Cigarette ends – a poem

And if each of these was kissed

by someone’s anxious lips –

if each one held a moment

of comfort on a day

of grief or fear or doubt –

if each one was a gift

of friendship on a rainy

station platform, as the train

pulled out, heading for darkness –

would that be beauty?

This is the second poem for Mich’s prompt – actually sticking to the pictures she offers this time! Check out the dVerse poetry place. 


Beauty in ugliness – a poem

I am an expert in not seeing –
my eyes can slide from face to belly
without registering what’s between –
smooth as the cool glass in the mirror –

they don’t stop

I am skilled in the fine art
of ignoring. I don’t see the thin line
where the blade bit me. I don’t see
the surgeon’s skill

there is no feeling

that line marks me, scrawled across my skin,
but under it there is the beauty
of scalpel, needle, years of training –
all those years of study given to me

by his steady hand

and my clean cells linking binding,
their interdigitation, their blind purpose,
has its own beauty. My skin weaving itself
my muscles cleaving to each other

in a blue womb.

Mish is hosting at dVerse tonight and asks us to look for the beauty in ugliness. Sometimes that’s hard to do. 


Objects at rest – a poem

Whisper a lullaby now for the universe,
a song of cold spaces unfolding through eons,
a slow sliding movement of planets away
from the core, from each other, adrift.

Murmur a tale of the dying of light,
of the wandering stars that break out from
the tender embrace of their own gravitation,
to hang lonely, unloved, bleak and lifeless, but free.

Sing the unfolding of entropy, blooming
and spreading like virus across space and time
’til each atom is single, and spinning alone
in the deepening dark,

in the silence.

A poem for the Daily Inkling prompt – Objects at Rest. That made me think of Newtonian physics, which led me on to this poem – which, again, ignores the context of the prompt. However, I’m a poet, so I can do what I like. 

It’s also an attempt at iambic pentameter, for the dVerse prompt tonight hosted by Frank – a master of rhythm and rhyme. I tend to write in short lines, so iambic pentameter is really tough for me. 




My name is – a poem

I never waited in a tower for you,
or slept and dreamed of you –
not for a hundred years,

no way –

I never combed my hair,
and wore my prettiest dress,
and sat and sewed, serenely,
and hoped you’d ride up
on your charcoal coloured horse
and set me free.

I never danced in stupid shoes –
well, not for you. I never left
at midnight – not without you.

I never bit the apple:
I’m not crazy. I never wore
my shoes to shreds,
I never sat and trusted
that I would be rescued.

That’s not me.

Amaya is tending bar at dVerse and asks us to write a poem about our name. A forename, a family name, a nickname – whatever we like. I guess this is an anti-poem about my name. My name is Sarah, which means “princess” – of course.

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.