The eavesdroppers

Rook eavesdrops on our conversation,
a black shape, rising when he’s heard the news,
dipping across the field, finding his gang –
and me, I eavesdrop on his chattering,
the calls from branch to branch,
wondering what news he shares,
what mockery, what love?

A quadrille for Kim at dVerse. Our word is “eavesdropper”.

Rook’s not my mother –

she has her own chicks to rear
to raise in the way of the
long feather
beak thrust
throat call
crowd muster

rook’s not my friend
she has her own companions

rook sees me
wide striding
earth bound
leaf plucking
not predator
not prey

she cocks her head
eyes me up
rises easy
flaps away

A rook poem, for the dVerse Open Link Night – hosted by Mish this week – and for earthweal, where Sherry is holding the fort.

Rook – dizain for dVerse.

Suddenly the rooks rose up together

No reason I could see – no sudden sound,

No swift hawk or lightning change of weather –

For a few moments, they all circled round,

But did they seek the sky, or fear the ground?

Then they broke up, went off in twos and threes,

Companionable birds, shooting the breeze,

Leaving me wondering what I’d just seen:

That swirl of wings, lifting above the trees,

Briefly together, and then flying free.

A second dizain for Rosemary at dVerse.

Rook – ghazal for dVerse I

Rook spreads his wings and takes to the sky-road,
for who else can say they are king of the sky-road?

Early morning, he rises from the highest branches,
calling his own name, king of the sky-road

Crowned in midnight, cloaked in darkness,
he is well-arrayed, the king of the sky-road,

as he rides the storm clouds, a black knight battling
the might of the wind, he is king of the sky-road,

with his wide-splayed wing tips, his black silk feathers,
he swallows the sunlight, this king of the sky-road,

and as the sun sets, he calls to his kingdom
“Good night, I am here, the king of the sky-road”

and the princess in me yearns to fly with him,
to see the last rays of sunlight, be queen of the sky-road.

Over the last few months, dVerse has been offering a “Form for All” prompt, looking at a series of different forms. This month we are looking at the ghazal, a repeating, associative form, quite different to a lot of “western” poetry. If you want to read a great introduction, check out yesterday’s dVerse prompt, where Gay Cannon is our guest host.

Regular readers may recognise some of the imagery in this poem. I find it helpful to get to know a form and see how things develop. This involves being quite playful with it, and exploring its strengths – and weaknesses. To help this process, I’m re-cycling some lines and images, and seeing how the different forms give a different overlay to a similar concept.

The last verse is my “signature” verse. I’m a Sarah, which means princess. We are supposed to weave a reference to our name, or use the name itself in that final stanza, so I’ve used “princess”.

Rook revisited – Lai Nouveau for dVerse

King of the sky road,

rook takes the high road,

flies high –

black feathered, claw toed,

fate weaver, shadowed;


even when sun glows,

he brings the dark home.

On the wire he crows,

warning of who knows

what fright?

We know what rook bodes,

death bringer, life foe,

by right

rook takes the high road,

king of the sky road.

This is a Lai Nouveau, a highly structured rhyme form, with a tight syallable count. It’s driving me insane. If you want a really good explanation check out Frank’s post here:

This is for the dVerse Form for All prompt. It’s lai all May. Wey-hey!

Avid followers of my work will notice that this is a re-working (possibly of a re-working), and a recycling of imagery that I’ve used before. I’m interested in how the different forms change the feel of the subject matter.

What does the rook say? II

I’m here.

Goodnight –




Goodnight –












I’m here.

I wrote a very short poem a couple of days ago, imagining what my local rooks were saying to each other. Their evening conversation reminded me of the Waltons’ sign off. I’ve revisited their good-nights here, with almost kennings, in an almost-poem.

Rook looks down – poem for NaPoWriMo

I see you, limited by gravity,
by that tracery,
that web of mud and tarmac
branching across the land.
I see your nest, too heavy,
squat and solid,
battling the wind,

and I see you,
weighed down by things that have no meaning,
seeking significance –
when I have all the wide sky to play with,
and the wind to ride

I’m back in the NaPoWriMo saddle. April has been interrupted, but I’m picking up the challenge again. This is for Day 17 – a poem from an unusual viewpoint. I’m not sure this is unusual for me – I write a lot of poems about rooks – but I enjoyed it.

High road sky road – poem for dVerse

Following the sky-road,
rook goes his own way
the heaven-circling high road –

grave-groping, muffle-toed,
sloe-black flight feathers splayed,
following the sky-road –

lark-light brings early glow,
rook wakes himself to take
the heaven-circling high road.

I hear his dark-vowelled tones
come from the ash all day,
marking the sky-road,

owl-light comes, purpling slow,
rook still has time to play
on heaven-circling high roads;

evening mists roll, moon blown,
rook hides his head away,
dreams of the sky-road,
the heaven-circling high road.

A villanelle for Laura’s beautiful prompt over at dVerse. We are inspired by Dylan Thomas and his love of words.

Rooks – pantoum for dVerse

I watched a crowd of rooks fly by –
“They’re on the search for food”, I said –
black cut-outs on a paper sky,
we see them, and we think of death.

“They’re on the search for food”, I said,
a cheerful democratic crew,
we see them, and we think of death;
they make me think of people, too.

A cheerful democratic crew,
leaders and stragglers make their way –
they make me think of people, too,
out shopping on a winter’s day.

Leaders and stragglers make their way,
black cut-outs on a paper sky.
Out shopping on a winter’s day,
I watched a crowd of rooks fly by.

Gina is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we continue our exploration of forms. Gina brings us the pantoum – she’s given a really good description of it, if you want to read more. Basically it’s a series of interlocking, repeating couplets.

If you are an avid reader, you might notice that I have taken the start of this from my rubaiyat of a couple of weeks ago. I thought it would be interesting to contrast the forms directly. You can read it here

Rook – for dVerse

Rooks gather
in the auditorium –
there’s a little jostling,
some shoving, but, hey –
that’s family.

Black jackets, silver studs,
punk attitude. All those
young kids gathering,

and then a dad,
maybe someone’s mum,
suddenly lifts up

and there’s applause.

Rooks gather,
stage invasion,
suddenly they’re all
up there –
dancing, like there’s
no tomorrow.

Rooks hang
somewhere between
clod and cloud,

waiting for
the show to start.

It’s a rook concert.

Lillian at dVerse is asking for some anthropomorphic verse. I apologise profusely for the terrible pun. I had no choice.