Columbine – dVerse


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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!




They say that we worshipped the sun once –

bared our skin and lay for hours, motionless

except to turn and baste, baste, baste

like hog-roasts rotating on spits,

English rose complexions transformed to copper.


They say that we feared the winter then –

covered our bodies in chemically engineered layers,

refusing to let the crisp air penetrate,

wishing the dark days away,

as if time was ours to discard

with no consequences.


They say all this.

The world must have been different then.



‘Snow can lift my heart in a way that sunshine never could.

I have waited, and you have come
Martine McDonagh


This week, on dVerse Poetics, Mary asks us to write poetry inspired by quotations – or by a photo, or by a headline in a newspaper, or, or, or… let’s get inspired!

I have used a quotation from one of my favourite dystopian novels, ‘I have waited, and you have come’ by Martine McDonagh. I highly recommend it! My poem is set in a future where the sun is to be feared, not welcomed…

Please pop over to dVerse to see how others have risen to the challenge!



Scorched Earth

I say ‘I don’t know’ to all of the above.

Not knowing – or telling you that I don’t –

erects walls and

stops me from crawling inside and

means that I don’t have to search and

find that there is nothing there;

because that would mean

I am merely a collection of bones –

skin stretched over and

wrapped around thin air.

Perhaps I am a vaccuum.

Perhaps I am strong

because I haven’t imploded under the pressure

of emptiness;

because I haven’t scratched myself raw;

because I haven’t sucked my bones dry.

Perhaps there is more to me than I think.

Perhaps I’ll know then,

what that moment feels like.



This week, on dVerse Poetics, Marina Sofia has asked to write poetry about our identities, and has pointed us in the direction of Bhanu Kapil’s book ‘The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers’.

Ugh. Tricky. We are always changing, going through transitions of one kind or another, but after seeing Bjorn’s helpful early morning post and poem on this, I was determined that I’d not be taking part today. As you can see, I changed my mind…

In short, I haven’t got a bloody clue who I am and today, I don’t feel wonderful about that fact. As you can probably tell from my offering above. Tomorrow, it will probably sit better with me.

Marina Sofia asked us to look at four questions in particular:

1) Who are you and whom do you love?

2) What else are you, that no one has seen before?

3) Describe a morning you woke without fear.

4) What lingers when all is said and done?

I hope you enjoy my piece – please do visit dVerse to read the wonderful poems form our diverse, dVerse community!