Warm Singing

Blue Tit Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash
Regine Tholen at Unsplash

The tight spikes of beech leaves are late to uncurl this year,
Or so they say.
The daffodils still nod brightly when they should be hung and faded,
So I’m told.
The ground is hard as iron in Rossetti’s poem –
Bleak April comes to a close.

But still I hear the culver – take two cows, Taffy –
Deep and unmistakeable,
The shrill treep of the robin, the mellifluous thrush,
The trilling tremolo bluetit.
Birdsong covers me with its affirmation
And warms me.

Mish is on duty at The Open Link Night at the dVerse Poets Pub https://dversepoets.com/2021/04/29/open-link-night-291/. Mish talks about the ‘rollercoaster’ of weather many of us are experiencing at the moment, and whilst my garden may not be behaving in a truly April fashion, the birds are just as vocal as ever (I am pleased to say).


Keep This Moment – (A Haibun)


It’s one of those bright, clear, promising mornings. Two sparrows dart away as I approach the desk – they have been pecking incessantly at the glass on the front of the house and cars in the drive, and I look at the messy splatter of white streaks they have left behind them. At this moment, though, the only sounds are the thrum of cars at the end of the road – where ours meets a busier road joining our village with the town – and a gentle background of birdsong. The acer is still, its fragile hands of small lime green leaves have no wind to shake them. The corrugated oak stands tall and firm, and is now lightly dressed with the beginnings of new leaves. There are no people to be seen and were it not for the cars I could pretend I was the only one. I am aware of my heartbeat. I realise what a peaceful experience this is – one of those moments to pack away carefully and unwrap when life is too busy or difficult.

Looking and listening
In the calm of the morning.
A moment to keep.

Frank J Tassone on dVerse Poets is today’s (well, actually its yesterday’s) host and has set the task of writing a haibun, the hybrid form that combines prose and haiku. We are exploring the present moment. This was a lovely exercise – to just sit and absorb what is around you for a brief time is both centring and calming.

Fading Rose

Rescued from the cellophane.
Unable to stand tall and cluster
with the other scarlet heads –
soft and warm against the
weathered, pitted white.

I almost dropped you in the bin
to mingle with the
coffee grounds and greasy scraps.
Instead I put your stubbed out stem
into a tiny watered vase of clear cut glass.

Not fading, but evolving,
or could I say, rebirthing?
New colours bloomed,
unexpected hues emerged
and thus, new shapes became outlined.

Now, three weeks on,
yet, still you stand upon my windowsill.
Alive at least.
A fragile link to where your tall companions rest,
upon a marble monument, facing east.

I have been playing with some photos taken of a single rose, trying to combine them for my Gravatar. The stem had snapped near the base of the flower, but it was too beautiful to throw away and I have been watching its metamorphosis over the past three weeks. The flowers were bought to place on a grave.

At Last

Photo by Marcus Winkler at Unsplash

It was with beating heart she walked up to the door
She was ushered to sit, watch the marks on the floor.
Unknown eyes, silent cue to what now lay ahead
As sharp blades sliced the air, cutting grey from the red.
How much more could she take? It was mad, it was wild,
But at last she was going to get her hair styled.

Challenging proposition from Björn Rudberg on dVerse poets (https://dversepoets.com/2021/04/22/mtb-hopscotch-with-anapestic-tetrameter/) to write a poem using anapestic tetrameter. This beat invites a humourous poem and I plumped for a topic we’ve all been talking about recently – getting our hair cut (at last!).

Crows Calling At Night

Photo by Gatto Terre on Unsplash

Crows reply to the dipping gold sun.
Above the Qin they soar and lift.
Beneath their roosts, on the misted banks,
A weaver pulls a line of weft,
Pausing at the tug of a thought,
Of one afar – his memory a gift.
As her blade cuts her woven threads,
So sorrow untethers and sets her adrift.

This is my attempt at a Lushi poem – a prompt from Laura Bloomsbury on dVerse Poets. Four chinese classic poems were posted with the suggestion one poem be interpreted in the Lushi form. For more details see the site at: https://dversepoets.com/2021/04/20/poetics-china-kingdom-of-the-poem/. My poem is based on the poem by Li bai.

Crows calling at Night ~ Li bai

“Yellow clouds beside the walls; crows roosting near.
Flying back, they caw, caw; calling in the boughs.
In the loom she weaves brocade, the Qin river girl.
Made of emerald yarn like mist, the window hides her words.
She stops the shuttle, sorrowful, and thinks of the distant man.
She stays alone in the lonely room, her tears just like the rain.“

Missing Mary

broken glass on the floor

As he patted his empty pockets
Searching for his car keys,
He heard Mary’s voice.
‘Oh bother’ she would have said.
He knocked a scratched tumbler
From the draining board
And it smashed inevitably
Onto the flag-stoned kitchen floor.
He missed her Oh bothers.

This is a quadrille, a form which is an invention from dVerse of a poem of exactly 44 words, including one word provided by dVerse. This week’s prompt word is ‘bother’. Find details at their site on: https://dversepoets.com/2021/04/19/quadrille-126-come-bother-up-a-poem/

Waggling Bee (that once was me)

Courtesy of Fir0002/Wikimedia Commons

I wrote this in response to a prompt from d’Verse Poet’s Pub to write a poem about an animal trait that is like ours. (https://dversepoets.com/2021/04/13/poetics-the-print-the-whales-make)

Pretend, she said, the dance-
floor is the countryside.
The sun’s become a glitter ball.
Now watch me as I
dance myself into a blur.

Her yellow fur vibrates and
shakes and, mesmerised, the crowd
soon learns the source
of her beguiling moves.

Once I could waggle
like a bee
and promise nectar’s
teasing taste.

Sandy Nonet

Writing Prompt Two

Sand. Do you remember sand? Hot sand.
Fine sand. Holiday abroad sand.
Not wet, pebbly, seaweedy,
Cold, but good-for-making
Your sandcastles sand.
My feet miss sand.
Heated steps
To the

(Prompt from Creative Writing Ink).

Enduring Time

There was a nursery rhyme gallop of a nearby train.
Dum, diddle-um, racing to be on time.
In her head, time stopped, then turned
to walk in its own shadow. Back, way back,
to Ride a Cock Horse , that children’s song,
when the house was a place of smells and noise.

And she thought about it, as the memories turned,
what did it all mean? As the sound of the train
faded, it was replaced by that song
playing on her rusty lips for the first time
in many years. These days quiet was the only noise
filling the air, bouncing in the void, whispering back.

She stared at the carpet, caught in time,
half-expecting to see the worn nubs of wool peel back
and reveal an answer to it all. A eureka of noise
that would explain why the world still turned,
how the whistling wind could sound like a song,
what was this emotion provoked by the train?

Her husband stirred a spoon forward and back
in his teacup. The flash of silver and clinking noise
brought her eyes up, and she watched as he turned
the spoon to his mouth, humming a favourite song.
Chuffing to a forgotten halt, the slow train.
Their clapper tolling an older time.

From the window-ledge came a mellowing song.
An orange beak tapped at the pane and she turned
to look. A white-ringed eye stared back.
A Turdus Merula, her calendar said. At this time
the first brood may be ready to train
for flight, swelling the chorus of Spring’s noise.

A gentle cough, a familiar noise.
Her husband creaked, with a stooping back,
lifting slowly from his chair, knees turned
in and elbows out. The clock chimed Time.
He tapped his watch. No commuter train
to catch, but habits answer the cuckoo’s song.

She rocked gently, mouthing the nursery song,
as his tremulous hand lay on her back,
and together they endured the passing of time.

I was re-reading some of Elizabeth Bishop's poems recently and thought I would play with a sestina. As the stanzas progressed it became more challenging to maintain the line endings with my chosen words. But then, nothing is worth doing unless it stretches us in some way...

Seaford Slowing

A quiet haze
hangs above the sea,
holding close the gently
shushing creep onto
the shore.

The end of day sits,
or slowly walks
along the esplanade.
Munching on soft bread
and papered cakes.

Gazing, placid,
ruminating blocks
of shadow gather
on steep-ridged waves
of tufted green.

Billowed colours
dip and soar as
baffled crows regard
and caw from
sentry posts.

And chalk-white cheeks
bear the score
of clawing giants –
signs of an earlier,
terraqueous brawl?