Washed clean – poem for dVerse

Somehow I became
by water – the smooth
laminar flow
the turbulence
the tidal rise and fall
of the river

because this is estuarine country

and the soft sound
of the stream
after rain

and the surge
and fall
rise and drop
constant lift and lowering
of the sea
the green grey blue
of the ocean
the white topped waves

and the gull flying

and the movement
of water

washes me clean

as if the water in me
sings to the water in the world
moves with its movement
echoes its rise and fall
and laminar flow

and the rain is me
and the stream is me
and the river is me
and the ocean is me

and I am them
washed clean.

Linda is hosting at dVerse tonight. She asks how we purify our minds – very apt for the times we’re living through.


White bird – learning to row – quadrille for dVerse

“and take it up” he says

“in 3…2…1…”

and for a moment

my arms and legs

hit synchrony,

and so do yours,

and we are a bird –

a petrel, skimming

the surface

of the water,

and that flight,

just glimpsed,

is everything.

My second quadrille of the day. Our word is “up”, and De is hosting at

dVerse, where the poets hang out.

River – NaPoWriMo 6

I’m not sure I could take you to the source

I pick the river up there, where it goes through the woods,

where the banks are steep.

From there, it runs through the valley,

below the spruce trees,

on past the mill,

under the bridge with the awkward bend,

and then meanders through meadows.

The cows stand belly deep in summer grass.

The path follows the river –

coming closer, moving away,

a weaving dance of water and tarmac,

and if you look closely, if you hover somewhere in the air above,

you will see two girls in endless adolescent conversation,

strong limbs moving them over the iron bridge,

laughter rising above the yellow gorse.

They are walking to town.

They will cross the river again,

walk down the quay, where there might be boats

from faraway places with faraway names,

setting them dreaming of future adventures;

past the square where the kids without purpose

hang out on drizzly evenings;

past the shop that sells everything except happiness.

At the steps, they’ll step into the boat,

the narrow boat, hardly a boat at all

and they’ll row themselves onward,

following the river,

moving with the river,

carried by the river

towards the sea.


It’s all about lines today – a line as a moment, intact in itself. I’ve a tendency to chop at lines, so this was a good – if uncomfortable – exercise for me. It’s also come out really long. I guess the point of this is to be pushed, and to experiment, not necessarily to produce a work of staggering genius. 





NaPoWriMo 7 – tritina

The River at Evening

This river changes every time I pass
The surface of the river takes the light,
The moon dictates its rising and its fall.

A cloud of birds rise up before they fall
I stand here on the bridge to watch them pass
A single form that’s caught against the light.

Hurrying homewards in the failing light,
They coil and curve, they turn and twist and fall –
Beneath them, all the people move and pass.

And in the fall of light, I pass the river.

This is a very formal structure, and I really struggled with it. I find the subject prompts much easier to work with. Anyhow, I’ve scratched this out somehow, and even though I’m not entirely happy with it I’m going to press “publish” just so I can stop worrying away at it.