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 bathing in a ray
of the darkling sun, hearts aglow.
A newborn year will soon bestow
a deeply vibrant Cabernet.


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

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 fluttered, half undone.

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.


      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.

Licks 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
Licks Poems

A Way

For the Ronovan Decima challenge No.33 
Prompt word - Blind on rhyme C

A Way

Revealed religion is a way
of mapping out a path to peace,
those seeking to have love increase
on pilgrimage to judgement day.

Who judges though is hard to say.
Uncertain but yet hardly blind
we raise our children to be kind
and hesitate to know a god.
Like Frost, we take a path less trod,
a way evolving, not designed.


My contribution to the Ronovan Decima Challenge 31: 
Sleep on B rhyme


Forgive me. I used to awake
to the sound of your smile asleep
beside me, a smile buried deep
inside me. Now there is an ache
embedded there for my mistake.
And years do not diminish how
I lightly tore apart the vow
we made while looking at the sea,
the moonlight sealing silently
a love that was - but is not now.
Poems Polemicks



Revealed religion is a way
of mapping out the road to peace,
seeking to have love increase
until the judgement day.

Who judges though is hard to say;
there's much opinion on that theme,
which strand is paramount, which scheme
affords the greatest sway.

There're many actors in the play,
their scripts confuse and agitate,
add little to the great debate
of whom to disobey.

Rabbis, priests, muezzins, grey
with worry if they've got it right
in their promotion of the fight
for souls, are rarely gay.

They, no doubt, fret that they'll betray
their version of a vengeful god
who's liberal with the wrathful rod
in this grim affray.

Yet most of us, we know we're clay.
Uncertain but yet hardly blind,
we raise our children to be kind,
then quietly decay.