The Significance of Dates.

Calendar and Term Dates – Ovingham Middle School

Dates. We cannot escape them.
Reminiscent or prescient.
Tying us to time.
To the past,
Or the future.

Their knots can be loose,
A vague, unsolid nod or grunt.
Or tied with such skill
They are hard to undo –
Not without a sharp flash
Of blade, cutting to the quick,
To the white, bare bone.

Some are bows – soft, luxurious,
Promising delight in their
Satiny ribbons.
Whilst others are tiny lumps,
Like long-forgotten stations marked
On a railway line of
Fraying laces.

And some are fixed so firm
They have become part of us
And meld into who we are –
So inseparable we can no longer
See the drawn loops.
We just feel the void beneath
Where the knot holds us



A fronded brush of luminous green
sprouts through the topmost tip,
ready to paint new yellow-brown limbs
and tease out smooth cuticles
into beckoning fingers.

Biding is over for the
dead-seeming stake.
The March wind breathes it to juddering life.
Spring whispers a promise of
green pinnate clothing,
of white-fringed shawls
and red-beaded dresses.

I fix my feet firmly on the lawn,
toes searching into the soft sodden tufts,
and lift my arms high up to
the vernal sky.
I am here, I cry,
wake me from my hibernation
and grow me anew.


Youth, you are the wheat,
you are the grass.
Waving golden, slender.
And you are the bright bulbed fields,
fibrous and finger deep.
Season’s sprout.
Uprootable. You are
easy come, and easy go.

Age, then, you are
an antique rose.
Subtle, pastel shades.
Deceptive, sharp.
Drawing deep.
Anchored, with your
pertinacious taproot.
Slow, yet resolutely sure.

The dichotomy of years.

Yet, see the half-moon
faintly light the earth,
the shadowed domes
from velvet moles.
Shared lineage glistens
in burrowed soil,
glowing in
cosmic dichotomy.

Tap Root to the Past

Tortoise-slow, bent legs
move step by
birdlike step.

She drops down
heavy, and through
the worn-shine chair

something reaches up.
Dirt-soiled fingers
paw and tease.

They tell her ‘Listen,
know, beneath our
hands, our trunk, our feet,

another pulled me
from that chair
and pulls me still.’

A fainter voice, ‘Yes,
below me too’ and
distant echoes on and on.

In quicker days
she heard that voice
but shook it out.

Now she feels the
tap root to the past
and now she knows.

It fed her from the deep.

Heavy Traffic

Waiting for the
right time. Safe time.
Barely breaths.

Wet slobbered
canvas shoes. Numb
feet. Screaming joints.
Muted heads.

Snatching hands.
Snatching shouts.
The rolls, the waves,
the gravel scrunch.

Ready? Will they
ever be? The
scattered mass.
They hide again.

They wait and breathe
as one. Hoping to
be found, or not.
Waiting to be free.

(Writing prompt from Creative Writing Ink)

Sip of Hope

Lips close to mouth purse.
Another sip.
Swirl and with
a gold rim glint
flip, chink, be upturned.
Practiced. Learned.

Black dots of ravens
Owls screeching.
Rising from the honeyed base.
Spreading omens – last of breaths.
Countless deaths.

Silent clothes –
no jangly, beady.
Greasy apron, undressed curls
tucked behind unjewelled ears.
No warm black fur.
Just her.

She looks twice.
Shapes shift to lucky oak.
Healthy jug meets second sight.
Vaticinator vaccinate.
Spreading ease,
With soothing leaves.