To arms – dVerse Quadrille Monday


“Push the door, just a little

and stride into the unknown beyond,”

my brave heart urges, insistent, strong.

I shake my head, in time with my quivering hands,

fight-flight pushing and pulling me


I think I want to cower.

But I go.



It’s time for the dVerse Quadrille Monday, where this week Victoria invites us to wrote on the theme of ‘open’ in any manner we choose, as long as we use the quadrille form.

The picture above is the coat of arms for Birmingham (UK), the city of my birth. The lady on the left is holding a book and an artist’s palette, representing art, and the man on the left is a blacksmith, representing industry. It gives me a feeling of strength and determination, very much how the people of Birmingham were, and how I see them (us) still.

I’ve been taking a little breather from writing to regroup, and it’s good to ease myself back in with a quadrille, a form I really enjoy writing in.

Please do head on over to dVerse to read… and take part – why not?

Gas Street Basin

Bypasses and ringroads

motorbikes and cars

modern modes of transport

leave their gaping scars upon this land

so green and pleasant,

we yearn for times gone by

but gazing at the narrow-boat

I wonder if our eye has rose-tinted

our view of the water-born

workhorse, now driven for pleasure

coal-carrying forgotten as we

pursue times of leisure and joy.

The canals were our highways,

industry was fuelled by these watery

paths – fumes, dust and noise

clogging the arteries of England’s

long spine.


This week on dVerse Poetics, Shanyn would like us to write about the rhythm of transport. This long weekend, I have been staying with my family who hail from what southerners in England refer to as The North. Well, I was born and brought up in the West Midlands, which is hardly The North, but we do have a lot of industrial history of which to be proud!

Apparently, my birth city of Birmingham has more canals than Venice, and they were used for commerce in support of the the Industrial Revolution. I imagine that they were dusty, noisy, smelly and very, very busy. Traffic jams of narrowboats would have been commonplace, especially in places such as Tardebigge, which has a flight of  30 locks. Taking a boat through a lock system is not to be taken lightly! These days, the canals are used for pleasure, and I think many people tend to to forget that they were the motorways of their day. So, this was my inspiration! Oh, and Gas Street Basin is where a number of canal systems meet in the centre of Birmingham – very pretty now, not so lovely back in the times when it was a working hub of the canal system.

I hope you enjoy this – please pop over to dVerse to see how my fellow poets have been inspired!

Gloria! – dVerse Poetics

Something strange is happening in the ether. This week’s dVerse Poetics prompt yet again seems to have a certain connection with the unravelling of my own family history. I must confess, it’s like removing layer after layer of a very large onion!

This week’s prompt is all things Italian. Luckily for me (since I haven’t visited Italy), we don’t need to be obvious in how we interpret this prompt. As a bit of background, my mum used to take me to Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery every time we went into town, and I loved it. I now know that this place holds very strong and extremely fond memories for her, which adds to the joy of my own memories of our visits, which I adored.

I hope you enjoy my small snippet from my childhood – and take a look at all the other offerings on dVerse as well!

– Gloria! –

I spent my childhood here, or so it seems
A small girl, grasping her mother’s hand
Gazing open-mouthed at the glories above
Light reflecting on oil,
Paintings as lustrous as if they were finished only yesterday
And the brushes still resting, waiting to be cleaned.
If only I could reach up and touch
I just knew that my fingertips would pull away slick –
Sticky with vermillion, regal blue and baby-blush rose
A tiny remnant of Madonna and Child