Fingerprints

She dabbles her fingers
in his dreams – leaves
silvery smears on every
surface – trails his desires
behind her, like a
fox-tail robe. She smiles
the way a cat yawns,
unconscious of teeth,
no malice, nothing
personal, just that need
to toy a little.

A quadrille for De at dVerse. Our word is “dabble”

New

The first sunrise of 2021 was a smear of raspberry pink over a monochrome world that crunched under foot. We discovered a new walk, and that we have made some new friends over the last year. At the top of the hill we looked back over a landscape that we know well, made new and different by a change in perspective. I think that perspective will be the only thing that changes over the next few weeks. Our plans are blown around like so many brown leaves. We’re entering a new lockdown. It’s like we’re not moving, we’re just bobbing up and down, waiting to set sail.

new snow
old landscape
laughter

Lill is hosting at dVerse tonight. We’re at the start of a brand new year, and Lill wants us to think about new beginnings.

Quadrille – as we sink

Abide with me, they play
as the clear, cold waters rise.
Don’t let me slip away
under the midnight ice.

As the clear, cold water rise
I reach my hands to you,
under the midnight ice
where the world is sun starved blue.

Lisa is hosting at dVerse tonight, and our quadrille word is “abide”. I’m making December a month of forms, so this is an embryonic pantoum.

Seven

Seven whispers of secrets:
seven sisters hiding smiles.
Seven stars shine clear tonight,
showing us the north. And, yes,
seven swans are swimming, and
seven spinners spin their threads
spanning sky and earth and sea.

Seven x seven x seven – a second Pleiades poem for Laura at dVerse. Just to see, really. This is one of those niggly little forms that gets under your skin.

Starstruck – haibun for dVerse

During lockdown, the weather was beautiful. Long midsummer days of blue skies stretching out, full of walking and reading and lazy conversations. The nights were just as wonderful – clear skies sprinkled with stars, sagging under the weight of so many stars.

We decided to stay up late one night to watch a meteor shower. The aquariids, I think. We took the beach blanket out and lay on the lawn, snuggled in sleeping bags and Dryrobes. There was some wriggling, and some giggling, and a bit of complaining, before we all fell silent, and just watched the sky.

There’s one.

There’s one.

There’s one.

We didn’t see many meteors, it has to be said. But we did spend time outside, gazing up at the sky. The more we looked, the more stars we saw – star after star after star – the Milky Way a band of light arching over our house, reaching towards the horizon. We were very quiet.

so many stars

how could we count them?

we could only gaze.

A haibun for Kim at dVerse. Kim wants us to think about the last time we gazed at nature in awe.

Halloween Haibun!

My childhood Halloweens smelled of burnt turnip – much harder to carve a lantern from than pumpkins, but much spookier, too. They tasted of wet apples and toffee. My husband’s Halloweens were colcannon and barmbrack, and handfuls of nuts and raisins. My children had a bit of all that, over-laid with pumpkins and cheap sweets and tacky costumes.

My son was never bothered about Halloween. He doesn’t like dressing up and doesn’t like sweets. He was cajoled and coaxed along by his big sister (who knew he’d hand his booty over to her). The last costume she persuaded him into consisted of his usual clothes and a single black line drawn around his neck. “I’m the ghost of someone who had their head cut off”, he announced at every door we called at.

amber light
a hand reaches out
darkness falls

Frank is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we’re writing Halloween haibuns.

Grown up – quadrille for dVerse

My muck magnet
mud splattered
puddle stomping
jam smeared
crumb dropping
sticky fingered
paint splashing
pen scrawling
finger printing
juice spilling
boy
became
smart shirted
svelte suited
shiny shoed
smooth socked
slick haired
sparkly smiling
sweet scented
freshly shampooed
softly spoken
smooth talking
man

A quadrille is a 44 word poem. We write them at dVerse. De is hosting tonight, and our magic word is “magnet”.

Writing the wolf

I’m writing again.

I’m writing a wolf.
I write that his coat gleams like ice,
that his eyes shine like sunlight on snow.

The wolf says “no”.

I write his hunger. I write his belly
clenching against his spine,
his teeth biting down on air.

No.

I write the scent of life
clinging to leaf and twig,
a red thread running
through a labyrinth.

No.

I write the paw prints
ink on paper
the trail cutting away
to the horizon

I am drawn to writing about wolves at the moment. I don’t know why. I’m just writing it out of my system. This is for the dVerse Meet the Bar night.

I lost you

I’ve considered the shade of your lips
as they fade from rose-red to bone-white
and reached for your cold finger tips
in the depths of the shuddering night

I have cried, I have screamed, I have wept,
I have watched for the pale light of dawn,
I have dreamed that you lay there and slept,
I have woken and found you were gone

I have heard the cold song your blood sings
on wild nights, when the moon rides the clouds
and a blade is a beautiful thing
when you choose from a veil or a shroud

I have curled in a ball on the ground
I have stretched from the earth to the sky
I have searched, but I never have found,
I have lived, but I never can die.

Lucy is a guest host at dVerse tonight, and asks us to write a dark ballad.

Hold me

Weave me a blanket
of moonlight and mist,
of sea-fret and sunbeams,
to wrap me and rock me
and soothe me to sleep.
Fill me a pillow
with starlight and shadows,
with snowflakes and whispers,
to coze me and doze me.
Good night.

A little quadrille for an autumn evening. Merril is hosting at dVerse tonight, and our word is “blanket”.