My son shows me how to light a fire – Quadrille for dVerse

There are things
I’ve never done,
and this is one –
so I watch you
crouching among
rounded stones
and the sound of
water lapping –
low sounds, I think –
hands flashing, then
cupping, nursing that
tiny spark, clear flame
licking, lapping,
in the winter air.


Another spark quadrille for dVerse. One of the great joys of motherhood for me is watching my children do things I have never done, seeing them grow beyond me. It is always so exciting. 

Pebbles – a Pantoum

This is a pantoum for Jane Dougherty’s prompt on pebbles. It’s not a form I’ve come across before, and it’s a bit tricky, but I’m sure it’s good for me. Here goes:



I’m thinking now of all the time we spent,

Heads together,with the wild gulls crying,

Carefully choosing – some stayed, and some went –

And all the while, the sea sighing.


Heads together, with the wild gulls crying,

We chose one if it gave us pleasure,

And all the while, the sea sighing,

As we amassed our glittering treasure


We chose one if it gave us pleasure

We brought it home, a fragment of our past,

As we amassed our glittering treasure:

A twisting shell, a sea-worn piece of glass.


We brought it home, a fragment of our past,

When you were young, and muddy, and ran wild

A twisting shell, a sea-worn piece of glass,

A stick, a stone, all treasure to a child


When you were young, and muddy, and ran wild

Carefully choosing – some stayed and some went –

A stick, a stone, all treasure to a child:

I’m thinking now of all the time we spent.


A quadrille for Dverse

She goes breezing off
In her zephyr jacket
And her gale force shoes
Hurricane clatter of laughter
From her step stepping feet
Tripping out there into summer
Hair moving through the air
Voice twisting back
Bag swinging, making
Her own breeziness,
Her own breeze

NaPoWriMo 27 – long lines…

The challenge today was to write a poem with long lines. When I read it out loud I realised I needed a bit of a rhythm, and the long lines lured me into a bit of repetition. I can’t believe April is nearly over. I’m going to miss NaPoWriMo.

April is ending

Now we are turning our faces to summer, the glory of summer
Now April is fading and May’s nearly here, close so you could touch it –
At times, in the warmth of the sun, and out of the wind, you could touch it.
Now the buds of the hawthorn are tight baby fists in the green of the hedge,
And the goldfinch are weaving a dance like a piece of embroidery.
Now the lambs are beginning to lose their mad joy just at being alive –
The mad joy of life that’s the birthright of every young creature –
The gumshield is washed and put back in its box now the season is over,
And I’m washing out grass stains again, and I’m hanging out sheets on the line.
The gorse in the bank smells of coconut ice and says “Kiss me, oh kiss me”
And April is fading, and May is a sweet scented breeze in the field,
And summer is coming, we’re turning our faces to summer.


This was rather a special posting for me. The small primary school my kids went to had a tradition of kennings. In their final year there was a leaver’s assembly that all parents were invited to. Part of this was the class teacher reading a kenning about each child. Every child in the class wrote a line about every other child, and these were put together to form a beautiful kenning.  Each child wanted to contribute the last line, because that was always the most special. Or maybe that was just my kids? Anyhow, it was a lovely tradition.

I had always vaguely wondered where the idea came from, and now I know.


NaPoWriMo 19 – How To…

Be a Mother


First find your child.

This may be one you’ve grown yourself

Or one you’ve found.

A baby is the easiest place to start

But you can successfully mother

A toddler, a school child

Even a teenager.


If you can only find an adult,

This recipe is not suitable.

See alternatives

(Successful Adult Partnership; Mad Affair;

Supportive Friendship).


Next, prepare your heart.

Knead it to soften.

Remove all hard areas

(Retain: you may need them later).

It may bleed a little at this stage.

This is normal.




Love is the basis:

Apply liberally.

Add in a cupful of humour,

A splash of craziness,

Exactly 1 level  tablespoonful of discipline,

Plus guilt to taste (you may add more later).


Leave to develop.

Stir occasionally.

We are one body

If I don’t weep for your children

How can I weep for my own?

My heart is no greater than yours,

It is not more tender, more loving.

If I do not know your pain

How can I cry for myself?

If I do not recognise your love

How can I know my own?

My love is no brighter than yours,

The bird of  my love flies no higher,

The well of my love is no deeper,

The child of my love is not more precious.