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.

Dirt – rubaiyat for dVerse

Who would have thought that so much dust could gather

On every surface? Its like Miss Haversham

Lives here. Cobwebs form lacy curtains,

Grey dust accumulates. Life unravels.

Me, I prefer to deal with living dirt –

Wet footprints, slick with the good earth,

Spilt juice, sweet and sticky, laking

Across the table’s stripped pine desert

And I love silence, but I love the clatter

Of feet on stairs, hard debate, easy chatter,

And the hot beat of the music that you play,

That matters so much, and yet doesn’t matter.

This is (probably) my last rubaiyat for this month’s form challenge. I’m linking it to the original rubaiyat post from Frank, and to Jilly’s post on imagery in the rubaiyat.


Venus and the God of War

Venus sways in,
waist cinched tight,
heels high,
hips tick-tocking
like a metronome

she looks at him

the God of War,
sprawled across the
cheap bedspread,
stubble-chinned and

“Oh, honey mine”,
she croons,
letting her fingers
do a slow dance
among the hot,
damp hairs
on his hot damp

“Lick me like I’m candy,
crush me till I burn”

but there’s nothing doing here.

She looks at him
with god-cold eyes,
and wonders how it came to this –

how she left her
clever-handed husband
for this bar-room brawler,

with a broken sword
and a half-dead droptop.

At the window
she looks down
at the tempting streetlights

wonders what happens next.

Gods crave worship.

We’re playing (with) computer games at dVerse tonight. I’m hosting, and I’d love to see you there.

Invisible roses – poem for dVerse

He bought her invisible roses –
filled her arms with them –
petals insistent against her skin –
piled them round her –
petals feathering against her lips –
and the smell of them –
deep as wine –
heaped them in great drifts –
until she sank beneath the weight of them

Merril is hosting dVerse tonight, and we are asked to think about all things invisible.

Solitude – haibun for dVerse

Early morning is my time. In the winter you’ll find me curled on the sofa, drinking tea and scribbling a list or a poem. In summer I may slip outside to water the garden or just breathe deeply. Solitude slips away so easily, lost in the clatter and chatter of the day. I don’t mind – I’ll find it again tomorrow.

oak tree in winter

bare branches twist to the sky

in spring leaves return

A haibun on solitude for Kim at dVerse.

Safe at home – rubaiyat for dVerse

Today the sky’s a pigeon’s wing,

Or any pearly, shimmering thing;

This house a smooth and curving nest,

Where I am curled and sheltering.

The hill’s a tumbling, green wave’s crest,

Tossed by some rough and wild tempest,

This house a sturdy little boat,

That’s sailing to the sunset west.

Last night I got up when I woke,

Shared the moon’s gaze – we neither spoke –

This house a lantern held in midnight’s hand,

Sheltered from storm by her dark velvet cloak.

My second offering for Frank’s rubaiyat collection at dVerse. I’m struggling a bit with this form. The last two lines are a slightly different length, but I think that adds finality. It’s a linked rubaiyat – aaba bbcb ccdc. Also, wordpress is playing nicely and I can’t get the spacing right, which makes it look a bit less rubaiyat-y. Go and check out the rest at dVerse – some people are flying with this form.

Winter rooks – rubaiyat for dVerse

I watch a crowd of rooks go by –
black cut-outs on a paper sky –
“They’re looking out for food”, I say.
They’re waiting for something to die.

We feed the pretty garden crew;
the blue tit and the blackbird, too,
but rooks are harbingers of death,
and no-one wants to give them food.

But me, I like their clever eyes,
head cocked, to keep you in their sight,
their feathers – scattered midnight flakes –
their casual, skilful, human flight.

This is my first offering for the dVerse form exploration this month. Frank introduces the rubaiyat – most famous in the western world for the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – lushly decadently romantic stuff. I hadn’t realised Robert Frost had played with the form too.

What I found last month, with the sonnet, was that my first offering was quite tum-ti-tum, but it got the feel of the form into my head, and once that was there things got deeper and richer. I had to work on the structure becoming part of my thought process, and then I could work with it more naturally. I’ll be interested to see if that happens again this month.

As usual, all (constructive?) criticism is welcome. That’s how I grow.

And do go over to dVerse and see what’s happening. A huge range of poets, from beginners to old lags, a huge variety of style, and lots of talent.

Also, I just discovered that “rooks” is one of my tags. I know I have a slight obsession with them, but even so…

Storm – poem for dVerse

It began with a silence

a silence I hardly heard,
lost in all the silences,
lost in all the noises of the world

and then the first drops
whispered on my skin
so soft I hardly felt them

left me staring
at the dust dry earth
wondering what I knew

and then



I’m hosting at dVerse tonight! I’m asking people to think about harbingers, beginnings, the way things can start almost without us realising it. Do join in.

behind the door – twiglet poem

There is always something      …….                       (but what?)

behind the door

or scrabbling between the floor …… (polished wood…)

and the …. ceiling

and I never quite catch it

it moves quickly …. (that’s what scares me)

darting from dark to …. dark

half formed shadow …. ( eyes)

but I hear it. …. Oh, I hear it.

a twiglet for Misky