for Octpowrimo day 4  – the prompt is to write a poem featuring magic.  The magic was missing when I tried to write, and my first poem was sheer doggerel.


Magic is an overused word –
I don’t believe in it and yet, and yet
a glorious spell of autumn weather
arrives by magic, coquette,
to cheer and clear the blues
rejuvenate, illuminate my days.
Whence comes this magic I couldn’t say,
but I really hope that it will stay
to put a spring in my old step.

 Then I looked out of the window, and this little haiku arrived 

Magic is made to 
miracle of misty morning
as the sun bursts through

meadow ecosystem for haiga

Posted in haiku and senryu, really bad poetry, rhyming poetry | Tagged | 15 Comments

Shopping with Jock

for Octpowrimo Day 3

Physical dilapidation
mental capacity in reduction
freedom of choice in diminution
mobile liberty deprivation
all contribute to my frustration
shame at my grumpy lack of appreciation
of all that he’s obliged to do for me
guilt for my ingratitude
in huffing at his patient resignation
a lose-lose situation.

Here is my letting-off-steam freewrite on shopping with Jock –

He doesn’t read labels, sighs and moans when I search exhaustively for the right product at the right price – feeling like a long-term prisoner because  I have no choice of where and when and how “we” shop.  Deprived of the freedom to get in the car and drive wherever and whenever I want to. No place for whim or changing mind.

Missing the supermarket familiar over 20 years, because they’ve enlarged and enlarged it so that I am unable to walk the distances from car to entrance and from section to section.
List making:  my mind doesn’t work like that; it needs the stimulation of seeing what’s on offer; the reminder of what I’ve forgotten.

A wheelchair piled misery upon misery – wheeled willy nilly – Stop – too late – back up.  Can’t reach – no not that one, the one on the left/right – too big – too small – wrong make – oh hell, take anything.

The new supermarket of Jock’s choice doesn’t have the brands I know and love, is laid out in illogical bays so that everywhere has to be searched backwards and forwards.

The shame of being banished from the checkout to “go and sit in the car”  –  a physical necessity, but mental degradation;  shame at my ingratitude for wayward choices, items missed, inappropriate makes or quantities. Shopping packed any old how. Tomatoes squashed, small items lost.  Putting it away at home is a nightmare – I’m too done in – so Jock does it and later I can find nothing.

The guilt is the worst – at the need for Jock to do so much;.  I despair.  Too weary for words.

Octpowrimo 2015   Day 3’s prompt:- Free write for ten minutes about what drains you, what depletes your energy and makes you want to stay away from the page and what you do to change or transform it to help you get your words written. After you are finished, choose some or all of it and create a shape poem, that is when you arrange the words to create a shape and you can find samples on Shadow Poetry. The shape can be anything that you want it to be.


Posted in free verse, life writing, prose, rants | Tagged | 20 Comments


Yes, I know it’s early, but

I made 4 Christmas cakes this week: – 1 for us and 3 for friends

Rich fruit cakes, they will be fed every day for a week with brandy and then once a week until the 1st December, when they will be covered with almond paste.  When the almond has had time to dry out, I will have to make the momentous decision whether to use Royal Icing.  This requires pick and shovel to cut, or should I go for something softer, which I’m not very good at making.

Jock helped enormously with this marathon bake-off,. By the time the kilo of flour plus large amounts of spices, 500 grammes of butter, 2 packets of dark brown sugar and the dozen eggs were ready to be incorporated with the 3 kilos of various marinated dried fruits and nuts, the quantity had outgrown two mixing bowls and overflowed into a (clean) washing up bowl. Jock’s strength was needed to manipulate and stir the mixtures together.

The cakes turned out without disaster and the house smelled gorgeously spicy during the hours of baking

As a reward, and to celebrate the continued glorious weather, we went to the beach with four friends yesterday and had a magnificent meal at the Restaurant de la Mer at Pirou Plage.

my half demolished lobster - a considerable amount spread down my front and on the cloth.

my half-demolished lunch

For the fourth time in my life I experienced the joy of eating lobster!  That’s approximately 1 every 20 years, and I remember them all!


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I’ll Fly Away

Galumphing along as best I can
I hold the tail of Mama in front
who holds the tail in front of her
and so ad infinitum.

The earth shakes with each mighty step ─
in unison we march to the general’s call
My legs are short, I’m out of puff
I think I’ll fly away.

A music prompt at mindlove misery’s menagerie tempted me this morning.
Also linked at Octpowrimo where the prompt was to use a scene from a favourite film as a starting point.  The Jungle Book is a film I put on when ill or depressed and wishing I could fly away.

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Bernard Evans Sky

Small fluffy white shapes
in a cerulean quilt ─
a Bernard Evans sky

Bernard Evans was a gifted Cornish artist who died last year.  We spent a very happy week with him on a painting course in the 1980s, and ever since we have called a sky like this a Bernard Evans sky.

A small poem linked to the first prompt for Octpowrimo, Clouds and also a recent prompt Small  The wysteria clad cottage is one I pass regularly, at the end of what I call the grassy path.

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Sentier des Douaniers

Margo Roby’s Tuesday Tryout gave us this painting by Monet, Fisherman’s House at Varengeville, Haute Normandie, as inspiration for a poem.  Among other ideas, she suggests we “Do what your brain started as soon as it saw the painting.”  Monet;s painting reminded me immediately of Cabane Vauban which is about 25 miles south of where I live.

Cabane Vauban - Gouville
Cabane Vauban, Carolles, Manche from Ma Normandie 

Sentier des Douaniers

Chemin des gardiens du royaume ─
ici on guettait les eaux
en attendant les contrebandiers
solitaire et loin du confort.
Des batailles entre criminels
et la loi ont gâché  la paix
de  ce paysage marin glorieux
afin d’assurer les revenus du pays.

Des mœurs évoluent,
enfin les randonneurs apprécient
le frisson de l’histoire du scène,
en prenant leur plaisir de la paix.

Which roughly translates as

The Customs Path

The way of the guardians of the realm ─
where they kept watch over the waters
for smugglers; lonely
and far from the comfort of home.
Skirmishes between criminals
and the law marred the peace
of this glorious seascape
in order to protect
the revenue of the country.

Customs changed
and now ramblers enjoy
a frisson from the history
while taking their pleasure in peace.

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Indian Summer

autumn sunday 27.9.15

A peaceful end
to a perfect day.
Harvest time
not far away.

Autumn Sunday

This glorious evening rounded off a lovely day with friends, with a fishy lunch at La Passerelle on the salt marshes near Brehal

les Salines 27.9.15

Posted in rhyming poetry, short poetry | Tagged , | 2 Comments


Strictly’s back – that’s me cheered up

What with Strictly Come Dancing, Gareth Malone,  Downton and Bake Off, my TV cup is full.

scrappy quilt being tacked

It’s slow going, but my scrappy quilt is almost completely tacked together.  Tomorrow I shall start hand quilting., A simple grid pattern is all that’s needed, as the scrap-happy top is too busy to contemplate adding to the confusion,  It is rather big, and will keep me warm throughout the winter while watching all this excess of television!

Sorry about the fuzzy picture – I think maybe the lens of my camera needs a clean or something!

Posted in life writing, quilts | Tagged | 15 Comments

Jisei – Tanka

Refusal to consider
the moment of my going ─
too close for comfort
better not to waste time fretting ─
enjoy every precious second

Probably too simplistic an interpretation of Gayle’s excellent prompt, to write a Japanese death poem, but my words are from the heart.

Posted in formal poetry, haiku and senryu, short poems | Tagged | 23 Comments

Baking Morning

cranberry buns

Sweet vanilla air
wafts across the room
lasts longer than the cakes

It won’t be long
before that temptress
perfume of fresh bread
permeates the house.
Like Alice, I shall obey
the command to “EAT ME!

and there are two blackberry and apple sponge puddings cooling, ready to go in the freezer

Posted in food, free verse | Tagged | 9 Comments


Amid the darkness
a lost love found me,
waiting like a lioness
under a lone  streetlight.
Images of you flood my mind.
Craving the fluidity of your presence,
I reject the tangibility of lost love
in favour of a found shadow.
The heart complicates
the simplest things.

Anthony Desmond is leaving the poets’ pub dVerse team to concentrate on publishing, and leaves us a cracker of a prompt to go out with a bang!  He gives us 8 of his own lines, from which we are to choose 3 to include in a poem.  Ever the rebel, I used bits of 7 of them but not one complete line – here they are:-

Flood me like a lone streetlight amongst the darkness
Craved images of you
A lost love found me, in you
Like a lioness with belladonna in her eyes
shooting eggs with guns
Fluidity of your presence
Shade like shadow
The heart makes the simplest things so damn complicated

Posted in found poetry, free verse, prompts, short poems | Tagged | 14 Comments

Winter Kyrielle

The longest nights are looming low
and misty mornings greet us, so
it’s time to hunker down with tea
to ride the winter out with me.

Cozy evenings we will spend
beside the fire, with bad tv.
A glass of wine or two or three
will ride the winter out with me.

Cheerful interlude of Yule
breaks the heart of winter’s rule,
helps us through the long ennui
to ride the winter out with me.

Worse will arrive with ice and snow
snivelling cold and stormy blow.
Endure, prevail, survive. To see
the end of winter, come with me.

Two prompts in one from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, – to be inspired by Winter and to write a classic Kyrielle (as opposed to a Kyrielle sonnet)   I cheated a bit as usual, with refrain and rhyme scheme.  For me, rigid adherence to rules ruins poems!

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Despair – Wordle 217

Deny it if you can –
the world is in a mess:
obnoxious cult a threat
to our survival.

Evil men will try
to make our lives a hell,
cause families to flee
the scent of war.

Tolerance is a trick,
empowers malevolence
to wreak its worst,
free the wicked alongside saints.

Goodness scorned, evicted –
subsides into the hinterland.
Vile deeds triumph in cities,
hills and valleys.

Heaven, help us.

Brenda’s Sunday Whirl reinforced my mood which was already sombre.

Posted in free verse, wordles | Tagged | 14 Comments

6-word Saturday

Misty below,bright above:  good day.

The mist was already beginning to disperse when I stirred my stumps to take a photograph (I am not an early riser) but you get the idea.  The scene is brightening as I write.

misty morning

The pelargoniums on my bedroom window cill are still blooming generously.  Some may over-winter.  I’ve bought some crocus bulbs to plant between the flowers.


Do go and see other 6-worders at Cate’s Place

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Changing Lives

a senryu chain for OLN at  dVerse – I missed the Changes prompt earlier in the week.

Everything changes
nothing stays the same for long –
keeps us on our toes

I hope fortune changes
for families fleeing in fear –
pray they find a home

Safety from fighting,
shelter, warmth and nourishment  –
a secure welcome

Stability comes
from homely normality –
where is it for them?

Posted in haiku and senryu | Tagged | 19 Comments