Poem. Or not. A quadrille for dVerse.

I’m not writing you a poem.

Don’t even ask me to.

I’m not scheming a
rhyme pattern,
and I’m not

not scanning, not
alliterating, and
not doing that
enjambment thing

that you go on about.



Victoria at dVerse is asking us to quadrille a poem poem tonight. I’m not. 


NaPoWriMo 20 – the sporty one


Simon says “Rei” and they all bow –
that breaks the silence, and the line,
and suddenly the dojo’s full of movement –
kids circling, looking for their zoris,
gis flapping white. Most are flocking
to their mums, but over there
two boys are grappling, practising
ran dori, and I hear talk of uchi mata, uchi komi.
One girl is cartwheeling across the tatame,
Revelling in her arms’ strength,
swinging a circle, and then landing,
bringing her feet down solid on the mat.

Out west, gannets are circling,
wings flashing white, weaving
above the waves. They swoop and dart,
Make sudden plunges – knives
through the water. I hear them calling,
and I think they must be joyful,
revelling in their wings, testing their strength
against the water and the wind.

NaPoWriMo asks us for a poem that uses sporting terms. My son is a judoka, so this is for him. 

Impression – for dVerse

Star bear
Swinging low
Honey smear
Silver sky
Jasmine scented
Air weighted

Your eyes

Your throat

Candle flame
Flickers warm
Light fingers touch
One rose
Red lipped

Your mouth
Shining lantern
Your lips

Grapes roll silently spilling from a blue dish rolling across the white cloth casting soft shadows lavender lilac violet in the dim room rolling across the white cloth that is itself a sheet of paper snow fall the skin of your inner arm now a flurry of cherry blossom apple blossom almond blossom

My glass is full
Dark wine
Red lipped
Rose held
In the curve
my hand

Your skin

Your cheek

Weighted air
Scented jasmine
Smear honey
Sky silver
Low swinging
Bear star


Bjorn has set us an artistic challenge for Meet the Bar at dVerse. This is my attempt at Impressionism. 

DIY building – for dVerse.

Beach house

We made a shelter on the beach that day –
do you remember? We walked the shoreline,
gathering driftwood, sea-smoothed, set it
just so, here and not there, building
our sea-shack. The undulations
of the wood let in the bleached
ocean light, and the shadows were knife cut.

Your gannet eyes peered through the cracks.

We sat, backs to the dunes, watching the sea,
the waves forming and folding. We ate yellow cake,
drank hot sweet coffee, warmed our cold hands,

until the tide turned, and the sea came in,
and we wound our way homeward through the dunes,

leaving our shelter for the waves to play with.

Sara McNulty has painted the bar purple, and is looking for poems about our dream homes. This isn’t quite that, but there may be something else later, so it will have to do for now. DVerse, always lives up to its name. Check it out. 

Suburbs for dVerse

One summer afternoon,
we girls
made a daisy chain,
that stretched the whole way
up the avenue –
we plundered the rectangles of grass
set between each driveway,
cleared them of daisies,
split each stalk carefully
with greening thumbnails,
threaded the next flower through.

It was hot.

And quiet enough
that no dads came home
from their alien offices
to drive over our precious
garland. No mums called
us in for tea – hard boiled eggs
and sliced tomatoes, and
soft lettuce, summer teatime.

The boys rode bikes
up and down the tarmac.
I think they were impressed:

we chained the whole avenue
that afternoon, not thinking
we would find ourselves chained
one day, sitting in our
pretty bedrooms, dreaming
of teenage dirt.

This is a suburban poem written for Oloriel over at dVerse.

Drunken Rooks – for dVerse

This old bitch earth
is still holding out on us –
and yet you sky dance
sozzled. Three sheets,
two wings, one black beak,
giving it all to the wind.

I think you’re whiskey
sipping death, taking it neat,
straight up. What else is there?
Carrion on the rocks,
roadkill chaser. I see you
hanging round the edges,

I’m not blaming you.
I’m just reminding me
that my sky tumblers
are resourceful. Always there

for the last call.

Many paths

Which way to go?
I wonder which path I should take?
Which way to go?
The great silent trees do not know
What difference each path could make –
Love, joy, sadness, riches, heartache –
Which way to go?


Last year I did a regular poetry challenge offered by Jane Dougherty. She encouraged us to try out different forms. This is a rondelet, a very formal structure, which lilts along. I always feel they should be set to music. This rondelet is actually for the dVerse poetics link. Mish offers a series of paintings by Canadian artist Ally Saunders to inspire our pens. If you like this painting, you can find more of her work on http://allyart.ca/. If you want more poetry, go to dVerse, or check out Jane’s site – great poems and amazing stories. 

Dawn – first – quadrille for dVerse

It has just dawned on me
That this warm accommodation
Of lives, this joyful
Of shards and
shapes and
Into something new and bright,
Something that golden glows,
That this is love. And that
You held my hand through all
The darkness.


For Bjorn at dVerse, who is keeping the bar tonight. The best thing about this time of year is that here in the northern hemisphere the days are short enough to really see the sunrise. Mind you, I remember summertimes when the nights were short enough to see the sunrise, coming at it from the opposite direction…

Scar Quadrille – for dVerse

Scaramouche takes flight
In a skylight currach
Skin stretched tight
Over spars of bone
Following the starmap
Scar map, far map
Scanning the horizon
For traces
Of the Amazon
Seeking out the pathway,
Runway, gateway,
The goddess triple walking
Who makes herself
Each night.


This is a quadrille for dVerse. We are asked to write about scars…dangerous territory. A currach, by the way, is a light weight boat used traditionally in the west of Ireland, made of hide stretched over a wooden frame, and then tarred.