Sunday, November 27, 2011


This is posted for Magpie Tales - another great photo from Tess!  Thank you, once again, Tess for hosting this.

photo: Christine Donnier-Valentin, taken from Magpie Tales


Even the bricks weep
Blackened tears of anguish
Staining regret in gentle silence.
I will not heed their sorrow
They cannot know the faded years
Scuffed velvet and the imprint
of a thousand heads against
time's listing frame.

I once took pride of place
The deep red softness
sighing treasured comfort
in cosy evenings for two by the fire.
Then crooning wearily through colicky nights
Lending my strength to nudge
solace into sleep.
Later still, gentle sponging removing
sticky jam prints to preserve
my fabric's hue
against the tide of living.
Growing, ever growing
Each passing season
Faithfully bearing
time's gradual pressure.

Some days I feel their weight
twisting these old bones beyond endurance
shrivelled and stripped bare
of cushions like an old whore
left naked in day's harsh glare
on some forgotten side walk of life.

I stand proud, wings held high
back (almost) straight
against the uncaring whip of hours
and as the wind mocks
the loneliness of what I have become
I close my eyes to the sting
And remember what I once was.


This poem is from the prompt at dVerse for today.  As always, there is a swathe of excellent poems there and I hope you will take a moment to link back and have a read for yourself!
I have been thinking for some time about the dangers of allowing the 'inner self' out and so this sat rather nicely with the excellent prompt from dVerse for today.  The post there simply focused all of these thoughts into this poem: 


The eye glints
Endless craving,
Crying though each beat of pounding blood
Restless seeking
Each nerve thrumming with
Anticipated adventure.
Precious water soaking dusty, parched lands
Do you not know, O traveller
That the wilderness you seek
Is your soul?

Steel glints
Endless stalking,
Thrilling through each tread of silent feet
Raging conquest
Each muscle tense with
Longing for the chase
Crimson life-blood staining ravished, cold lands
Do you not know, O hunter
That the beast you seek to vanquish
Lies within?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pleasing Others

About 4 weeks ago, I prayed that the Lord would break me of the dreadful fear of rejection by those I care about - that He would break me of being a people pleaser.  You know, that panic and terror that says "I cannot bear to think that (anyone I care about) is alive in this world and thinking ill of me."  After one of the toughest weeks of my life, where I was placed in a position where silently doing what I felt was right, meant risking the good opinion of some of my favourite people (not being able to explain to them), fighting not to justify myself to all and sundry, something in me broke, and I chose silence. 

I want to share this for Gooseberry Garden this week, despite writing it last week.  I believe that such changes as this bring hope - at least, they do to me!  I can think of nothing better to share for 'change, hope', even if it doesn't match November and Winter.  Hope you enjoy! 

On the death of pleasing others

There comes a moment
When all hope is lost.
You know you tried your best
But still
The words fell like rain
on wind tossed seas
vanished, unnoticed
into the depths

There comes a moment
When you stand
beyond trying
to halt the flood
of opinion
filling the creaking hold
faster than you can bail

and you realise
that there came a moment
when with a mighty crack
approbation's mast
splintered and crashed
into the storm

wrenching tattered sails
of obsequiousness
with fear's coiled ropes
from this battered hulk
of shipwrecked regard.

In that moment
will self worth cling
to rotting timbers, smashing
against the rocks of others' views?

Or will realisation dawn
that you are not that wrecked vessel
and yielding in relief
loosen your frantic grip
as it slides to final rest
far beneath the broiling surface

Only then, with lightened heart
can you float alone
finding your feet on pristine shores
in jewelled seas
Free at last.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This week's Gooseberry Garden challenge is about childhood.  A prickly subject indeed.  I am including three poems here, presenting three very different aspects of childhood.  I have included 'Dark Awakening' because unfortunately, childhood means abuse to so many.  'Belonging' explores a less sinister, but still very sad aspect of childhood for so many.  And finally, I have included 'A Friend' because I want to hold out the hope that even in the midst of darkness, comfort and friendship comes from unlikely places. 
I would love to hear your comments - good criticism is essential to growth and I appreciate your insights no end, but also if you want to share on any of these aspects of childhood, please do.

Dark Awakening

Detachment: Dreamer spies
through heavy-lidded eyes –
two joyful, faceless forms
are dancing, mesmerized.

Bemusement: Sleeper stirs
to ponder what enthralls –
a tattered, worthless heap
of rag against the wall?

Confusion: Muser hears
with fast-perceiving ears –
the leaping figures’ rage,
their snarling, stabbing jeers.

Discomfort: Listener sees
with painful clarity –
each slashing, vicious step
of cruel insanity.

Abhorrence: Watcher feels
with growing disbelief –
the Life within the rag
of broken, frozen grief.

Revulsion: Soul recoils
in horror, truth remains –
and with a sobbing breath
awakens to the pain


Apart, alone, so different
She sits and tries to pretend
That she doesn't see the stares
Doesn't feel the snubs
Doesn't hear the message they send

But deep in her soul, where nobody sees
The pain throbs behind closed doors
The wounds in her soul
Inflicted each day
Reveal she is losing this war

The tears that she cries, dry unseen in her eyes
Freeze her heart but can't stop her longing
for friends of her own,
some place safe to call home,
Those who want her: a sense of belonging.


A friend

Through the gate and down the high street
Past rows of houses to the village outskirts
Cool red brick and sun dappled hedges dissolve
Into quiet green havens on rich loamy dirt.
A dream carries me

I peddle down trails towards this oasis
Calmly expectant of what will be there
Shimmering coats cloaking elegant forms
Long flowing tails and nostrils that flare
I long to see

Bike leaned against the old wooden fence posts
I snatch at cool grass, quickly filling my fist
Sneaking one hand past heavenly gates
Held open, revealing juicy grass wisps
And I wait…

Watching each move of these beautiful creatures
Gleaming in sunlight, whether chestnut or bay
Hoping they’ll come to eat this poor offering
Before casual breezes steal it away.
And it is too late

Sometimes each step as they graze slowly brings them
Near to the fence that forever divides
And my heart lifts in hope that I’ll briefly taste freedom
Whispered in snuffles of horse-murmured sighs
Of understanding

Warm neck of soft satin, smoothing my fingers
Steadfast heart calmly echoing low
Gentle companionship soothing my soul
Nickers of comfort and peacefulness flow.
And my soul sings.

I see in his soft eye galloping meadows
Joyful canters through pine scented trees
Feeling the ground churned by his hooves
The breeze swirling with him amongst dancing leaves
Without end.

He shares all of these for a handful of grass
And crops there beside me, just over the fence
And I bathe in his presence as minutes slip slowly
Enthralled by his beauty, lost in the scent
Of a friend.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Risen Moon

I have an interesting relationship with the moon. At times I have written about it in a very negative light.  This one celebrates its beauty and complexity, and hope.

Risen Moon

Rose tipped clouds drift in lazy splendour
Weary sun slides in its nightly bath
Sighs its fatigues of the worn out day.
Moon tiptoes silently down her path

Tonight, her face seems richer in beauty
Tonight, I see her with wiser, clear sight
She stills shines softly in silver skirts
But I also see swirls of refracted light.

And I'm touched by the hope that these rainbow hues
Will caress all that lies in her gentle glow
Lighting the night, as darkness melts
Into star sparkled tides that sing and flow.


I had a wonderful opportunity to spend today with a friend and artist, who opened my eyes to new possibilities in art, hence an art rebirth for me. 
I thought I would share this for dVerse this week, so happy open link night! 

Her eyes are like water
Gently lapping
Into the still pool

Pigment isn't rigid purpose -
lines and value, tone and composition each justified

but instead

of her soul.

doe-gentle brush
verdant pigment
luminous paper
flowing water

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Summer Comes

The challenge at dVerse this week is a lovely one of Colour and there is nothing more colourful to me right now than the coming of our summer (yes, even including the drying grasses and soil!).  So, firstly, thank you, Victoria for a great prompt and secondly.... 
Summer Comes
Jacarandas splash their gentle accent against a cobalt sky,
Cicadas chirrup in pale sienna, against the wheaten rye.
With washes of vibrant intensity, the sun calls forth each hue...
and the warmth shines through.

Gum trees soak the canvas now, in swirls of olive green,
with bark of burnt sienna and deepest ultramarine.
They soften as they touch the sky, diffuse amongst the blue...
and the light shines through.

Parrots cry their freedom in brilliant rainbow ease,
With gorgeous accents here and there, they braid the sky and trees.
They mingle with the softer edge, but keep their colours true...
and the life shines through.

The atmosphere sings golden in the sun's aureolin glow,
it warms every pigment that it touches high or low.
As it spreads throughout the land, it wakens life anew...
and the summer shines through.

Suffering and Sorrow

Although this only remotely connects with figments and fidelity (from this week's Gooseberry Garden), I have to share it.  Every so often, I grieve for the people around me, whose lives seem filled with suffering - some through their own choices, some through circumstances, some through the terrible choices of others, many through a combination of all those things. When this happens, (after I have done whatever I can do to help on a practical level), I often reach this point:


The World's sorrow seems close to the surface today,
Under evil, I sense her reel and sway.
The groan of a thousand tortured lips
Wrest slumber from my tenuous grip -

Whispered gasps of moonlit tears
As she holds close her child, whose breath disappears
His frail body, ravaged by cruel disease
At last, in death, has found its ease.

“You worthless whore, you should be dead”
Lies echo unceasingly 'round in her head,
Their poisonous phrases spurn all her pleas,
Under their venom, hope shatters and flees.

“You loser, why can't you do anything right?!”
Her loathing contempt, bleeds him of might
Dejected and angry, he walks out the door
Self esteem shattered, he cannot bear more.

Wordless shrieks from a mind caged by fear
Huddled alone as his footsteps draw near
Dreading the touch of his incestuous hands
Powerless to escape his vile commands.

Relationships strained, innocents scarred
Bitterness causing hearts to grow hard
Fury and terror, trials and stress
Trying to survive each day nonetheless.

Their pain shudders through the cracks in their mask
Answering questions that I cannot ask
The darkness in lives, tangled and torn
Tonight leaves me grieving, burdened and worn.

So instead, I come to the foot of the cross
Knowing my Lord bled and died for their loss
Trusting that He'll bind each sorrow-pierced heart
Praying for comfort and healing to start.

For I've felt His balm in my life's pain
His whispers of comfort and love, like the rain
Gently cleansing the lies in my mind
Lifting me up, His freedom to find

So I pray for those voices that cry in the night
Asking that one day, they come to His light
Pray for the words to comfort each one
To offer them hope, revealing the Son.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Roses budding

This poem is something I wrote a little while ago, but I wanted to share it for a special invitation I received to join a rally at The Poetry Palace.  Thanks, Orange Tree, and I hope you enjoy this one. 

Beginning to blossom, a delicate rose bud
She waits for the tide to wash away the mud,
Wide eyed and hopeful, like a pearl in the sand
Then tenderly she carries it, cradled in her hands.

Like a child chasing butterflies, she runs up the path
Wonder enlightening, and she begins to laugh
As the sun burns brightly in joyous azure skies
I watch her hopeful seeking with tears in my eyes.

Helpless to stop her, as she tries to share her find
One after another, they turn away, blind
She wilts, tears glistening, hands drooping beside
And turns away alone again, her treasure to hide.

I call her name, she turns to me, with sorrow in her eyes
I reach to her, and gently start to brush away the lies -
Lies that tell her she has nothing worthy to impart
And like a balm, I whisper words of truth to her heart.

I tell her how I glimpse the beauty cradled in her hands
I tell her how God made those pearls, glinting in the sands
And as the waves of truth wash away rejection’s mud
The heart revealed in her hand’s a delicate rose bud.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Desert Night

I want to share this new poem for dVerse this week, and as always, I am looking forward to a feast of poetry there.  Sometimes, I meet someone who reminds me of the desert - energy sapping heat or plummeting temperatures in the night, with a brief few hours of relief.  I wrote this with the desert in mind, but I do have to wonder about desert souls too...

Desert Night

Bitter wind-whispers echo loneliness
Whistling their derision through the scant grass
Their cold unconcern slices through parched skin
Leaching warmth with each sabre’s pass

The red dirt hides its mineral wealth
Deep below the flint-hard face
No quarter will be given in searing day
No comfort lies in the night’s embrace

But if you wait until the sun sets
Above the hush of the fleeing heat
Listen to this barren desert
Hear the plea beneath your feet

Though its heart sneers at your frailty
Mutters impatiently, finding fault
Its hatred comes from heat worn years
Spilled hope lost with each weary jolt

Perhaps one day gentle rains will come
Compassion soaking the drought-stiff ground
Sprouting beauty in delicate colour
As seeds of new life and hope abound.