Valentine Sestina

image by Sandi Ward


Valentine Sestina

Carrots, caulis, spuds…I’ll need some more,
A pack of coffee – fairtrade ?  It should say.
They’ve haven’t any left ?  Well, that’s a bore.
A loaf of sliced should last till Saturday,
Three pints of milk, or should I get in four ?
It’s only sold in litres, anyway.

An rosy apple keeps the doc away,
Although, I ought to see the dentist more…
Oh yes, some roses for the special day,
And juicy steak – perhaps some sirloin boar.
The things we have to do to simply say
The things we’ve said so many times before.

Honestly, what do we do this for ?
Did great-great-grandmama, back in the day ?
And must our children’s children evermore,
Until the very Earth has given way ?
But who would ever wish to be that bore ?
And so we bite our tongues and never say.

Is money to be made from love ?  I’ll say !
It brings our brashful boasting to the fore:
We peacocks strut and dance the night away
And when we’ve had enough, we cry for more.
But better to be Caesar for a day,
And when the tide must rise, to ride its bore !

But don’t let bonhomie become the boor,
Who talks too loud and always gets his way
By swinging round a verbal two-be-four –
Instead, let your initials have their say
When paired upon a lovers’ sycamore.
But there I go, just jawing on all day.

Now strawberries are good for five-a-day –
Such passion-fruit the steamy hothouse bore…
Champagne, of course – is this a good one, say ?
No garlic, though…oh my, it’s almost four !
I need to get this supper underway,
To make my wife become my paramour.



Dry Love

arid barren clay cracks
Photo by on


Dry Love

I try to extol your virtue –
And oh, what virtue, fulsome virtue !
But though I rack till I hurt, you
Form no vision or flirt.
And all my labours exert to
Bring on nothing but dirt,
With nary a trickle or spurt to
Dapple your laundered skirt.
Your beauties just won’t blurt through –
From I, your lover inert.

Like Lockwork



Like Lockwork

You slide your shank in slow and smooth,
To dock upon the centre-post;
And now a gentle twist affords
To ease your teeth between my wards.
Your bit precise in ev’ry groove,
Your diamond-pick a torsion ghost:
A skeleton to probe my fob,
And whispers through – an inside job.

You push your shaft deep in the plug,
And stroke my barrel from within.
My tumbler spins, my cams engage,
My deadbolts throw and springs assuage.
My keyway holds your bittings snug
To activate each driver-pin
To line the shear as each is shipped –
Then enter in –  my locks are tripped.



The Love that is Possible

heart tattoo


The Love that is Possible

How much do I love you ?
More than a little, but less than hyperbole,
More than a tittle, but less than some verbally
Spewing of sugary platitudes oozily,
Brewing its treacly flatitudes boozily.
Not I, my love, to quack with such canards unchecked;
I love you so much for your questioning intellect.
How much do I love you ?  Too much for such plundering –
I love you this much for your wonderous wondering.

How much do I love you ?
More than a fancy, but less than the stars,
More than some chancy allusion that jars.
More than a sunset ?  A pointless debate,
To score and gauge beauty by some common rate.
Not I, my love, to shatter the laws of the galaxy;
I love you so much for your mocking of poetic fallacy.
How much do I love you ?  Such answers are always a crutch –
I love you too much for me ever to tell you how much.



Waiting For His Call

woman wearing blue denim jacket putting her right arm on her cheek
Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on


Waiting For His Call

As she wakes to the wrench of the radio’s blare,
She’s not there.
As she tries to decide on the blouse she should wear,
She’s not there.
As she dawdles her breakfast of yoghurt and pear,
As she spends all her morning with coffee and stare,
As she foregoes her lunch for pilates with Claire,
She’s not there.
And all her afternoon that passes in her chair,
And on the bus and on the train while fishing for her fare,
And waiting at the checkout as she vaguely winds her hair,
She is always and never quite there.



Frost Song

blur bokeh close up cold
Photo by Pixabay on


Frost Song

On the second morning afterly
The Feast of Middle-Winter,
I walked-out with my true-love
Through the brittle lambent-glinter;
I walked-out with my true-love
Till our cheeks were flush with pinking,
And I asked my wind-teased beauty
To me whisper of her thinking:
The said she thought of Crystal Jack,
A diligent delinquent,
Who caught the sun and shone it back
As glistered-golden clinquant.
I walked-out with my true-love
’Cross the sparkled, gelid loam,
And so we warmed each other’s breaths
Until the starlings bid us home.



Villain Elle

shallow focus photography of person s face side view
Photo by Marta Branco on


Villain Elle

Bad girl Ellie – dangerous to friend,
Hanging around with her trouble-brewing sort,
They always knew how she’d turn out in the end.

Not an easy woman to defend –
Probably at what she really shouldn’t ought.
Bad girl Ellie – dangerous to friend.

Build your hopes up – and watch them all descend.
Hanging around her will only get you caught.
They always knew how she’d turn out in the end.

Seeking action ?  How much can you spend ?
Probably life for the trouble you just bought.
Bad girl Ellie – dangerous to friend.

Sex and menace – hazardous to blend:
Hanging around, and you quaff her by the quart.
They always knew how she’d turn out in the end.

So they tell me – none would recommend.
Probably wise, but I’ll take my chance to sport
With bad girl Ellie – dangerous to friend;
I can’t wait to see how she turns out in the end.