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

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.


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.

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.

August August August

Lazy August lingers by the water –
she loves the lapping of those little waves.
She’s ankle-deep now, watching
the setting sun behind the pier.
Pink shouldered, red nosed August
hands over ninety-nines and fresh fried donuts,
slips you a fiver when your mum’s not looking,
smells of vanilla, cigarettes and cider.

Patient August, sitting the car,
winding the windows down, she’s sweating,
endlessly queuing, opening crisps, pouring out coffee
from a tartan flask. She’s cracking jokes,
leading a sing-song, hot thighs sticking
to the plastic seat. Languid August
lets you run amok. She doesn’t care
your shoes are wet, your T-shirt ruined –
just grab some plasters and a wedge of cake
and head on out again –

Generous August, gathering blackberries
in a spare plastic bag, eating them
absent-mindedly, fingers stained purple –
lauging August, kiss-me-quick and squeeze-me-slow,
hiring a deck-chair, cutting sandwiches –
cheese or ham? – throwing in crisps and pop –

and under that creased skirt,
the scratch of stubbled fields,
a young fox creeping through the hedge, a hare
running and leaping wild beneath
a golden moon.

An August poem for Sanaa at dVerse

The long light of a June evening.

We came here when the sky was bright
and watched the sun sink into fire and flames
and hesitated. The tide went out, time slowed,
until the moon rose. Look, we said, a road
rippling and silvering the waves.
and that one star, and the half-light.

A sestain for Merril’s ekphrastic prompt at dVerse. I’m writing to Peder Severin Krøyer, Summer Evening at Skagen. The Artist’s Wife and Dog by the Shore


Poets love to write about the moon.

Give me the moon, the silver moon,
light my way with a silver light –
let me feast on slivers of silvery cake,
on silver crescents of silver lemons,
floating in silver cups, on a silver tray.
This morning, she burned everything –
armfuls of dandelions and buttercups,
bundles of letters, piles of clothes.
She laughed, and told me she loves the sun –
burn everything, she says, burn my poems –
they’ll warm the world. Burn everything, then,
but leave me this cool garden, purpled
with twilight, a stream of silver winding
like thread. Leave me a statue, a star;
fish me a silver coin from the well,
fish a white pebble from the river,
pick a white lily from the lake,
and give me the moon.

Lillian is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we’re compounding – or, rather, de-compounding. There are 3 compound words taken apart in here – moonlight, sunburn and starfish.


This is what I dream of
when I dream of home – warmth
and light. To be rooted
in love. It’s what I dream of

when the world is big and cold,
when I’m afraid. When I’m alone,
and fear stalks the dark,
like a wolf, I dream of resting
in a green field, of life rising,
always rising. Of hope.

This is for Mish at dVerse. The painting is by Vika Muse, a Ukrainian artist. Mish says:

“Vika Muse” has given us permission to use any of her images for our poetic prompt this week. Below are many examples of her work. She has kindly added her thoughts and inspirations for each piece. Click to enlarge. You can find her on Instagram @get.muse She is also featured on this website http://www.inprnt.com

It is so hard to write about this art without touching on what is happening in Ukraine. I feel that’s not my story, and it would be presumptuous of me to try and dip my pen in that pain. However, we all know fear and the longing for peace.