Poetry, Real Toads

dance at the edge


Susie offers the prompt at Toads today

feature photo from shutterstock

For today’s challenge I want you to write a poem from your immediate surroundings. For example where I am sitting there is a vase of   flowers,  silver thermos, a mailbox nameplate from my father’s mailbox, a window, a rather sickly violet, books, a clock, a tape dispenser, the whir of an air conditioner. I could go on and on.  Your poem could be a combination of what you see, hear, taste, feel, just pull from the spot where you are writing.


stuffed bird sings at a squeeze

zen masters await my eye

journals of music

and poetry lie used

and fingered

and loved


flowers drying in old water

display paper-like beauty

and faces of family

and colors and hope

and wisdom

burst out

from the wall in front

of this keyboard


drums and guitars

capos and flutes

and bells

and buddha’s

and prayer flags

and stuff from my daughters flat

blocking the bookshelf





is every step









Football’s Final

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse and our theme chosen by guest landlady Nyo is “Childhood Experiences”, whether they be pleasurable or traumatic, but perhaps something that changed the course of your life or impacted you in some  unforgettable way.


Haibun prose is composed of terse, descriptive paragraphs, written in the first person singular. The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku, all excessive words should be pared down or deleted. Nothing must ever be overstated.


Nerves shred my insides.It matters little that I was the hero of the semi final, the reason we are in the final. It’s a new game now. There is a crowd. The first time I have played in front of people. In front of my parents. My father. The ex footballer. Ex goalkeeper. My position now. We walk out onto the pitch. Reassuring glances from the sideline only serve to deepen my sense of foreboding. By half time we are 2-0 down. The first goal my fault. The second a mix up in defence but the manager blames me for that too. Their goalkeeper played the game of his life. ‘If only we had him’ I can hear them all thinking, semi final heroics a distant forgotten memory. Winning is all that matters. We lose. 2-0. The manager scowls at me for breaking his dream. We have history. My fault. Again. My father does not know how to do empathy so he reminds me of the technical aspects of my errors and how he would not have made them.  I am alone in this.


pressure to succeed

weighs heavy on young shoulders

too young to let go



Choka, dVerse, Poetry

to capture a journey

img courtesy

Our dVerse prompt today comes from Bodhirose.

The Choka or Long Poem is believed to be the most intricate of Japanese poetry and was used to tell a story; many were epic with over 100 lines.  This form was popular between the 1st and 13th centuries, the earliest example was discovered in the 1st century and described a battle.  It was 149 lines long.  The Choka had a tradition of being recited in a high-pitched voice.

This form is based on a series of Katauta joined together. The Katauta is considered the basic unit of Japanese poetry using either the 17 (5-7-5) unit onji or the 19 (5-7-7) unit onji.  In Western terms an onji is what we call a syllable.  Many of us are familiar with these particular onji as we have used them in writing haiku, tanka and sedoka.

The Choka is an unrhymed poem alternating five and seven syllables that ends with an extra seven syllable line. You can use the 17 or 19 onji (syllable) style.  It can be any number of lines that you choose.

So today our prompt is to tell a story in the Choka poetic tradition.

My Choka is below and is a remembering of a journey which I undertook in 2015 and which I blogged about at the time  but never ‘wrote’ about.

I have for some time thought about where I might go with that, in writing terms, and the Choka seemed the perfect form to begin something. I have also contemplated writing the story of Drum Trek in the Basho style made famous in the Narrow Road to the Interior and perhaps producing my first book.

This prompt has given me plenty to ponder.


To capture a journey

How does one begin

a journey of great distance?

do not think on it

but move forward step by step

realising that

the present moment is all

and so i did this

making a choice in the now

to undertake a

rhythmical odyssey ride

to places calling

to people who had answered

no thought to time’s glance

ignore the tick and the tock

leaving from the North

John of the Groats they call it

a windswept world’s edge

i traveled many miles South

to the end of land

dipping like a giant’s toe

into the ocean

i drummed with many a folk

old friends and more new

deepening community

finding my story

in the rhythm of this place

hidden in plain sight

woven in the landscape’s dream

meeting myself here

in memories of a life

lived on this green land

since before i knew of it

whose ancient voice was

calling to a deeper part

elder’s being heard it

wise and serene seeing  all

holding space for me

to see it too and to heal

deeply from old wounds

that threatened to blind my eyes

to ancestral truths

to ancestral chains that bound

to freedom waiting

whispering a long lost song

calling my spirit to soar

a beauty of tears

gifted this heart note i sang

my song with heart bare

soul aflame wordless wisdom

to my soul of now

knowing that this moment was

eternal and true

gratitude poured through my veins

it was all so clear

i had traveled many miles

to discover that

which i sought had always been

in my own story

in the bones of who i am

here where i stood deep within


Pathway to the Heart

New Beginnings is the prompt from Mish this Tues at dVerse, and we are offered a selection of Art to inspire our poetry.

I have chosen the piece shown above by Jennifer Vranes entitled ‘New Beginnings’

~~~~~~~~~         ~~~~~~~~~


the pathway beckons

deep into the Klimpt-like

silver birch stand of forest

it winds


inviting and yet unknown

old leaf fall tells tales of a time past

a foundation upon which to place

the virgin steps yet walked


the steps I must take

for there is no going back

even a refusal to take this path

is a step forwards


time cannot be called back

but lessons can be hewn from it

water has flown under this bridge

and it will not flow back this way


but we saw it pass

and threw a pooh stick in it

that bobbed and danced

lightly into it’s own future


move on

move forwards

let go

let’s go


dancing with the wild wind

feeling the call of nature deep within

i have no control

and so I move


lightness of being

spirit of adventure

heart open for business

time to make more change


you my love eternal

through times and changes

have painted a picture around my heart

that is a pathway to yours


~~~~~~~~~         ~~~~~~~~~







Paul's Rhythm Journey

The Blues

img source

Tonight our prompt is as follows:

Make Music of Those Words—dVerse Meeting the Bar  For today, I’d like you to write a poem that incorporates elements of music. It may be on any topic, including music, but what will come through is a recognition of the influence of music.

***   ***   ***

six strings

ten digits

and  a voice matured in oaken casks

or woven from the nectar

of a honey bee

then filtered

through smoke filled bars

is all it takes

to make the blues

that and heart break

or life

falling on you like

a storm


dVerse, Poetry, Quadrille

lone scar

img source

At dVerse tonight is Quadrille #22 and our host calls thus:

Hey, gang. De (WhimsyGizmo) here, and it’s time again for the Quadrille, when we write a poem of exactly 44 words, including a specific word provided. Today, I’d like you to play with the word scar.

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

it’s funny how invisible

hurt can be

how what feels like turmoil


can look like serenity


the original pain buried

deep behind a scar

exposed but hiding

where no light shines

a forgotten place

a deep wound

echoing itself




***   ***   ***   ***




…and so it goes…..

I sit typing on a small Samsung notebook, which by the way has survived the rigors of ‘Dampworld’ better than it’s owner, and I think as I eat motorway service’s chicken curry with Basmati rice, that it has been a remarkable two months just past.

I blogged nowhere near as much as I had intended and for that I make no apology. Life itself was in the way of my proclivity to enter in and out of cyberspace and in that respect I, and my life, are the winners. We, my life and I, have come to rest in a place that is grounded…earth has inhabited my being and i whiff of musty damp soil…it’s in my fingernails and in my odour…I am scent of sod.

Perhaps the fever that has accompanied my infectious invader is warping my reality…despite being ill, I feel fabulous, centered and alive…my time at Wiston, this portion at least, is almost at an end…two days of construction lie ahead and the hope that the male/female changing room project will be completed afore I go…then another drumming day to follow the two days just that see me sat here and not in my tent…I’ll let you in on a secret. The tent is down. Packed away. I’m in a cottage, with a bed and a chest of drawers…still coldish but not so damp…it’ll carry me over the line….then back south to the land of the Bridge to reconvene with another life as another person…exciting.

That I love Mrs Scribbles is unquestionable and I am pleased to report the truth for her is the same…but now we know we can love and live apart…what freedom may this bring? What doors may it open? Who knows….as I travel south I will wonder at the miracle of love and it’s mysterious way and I will be glad to feel the warm embrace of my soul mate once more…we continue to dance our unique and somewhat unconventional dance and we are the better for it…..the drummer drums the dancer…the dancer dances the drummer…2 into 1 does  go.