of the wind;
and a curlew pauses for a second
and moves on. A cormorant spreads
black umbrella wings to dry –

this barren place is bountiful.

Sherry at earthweal asks us to write about the places that nourish our wild hearts. She’s very kindly used two of my poems in her prompt – I’m honoured and delighted – and it would seem churlish not to write a response! When I need wild, I go to the sea. I’m lucky to live close enough to get there easily. It’s always the same and always different.

I’m also posting this for Lisa’s OLN over at dVerse.



The bush with white flowers
is sometimes heavy
with the sound of bees

and the thrush
and the robin
and the blackbird
spill their song
like champagne

and even the rooks
make a comfortable sound

and children
in the playground

and the midnight bark
of the fox

and the fly insistent
against the window,
seeking light light light

and the lap of the ocean
on a shingle shore

and the green of a leaf
and a flower unfurling –

everything alive is singing
and I am singing – the blood
in my veins sings,
and my heart sings,
and my fingers sing
and the electric surges
of my nerves are songs
and the breath in my lungs
is a song is a song is a song

and I fear the silence.

Ingrid is hosting at earthweal. This is for her.


I sit and drowse by candlelight.
I dream that this, my little house
becomes a boat on seas of night,
and it’s my job to turn the prow
towards the welcome harbour lights –
by candlelight I sit and drowse.

Stay close to me, I’ll keep you warm;
my arms about you are the key
to safety from the coming storm –
your arms about me, equally
will hold me safe, away from harm:
I’ll keep you warm, stay close to me.

By candlelight we’ll sit and dream,
the stars are clear, the moon is bright,
the world is shimmering and gleams,
and all the dangers of the night
are simply stories we have seen –
we sit and dream by candlelight.

A sparrowlet for Grace at dVerse. Grace introduces us to this form, that takes this shape:







It’s quite…technical. Anyhow, head over to dVerse to see more.

Tuesday Poetics – lost

Some loves shattered
like glass. Messy. Dangerous.
And some just withered.

There are butterflies
that miss their chance to fly,
poems half-scrawled
on screwed up paper,

somewhere there’s a room
full of lost letters, murmuring
their secret stories,

phone numbers lost in pockets
that went through the wash

girls who want to wait for
one last song, boys

who never saw the car.

We step out of the underpass,
turn left, turn right. We miss
the stranger in the book shop,
the bus stop conversation.

All those might have beens.

This one slipped through
my fingers, unnoticed. Not love,
then, but something
soft, unformed, unknown –

that could have been love,
given time.

A post-Valentine’s day not-love poem for dVerse. I’m hosting tonight.

Moon story.

“What is it?” Ellie asks, knowing it’s a ball.

“It is a moon, wrapped in brown paper”, he tells her. Mama casts him a dirty look, preparing for disappointment. Yet, when Ellie pulls off that brown paper, there it is, silvery-grey, glowing, wanting to float.

Outside, the sky is dark. There are stars, but no moon.

“How did you find it?” Ellie asks.

He shrugs. “It was caught up in the ash tree. I climbed up there, prodded it with a stick, managed to catch it”.

She thinks of him, risking the thin branches at the top to bring her treasure.

Later, they climb the hill behind the house and let the moon go. Hand in hand they watch it rise, bobbing into its familiar place. She knows she will always have a bond with the moon now. Its smile will be for her.

A flash fiction for Bjorn at dVerse. We take our line from Carol Ann Duffy’s poem Valentine: “it is a moon, wrapped in brown paper”

Dark – for earthweal

Firstly, it’s not that wild,
unless wild means still and quiet –
perhaps it does. Perhaps
it means becoming water
held with care. Something like water.
Or silence, and sleep, turning away
from everything, shutting out the world.

Perhaps it means dark shapes
that form and fall away – almost visible,
or soft sounds almost heard.

Lying, suspended, somewhere
between light and dark,
between air and water
between sound and silence –

thoughtless, because thoughts
are far too formed for this
contorted space.

Brendan at earthweal asks us to think about the wild dark, the place where inspiration lies.

Remember – a shadow sonnet

Think of me, then, fondly, as you think
how the wind blows through the trees, and how
pink flowers dance on the camellia, pink
flowers clinging on there, ’til those flowers

scatter across the lawn, as life is scattered.
Dream loving dreams of me, not empty dreams,
shattered by daybreak. I will not be shattered
free as a flower loosened by the wind is free

or a bird soaring on the wind’s turn, or
light falling on the water. I am light,
laughter and love: think of me with laughter,
bright laughter. Think of me with thoughts that brighten

dark, the way the moon shines through the stormy dark.
Sparks fly upwards, upwards. Let me be a spark.

A shadow sonnet for Laura at dVerse. I found this one extremely challenging. I find it hard to keep track of sonnets anyway, and the use of the same word at the beginning and end of the line nearly broke me. Anyhow, it’s done. Head over to dVerse to find more of these.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The first snowdrops are here. They cling to the edges of the field, the way snow clings to a window frame. Like snow, they linger in the shade. They are the whitest thing I know – whiter than frost, whiter than the moon, whiter than snow itself. They are winter, and the end of winter; cold, and the promise of spring.

heads hanging
whispering secrets

A haibun for Frank at dVerse.