Diesel Bus Fumes

On a grey throated morning
a diesel bus passes
as I walk to the station
evoking crowded memories
of seasons long since turned,
a bright recollection springs up;
a red vinyl backseat
sticks to  my legs
on a hot summer’s evening;
I know any slight wriggle
will sting so I am listening.
The car engine sighs
on a long country road;
I sprawl on my back
looking up, out of the window
counting the stars,
marking their colours,
gold, brilliant white
and twinkles of blue.



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


Open vista,
sweet smell
of mown wet grass,
with a cricket pitch
placed by planners,
with suburban dreams
of work and recreation,
as one community
out bowls out another
in friendly rivalry
on weekends,
where children
can play
pretending to be heros.

And now,
almost a century on,
in summer holidays
with room to play,
where are all the children?


Footprints in moonlit snow
soft crunching with each step,
she carries packages with stealth
creeping down a side path
making for the kitchen door…

Two small faces peek out
their bedroom window
way past lights out
searching reindeers in the sky
as their father plays online
chatting with faceless friends…

The sound of whispers
rustling paper,
present wrapping mouse’s work,
bows of blue and silver
adorn mysterious shapes…

Poetry Picnic Week 18: Snow, December, Winter Vacations, and Wildness


Apply, apply, apply
seductive mantra sings;
what if…
doubt creeps in
invisible, tangling words
tying my tongue,
a caring voice from long ago
worries at me,
don’t stick your head up,
crouch low, beneath notice,
stay out of trouble,

I want to climb a tree
and crow with the rooster
like yesteryear,
when the caring voice was too loud
fighting my sister,
by myself in the tree I could sit
and think untrammeled thoughts…

I breath, press numbers,
he answers, listens
then says, slow down,
I pause,
gather splintered thoughts,
tell my vision,
he says, don a confident mask,
and apply for that grant.

Sun dark thoughts

Sun dark thoughts tease my mind
a subtle insistence, an edge
of a memory; the cast of light
feels unbearably familiar
this early spring afternoon.

A blink and I’m there. Arum lilies
tower over my head, in my hands
a box Brownie camera loaded,
I look, try to see the garden
in monochrome.

The grass becomes bamboo,
a ladybug bright red and black,
I see in black and grey,
brightly decorated shoe box,
in a forest with exotic blooms.

Then I recollect a hideous noise,
tingles of fear shiver my veins;
a propeller plane screams overhead.
“it’s only a plane”, I tell myself
and fight the urge to run.

My much older sister
pale and trembling bravely
huddled me close under a table,
home alone, our parents at work;
a propeller plane roared  overhead.

This is a revised version for dVerse 

Open Link Night ~ Week 8