Tag Archives: sunday scribblings


Befuddled by stress, my lurching mind
Chases reality – from about 12 hours behind!
Sleeping by day and working by night
is making me feel rather less than bright.
Trapped between weariness and insomnia
I wonder if cafeina vincit omnia?

<For Sunday Scribblings. But also very real just now!


Solace – a reflexive verb

Solace doesn’t fall from the sky like manna
We must find it among weeds and stones.

For it is not just a noun, but also a verb
With an active and practical tone.

More than that. It’s a reflexive verb:
We can self-solace, be strong on our own.

Why go begging at others’ kitchens
When we can learn to cook alone?

And yes, like food, it’s better shared
But responsibility is always our own.

However sweet the comfort of others,
We can’t just collapse and lie prone,

For nothing can solace a heart dependent
On the attention it wins with its groans.

And nor can a heart begin to settle
Which is always distracted or stoned.

The very best physic for the afflicted heart
Is the thinking which we do alone.

And when we make our very own solace
Then we know we’re adults grown.


This was written for sunday scribbling’s prompt to write about solace, where you can see what other people have offered on the subject. It’s not really gramatically accurate, but I felt this was an important way to express the nature of a poem. It’s not that we can’t find solace in other people, or in things, but the way we relate to these things that gives us solace, both in the short term and in helping us to attain a longer-term healing!

Between nowhere and goodbye…

Two ghosts haunt me.
With me in my bed and in the street.
In my writing and in my thinking.

One sweet ghost, one cruel ghost.
Their faces blurred, but identical.
Trapped, with me, between nowhere and goodbye.

The ghosts and I had long conversations
That never seemed to reach any conclusion –
For a mind whose substance is drifting and unreal
Cannot be convinced like
A mind of flesh and blood.

At first they were with me every hour,
Then every day,
Now I see them
Once a week,
(or maybe less).
And one day they
Will come no more.
By the sun of a new day.

And I have learnt
That speaking to the sweet ghost
Brings me heartache, for his consoling words
Are only lies and webs of illusion.

And though the harsh ghost is brusque
And does not listen to me
His is the truth I need
To muster my will
To drive those ghosts away.

Nobody else sees them
Nobody else hears them
But I walk through my day
With the two ghosts of one person –
The lover I thought I had
And the lover I had.

Both, now,

This responds to Sunday Scribblings’ prompt to write about ghosts. And I’ve just renamed it and added a line to the second verse, having seen Michelle’s Tuesday Title prompt on poefusion, which fits it like a glove!

Inevitable chance

Sometimes I wonder – “Just how we will meet?”
In the elegantly intimate embrace of tango?
Clumsily colliding on some unfamiliar street?
Or both reaching out for the same plump mango?

Voices finding harmony in spontaneous duet?
Or a very civil handshake in an office’s formality?
Wrestling with each other in a martial artist’s sweat?
Arguing about the state of affairs bizarrely called normality?

Defying fear of strangers on the underground at night?
Or comfy on a friend’s introductory settee?
Surfing in the tangled web of true and false bytes?
But there’s no point guessing where and when it will be!

One day it will seem that our souls were born to merge.
But only by chance will our paths at last converge.

A sonnet inspired by Sunday Scribblings’ prompt to write about a chance encounter. It’s both serious and light-hearted, which is very much the way I’m taking my search for a new partner!


You stare with visionary wonder at a sudden flash of insight
>>And a new light of knowledge starts to glitter in your eyes
>>Doorway to the quest that beckons you towards a mystic prize.
Your eyes are newly gifted with a special, higher sight,
>>Which can never be deceived by humans’ incessant lies.
From you their masks cannot conceal their weaknesses or fright
For in their auras their stories are written in patterns of rainbow light,
>YAnd you are gifted to cure the world with the truth you realise!

But humility and healthy doubt were banished by your insight
>>And obsessive is the light that glitters in your eyes.
>>To be a healer, not to heal, is what you truly prize. 
The brightness of the vision has overwhelmed your sight,
>>With radiant temptation to believe these flattering lies.
Leaving you so cruelly trapped between pride, hope and fright,
That you lash out at any attempt to question the vision’s light.
> Oh, how much more hurt will you do, before you realise?


This poem responds to a prompt at sundayscribblings – to write a poem about vision. For me one of the interesting things about a really powerful vision is what you don’t see – the brighter the light you stare at, the less you can see anything else. (There’s an interesting discussion about the links between egotism and mysticism at Cafe Philos.) 

Those who know my blog well will already be familiar with the experiences that are behind my response to this prompt – I used to go out with someone who believed his energy reading gave him special insight into me. But what he saw was utterly dominated by his fear and projection… and so his “vision” was deeply destructive. 

I am not denying outright that people can have powerful and meaningful personal insights… that would be to commit the reverse error myself. But I think there is a very real danger that insights that are taken too seriously can blind us to other people’s insights, causing us to close off from the questioning that opens the mind. And so, even if the original vision had an element of truth, its effect, in the end, is to block our minds to the truth.

(Photo by jhhwild at flickr.)