Jazz – for dVerse

sometimes i like the sound of the sax

coiling like smoke round my


swinging along to the sound of the


of the drum that sits at the back of the tune

that wanders around like a drunk in the


of the room where we sit and the beer

is cold and there’s steam on the


and the walls are wet with the sweat

of the people who dance to the


of the drum that sits at the back of the tune

that boogies around like a bride in a bar

where the people are watching and nodding

and tapping and nobody’s thinking of anything much

or stressing or shouting or moaning or groaning

just tapping their fingers and nodding their feet

to the beat

of the drum that sits at the back of the tune

owning the room and the moon and the mood

of the tune

that flitters around like a bat in the night

and is here and is there

and is never quite where

you expect it to be.


Bjorn introduces Amaya, guest host at the dVerse bar tonight. They are looking for jazz, man. Hmm. Mellow. 

Not sure I’ve quite achieved it but there you go.


Cat boy cat

Watching you fighting
I am amazed at
your tenacious grip,
and that slippery twist
of hip, and shoulder,
that keeps you standing.
Even when you fall
you seem to come down
on your feet.

Hard to believe
this is the same you
that sprawls soft on the sofa,
all liquid limbs;
that spends hours
watching something shiny,
chasing some fleck of light.

And, yes, you are affectionate,
curling warm beside me,
but I know that left alone
you’d survive, somehow,
and that sometimes
the forest calls you.


This is for Kim at dVerse, who is asking us to write about a person as if they are an animal, or an animal as if they are a person. I’m not entirely sure which way round I’ve done it! I feel I should clarify that my son does judo, so it’s not just random fighting we’re talking about. It’s a funny sport. You watch kids turning on their fight head, and then sitting chatting with the kid they’ve just been battling with a few minutes later.

Up and away – dVerse

Up and away
I want to fly away with you
Up and away
This world is dull, and tired, and grey
But with a bunch of bright balloons
We can take a rainbow honeymoon
Up and away

A rondelet. I don’t know what’s come over me. The image was found by Lillian over at dVerse. She found it on Pixabay, and is pondering graffiti art, as she plans what sounds like an amazing trip. It’s cold and dark and damp here, and I’m feeling a little bit jealous, so I’ve gone for something light and bright and fluffy to cheer myself up. My explanation is now far longer than my poem, so perhaps I should shut up!

Owl – haibun for dVerse

Some nights the stars feel very close. Tonight they are impossibly distant, hung high in the dark sky. The moon is a silver sickle, and there is frost coming. The call of the owl makes me pause, and cock my head to listen again. She is part of this chill night – the soundtrack to winter.

We don’t see her often, though we hear her. Sometimes she swoops ahead of us down the lane, massive and silent. Once we found the imprint where her wings had kissed the snow as she plunged her sharp talons into some small mammal. The spring this year was mild and dry, so our owl will eat well this winter.

Flower faced sister
Swooping silent bringing death
Calling frost and stars



Victoria is playing host at dVerse this chilly winter night – here in the North, anyway. She’s asked us to consider the owl, very much part of my winter nights here in the back end of beyond. If you’re wondering why the owl has a flower face, look here. 

Kick – quadrille for dVerse

Back in the day

You were my astronaut baby

And I was your universe

And part of me thought

I would always be able to

Keep you safe,

But, of course,

Even then you kicked

And pushed against the world,

Seeking to be free.

It’s a special day at dVerse – Quadrille #44 – those poets who use all the words will be stretched to the limit! De is keeping bar at the poets’ pub tonight, and asks us to write a poem in 44 words – no more, no less – including the word “kick”. 


I am the last of the three
and the power in me
is the power of time
that crumbles all,
the power of root,
that carves all,
the power of wind,
that wears all.

I will walk through
the dark of the year,
and you will hear
my footsteps echo
on hard ground,
and my words will
whisper in the whirling wind.

I am the last of the three,
the one who bears
the winding sheet,
the one who stands
in the doorway,
and my strength is
the strength of the
tree enduring,
the fire burning,
the storm raging,
the night consuming.

Happy Samhain, Halloween, Day of the Dead, whatever. Bjorn has asked us to write from the point of view of a monster. I’m paying tribute to the third, and darkest, aspect of the triple goddess – the Crone. Hard to love a crone.

Head over to dVerse for some spooky Halloweeny poetry…

Kindness – haibun for dVerse

I watch you supporting your  mother with strong, gentle hands. You’ve thought about this restaurant, you’ve chosen a place where we can manoeuvre the wheelchair easily, where she’ll like the food, where she can look out over the sea and a place she came as a child. It’s lovely here. The sun is shining, the autumn leaves are red and gold against the blue sky. After lunch we wheel your mother down to the seafront, and buy soft, white ice-cream, and she talks about her memories of coming here as a young girl. I watch you listening to her, and I love you for your kindness.

Leaves dance against blue
Sun sparkles on blue water
Remember summer