Where are they going, and why?

skytrails and green stripes November 2015

skytrails and green stripes November 2015

Posted in pictures, prose | Tagged | 3 Comments


image via Google


The greatest gift is for giving ─
ourselves, our time to help
creatively making or baking
something to give –
food, music, knowledge, art,
pleasure, a laugh
or simply just  forgiving.

for Miz Quickly

Posted in free verse, pictures, short poems | Tagged | 9 Comments

Border Crossing



Overarching support
links communities
by ideology

Miz Quickly asks us to write a poem of between 15 syllables and eight lines, and tells us to be concrete.  I have a literal kind of mind.

Also linked at dVerse for Open Link Night
Image:  The Danube Bridge from Wikipedia

Posted in free verse, pictures, short poems | Tagged | 29 Comments

Conversation Piece 2

Celie's welcoming committe 2The Welcoming Committee Plonkers

Did you hear what she told them
No, what?
A bull has come to the farmy.
So what?
More of those galumphing calves, that’s what
Ah, but it also means milk for us.
There’s more.
No, what?
A boar has come to the farmy.
So what?
That’s our noses out of joint.

Carlos IV, the new young Dexter bull at the Kitchen’s Garden.
Pictures:  © Celie Gunther, who is so generous in sharing her life with us.

Posted in pictures, prose poem | Tagged | 3 Comments

6-word-Saturday etc

The temperature has taken a dive
and if we are to stay alive
I must look out gloves
and winter boots,
scarf  and hat

Sunny November Sunday in Notre Dame 15.11.15_pe

The Autumn weather has been so kind to us that I was taken by surprise this morning,
standing shivering at the market stall with light fleece flying open,  icy hands and nose.

Yesterday, Miz Quickly asked us to  “Consider the window”

Eyes are my windows
to signal my mood to others
with sparkles, tears or rage.

Windows keep alive
my freedom to view the world
when all else fails.

Posted in haiku and senryu, life writing | Tagged | 10 Comments

What’s happening to WordPress now?

The header bar of my blog has suddenly decided to go mad.  Instead of a discreet line of page titles with dropdown menus, the content of every page now appears in clear, making a nonsense of the layout. This must be very confusing to readers.

Please can anyone tell me how I can put it back to how it was?

Posted in Wordpress gripes | Tagged | 7 Comments

I want you to tell me a story

Reading light escapist stuff
cheers me up but not enough;
happy ending, Cinderella-style
comedy or ripping yarn adventure,
whodunit mysteries beguile,
high-flown literary work
enlightens me but sometimes bores me
so a happy medium I seek:
something with a cracking story.



Miz Quickly wants us to write about my favourite occupationreading



Posted in humour, rhyming poetry | Tagged | 14 Comments

The Parsnip Cake


December nineteen forty-two,
party planned, but what to do ─
rations gone, no sugar, no butter,
no sweet delight to ice the cake
Mum had  begged and bartered
the wherewithal to bake.

In the garden, not much to gather  ─
potatoes, onions, parsnips.
Parsnips are sweet mashed to a lather.
Solution found, the cake is iced
without telling a soul.

Games played with shrieks of delight,
wartime party tea a wonderful sight
Candles blown out, cake demolished
in seconds, declared a triumph
against adversity, relished
but never repeated.



Zany Miz Quickly gave us the line Passing on the Mother. How can you not use a line like that somehow?”  I swithered and moithered, fossicking in my memory  before coming up with the true story of my fifth birthday.


Posted in food, life writing, rhyming poetry | Tagged | 21 Comments

Scraps for a quilt



I see red
in claret, crimson , scarlet ─
leaves on the ground
I see red
at injustice, treachery ─
righteous anger
I see red
in irritation at idiocy ─
nothing to be done
I see red
as a bright cheerful colour  ─
to keep me warm
I see red
as difficult to work with  ─
jarring clashes



For Miz Quickly who gave us two red pictures as inspiration for today’s poem. 

Posted in haiku and senryu | Tagged | 10 Comments

Seigneur ayez pitie de nous (mark II)


Have mercy on this wicked world
O Lord, I pray at start of day.
It’s the waste that makes my flesh crawl;
the waste of the truncated lives

by war and madness brought to dust,
never again to realise
the beauty of the start of day.
Zealots prepare to disobey

the sacred Quran which tells them
they’re not responsible for those
who go astray.  God will ensure
the goodness of the start of day.

Omnipotence unique to you ─
so Lord, I ask at start of day ─
why do you not use your power
to rid this world of division,

hatred and foul disunity?
At the start of every day
we will thank the Lord as we pray
for peace and tolerance and love.

This is a re-written version of a poem I wrote a couple of years ago.  The re-write was sparked by a post from Ron Lavallette in which he quotes words from the Koran which refutes the extremists’ idea that they should kill those who don’t believe as they do.  Miz Quickly asks us to write  a Kyrielle today.  My version loosely follows the rules, with a movable refrain and a token attempt at a rhyme scheme, but for once I have followed the set form of eight syllables per line.

Posted in formal poetry, rhyming poetry | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Sonnet Written in Shock

The grief at yet more crazy killing
is ripe to explode from me in words.
How  could any human being
inflict such terror city-wide?
What do they want, these murderers?
No adequate adjectives exist
in any language to express
revulsion for such unprovoked
barbarity.  Innocent victims out
in search of music, sport or food
massacred in blood ice-cold
by misbegotten savagery.
..Absolution will not be given
..by any God in any heaven.

Miz Quickly’s prompt today asks us to write a sonnet.  The shock of last night’s events is still too raw for coherent writing, so I hope you’ll forgive this clumsy attempt.  

Posted in formal poetry, rants, really bad poem, sonnet | Tagged | 25 Comments


Slept in peace, awoke to horror

Tour Eiffel for peace

I went to bed last night ignorant of the horrific events in Paris.  What can we do to stop these atrocities?

Posted in life writing, pictures | 16 Comments



When poetry is read aloud, delivery is all.
Booming cavernous tones denote
a poet too much up himself.
Remember the Edith Sitwell sound
destroying the poetry with drama
and ominous falling cadence?
Do you enjoy Michael Rosen
enjoying his mother’s chocolate cake
with real excitement?
Or the soft gentle tones of
Andrew Motion, evoking
the mood of yesteryear?
Or the onomatopoeic rhythm of
the Night Mail taking us all on a journey
to deliver the cheque and the postal order?

Miz Quickly’s prompt today  “Deliverysent my thoughts in the direction of various readings, solemn, lyrical or comic.  Here are some examples:  Edith Sitwell,  past Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, past laureate Andrew Motion , or the much-loved Night Mail of WH Auden, read by John Grierson


Posted in ekphrastic poetry, free verse | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Wet Feet

Miz Quickly wants us to write about getting wet feet, a thing I seldom do, taking willingly to wellies where necessary.  Cold feet, yes, about lots of things, but that’s another story.

A New Year ’s Day trip to an artist’s studio-cum-café in Seychelles saw us waiting at a bus stop when the monsoon started in earnest.  Machine gun bullets rained down on hapless, helpless ViV and Jock.  So what, we grinned cheerfully, it was a nice warm drenching.

The bus gave up when the flood reached the top of the tyres, so we got off and trudged through near waist-high water to the café.  Power was off – not unusual – so having admired all the artwork, we waited steaming slightly while lunch was improvised.  I was not popular when I sat down at the horrendously out of tune grand piano and played Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude.

We had to catch the Islander plane back to Mahé to be there for work next day, so we decided  to walk the few miles to the airstrip, finding that the driest place on the island was the beach.  We thought we’d missed our plane, but found the airport crammed with passengers waiting for the flood to subside so aircraft could land.  Eventually the sky cleared, a plane arrived, filled up with stranded passengers, and went there and back and there and back, first come first served.  Home and dry.

Now for a complete non sequitur:Celie's pig's wistful conversation piece HAIGA

A polite plonker haiga ─  image borrowed from the Kitchen’s Garden

Posted in life writing, Seychelles | Tagged | 13 Comments



Logophile from the toddler stage
Reading mastered at three─
even long and complex words
sometimes mispronounced
but never misspelled.
This word lover
could banish boredom
at a stroke
pass waiting time
in a whirl of
poems and stories;
reason, chat, argue,
and best of all, teach
to pass on the love and the words.

for Miz Quickly’s prompt asking us to go back into our past.  This was sparked by Dictionary.dom’s word of the day yesterday:  logophile, word lover.

Posted in free verse, life writing, short poems | Tagged | 12 Comments