Spirit of the Commons

I see you, small child running,
kid brother braving Slidey Rock,
big sister on the big swing, I see you.

I see you, ladies smock, clover,
I see you, daisies, dandelions,
I see you. I see you, fox slinking,
rabbit nibbling. I see you,
dog-walker. I see you chatting.

I see you primrose, bluebell,
dog rose, stitchwort, campion.

I see you, cider kisses
in the Mayfair twilight,
I see you, young love
looking down on Lepers’ fields.

I see you, hawthorn frothing,
cow parsley foaming. I see you,
robin, blackbird, wren.

I see you, bird cherry,
petals drifting, I see you, acorn,
I see you, careful mother,
paddling toddler. I see you,
daredevil tree-climber,
den-builder, warrior.
I see you, staggering up
Barmaid’s path, I see you

ghosts on Roman Road;
I see you, half-believing
at the holy well, tying your
rag of coloured cloth.

I see you all.

We’re really lucky in Torrington that we have an actual commons. You can read about it here: https://www.torringtoncommons.org/ It’s a half-managed bit of half-wild land that half-circles the town. Kids play there, dogs are walked there, teenagers drink cider and get stoned, old folk walk on the flat bits. It borders on the Tarka Trail, where there’s cycling and strolling, and potential otter sightings. There’s a flat field at the top where there are car boot sales and a burger van, and Mr Hocking’s ice cream in the summer, and every few years there’s a massive, mad bonfire.http://www.torrington-cavaliers.co.uk/bonfire-2020-mayflower-1620/131-about-our-bonfire-29th-august-2020. (if you bother clicking that link – the ship is the bonfire!). It’s a really important bit of the town, used by everyone. Oh, and the big swing is terrifying.

Anyhow, this poem is for earthweal.



This is what I dream of
when I dream of home – warmth
and light. To be rooted
in love. It’s what I dream of

when the world is big and cold,
when I’m afraid. When I’m alone,
and fear stalks the dark,
like a wolf, I dream of resting
in a green field, of life rising,
always rising. Of hope.

This is for Mish at dVerse. The painting is by Vika Muse, a Ukrainian artist. Mish says:

“Vika Muse” has given us permission to use any of her images for our poetic prompt this week. Below are many examples of her work. She has kindly added her thoughts and inspirations for each piece. Click to enlarge. You can find her on Instagram @get.muse She is also featured on this website http://www.inprnt.com

It is so hard to write about this art without touching on what is happening in Ukraine. I feel that’s not my story, and it would be presumptuous of me to try and dip my pen in that pain. However, we all know fear and the longing for peace.

Smug aubade

Right now, it’s just me and the blackbird
him singing, me wording. Oh, and the fresh,
new leaves on the crabapple,
wondering at the world. And the daffodils,
of course, still hanging on.
And the cherry blossom, and the celandines.

It’s morning, and the world is still
pulling the covers over its head –
except the magpie hopping down the road,
and the rook circling, and the blackbird
singing, singing, and me wording.

A slightly smug morning poem for Laura at dVerse.

I choose

I choose to sink
I choose to curl over myself, like a fox
I choose to lie in the dark
I choose deep water, I choose to hide myself down in the dim light
I choose to be wounded
I choose my wound


I choose love, always love
I choose to open my heart to the sky
I choose flight, the high circling flight of the hawk
I choose flight, the slow hum of the bee
I choose to stand on the shore, I choose the noise of the sea –
I choose to feel the wind pass through my skin

you know

I choose both
I choose light and shade
I choose stillness and movement
I choose this

I choose it all

Big time repetition – we’re looking at anaphora at dVerse. Come and join in!

She seasons to taste.

Her taste is spicy – she loves
that chilli burn, the warmth
of peppercorns. She seasons.

She likes those
rich brown flavours –

nutmeg cinnamon,
cumin cardamom

She squeezes lemons,
grates the yellow rind,
she chops the green herbs

coriander rosemary
oregano thyme
basil tarragon

she gingers, garlics,
tastes and tastes again

wonders what’s missing

A quadrille for Lisa at dVerse. Our word is “season”