Remixed “The Madman, Parables”


Her Echoes

She was born
the last daughter,
a fading ruin of
sleep enfolded.
She spoke
into veiled mist
to an echo,
then answered
as the cock awoke.


The text of this poem is sourced and remixed from “The Madman: Parables” by Kahil Gibran “The Sleepwalkers”


HWWP 5.1 Assignment – The Turn

This week’s assignment for How Writers Write Poems is the Turn: Write a poem featuring a major turn in logic, situation, or voice.


The brick wall
by the milking shed is old.
Older than anyone’s
memory goes.
And ferns sprout
between the gnawed bricks,
like ledges of wild eyebrows,
all that green growing
without direction or restriction.
And the sun rises over
that wall in the morning.
Slowly. Slow
as the neighbour’s
green-eyed cat
when its name is called.
moves at its own pace here.


inspired and remixed from “Bleak House,” by Charles Dickens.

A Devil’s Wind


It was a Devil’s Wind, They Say

It shakes,
this paper tiger wind,
broken twigs and jostled limb,
torn apart, partitioned
night to day, swept
through its twinge of rain
and bruised the way
storms hurdle
like a meteor – tail twitching
in its flailing wake.
It’s a Devil’s Wind, they say.



The Village Uniform


The Village Uniform

Much has changed in my life. Village life
changes everything. It’s not an easy
place to keep secrets, even though most
claim to keep themselves to themselves.
We’re all sneaking a peek at the person
queued ahead at the post office, who
is sending what where, how many

Christmas stamps did they buy, as if
that number reveals the size of your
inner circle of friends, who buys cheap
wine at the co-op’s shop, and who
buys a dozen mixed-colour carnations
at Texaco. And the recycle man, he
must know more than he should about

us all, paper with grocery lists, to-do-
lists, love notes, and who scrubs inside
empty tins with soap and water, and
who’s messy enough to leave a few
Heinz beans stuck firm as Polygrip
inside the can. Everyone gossips,
everyone thinks they keep secrets,

but these are village secrets,
the village uniform.



For Miz Q “Uniform”
image WikiCommons:
Public domain.

This House Talks


This House Talks

Sixty-eight days
of this impatient rain
and obstinate gloom,

my moods half waking,
occasionally all-blinking,
and February gnaws on.

I reminisce like old women
sat on a shaded veranda
in rocking chairs,
remembering picnic days,

when we felt lazy as heat,
like contented geese.
And I’m interrupted by

those unfamiliar noises
in this gabbling old house,
and I growl them away,

betray them into that
echoing place
where ghost stories
and mysteries are kept.

This empty house rains
noise – this house talks.


reposted from Chalk Hills Journal
first published 13 Feb 2015

A Bird’s View


A Bird’s View

I’m listening to footsteps,
your limp in midst of pain,
paced weariness, on and on.

Obliged to walk, you dwellers
of narrows. Booted. Heeled.
But I fly – an exquisite outcast

from your gimping path.
And I am forever passing
and repassing your bridges,

never stopping on a fine
evening. You toil listless
steps, as I look down,

as my world grows wider
and wider, beyond seas,
as vast as rest to come. 

And I listen to footsteps,
dull and slow and sluggish
as a heavy load drowning.







For Margo Tryout (Wings/Birds/Flying)
inspired by Bleak House, Charles Dickens

Open and Closed

Opened and Closed

Mum had a thing about closing doors. Questioned if we
were raised in a barn, but a closed door is a powerful force.

Still we stared like unblinking stars watching the universe. Daydreamed
ourselves into a stupor. Dreaming. But not once did our eyes ever close.

And every night I set my shoes with toes pointing at the wall. Didn’t want
astral projections, no walkabouts while I slept. Doors closed, and latched.

But mostly there wasn’t a body towel big enough to cover our modesty.
And it goes without saying that the door was always closed.

One day a gust snapped the front door shut, and there I stood in grey
sopping drizzle, locked out of the house. A nuisance, those closed doors…

And Mum always said an open jaw is an absence of words but we knew that
when it’s closed it’s still silent. Such is the rub; closed or not you can’t win.

At night we’d settle for sleep and hope for dreams, holding our pride
close as a flame is to a wick. We were open minds behind closed doors.

Yes, there’s a blindness to money, a deafness in its music. It’s a cord
too close and picked too sharp. Tone-deaf isn’t such a bad thing.

Always a scrape, Mum said. Some great scrape at great pace. Reckless
as a gale blowing, and no one dared stand too close. The great prevaricator.

She was such a child. An absolute child, brightening consequences,
echoing laughter. She opened the world for us, from beginning to end.

Open and closed.



for MLMM wordle #45
[Note: this is purely fictional, as is most of my work]

A State of Unfathomable Waters


A State of Unfathomable Waters

I reflect on things  ~  profoundly,
solemnly, give things too great a consideration.
‘Stop thinking things to death,’ I’m told.

All those thoughts gathers like dark clustered houses,
each enveloped as a secret,
every thought a beating heart,

as if there were a hundred breasts imagining.
And the depths of my reflection
are unfathomable waters,

glimpses into ‘what ifs’ ~ a book
of worries that I know I should snap shut.
And that is the state of me.


for Poetic Asides




The Human’s Race and B-Roads


The Humans’ Race and B-Roads

The sky is flat today, crushed

and beaten boldest blue, and clouds

by spadefuls exquisitely-turned


in chiselled weather. I pick my way

on polished roads, icy transparent

blue veins reflecting direction.


Ethereal maps without origin or end,

and it matters not which way I choose,

not when you live on an island.




Inspired by Martin Chuzzlewit

By Charles Dickens

On a Horse and Rider Passing By


On a Horse and Rider Passing By

A horse and rider blazing came.
At footpace speed, I stepped aside.
No quick mistake to send that steed

through morning eddy’s mist.
The horse and rider, I both took stock,
covered head to hoof in mired mud.

The rider curtly said, “Ma’am,”
and I nodded a tone, “Sir,”
as we both made best our ways.


Found and remixed from Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities and my 1991 Winter Journal.

The Happenstance of Candlelight


The Happenstance of Candlelight

Candlelight can cause the walls to dance,
or so I once observed. Its beauty brought
the world to knees, innocent as fire.

Alone so tender, touching hearts, preparing
happenstance, that flame bright as morning
sun, it lights the universe. Glow deep

in hues of golden hair, softly hum a dance
of candlelight. Attentive hands shall warm,
attentive smiles I see. Shadows blend

surrounded light, ghostly motion caught
my path. Dance on, dance long, perpetual
light, reflecting motions slowing thoughts.


Inspired by Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

Winter Hung an Eggy Wobble


Winter Hung An Eggy Wobble

The sun rose
an eggy wobble,
tall and high above shearling rain.

Blown clouds. Lacy. Faceless.
Hanging on a heavy mood.
It didn’t bring the foggiest trust,

just failed tests of lore,
trials by weather, this wintry
form. Those twelve men of jury –

Anointed. Appointed. Weathermen.
They tapped their twiggy sticks
into bony trees and up bushes,

hoping to pry spring’s peep but
all remained a wobbled quiet.
All remained a winter hung.

The Spirit of Fête

The Spirit of Fête

We were heaped up of cakes, a buxom
display on country tea-tables, charm
gathered in scrumptious mentions

of autumn. Of peaches and plums,
pears and quinces, cream too eager
to pour on our plates, and I wanted

to whoop and halloo the spirit of fête,
happily banquet too eagerly, and pop
all my brass buttons like shooting stars.





Found and remixed text from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

A Daughter Regarded


A Daughter Regarded

I was a doomed rebel of great
uneasiness, felt my mother’s
anguish like a shoulder feels
the press of a wheel.
I was contrary,
with no signs of grace,
backsliding, and argued
on any point, and all through
my tendency years, I knew
that my father loved me.



Inspired by Bleak House by Charles Dickens
image is from wikiCommons