The poet spells her name

I spell my name with an S –
a stream slipping between
banks of sun-dried summer grass –
an apple-cheeked a, arms open,
adorable. An r is a broken
arch of rambling roses,
red petals, russet rosehips.
The second a is ample,
and the h is the tail-end
of a long-held sigh.

A quadrille for Sanaa at dVerse.

The long light of a June evening.

We came here when the sky was bright
and watched the sun sink into fire and flames
and hesitated. The tide went out, time slowed,
until the moon rose. Look, we said, a road
rippling and silvering the waves.
and that one star, and the half-light.

A sestain for Merril’s ekphrastic prompt at dVerse. I’m writing to Peder Severin Krøyer, Summer Evening at Skagen. The Artist’s Wife and Dog by the Shore

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We don’t hear. We don’t listen.

If every leaf were a prayer,
the world would sound
like a rustling of praise –
a fierce, joyful rustling –

the wind would spill love
from every tree –
love would grow new
every spring.

Each tree would be
a book, a tome,
reminding us of how

this mothering earth
nurtures us all.

The fields would murmur
the story of life,
the hedgerows would blossom
in psalms and ragas, chants –

the sky would be full of music,
words of praise would float
down every stream
down every river

we would be nourished
by words of love

a poem for Sherry at earthweal

Poets love to write about the moon.

Give me the moon, the silver moon,
light my way with a silver light –
let me feast on slivers of silvery cake,
on silver crescents of silver lemons,
floating in silver cups, on a silver tray.
This morning, she burned everything –
armfuls of dandelions and buttercups,
bundles of letters, piles of clothes.
She laughed, and told me she loves the sun –
burn everything, she says, burn my poems –
they’ll warm the world. Burn everything, then,
but leave me this cool garden, purpled
with twilight, a stream of silver winding
like thread. Leave me a statue, a star;
fish me a silver coin from the well,
fish a white pebble from the river,
pick a white lily from the lake,
and give me the moon.

Lillian is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we’re compounding – or, rather, de-compounding. There are 3 compound words taken apart in here – moonlight, sunburn and starfish.

Waking in a strange room

Maybe it’s that moment
when you wake from sleep
and the world is suddenly strange –
glistening with
noises that shimmer at the edge of sight –
heavy with light that presses on your skin –
the smell of sunshine, lemons, clockwork –
that moment is the one
that really matters,
that changes everything

I’m hosting for Quadrille Monday at dVerse tonight – and our word is “sleep”. But I kind of had to subvert my own prompt! Come and join us, anyway. Quadrilling is fun.

The ash trees

The ash are late this year –
bundles of sticks, rattling up
into the blue sky. We search
for feathery tufts. Sometimes
we see them, sometimes

nothing.

I’ve never known the ash so late,
dark lines scraped across
a billowing, pillowing world of green.

They’re dying. I hadn’t thought
that this would come so quickly –
imagined a slow drift of ghosts
across the landscape –
when I thought of it at all –
not these monuments, scattered,
solid, sharp-edged. No, not this
memento mori, these bone branches
shouting “look at me, look at me”.

Nature will fill in the gaps, and
we’ll forget the avenue of chestnut trees,
the stand of larch, the ash, the ash, the ash,
the tree that holds the world,
the tree where gods hang, waiting for wisdom.

for Brendan at earthweal. It’s full on spring here, getting ready for summer, and the ash trees are still not out. It’s very strange. Ash die-back is here, stalking our copses, and I can’t help feeling that the landscape is undergoing a radical change. It’s a small thing, and yet, it’s a big thing. The canary in the mineshaft, maybe? Ash trees are a defining part of our Devon landscape. I can list a dozen ash placenames off the top of my head.

Longing

This is what I dream of
when I dream of home – warmth
and light. To be rooted
in love. It’s what I dream of

when the world is big and cold,
when I’m afraid. When I’m alone,
and fear stalks the dark,
like a wolf, I dream of resting
in a green field, of life rising,
always rising. Of hope.

This is for Mish at dVerse. The painting is by Vika Muse, a Ukrainian artist. Mish says:

“Vika Muse” has given us permission to use any of her images for our poetic prompt this week. Below are many examples of her work. She has kindly added her thoughts and inspirations for each piece. Click to enlarge. You can find her on Instagram @get.muse She is also featured on this website http://www.inprnt.com

It is so hard to write about this art without touching on what is happening in Ukraine. I feel that’s not my story, and it would be presumptuous of me to try and dip my pen in that pain. However, we all know fear and the longing for peace.

Smug aubade

Right now, it’s just me and the blackbird
him singing, me wording. Oh, and the fresh,
new leaves on the crabapple,
wondering at the world. And the daffodils,
of course, still hanging on.
And the cherry blossom, and the celandines.

It’s morning, and the world is still
pulling the covers over its head –
except the magpie hopping down the road,
and the rook circling, and the blackbird
singing, singing, and me wording.

A slightly smug morning poem for Laura at dVerse.

I choose

I choose to sink
I choose to curl over myself, like a fox
I choose to lie in the dark
I choose deep water, I choose to hide myself down in the dim light
I choose to be wounded
I choose my wound

because

I choose love, always love
I choose to open my heart to the sky
I choose flight, the high circling flight of the hawk
I choose flight, the slow hum of the bee
I choose to stand on the shore, I choose the noise of the sea –
I choose to feel the wind pass through my skin

you know

I choose both
I choose light and shade
I choose stillness and movement
I choose this

I choose it all

Big time repetition – we’re looking at anaphora at dVerse. Come and join in!