CC41 – dVerse


Image source – Graphic Journey

In my mind, the world is flat,
laid out like a tattered Persian rug,
a little singed here and there by embers
jumping from the coals of another well-laid fire.
Our cheeks are rosy, fingers chillblained,
and Puss is semi-supine, small chest rising and falling,
sleepy-breaths long and deep,
sliver-shut eyes adoring the flames, glinting.
She too is reluctant to leave this warm envelope
bounded by the hand-me-down sofa and
twice re-used and re-loved armchairs.
There is the world beyond –
Utility-stamped sideboard hugging the cold back wall,
its teacup-ringed top bedecked with old photos,
the small chest that contains St Paul’s fingernails
(joke-blasphemy courtesy of grandad
who served his God well,
if sometimes with a nod and a wink),
and Mum’s sewing basket, overflowing as it will ever be.
The Anaglypta wallpaper, its lumps and bumps
beating a steady rhythm under my fingers
is Apple White in my mind
and I press yet another piece of pattern to the wall,
This is my safe harbour.


This week, on dVerse Poetics, Abhra has asked us to write about where in the world we would be, if we could choose. Hmmm… this has caught me off-guard, because at this moment, I am feeling very much of a home-body. I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit and there are places I would like to visit, but not at the moment, and not enough to write about them.

Perhaps it is to do with how my life has panned out of late, perhaps it is to do with knowing how quickly someone can be lost to you with no second chance, but nostalgia is pervading my waking moments right now. So really, I would love to be with my family again, as a child. We didn’t have a lot when I was growing up, but we had lots of love. Really, isn’t that all you need? I’m time-travelling this week. It’s still travel, right?

I do like to educate where I can. CC41, my poem’s title is named after the Utility brand that was stamped on furniture and clothing during World War Two until 1952, here in the UK. CC stood for ‘Controlled Commodity, and illustrated that the merchandise met the government’s austerity regulations. It was designed to cope with the shortage of raw materials and ration consumption. We were still using the Utility furniture in our house when I was growing up – it was strong stuff, and I really liked the design!

Please pop over to dVerse to read some excellent poems on the travel theme. Join in – we don’t bite!



Grounded – dVerse


nailers, brewers and
butchers; artists, hoofers and
railway platemakers

Titanic, double-
booked, third class overflowing
what a stroke of luck!



This week, on dVerse Poetics, Grace has asked us to delve into our family history – what makes us, where have we come from, who are our ancestors? As I get older, as life changes, I feel more of an urge to answer these questions. Recently I spent a lovely long weekend with my family up in Worcestershire, investigating old photos and luxuriating in tales of what happened way back when. This knowledge is to be treasured, no?

I have decided to be short and sweet this week. Two haiku-form stanzas and two photos – one of me as a little girl, and one of my scribbles during a quick coffee break. You’ll see the second stanza didn’t really sit well with me… hence it got the chop. Ancestors in both my mum’s family and in my step-dad’s family almost made it on to the Titanic… strange, but true!



Columbine – dVerse


Image Source

They scatter, these unwanted words

dripping with sarcasm and vitriol.


Tendrils of spite germinate and flourish

entwining whispers and hisses behind hands,


as if the very lowering of voice and timbre

will cloak their malfeasance in honey,


reduce the bone-grazing cut to a mere abrasion.

Secrets are sprinkled with an eye to inflict


damage so deep that recovery requires

strength that Atlas himself would admire


even as he carries the world on his shoulders;

this is as nothing to the downward-looking.


Wounds of word war-craft cannot be seen,

cannot be photographed, do not reveal themselves


as visible evidence in Court No. 1. Yet this abuse too

resonates – and whilst mental scarring also heals


much like a bruise, or a bone broken in anger,

it is carried, leaden, inert, hidden:


hidden, that is

until the point of no return is reached.


This week, on dVerse Poetics, Shanyn  has asked us to write as if words are seeds. What an interesting idea, not to mention, imaginative!

I’m not quite sure if I have travelled down the right (weed-strewn) path with this one, however, I was keeping plant life in mind as I wrote and, as you can tell, looked at word-seeds sown that really should be kept to themselves. Whilst weeds, I think, are beautiful plants and flowers growing in a place that we humans did not choose, word-seeds of the nasty sort should never be sown at all! Bullying is wrong, irrespective of whether it is physical or mental.

Please pop over to dVerse to see how others have risen to the word-seed challenge – I will be linking up later!

*Columbine, or aquilegia is actually my favourite flower – how ironic that it is poisonous!