Ms Quickly prompt for today was a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, which I have bowdlerised in a haiga.  The two pictures were borrowed from Celie at The Kitchen’s Garden.  The story about the chicks is that the incubator was turned over by the dogs in the cold Illinois night, and the about-to-hatch eggs fell, as well as cooling rapidly.  Happily some of these heritage chicks survived, thanks to Celie’s tender care.

celie's heritage chicks haiga

celie's rooster haiga



Posted in haiga, pictures | 5 Comments


L’hippogriffe d’après un dessin de
 Gustave Doré pour le Roland furieux.


A foofaraw of wings and things
decorate the hippogriff,
epitome of heraldry,
legendary ancient myth,
one of those weird beings
beloved of historic fable,
issue from miscegenation
of  female horse with eagle.
The Hippogriff, courageous beast,-
rescued distressed maidens
by flying high and far and fast
to see off wicked Satans.

Ms Quickly is having such fun with her prompts, and it’s rubbed off on me.  I thought a hippogriff was a phonetic term (hypoglyph?) so I dived into Wikipedia to discover how wrong I could be.  A foofaraw is one of’s words of the day, and means an excessive amount of decoration or ornamentation.

Posted in ekphrastic poetry, rhyming poetry, short poetry | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Anthropocene in spondee

for Ms Quickly’s March 3  prompt

Greed grows
sews harm
mars all.

Takes, uncaring of the future.
Wastes resources and energy
in wanton consumption
negligent of consequence
for our descendants.

No rain
dust bowl
no food

outcome:  extinction.

The Anthropocene is an informal geologic chronological term for the proposed epoch that began when human activities had a significant global impact on the Earth‘s ecosystem

Spondee is a metrical foot consisting of two long syllables, of equal stress.

Posted in free verse, politics, short poetry | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Letter to a killer

Abhra at dVerse tells of the horrendous murder of  a Hindu writer in Bangladesh.  He wants us to write a protest poem.


Cri de coeur

Oh you who judge men
for believing something different
from your own beliefs;

who kill in hatred,
killing good people you don’t know;
learn to love instead;

in shared sympathy,
celebrate the differences
in humanity.

Posted in formal poetry, haiku and senryu, short poetry | 26 Comments


Margo Roby has us thinking about fire – mostly in terror at a runaway fire in the open.  I’m re-blogging one of my old favourites, in honour of our new woodburning stove, which is such a comfort.


A friendly word
for the start of warmth.
Splinters, shavings, chips of oak,
chopped sticks and kinked twigs
then serious timber,  a handspan thick.

The catalyst, a fizz of sulphur,
prelude to atavistic pleasure
in spits,  sparks, flames,
and quietly glowing cinders.

Posted in free verse, life writing, short poetry | 9 Comments


Ms Quickly is continuing to inspire us daily with her quirky prompts.  My first line, except for the last word,  is the prompt.


I have here in my hand a list of words
long words, short words
defining words describing words
active words and passive words
rude words and buzz words
jargon, slang and swear words
but without a zing of creativity
they’ll never tell a story
make a poem or sing a song

Posted in free verse, nonsense poems, short poetry | 8 Comments

Episode Wordle 201


Through hardened arteries and granite veins
blood circulates sluggishly, stops.
Consciousness fades and I howl with fear.
Through ghost memories of other times
I see my flesh on theatre table,
with needles and tubes, electronic flickering,
equipment for which I know no name.
Through whirling haze I feel the weight
of hands working on me – I push them away,
“Don’t do that” I say, ” I’m back now.”
Smiles all round.


A true story for Brenda’s Sunday Whirl.  I hope others are less gruesome.

Posted in free verse, life writing, short poetry, story poems | Tagged | 16 Comments

Poetry Is…

Ms Quickly is generously posting a prompt every day.  Today’s is:  Poetry Is …

Felix Mendelssohn wrote  Songs Without Words.
Poetry is Words Without Song … or is it?
The poems that I love are all musical,
meaningful, rhythmic and melodic,
they put  a glow on the humdrum,
romanticise the unexciting,
weave magical words
to convert boring
into  interesting.
Poetry  is


Also posted at dVerse Open Link Night

Posted in free verse, shape poems | 25 Comments


That which was lost is found

Last Saturday morning, while having coffee with some friends, I discovered that my very expensive hearing aid was missing from my worse ear.  Retracing  steps,   frenzied searching, alerting the village shop and the Mairie – all fruitless.  

Several blurred days followed.

Yesterday at lunch, we gave up and decided that it was time to inform the insurance company and the hearing centre.  Before we could suit actions to intention, Jock came rushing in holding the minuscule plastic gizmo, shouting Eureka.  He had found it on the floor in the darkest corner of the garage.  Sounds became sharp and clear again and  my belief in the indestructibility of matter was vindicated.

Posted at Cate’s place.

Posted in life writing | 21 Comments

Playing with Light


Ile de Brehat by Maufra

Softly silken shifting shadow –
no glimpse of light – I cannot see.

Add a little glitter,
glisten, gleam, and gloss.
a shimmer starts to sparkle,
twinkle, flicker, add the shine
of recognition, bring back to life.

Margo Roby gave us some lovely pictures and asked for a poem about the quality of light.  Mine is pure play.  

Posted in ekphrastic poetry, free verse | Tagged | 9 Comments

All that Glitters

Colourful adventures, courtly love –
in days of old a counterpoint to
men of boldness risking all for glory.
Adored by ladies for their exploits
knights in shining armour honoured war,
with lance and horse and bravery.
But someone always  gets hurt, so I deplore
those days of so-called chivalry
when all was risked in search of victory
and  losers lost their lives.


All is mediaeval panoply at dVerse, where two of the original hosts are going out with a bang, and I felt I should contribute even though the subject is not a favourite of mine!  We shall all miss Brian and Claudia as jovial bartenders.

Posted in rhyming poetry | Tagged | 22 Comments

Healing Light – Wordle 200


Hopeless yearning for the unattainable
takes me stumbling towards the river.
Dark reflections echo my morbid contemplation.
Beneath the umbrella of the forest canopy
tiny delicate petals are striving to open,
searching for light
until a gleam from behind the clouds
gives the impetus
to unfurl budding petals
and release despair into the blue.

Thank you, Brenda at the Sunday Whirl    for the words, which are:-

umbrella, river, hopeless, petals, post, uncut,
yearning, delicate, tiny, perched, blue, until

Posted in free verse, wordles | 9 Comments



30.10.14 daisy

There are daisies in the lawn

and a dandelion or two,
primroses and celandines
stand   out  here  and  there
violets just peeping through.
Catkins on the hazel boughs
still hide their rosy flower
but it won’t be long
before a cheer
salutes the thaumaturge
who shows us Spring is almost here.



Written for Margo Roby’s prompt to write about flowers, as well as for 6-Word-Saturday.
Thaumaturge was’s word of the day a few days ago, and I just had to use it.  It means maker of magic, miracle bringer.

Posted in rhyming poetry, shape poems, short poetry | Tagged | 21 Comments


 Miz Quickly gave us a couple of quotes to spur us into (poetic) action.  Here is what they did to me.  The first line is by William Blake and the third line is by Henry Fielding.  The rest is mine own!

I give you the end of a golden string
to follow along until you find Spring,
when all Nature wears one universal grin
and people do the daftest things
for joy at liberation
and fling
away hats
and scarves
and hotpots
that warmed us.
through the doleful grim
of winter

Posted in nonsense poems, rhyming poetry, short poetry | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Viva la Volta

Bjorn at dVerse tonight is talking about that wonderful poetic device, the volta - I suppose “about face” describes it.  Long ago I wrote a sonnet called Viva la Volta, which I can’t find anywhere.  A couple of years ago it was turned into a Rondeau for dVerse, and you’ll find it here.     I’d like to write a new one, but my poetic oomph seems to have deserted me of late, so here’s another oldie which is one of my favourites.   It has a very distinct sestet volta.

Night thoughts  – a Petrarchan Sonnet

As I was lying in my cosy bed
I thanked the Lord for giving me such warmth,
and shelter from the havoc of the storm
in comfort in my hilltop home.  I said
my prayers of gratitude as aforesaid.
Thankfulness for bounty is the norm
for every caring person, to transform
a grumpy-guts to happy bunny.  Instead

of self-congratulation, thoughts of others
who do not have the haven of a home—
of prisoners of conscience, dispossessed,
or  orphans cruelly deprived of mothers,
of  people tyrannised, oppressed, alone—
aroused my anger, would not let me rest.

Posted in formal poetry, re-blogs, rhyming poetry, sonnet | Tagged | 17 Comments