All evening, she circled the pool
of light and conversation. I watched her,
or at least, I noticed her,
from time to time, darting,
sparkling. She bubbled
like prosecco bubbles.
She dragonflied around the room,
one moment here, one moment there,
a flash of something, an energy –
taking her prey so swiftly
that it almost felt like love.

I’m hosting dVerse tonight, and we’re looking at animal verbs.


Hunting for stars

Image by Erik Johansson https://www.erikjo.com/work

All those years I spent
looking upwards, seeking out
the stars. Searching for them.
I grew old, not realising
stars were blooming
all around me.

I could have gathered them,
held them like a child
holds a smooth stone,
piled them in buckets.
i could have marvelled
at them, but I chose
to chase the lights
that were so far away –

I wonder now
if they were ever stars?

Mish is hosting at dVerse tonight, and gives us some amazing pictures from surreal photographer Erik Johansson to inspire ekphrastic poems. Do check this out – the pictures are fantastic and I think they will generate some great poems.

Mole’s lullaby

Hush now, my child, and listen to the dark:
it’s soft as velvet, soft as midnight fur.
We’re safe here, curled in our small ark.
The beetle’s scurry, and the earthworm’s shirr
promise us supper. We’ll eat well tonight –
the crunch of shell, the slip of skin on tongue.
Your teeth are made to snap and bite
and you’re a mighty hunter, though you’re young
and the dark knows you, like a mother does
and nurtures you. What is there you could need?
Up there, the world is bright, and chime and buzz,
down here is quiet and comfort, sleep and feed.
Your teeth are sharp, like tiny crescent moons:
you are night’s baby, cradled and cocooned.

For Kim at dVerse: a poem about an animal that makes a home for itself. I went for a sonnet about moles. Don’t ask me why.

If you like this poem, you might be interested in my first chapbook, The Crow Gods, available from Sidhe Press. The launch is this Friday – tickets are free from Eventbrite.

Learning Spanish

Yellowness is intrinsic to the lemon.

Me, I’m sometimes happy.
sometimes sad. You’re
always young and fair. You’re kind.

The door is open sometimes,
sometimes closed. I’m sometimes here.
Sometimes I’m there. I may be tired,
emotional; I’m always elegant.

This rose is always red. It’s beautiful.

The lemon is sweetness, sourness,
yellowness. That’s what a lemon is.

Inspired by my own dVerse prompt, and by Duolingo! Come and join in.


My father’s eyes
came from his mother –
not handed down,
father to son. My brother’s
eyes are blue, and mine are, too.
My father’s eyes are brown.

My daddy’s hands
came from his mother.
He passed them on to us –
big knuckles, broad
working hands.

My dad can’t sing,
but he’s a raconteur –
my brother, too –
but I can’t tell a joke.
Nor can my mum.

That’s how things go.

For Punam at dVerse. A poem with four fathery song titles incorporated. Can you spot them?

My father’s eyes: Eric Clapton

Father to son: Queen

Daddy’s hands: Holly Dunn

I was not lost

Looking back, I was never there –
not in that room, that bed,
that body.
I was not lost.
I was too heavy – I was sunk
down in the dark, where the light
runs slow.
Blue shafts of sunlight
filtering down – my eyelids
barely touched –
my skin too heavy,
all my bones, too heavy.
I was not lost,
just deep, sleeping my dark sleep,
dreaming my dark dreams.

For Merril at dVerse, who gives us a list of podcast titles, and asks us to incorporate two of them into a poem. Here’s the list:

Articles of Interest: American Ivy

I Was Never There

Legacy of Speed

Not Lost


Reveal: After Ayotzinapa

Rumble Strip


This American Life

Ghost in the Burbs


There’s something brave about them,
flapping in the wind, but holding on –
reflections gleaming on wet tarmac –
the double dark of street and sky.

Gallant, I think. Old fashioned words
for something bold and charming –
even though I know the man
who hung them there, and he’s

not dashing. Not a man to bow
and ask you if your card is full.
Just one quadrille?

But something in him craves
these twinkling lights, so small,
so delicate. So brave. They keep faith
through all the darkest nights. They shine.

I’m hosting at dVerse tonight. The lights are on! Check us out.

My winter

My love is winter –
oh, the paleness of his skin,
and his eyes like January.

My love is winter.
He has built a home for me,
of storms and hail,
the winter things.

My love is winter –
he has carved
roses from snow,
lilies from ice –
a garden made
of hints and glints
of light.

My love is winter.
He has set me dreaming,
his hands so cold they burn,

my heart a lantern
trapped under ice.

A bit of wintry romance and whimsy for Lill at dVerse. She’s given us some song titles to choose from and incorporate into our poems. Can you spot them?

My Love Is Winter (The Smashing Pumpkins Oceania)
Roses from Snow (Emmylou Harris)
Trapped Under Ice (Metallica)
Winter Things (Ariana Grande)

I could have called this ” A Winter’s Tale”, I guess.

Hunters. Moon.

Orion strides across the sky,
chasing a golden moon. His children
are out hunting – owl holds still,
listening: the world a syncope of heartbeats;
fox slinks smoothly through a pewter world
overlaid with multi-coloured stinks
and weasel dreams of nut-plump fieldmice –
all the world is glimmering and rustling,
feasting before the winter starves us all.

We’re writing moon poems at dVerse tonight. I’m hosting. Come and have a look.