Sally’s Wild Challenge

fuzzy reduced sorrel bank

watercolour wash
of sorrel clothes the bocage
with a scarlet veil

red splashed with
oxeye and cow parsley
lost in sea of green

walk 29.5.15 – I can see this from my armchair as well.

Posted in haiku and senryu, nature poems | 3 Comments

The Poetry of Every Day

light at the end if the tunnel

The start of every day
is different, yet the same:
peer through un-curtained window
assess the sky for promise,
set mood and expectations..

Agenda similar, routine unvaried
until I’m out there,
eyes everywhere
glorying in small shy hedgerow flowers
or exuberance of roses round cottage door;
mighty mounds of cumulus,
wispy streaks of cirrus
or smooth unblemished blue.

I stop to chat to Monsieur X
in his antiquated wheelchair,
taking the air each day on his front step.
I wave at les gars as I pass the bar –
is that Monsieur le Maire I spot?
Which way at the crossroads?
I glance at church clock
for permission to choose the wild path
or admonition to hurry home.

Wild path it is.
I trudge through mud
of tractor tracks,
tangled jumble of bramble,
swerve and duck
if I’ve remembered the secateurs,
Sniff the scent of grass and flowers,
and if I’ve remembered my hearing aids,
savour  insect buzz and trilling birdsong.
at a hole at base of tree stump,
trace the track through overgrowth
wondering who or what lives there.

My exercise, daily the same,
yet ever different.

This rambling effusion was originally written for Tuesday’s Poetics prompt at dVerse, but I was too late to post, largely because I couldn’t make up my mind as to the form the poem should take.   There are elements of formal poetry – alliteration, assonance, consonance and rhyme – but the words kept coming and it needs some serious shrinking. Maybe, given more time, I will discipline it into, eg, a sonnet (my favourite form).   Meanwhile, I have linked it to the dVerse prompt from Brian Ens, on prosody.

Posted in free verse, longer poems, nature poems | Tagged | 25 Comments

Wild walking

Sally has challenged me to go wild for June, but it isn’t time  yet, so I give you an UN wild picture or two this lovely sunny May dayroses round the door

cottage at the end of a wild path on my walk yesterdayrosy cottage

and a clematis-clad garage around the corner clematis

Posted in pictures | Tagged | 7 Comments

Triptych of Painted Poems

by Camille Pissaro

Wind in the trees
sets leaves dancing.
Down on the ground
skirt stays prim
around her ankles;
flat hat doesn’t fly.

 by James Proudfoot

Oh to be walking up that street
towards the hidden view
soaking up sunlight
or revelling in cool shadow.
Will I see the sea
when I reach the crest?

I don’t want to know –
the mystery is more enticing.

 bu Maxime Maufra

Blues in the heavens
rippled with clouds.
Blues in the water
smile at the sky.
Small canvas set,
boats wait for the tide.

Margo gave us three  gorgeous paintings in her Tuesday Tryout, wanting us to fasten on a detail and write about it.   I couldn’t – each was a whole entity, and to single out a detail seemed to de-value the work.

Posted in ekphrastic poetry, Poems, short poetry | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Poem goes Phut

Mindlovemiserysmenagerie gives us a beautiful wordle, asking us to use 10 of these heterogeneous words: Tweak 2. Cloy 3. Jeans     4. Browse     5. Reverse     6. Pewter     7. Nozzle  8 Bedraggled 9. Stria   10. Truculent      11. Knuckles     12. Slack

My muse  is slacking, my skill is in reverse.
Truculently I slam the keyboard, pound out words,
browse them in despair.
The bedraggled poem drags its knuckles on the floor,
is tweaked viciously to no avail.
Poetry cloys.
I browse the thesaurus,
turn the nozzle of focus hither and yon.
Striated lines pile up higgledy piggledy,
are re-arranged until they make no sense.
The poem escapes my grasp
and dies.

Posted in free verse, really bad poetry | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Quirky Quilting

An enticing brightly coloured heap
awaits me in the sewing room.
Humming softly I survey, reflect, and ponder
what to make – what a fool, as if I had a choice.
The fabrics shout “pick me,” “and me.”
I laugh aloud with glee,
dive straight in, scissors flashing.
Whoops too much, mistakes to mend.
There’s method in my madness though,
to sew and slash in slapdash style
to join and re-join heedless
of resulting chaos. The final
psychedelic quilt delights a child
and charms the sternest critic.

Written for Whirligig #8

Posted in nonsense poems, quilts, wordles | Tagged | 7 Comments


Our neighbours bought a sun canopy

last month, and we’ve hardly seen the sun since!   My son and grandson are here for the weekend and we were hoping for some  kite flying on the beach, but the forecast is not good.

Bliss on a cold wet Sunday We’re more likely to be looking at this.

Posted in life writing | Tagged | 8 Comments


image © Rain Drops Falling

Bullets bouncing, rowdy, on the path,
splashing down in shining glassy sheets.
Reflections answer, grey, from moving wrinkles,
demonstrate the power of the storm.
Grass responds with vigorous upward growth –
fodder for beast converts to food for man.

written in a oner early yesterday morning, looking out of my bedroom window, and posted at dVerse poets’ pub for Open Link Night.

Posted in free verse, nature poems, short poetry | Tagged | 32 Comments

History of an apple tree

In November 2013, daughter Sally Hutt gave Jock an apple tree for his 80th birthday. As we can’t plant trees at our rented home, the gift was planted in their Northumberland garden.

Jock's apple tree

Jock’s apple tree 

The year passed, and one delicious apple ripened on that tree, Jock's first apple in situ which was duly wrapped in copious layers of tissue, posted, and arrived in France for Jock’s next birthday feast.

Jock's joy
Today Sally posted this photograph, so it looks as though there might be fruit this year.

Restless Jo is following a challenge, 5 days, 5 photos, 5 stories  and invited me to join in.  This is my response.

Posted in life writing, pictures, prose | Tagged | 7 Comments

Another Kind of Love – a sonata poem


I Allegro Amabile

Shakespeare denies that love can be love
which alters when it alteration finds.
Experience informs me otherwise.
That first euphoric flurry
bears us onward in impetuosity
from first encounter
through exploration,
exposed illusion.
Ephemeral glory
but love for all that.

II Allegro Appassionato-Sostenuto-Tempo I

Stormy transition morphs to humdrum
climbs to summit and back again –
swell to great with crashing chords
in clashes of divergent moods;
slides subtly through moderato
via pause and repeat to gentle
understanding. Calm acceptance
rules resurgence of passion
to tenderness and back again –
another kind of love.

III Andante con Moto – Allegro

Another kind of love – despite of wrinkles
this thy golden time –
all passion not quite spent,
progression from hectic,
through stately to exciting
and back again.
Togetherness a bulwark
against worldly pressure
to ripening harvest of creative pleasure
as time accelerates towards conclusion.
Another kind of love.

Phoenix Rising suggests we use the words of another poet as inspiration, title or first line.  I have gone further with this poem which was written a couple of years ago.

Based on Brahms Sonata Op.120 No.2 for clarinet and piano. The music, which is some of the most difficult I have ever played, is full of passion tempered with calm passages.  My thoughts turned to marriage and its evolution.  The first section quotes from Shakespeare, Sonnet CXVII, and the last from Sonnet III.  Swell to Great is a coupler on a pipe organ, linking two big pipes to produce a thunderous sound.  My poem echoes in part the cadence of the music, with rather too many mixed metaphors, but so be it.

Posted in ekphrastic poetry, found poetry, free verse, longer poems, re-blogs | Tagged , | 9 Comments



I was a scruffy child, a tatterdemalion,
always told to “go and change –
you can’t go out like that.”
A not-much-smarter old lady now –
comfort prized way above style –
Mum looks down from heaven and sighs
“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”

And another change:
La barbe de Grandmère,*
torn out with an ouch
and a wince of hot wax today,
so that grandson can kiss
her newly-soft cheek
when he comes visiting on Friday.

*Grandma’s beard.
written for Margo Roby’s Tuesday Tryout.  She wants us to work on synonyms for change.  My mind strayed, as usual!

Posted in free verse, life writing, short poetry | Tagged | 17 Comments

Plastic Challenge


Curse the man
who invented plastic
packaging –
lasting through millennia
smothering all life.

 A shadorma is a non-rhyming six-line poem in lines of  3/5/3/3/7/5 syllables

posted at

Originally posted on Going Plastic Free:

The Marine Conservation Society has now launched its plastic challenge.  This is basically what we have been trying to do as three colleagues at Northumberland Wildlife Trust since January and it’s great to see the idea given some national attention.

MCS challengeFor those wanting to give it a go our advice is to just try.  Even if you can’t go all out and remove single use plastics from your life everyone can reduce the amount they ‘create’. To do it properly takes time and effort, to make a big difference is relatively easy.  Like most things of this kind cutting the first 50% is simple it gets harder and harder to eat into the remainder until the final few percent requires an enormous amount of effort and time. But if everyone reduced by 50% it would make a huge difference. It is very hard watching shoppers in a supermarket pick up…

View original 47 more words

Posted in nature poems, Poems | 8 Comments

Whirligig Wordle 7

Longing to be leaving,
I don’t want to find you grieving,
lighting candles to remember
what you thought of  as a treasure.
Rush away  and have some fun –
learn to roar at the sun,
for this prodigal
is indestructible.

Other poems constructed from the words to be found here

Posted in rhyming poetry, wordles | Tagged | 16 Comments


Mist and rain hiding our view

and will mar our trip out this morning – for lunch beside the sea at Pirou, 

pirou reflection

with a lovely French family.   But they can’t spoil our pleasure in the company of little Constance, of good friends and in the fabulous cuisine of a favourite restaurant.

Jo's and my starters 28.11.14

I finished the cushion that was giving me so much trouble, by free-motion-machine quilting, a technique which gives me as many problems!

paper-pieced cushion

Posted in food, life writing, pictures | 21 Comments

Thesis and Antithesis


I learned to write an essay in my seventies –
a skill I should have had when I was young.
Theme and rheme, subject affecting object,
logic through development to conclusion.

Guesstimate, authentic information,
hard facts side by side to make a point
higgledy-wild or straight extrapolation,
all wrapped up or leaving room for doubt.

Decorate the whole with apt quotation,
count the words and type the subtle title;
hand it in and wait with apprehension,
confident you’ve done your feeble best.


Meeting the Bar at dVerse tonight throws down the gauntlet to write a poem of contrasts, synonyms and antonyms scattered with gay abandon.   Do go and read other surprising poems.

Posted in formal poetry, rhyming poetry | Tagged | 25 Comments