Sunday 31 January 2021

3 Across (cryptic)


I have paper

weighted down by coffee cup

as autumn winds

seem intent on catching it, lifting it,

giving it the gift of flight. 

I am stuck on 3 across

(and will marvel at its genius

when it finally falls-into-place)

and then I see him (all screwed up)


and wonder what demons he does battle with.


A wasp alights to feed on sugar

blown by breeze to strew the table,

I am not frightened of it, of its sting –

my fears lay elsewhere (lay with him).

Will he leave or not?

My fear is that he might stay…

(I am still stuck on 3 across.)


(I marvel at it (the wasp) – tiny, perfect,

life compact in black and yellow skin.)


He unsettles me,

something I-cannot-quite-put-my-finger-on.

Is angst communicable ‘cross café tables?

He lights a cigarette,

takes one puff of it

then snaps it, throws it to the ground.

With anguished moan he lights another

and sucks at it, sucks at it as if there is no



He has that leg thing,

right leg jerks up and down

causing chair to rattle.

He groans as he wraps head in hands.

A backfiring car elicits

startled wide-eyed response,

he panics, half screams,

slams fists down heavy,

shattering plate and peace.


He sees them (and me) voyeuring,

shouts “What the f**ck you looking at?”

stands, upturns chair and table

and with one loud “F**K YOU!

storms off into his private hell.


(I am still stuck on 3 across.)


Anna :o]


Having (hopefully) temporary writers block (again), I have dredged up an oldie and tweaked it a little.

This is a true story.  I worked nights for years and after my final shift, I would meet my friend most Wednesday mornings for breakfast and then go shopping, even if mostly window shopping and then often go to another café for a mid-day meal.

The words are an account of what I viewed whilst sitting at a pavement table, while doing a cryptic crossword as I awaited the arrival of my friend.  I love cryptic crosswords.  If memory serves me well, I wasn’t stuck on 3 across, but whichever it was, it didn’t have the right ring to it, so 3 across it became.

Shared with the good folk at PSU Writers' Pantry # 55, hosted by the lovely Rommy, cheers Rommy!

Image:  Courtesy of Flickr "Do we have enough clothes?? Is our house safe?? Is it difficult to change diapers?? Will I ever sleep the next 18 years???" by zetson is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Thursday 21 January 2021

The Significance of Birds


Death comes in threes

she says solemnly as if somehow

mere utterance of these words

will cause the Sword of Damocles

to hang teetering, teetering over the head

of some soon-to-be-dead    unfortunate.


We do Last Offices;

lay him on the purest whitest sheet. 

First stage (Clinical),

turn him and he groans

as last air expels from lungs

and watch horrified

as blood spills in rivers through his lips. 

Can you now understand my pain? 

his dead body asks.


We lay him prostrate

as if in reverence to his God

and cleanse all that is corporeal,

gently pull his legs apart

and place padded pants. 

Oh the indignity of death

his dead body oozes.


Second Stage (Aesthetics),

he now supine, gazes

with unseeing eyes

as we again wash away his life,

trim brows and beard,

anoint him with essential oils,

dress him in his Sunday best. 

I am at rest now his dead body whispers,

I am ready and we usher in his family,

leave them to their grieving. 


My best friend wants me to lay her out I say

as we both drained,

clutch at warming coffee cups.


Y’know she says,

on my way into work today

there were magpies, four strutting confident.  

Four for death. 

Do you think…?


Just as I mean to tell her she is stupid

I see crow and catch my breath

as he tap tap taps upon the window.


Caw, caw, caw(pse) he advises

as he views me with his beady eyes,

and one not prone to superstition,

nevertheless, a chill shivers down my spine.


Anna :o]


An oldie shared with the good folk at dVerse OLN, hosted by the lovely Sanaa.  Cheers Sanaa!

Also shared at PSU's Poetry Pantry hosted by the lovely Rosemary.  Cheers Rosemary!

Image:  Courtesy of Flickr "Crows" by In Memoriam: Mr. Ducke is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Friday 1 January 2021

Fox: Winter Feasts


Stripped bare

by autumn’s theft,

skeletal now,

her frigid branches


to touch the warmth

of rising Sol.


Dormouse, dormant,

curled deep in winters sleep,

scratched out

by Hungry Fox -


opportunist he,

he watches, waiting

as Redbreast bobs

through evergreen

bearing seasons berries.


And she,  



by her luscious feast

of rich red rubies,

becomes easy fare,



on his winter table.


Anna :o]


An oldie, extracted from the tomb of the long-ago written and almost forgotten, as tis the season...

Wishing all a Happy New Year - it has to better than last year, hasn’t it?

Shared at earthweal open link weekend #51 hosted by Brendan – cheers Brendan!

 Image:   Courtesy of Flickr

Author:  "Misty Morning Sunrise." by Neil. Moralee is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0