Spring is coming – quadrille for dVerse

Old crone blackthorn
has veiled her spikes
in living lace,
crowned herself
with virgin blossom,
and black cat winter
has sheathed her claws.

Gorse is a yellow cry
on the hillside,
primrose
is a whisper

and there’s a bird singing
in every tree.

De is hosting at dVerse tonight – spiking poems, not drinks! We’re quadrilling – 44 words, including the word “spike” tonight.

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Time to – poem for dVerse

We’re not planting yet,
just digging. The long roots
of couch grass playing out
through the cool soil,
and the deep fingers
the dandelions send down
down down and the stones,
as if they were a crop themselves,
to be thrown in the barrow –
bell clang dull thud –
and the words strung
between us, planted like seeds,
the conversation growing
and drifting like those
parasol seeds from the
dandelion’s white clock.

Lillian is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we are thinking about this verse from Ecclesiastes:


“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 American Standard Version (ASV).

Lillian is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we are thinking about this verse from Ecclesiastes:


“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 American Standard Version (ASV).

Sarah and Gina’s pantoum

The ocean here is cold, and fierce, and grey

The shore you walk is many miles away

Gina is leading us through the pantoum this month. DVerse is looking at different forms – we’ve had the sonnet, the rubaiyat, and now the pantoum. Go over to her original post for a really good description.

When I was reading Gina’s post, this caught my eye:
In Malaysia, my home country, the pantun is still very popular at weddings where the older relatives from both sides of the bridal party will exchange love “pantun” blessing the newlyweds a blissful first night together and a long happy marriage.

What an amazing idea – I would love to have had that at my wedding! Though I’m not sure what the in-laws would have come up with…

Anyhow, I wondered if we could do something similar online, so these lines are the A and C lines of the first verse of Sarah and Gina’s joint pantoum. We’ll add to it in the comments, and see how it goes!

Driving to the hospital. Pantoum for dVerse

I should know this by now, this stop and start
traffic that’s not going anywhere –
we surge and stop, just like a beating heart –
going nowhere, seeking somewhere.

Traffic that’s not going anywhere.
I’m trapped, like wasp in golden amber,
going nowhere, seeking somewhere,
wanting to get there, but not be there.

I’m trapped, like wasp in golden amber,
heading slowly, half wishing it were slower,
wanting to get there, but not be there,
wish it would start, or not start, or be over –

heading slowly, half wishing it were slower,
and the guy in the next car grins at me,
wish it would start, or not start, or be over –
I smile back. Why not? Smiles are free.

The guy in the next car grins at me,
he moves ahead, and then he falls behind.
I smile back – why not? – smiles are free –
he doesn’t know the stuff that’s on my mind.

He moves ahead, and then he falls behind.
but really, I’m not moving here at all –
he doesn’t know the stuff that’s on my mind,
the fear of stepping out, fear of freefall.

And really, I’m not moving here at all,
I surge and stop, just like a beating heart,
the fear of stepping out, fear of freefall –
I should know it by now, this stop and start.

Another pantoum – I was trying to think of things that ebb and flow the way the repetitions do in this form. Feedback very welcome on this one. It’s a bit rough and ready. For Gina at dVerse.

Pebbles – pantoum for dVerse

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.

This is the first pantoum I ever wrote – all the way back in June 2016. I thought I’d include it for comments and feedback. WordPress has done that thing again, where it just ignores my formatting – sorry about that. This is being reposted for the dVerse form exploration. Get over there and have a look.

Forgiveness – poem for dVerse

He told her he forgave her,

every day – until

the words curdled in her mouth

and scarred her skin

and she forgot the crime

and who had sinned, but knew

it must be her, for he

forgave her every day.

Frank is hosting at dVerse tonight. The theme is “blame and forgiveness”. I suspect there are some beautiful poems out there, full of glorious gentleness, but this has come out a bit bitter and twisted. Forgive me.

Dirt – rubaiyat for dVerse

Who would have thought that so much dust could gather

On every surface? Its like Miss Haversham

Lives here. Cobwebs form lacy curtains,

Grey dust accumulates. Life unravels.

Me, I prefer to deal with living dirt –

Wet footprints, slick with the good earth,

Spilt juice, sweet and sticky, laking

Across the table’s stripped pine desert

And I love silence, but I love the clatter

Of feet on stairs, hard debate, easy chatter,

And the hot beat of the music that you play,

That matters so much, and yet doesn’t matter.

This is (probably) my last rubaiyat for this month’s form challenge. I’m linking it to the original rubaiyat post from Frank, and to Jilly’s post on imagery in the rubaiyat.

Venus and the God of War

Venus sways in,
waist cinched tight,
heels high,
hips tick-tocking
like a metronome

she looks at him

the God of War,
sprawled across the
cheap bedspread,
stubble-chinned and
snoring.

“Oh, honey mine”,
she croons,
letting her fingers
do a slow dance
among the hot,
damp hairs
on his hot damp
belly

“Lick me like I’m candy,
crush me till I burn”

but there’s nothing doing here.

She looks at him
with god-cold eyes,
and wonders how it came to this –

how she left her
clever-handed husband
for this bar-room brawler,

with a broken sword
and a half-dead droptop.

At the window
she looks down
at the tempting streetlights

wonders what happens next.

Gods crave worship.

We’re playing (with) computer games at dVerse tonight. I’m hosting, and I’d love to see you there.