A Chase of Tea

Originally posted on Who Is Selma Siri:


A Chase of Tea

The children are bundled into blankets
and coats clutching at their ears. So scarce
our thoughts on warmth until all the oil’s
drained. The tank’s but scant remains, mere
vapours I’d surely thank, and this evening
is so cold, and the fire’s gone to ash. I pray
I might find the kettle, and chase off this chill
with tea, as we huddle close in together, the
children read about those three pigs twee.

Found and remixed text from *Bleak House* and personal diaries
from March 1991. A week after moving into our house in Godstone,
we ran out of heating oil. The gauge on the tank was faulty, stuck on full.

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Nothing is as silent as snow fall.
Blind white as falling stars,
and into swaddled depths of nightfall,
nothing is as silent as snow fall.
The birds enraptured, held to silent call,
every worry, we’ve swept away them all.
Nothing is as silent as snow fall.
Blind white as falling stars.




Triolet: ABaAabAB A and B repeat
Written for Creative Bloomings 

That Look Frozen in a Camera


That Look Frozen in a Camera

One day, and then another, one foot after
the other. One thumb and a right forefinger
frozen. It’s a walk across stillness, and we
neither care nor worry about that moody
slope of fading days. There’s shallowness
to our thoughts. All is immediate. No regrets.
Certainly no clawing looks backwards. Just
enough time, we agree, to press full our pipes
with tobacco and have a final smoke. And then,
we stare wide and empty at the camera.
Waiting. That’s all that remains now.




Red Wolf Poems Wordle: stillness moody slope mandala fading tobacco time sacred shallowness

Photo is archive from New South Wales, Australia Library, of Frank Hurley and
the “Aurora” expedition to the Antarctic 1911-1914 across the Shackleton Ice Shelf.

The Ruination

Originally posted on Who Is Selma Siri:


The Ruination

For just a moment, the street lamp made him
the centre of attention. But only my attention.
A man of unknown years, and disregarded age,

hiding in the blindness of fog and night. There,
behind dark sunglasses. He’s a crumbling folly
struck down. Target practise. Cannon fodder.

He’d have cried out in protest, if he still retained
any memories of his ruination. But shit happens.
That’s what his woman used to say before she left

him sitting in a puddle, a day that turned to flood.
And that’s when all his drowning started. So now,
he wears sunglasses at midnight and sits under

the street lamp. Sits there in its cadaverous light.
And he looks up at me, gnarled veins like ancient
tree roots, and snarls that I’m blocking his light.

Margo Roby’s prompt “Ruin” -
This is my image of Mr Kroop from Bleak House

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The Pleasures of Poison


The Pleasure of Poison

I misplaced myself this morning.
Here on the ridge above the levels,
here on this wet steaming log
over-soaked in winter sunshine.

This, I reckon, is life ground-down,
like beach sand, and there’s no
way of knowing if it’s my breath
or smoke that sinks in clouds on
my head. I used to be pernickety

about which poison I chose. Then
I quit smoking, and I became less
discriminating. Reckon I’ve done
myself a greatness by stopping,

and now I sit here on this log,
and squeeze my warm breath
into smoke rings. Sometimes …
I miss the pleasures of poison.










Words remixed/inspired by pgs 40-42
of The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens

Hardening Clarity

Originally posted on Who Is Selma Siri:


Hardening Clarity

I caught my reflection on passing a window
this morning. A distorted glimpse on old
conical glass, caught in those minutely
small bubbles, as if flawed glass sighs
a breath before hardening to clarity.

And there I am, like a disowned relative,
a hanger-on, twisted in its molten wake.
A picture of old sacks, and old rags,
a slack jowl, and a coming together
of porous thin bones. And my fingers,
damned things are rusted old keys.

And I think ….. but hey.

Inspired and remixed from Bleak House 
and my 1991 Winter Journals
photo: wikiCommons

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Into Rack and Ruin and Tumbling

Originally posted on Who Is Selma Siri:


Into Rack and Ruin and Tumbling

You could fall forever into his eyes.

Into rack and ruin and tumbling.
Not a man. No Lothario. That dog.

A best friend with a dog-eared smile
makes life easily complete. He’s there,

looking in – at a pile of bones picked
very clean. But a bone is a bone

whether it’s picked or not, so he
waits. Shoulders and breath, rooted
in snowy fields. Waits. Throat, chin,

and eyebrows frosted in white hair.
Pick a bone with me, he smiles –

Those eyes you could forever fall into.

Written to Margo’s prompt: Ruin 
Photo (c) C. Gunther The Kitchens Garden
and the dog’s name is Tonton

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Originally posted on Who Is Selma Siri:



I walk early and fast.
Atone for quick pleasures and rid my head
of thoughts beckoning me into stresses.
Worries that must never bloom. An itch.
And I wonder if leaves at summer stress
over falling from trees… I breathe frost,
and crunch nightmares underfoot.
….. Fast. Fast.

 All these contemplations are a long, long hand,
and I want to write them. Sprawling graffiti. Red
as worries. Tattoo them on my flesh. Carved
on trees. This seventh seal, or is it the sixth…..
I am my own Armageddon. And I continue
to walk and crunch and breathe,
….. early and fast.

Inspired by Bleak House by Charles Dickens

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These are my days of passing and repassing,
in numbers flurried and rounded pace,
these years of long successions and varieties
of place. Those airs of yesterday, of wards
and patronage – fleet life so tilled in falsehood
if I did not sweep deep my pockets into yours.
For surely those in rags, secreted and busied
in rubbish bins, are our wards in these cold
days of passing and repassing pace.





Inspired and remixed from Bleak House by C. Dickens






Written for Poetic Asides “False”