Sweet sister death – dVerse Quadrille


You never told me, father,

how to prepare for this journey,
dismissing your own war-wound,
saying ‘It’s nothing’.
I am bitter to my shattered bones,
staring into the chests of my comrades

my enemies,
spatchcocked like the chickens

cold-slabbed in your butcher’s shop window.


Hurrah! the dVerse pub has re-opened after the summer’s hiatus. We have a fantastic interview with Brian Miller, one of the  co-founders, to celebrate 5 years of dVerse. In much more sobering news, we have also learned that the lovely Viv passed away on 5th July. She was always very supportive of my work in her comments, so I am terribly saddened to hear of her passing. My thoughts, along with everyone else’s, go to her family and loved ones at this time.

Tonight, we are hosted by the lovely Grace, who has invited us to write a quadrille – 44 words, no more, no less. I love the form, it really makes me work to get my meaning across.

I watched a documentary on BBC iPlayer about the poet David Jones, who’s epic poem  about the First World War, ‘In Parenthesis‘ is considered to be one of the finest of its time, of all war poetry in fact. The title of my quadrille is taken from a phrase in Part 7 of his work, and my poem has been informed somewhat by him, and the subject matter of his work. If I had even an ounce of his talent, I would be delighted.

I’m a bit of a war poet fan, and although I had heard of him, I hadn’t read David Jones’ epic work. The documentary, which was both about him and his poem, has enthralled me and my family. I have ordered a copy of ‘In Parenthesis’ and am desperate to start reading it.

Anyway, please do hop on over to dVerse and take part if you can. Or just enjoy the work you find there!

Somme: Lament for love lost


Image source

The silent lament weighed heavy on us

as we took leaden steps forward

over the carpet of death at our feet.

Lament for love lost, the opportunity cost

of ‘Your Country Needs You’

the finger pointing, an accusation aimed for the heart

mirrored now by the blasted tree trunk

and the broken spire

piercing the cloud-laden sky.

What sons, what daughters will never be born?

What sons, what daughters will be wasted in the mud and spilled guts at our feet?

Hours, and days, spent waiting, ribs near-breaking

in the silence

broken only by our breathing

and the scratch of pen on paper

a letter to Mother, to dear Daisy, the love of my life

to while away, to wish away

the terror, lurking, a great carrion crow over our heads

its black wings our mourning shroud

most likely


It’s 100 years since the Battle of the Somme. I have just seen a very moving video on my Facebook feed, via Channel 4 news – it inspired me to write this poem. I hope you can see it if I leave the link.






Meat market – Writing Prompt #165 “Collage 26”


Zayde* and Bubbe* loved the seaside. In the olden times, when money was plentiful and the sun always seemed to shine, they had rented out a holiday home, placed two old benches in the garden that meandered down towards the cliffs and felt that life was just perfect.

So it had been, for a little while. Zayde had always rejected the idea of owning a car, telling anyone that cared to listen, and many that had no choice, that the country’s public transport system was so efficient that he had no need. Why waste energy, time and most of all money on a heavy, fuel-hungry machine, when he could sit back and relax in comfort in a luxurious private compartment in a train, and dine in the dining car whenever he felt like it? Bubbe’s misgivings never got a look-in.

Then, the transport system let Zayde down. Oh yes, it was still efficient, still kept to the timetable, but what a timetable. No more being lulled and rocked to sleep as he and his wife sped to their holiday home on gleaming rails. No more steaming coffee and pastries to sate their morning appetites. No more smiling porters wheeling luggage to a waiting taxi.


The benches are still there in the garden, but empty of their companions.

There are no seats on cattle trucks.

There is plenty to be afraid of, these days.

* Zayde and Bubbe are Yiddish for grandfather and grandmother.


Here is my entry into the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie collage writing prompt for this week. I’m afraid it took a dark turn, but hey, you know me, right? I couldn’t help but make the connections I did, it just seemed to fit. I know there are brighter stories out there inspired by this prompt because I’ve read at least one in my WordPress Reader feed, and I’ll be reading some more soon!

Why not join me in reading, or even, maybe, take part yourself?