Tag Archives: poem

impossible bridge

like a roman arch
the bridge of a conversation
stands through the stones’ trusting alignment
and the solid support
of both sides.

When it stands solid
it’s child’s play to run from one side to the other
lean on the balustrade, hand in hand
and watch the world flow by.

but then one day you started kicking away
the foundation of your side of the bridge
testing each word to destruction
analysing motivations
with a chiselling eye
I lurched and fell,
mortar dissolved
in bitter tears
you kicked harder
until the keystone

and now the words of our conversations
are not a solid arc of flowing words
but stones thrown across a river
in the dark

so I sit lonely
among dust and stone and half-words
piling one stone on another
trying to build an impossible bridge
with only one pillar to support 
the half-span reaching out into empty air

in my attempts to reach you
sometimes a brick falls on you
and you throw it back, harder

so now I find myself
just sitting alone
in a futile rubble
of words you will not hear
learning bitter lessons
in engineering.

The photo is ruin, originally uploaded to flickr by annette62.


the rules (or rather The Rules)

Sometimes it’s fun to play by the rules
(and sometimes they even make sense)
Waiting for a man to seduce me with jewels
(which of course are a girl’s best friends)
At least stops me being bothered by penniless fools
And those whose sincerity is mere pretence

Sometimes it’s fun to play the ancient game
Of courtship and demure resistance
To flutter and preen like a delicate dame
Inviting chivalrous assistance
(Men’s passions seem to burn with a brighter flame
When women hold their charms at a distance)

And sometimes it’s a lot easier to tell a man exactly how much you fancy him, just what you’d like to do with him and get on with it without all this tedious and dishonest dissembling!

This rebellious sonnet is inspired by the Readwritepoem prompt to Break the Rules.


Something in the reaching out of arms,
Or the hands´ trajectory to a mutual safe landing

Something in the lean of bodies
Squeezing to nothing the space between them

Something of the youness of you and the meness of me
Linked by the brief bridge of a song.

I close my eyes
and in the stillness of our embrace
the dance begins.

through a haze

The stories
The lost stories
crying out in the mist for someone
to tell them, to pour into them
the breath of ink
The characters
The lost characters
seeking a plot for their loves and hates
ache to speak – but their faces lack
the pulse of ink
The dreams
The lost dreams
Nightmare and dreamsteed they gallop
white as blank paper or clotted with
the blood of ink
The writer
The lost writer
staring at the page, willing her fingers
to move, and moving, find again
the voice of ink


This is a response to Rick Mobbs’ latest excellent artwork, above, which made me conscious of how little energy I have these days for writing. It’s not quite a writer’s block, just a redirection of the energies that I might have used for writing. I’m so buried in reality just now that stories don’t flow so easily. But it will be over soon – less than a week before I can be free to live, and dance, my dreams.

Fenced in

Don’t fence me in
with your rulers. Don’t tell me
how to measure my world!

I bear the wounds of years struggling through
the thickets of others’ judgements
thorny with their precise gradations
hopelessly hoping to reach some clearing
where I could be at peace
having finally contorted myself enough
to fit comfortably between their pricking thorns.
Trying to force the world to allow us all to be right.

But now wisdom tells me
I will find no such clearing, so long as I
agree to walk within their woods.
To measure myself with their silly wooden sticks
that cannot comprehend the weight of my burdens.

Often now a protective caul of anger
or better, a laser of insight,
burns away the imprisoning thorns

Until plain in the sky above me
shine the stars of love and justice
by which I will steer my course.

A lot of what I’ve learnt this last year is to be more selective about which of the judgements others make about me I accept for myself. And I’m getting a lot of practice just now at protecting myself – by being more aware of the factors that might lead someone to make mistaken judgements about me. Also I have developed a feeling for what I’m like, deep down, which enables me to say, no, I’m not like that.

I’m navigating a very difficult time at work, and sometimes people’s views of me do start to get to me – particularly at night, when I can’t seem to brush them off so easily as in the day. It’s like a little horde of lilliputians coming and sawing on me with their tiny rulers – which isn’t conducive to sleeping! And out of these feelings came this poem… it would benefit from polishing but I wanted to say this now!

The photo is Barbed wire sun., originally uploaded to flickr by stonefaction.

Time to leave…

I’ve written two poems for the latest totally optional prompts, time to leave. Which struck me with particular relevance because I’m due to leave the country where I currently live and work in exactly a month from today.

The first poem I wrote, the second to appear here, seemed a bit bland, though did capture some of what I was feeling. And then I came across the Friday 5 at Poefusion – to write a poem using the words apiculate, sedulous, blisters, pheromones, earmarked. And out came another poem that I liked better.

Time is apiculate
Like a drop of water on a leaf vein I roll
towards the point where I will be
flicked into the void.

Each night I awaken many times
my sheets churned in imitation of my paper-littered office
On my bedside desk a notebook dozes
Waiting to grant absolution for these night-time frettings
I scribble down new tasks, gripping the pen
hard enough to get blisters.

And so the new day opens with each hour already
earmarked for another score of sedulous steps
towards the ending.

And yet despite each day’s struggles,
the boulder rolls back, every evening,
with a cargo of new tasks to trouble my sleeping.

Sometimes my tired body
catches a whiff of pheromones.
As if something is waiting for me
beyond these deadline-fenced days. But what?

Is it the scent of the fresh-mown grass
where I will roll with sheer joy
like a horse still sweaty from its just-removed harness?

Or does it presage the scent
of another sort of rolling entirely?



Once these winding streets looked new
Waiting to be walked and seen
Once the flawless sky of blue
was a treat, not just routine

Once the flavour of papaya
Welcomed me to my new place
Once I struggled and enquired
And now I babble at a rapid pace

Once my colleagues here were strangers
And now I know them far too well.
Once I was nervous of unknown dangers
Yet habit quickly broke fear’s spell.

How it all looks different, now I know
That very soon it will be time to go.


The world is splintering. Tearing apart
Each day a slow-motion explosion
Of the fragments of my aching heart
Fighting to contain erupting emotion

Arms ache to close the ruptures (yours too weak
To do more than wish to return my embrace)
Tears unite our flesh, pressed cheek to cheek
As if resisting the separation we soon must face.

Yet how can mere arms contain the storm?
The ripping in my chest can only echo your pain
Not take it away – I can’t even keep you warm!
And each embrace is closer to never again.

Tangled in the racing fuse our arms strain to hold
Our world safe for one more hug before it can explode.

Of all the words I’ve read this week, these, from the powerful and poignant blog The Price of Love, were the ones that stayed with me, and turned into a poem:

“I hugged her and comforted her as best I could, feeling her pain heaving through the sobs against my chest. I held her then, but what more could I do when I was tearing down the middle inside?”