Unmasked

Pandemic masks express littleof the wearer’s personality: floral,funny, plain or heavy metal. We focus on each other’s pupilsor look away, unsure if sparklesare reflections of windowed souls. Words and meanings muffled,cloaked, and sometimes daggered waffleto fill the spaces in between, mumbled emotions captured in dissembledetiquette. And how we long for smiles,rows of teeth, and lips […]

The Oblivion of Snow

‘For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.’ Wallace Stevens It started with a silent flake, a branched crystal, not unlike a flower or a tree, or the paper doily cut-outs grandma used to make. It started with a snowflake, but […]

Pigs and Pixels

In this February’s issue of Visual Verse, the image is a surprising one, especially for those of us who like piglets. It’s by Tom or Judy Moore, a drawing rather than a photograph, and it was a bit of a challenge to write a poem in the given hour. My poem is on page 16. […]

While winter writes love notes

we hunker down in a world of                                                                            whitenessinstead of flowers, the storm brings ice            […]

Reheating a Cold War

Red geraniums rust in September rain and sparrows splash in puddles again. In summer’s hinterland, something is stirring leaves already yellow, their weariness showing, tattered and brittle, counting years with their falling. But still trees find safety in numbers, flourishing in ancient copses, forests and woods, growing together for the common good while men train […]

Sad Song

“The clear vowels rise like balloons” S.Plath ~ Morning Song A favourite song floats into the mind on a passing whimsical wind, prompted by a blackbird’s incidental trill or the postman’s whistle, and I am there again, mouth wide open, lungs bursting with the thrill, in a crowd of hearts beating to the same rhythm […]

On the Way Back

She had swum too far, felt the power of waves tugging her towards the horizon before striking back to shore. On the way back, when she reached out her puckered hand, she felt like beach pebbles scattered by the sea in ever shifting sand. Kim M. Russell, 25th January 2021 My response to dVerse Poets […]

The Fencing in of Rainbows

The first Visual Verse image of the year by Michael Easterling was beautiful but tricky. My poem in January’s  Visual Verse is on page 33. As always, I recommend reading all the poems in the issue but, if you want to go straight to mine, it’s called ‘The Fencing in of Rainbows‘. You can also […]

In conversation with the aged librarian

Sonnets echo through the shelves of the library, disturbing ancient dust and ghosts of poets lost, to keep you company, stir your memory, protect your heart and soul from time’s frost. Among your books, you are never alone, with full moon or candle to shed light. Besides, heart-learnt words in blood and bone blossom into […]

Mother’s Milk

A staid image of a placidwoman dressed in blue,only hands and face exposed,no crown bejewelled,your child swaddled:this was how I thought of you. I didn’t know the churchimagined you as tripartite too:royally dressed in ermine and silk,breast exposed, a womanof human flesh, blood and milk,miraculously still a virgin. It wasn’t you the angels preserved,but the […]