Over the green edge

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Come away, then,
come with me,
over the green hedge
into the mystery –

there are beaches there
of shimmering pearls,
gathered each day
by smoke-eyed girls

and a woman who’ll
weave you a golden gown
of graveyard lichen
and thistledown;

there’s a castle built
of sunset clouds,
where the music is fast,
and sweet, and loud,

and you can dance there
all night, all day,
’til you dance your
childhood dreams away –

there are market stalls
selling bags of stars,
and berries that taste
like chocolate bars,

and horses as blue
as distant mist
who’ll ride you away
for a silver kiss

and you won’t come back
the same as you are,
for the world is big,
and the sky is far –

so come away now,
come with me,
over the green edge
into infinity.

I’m hosting at dVerse tonight, and I’m showcasing the art of Mary Frances. This poem is written for one of her tiny, found landscapes. You can see more on Twitter at @maryfrancesness, and the dVerse post will give you more links to see more of her wonderful work.

Being watched by rooks.

Hard to feel alone
when you live near rooks -
observed as you leave the house,
walk up the lane,
take in the washing;
watched as you weed
or read
or call the kids in
from the field
behind the house.

They must know
the pattern of our days,
our noisy neighbours -
must mention to each other
that we are busy now,
bustling, hustling,
chatting by the car.
They know our hours,
know when we head home,
stream in, gather
from school and work,
from walking the beach,

they must see
the pathways we carve
in the air around us.

Rook revisited – Lai Nouveau for dVerse

King of the sky road,

rook takes the high road,

flies high –

black feathered, claw toed,

fate weaver, shadowed;

midnight,

even when sun glows,

he brings the dark home.

On the wire he crows,

warning of who knows

what fright?

We know what rook bodes,

death bringer, life foe,

by right

rook takes the high road,

king of the sky road.

This is a Lai Nouveau, a highly structured rhyme form, with a tight syallable count. It’s driving me insane. If you want a really good explanation check out Frank’s post here:
https://dversepoets.com/2019/05/09/more-lai-and-lai-nouveau/

This is for the dVerse Form for All prompt. It’s lai all May. Wey-hey!

Avid followers of my work will notice that this is a re-working (possibly of a re-working), and a recycling of imagery that I’ve used before. I’m interested in how the different forms change the feel of the subject matter.

Holding on – NaPoWriMo 26

“Your custom is important to us. Please hold”.

You didn’t buy milk,

So my coffee is black,

And my hair is still wet,

But I’m holding on.

“Your custom is important to us”.

Next door’s dog is barking

And you didn’t buy milk,

And I’m doodling pictures

Of cages and flowers

And I’m holding on.

“Your custom is important to us”.

That dog is still barkin

And I’m wondering where

You went off to today

With that bag on your back

And you didn’t buy milk

And the kettle’s back on

And I’m holding on.

“Your custom is important to us”.

I wonder if you

Are trying to call

But the phone is engaged

Because I’m holding on

And you never bought milk

But maybe you think

That the milk doesn’t matter?

And that dog is still barking

And my mobile is dead

And I’m drinking black coffee

And I’m holding on.

A poem of repetition for NaPoWriMo. Nearly there.

Deer

Leaving him, I was a deer –

A shy thing, wild, fearful of shadows,

Wary of sudden sound or movement.

I healed myself in the green places,

Learned my own body as a thing

Of strength and speed and beauty.

I ran. Away, at first, running from fear,

Then into myself. I ran from weakness

Into something else. A sense of being –

Back into womanhood.

Another myth-based poem for Anmol at dVerse. Irish this time – Sadhbh, wife of Fionn MacCool. The story is that the great Fionn was out hunting, and started following a doe. His dogs wouldn’t harm her, and Fionn was intrigued. He took the doe home, where she changed into a beautiful girl, Sadhbh. She’d been transformed into a deer by an evil magician. Fionn wooed and married her. Some time later, he went off warring and raiding. He appeared back, and Sadhbh ran to greet him – in fact, it was the evil magician in disguise. Sadhbh was changed back into a deer. Fionn searched the forest for her, but never found her again.

It’s a typical Irish myth – not much explanation, and part of a larger myth cycle. It’s so sad. Poor Sadhbh hasn’t a huge amount of volition in it all, but I think there’s just enough space there to imagine her inner world, and her voice, and maybe there was some freedom in being a deer? Irish women were generally more empowered in early times than most European woment seem to have been.

This is a big explanation for quite a small poem. Sorry about that.

Forgiveness – poem for dVerse

He told her he forgave her,

every day – until

the words curdled in her mouth

and scarred her skin

and she forgot the crime

and who had sinned, but knew

it must be her, for he

forgave her every day.

Frank is hosting at dVerse tonight. The theme is “blame and forgiveness”. I suspect there are some beautiful poems out there, full of glorious gentleness, but this has come out a bit bitter and twisted. Forgive me.

Venus and the God of War

Venus sways in,
waist cinched tight,
heels high,
hips tick-tocking
like a metronome

she looks at him

the God of War,
sprawled across the
cheap bedspread,
stubble-chinned and
snoring.

“Oh, honey mine”,
she croons,
letting her fingers
do a slow dance
among the hot,
damp hairs
on his hot damp
belly

“Lick me like I’m candy,
crush me till I burn”

but there’s nothing doing here.

She looks at him
with god-cold eyes,
and wonders how it came to this –

how she left her
clever-handed husband
for this bar-room brawler,

with a broken sword
and a half-dead droptop.

At the window
she looks down
at the tempting streetlights

wonders what happens next.

Gods crave worship.

We’re playing (with) computer games at dVerse tonight. I’m hosting, and I’d love to see you there.

After the storm – a poem for dVerse

My head is full of the roar of the rolling waves:
The air is full of water, all hazed with mist,
And my lungs are full of salt air and I crave
The sea, all laced with foam, with pale spindrift

The air is full of water, all hazed with mist,
The storm is gentling now along the shore,
The sea is laced with foam, with pale spindrift,
And each wave curls like a grey cat’s paw

The storm is gentling now along the shore,
The sky is white, there is no sun today,
While each wave curls like a grey cat’s paw,
The sea is blank-faced, dull, somehow opaque

The sky is white, there is no sun today,
It’s hard to say just where the ocean ends,
The sea is blank-faced, dull, somehow opaque
And all the light is pale, and cloud-softened

It’s hard to say just where the ocean ends
In the wild bleakness of the empty strand,
And all the light is pale, and cloud-softened
above the sea’s wild anger and the silent sand

In the wild bleakness of the empty strand
See the sharp- winged flight of a black-headed gull
above the sea’s wild anger, and the silent sand,
the shrill cry of the petrel, wheeling, heart full

see the sharp winged flight of a black headed gull –
my lungs are full of salt air, and I crave
the shrill cry of the petrel, wheeling, heart full –
my head is full of the roar of the rolling waves

 

Jilly inspires us to use repetition in our poetry tonight. I have a slight obsession with the pantoum – it’s such a tricky form to get to flow smoothly. So that – obviously – is what we’ve ended up with tonight.