I saw a blue butterfly,
up where the grass is dust grey:
wings blue as the summer sky,
as day starts to fade away,
blue as a young lover’s sigh,
as love starts to drift away,
careless as a butterfly.


For Frank at dVerse – a septet. This particular one rhymes (!) and has seven syllables in each of its seven lines. This is the last of the week’s “7” prompts for the 7th Anniversary of dVerse. You know, where the poets are. 


Wrath and Patience


Patience makes a great risotto,

sits reading quietly in the waiting room,

she practices her mindfulness, breathes deeply,

tolerates all those little trials of life.

Patience has placed her cool hand on  my arm

often, reminding me I move too fast,

Hurtle through life, unheeding.

Wrath’s a stormy lover, ripping photos,

tearing up letters, pressing “send” too soon.

he’s let me down so many times,

then turned up suddenly, palming

a tight wrap of adrenaline – white flame

surging gloriously, forcing me 

up to my feet, fiercely righteous.

We are still celebrating 7 years of the very wonderful dVerse. Amaya has prompted us with the 7 Deadly Sins, and their counterparts, the 7 Heavenly Virtues. I’ve chosen two of them – Patience and Wrath. Both are good friends of mine. Patience is a virtue, but she hasn’t always been right. Wrath is a sin, but he hasn’t always been wrong, either. Here they are.


Summertime itch

My feet are office carpet itchy,
my eyes are screen stare scritchy –
I think I’ve got an allergy to inside space:
I need to feel the sunshine on my face –
summer lightning fizzing on my skin
I’m just waiting for the weekend to begin.

And – dVerse is back! Seven years of prompts, sharing and poetic community. Today’s prompt is, appropriately, itch. Grace is hosting tonight, and I’m itching to get over there.  


movement obscures the form
the light on the water dazzles us
we can’t quite see

we peer and probe
seeking always seeking
as if there is some power
in depth

as if that surface glitter
is not enough

maybe movement is all there is –

the fine oscillation
of atoms, more space
than substance –

energy transmitted and transforming,
the slow drift
into entropy

flames dancing on the surface
of the universe

 “It is life’s work to recognize the mystery of the obvious”
Jim Harrison ~ Songs of Unreason


It finally arrived – the last day of Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason project. It’s going to be strange without the daily wrestle with Jim Harrison’s gnomic sentences. Thank you, Jilly, for bringing this to us. 

It’s too hot to poet much tonight. We hit 31 degrees today – unheard of in this green and pleasant land! – so this is my offering for dVerse’s open link night as well.

Solstice pilgrim

This, then, is her solstice pilgrimage,
this six monthly walk, down this too long corridor,
ticking off letters, – M is for Women’s Health,
P is for Medical Photography
Q is for X-ray and Imaging.

She’s here in the long days of summer,
when the windows are open in this small room,
letting in voices and slow moving air,

and again in the short dark winter days
when there’s not enough light to spare,
not enough warmth to go around –

stripped of power, clothing, efficacy –
she has a name-tag in her bag, out there
she’s someone, here she repeats her name,
address, date of birth at each desk –

Open Sesame

– and she’s touched gently, probed by soft, kind hands,
that press and smooth her skin,
searching for the death that bubbles under it.


And there you go – Day 26 of Jilly’s 28 days of unreason challenge. I’m going to make a confession now: I haven’t read any Jim Harrison apart from the quotations put up here. I will, but I wanted to do this challenge without any preconceptions about his work, and just take each quotation on its own terms. It’s been a great series of prompts. I can’t believe we only have two to go. 

And here’s the quotation:

“There is a human wildness held beneath the skin that finds all barriers brutishly unbearable”   from Songs of Unreason


I’m also linking it up to tonight’s dVerse prompt – opposites attract, posted by Lillian. She asks us to write a poem including some opposites as contrasts. I’ve used the two solstices here.


I don’t give advice –
that’s not my job –
you wouldn’t listen to it, anyway –
you know, deep down,
what the truth is, what the answers are.

Be kind.

I’m not wise, I make mistakes,
the only thing I know
is that you might as well
take pleasure in small things –
there are so many of them –
pay attention as you pass.

Be kind.

I mess things up. I blurt
things out – I lose my temper,
I take this one bend really badly
every time. You’d think I’d learn.
I don’t have much advice, but
Eat your greens, and

just be kind.


So, Mish at dVerse asks us to write a poem of advice, maybe to our younger self. What have we learned over the years? What wisdom would we pass on? 

Freedom – haibun for dVerse

We can’t ever be free.

I have moments of feeling free: absolutely, totally free. They are moments when I forget myself, when I’m completely caught up in something bigger, wilder, more elemental than myself. They are the moments when I walk out of work, walk out of my life. They don’t last. I wouldn’t want them to.

The important things are the ties that bind you. They may chafe and irritate, but they are the things that make us people, make us human. Love, friendship, parenting, family – that complex web of threads that hold us in place. If we cut all of them, what would we be? Somewhere on the other side of freedom, I think. Somewhere dark, and silent, and lonely.

wind on the water
bird flying over the trees
nestlings call for food


Bjorn asks us to haibun on freedom for the dVerse Monday night prompt. 

All the things that are not

There’s no man on the moon,
just dust and junk; no fairy takes
your lost tooth; Santa’s just a man
in a fake beard and fluffy suit.
There are no unicorns or dragons,
no elves, no goblins lurking
in the back of caves. We make up stories,
look for patterns, turn them into reasons.

The world’s not safe. The ocean
isn’t gentle, though it sometimes
gentles, but it’s always powerful,
too powerful to tame. The sunlight
doesn’t care if it falls on my skin,
or on the pavement, or the lawn,
the rain doesn’t observe me.
The earth’s not kind. The earth just is,
and everything I plant grows – or not –
by some rule of its own. I witness it.
The world’s not cruel, either.
There is kindness – hands reach out,
we are more joined than we are separated,
and that’s what people are – humans can’t grow
in isolation, we seek warmth, give comfort,
tell our stories huddled round the fire.


I’m not sure I can tell you
who I am today. On Monday
I was the chair, I had a role,
and yesterday I was consulted,
but today, I’m just being.

Do you remember the botanical garden,
and the waiting for the phone call?
Walking gravel paths, suspended
in that strange bubble.

Last week I was barefoot on the sand,
on Sunday I was swimming by 9,
tomorrow I’ll be driving
but today, I’m just drifting.

Do you remember the village hall,
and the sudden panic,
and the way we danced
in that golden bubble?

Three years ago I was sliced,
spliced, diced again,
in three years time, who knows?
Today, I’m just existing.

Do you remember the snow?
That great green meteor?
The dogs running? You pulling me
into that dawnlit bubble?


For Amaya at dVerse, who asks us to “get personal”.