Not Death

So slowly creeps the lichen in the sun

And slowly the trees stretch their arches

Spreading shade over the green acres

Where the snails leave their silver paths


Slow too is the slow rise of the hedges

But beating quicker is the grass,

Which is pinned by the spring daisies

Lest it rise to the clouds


Beating quicker are the green shoots

Twining at the base of the hedges

In the corners of the dim shade

At the base of the stones


And the spring bulbs are bursting

And leaves push out and up to sunshine

As the first bees harvest the dying grave flowers

Warmed by the growing sun


Birds flit, their shadows racing

Across wood and stone and grass

As the fledglings call and cry

Daily getting nearer to their own flight


And underneath, the shy voles

Scamper and search among the offerings

Tiptoeing through last year’s leaves

Slipping down the root tangle


And in a corner, busy ants

Harvest the crumbs and keep their march

As their nest warms in the mild sun

And the petals are dropping.


This is no place of death

This is a place where the dead remember

The rushing, pushing, pulse of spring

And celebrate their life.

Image from the Swedish National Heritage Board and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

Meet for Lunch

I know the step I have to take,

I know the choice I have to make.

I smile and try to take a bite,

My mouth is dry, my throat is tight.

I take a sip of lukewarm tea,

Look up and see you watching me.

I hoped that we would share a meal

Before I tell you how I feel.

Aware of hurt and furtive looks

I blurt out, ‘your new sandwich sucks.’

Feeling the Tension

Your monuments, what do they mean?

Build your stone high and shout your deity.

Hope that the stone outlasts the age

Hold tight to written, lawful piety


And when the old roots wrack your faith

When the cold moon bites and rags your mind

How do you hold on to the bitter dregs?

How do you slip into your role assigned?


Old shadows creep and stretch before your feet

Old lanes and lines cross across your path

You’re happy to bask in summer’s generous warmth

Are you willing to take the lash of winter’s wrath?


Look at the stone path, that’s where you tread,

Turning away to turfed green paths that roam.

Is it because your faith outlasts the stone?

Or do you listen when your soul hears home?

Originally posted April 4th 2018

The Craft Kit

This is a prompt from the Trifecta Challenge, to write between 33 and 333 words on the third definition of the word ‘Quaint’.  


The Craft Kit

Finally, the new kit’s here

I’ve waited for the post all day.

The door is shut, the table’s clear

The furniture is pushed away!

Okay, I put the screw in here

And tighten up the bracket there

And slot the tab into the rear

And push it in, hard as I dare.

I sand it here, and rub it there,

I add the paint and wax and buff,

The fumes are stuffing up the air,

I wonder if I’ve buffed enough.

The picture’s blurred, is this quite right?

I’m sure I got the stencil straight.

Is this quite the shade of white?

And will it really hold the weight?

Oh no!  No visitors today!

I shove the thing across the floor,

Push a chair to bar the way,

And rush towards the knocking door.

The mother of my husband’s here.

She doesn’t like the kitchen blind

She doesn’t like the new veneer

She doesn’t like the box I’ve lined.

She checks how full my cupboards are,

And is my laundry all inside,

She lifts the cushions, now ajar,

And spots the kit I’ve tried to hide.

She picks it up and turns it round

And touches the still-drying lace

An opportunity she’s found

To put me firmly in my place.

She sneers with praise that’s damning faint

“A painted footstool, oh how quaint!”

Originally posted January 20 2014