What is good?

I went out one day to look for Good,
found a red vixen, killing
to feed her cub, a magpie
mourning a dead fledgeling; the sky
heavy with rainclouds, spilling
life on the parched ground where I stood.

A sestain again – I’m trying to make this form and rhyme scheme an instinctive way of thinking. This is a second one for dVerse, where our theme is Good and Evil.


Everything changes: the Good Queen
becomes the Wicked Witch. The grey wolf
gobbles up the moon, the moon
destroys the wolf. Take one step sideways
and the monster is a frightened child.
We, who are dazzled by the sun,
are scared of shadows. We forgive
ourselves, condemn ourselves,
spiralling round the truth, walking
the labyrinth, flickering between
light and dark. Nothing is distinct –
stars sparkle in the night, and clouds
cast shadows on the corn field.

For dVerse

September haibun

New Year doesn’t make sense to me. It’s the middle of winter – I want to hibernate, not make resolutions about eating kale and cutting down on cake.

For me, September is the new year. A time to pick myself up after a lazy summer. A time for new shoes, new notebooks,new agendas. A time for walking briskly. That slight edge in the mornings wakes me up, energises me. I’m ready to sharpen my pencils and get to work.

autumn scents
wood smoke, apples, leaves,
pencil shavings

A haibun for dVerse, where our theme is September. Thank you to Xenia for this lovely prompt.

When she cooks

Alone in her saffron coloured kitchen
she mixes up sugary dreams for us all:
ginger-bread horses with lemony manes,
cinnamon soldiers with peppermint canes.
and the sweet sticky scents roll out, down the hall,
and we smile at the smell of her witching.

A spicy poem for dVerse tonight, where Merril is hosting. I’m having fun with this sestain form at the moment.

The wedding

“My wife and I”, he said,
and everybody cheered.
After, we gathered round them –
“You’re punching, mate”
somebody said, “You’re punching”

and, smiling
he acknowledge it,
accepted it. Embraced it –

and she moved closer, nestling
in his circling arms, bird to his bear:
a small boat resting
in safe harbour.

a quadrille for dVerse – 44 words including tonight’s word: punch


This is something like redemption – this bright
shattering and shimmering. Each bird
is something like an angel, and together
they are light carved into feather,
light made into storm, or wind-caught wave. Light stirred,
made into something solid. Living light.

An ekphrastic poem inspired by this wonderful image by Lee Madgwick. I’m hosting at dVerse tonight, and there are more images and links to poems to inspire you there.


On the screen, tiny people walk to and fro along winding paths. A girl in pink pauses by the lake. A dog runs after a ball.

I’d like to be there. I’d like to sit under the cherry tree; to dig my fingers into the rich earth. I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace; to pick the roses that smell of home; hear a robin singing.

I can’t, of course. I can only watch. The simulation’s different every time. Tomorrow the girl in pink may bring a kite. A child may place a toy boat on the pond. A different dog may sniff a tree trunk. I watch every day, remembering the time when we took all this for granted – grass, flowers, the sound of birds, the smell of alyssum. The time before we lost it all.

A piece of prosery for Sanaa at dVerse: 144 words of flash fiction, incorporating a quotation from a poem. Tonight Sanaa’s given us a line by Katherine Reigel: I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace

Ice and flame

By the time the moon rose, its clear light
freezing, like a veil of ice, in that moment, our
passion was the only warm thing there. It burned.
At our first touch, the world itself flared, turned
its gaze on us – seeking out that fierce, hot power
blossoming between us, wild and brave and bright.

For Laura at dVerse, who invites us to take a line from a “kissing” poem, place it vertically, and make a poem from it. She also invited us to use a form – I’ve gone with a sestain, with a rhyme scheme ABCCBA, just because I like it. I chose the line “by freezing passion at its blossoming” from Neil Carpathios’ poem “The Kiss”. If this doesn’t make sense, check out Laura’s explanation over at dVerse.

At the restaurant

We were young, and drunk
on our own loveliness,
on being alive, and by the water,
and the sun shining on the water,
and bright champagne
glittering in the sunlight

and we ate everything –
I don’t remember anything –
but we ate everything,
relishing every mouthful,
the last to leave,
relishing every moment,
and the sun shining on the water.

For Merril at dVerse – a restaurant poem.