This is the question.

What is the purpose of your journey?
is it business, or pleasure?
is it for the purposes of strange adventure?

is your journey really necessary?
will your soul shrivel without the sight
of the great blue ocean? will you really
fade away without the touch
of the desert air?

have you travelled here before?
have you packed advisedly –
sensible boots, cloak of
invisibility, sunhat? did you
pack your dreams yourself?
or are these someone else’s cast-offs?

This is for dVerse, where Bjorn asks us to ask questions. It was inspired by Welshstream’s contribution. Welshstream is here.


Why do I write the way I do? Haibun for dVerse

As I write I explore a landscape that changes around me. Sometimes I follow narrow paths that lead me to strange and fantastical places. Sometimes I struggle to clamber over fallen rocks, looking for paths that have been shattered and hidden. I see a temple on a distant mountain, and start making my way there, but find myself distracted by a silent pool, or a particular tree. I start to walk about my garden and end up diving into an ocean wave. I want to explore what it would be like to be a tree. I want to visit a silent world of dark roots. I want to fly with rooks. I want to dance on a moonbeam. And I’d like you to be there with me.  I’ll try anything – give me a form and I’ll have a go. Give me a prompt and I’ll roll it round in my hands a few times, until it gives me a new path to venture down, a new scene to describe. I want to live a thousand lives, and take all the roads I couldn’t follow.

Evening grass is green
morning grass is pale with dew
soon there will be frost

Toni is hosting at dVerse, and wants to know why we write the way we do. I never think of myself as having a recognisable style – though I probably do. And I’ve just realised that my haiku probably says much more about me than I intended it to…but that’s poetry, isn’t it? 



…is all those white things
that I never caught –
that butterfly that danced
away across the garden,
that white cat that
stalked off, disdainful.

…is a pearl, dropped
in a tide pool – I lost it
as I looked for it – swirled
up sand and mud, hid it
from myself.

…is a white castle, on
a distant hill, but every path
I take doubles and twists,
leaving me here, alone.

…is a white rabbit
that I chase down endless
midnight tunnels.

…a diamond, that fell
from a ring I always wore.
I’ve searched for it,
but haven’t found it.

The insomniac’s cry. Another mix of metaphors for Bjorn at dVerse.

Love letters

She writes a love note
every morning.

Starts with the warm embrace
of fresh-cut bread,
all smeared with butter kisses,

adds shreds and shards
of green reflection,

then the main event – firm flesh,
or the salt mystery of cheese,
or once a week, a more exotic whisper,

tops it with red hot passion,
neatly sliced, and the sweet
memories of summer, spooned
from a glass jar.

She writes a love note
every morning,
seals it inside
a plastic envelope

she sets it by his place,
so that, at lunchtime,
when he opens it –

he’ll know she loves him.

This is for Bjorn at dVerse. It’s an idea I’ve played with before, and I’m not sure it entirely meets the brief. He wants us to develop metaphors. I guess this is an extended metaphor with little metaphors inside it…


She reigns a muddy kingdom
of frogs and slugs and snails,
where rainbows dance in sunbeams
and raindrops dance in pails.

She rides a silver rainhorse
with bells on either rein,
she rides him to the storm clouds
and then rides him back again –

she reigns a muddy kingdom
where puddles catch the skies,
her smile is bright as lightning
and there’s thunder in her eyes.


Rainy days over at dVerse...rainy but upbeat…!

Magic – for dVerse

The old magic
carried the scent of herbs,
and blood,
and woodsmoke. It furled
pale fingers round
distant hearts, coiled
its shimmering length
round lovers, twined
breath and death, into
slow darkness.

This new magic
shines and glistens,
pings and tings,
snaps. It moves fast,
electric sparks,
fizzing blue lights –
it slings itself
around the globe,
whirring into space.

We gaze, jaw-dropped,
reaching out our monkey paws,
touching the shiny,
discarding that old
smell haunted stuff,
that lizard brain stuff,
that visceral, polysensual stuff,
stretching our brains
into new conformations,
feeding our eyes

and yet, that old magic
lingers, in a whiff of
leafmould, mouth-scent
of rose, that waft of something
that takes you back
to your mother’s mirror,
a kitchen somewhere.

We are earth
water fire
we are electric
we are atomic
we are the magic.


For Paul Scribbles, at dVerse, who is asking for something magical tonight…

Between the seasons – haibun for dVerse.

We came home from Italy – all umbers and terracottas, blazing blue skies and sunshine – to a faded watercolour England. We wake with the scent of autumn in the air, but by lunchtime it’s summer again. We’re picking the first of the apples, but still cooking with courgettes, and beans – a green and purple abundance. There were swallows on the telegraph lines last night, starting to gather together, but today they were flying in a summer sky. This afternoon we saw the first starling murmuration of autumn. The crabapples are vermilion, but there are scarlet wild strawberries in the flower bed. Here and there, autumn is sprinkling reds and golds, but when I reach to pick an apple, the leaves on this tree are all green, dark, casting their individual shadows.

birds call the seasons –
apples fall for drunken wasps –
golden lantern moons


A haibun for Toni at dVerse. We are asked to write about this time between the seasons. I love autumn, but I’m not quite ready to leave summer yet – not that I have a choice about it.