thicker than raindrops

“Thicker than rain-drops on November thorn”
Fragment 8: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

sloe is the blackthorn
fast-filling up with feverish flower
garlanded tight and white
– and spiked in its innermost reach
a blackbird’s nest, mud-cupped
ruinous, in this sad, sodden rain
souvenir of just last March
when we were we and I was
less than solitary

A quadrille for De’s prompt to Spike up a poem – that’s 44 words not counting the Coleridge opener

A swinger of birches

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do…
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be…

Robert Frost ~ Birches

Sunday Sayings: A pick from the poets, writers or scriptures


“At the first turning of the second stair
I turned and saw below
The same shape twisted on the banister”*

If I dressed somewhere between sackcloth
and silks, my mind might puzzle out
the fair to middling way
if I took the twisted stairs as guide
thoughts of the winding sheet
should not phase faith
nor prompt a last ditch clutch
at hollow rites of passage

If I could cease delight in dense drifts
of diversion, the spun blur of a top’s rotation
each slippery slope where snakes are swayed
by charms – then reaching for the ladder
I would not turn to look below again
but clamber on to Jacob’s sacrosanct domain

Ashes in the grate grow cold and slatey grey
this very day, hellfire is spent, past passion too
there is a dove, a doubt, a flame
a kind of kindling yet again

For all of us who take the season of Lent seriously, here’s hoping we can take it in our stride

Lilian’s Turn, Turn, Turn prompt brought Eliot’s Ash Wednesday * to mind and in turn, his poem set these few lines in motion.

[And its open link night on Thursdays at dVerse]