Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quinnet : Claustrophobia

Folded paperwings origami art
flocked vultures coming to rest in the throat
waiting for the kill for the feast to start;
and whipsharp creases on a shrinking heart
a terrible scream that can’t find its note.

Take them off, wipe them away from their perch
stop the quickthree bound of those yellow claws.
I am the island, they the relentless surge
of slavering waves that come in greedy search
every crumb of soil pecked up by toothless maws;

toothless but keen the talons and the beak
concentric rings of claustrophobia
the drawstrings pulled too tight, breathlessly bleak
the throat spasms and stills for it must not shriek
there’s no toehold on escape over here.

Whisk me back quick to those wide-hipped mainlands
of skypink birds, honeywarm grass and sands.

I have been experimenting with variations on fixed forms :) I call this one a quinnet, a sonnet with five line stanzas instead of four.  The concluding couplet remains.  Seventeen instead of fourteen lines, prime numbers are so much more elegant :) What do you think of the form? Of the poem? and experimental verses?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Where does your sonnet grow?

It’s a difficult habit, hard to maintain -

to peg the reading, writing, with place and date

much easier to buy a book and scrawl my name

and leave the rest blank, no city or state.

For a few days I have put the writing off -

“get to it another time, when less fragile” -

may be scribbled a direct draft in the blog.

But in the end I must make a fresh new file

and nothing of the cities now left behind

lodged in the making of these new documents

and nothing once I finish writing these lines

to signal homesickness and reminiscence.

Life’s perhaps a sonnet but the universe

cares little where it’s written, wants just the words.


Monday, September 1, 2014


Each velvet-soft frangipani memory
falls on a bank then washes away
with the tides into the light of the sea
hovering between a darkness and a day.

An old woman, with gnarled tree fingers
stoops to pick a handful for her apron
but waves flash one burst of gold and silver
snatch them in and then forever darken.

A sparrow pecks at mud for unseen insects
and calls the flock and cocks its head and waits
and rushing wings do come out and connect
but all the same find nothing, it’s too late.

The last ferry, with a blast on its horn, pulls
through silk-dark rivers, frangipani petals.

Friday, August 29, 2014


But I am content to be homeless
so long as I have a road,
your step alongside is happiness
who cares about a fixed address
when the seas are blue and broad?

And I am content to stop somewhere -
an island’s fine to moor,
happiness is your breath in my hair
and a moonlit track, what do I care
for numbers on floors and doors?

Monday, August 25, 2014


The cars are sparse on the roads, duly recalled
from long past weekends; maybe it's just the roads -
marked in yellow and white, become smart and broad
with added swoops of new flyovers, malls new and old.

We retrace journeys, the same roads, the same gateways
but shut fast now, like the past, a shuttered, closed sea;
the off licence across morphed to more family
friendly stores.  Sure, there is no going away

but neither a return. The breeze stirs the dark in trees
as we walk on, the fingertips of our thoughts
just brushing against each other.  You may not
walk the same island twice, cross the same river valleys.

There is no homecoming, wherever you retrace
routes, return rivers, islands.  Home is not a place.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Write...Edit...Publish...August 2014 : Taking Chances

This post is being scheduled for Write...Edit...Publish  the monthly bloghop hosted by Denise Covey, where the prompt for August is "Taking Chances".   More details on the sidebar at top-left, please do join in and spread the word.

My entry is a short verse, poetry is easier to write than fiction in a time-crunch :) and poetry is also a constant and a comfort I hang onto during avalanches of change. I am bang in the middle of one, an avalanche I mean, we have just moved to a new place and settling down is taking forever. Keeping fingers crossed for a hassle-free transition. I will catch up with you all as soon as things are sorted.  Meanwhile, stay well and happy reading/writing!

All the chances I did not take
made poems running down my spine
and shadows walking over my grave,
my moons nudged out by the skyline;

the earth-warm routes that lost their tracks
got down and dirty in the fields,
hopped-on hopped-off without a map
in grasslands and rhymes that free-wheeled

into words and worlds as vast as wind
and love as ocean-blue as songs;
the forks of swallowtail yearnings
and dreamdrops fallen diamond-strong.

Read the other entries here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sunbeam smiles

I will turn away from prying eyes
and screaming lines, and find a place -
may be a path that we walked once
the steps to friendship from acquaintance
and mourn alone that lost slow rise
of sunbeam smiles, shone onto my face.