About sarahsouthwest

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.

Early morning – minute poem for dVerse

Days when I walk in the garden,
Early morning,
When the dew clings
To all green things,

Before the sun climbs up too high,
Burning the sky,
When each leaf glows,
Each flower grows,

Then I am open to the world,
My soul unfurled,
And I glow too,
And I grow new.


Frank is minding the bar at dVerse tonight. He’s asked us to write a minute poem – 60 syllables, arranged 844 x 3, with an aabb rhyme scheme. Frank is a bit of a king of forms, so he’s setting the bar high. 


Lily – RTMM

Alice holds the lilies
across her arms, admiring
the smooth, cold curve
of them. Snow flowers,
she thinks, and shivers.

She sets them neatly
in a vase, steps back,
sighs, thinking
they were not meant for
here. This room.
They should be somewhere
white and empty,
not here, where the eye
snags on an open book,
gets tangled in a red scarf
slung across a chair back,
lingers in a half full glass –

and they’re not for her,
but for some other Alice,
calm and collected, a girl
of simple shifts, and shiny
hair. Well cut.

Alice observes the lilies,
like a message, knowing
they have made
the first crack
in the eggshell of her love.

Back on that mushroom. Today’s prompt is ‘Lily’.


From here the land rises

like a green wave, so that

perhaps we cling

like fishermen to our

small boat. Are we afraid?


~For Lillian at dVerse, who asks us to be inspired by windows. I think there is more to say on this subject, and my picture doesn’t capture the perspective at all, which is a little frustrating. 


Flicker – quadrille for dVerse

Scents flicker
as scents do
swift gesture
of honeysuckle
glimpse of

the stone
is warm
against my
bare feet

and dark wings

as the swallows

fly high,
chasing the air,
over the

Happy 6th birthday to dVerse, happy writing and adventuring. It’s open again, after a summer break, and  Grace asks us to use the word “flicker” in our quadrilles. 

Summer Time

Summer rain spills warm –

Roses hang their heads – but soon –

They will be nourished


A little summer time haiku for Heeding Haiku with Chèvrefeuille.  I’m never quite sure what I’m doing with a classical haiku, so if anyone wants to point out where I’m going wrong, I’d be very grateful. I’m here to learn and grow. 

Bread and butterfly

Alice observes the plate
of bread and butter, wondering
if this is her destiny –
to sit, in a series of comfortable
rooms, quiet and still,
sipping tea from thin china cups,
translucent as her own hand,
crumbling madeira cake, fruit cake,
victoria sponge, the bland variety
that only emphasises sameness,

and all the while
glancing under downcast lids,
sideways, out at the summer garden,
where butterflies stop and start
above the tumbling roses,
and the crisp cut shadows
lengthen imperceptibly
through the long, sleepy afternoon.

Alice observes the plate
of bread and butter, dreaming
one day of breaking out
of this chintz covered chrysalis,
where time is kept, well preserved,
in a glass cabinet – she’ll
spread her wings, gaudy and gauzy,
knock over a tea cup
in her careless haste,
leaving the gold stain
seeping across the white cloth,

and fly high, over the garden wall,
away to where smoke
smudges the horizon.


Another ride on the Magic Mushroom. I am enjoying playing with Alice. It’s an open prompt. I’d love to see what you write. 

Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill
Took a little pink pill
That sent them up to the sky

Jack crashed flat
And never got back
But Jill continued to fly

Jack used booze
To help him cruise
But Jill’s still miles away

You can try your best
But she just can’t rest
And she’ll never be able to stay.

The Tale Weaverat mindlovemisery’s menagerie is asking for modern twists on nursery rhymes. Here you are.

Running out of time

Alice is always running out of time.

Sometimes she has to run quite fast
to get there.
Sometimes she just steps, as idly
as a woman making tea,
icing a tiny cake.
Sometimes she twirls there,
dancing to a silent tune.

Mostly it’s not important,
it’s just an hour or so,
but once she stayed
outside of time, drifting there,
more than a week, and often
whole nights go by
and she has kept herself
untouched by time’s
cold fingers.

Alice is always running out of time.

It’s still all about Alice.