Midweek Poetry: I am the apple by daintydora

Something a bit different this week, moving on from last week's haunting stone statues to the temptations in the Garden of Eden. (Eve had a lot to contend with, what with all that 'forbidden fruit' just going to waste...surely one bite would be OK?)

I am the apple


I am the apple
shiny and red
consuming your thoughts,
filling your head.
One bite is tempting
a temptation too far;
unpredictable, dangerous
the start of a fire.
Just one bite: I dare you -
taste me on your lips;
I come with no warning
just a promise of bliss.
(My bliss is the truth
but truth is a liar)
fanning the flames
of a latent desire.


Quite spicy for a Wednesday!

In fact I love spiced apple...


Midweek Poetry: Set in Stone at Jupiter Artland by daintydora


This week's poem comes via the Jupiter Artland website, where my poem (amidst a selection of other entries) is published as part of the 'Inspired to Write' competition. Weeping Girls at Jupiter Artland

I first visited Jupiter Artland last Spring, attending a guided talk by Nathan Coley on the various art works he has created especially for Jupiter, both permanent and temporary. (Here's what I wrote.)

The competition asked for poetry or prose inspired by one of the installations at the park, and I couldn't ignore the lure of Laura Ford's 'Weeping Girls'.

It was mid-afternoon by the time I saw them; a collection of stone statues of little girls with long hair and a certain kind of inherent malevolence like they were attempting to lure people into danger, beguiling sirens...

What made the experience even more surreal and memorable was that a young girl visiting with her family was interacting with the weeping girls, standing in front of each statue as if they were real girls.

This girl looked to be a similar age, was the same height and had long, wavy hair. It felt like part of the installation to experience this interaction, and in the shady setting under towering trees, it made for a strangely haunting experience.

Weeping Girls at Jupiter Artland2

When I heard about this competition (thanks Vikki!), I couldn't wait to enter. When it came to it, I was so busy focusing on my novel, I didn't really leave myself much time.

Reading over my poem again with a few weeks of distance (read: objectivity), although I still like it, there are a few elements of the punctuation I would change that would make the rhythm read better, but I'm still really glad I entered.

"Perfect is the enemy of done"

And not everything can be as 'perfect' as we would wish. (I'm struggling to find who to attribute that quote to; I want to say Ann Lamott, so I will.)

Here's an extract of my poem 'Set in Stone':

Your smile set in stone lichen-lined, sly smirk to the sun wild with echoes dancing, roaming, singing manifesting moss-stitched lies a sundial glowering in the gloam or a wind-chime girl with a high-pitched scream

Read the full poem.

Jupiter Artland is now closed for the winter, but reopens again in the spring.

Weeping Girl against a tree, Jupiter Artland

Midweek Poetry: (Gwenno) Pregnant with Sound by daintydora

This poem was inspired by a gig I went to a month or so ago in Glasgow: Gwenno playing at Hug & A Pint on Great Western Road.

I loved the experience of an intimate, basement gig and wrote this poem the next day.

I just re-discovered it and my own words took me right back to that night, the experience of music reverberating, echoing, pulsing all around me.

(It reminded me of how I felt when I saw Future Islands play.)

The lovely Gwenno was rather pregnant at the time (likely due around now), hence the title.

Her dress was sparkly and amazing and reminded me of a beautiful helium balloon that I had once as a child.

The balloon was in the shape of a fish with metallic scales of emerald and sapphire, and my parents had taken me to the London Palladium for my birthday. I don't remember what we saw but I treasured that balloon long after it fell from my bedroom ceiling to loll on the floor.


Colours inspire me and music inspires me and man I wish I'd bought Gwenno on vinyl!


Pregnant with Sound


on brick,
shiny reflections
under ultra-violet lights
and sounds richochet-
ing from walls
standing, hanging
in threads -
long chords
repeating their beats
on a delay pedal
and the key turns
again, again
in mid-air
unlocking secret
alternative beats
vocals cresting
from deep inside
the sparkly dress;
a bright sculpted bump
concealing everything
but the key on the wall
in a basement
with sound.

Midweek Poetry: White Cloud Dreams by daintydora

I had this dream the other night that I wrote down as soon as I woke up in a crazy, scribbled, early-morning-handwriting. The vision of it is still so strong in my mind as if it were a calling, some kind of prophetic message. A sense of something... higher, or a veiled message from my subconscious.

And the aerial view of it was so different to any dream I've ever had before.

White Cloud Dreams

A white cloud is hanging above the mountains - the Alps or the Pyrenees or the Himalayas - and the pin-pricks of the mountain peaks appear tiny: icing bobbles on a cake, snow, edible baubles; picturesque, white and frosty.
The cloud is high up above the world, spiritual and all around me, white and blue and green.
White mists, white snow, blue skies, a river below and green trees peeping up through the white, their green tips just visible.
And then crystal rain-drops sprinkle down slowly on the mountains, but not enough that it melts the snow.
I am the light, twitching, bright, sparkly. I am the cloud. I know just before I wake up that I am the cloud.

It all felt very poetic and silent and beautiful. And the image was very specific to the point I would recognise it if I saw it again (in a dream or reality).

But I'm not sure what it means?


An Ode to the Super (Blood) Moon by daintydora

I've tried to photograph the moon before, but she's elusive and mysterious and I don't understand the settings on my camera well enough. Moon, Scotland, Supermoon

Last night the moonlight shining into my room was so bright I had to get up and get my camera and try again.

It couldn't focus on the bright white of the moon at the same time as the street-light pollution, but I wanted the image to have some perspective.

Moon, Scotland, SupermoonMoon, Scotland, Supermoon Moon, Scotland, SupermoonMoon, Scotland, Supermoon

I quite like them, even the blurry ones. They echo the magic of the experience of the moon.

And although many people think it's nonsense, I often have a very heightened emotions and experiences - good and bad - at the time of the full moon.

I'm a woman so I'm ruled by the moon. I'm Pisces, the sign of the zodiac mostly associated with a 'sixth sense', and when it comes to life, and especially the moon, I thought this was particularly apt:

Pisces wants everything to be an epic romance movie and this makes them very open to wooing"

I'm feeling it already so I thought I'd write a poem to capture my #moonemotions:

An Ode to the Super Moon

I stare, fall, come undone, under the spell of your silent song...and then I remember: because I'll never forget I wear the moonlight inside my eyes."

Are you affected by the moon?

Read more about the Blood Moon Supermoon

Watch Nasa's Live Feed

And most importantly, watch out - these portents for the Super Blood Moon are scary!

The amplified nature of this moon may have you at your wits’ end, but there’s an essential depth to this lunation: Every one of us will be asked to feel deeply—the challenge is to remain rational and in control. Tidal patterns, animal behavior, and yes, total loonies will be stronger and seem much more bizarre with a perigee or “super” moon. Full moons have illuminating effects and can reveal information—especially about hidden aspects of ourselves and those closest to us.


Midweek Poetry: I saw a white peacock by daintydora

Poetic pictures and a white peacock (or is it a pea-hen?), seen and experienced while visiting Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore, Italy. White Peacock, Isola Bella, Italy


I saw a white peacock pecking
in the grass. Pecking in the grass
and flouncing with wild flowers
cultivating a bright white
relief in the green.


I saw a white peacock
at Isola Bella, a place where
cherubs and urchins preen
mystical, majestic,
with clam shells and butterflies
and a unicorn up with the gods;
a sight for all to see.


When I saw the white peacock
he called to me
from behind the maze, beyond the pond
as the fountain spit gallantly
on and on, deliberate under the trees.


Fountain at Isola Bella, ItalyView from Isola Bella

Such a beautiful island, most befitting its name. The gardens were laid out over 10 levels and the colours of the flowers against the bright blue hues of Lake Maggiore and the backdrop of Stresa were a meditation for the eyes.

Garden at Isola BellaMazed Gardens, Isola Bella, Italy White Peacock, Isola Bella, Italy

Peacock-peekaboo! I feel honoured to have been in the company of a white peacock.


Midweek Poetry: Golden Eagle Soars by daintydora

This week's Midweek Poetry slot is another creative challenge and link-up with Karen my blog-buddy and #creativesister from Leaf & Petal. We each picked 5 random words, making 10 words to incorporate into a poem. They are:

Lens, Exquisite, Forgiven, Soar, Cat, White, Blancmange, Lush, Hedge, Blackbird

Golden Eagle Soars

Quite a challenge, but then creativity is never a challenge, really. You just go with something; follow a thought as it burrows down a particular rabbit hole.

Here goes:


The lens was hidden,
buried deep in the hedge
amidst green leaves and twigs and nests,
trained on the exquisite sight
of a Golden Eagle.


This was no common-or-garden blackbird
(though everyone loves a blackbird - right?)
- including next door's cat.


But this was a lush bird
with a wing-span too incredible to mention
and a prowess that preceded him and so
when he touched the sky - oh how
those wings could soar! High
up until you could be forgiven for thinking
you'd never seen him at all; his white
breast a fringe of blancmange
akin to clouds in delicate repose
where the lens can't reach - just a mirage;
an exquisite mirage.


But we got him from the hedge, captured
once, now, forever.


Words + birds = bird poetry. Oh how I love it.

Now read what Karen came up with.


Midweek Poetry: The House of White & Green by daintydora

July's creative challenge with my fabulous #blogsister Karen at Leaf & Petal is a slice of midweek poetry inspired by the following image: Midweek Poetry: White Walls, Green Door

It was my pick and not my usual style.

I think it appealed to me as it reflects back the beauty and simplicity of white, of clean and minimalist lines. And I love the colour green for all its connotations of vitality, leafy vegetables, purity, nature, the environment, and my minty green sewing machine.

The rough stones put me in mind of a beach-front home in a faraway rural town.

A beach cottage. Carefree days and clean living, refreshing sleep and walks along the beach on cold days when the wind punches you in the face so hard you can't breathe.

That was my starting point anyway. And then I played about with the words and came out with something altogether darker:


The House of White and Green


The house of white and green:
one window, one door
frames sealed tightly
perfect, pristine
concealing a chaos
that no-one will see.


Clean, sharp, stark
a lonely echo
at the end of the street,
prisms of light
beautiful, serene and
criss-cross patterns
of deep emerald green.


But -
behind those curtains,
frilly and white?
contrasting and bilious
in the bright morning light:
rigid white walls,
restrictively tight
no space to breathe
in the dark of the night.


White walls, green lines,
caged like a bird,
hanging precarious
at the edge of the world.


A lonely echo
perfect, pristine;
all tied together in
a beautiful dream.


Read Karen's poem in response to this image. And see what we did last month.

Having a creative buddy to share challenges with and spur each other on is great fun and highly motivating. What will we do next month?!


Midweek Poetry: Dandelion Wishes by daintydora

This month's poetry challenge and link-up with my #creativesister Karen at Leaf & Petal is inspired by the image below titled 'Dandelion Wishes'. Immediately I was transported to an ethereal place of wonder and intrigue in a wooded copse by a babbling river...

Dandelion Wishes


she blew slowly
sending tufts of fragile frond spinning up above her head.
a few near-transparent wisps


paused for a moment


meandering in her hair, then caught a ride on the breeze dancing up, up, higher up frothy and floating;
flower-clouds pirouetting
under the shade
of close-quarter trees...




a whispering rush rush and babble,
the river beckoned clear and cool
and the delicate fronds
leapt down to kiss it,
quickly consumed, submerged
carrying their delicate
dandelion wishes
out of the woods,


Read Karen's poem in response to 'Dandelion Wishes' and be inspired by her #100daysofpaper.

Check out my progress so far in my #100daysofhaiku

Read last month's creative challenge and link-up 'Where do lost streets go?'


Midweek Poetry: Verdant Love Thieves by daintydora

It's more of a stream-of-consciousness collection of words today. Words that came to me describing some of the things that I've thought or felt or seen or done, and that spilled out beautifully onto the page of my little red notebook, and that I wanted to share because... well just because:

Leaves & trees & parks & gardens & flowers burgeoning from upcycled planters: tyres & Belfast sinks & old cracked toilets... Herbs grown on sunlit windowsills & chillies in teapots & a watering can filled with just-blush-bloomed roses, perched by the back door. The back door that takes me to the path that weaves through the untamed forest at the bottom of my HEART & into the thickets of deep-rooted woodland that is YOUR heart until we grow together like weeds: young, green, verdant LOVE thieves."

DerelictionAbandoned Belfast sink Upcycled Toilet Pan Planter


Midweek Poetry: Where do lost streets go? by daintydora

Lost streets, lost streets. Streets don't get lost they? This month's challenge with the lovely Karen from Leaf & Petal is inspired by the following poetry prompt that was posted on Mslexia for National Poetry Writing Month:

Write a poem which answers this question: ‘Where do lost streets go?’ In your poem use at least five items from the following list: piano, mirror, armchair, ten pound note, labyrinth, last, shadow, pelican, song, cheeseburger, watching, hope, dark, shape, fog, invention, figure of eight, elastic-band, elbow room.
Thanks to Penelope Shuttle, regular Poetry School tutor

Where do lost streets go?

I loved trying to weave in the words in the list, and easily managed more than the suggested five. 'Cheeseburger' however was a bridge (street?) too far.

This challenge really got me thinking about real streets that have disappeared - through demolition or falling into the sea or a river, or just deserted now because of a natural (or unnatural) diaspora. Intriguing.

My first line was inspired by the Pet Shop Boys hit Where the streets have no name:


Where the streets have no name
they all but disappear,
fall off the map like elastic
bands down a drain.
The shape of a once-loved street,
its kerbs and currencies and the eddies of its nature
hang like a fog some distance from the ground
like displaced armchairs
rocking back and forth
untethered to bricks or cement
rotting in a labyrinth;
secret stitches in time.
But I'm watching as the street I used to know,
that street so familiar in sight and sound and smell
folds into itself
a figure-of-eight fantasy
concertinaed like a pack of cards,
just shadow in a mirror.
Then: the sound of a piano
carried on the breeze
fuzzy, distant, soon to be silenced.
I imagine a cosy scene
sash windows open to the eve
on that still-alive street
where houses and their driveways
still have elbow room to breathe.
I focus my attention
drift towards it,
that melancholy sound
rippling in the dusk-tinged air
and my heart filled simply
with the song of hope.

Read Karen's response to this poetry prompt.

Last month's challenge was a poem and collage inspired by the theme 'The Voyage'.



Midweek (Garden) Poetry: Weeding, digging, dreaming by daintydora

I seem to have been very inspired by my little garden space of late. Of nature in general and greenery and seedlings and bees and plants and herbs and flowers. And I wanted to type this first example of garden poetry on my typewriter and put it in a frame. It's on grainy grey paper, framed in white with just my few simple words inside:

Midweek poetry: weeding, digging, dreaming


Standing in my garden
weeding, digging, dreaming...
of you.
Planting seeds that only
the sun and the worms
can see
and wondering when
you'll be back
home again
with me.

It's silly and sentimental but sweet. And sometimes that's OK.

To see my daily forays into Haiku poetry, view the visuals on Instagram.


Midweek Poetry: The Voyage by daintydora

VOYAGE - what a great prompt for the second creative poem and collage challenge between myself and super-collager Karen of Leaf & Petal. This time, I was inspired to get to grips with the beautiful vintage typewriter that my husband restored for me a year or so ago to incorporate the words of the poem into the collage, similar to the writing-on-masking-tape technique I used last month.

Sitting at the typewriter with its high keys and beautiful mechanical form, I felt like I was channeling famous authors and writers I admire - Jack Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, Hemingway - but also a bit Angela Lansbury in Murder, She Wrote!

'The Voyage' Poem & Collage'The Voyage' Poem & Collage

The initial inspiration for both the poem and collage were taken from the image of the pearly ship that I saw in a magazine. Then came the dress.

Immediately I was thinking of stow-aways and sea urchins set adrift, jellyfish and The Water Babies, mermaids, water nymphs and sirens slipping between shimmering waves of blue and green...

Here's my poem (slightly illegible in places in the typewritten version):

The Voyage
Stowed away in a pearly place
I counted blessings like diamonds
peering unseen
through cracks to the sea.
Fish slip-scent roiling in my lungs
briny slime
crushing fears
fancies glinting
seeping possibility;
of pirates & faraway islands &
a halo in my hair
seeded with pearls -
my lustrous green freedom.

Now check out Karen's interpretation of 'VOYAGE' in her collage and poem.

Last month we interpreted the theme of 'Tea Time'.

Meanwhile, Karen is also taking part in #the100daysproject - she has chosen #100daysofpaper while I am still loving my first foray into Haiku poetry with #100daysofhaiku.

Poetry and paper/collage = the perfect creative collaboration!


Midweek Poetry: Time for Tea by daintydora

Everyone loves a tea break, and for me, it's all about the tea. The ceremony of it. The teapot. Choosing which type of tea to have, and then which teapot to use depending on whether it's a loose-leaf occasion or a quick cup of perk-me-up Lady Grey in the afternoon. In another creative collaboration with Karen at Leaf and Petal, we have both designed a collage and written a poem inspired by the prompt of 'TEA'.

'Time for Tea' poem & collage

She stirred it round
rich and strong and golden brown;
liquid treacle
in mis-matched tea cups
details etched in gold
filigree with cinnamon stains
where handles meet base.
Biscuits sat listening
atop pretty lace doilies
casting shadows on the table
and waiting for crumbs.
The spout leaned in,
sleek and ready for
as the leaves swirled
amongst themselves
mostly spent
but still brewing
at the bottom of the pot.

'Time for Tea' poem & collage 'Time for Tea' poem & collage

To see how Karen likes to take her 'TEA', view her interpretation of the theme.

And now I think it's time for a tea break... #elevenses


Midweek Poetry: Johnstone Girl by daintydora

I love the idea of a midweek respite from the hum-drum-grind-bind-stride of life for just a few moments. Reading poetry has the power to transport you off into another world, other worlds, an inside place; bringing a new perspective. Words are so powerful. But I don't just want to feature my own words and poems here.

This week I rediscovered an anthology of poetry by Amy Anderson that I bought last summer from the Tell it Slant poetry pop-up in the Project Cafe in Glasgow.

The cafe had just opened in time for the Glasgow International Art Festival, and Amy's anthology was the first thing I picked up. As I flicked through the pages the title of one of the poems caught my attention: Johnstone Girl.

I live in Johnstone. And my name is Johnstone. And then my favourite song came on. It had to be.

I'm not going to reproduce the whole poem here (for copyright purposes, and to perhaps encourage others to seek out this anthology), so instead here are the first and last lines:

Maybe she was a wind in an old life.
She flies on a wistful breath
Eyes caught in her frown
are taut Hebridean seas.

The anthology is called Night's Fresh Velvet (such a great title!), published by Calder Wood Press.

I was transported far and wide and close inside by the words of Amy Anderson.

I hope you enjoyed these words from a magpie girl; a Johnstone girl, and a poetry lover.


Midweek Poetry: Tendrils Smoke Silently by daintydora

A short poem capturing ethereal thoughts of frozen times; fragile and dispersed. I was inspired by the idea and experience of smoking outside, outside the house when you would normally be inside. Should be inside, save for the unappealing stink of smoke that lingers long, too long, so it's easier to just go outside.

In the midnight
under the dusk
just me
ripple of weeds
emerald and teal
galloping wings
in flight
cold nose


Midweek poetry: Loud Clouds by daintydora

        Loud clouds


                       green and gold,

                                 inside out

                                           with rain.

                     Then the

                              white came



                     boiled clouds

                           seamed with silver,

                           frothy and frilled

                                      with treasure.

                               Someone else's

                                        sunny day pleasure.

Fisheye Clouds City Scape, GlasgowThe seasons are changing, again, subtle markers of time – whispering, calling, ‘time is slipping away. Your life is slipping away. Come on….’

Or maybe they are just saying, ‘enjoy me, enjoy your time on this earth, short as it is in the grand scheme of evolution and life and the universe’?

Relish the cold on your face and the wind in your hair and the leaves blowing around you and dropping like golden welcomes on the pavement where you walk day after day. Enjoy the blanket of darkness and the bright dazzling light and the calm, quiet hours of night when the birds are asleep but cats prowl around the back of the shed, up to mischief, annoying next door’s dog.

Feel the breeze as you go and cherish the passing clouds as they take their mystery to hover over someone else’s head as they walk. The clouds are watching over you. Drifting, at peace.

Go at peace and be like them, the loud clouds that boil.



Midweek Fight-Night - A Poem by daintydora

Midweek fight-night
is nothing
like date-night.
Instead screams
steal reason
from equilibrium;
temper frays
vile words
them through the air.
A suffocation of tears
roared out
the brittle dialogue of hearts.
Slammed doors
replace lipstick romance.
Tart talk
the provocation
of rage.
Midweek fight-night
is nothing
like date-night.