What is good?

I went out one day to look for Good,
found a red vixen, killing
to feed her cub, a magpie
mourning a dead fledgeling; the sky
heavy with rainclouds, spilling
life on the parched ground where I stood.

A sestain again – I’m trying to make this form and rhyme scheme an instinctive way of thinking. This is a second one for dVerse, where our theme is Good and Evil.


Everything changes: the Good Queen
becomes the Wicked Witch. The grey wolf
gobbles up the moon, the moon
destroys the wolf. Take one step sideways
and the monster is a frightened child.
We, who are dazzled by the sun,
are scared of shadows. We forgive
ourselves, condemn ourselves,
spiralling round the truth, walking
the labyrinth, flickering between
light and dark. Nothing is distinct –
stars sparkle in the night, and clouds
cast shadows on the corn field.

For dVerse

When she cooks

Alone in her saffron coloured kitchen
she mixes up sugary dreams for us all:
ginger-bread horses with lemony manes,
cinnamon soldiers with peppermint canes.
and the sweet sticky scents roll out, down the hall,
and we smile at the smell of her witching.

A spicy poem for dVerse tonight, where Merril is hosting. I’m having fun with this sestain form at the moment.

The wedding

“My wife and I”, he said,
and everybody cheered.
After, we gathered round them –
“You’re punching, mate”
somebody said, “You’re punching”

and, smiling
he acknowledge it,
accepted it. Embraced it –

and she moved closer, nestling
in his circling arms, bird to his bear:
a small boat resting
in safe harbour.

a quadrille for dVerse – 44 words including tonight’s word: punch


This is something like redemption – this bright
shattering and shimmering. Each bird
is something like an angel, and together
they are light carved into feather,
light made into storm, or wind-caught wave. Light stirred,
made into something solid. Living light.

An ekphrastic poem inspired by this wonderful image by Lee Madgwick. I’m hosting at dVerse tonight, and there are more images and links to poems to inspire you there.

Ice and flame

By the time the moon rose, its clear light
freezing, like a veil of ice, in that moment, our
passion was the only warm thing there. It burned.
At our first touch, the world itself flared, turned
its gaze on us – seeking out that fierce, hot power
blossoming between us, wild and brave and bright.

For Laura at dVerse, who invites us to take a line from a “kissing” poem, place it vertically, and make a poem from it. She also invited us to use a form – I’ve gone with a sestain, with a rhyme scheme ABCCBA, just because I like it. I chose the line “by freezing passion at its blossoming” from Neil Carpathios’ poem “The Kiss”. If this doesn’t make sense, check out Laura’s explanation over at dVerse.

At the restaurant

We were young, and drunk
on our own loveliness,
on being alive, and by the water,
and the sun shining on the water,
and bright champagne
glittering in the sunlight

and we ate everything –
I don’t remember anything –
but we ate everything,
relishing every mouthful,
the last to leave,
relishing every moment,
and the sun shining on the water.

For Merril at dVerse – a restaurant poem.

In this river of clouds

there are fish of many types –
silver flashes of lightning
deep grey of storms,
rippling, shimmering
shoals of showers –
suddenly there, suddenly gone –

sunlight falls through
green reeds, swaying,
summer rains
dart and dazzle and dance,

and the clouds drift on.

A quadrille for De at dVerse – 44 words, including today’s word – “type”

Inspired by an image on Twitter from @PaulDragonwolf1

August August August

Lazy August lingers by the water –
she loves the lapping of those little waves.
She’s ankle-deep now, watching
the setting sun behind the pier.
Pink shouldered, red nosed August
hands over ninety-nines and fresh fried donuts,
slips you a fiver when your mum’s not looking,
smells of vanilla, cigarettes and cider.

Patient August, sitting the car,
winding the windows down, she’s sweating,
endlessly queuing, opening crisps, pouring out coffee
from a tartan flask. She’s cracking jokes,
leading a sing-song, hot thighs sticking
to the plastic seat. Languid August
lets you run amok. She doesn’t care
your shoes are wet, your T-shirt ruined –
just grab some plasters and a wedge of cake
and head on out again –

Generous August, gathering blackberries
in a spare plastic bag, eating them
absent-mindedly, fingers stained purple –
lauging August, kiss-me-quick and squeeze-me-slow,
hiring a deck-chair, cutting sandwiches –
cheese or ham? – throwing in crisps and pop –

and under that creased skirt,
the scratch of stubbled fields,
a young fox creeping through the hedge, a hare
running and leaping wild beneath
a golden moon.

An August poem 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