30 Nov 2014


A soldier and his dainty lass
were sad to say goodbye
when he was forced to go to war;
they parted with a sigh.

"Take care! No matter where you roam
I'll pray for you each day"
and bravely holding back the tears,
she waved him on his way.

The soldier in his scarlet coat
marched off with noble tread,
while fearing that the girl might guess
what thoughts lay in his head.

"How will I live without my love?
And should I not survive
how will she fare all on her own
instead of as my bride?"

Inspiration gave out at this point, but I may add to it later! The adapted picture is of this week's Magpie which Tess gave us. Its original version is 'Bond of Union, 1956, by M. C. Escher', but I needed to play! 

7 Oct 2014

Time Travel?

Play me Tchaikovsky’s  Romeo and Juliet  theme, on a violin, and I’m back in a London street on a snowy winter’s afternoon, transported by coach for a day out , but transported by the music to another time, to that day spent in the company of my first boyfriend. We held hands and shared magic…

Fireblossom, in the Imaginary Garden for Real Toads, set a challenge last Saturday...Here are my 55 words which capture a moment in time.

17 Aug 2014


Bold seafarers dream
as wind-waves dance together.
Moonlight adds magic.

Interpretation of original photo by R D Stainforth, for The Mag 233

10 Aug 2014

Dream Time

Angel wings? Or Batman's cloak?
Which of these your muse invoke?
Will you escape the fires of hell
as Sunday's Magpie rings your bell
and sets your mind to lateral thinking
when you really have no inkling
as to where its lines may lead?
Will you write a full blown screed,
or will you do verbal gymnastics
and pen a poem? How fantastic!
I wish you joy - and come what may -
have fun with Tess this august day
of August as you scratch your head
and think 'I wish I'd stayed in bed!
This artwork is a Dream Time tale
but clever words seem set to fail
for who can catch a waking dream
when all is not quite as it seems?!'

Thanks to Tess and the image by Keith Haring at The Mag, from which I used a detail to create my accompanying effort. :-)

28 Jul 2014

Reversed Reality

People's living ghosts
admire a gleaming image
of Nefertiti,
legendary immortal -
thanks to ancient history.

Uncanny image thanks to Tess and her Mag 230

20 Jul 2014

Family Portrait

As a family portrait, the work left much to be desired.

But now he was full grown, the son seemed to hear his mother's playing every time he stood before the painting. 

He'd remember the time he'd been standing by her at the piano, the time when he'd noticed his father turn and walk away.

 Since then, nothing had ever been the same.

Written for the Mag 229, where Tess gave us an image of quite another persuasion...but which I translated into something else....
I hope you get the picture. :-)

13 Jul 2014

Architectural Illusion

The painting was huge.
Once unveiled, the scale of it
could fool the senses
into believing they saw
a steel and concrete town-scape;
dark-glass reflections
creating strange images
of alien things
hovering just out of sight
behind a wire forest.

Written for Mag 228, with thanks to Tess and the un-named photographer.

P.S. Though it may look like random line breaks, I've actually used two of the Tanka, five line, 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count.

30 Jun 2014

Shuffle & Deal

Thanks to Tess at Mag 226 with her prompt image by Meredith Frampton, entitled A Game of Patience, 1937

24 Jun 2014


Have you heard of Charlie Dimmock? She's the water feature Queen
of TV gardening programmes, which you've probably not seen,
but you'd recognise the gardens in which she's reigned supreme.

There's always lots of water gushing from a spout
or shooting up into the air, or winding in and out
along a crafty water course which gravity can't flout.

Charlie's tanned and winsome, with a head of wayward curls
which she allows to wander free - not like other girls
who tie their locks atop their heads, or wind them round in whorls.

But when she did my garden, there were no less than four
of the water-spitting lion heads - I couldn't ask for more -
as they played their water music in the pool outside my door!

(In all honesty, I can only dream of Ms Dimmock doing a makeover in my sad, slabbed patio - but what are Mags for, if not to dream?!)

Thanks to the artist John William Waterhouse  and Tess, from whose Mag 225 this detail was taken.

And if anyone would like to see how to earn a gold star, pop over here 

15 Jun 2014

Headline News

Shadow beings lie within us, waiting
to make their presence felt; to bend the truth
till our conscious minds are set in turmoil
by unaccustomed promptings of temptation.
We feel the warmth of all their whispered goads
which hold us, teetering on wisdom's brink,
ready to misread a situation;
to falter in our stride and lose the way...

It's then we have to choose to take control,
to push our finer instincts to the fore -
ignoring what might be the easy choice -
and strive, however hard, to do what's right,
with no regret, no thought of recompense
except a well earned sense of justice done.

Oh, Tess! I've decided to re-post an edited version of the illustration and poem I did first time around. Full marks to anyone who spots the changes to Mag 224 and apologies to Rene Magritte...LOL

8 Jun 2014


Sometimes a  switch will flick and it sends
you into overdrive; I recognise the
warning signs of a mechanism which
has lost control, as needles oscillate
and register maximum overload.

Unplug wires; reverse polarity
until currents flow unhindered again,
and a temporary peace is achieved.

But still you'll wind me up and reel me in,
with no thought of my deflated spinning
mind, or damaged resolutions inside
my bruised components as the tape replays
an old story, instead of recording
a better history for the future.

Written for Tess and The Mag 223,  
and linked to IGWRT'S Open Link Monday

27 May 2014

Artists come in many forms...

Image by courtesy of Hilary at The Smitten Image
            Light weaves tapestries
            to hang as a canopy
            above our bowed heads,
            as we honour the artist
            who created such beauty.

18 May 2014

High Fliers

Has your chick fledged?
Teetered on the nest edge,
flapped wings, and flown
before he was full grown?

Perhaps he only fluttered to the ground,
down, down, down...
as you watched his fall,
wanting to call
'Take care!
Remember the air
may be friend, or foe
if you go
too close to the Sun,
and like Icarus, defy
the ruler of the sky.'

But though high fliers may rise
in search of some glittering prize,
we could never choose
to loose
our concern
that they won't burn...

Without  hatchlings, a nest
looks empty. Best
fill it with a new lining;
forget  pining,
for soon a new brood will come to visit.

And it so happened, this fitted Wednesday's Toad prompt, too!

The Smile

The dog nudged his nose against the woman's arm, hoping she would feed him scraps from her plate, but she was far too excited at seeing who had come to sit opposite her, to notice this silent begging.
The lackluster day transformed into a Technicolor afternoon, forcing her to smile in recognition of the improvement.

Thanks to Tess and Edward Hopper for coming together in the Mag 220, from which this detail took flight. Come Friday, it will be linked to G-Man, too, as it happens to have exactly 55 words! What luck. :-)

13 May 2014

Early Bird?

Photographer Unknown
Today, I spotted a Sepia Saturday post, ready for 17 May, and as its subject matter has always been close to my heart, here's my seaside poem, accompanied by a detail from a photo which appeared on Google Images , but without acknowledging the one who clicked the shutter. I thank them, whoever they were.

Sea Edge

In creeps the water,
tickling my toes,
swirling its whirlpools.
But nobody knows
where the sea comes from
or where it all goes.

Was it in China,
or distant Japan
that this pool of ocean’s
blue ripples began?
How many more miles
will they have to span?

How far have they travelled
and how many waves
crashed onto shorelines
or hid inside caves
before they arrived here,
so buoyant and brave?

8 May 2014

On Stage

The Play’s The Thing

A sudden shutter clicks and doorways open.
Sunlight lays its hands upon my head
and energy cascades about my form.
It brings a scene shift on the stage of life
and I, as actor, need a different script
to follow.  Playwright, do you heed my words?
The backdrop changes daily. I have learned
that standing in the wings is not enough.
It's time to enter right and play my part.

See IGWRT's  Open Link Monday

4 May 2014


A replica will not be found in any book...
Look for a dog with big ears, and perhaps,
chaps, you will see what I see.
Heehee! No, not three, but two eyes... and his nose
goes according to plan. Man! He's ugly, though,
so be kind.
Find one small thing to inspire,
fire your imagination. Perhaps his long(ue ?)
tongue (hung left) is panting,
wanting water, or a friend to lick.

Who will come to his rescue? Will you, Tess? For it is your Mag 218 which caused his creation thanks to Salvador Dali's equally strange image :-)

3 May 2014

At The Going Down Of The Sun

Original Image by Penny Smith
Stillness spreads
over the landscape
as evening
stands poised on the horizon
   of another day.

An edit of something I wrote earlier, updated and posted for Poetry Jam.

27 Apr 2014

Prepare Yourself

Pull up a side table equipped with snack, thermos and mug;
plug in the computer and prepare to feed the muse.
Use words floating in the air
where many books have left reading sessions'
impressions on the room's ambiance.
Dalliance with famous writer's ideas
appears to make our own, grow.
So devour the library from 'aye' to 'zee'.
See? Home comforts will
still be on offer to provide some
fun, as you can (between each scribble)
nibble on another toothsome,
winsome, chocolate coated digestive -
festive fare with style. 

Written for Tess at The Mag 217

25 Apr 2014


Similar image found on eBay
Pack my life in a suitcase,
like one I had as a child,
with brown cardboard corners
rubbed grey and tin handle rattling,
as it lollops side to side
between silver  flip-clips
which open to display
a retro paper lining...

In first, goes a layer of war-torn sounds
to cower in corners.
Cover them with school uniforms
and scatter primrose memories
of picnics in the woods.

Layer paintings from college
with tears from teen dramas, until
confetti and a wedding veil shroud them
in mists of time, and baby powder scent
sends kisses and cuddles whirling
in ever growing spirals towards adulthood.

Tissue paper days of work and ageing,
of living, of loving, of life itself,
sandwich together as I press down
the lid to preserve my memories.

Margaret at IGWRT's set me off on a strange tack today, with her talk of asylums and artistic impressions...I hope my padded cell is ready?!

 “Write a poem that is full of personal emotion, sentiment, longing, confusion… wherever your mind takes you.”

This was a sentence near the end of the diatribe that I chose to focus on, as the rest was too depressing for words, and the mention of all the suitcases left behind did the rest…

23 Apr 2014

There's No Accounting...

...for the way a prompt can lead the mind into lateral thinking. As I saw a Poetry Jam post on my long deserted reading list, and noticed the word 'Deserts', my initial reaction was to flip to 'desserts' an often mis-spelt, dictionary neighbour, but then two words took its place - arid desert. Is that tautology, I wonder? Nevertheless, it reminded me of a sad little poem I'd written in the days of my youth, which I decided to resurrect in the hope that some Poetry Jam sweetness might result, thereby  adding to its flavour. Not all deserts are sandy!


Do I create you
from my own wishes
when suddenly you appear
at unexpected times?
I know when you're nearby.
Unbidden, my mind creates
a vacuum of suspense
and your form rushes
to fill the void
and breathe new life
into my existing  being.

Nothing can parallel
the surge of joy
that such chance meeting brings.
Love’s blossom blooms
in the arid desert of a day
till then without you
and my very soul takes wing.

P.S. Perhaps I should change the title to 'Mirage'?!

21 Apr 2014

Easter Monday

Yellow-green gold, Euonymus leaves shine,
basking in their own beauty. Day uncurls
towards noon and flowers unfurl petals,
yawning, blinking into startled life. Birds
serenade Spring, composing symphonies
no pen could capture within black barred lines
of manuscript, perches only for notes
which can never be caged. And Easter-time
echos a message of hope around the world.

Written for IGWRT's Open Link Monday, this bright morning.

20 Apr 2014


Beyond the plantation, a mysterious glow lit the horizon. It seemed to creep closer, until it had outlined both young and old, and its energy drew them inexorably towards the source.

Indistinct bell-tones echoed through the crisp air, strands of notes swirling like garlands, to drape tree branches and shoulders alike.

There was a feeling of calm, and a great sense of homecoming as the people quickened their steps, eager to the reach their destination and begin a new life.

Written for The Mag  Thanks to Tess for the prompt, and to George F. Mobley, from whose photo 'Finland 1968' I chose this detail to play with.

13 Apr 2014

Terri Daktill

Terri Daktill was a bird
without much wing or feather.
But in his mind he was quite sure
he was the best bird ever.

He strutted across desert plains
defying wind and weather.
But now his bones are fossilised
until the twelfth of never.

For he fell into a weed strewn pond
which had a muddy bottom,
and over time this mud ensured
he'd never be forgotten.

Terri is secure at last
thanks to primordial slime;
an image from our ancient past
he's a relic fused in time.

Earlier in the week I watched a great BBC program about a world heritage site in Messel, Germany, which has produced a wealth of fantastic fossils. I am indebted to that for my inspiration, as well as Tess and her Mag picture by Balthus, from which I produced this image.

6 Apr 2014

Snozmole Wump

Beware the sleejus Snozmole Wump!
He's gloochier than a heffalump,
though somewhat of fraptode chump.
(Don't tell him!)

He snortles around rocks and stones
and loves to grind up brittle bones
of those who sit and kronk alone
to fell him...

He snortles over hill and dale
while gruttling for a fructus bale
of weedpoke stems, or bragmus tails
with lemin.

He snortles up the stairs at night
to give all babtot kips a fright
by smogrifying all the light,
and yellin'!

Best clup your eyes and huj your snout
whenever Snozmole Wump's about... 
Oh, no! My fribble friends, lookout!
He's comin'!

With thanks to Tess and apologies to Kelsey Hannah for this flight of fancy for The Mag 214.

24 Mar 2014


Moonlight seeks the satin sheets
but that bed is not inviting.
Both it and rubbish strewn around
shrink from such floodlighting.

Moonbeams say " We will not sleep,
but stay awake all night,
search-lighting through the blue-black sky
though trying not to weep.
We cannot find a place to rest
so have to do what we do best -
play evening peek a boo with stars
round Earth and Venus!"  Even Mars
cheers on their games,
" Go to it, children!" he declaims.
"Forget the bed and let it lie
and hide its face in shame,
while you skip round the whole night long
'til sun-flares fling their flames."

Written for The Mag, with thanks to Tess and Tracey Emin

10 Mar 2014


Five celandines lifted sunshine faces
to me, beaming from the grass by my door.

" Good morning, m'am, and how are you today?"

Their silent voices curtsied old fashioned
greetings across time.
                                        Once, the countryside
was called 'home' by many people - the towns
a farm-cart ride away, beyond blue hills -
and flowers like these would have been well known
to everybody... unremarkable.

But the gloss on the golden petals here
resembles plastic-coated packaging,
as though they have been factory processed
until all their natural beauty has been
overlaid with advertising slogans.

Only expectations and perspectives
have changed since the world was a simpler place,
but those changes have tarnished our vision,
until reality has dimmed, perhaps,
and our yardstick for measuring happiness
has changed too, beyond all recognition.

Linked to IGWRT's open Link Monday

3 Mar 2014


With elbows on the window sill,
dreaming at the moon,
I heard a lady humming
and I recognised the tune
as one my Daddy used to sing
sometimes - as tender-sweet
and soothing as a lullaby -
while he cuddled me to sleep.

I turned, and bright as moonlight,
she was sitting by my bed
quieting her baby...
Then she bent to kiss its head.

"I cannot stay my darling,
but when you hear this song
you'll always know that I'm nearby.
Be happy, and be strong;
my love will wrap around you
no matter where you are,
and I'll be watching over you
from up among the stars."

I never knew my Mammy
but last evening, I'd have sworn
I saw her for the first time,
though... she'd died when I was born.

Linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads's Open Link Monday

2 Mar 2014


Big cats stalked
through childhood dreams;
they gave chase,
and I...
ran to climb trees.

My adult mind sneers.
"Lions? Imagination!"

Fearsome beasts hunt me still,
through those nights
when sleep is so unkind
as to leave me conscious
while being eaten.

Written for The Mag With thanks to Tess and Henri Rousseau.

23 Feb 2014

Time to Dream

cushion the sleeper
as the books'
sing their notes into his dreams
and birth new poems.

Inspired by The Mag and the original image called Poet's Sleep, 1989, by Chang Houg Ahn
Thanks Tess for choosing it...

8 Jan 2014


Every second's new;
each tick of a tocking clock
offers its own unique chance
for us to ensure the next
will be better than the last...

Thoughts inspired by Poets United, and their mid-week prompt.