Monthly Archives: August 2022

offshoot 61

Thursday’s dVerse prompt was “vertical lines of kisses“, and the challenge was to take one of the five specified lines and use it to write a stanza with each line beginning with a word (in order) of the prompt line. I chose the line “since there’s no help, so let us kiss and part”, from Drayton’s idea 61. We studied that poem at school, and I loved it then but haven’t read it since, so it was wonderful to be reminded of it after so many years! Thanks Laura!


Since there’s no help and
there’s no hope, and there’s
no cause to try – please…
help me to cut these ties.
Come let us kiss, and then
let us say goodbye, and let
“Us” return to “you” and “I”. Just
Kiss me once, this final time
And, knowing it is final, then we’ll
Part, without further tears or sighs.


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Spring’s kiss

For the dVerse prompt “A World of Common Scents“:

For weeks Spring has flirted
with a wink of golden narcissus,
and a coy blue-sky smile
tossed over her shoulder
before she turns and sashays away again
into Winter’s iron-scented grey.
Until now,
she makes her intentions clear
and with soft pink arms reaching out
offers a sweet blossom-perfumed kiss.

Great prompt Worms!


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small hours II

on the wrong side of the morning
spores of worry grow
their mycelium spreading,
enmeshing every cell
but my heart stays sluggish,
beta-blockers in control
is this really better living through chemistry?
the oximeter flashes low –
which will suffocate first,
me or the fear?


This was actually written before small hours, but I decided it was a bit dark for the prompt and rewrote it into the other one. Then decided to post this anyway…  After a bunch of cardiology tests lately I got the diagnosis “one of those things at your age” and have been put on beta-blockers which are sort of helping. Sort of.    


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small hours

Written for the dVerse Monday quadrille prompt “morning has broken“:


spores of self-doubt grow
and spread into a mycelium,
enmeshing every cell,
blooming into twisted,
pointing fingers
here, on the wrong side of the morning,
hearing the first 4am cock-crows,
I count the hours
until daylight flows from the sky
washing away the night


A quadrille is exactly 44 words, and for the prompt the quadrille must include the word morning.  


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after the flood, chainsaws

After the flood
when the hiluxes have been dragged from the gullies
and the roads are cleared and open in town,
when the water is mopped from living rooms
and the ‘roos are drying along the roadsides
when the sheep are washed white as cotton wool
and the cockatoos are muddy as street urchins
when the gum-leaves glitter in the afternoon sun
and the water has fallen so that we can stride into the creek –
while the three-legged dog watches
(though we are hardly drovers’ wives),
we take our chainsaws,
and we clear the path

We got 80mm of rain in a few hours Thursday-week ago, which might not sound like a huge amount but with all the rain we’ve had recently the soil is saturated, the dams are full and there was nowhere for it to go. My neighbour was sending me texts on her way (trying to get) home of closed roads, vehicles large and small washed off and people being rescued. We live at the end of a dirt road past a creek crossing that floods a few times a year – and this time it was not only flooded, a tree had washed across it. She couldn’t get across until morning, when she waded across to where her three-legged dog was sitting in the cold waiting for her. I was home, but my family had stayed in Canberra to avoid the floods.  In the afternoon, when the water had dropped enough, we each took a chainsaw and cleared the tree together.  In the photo above you can see the “tide-line” just in front of the vehicle (well above the mud-line) where the water got to.  Today we got another 40mm of rain, and it flooded again but nowhere near as high.   


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it’s not an effing restaurant

A collaborative effort by the whole family, in response to the dVerse prompt “at the restaurant“, starting with the title which is something I say at least once a week…


“It’s dinner time my darlings!
it’s time to come and eat,
turn off your screens, my dears,
take a plate and have a seat!

“I’ve made this food with love
Why won’t you eat your fill?”

“’Made with loves’ all well and good,
but we’d rather ‘made with skill!’

Why won’t you make what we want,
why won’t you let us choose?
It’s always half-raw vegies
or brown, mysterious ooze

“You’re always free to help me
and then you’d get some say!
Some help around the kitchen
would really make my day!

But until that happens,
I’m here to tell you, bub,
there’s two things on the menu
and they’re both avec shut-up”

You must be really stupid,
you must be such a dolt,
you always cook the stuff we hate
but expect a new result!

And then when we won’t eat it
you’re always full of sadness.
You do the same, expect a change –
now that’s a sign of madness!”

“It’s not an effing restaurant,
it’s not even a café,
if you don’t want what I’ve cooked
you can bloody go away!

You’ve always got a choice,
you’ve always got an option
you can eat what’s on your plate…
or you can go up for adoption!”



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clackety-click, what’s that in the attic?

in the dusty darkness
and cob-webbed quiet of the attic
with nought but the resident mouse
to bear witness
to their mechanical trysts,
the typewriters have multiplied –
and now they lurk in their dozens
their presence betrayed only
by an occasional
nocturnal tapping


Written for the dVerse Monday quadrille prompt, “what’s your type?“, and for my husband who collects typewriters and hides them in the roof-space where there is now a large colony of them.     


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ragged edge

For the dVerse poetics prompt “sometimes August isn’t recognised“:


August is uncertain of itself –
a ragged edge between the
winter still in the air and trees,
and the spring pushing up through the ground.
Narcissus and wattle
sweeten and powder the air,
their unexpected bursts of yellow
shocking against the greys and browns
that we have become accustomed to.
We have even forgotten that the skeletal trees
silhouetted against the blue sky
were ever heavy with fruit or leaves,
but we can still imagine the clouds
of blossom they will soon bear.


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looking up

For the dVerse haibun Monday prompt “Look up”: 


The alarm goes off at midnight, its tune dragging me from a dream of… something… something lost as I fumble to swipe the alarm off, clumsy thumbs taking multiple attempts.
Bundled in dressing gowns, coats and blankets we follow our torch beams up the winding dirt driveway. This path has become a ravine in the darkness. Black walls of eucalypts rise to either side, while the milky-way flows glittering above us – a river seen from below.
We come out onto the road, and the sky opens now – its jet-black star-specked canopy carrying the frozen river of stars, pouring east to west around dark island-nebulae.

Lying on our backs,
cold rises into us as
we count falling stars.


There was a triple meteor shower visible here on Saturday.  I’m not usually much of an astronomy fan, but I do like meteor showers. It was bloody cold though!  


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