Archive for January, 2017

Panic Of Paths

Posted: January 31, 2017 in default

Tonight at Mish has introduced us to Canadian artist Ally Saunders and asked us to select one of her paintings as a base for a poem.

A panic of paths
spider through woods.
There’s no strategy
they just flee
in all directions.
Flowing blood red,
hunting for a way out.
They start filling the sky.
An anxious sun
watches them come
as Earth melts
into the universe.


Many Paths by Ally Saunders.
You can catch her work here


At First Light

Posted: January 30, 2017 in nature poems, thought stream

Today at we are writing a Quadrille. The challenge is to write a poem of exactly 44 words and this time include the word dawn.

Moonlight will stop
eating your shadows
and you can no longer
touch the stars
in the river.
Embers have died out
under a black cauldron
inhabited by bats
and your dreams.
The mist light of dawn
reveals what darkness
conjured up in the night.



Sun rising over Tumbling Fields near home

Web Of Lies

Posted: January 27, 2017 in nature poems, thought stream

This week at Toads, we’re looking at WB Yeats and in particular his poems ‘Sailing to Byzantium’  – the first line of which was the title of the film No Country For Old Men – and ‘The Second Coming’. A list of words from both has been drawn up and we’re to use at least three in a new poem. The words I used were tatter, gyre, pitiless, ceremony and a derivative of innocent.- see http://withrealtoads.

Deceit hangs in the dew dawn.
Diamond drops clutching gossamer.
Woven under cover of night it’s supine,
a trap masquerading as a work of art.

Stitched with the lace maker’s eye
and weightless. Spanning leaf and branch,
this curtain disguises a stage where a
pitiless scene will be played. A gyre

dizzying some innocent victim, luring
 it in to land. A struggle will follow, silk
will tatter and with ceremony
the catch will be spun into oblivion.



Prisoner of the Storm

Posted: January 24, 2017 in history and art

So this is fun and challenging: write a poem using nouns as verbs! Lillian at dverse has thrown down this particular gauntlet! As a base for the prompt I took one of the prints created by the remarkable Japanese woodblock print designer Utagawa Hiroshige.

Ohashi bridge insects
over Sumadi River.
Locust rain obliterates
Atake. The town reduced
to a far-bank blot.
This web sends people
scurrying, cloud under
coats and umbrellas.
But there’s no escape
for a lone boatman.
Soaked he bends to the task.
Spades his log raft downstream.
His only focus to ride out the storm.

Sudden Shower at Ohashi Bridge, Atake, by Utagawa Hiroshige, 1857


Searching For A Shadow

Posted: January 23, 2017 in nature poems

at Michael of Morpethroad has us looking at composing Haibun, which is basically a prose poem with a haiku to finish.


For a moment I fear for the heron’s safety. A bi-plane: all rushing air, flapping canvas, fragile undercarriage. There will be a crash and debris. But it touches down like a feather, shuffles on the edge of water. Turns to stone. Gimlet eyes bore an underworld, insects and fish free of gravity. The whole planet in a bubble. The whole bird wired – waiting for a shadow. The whole clock stopped – waiting for movement.

You miss the fast stab
see a sliver of ingot
caught in sun and beak


This is a photo I took last autumn at Wisley Gardens


Posted: January 16, 2017 in nature poems

Today at we are writing a Quadrille. The challenge is to write a poem of exactly 44 words and this time include the word whisper.

Pebbles are the chattering ground
between sea and land until
the tide retreats in whispered
sighs through coarse-grained sand

Stirred up by the moon’s engine room
the tide turns and there’s talk again
Waves speak at breaking point,
bringing stories from the horizon.



Last summer while recovering from pneumonia I spent time relaxing by the sea
and leaving pebble poems for people to find. Here’s a line I’ve reworked into tonight’s poem