The North Wind doth Blow?

Climate, Poetry, Weather

Have you noticed? For all we’ve been focussed on day-to-day weather recently, it’s the temperature we’ve talked about, here in Europe at any rate (‘Phew it’s too hot!’), and the lack of rain (‘Oooh, my poor garden!). I realised, only the other day, that wind has been in short supply. No summer breezes, no brisk gusts, no sudden squalls.

Then Rebecca’s Monthly Poetry Challenge dropped into my in-box. She wants us to write about wind, employing the literary device of anaphora. No, I didn’t know what that was either. You can read about it here.

I could have snuck in and offered the rhyme that my children were brought up on.

When the wind is in the east,
’tis neither good for man nor beast;
When the wind is in the north,
the skillful fisher goes not forth;
When the wind is in the south,
it blows the bait in the fishes’ mouth;
When the wind is in the west,
then ’tis at the very best.

But that would be cheating.

So here we are …

This is wind: softly susurrating.
This is wind: sweetly sighing.
This is wind: breezily billowing.
This also is wind: galloping gustily;
roaring and raging; shrieking and storming -
destructive; disastrous.
Here today.  Gone tomorrow.
This is wind.

And it turns out that wind is not after all an endangered species.  Yesterday was properly windy, for the first time in weeks.

The sea, the sibilant sea


It’s August, and what says ‘summer holidays’ more potently than the seaside? Well, nothing could drag me there when it’s all crowded beaches, kiss-me-quick hats and donkey rides. But off-season, there’s nowhere better. A walk along the sand, beachcombing, inspecting rock pools, and most of all, looking out far to the distant horizon, watching ships as they travel back and forth, imagining the seashore as a gateway to journeys extending beyond that horizon …

So when Rebecca of Fake Flamenco challenged us to write a haibun for this month’s Poetry Challenge, and asked us to take ‘door’ in its widest sense as our subject, I thought I knew what I’d explore.

But what’s a haibun? I hear you ask. This: ‘Contemporary practice of haibun composition in English is continually evolving. Generally, a haibun consists of one or more paragraphs of prose written in a concise, imagistic haikai style, and one or more haiku.’ Wikipedia

The sea, the sea

A susurration of waves: oscillating, softly slapping and surging across crushed seashells on the sandy shingle: soothing; sibilant. Sucking, settling, restoring.  Saluting the shoreline in a ceaseless cycle.  A portal to distant islands and continents beyond the horizon.

Waves advance

greet the sandy shingled shore

Quite unceasingly.

I’m going to be quite cheeky here. Sammi, over at Sammi Scribbles, has a fun weekend challenge in which she invites us to write 28 words – neither more nor fewer – prompted by the word sibilance. So let’s pinch part of what I wrote for Rebecca:

A susurration of waves: oscillating, softly slapping and surging across crushed seashells on the sandy shingle: soothing; sibilant. Sucking, settling, restoring.  Saluting the shoreline in a ceaseless cycle.‘  

Daytime brings forth March Flowers

Blogging challenges, Poetry

Most months, I like to join in Rebecca of Flake Flamenco’s Poetry Challenge. I’m not much of a poet and don’t I know it? – but any chance to get the grey matter’s muscles toned has to be taken once you get to my advanced years.

This month, she’s asked us to write a Shadorma – a non-rhyming six line poem with a specific syllable count of  3/5/3/3/7/5. It’s alleged to have its origins in Spain, though not a soul can offer any evidence for this theory. No matter. We’ll have a go anyway. Rebecca’s asked us to focus on light and darkness. Light into darkness is the way the world is going just now, so I’m going from darkness to light.


days have gone at last.

Here is Spring.

Buds unfurl,

reach upwards to the sun’s rays

and lingering light.

This provides me with the perfect excuse to have a few springtime pictures of flowers doing just that – stretching their petals upwards and eagerly towards the sun. It’s probably a bit late for you to join Rebecca this month with your own poems – closing day is today. But she’ll be challenging us again next month – and if you join in, she’ll translate your poem into Spanish. This is why I do this: she translates all our words into pure poetry. I love it.