Fighting poetry and phd – I’m never sure which side I’m on

Silhouette taken in St John's Baptistry, Florence, October 2013

Septet is seven poems of seven lines, each with seven syllables. Today is 31st October. Hail All Hallows Eve – let the shadows through…


October is the gothic
month. Mildewed roses blacken
Squash cords rot on frozen earth.
Death is wearing tatty rags.
Petals droop while pumpkins glow
and crisp swarovski spiders
spin out crystal studded webs.



Hail All Hallows Eve, when the
sun shrinks and cold space between
the living and the dead fades
to gossamer. Iced air chills.
Veils shiver in the dark, as
ghosts stir, waiting to be hailed
and summoned by the living.


The wheel turns. Icy Mabon
fingers shred the veil between
the worlds. The dead look through the
ragged space, once kissed faces
grey as mould, drained of blood, search
for lovers lost, pleading eyes
desperate with impunity.

Come back my love, look I’ve set
a place for you beside me.
Here are your favourite things, and
see, I’m wearing all the clothes
you liked the best. Come back to
me tonight, let me see your
smile and touch you once again.

Sprinkled with frost diamonds the
earth sleeps, its cold, quiet rest
undisturbed by growth, only
brassicas bear witness to
the intricate complexity
of sugar-peppered iced loam
topped with tiny cabbages.


Wet snow kisses melt like dreams
which fade on waking. They say
every flake is different,
and I try to understand,
but the uniqueness of each
complex shape escapes me,
like your presence in my dreams.



This is the time clairvoyants
turn to paisley curls of frost
for divination, or skry
flicking flames of fire as they
invoke salamanders to
their charge, and demand they bring
the sun inside for winter.



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