An Old Friend Passing

I have on an old tee shirt that I've worn
these many years; it's threadbare, stained and torn.
The dye has faded, it used to be coal black
but it's lost it's rigour and the neckline's going slack.

When I take it off tonight it's for the bin
or cut up into rags for polishing.
And I'll feel like giving thanks to this thing
I spent those many years being in.
Categorized as Poems

A Gift

Here’s my offering for the Ronovan Decima Challenge 36 with the prompt word Gift on the B rhyme line:

A Gift

The shortest day is coming near,
we smile, receive it as a gift.
The solstice cuts ourselves adrift
from every other time of year.

It's like the tumbling of a weir;
the waters wash our pasts away,
we're cleansed by batheing in a ray
of the darkling sun, hearts aglow.
A newborn year will soon bestow
a deeply vibrant Cabernet.
Categorized as Licks


Here’s a go at Ronovan’s 336th challenge with the prompt words, Mad and Sane:

Sanity is like 
a comfortable old shoe,
worn down, full of holes
Categorized as Licks

The Dressmaker

Here’s another try at the Ronovan decima challenge with Knock being the prompt word on rhyme line A.

The Dressmaker

He gently lifted up the frock,
the fabric was so light, so sheer.
It hung there on a hanger near 
the rest of his redundant stock.

The bailiff came, gave just one knock;
he slowly reached out for his gun,
knew he was not the only one
to suffer economic woes.
His finger twitched, the barrel blows,
the dresses flutter, half undone.
Categorized as Licks

Curl and Paw

A contribution to the Ronovan Haiku Challenge 335. Prompt words are Curl and Paw:

Tail a perfect curl
of disdain, cat's got the cream
lathered on one paw.
Categorized as Licks


      When you said ‘let’s burn the bonfire’ we’d built for Guy Fawkes night even though the small ones were ill; not ours of course, who were grown and gone but Stan and Wilf, our ‘secular’ children, I have to admit, I was none too pleased. My counter suggestion to go to the pub, celebrate half-term, your week’s respite, your cooling off, was met with the pursed lips, perfected over the years and employed to ward off such ideas.

    So, out you went as I still struggled into my boots, papers underarm, matches held astrike. By the time I arrived it was already ablaze and you were shifting branches from one pile to the next to prevent the incineration of hedgehogs, your orange face filled with fire.

    We spent an hour or so feeding the flames on a still night as a massive sky absorbed the smoke of a million atoms heading towards the stars. And I imagined Cranmer, who had, only that afternoon, looked down on us from his pious Oxford perch, feeling first the warming of his toes before the flames got a grip, soon consuming in that hot revenge the cries he must have made. I tried to imagine, with all the lifting, lugging and lurching, accidently throwing myself into the fire as some sort of sacrifice the god I’ve never known wished to extract, for me feeling curmudgeonly at not going to the pub.

Categorized as Poems

Tripping with the Magi & Power Tower

A contribution to Ronovan’s decima challenge 334. Stable being the tricky rhyme on rhyme line D. Greedily, I have made two this week.

Tripping with the Magi

Three Magi travelled from the East,
beyond the land of Palestine,
beyond the Dead Sea's viscous brine,
each carried on a hump-backed beast.

Each one of them, some kind of priest,
bearing gifts from a Persian king
as if it were a christening;
carried straightway to a stable,
witnessing the birth of fable;
miraculous Lord of the Ring.

Power Tower

When Babylonians aspired
to build a temple touching sky
a certain god asked questions why,
from where such hubris was acquired.

She said 'It's not what I desired,
demolish, scatter all the stones,
make sure each one of you atones
for mocking me; it's unstable,
damn this Leaning Tower of Babel.'
(Off stage: hear polyglottal groans....)

Grace and Slip

Another effort for the Ronovan haiku challenge with the prompt words Grace and Slip. I thought I’d have a go at a shi rensa: for Grace Darling 1815-1842

Grace Darling a slip
of a girl rescued shipwrecked
sailors from the sea

sailors from the sea
were rescued by Grace even
though their faith had slipped

though their faith had slipped
an heroic act of Grace
salvaged faith in God

salvaged faith in God
slipped into our Darling Grace
and floated her boat
Categorized as Licks