We met not at all

In different time zones

Making absolutely no effort

To dress up, dress down

Or even dress

I lay naked in bed

You in pyjamas, (so you claimed)

All bathed, teeth brushed

We watched a dating programme


On laptop and TV

Slightly out of sync

In our respective countries

Exchanging quips

By WhatsApp

Before the briefest

Exchange on the phone

“Night, night”

“Good night”

We fell asleep together

700 miles apart


CLP 30/05/2020


Hear that?

The deranged fluting

Of squabbling neighbours

In hedgerows, on bushes

Ceaseless bickering

An endless stream

Of chiding and chipping

Away one moves

The others follow

From pillar to post

To willow to fence

Unable to let rest

Whatever the matter be

Resolved or not

There’s always more to add

Or subtract from what’s already said

Not happy until everyone’s unhappy

Are the anti-sociable

Flocking, mocking starlings


CLP 30/05/2020

Uncaged Birds

From that moment, when his shadow fell

we children ran amok, mouthing our repressed pain in shouts

betrayed so young by hope of better times now held fast on a nightmare

journey of frustrations, compounded over bitter years in one long-drawn slow, silent scream


n.b. Stealing from a prompt based on Maya Angelou’s poem “Caged Bird” that includes the line “his shadow fell shouts on a nightmare scream”. I have broken all the rules about how to do this, with apologies to Bjorn at dVerse ~ Poets who set the challenge originally.

CLP 12/05/2020