That hat

After it ended, I burned the hat –

or no – I shoved it deep
into the bottom
of a black plastic bin-bag –

or no – I left it on a bench
in a park
under a tree with scarlet leaves

and I walked away
feeling the sunlight

on my head.

My god, I hated that hat by the end. This is for Mish at dVerse.

Summer afternoon

Splitting one green stalk, then

threading through the next slim stem,

making a necklace, or a crown –

white petals tipped with pink, like shells,

or sunset clouds, or fingernails;

hot sun on my neck, legs stretched – grass tickling;

somewhere nearby a bird is singing.

Quadrille night! Our word is “crown” and the prompt is by De. Get over to dVerse to read the prompt and find more poems!

West coast

The sea is blue –
as if all the blue
was made here
before the world was born

as if all the blue
flowed out of here –

summer sky
winter twilight
jay feather
gannet’s eye
old sapphires
chicory flowers

and that’s why we pause
we breathe in blue
we soak in it, float in it

we rest in it.

My offering for dVerse tonight. I’m hosting, and we’re looking at paintings by Fay Collins. Join us.

eroded coast iso400

Last light

Sunlight broke the clouds at the last
and we saw, and we rushed out to catch
the last daylight

We walked up the lane, where the trees
reach up to the sky. Stayed too long – suddenly
it was twilight

We walked back as the night pulled our coats
and the house was a black paper boat
in the moonlight

We made warmth – we pushed out the cold
with hot soup and red wine, and the gold
of the firelight

And the room that we slept in that night
was a palace of silver delight, so bright
was the starlight.

This is a compound word poem, for a prompt by Grace at dVerse. You can find the rules on her prompt post. This is a new form for me, and I always find it takes a while for me to get my head round new forms! So this is quite simple, I think.

Watching the old man.

He makes his way carefully across the waste ground, prodding with his stick as he goes. I wonder what he’s after? What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish? Ivy and bindweed and fireweed and sallow – nothing edible as far as I can see. Maybe he’s not after food. Maybe he’s a scavenger, hoping to find something useful – plastic, cloth, old tin cans? I could tell him this ground’s been picked over again and again. I could tell him to watch out, there’s danger here. Scarier things than me.

I don’t. I don’t say anything. I keep myself hidden, peer out from my hollow.

I like to hear him sing. It reminds me of being warm, and clean, and of something sweet…and milky…ah – I can’t think of it. I keep watching, keep listening, but the words won’t come.

Prosery for Mish at dVerse. 144 words of flash fiction, containing a line from a poem. Tonight’s poetry quotation is from T S Eliot: ” What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?”.

Ah, Persephone

Six months of darkness –
six months of light –
six months on the starless riverbank,
six months of throbbing music,
hip pressed to hip. Six months of black coffee,
too much vodka, and the smoky flavour
of his tongue in your mouth;
Six months in a green garden.
Six months of power, queening it
Over all those fluttering, frail souls.
Six months of daughtering.

Eat the seeds, Persephone. Eat the seeds.

I’m hosting at dVerse tonight and we are looking at the Persephone myth. Check it out!

August: haibun for dVerse

August begins and ends with a public holiday. It’s a month of dreams and disappointments.

August smells of hot fat and seaweed. It tastes of vanilla, woodsmoke and cheese sandwiches. August drips ice-cream, sits in traffic jams, laughs loudly. August plays the neon muzak in the amusement arcade, clamours like gulls, patters rain on the caravan roof. August is a pint of cider, a can of lager, a glass of pink fizz. August is Pac-a-macs and crushed crisps and village fetes and bunting and sandcastles and sun-hats and fleecies and the first blackberry and a sudden, mad dash into the sea.

grains of sand
waves roll endlessly
harvest gathered

For dVerse

Summer solstice – haibun for dVerse

The solstices suit me. I’m not balanced enough for the equinoxes – I’m drawn to long days, evenings stretching out like shadows, the scent of roses, pipistrelles flittering overhead, the rooks chattering comfortably. I love the winter solstice, too, – the early darkness, the nights of frosts and stars, the nights when the moon hurtles through cloudscapes, the call of owls.

I like coming at sunrise from the wrong direction.

I like staking a claim on night.

On this solstice day, the everything is bursting with life. June has brought roses and honeysuckle, the trees are leaf-heavy, the fields are re-growing after their first mowing, the hedgerows are frothing with elderflowers and Queen Anne’s lace, with dog roses and wild campion. It’s our moment to dance at the top of the year.

shadows stretch
I am a goddess
flower-crowned. 

A solstice haibun for Frank at dVerse.