Playtime

If a cake is bland,
No amount of pretty icing
Will make it taste good,
Said the H.E. teacher.
Make the cake rich and spicy!
Add unexpected flavours and
Surprising textures
To tantalise the palate!
Your icing will enhance it.
Her speech was as long as the Clyde
And as dull as a poker.
As the bell rang for interval,
I couldn’t help wondering
What flavour those fifteen minutes
Of fresh air would be
If they were icing.

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Aleppo doesn’t sleep

Ottava rima written for dverse poets challenge. This form is written in eight-line iambic stanzas with rhyme scheme abababcc.

a table and a chair, upturned
remains of last night’s supper
an empty grate where fire once burned
a half chewed leather slipper
an empty place – a lover spurned –
like verdigris on weathered copper
now let them come and bullets spray
we’ll live to see another day

not so lucky, our poor neighbour
a humble man, his pregnant wife
for she had just gone into labour
when soldiers came and took his life
her child they silenced with a sabre
her throat they slit with rusty knife
so it is for far too many
their lives worth less than half a penny

Made it

 

I had no power to be your twin,
to make a bright new sun stream in
or let the longed for end begin.

I could not get inside your skin
to bear the pain, with just a grin,
of life so worn and paper thin.

You had the power to draw me near
and whisper, knowing I would hear
your disappointment and your fear.

You never loved me like a mother
but chose instead your love to smother,
leaving me to find another.

Not knowing love, what did I find?
An ace controller of the mind,
Who took my life and robbed me blind.

I had no power to wriggle free.
Was this how love was meant to be?
Always a twig but never a tree.

If you could see what I’ve become,
Perhaps you’d smile or raise your thumb.
Shame you’ll never know I made it, Mum.

B – 1

 

Today Barra weeps
As a young life is lost to them
A happy life
Excited for her journey south
Planned months before
For how long
Was her extinction planned?
Will this senseless striking out
Of innocence
Ever end?
Today the world weeps
At Barra’s side
We will not be cowed
By cowards
And sheep
Today Allah weeps with the world
For this was not His bidding

Ariana

In memory of the victims of last night’s Manchester suicide bombing attack.

They came to see you
To swim in the cool lake
Of your voice
A mild May evening, sky blue
Exams over, time to take
Time out and rejoice
The blast came out of the blue
It was no mistake
This was death and destruction by choice
Why?
Why?
Why?

Night lovers

as wide as the cosmos

your eyes seek me

across the gulf of night

fingertips like tongues

of fire flicker along

familiar paths

setting the world alight

the devilish drumbeat

of a love that knows

it can never be silenced

Currency exchange

When love lacks lustre…

She sat
Quite still
Amongst the used bus tickets
And fading supermarket receipts
Occasionally
A money-off coupon would wrap itself
Around her and whisper
We all expire
Some time
She has grown dull
And he whose warm hands once held
And cherished her
Is tossing a shiny new coin
Now and then he’ll fish her out
And contemplate her value
As a paperweight
Or a trolley token
That treasured moment
Under his blue eyed scrutiny
Is cut short
By the click of the purse
As she plunges back down
Into darkness

A matter of life and death

This week’s 52 word challenge was tough: I had to start with the prompt “It stared at me”. Here is what I came up with (prompt not part of word count):

It stared at me
And I stared back
I had to end it
Terminate its life
Before it got inside me
And stole my breath
I waited till its eyes closed
And with one swift move
Of my pencil
I added a full stop
As the poem breathed its last
I was reborn
To write again

Poor Michael!

IMG_5922Was rereading some poems by Michael Rosen yesterday and felt like sketching him, I don’t know why and almost wish I hadn’t! I managed to make the poor man look ten years older and I just can’t get his distinctive eyes right. I know I’ll go back to it but whether I’ll achieve improvement I don’t know…

Haibun Monday

Well, this is definitely a first for me: I have never written a haibun before. It consists of a short piece of prose Рin this case, a description of how I make steak pie! Р followed by a haiku linked to the theme of the prose. I must admit, I do find this an odd thing to write about and and odder way to write it. Yes, I am definitely out of my comfort zone here, which is why I loved the challenge.

I always keep some steak aside for the dog when I make my steak and ale pie. He watches expectantly as I soak the porcini mushrooms and prepare the special pan that will release the rich flavours of the beef, vegetables and frothy brown ale. The puff pastry won’t be added until the next day, after the prepared filling has cooled completely. That way, the pastry will be crisp and light as a freshly lit match.

Winterly warming
The rich velvety steak pie
Waits to be eaten