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.


February – quadrille for dVerse

February fill-dyke –
hard to love
when the sky is
dish-cloth grey
and the rain
runs tumble tilt
down the lane.
and the wind is
a slap, not a kiss,
but today
the sky is
bird-song blue
and I believe
in spring.-

The De-light-ful De is hosting at dVerse, and it’s quadrille night! Our word is “kiss” . Come and play with us!

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.

Steeple – poem for dVerse

here is the church here is the steeple open the door and here are the people
praying for their souls in the scent of chrysanthemums

oh, their souls, dressed in white
crying crying crying in the corner of the world.

crying for the world.

This is my second poem for Mish’s dVerse prompt. I found myself channelling Stevie Smith, I think. Steep is the word tonight.

Steeped – quadrille for dVerse

hair coiled like ammonites
she hangs


steeped in nostalgia –
memories darkening around her,
twining smoke,

blind to the fading photograph,
the dust gathering,
the echoes scattering
like sunlight on water

my paper nautilus adrift
on the turbulent ocean

endlessly spiralling
seeking depth

Mish is hosting quadrille night at dVerse, the poets’ pub. The word is “steep” but the prices aren’t. Boom boom.

Winter – poem for dVerse

From leaf-shed
to new growth –

we are seeing out
the winter.

Sun-starved, we hanker
after light,

hoarding up pale moments
of beauty –

the scratch of twigs against
the sky,

the bleached petals of
the sunset,

the red haze growth of
witch hazel

and we yearn.

Oh, we yearn.

Lillian is hosting at dVerse tonight, asking us to shed our inhibitions, and our coats, and settle down to some writing. We are riffing on the word “shed”. Join us.