Sometimes thinking hurts your head

Turns out a cloud’s a verb –
constantly coming into being,
and where does your skin end?
What’s the edge of anything?
Birds moult.
All these things – straight lines –
turns out they’re spirals –
things are twistier than you thought –
everything’s part of everything,
the air’s opaque,
the earth moves,
the leaves are starting to turn –
to change their colour-
time sweeps on.
There are stones in the river
sudden humps and hollows,
but we can’t see them,
and the air’s a landscape,
hills and valleys,
everything’s going all the time,
everything’s coming,
there’s no place to just stand.

A stream of consciousness for Grace at dVerse.

My midnight garden

My midnight garden
has a lavender shimmer
jasmine-flower stars –
and candles that glimmer –

see fluttering bats
and moths agleam
as the scent of roses
inspires sweet dreams –

the moon swings low
and the moon swings high
in a silver swing
made from lullabies

Victoria is back! Guest hosting at dVerse,where it’s quadrille night. Tonight we’re quadrilling about gardens.

Look out of the window

August is a dull month in this garden,
just marking time – the fade
between the flowers and the fruit

but that one corner’s still alight –
West Cork – the fuchsia and montbretia,
the red and orange, sudden shocks of fire

bright in the soft, sea-light,
rain coming in from the south-west
and the grass drabbed by summer

Peter Frankis is our host at dVerse tonight. This is the view from my window, and a poem to go with it. 

Birthday haibun

I had a lockdown birthday – like, what, a quarter of the population? More, now. I had a birthday of supermarket chocolates and flowers, of home-made cards and second-hand candles, of Zoomed-in love. It wasn’t the birthday I planned, but it was OK. It was more than OK. It was wonderful.

roses fade
green chrysanthemum
lives on

A birthday haibun for Kim at dVerse. Cake by my daughter!

Cliff walk – haiku sequence for dVerse

green shade
with one step forward
white sunlight

laughing child
small dog running
ears bouncing

“surf’s up, dad!”
this bench remembers
ocean view

small island
between golden beach
and blue horizon

white bird
waves rolling in
ocean’s pulse

I’m never sure if haiku are the easiest thing in the world, or the hardest. Frank at dVerse has asked for a sequence of them. We can count syllables, or write haiku that can be read aloud in a breath, using a short-long-short format, without a syllable count.


I should be writing about flight
and instead, I’m writing about plunging –
what does that say? About me, I mean?
But the sky is blue and the clouds are white
and the sun is slanting in a certain way
and I’m thinking about gannets –
which certainly fly, circling, circling,
but then become daggers,
no, spears, clean and sharp,
those wings tucked in – jet
becomes missile. Mad blue eyes.

I’m writing about the frenzy
of gannets, the whirl and flurry
above the water, on a blue day,
when the sea is green and the waves
are white, dancing crests,
and there are fish out there,
and the gannets come in,
circling, circling, plunging.
You can hear them from here,
like a war between air
and water, crack, crack,
each bird a bullet, a clean strike.

Laura is hosting at dVerse,and asks us to write about flight – birds, bats, seeds…I resolved not to write about rooks (again) but it was a struggle.

And here are some real gannets:

Brambling – quadrille for dVerse

You are scratched and stained,
purpled with juice
– autumn came –
and the fattest berries
hang just out of reach
or at the limit
of your stretch

and those bramble thorns
dig into your clothes
so that you have to wait
to be released

Linda is hosting quadrille night at dVerse. Forty-four words – our prompt word tonight is “bramble”.

Rook’s not my mother –

she has her own chicks to rear
to raise in the way of the
long feather
beak thrust
throat call
crowd muster

rook’s not my friend
she has her own companions

rook sees me
wide striding
earth bound
leaf plucking
not predator
not prey

she cocks her head
eyes me up
rises easy
flaps away

A rook poem, for the dVerse Open Link Night – hosted by Mish this week – and for earthweal, where Sherry is holding the fort.


The wheel turns. This heavy wheel
that we keep pushing.
Our shoulders bruise and burn,
the strong muscles
in our thighs, our bellies, ache,
but we keep pushing.
Somebody falls beside us,
someone is crushed,
but still we push.
Sometimes, some chancer
scrambles to the top,
pulls up a friend or two,
tells us the view is great.
Sometimes he stays there
for a while,
until he slips and tumbles.
We just push.
The wheel is old. Chips in the paintwork
tell us that it’s been blue,
and red, and gold.
So many colours,
so many designs,
scratched out, or faded,
painted over. It’s been ugly,
it’s been beautiful.
On we push.
The track is steep.
The sharp stones cut our feet,
dust fills our lungs.
It’s hard to look away,
but over there the grass
is green, and stretches down
to a slow flowing river,
and there the woodlands
offer shade and fruit
and the deer watch us,
wondering, but we can’t stop.
We push.

Merril is hosting dVerse poetics, and asks us to write about revolution – in any form – political, celestial, whatever.