Three notable trips

Trip 1:
“I hope your not tripping..”
Like a rabbit in the headlights,
I freeze with paranoia.
I’m recovering from a wild night,
and I’m dumbfounded that she knows.
Then – my addled brain finally
processes the rest of her question:
“…on that loose bit of carpet outside your bedroom?”

Trip 2:
We’re emigrating, flying long-haul,
a sweet little old lady sits next to us:
she has the aisle seat.
She also has dementia.
She’s taken off her skirt,
and sits in her stockings and suspenders.
She makes regular attempts to run
for the emergency exit doors.
She believes she’s being held
hostage in a supermarket.
The attendant requests us
to do whatever we can
to keep her in her seat during landing…

Trip 3:
Transit Hong Kong, then on to Rotterdam;
from there visit my home country, before
setting off for Switzerland, and moving
on to Amherst, Massachusetts, and
Fort Bragg, Northern California.
I read Katherine Mansfied’s “The Little Governess” –
there’s a train journey:
I feel anxious.
I read Kate Roberts “Feet in Chains” –
there’s a train journey:
I feel anxious.
All this travel is exhausting me,
yet, my journey is still two months away.

Over at dverse today we’re writing about trips.


Neighbourly harvest


Quiet now – I hear a sound: autumn rustling at my door.
Strange dog of cold air rushes up to lick my face with chilled breath.
I spy a bag: gift full of fall’s fallen apples and feijoas.

Written for dverse form for all

Cafe Opium

A working autumn morning,
I await my comforting porridge,
with its thick nurturing texture,
such hearty oatiness,
with levity provided
by some five a day berries.

I check my phone: first service
a volley of messages, I return –
now temporary peace before
the racket strikes again.
Then I’m served with my
Grandma’s favourite start
to the day, as steam rushes
upwards to greet my hungry smile.

“Did you find the place alright?”
A man and woman take the adjacent table:
“Yes, no trouble at all”.
By their tone, I infer they are strangers
meeting for the first time.

I look at the sapphire-rubied berries
taking pride of place in the heated
ooze of oaty nourishment.
I stir the berry jewels into the molten
mixture, and watch them lighten
into a rose quartz ripple.

Too hot to taste, I check my phone –
again, as odd strands of words
penetrate my cafe solitude:
“Submission” is mentioned
then “Domination”.

I stir my porridge some more,
and curl my spoon around
the edge of the bowl to
sup the cooler mixture.
Ah, instant satiation.

“My wife’s not adventurous..
I’ve tried to spice things up..”
I’m attempting not to listen,
I want to enjoy my own
sweet fruitiness, so I stir
and taste again.

She speaks, as if interviewing him,
an intimate, but public interrogation:
“So what kind of things do you like?”
and gets an unoriginal reply:
“sexy lingerie”. I sip my chai latte,
as I try to regain my mindful eating,
but apparently her underwear:
“is a bit meager at the moment”,
but she’ll “find something” he’ll like.

A previously undiscovered treasure
has been disturbed by my spoon,
a cluster of berries reveal their dark
and purple-red luster.
I stir them in and eat again.

“I’ll look into motels with day rates that
aren’t too sleazy”. He responds with:
“That would be really great” –
it sounds like a real estate transaction.

My stomach feels fuller, which
is nothing compared to my ears.
“Am I what you expected?”
she asks an awkward silence.
Not much of my porridge remains,
I’ll soon be done, but now they
are discussing the need for “storage”???

All finished, I push the bowl away.
There’s no flirting, no teasing, no play –
just talk of getting down to business.
As I come to leave, I remark to myself
that even dogs at least sniff each others butts before..


Smoke wafts to your nostrils’
reincarnating olfactory cells.
You don’t need time
to analyze-recognize;
there’s instant reaction –
incensed aversion,
the air shouts an aroma of ‘wrong’.

Then you see the flames:
darting, flicking, licking
their devils’ tongues.
They engulf, engorge, envelop.
Monk’s robes disintegrate,
as the chard blossom of the lotus-
sitter distorts his features.
The air becomes blackened
by the cracked skin bubbling
sacred, scarlet rivers –
his whole body weeping
disrobed tears of maroon blood.

You ask:
is this an act of love,
or of protest,
or desperation?

You ask:
where others would strike
and hurt another,
is this the only act remaining
to a peaceful people?

With heartbreaking futility –
You ask….

The Tibetan self-immolation toll currently stands at 113. Written for dversepoets

Unheard Sound




My imagination

won’t let go

of the sound.




Just that one heavy sound:

weight – gravity – ground.




or maybe he

let out a cry

as his feet first slid

from the roof..




then the T-H-U-D


He has no memory,

other than it was raining

earlier that day.




bronzed muscular arms

fastening smiling tiles

on balanced sunny roofs –

all in a day’s work..




when we meet again

his arms lack tone and tan,

he’s less jovial, more subdued.


he fell







Left side:

arm broken,

pelvis shattered.

It’s been a slow recovery,

but he can manage

my small gutter job.

He doesn’t remember,

and I wasn’t there,

but I’m still hearing

the sickening sound..




Linking up to dversepoets open link night. I’ve limited my exclamation marks to one at the end. Please let me know if you think I should use more.

Poetry Troll

The Poetry Troll
lives in a hole named: “Provocation”,
under a metaphorical bridge
over the River Torment,
where torrents of flowing fish
find their words viscerally baited
by the troll’s obnoxiously hooked lines.

Swim upstream, reach higher, higher
take our rhyme schemes out of reach,
where the troll’s thoughts can’t impeach
through integrity’s safely hidden brier.

There you will see the harmlessness of this poetry troll,
for s/he’s nothing other than a bore and so incredibly dull.

Mirage vase


(image by Alice Rose)

A diamanté:


flat, two-dimensional

pretending, portraying, imitating

picture, painting, ornament, urn

standing, opening, holding

physical, solid


A cinquain:

A vase..

or a painting..

two or three dimensions..

flattened ceramic’s plumped shading:


Read about Alice Rose’s mirage vases

Methylene Blue

Devoted to her father, as she is
supportive of her mother, while sisters
believe she is the be all and end all,
now this elder sister comes to enter
her eighteenth year, no expense has been spared.
Delighted to be presented with a
large gift box, she opens it eagerly,
and let’s out a gasp at the garment’s hue.
She holds the vibrant dress up to the light,
such velvety smoothness in her soft hands,
the stunning colour is methylene blue.

Her curl falling hair, almost in ringlets,
shines pale gold against the dresses boldness,
excited cheeks becoming flushed rose buds,
sparkling brightly – her eyes almost violet,
parents think her a cherub, while sisters
proclaim that she’s surely a true princess,
for she’s a picture in methylene blue.

Preserving this day, this moment, this life,
a painter is invited to capture
her likeness, so she sits for her portrait.
He’s a young, handsome man needing a muse –
she becomes aware of his attraction,
her cheeks glowing warmly, as lips swell rouge.
He’s captivated by this lady’s blush
that so contrasts with the methylene blue.

So many sittings that she falls in love,
only to fall, unwittingly, further,
finds herself to be expecting a child.
Family, appalled, end their relations,
sending her far away to an old Aunt,
a place to see out ‘her journey to Rome’.
It will be some time before she can wear
her precious garment in methylene blue.

She never changed, only appearances,
the infant is seized, “she can’t be trusted”.
They claim that it must be infirmity:
“the poor woman’s mind is not the right state”.
She thinks she’s returning home to family,
but they’re taking her to an asylum.
Lover, child, and family gone from her,
she clings to her most dearest possession
that velvety robe in methylene blue.

In return for her patient compliance,
they permit her to keep her comfort dress.
She wears it around the stark, solemn ward:
a vain attempt to pretend she’s still gay.
Providing the very latest treatments,
they feed her a new anti-psychotic:
goes by the name of chlorpromazine,
derived from the compound of methylene blue.

What initiated her fast downfall,
has become her forced, prescribed medicine.
Her hair falls lank, no sign of those ringlets,
her movements are slow and monotonous,
no zest or colour in her once red cheeks,
and as the week’s pass and the drug takes hold,
her pallor worsens becoming gray-blue.
Her life consigned between asylum walls,
life to be forever methylene blue.

I’d been meaning to write this for sometime, and yesterday’s dverse irony prompt has encouraged me. Methylene blue did provide the compound for the first anti-psychotic medication, chlopromazine, and a potential side-effect is to turn a grayish blue colour. Note that the euphemism “journey to Rome” was taken from Katherine Mansfield’s short story “At Lehmann’s”