Rook’s not my mother –

she has her own chicks to rear
to raise in the way of the
long feather
beak thrust
throat call
crowd muster

rook’s not my friend
she has her own companions

rook sees me
wide striding
earth bound
leaf plucking
not predator
not prey

she cocks her head
eyes me up
rises easy
flaps away

A rook poem, for the dVerse Open Link Night – hosted by Mish this week – and for earthweal, where Sherry is holding the fort.

That one

That bitch

elbow deep in my sweat

eating my dreams

and the dark mouth on her

chewing chewing chewing

that one

looking now

at the bones on her plate

and her sharp teeth


as she smears my blood

across the table



Mish is hosting open link night at dVerse tonight. This is for that.


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.

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.


Who would I be without books,
if I could only scrawl my name,

or not even that, just make a mark
thumb pressed in black ink,
writing a mystery, marks dancing
and empty masque on a white stage?

all those words unread, unwritten –
words I have gobbled up, plots
I have sucked dry, narratives gulped
and guzzled, and then my writing,
words scratched, scratched out,
scribbled, scrawled, scraped out of me,
words flung freely, words floating
in the air around me, waiting to be grabbed
and grappled, as if I’m catching fireflies
made of indiarubber.

What happened to all those “me”s?
Did we talk more, tell stories,
pull an audience in around the fire?
Did we carry the soul, the story,
the history of whatever people
we chanced among? Did we knead our
words into dough, cut our words
out of apples? Did we stitch stories
into samplers? Did we daydream
as we moved dust from place to place,
see plotlines moving in the flames?
Did we chant poems to the moon?
Did we pray? Did we whisper our words
into our children’s ears as they slept?

So many words. I have lost count.
More darkness than star, more grass
than flower, more sea than foam,
I have buried myself in them,
feasted on them,
vampire suckled myself on them.

For the 96

28 Years

She’s waited for years
Straining to hear his key in the lock
She waited all night
Holding the pillow, as if it would help
She sat down on the bed
Her heart did a flip in her chest
The commentary changed
The match was just starting
She was stripping the sheets from the bed,with the radio on
She went back to her work
He went out of the door with a smile
Afraid he’d miss the coach
She was fretting
He kissed her goodbye in a rush.


This is another blast from the past for dVerse OLN. It’s a backwards poem I wrote for NaPoWriMo 2016. The Hillsborough inquest has just finished, and people will be put on trial. The families have waited a long time for this. It seemed appropriate to re-post this today, with respect and sorrow.