Messy Red – revised


I wear red to face the day,
come on, root chakra,
kick in! Give me strength!


How many shades, I wonder,
in the spectrum,
of opaque, translucent, variegated
openings of red?


Red courses through my legs
straight to my heart.


Strawberry gleam
in a crystal dish,
a woman pouts
as a man pours on
thick cream.


Red patent shoes
with red soles
sullied with mud,
she dips her handkerchief
in a puddle
and sits on the pavement
to clean them.


Red candy
swirls in a lollipop,
a little girl skips
on a grey winter’s day.


Red woollen coats
somehow feel warmer
than navy blue.


A man and a woman
walk arm in arm in the wind,
her crimson scarf
caresses his cheek,
their eyes look ahead,


Red inflections floating
on a sunny day,
eyes shut enthralled.


I shall carry
a single red carnation
so that you know me.


A new lipstick
in a shiny black case,
red courage, of course.


Red lip prints
on random shop windows
tell secrets
to those
who follow…


I become glorious red
in all its messy shades.

Each stanza is less than 140 characters – I have followed Sam’s suggestion and extended this into a 13 part poem following Wallace Stevens “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” 



a cosy peloton –
one cyclist breaks,
on the verges cheer,

a zoom,
the peloton
now a sausage
inching up
a mountain,

the leaders
can be caught,
those on the verges
cheer like geese,
and clap clap clap,
hoping for
an unexpected
win while commentator
experts express doubt.

Clumps Clank

clumps clunk,
squelching thoughts
spawning floating plankton;
behind closed eyes
a chessboard
with cockroach pawns
massing on a brink
chattering their feet,
the column pulses over
– lemmings into
a watery abyss –
as a mottled minstrel
with a piggish snout
sings of treachery
and long dead chivalry.

Small Stones in early July

July 2

doggie needs to pee
the door creaks open
protesting the cold air
wafting as
the central heating
blasts warmth
on a cold winter’s
July night

July 4

I was on Facebook tonight and I saw a post from Yoko Ono’s page so I followed her link to a review about her book Acorns ( The article talks about the acorns she and John Lennon planted back in 1968 and their vision of living sculptures around the world of paired oak trees. There is an extract from her book in the article about listening to what other people are thinking  … nice playful irony I thought and so wabi sabi … it reminded me of the invisibility of listening, how I tried to understand this phenomenon over a decade ago through my doctoral dissertation and how I struggled to express my meandering thoughts through academic writing  … anyway her poem triggered a chain reaction in my brain. Below is my spontaneous play on her words.

Listen to the raging wind outside my door
Listen to the wind outside your window
Listen to the wind swirling from the sun
Listen to your climate system
Can you hear the turning of the ground …

July 5

my ear hairs bristle
biting wind blows through
southern cross glitter

July 8

steaming chicken soup
a balm for weary bones
chewy whole grain rice

sighs turn to comfort
spoon clinks an emptied bowl
ghosts leave haunted eyes


The street runs like a dark mist,
rain swiftly catches cold,
streetlights grab the sidewalk,
an embrace of stone necessity.

A hooded faceless figure
throws a still glowing cigarette
into the flowing gutter – phssst
– extinguished now
they ride the pipes together
to the underworld.

A lonely rat sniffs a roller-door,
whiskers slick against his cheeks,
I step aside and find the moon
on the other side of my umbrella.

Strains of cheerful chatter
beckon from just around the corner,
with purpose now, I stride afresh
towards the harbour of my love’s face.