I'm now in my early 50s. I started writing again as a way of exploring the world, and feel that over the last 2 years I have really grown as a writer. By day I work with children and young people with mental health difficulties. I juggle my own two children, my work, my writing practice, generally managing to keep all the balls up in the air.
I spell my name with an S – a stream slipping between banks of sun-dried summer grass – an apple-cheeked a, arms open, adorable. An r is a broken arch of rambling roses, red petals, russet rosehips. The second a is ample, and the h is the tail-end of a long-held sigh.
We came here when the sky was bright and watched the sun sink into fire and flames and hesitated. The tide went out, time slowed, until the moon rose. Look, we said, a road rippling and silvering the waves. and that one star, and the half-light.
A sestain for Merril’s ekphrastic prompt at dVerse. I’m writing to Peder Severin Krøyer, Summer Evening at Skagen. The Artist’s Wife and Dog by the Shore
They tell us why we’re being sent. We are misfits, troublemakers, boat-rockers. We are not wanted here. We’re not criminals – oh no – and this is not punishment. This is opportunity.
Gossip, of course, is rampant. One group thinks we’re being trained for extreme cold. One groups thinks we’re being fed birth control pills. Pink haired Jaine thinks we’re going to be saving the planet.
Me? I listen. I watch. I notice who gets the best seat, who takes the first potato, who takes the last slice of cake. Who glances at their neighbour. Who laughs too much. Because I don’t know where we’re going, but I do know that when we get there, I’m going to survive. I’m going to thrive.
A 144 word flash fiction for Jade at dVerse. Prosery is a dVerse form – 144 words including a quotation from a poem. Today, the quotation is “These are the things they don’t tell us” and the poem is “Notes on Uvalde” by Girl du Jour. You can read the poem in full in Jade’s dVerse prompt. It’s immensely powerful and very moving.
My Dad remembers fields like tapestries, embroidered with wild flowers. He remembers golds and pinks, purples and blues; and butterflies and hovering bees – the humming meadows.
Here, there are green deserts – cut and sprayed and ploughed and planted every year – rye grass, bright green and lush and dead. Wild flowers banished to the hedgerows – bees following the paths we follow, skirting the fields.
My Dad remembers cuckoos, corn buntings, tree sparrows, turtle doves. These green deserts are almost silent. Only the rooks, patrolling, and the winter fieldfare.
My Dad remembers hares hiding in the long grass of the meadows; deer stepping dainty in the twilight, a kestrel quartering the field. These green deserts are still, only the wind blowing through the lifeless grass, and the rain falling.
I’m lucky to live in a rural area where we have lush hedgerows and neglected patches of woodland. However, even here farming practices are not ideal for the environment. We visited a local garden today where they have re-created wildflower meadows. Last time I visited with my Dad he told me that was how fields were when he was young – I hadn’t realised it was so recently that we lost our traditional meadows. This is for earthweal, where we’re thinking about extremes. The uniform green fields around here ARE extreme – a massive change within living memory.
I just bought my first strawberries of the season. They smell so good. On the way home, in the warm car, I held them on my lap while my husband drove. The car filled up with that sweet strawberry scent.
We grow a few strawberries – little wild ones that self-seed round the garden – looking for them feels like a treasure hunt – and bigger ones that are lost to wildlife half the time. They’re all still white petalled flowers at the moment – not even tiny, hard, green fruit. The berries I bought were grown in a greenhouse in Herefordshire – small, artificial summers. Today, I don’t care. We’ll eat them with cream and a sprinkling of sugar, and we’ll know that summer is just around the corner. We’re teetering on the edge of it, ready to fall.
sunshine the dancing of bees ripening fruit
A haibun for Frank at dVerse. We’re considering summer…
Give me the moon, the silver moon, light my way with a silver light – let me feast on slivers of silvery cake, on silver crescents of silver lemons, floating in silver cups, on a silver tray. This morning, she burned everything – armfuls of dandelions and buttercups, bundles of letters, piles of clothes. She laughed, and told me she loves the sun – burn everything, she says, burn my poems – they’ll warm the world. Burn everything, then, but leave me this cool garden, purpled with twilight, a stream of silver winding like thread. Leave me a statue, a star; fish me a silver coin from the well, fish a white pebble from the river, pick a white lily from the lake, and give me the moon.
Lillian is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we’re compounding – or, rather, de-compounding. There are 3 compound words taken apart in here – moonlight, sunburn and starfish.
Maybe it’s that moment when you wake from sleep and the world is suddenly strange – glistening with noises that shimmer at the edge of sight – heavy with light that presses on your skin – the smell of sunshine, lemons, clockwork – that moment is the one that really matters, that changes everything
I’m hosting for Quadrille Monday at dVerse tonight – and our word is “sleep”. But I kind of had to subvert my own prompt! Come and join us, anyway. Quadrilling is fun.
The ash are late this year – bundles of sticks, rattling up into the blue sky. We search for feathery tufts. Sometimes we see them, sometimes
I’ve never known the ash so late, dark lines scraped across a billowing, pillowing world of green.
They’re dying. I hadn’t thought that this would come so quickly – imagined a slow drift of ghosts across the landscape – when I thought of it at all – not these monuments, scattered, solid, sharp-edged. No, not this memento mori, these bone branches shouting “look at me, look at me”.
Nature will fill in the gaps, and we’ll forget the avenue of chestnut trees, the stand of larch, the ash, the ash, the ash, the tree that holds the world, the tree where gods hang, waiting for wisdom.
for Brendan at earthweal. It’s full on spring here, getting ready for summer, and the ash trees are still not out. It’s very strange. Ash die-back is here, stalking our copses, and I can’t help feeling that the landscape is undergoing a radical change. It’s a small thing, and yet, it’s a big thing. The canary in the mineshaft, maybe? Ash trees are a defining part of our Devon landscape. I can list a dozen ash placenames off the top of my head.