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For the d’Verse quadrille prompt “for whom the bell tolls“:


The bluebells are tardy this year.
Although perhaps I misjudge them,
perhaps they are just cautious –
perhaps, having seen the fate of the tulips,
those princesses reduced to muddied rags –
perhaps they are just waiting for the storms to pass.




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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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pastoral care with Hopefully

Written for the dVerse MTB/Poetry form prompt “The eleventh power“: 11 syllables per line, 11 lines, rhyme pattern abababccddd or ababababccc. 

And written because I’ve been wanting to write something about Hopefully. 

Hopefully is a red corduroy dinosaur that came from the same rubbish tip shop that my office couch came from – so I figure he belongs with the couch. He looks handmade, with no tag and with odd details (for a reptile) like a belly button. He seems the sort of dinosaur that should have been loved, and I wonder how he ended up at the tip. When I brought him home my husband named him Nobody Saurus but I prefer Hopefully Nobodysaurus. He now lives in my office and helps me with pastoral care of students (young adults) which is the hardest part of my job. 


Made with love and to be loved, Hopefully lives
on the red leather couch in the corner there
where his presence contributes to calmness, gives
a touch of whimsy, of family, of care
for whoever sits to have their problems sieved
while I sit opposite in the old wood chair.
Then, tears dried, and plans in place, solution
decided, and so we reach a conclusion.
Then, I sit on the couch and give Hopefully
the hug that they needed, and so, truthfully,
do I, as the next comes knocking woefully.





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words falling, like petals

for d’Verse haibun Monday,  “cherry blossom“:

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It’s not like I was dangerously ill. I didn’t end up in hospital or on a ventilator or anything like that. I was only really sick for maybe a week, and now this lingering malaise. Like being invisibly weighted about the shoulders and ankles, and drained of energy and enthusiasm for… well, anything.

So I have given myself permission to not try too hard for a while. This is a new thing, and sits uneasily. I tell myself that my mind needs rest just like my body does, and I hope that it’s true. Because I keep expecting to get bored, to feel the urge to do something, to write something. But I don’t. So I’m working shorter hours, no evening walks, no writing. Walks tire me too much, leave me coughing and exhausted. Worse than this, words escape me. Phrases fall apart before they reach the page, scraps of white-noise with no meaning, like cherry blossoms in the wind.


my words come apart,

confetti-petals falling

in drifts at my feet


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two eyes quadrilles

I wrote the first of these quadrilles for the Monday dVerse quadrille prompt “eyeing the quadrille” – 44 words exactly and must include the word eye. 

I don’t think I have ever been told
that I have beautiful eyes.
So does that mean my soul
is also not something to prize?
Is it murky grey-green-brown,
of indeterminate hue?
If less like sky than ground,
does that mean it lacks value?

Then after taking the photo above I noticed that the last photo on my phone before this was the freaky tree-eye, which was just too good a picture to not use, so I wrote a second quadrille to go with it:


Even the trees are watching,
so be careful what you do,
and be careful what you say
because something’s listening too.
The only place you’ll find
away from all ears and eyes
is deep inside your own mind.
There is nowhere else to hide.

This scary tree eye is how the tree has healed after a branch was pruned off. There are several of them, more or less eye-like, on the trees at the edge of this carpark. 


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ko: blackberries and biting flies

Lisa at dVerse challenges us to write about or create a ko (micro-season). Full specifications (which I have not met) are listed below:


Major season (sekki, of which there are 24): late summer dog-days

Micro-season (ko, of which there are 72): Blackberries and biting flies

This is the season of hot days when we are ready for coolness, but are unwilling to accept that summer is almost gone. Holidays are over and school begins just as blackberries are ripening and shining invitingly on roadsides.


Seasonal vegetables:

Tomatoes are ripe in the garden, squash as swelling into scalloped-edged flying saucers. But these are incidental now – because this is the season when the blackberries ripen. The hard green clusters, eyed in passing for months, are swelling and darkening, and our impatience for them is at last washed away by inky-sweet juices. We gorge ourselves, fingers stained purple and buckets overflowing onto the kitchen table. Tarts and crumbles bake, despite the heat, jams bubble on the stove, filling the house with the musky, dusky scent of these summer-end days.


Seasonal activities:

Work and school are resumed, there is no denying that the year has started now as we pack lunches, pat pockets for keys, phone, wallet, ID, before the now-unaccustomed and resented commute. We envy the pig, as she wallows in the dam, mud drying like cement on her sides as she grumbles at the heat and flies. A hundred of these fat black biting flies perch on her, a flock of feeding vampires. When I shoo them away they rise in a buzzing black cloud, only to resettle on her, and on my own bare legs.




A stinging slap,

a flat black fly falls, leaving

a smear of blood.

The specifications (more information can be found at dVerse):

“The format for each  is as follows:
•the title of the Major Season or Sekki
•outline why it is called that
•the title of the micro-season or kō
•outline why it is called that
•write a haiku that speaks to the kō
•include insider information on the haiku and include information about the poet (you)
•seasonal fish, information about it, and including ways to prepare it
•seasonal vegetable, information about it, and ways to prepare it
•seasonal activity, often including the holiday or tradition involved, etc.
•a preview of coming attractions for the next kō

In addition, there are images of artwork, drawings, photographs, etc. of the highlighted”


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fair is a four letter word

For the dVerse Monday quadrille (poem in 44 words exactly) prompt “let’s go to the fair” (include the word fair): 


“It’s not fair, I’m not tired yet!”
“It’s not fair, vegetables are disgusting!”
“It’s not fair, showers are boring!”
“It’s not fair, everyone else has that game!”

“Why are you so unfair?” 

From the mouth of a child,
fair is a four letter word.


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night walk

I walk away from my shadow,
trying to leave it behind,
along with this day –
this day that has drained me.
But it follows me up the hill,
and lingers with me at the gate.
Until, as inevitably as tomorrow,
I follow it home.


Written for the dVerse quadrille prompt, “let’s linger“.  44 words, including the word linger.  

I didn’t think I was going to respond to this one – too big a day at work, it was almost 8pm before I could finally switch off.  But, a walk outside in the bright moonlight – full moon tonight – and I feel refreshed. Shame I now need to go to sleep so I can face another day tomorrow…  ‘night all. Stay safe.  


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a clover for Worms

This is for Worms, and for the dVerse novelinee challenge:

Sometimes among the green, something… stands out,
an imperfection, something that’s not right,
an extra leaf that bends the shape about.
That symmetry – it catches at my sight…
And here it is, four lobes instead of three.
Whatever luck it holds, I give to you, Continue reading


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Caroline Springs

For the dVerse prompt “outside looking in”, a partly imagined, partly remembered impression of the houses of Caroline Springs:

If you lived here,
you’d be home now.
In an infinite purgatory
of tarmac and dead grass,
unbroken and uninteresting,
from horizon to horizon. Continue reading


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