Wednesday, 12 March 2014


This year I will write something every day. Commitment. 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Autumn related observations (1)

September - in my garden - some close observation. 

Fuschia heads wobble, fat dancers in red ballgowns.
Geraniums judder in terracotta pots.

Bean tendrils balance at the top of canes,
scrabbling for finger-holds in space.

Honey bees, tails pulsing, hang jaggy legs over
magenta oregano flowers, tethered to sage stalks

by spiders whose shivering lines catch migrant
seeds as well as a few small flies.

Strawberry plants, red-shanked birds turned
upside down, wave splay-footed leaves.

Peeling eucalyptus rustles. A fusillade of sparrows rattles.
Only the rusty chrysanthemums stay calm.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Seaside poem Day 18 Word Bohemia Challenges


Photo © Sharon Woodcock

One day in Port William

The sea is warm. Along its frill, the sun sparks stars.
 The waves wrinkle as the tide creeps in.

Seaweed sloshes, internal organs in an autopsy tray -
frondy, limp, livid green and purple,

warty excrescences, jelly growths and strands of tissue.
Here, in the litoral world, water gives it movement,

shifting, swirling a matt of loose hair floating
in a scummy bath, a scalp in a frothy pool.

Sunset, flat calm. Mercury sky and sea meet
in a seamless horizon. The sun’s sword-blade

descends,  molten metal, glowing,
tempered by the evening water.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The tower Day 17 Word Bohemia challenges

Scarborough Castle photo c David Vale

‘Nits! Nits! How the hell have you managed to get nits?’
Rapunzel flinched as Mother Esmerelda’s fingers dug into the parting of her hair.
‘I don’t even know what you’re talking about,’ the girl said, pulling away and leaning forward to finish her porridge.
‘These things!’ and the witch flicked her pointy fingernails over the table. Rapunzel glanced down and saw what looked like crumbs, pearly against the dark cloth.
‘Your hair’s full of them. Though how they got there, I don’t know. It’s not as if you’ve been in contact with anyone except me…’
‘And the prince,’ said Rapunzel, licking the last of the honey from her spoon. ‘He climbs up to see me sometimes.’
Mother Esmerelda’s eyes narrowed. Shoving a hand down into one of her deep pockets, she took out a small brown bottle.  Tipping her head back, she let two drops fall from it onto her tongue before stowing the remedy away again. She curled her knobbly fingers round the back of  Rapunzel’s chair and breathed deeply.
‘The prince, eh? Now what sort of prince goes around giving a young girl nits?’
‘He gives me other things as well…’
‘Right, that’s enough of that. He’ll wait. We need to get these little devils sorted first,’ and, not ungently, the crone took up Rapunzel’s plait from the floor behind her chair, where it lay coiled like a boa constrictor sleeping off a large meal, and began to unfasten the ribbon.
‘On second thoughts, Esmerelda,’ the old lady advised herself. ‘It’ll take till happy ever after to get the nitty comb through this lot.’
She reached down to the heavy chatelaine hanging off her belt and slid her thumb and forefinger through the handles of a pair of iron scissors.

‘May as well cut the whole thing off now and get it over with.’

to be continued...

Monday, 16 September 2013

The Number 5 Word Bohemia Day 14

Photo © David Vale photo c David Vale

This poem is the result of  working with ideas inspired by Jackson Pollock's 'Number 5, 1948'
 and the photograph above.

The Number 5

The number 5 has sprouted overnight.
By noon, it’s standing. All senses alert,
it peers over hollyhocks, pokes flat nose
into sunflowers, gulps light, swallows
it down to swell its curving belly.

When dusk falls, 5 tilts forward, not caring
what it crushes, bounces onto the lawn,
rights itself, leans back, surveys dark sky.
Antenna nose quivers, dome belly
a listening station reflecting crescent moon.

5 crouches now, flips backward, scales
the roof. Out on the tiles, it rolls, somersaults,
hooks on, dangling from church tower, levers
itself upright, wobbling - steadies, 

waits for the others to join in its song.

Grand Canal Word Bohemia September Challenges

Going back to an earlier photo today - Day 10. The poem isn't finished yet but may as well take its place here for now.

Photo © David Vale

Photo c. David Vale

The Grand Canal, Venice

 I don’t brood on the past.
Gaze at me – you can tell
I’ve got history – but I don’t look

 back. Time’s not like that.
Me, I dip in and out, look
both ways - like my bridges.

 ‘What news on the Rialto?’ I’ve heard
all the cries – the market traders,
the money men pursuing their pound of flesh.

 I’ve heard the sighs – no romance there
on Ponte de Sospiri – one last chance,
one last release of breath.

To be continued…

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Eggsibition Day 15 Word Bohemia Challenge

Photo © Sharon WoodcockPhoto © Sharon Woodcock


‘You see, Sylvia, this speaks to my soul. That eye peering out from the curtains... '

‘But why’s it yellow?’

‘Because it’s frightened.  But unblinking. Facing down all fears. And the curtains themselves…’

‘I wouldn’t want them in my apartment.  Too brown. Remind me of – ‘

‘Sh... Let me connect.  Those curtains. So drab, so smeared with grease, so frayed around the edges.  Don’t you see they are a metaphor for life itself?’

 ‘What did you say it was called, then?’

Molly peered at the words on the card underneath. ‘The physical impossibility of hunger in the mind of someone who’s had a full English.’