Eternal Vows in Asylum

Yellow tears glow tall,
wavering with the shift and creak of flaking wood,
the slow beat steps,
the silken rustle and gauzen sweep.

Stroking shadows flutter,
fissures reach along each chapel wall
and sprawl,
pastel fades from chic to chic.

Shush, no clamour here for refuge,
but soft spoke vows and ancient promises.
Custom-made, we smile,
to always and forever.

Inspired by Susie Clevenger’s picture prompt at The Sunday Muse Blogspot( and a wedding I attended at the Asylum Chapel in Peckham. The venue was bombed in WW II and its distressed appearance gives it a gothic romanticism.


Tender Topiary

He was my patient gardener
Easing away the scratchy barbs
And soothing the stings like a dock leaf,
Relieving their insistent
Taunt of shame.

He spied me amongst the weeds,
The nightshade and the amaranth.
Dimmed by the opulent magnolia.
I puzzled as I saw him stoop
And tenderly with love and care
A heart was shaped.

This poem began with Dee’s prompt on d’Verse Poets to write a heart-inspired poem, but time got away from me and so I have adapted it to meet Lilian’s challenge to write an Acrostic Plus or puzzle-inspired poem (See details at: It’s a bit clunky, where the form took over. I may have bitten off more than I could chew!

Wearing the Table # The Sunday Muse Blog Spot

Another evening and here you are,
crashing onto the wooden seat,
vast in your sullenness.

Scarlet droplets tinged with blue escape
the rush to be consumed,
staining the table with Gamay grape
and long, hot summers.

And it flows. No sniff or savour.
Do your feel it as tiny hairs scrabble up the
sandstone and clay,
soaking in heat-steeped slopes?

Another, and another,
and you begin to shrink softly.
Everything lowers,
Your face relaxes.
And I think –
You wear the table well.

This poem is in response to the photo prompt from Carrie at

A Dry Spell Approaching # d’Verse Prosery Monday

jack daniels old no 7 box
photo by softeeboy at Unsplash

Rachel was an experienced meteorologist, but her tv career was hampered by her eccentric style of dressing.
She sat on the confusing designer sofa, unsure if she was sitting on the seat or the arm, waiting to be called in for interview. Her mouth felt as dry and gritty as last week’s treacle sponge which she had found lurking at the back of her fridge the evening before. She took a few more nips from a hip flask in her bag to calm her nerves, wishing she had eaten before leaving home, and disappointed to find she had emptied the flask.
She tottered into the studio, her mind suddenly blank of all meteorological terms. She wasn’t ready, she looked at her favourite skirt as if for inspiration:
‘But …these clouds are clearly foreign, such an exotic clutter, against the blue cloth of the sky’.

Merrill at d’Verse Poets has chosen today’s prosery challenge at to include these lines

“But these clouds are clearly foreign, such an exotic clutter

Against the blue cloth of the sky”

–from “Clouds” by Constance Urdang

This was fun. After an extremely challenging conversation with our internet provider it was very therapeutic to be diverted with this. Thank you Merril.

Negative Equation

Photo by Joshua Brown, Unsplash.

We have become a negative equation,
subtraction multiplied from year to year.
Our grieving mother’s broken and bereft –
there’s nothing left to save, no living here.

Always taking, never once replacing,
a horizontal line is all we’ve left.
There’s nothing more to save, no living here –
our grieving mother’s broken and bereft.

She’d weep her rivers and her glorious oceans,
but the air’s so hot it dries her silver tears –
our grieving mother’s broken and bereft.
There’s nothing more to save, no living here.

No phoenix moment, no, that’s just a child’s myth,
rebirthing from the scorched and molten depths.
There’s nothing more to save, no living here.
Our grieving mother’s broken and bereft.

Grace at d’Verse Poets has asked us to write a Mirrored Refrain (see the link for details of this poetry form and examples, plus the amazing responses from the poets in the d’Verse community at : We have very patchy internet access where we are at the moment, but can still view live TV – the BBC world news highlights continue with their coverage of the wild fires. Impossible to shake away the images.

There No More

Driving rain slapped
my skin,
demonstrating the indifference
of nature.

My wet hands empty,
save for two small
shining puddles,
blinking like his brown eyes.

As I let the water
trickle from my palms,
I realised I had nothing
left to hold.

I was taken aback with the memories that surfaced when I considered Carrie’s prompt on The Sunday Muse Blogspot today: It is the first time I have shared any words about this devastating time in my life. Apologies to any readers if this seems self-indulgent or maudlin.

Under Our Skin: OLN#297 dVerse

Olive Tree, Olive Grove, Stone Wall, Wall
Photo from Pixabay.

It’s still there,
the plaintiff croak
of the nocturnal
love-sick toad,
gently hopping
on the membrane
of my memory.

It joins the
grenade cracks of
plosive cones,
the pompom swish
of olive trees,
the gentle splash
as feet and hands
made waves.

And, etched deep,
too deep to see,
into the dry cracks of my skin,
red rusty stains
mark the times
we crumbled soil
around the sunflowers
and the beans.

And though, in truth,
we never were a
real part of it,
but breathed
outside the core,
the real heart,
we felt it
more to be
a part of we.

On wet, cooler days like today, when summer does not deliver holiday weather, and my phone sends me photo reminders of hot sunny days in Puglia, it is oh so easy to miss Italy. Where did those twelve years go? Linking this poem to the Open Link Night at dVerse Poets where Mish invites us to share a poem with our friends.

Petulant August.(Haibun Monday)

three gray, green, and white scarf on top of table
Photo by Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash.

Unlike last year, there have been few evenings we have felt a desire to sit outside. Tonight I sit huddled under a fleecy blanket as the ‘On’ button for the central heating taunts me. Summer heat has been a reluctant visitor to Sussex. That languid July evening we relished a few weeks ago, now begins to dim into memory so I try to resuscitate it. I remember a black speck had issued a plaintive ‘kaak’ in the sky, skimming clouds which hung hot and sultry, the wheeling dot developing into a drumbeat of flapping rooks, pulling in crowds from their burring rookery. We had watched in awe at the freckled waves which had pulsated across the dusk. But not tonight. No synchronised troupes performing their cartwheels, dives and rolls. Tonight August has refused to play the game and sulks under grey covers, blowing its cheeks out in huffs of disappointment.

Petulant August
Throw off these dull winter clothes
My skin aches for sun.

Frank J Tassone is hosting at the dVerse Poets Pub for Haibun Monday ( and asks us to write a haibun connected with the month of August. (A Haibun is usually in the present tense, but I have included memories in my prose).

Tendril # 171 The Sunday Muse

Behind closed lids, as I shallow
breathe my day into meaning,
I am green and glossy growth,
smoothly snaking on the grass
around your feet,
tickling a laugh,
beautifying into love.

Is there anything to tether
me to this world?
A tendril of my being
which will remain?
I cannot leave
what was never there.

Carrie at The Sunday Muse Blogspot ( has posted this painting by Frida Kahlo, ‘Roots’, to prompt our creative juices. Go visit the site to join in and read what this prompt has inspired 😊.