NaPoWriMo Day 5 – Erasing Dickinson

 Jacob Wrestling With The Angel, Rembrandt (1659)


A little East of Jordan, Evangelists record, A Gymnast and an Angel Did wrestle long and hard Till morning touching mountain And Jacob, waxing strong, The Angel begged permission To Breakfast – to return! Not so, said cunning Jacob! “I will not let thee go Except thou bless me” – Stranger! The which acceded to Light swung the silver fleeces “Peniel” Hills beyond, And the bewildered Gymnast Found he had worsted God!

East of Jordan,
a gymnast and an angel wrestle
till morning, Jacob waxing strong.

The angel begged
permission to return;
Light swung the silver fleeces;

The bewildered gymnast found
he had worsted God

An erasure poem of sorts for the NaPoWriMo Day 5 Prompt – Correcting or Re-breaking Dickinson; based on Emily Dickinson’s A Little East Of Jordan.

NaPoWriMo Day 3- For Forgiveness

Manchester by R.A.D. Stainforth - disappear here

Forgive me if I disappear here, if like a dying
Shooting star my flight expires in a flash of light, yielding
To the encircling murk, this shroud that slowly stultifies.

Forgive me if my quivering lips neglect to tell my tale
Of broken shattered things and distant pains that still remain
And this unyielding weight; of things quotidian and unseen.

Why can’t skies have clouds and stars* and enthralling moon light too?
Why must a pilgrim find his way, on slippery pavements too?

For the NaPoWriMo Day 3 Prompt – Fourteeners and Mag263 at the Magpie Tales from where the image comes. 

*Line stolen from La Reine’s response to the Day 2 prompt. 

Breakfast (or a crappy ode to coffee)

For the prompt Breakfast at the Magpie Tales

Leger, Fernand breakfast-1921

Breakfast, 1921, Fernand Leger


hold your head-
steady between your hands;
bow your head
as though in supplication-
and let the strong,
sweet scent
slowly wafting up-
hit you.

see your face-
faint silhouette,
three day stubble,
matted hair-
and tired eyes
reflected in the cup
and bow in reverence
to its quickening

wrap your hands
around its base
and feel the warmth.
drink deep, swirl it’s dregs
in your mouth’s
and let the waves
of unfettered joy
course through your veins

give in –
and kneel
in full surrender
to the joy
of your dark,
black cup.

A Dinner Table At Night

For the prompt at Magpie Tales. I couldn’t shake the impression of distance from my mind (he is looking in her direction, whilst she is looking into the distance)



A Dinner Table at Night, 1884, John Singer Sargent


There is silence here –
There is fear, and the dense
Stultifying pall of hurt-
and of memories unresolved.

I have been here before-
On the cusp of this uncharted
Sea, tottering on the edge
Of this yawning chasm, willing
Myself like a puppet on a string
To not tip over, to not
Be swallowed up in the flames
Of the Sango death ritual;
Like a mannequin sinks-
Weighed down by a necklace
Of milestones – into the depths
Of a cold calm sea.

Water drops glistening
In the subtle shade of red lamps,
Wine shimmering in the barely there light
Cannot fade the gloom;

And in her eyes as she looks away
For one last time
Is the cold detached lost-ness
Of a tomorrow that will never be.