She dug the earth as he did write
The biryd did sing with all its might
The herbs were planted; thyme and rue
and now a song of love for you.

Picture 6

Please read the poem, Bird on a Briar, along with its modern translation and commentary by Carol Rumens here

This is going to be.

This is going to be very hard work
he says with a sigh
and inside she swells with delight.
This is going to be
This is going
This is


at the end
of modern poetry
a test

stared at verses
scored through tears
to see

    some imagery

waited for the
poems to

for the
–other lovers–

to appear
tell me anything
all the thought
in my
was that
you’d gone
so the
bled. Continue reading


Words on the wire play truth or dare.
Each takes a turn on tides of air
–all the twos
and the little ones
the frolicking fros
and the gamely comes–
wings whiffle
kissed and blushed
by setting sun.

Plain Gazelle: Lions

I never trust a lion when I’m crossing yonder plain,
Except for one called Brian when I’m crossing yonder plain.
It is really quite absurd the way I leave the herd;
I become an erroneous ion when I’m crossing yonder plain.

When I’m crossing yonder plain I like to shake my ass.
They think that I’m insane when I start to shake my ass,
But whenever Brian’s there I simply do not care
and fear I just can’t feign so I like to shake my ass.

First I shake my ass and then I start to dance.
The herd stampede en masse whene’er I start to dance.
They simply cannot hear the music in the air;
I become this crazy lass and all I do is dance.

All I do is dance and blow kisses at my kitty.
Like lovers do in France I blow kisses at my kitty.
A gazillion lionzelles leap out of yonder blue
I’d do more with half a chance than blow kisses at my kitty.

I blow kisses at my kitty but you shouldn’t trust a lion.
And I know however pretty you should never trust a lion.
For just in time I see this isn’t amorosity;
Brian yawns and says a pity you will never trust a lion.

This is a parody of the brilliantly clever and original poem Chain Ghazal: Chickens by Esther Greenleaf Mürer

The sun shone on the school gala

The sun shone on the school gala.
Didn’t bring my hat, rummaging
through clothes, this sun is ridiculously hot!
You can barely breathe in this heat.
It’s a scorcher, Mrs Caldwell, too
intense, but what a relief for the school!
You exchanged the lemon drizzle cake for a feijoa preserve, a spicy
ginger creation, relishes too; tomato and beetroot, I think I can tell.
Before, I wasn’t sure where to park the car. Difficult
to find a space. Difficult to squeeze into the space.
Hope to return. Hope to return and find I haven’t got
a ticket. The white elephant: some foot wash, foot cream
and a pumice stone (hardly used). “The cafe is a cafe, the cafe is life,
and a person can either be ruined or survive when
she makes her way through this fete. Whether she makes it or
not depends on a cake and plenty of caffeine-” A coconut
almost toppled onto the parched grass here on the school field,
merited another throw; it’s March and we’ve won a calendar.
You seem to be a Star Wars jigsaw sort of person
and it’s possible that one of these is of interest to you.
On the other table, six porcelain cheese and cake labels.
I’m rushing because it’s nearly time and because I woke up
too early with a headache after last night’s barbeque and a wonderful
riesling or two. One shouldn’t constantly worry, one should not constantly fret,
one should probably observe parking restrictions. A traffic
warden like a lead balloon. The rest is green and red.

A parody of The snow whirls over the courtyard’s roses by Tua Forsström on Carol Rumens’s Poem of the Week blog.

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

My grandad made rhubarb and ginger jam
in a tiny kitchen overlooking
a busy intersection and
a tower of flats that my dad totted up
from the comfort of Grandad’s armchair;
his pipes lined up along the windowsill.
50 floors if I remember rightly.
That was my landmark for years on the way
to work, to a new house, to meet my future
husband, to visit parents. I never stopped,
but I’d look across the busy roads
if waiting at the lights and
see the window of the tiny kitchen gleaming
where my grandad used to make rhubarb and ginger jam.