On the mantlepiece
a poet dozes
staff in hand,
a bull poised
ready to fight,
a white rose petal
on his head

This is my contribution to the challenge with @poemblaze – I challenged him to write a poem of free association and imagism. Mine  is more imagist – inspired by stuff on my mantlepiece.


Urban Collage

Green shoes, red dress, an eagle smiles,
below, garden pools melt the sun,
water glints on wet chessboard tiles,
green shoes, red dress, an eagle smiles,
patchwork suburbs, car park  aisles,
a thin man eats a currant bun,
green shoes, red dress, an eagle smiles,
below, garden pools melt the sun.


Rosamunda unfurls her wings,
sniffs the summer moonlight
dancing with the ocean waves
pulling on earth’s even breath,
she stretches her spine,
sensuously, opening each pore,
breathing the wind in pink
transparent flames.

She soars above the geese
migrating, smiling down
at human habitations,
starry constellations below
then senses a girl child
sketching a rose glitter dragon.

Rosamunda gathers
the beads of the signal
as she swoops through
silver marshmallow clouds,
catching the little girl’s feelings
holding them close,
moonwalks and leaping
from star to star;
magic carpet rides together
to enchanting places like Venice.

The rose dragon frowns in dismay,
tears gently roll down
the little girl’s cheeks
splashing the colours she draws.

Rosamunda makes haste,
hones in on the tears, sees
a scene in the playground,
and unkind words
on a smart phone screen;
she will give the bullies
something to fear,
with flames from her nostrils
that can turn bullies to ashes.

This poem has been entered into the Annual M.R. Mathias Dragon Poetry Competition


Born in 1915, my aunt stands
by her husband’s grave,
we pull some errant dandelions
working in a stoic silence.

Each of us immersed in reveries,
I watch her hands once square and strong
remembering her garden
where petunias bloomed in rows
like nineteenth century soldiers.

 Her heavy breaths take me to her  youth
lost to the screams of war… and then
a displaced peace and an exchange
of bombed out cities
and refugee camps for an alien land.

She sighs, to turns to me
to speak with brittle eyes,
“there is space here for me but
I don’t want to share with him,
he betrayed me when I young,
I was so stupid,
the gossips said he had son, not mine
while I was pregnant… it was true…
I found out later…

How do I tell my son,
I do not want
to be buried here…
to rot forever by his side…
On the other hand,
with my bones on top of his,
laid on his mouldy heap
I can make him uncomfortable
in his eternal rest,
haunting him beyond this grave.
The priest tells me to pray for peace
but I would be a wonderful ghost”
She looks at me and grins.

Brave Loulou

Aircon hums
in the corner,
outside the sun
beats its chest,
birds hide in shade,
the air is empty
of butterflies;
a little cat, Loulou
dashes inside
collar lost
unable to speak;
her bother
solicitously sniffs,
she hisses
tears fill her eyes
as she conveys
an outrageous
by the cat who lives
over the road.

Skitty and haunted
she meets my eyes,
eat and drinks
then roams
tail swishing.

I get a metal ruler,
we make for the piano,
she couches beside it
ready to pounce
on the treasures
I sweep outside.

We encounter something
quite sticky,
a melted candy cane
then a family
of catnip mice,
she plays delighted
with toys she
had hidden before
watched over
by me and her brother.


Fire fox merrily skips beneath the night
seeking emeralds in a pool of blue,
bowing deeply to streaming water sprites,
paying gods the reverence they are due.

Green water dragons dance with river prawns
flickering neon in magnetic seams,
Northern lights inspire blushing Southern dawns,
polar nets fishing in the solar streams.

From the heart of sun plasma rises, stares
into the emptiness, electrons dance
with protons, swirling wantonly on flares,
humans watch on, in a mystical trance.

Glowing cosmic beads slip along a string,
magnetic leelines, mythic angel wings.

Ekphrasis: An Artist’s Studio in Hue

The image was kindly provided by Chris G Nguyen as a prompt for me.

The Artist’s Studio in Hue

Photo copyrighted to Chris G Nguyen

Leaving street dusted shoes
at the door, cool tiles find
the corners of my feet,
he places a pottery beaker
filled with fragrant tea
with deep green notes
in my hand, we smile.

Brushes arranged
with ikebana care
in jars that celebrate
clay unadorned
proportion left to speak,
hand wrought table
bearing gifts, a supplication
to the spirit of place.