My mate Dave has done another voice/music mash-up, this time with my poem Selkie. I actually really like this one.
The dream slipped through
like wet glass
– sunlight striping the pillow –
leaving me just the feeling
that something strange
and true had happened –
and you were there
there was a bus
or, no, a fish
and a deep colour blue
and a strange, twisted tree
that might have been a cloud,
and birds, or candy canes,
it meant so much
the feeling haunted me
I couldn’t shake it
but I couldn’t name it
Lillian is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we are dreaming dreams.
Her bare feet are cold against the kitchen floor.
She chose soft clothes today,
as if her body was a child
in need of comfort.
She held on tight – the kettle handle
smooth beneath her palm –
her clinging on, like it’s
a lifeline linking her
to planet Earth
her feet are bare against the cold kitchen floor
she closed her hands around the cup –
heat almost pain,
pain almost heat –
but nothing warms her –
she trailed her fingers
over the wooden table,
letting the faint, fine ridges
of the grain be felt
letting the texture soothe her
her cold feet bare against the kitchen floor
she chose soft clothes today,
to hold her like a mother’s arms,
Our first sunrise –
I was bubble-headed,
and London was
of spires and towers
catching us unawares
then, those weary sunrises,
creeping slowly over
the city rooftops
day begun too early
child heavy in my arms
fearful of time
I slip from our warm bed
as if I have
with the cold-fingered
who offers me
a pearling sky.
Oh, look who’s hosting at dVerse tonight – it’s me! Get over there and write some poetry.
The tablets stop my dreams
and so he stopped the tablets.
who am I,
to deny a man his dreams?
This was a tough, tough prompt for me. I’ve worked with mental illness all my life. I’ve always avoided “mining” it for material, because it seems disrespectful to the people I work with. This little comment has stayed with me for 25 years now. Thank you, Laura, for a challenging dVerse prompt.
Rook? Well, she’s never really been alone,
fledgeling sheltered by an oil-black wing,
lullabyed by the soft sounds of her own crew.
Each tree’s a mansion with a dozen rooms,
the copse a village, full of work and play,
chattering neighbours, gossip, song and dance.
Rook grabs the wind and takes it for a dance,
as if the wind was made for her alone,
storm clouds a call to her to come and play,
to open wide her midnight painted wings
and sweep across the great grey gleaming ballroom,
dancing alone, together with her crew.
Rook works her way across the meadow, with her crew,
beaks thrusting in the earth, where insects dance,
picking some delicacy out, because there’s room
in her sleek stomach. She won’t eat alone,
and if a sudden sound makes one take wing
the whole mob rises, like a team at play.
Rook flies in twos and threes, like kids at play,
a careless, restless crowd of friends, a crew,
splayed feathers, craggy beaks and tattered wings,
yet they’re the monarchy, their complex dance
is known to all of them, and them alone,
sharing the sky, giving each other room.
Rook settles in her tree-top, swaying room,
in princess in a tower, in a play,
but like some ancient queen, she’s not alone,
circled and protected by her crew,
as all around her, leaves and blossoms dance –
white petals falling on her ink-black wings.
Rook is an actress, waiting in the wings,
a black-gowned witch queen, eating up the room,
a goth girl, wearing boots that want to dance
a surfer on the wind, an ink-filled pen at play,
she’s moonlight’s sister, part of midnight’s crew,
she’s joyful in her skill, herself alone.
If I had wings, then that’s how I would play,
burst from this dead room, whirling with my crew
in one great sky dance – all together, all alone.
Another sestina. I’m starting to get a feel for this form, I think. We were supposed to use homonyms this week – I haven’t really managed that, though I’ve exploited some diffrent meanings of ‘play’ and ‘room’. You never know, there might be another chance…for dVerse.
Hope feels like a small thing at the moment – the hard green apples waiting to ripen, the half-filled pea-pods. A domestic thing. I am narrowing my gaze, because the world feels too big, too precarious, and I feel helpless.
But perhaps that’s how hope always starts – as a green shoot coming up through the burnt earth, as a child folding a paper crane.
peace comes at twilight
green things growing silently
sun rising with hope
This is a haibun for dVerse. Frank is hosting tonight. He reminds us that last year we wrote about the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. This year, he wants us to commemorate that bombing, but to write about the hope that can emerge from tragedy.
I’ve just read “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki. She mentions the fact that Japanese schoolchildren folded 1,000 origami cranes for peace after 9/11. I was moved at how this connected back to the story of Sadako, who developed leukaemia after being exposed to radiation at Hiroshima. If there is hope, it is in the hands of children.
a cool alchemy
run the tap
the faint throb
of cold fingers
on hard butter
softness of flour
are always cold
but yours melt
This turned out rather short. I wrote more, and then slashed it mercilessly. A temperature poem for dVerse.
I wonder where it is you’re going now?
Do you fly to the sun, or seek the cold?
You’ve learned to carry your own roots around
in your backpack, that one with the rainbow –
it’s fading now. That pack is growing old.
I’ve watched you fill it up, packing it tight
with clothes and books and boots and things you might
need one day. Empty, then fill it again,
because you want to, but can’t travel light.
Those heavy roots will not be cut. Your pain.
There was a dragon
in the valley, curled
like a white cat:
each scale a pearl;
each breath a cloud
of soft white silk –
’til the whole valley
was a bowl of milk –
as the sun brightens
with the coming day,
such dragons fade.
De – the wonderful WhimsyGizmo – is hosting at dVerse tonight, and here be dragons. Our quadrilles are infested with the pesky things…