Seventeen Seconds.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Minus two degrees.
Gardens stiff with winter.
Lakes green and glassed.
Life wrapped, locked, gripped.

*There’s a certain slant of light …
that oppresses.

Where can I seek solace?

Cicada maracas.
An unravelled bolt of blue silk.

The thermostat clicks beneath my desk.

Press the arrow.
Limestone beats with heat.
Seventeen summer seconds more.

*From Emily Dickinson’s ‘There’s a certain slant of light’

This is based on a ‘flat pack poem’, which consists of:

  1. Four sentence fragments
  2. One sentence that is a quote from somewhere
  3. One question
  4. Two sentence fragments
  5. One complete sentence
  6. Three sentence fragments

Coconut ice

Image courtesy of Pixabay

The sky is coconut ice.
A robin bursts with song,
Sharp and vortexed.
How does he not freeze?
Not tumble through the stiff bareness of the elder,
Fragile feathers catching at twiggy spurs –
A small ball of puffed air and folly,
While I mince on the shined sandstone
Sprinkling a safe salty path.

Keep the Noise Down

Work complete as day turns night,
Deities play with giant dice,
Rumble rock cubes in the sky,
Clash their jugs of mythic wine,
Sparking jolts of metalled white,
Whilst mothers bolt the windows tight,
Worried bairns would wake affright
As the thunderous clouds ignite.

Linking this to d’Verse Poets where Lisa was serving at the bar last night, inviting us to write a Quadrille using the word ‘work’ . (We had a hum-dinger of a thunder storm last night. Awesome lightning illuminated the garden as the thunder clashed above the house. )

Lady Libretto

Surreal Photo, manipulations by Justin Peters

She sings her tale as lyrically as any opera.
From the mountains, where breath is ice and air is thin,
she skips an elaborate path,
a trilling coloratura over rocks as worn as time.
Distracted on her way by willowed inlets
and the bel canto of romantic wallows
where love is lost and found
and lost again.
Until the grand finale –
that final leap into clouded oblivion –
as her aria lifts higher than a falcon
before she succumbs,
her fate written,
falling to a clash of cymbals
and the crash of rapturous applause.

Linking this to The Sunday Muse Blog spot ( where Carrie supplied this fabulous image and Sammi’s Weekend Word Prompts ( where we are invited to write 95 words exactly and include the word ‘opera’.

(NB: A Falcon soprano has a deeper register than a Coloratura soprano).

Thermal Imaging

Above, an infinity of blue –
deep and still and featureless.
a distant tchacking heralds a tide of jackdaws,
spiralling in a whirlpool of flight,
a helix of black morse code,
dots and dashes revealing
the invisible,
like dust brushed onto fingerprints,
nature’s imagers.

Linking this to The Sunday Muse Blogspot, where Carrie is focussing on all things feathered this week. After seeing the prompt, I sat outside in the shade with my coffee and saw a swathe of hundreds of jackdaws overhead. They caught a thermal and twirled higher and higher. It was wonderful to watch.

Phrenology for Lawns

Image courtesy of

It has a neglected air, like an untidy haircut.
The occasional wispy strand sticking up,
amongst the straw-like crop.
Death seems imminent.
The merest touch brings crumbs and dust.
And yet,
pale bumps appear – pilar cysts,
erupting through the hard, baked skin –
subterranean colonies building future empires.
Journeys, too, buzz overhead,
sucking, nudging, searching,
Silent wings, as light as thought,
flutter colour into the air
as if to say, look,
hearts are still beating.

Another drought-inspired penning …

Two Degrees

An aquatic Goldilocks,
Heat-sensitive to a fault,
Coral lay on a bed
not too hot,
not too cold.
She hoped her fuschia tresses
would remain –
she’d die before
being bleached.

K. Hartless at Yardsale of Thoughts offers up this image for today’s Petite Pen invitation ( using 30 words or less).

An increase in temperature of about 2 °F (or 1 °C) above average can cause coral bleaching.


The sky has a cold.
It should be in its bed,
Not dripping and sneezing
all over my head.

I’m drenched with its wet
From my top to my toes,
Oh why, tell me why
Can’t the sky blow its nose?

Well, I blame its parents,
The sun and the moon,
Who hide in the clouds,
Clearly child-care immune

They’ll wait for the snuffling
To finally cease
Then emerge, all shining,
To bask in the peace.

When I looked out of my kitchen window this morning, low heavy rain clouds hung over the hills, obscuring the green ridge that normally greets me...

Shore Gazing.

Photo by Chris Ghinda, Unsplash.

The haze holds close the shushing creep onto the shore.
Billowed colours dip and soar.
Baffled crows on sentry duty, caw.
Placid, ruminating blocks of shadow gather on green tufted waves,
as we gaze on chalk-white cheeks,
scored as if by some giant’s claws.

Linking this to d’Verse Poets quadrille which this week has been set by WhimsyGizmo aka De Jackson ( with the invitation to write a poem of exactly 44 words which include the word ‘chalk’. My offering is a re-working of a previous poem I have written about the seaside town of Seaford.