Category Archives: Day 02

Scintillating Drops

Scintillating Drops


It is not as we imagined.

It is not as we were told.

The dendritic agent is fluid as we deduced,

and flows strongly away from higher territories,

but the surface seems alive.

It sings and small drops dance above it,

twinkling in the rays of the sun.

Dimples and rills catch the light

and mesmerize onlookers.

It is never still; sparkling and shimmering,

frothing over rocks.

I watched it fall from a great height

thundering and splashing,

creating a mist and a rainbow.

The colours we never see.


In lands where there is little of what they call water

the resemblance to home is dramatic.

Grey and red dust accumulate and the green is missing.

The inhabitants are trying to placate the gods.

They choose a city and knock down all the buildings

make craters in the road, and light many,

many votive fires around the rubble;

the grey plumes of smoke billowing high above them.

Then they sacrifice each other, trying to wet

the bare earth with their red, red blood.

Thousands make pilgrimages to the coast,

and drown themselves to tell the gods of their plight.


But I could tell them that once they lose

the blue and the green from their planet

it will never return. The gods are not listening.

I could tell them of our tragic past





An accident – Scottie beamed me up

where Clangers Moon

taught me the language of whistles

fuelled my tank with vinegar and soap flakes.


Where Clangers Moon

knitted me pretty in pink,

fed me green soup from the Soup Dragons Well,

gave me a key to a dustbin lid.


Knitted me pretty in pink,


Chained me in Blue String Pudding

sedated me with the Singing Flower Song.



And the day glo green teases of a froglet trio.

Fuelled my tank with vinegar and soap flakes,

bubble wrapped my migration.





Val Hickman 2/10/16


I wish I was a Jovian

I wish I was a Jovian
staring out at a distant speck
of blue earth. Seated in my
deckchair I’ll have a ring-side seat
as shoemaker-Levy’s red beads fall.
I’ll be consumed by fire
and become the fireball’s plume.

I wish I was a Jovian.
Looking out at Io, pock marked
with lava spewing volcanoes
and pulsing with tidal forces.
I want to swim beneath the ice
on Europa and become the crone
with scarred and wrinkled skin.

But the great red spots three
hundred and fifty year old storm
might get a little trying and the heady
cocktail of helium and hydrogen
not so good for the health.
So instead I’ll listen to Jupiter’s
magnetosphere in radio static

from the beach in Rhyl.

Rose Wall or The Close of the Day

Near a shady wall
A rose once blossomed
Fair and tall she grew
And through a gap
Her tendril crept
To dream
Of what might lie
On the other side
She breathed out
Her fragrance more and more
It was no different
On the other side
Still she grew there
Near the shady wall
Just as she would
Scattering her fragrance
Forever and a day
Until her life ebbed away
The evening sun
At the close of  day



The man who isn’t Beethoven


The man who isn’t Beethoven

chords his strimmer
and jams it twice
on my too-long grass

plays capriccio
with chain-saw and ladders
on holly, willow and lilac

grins every time
he hands over a bill
because grunting might put
customers off

works accelerando
and never seems to stop

Except for him
everyone hears
his trailer’s fortissimo
behind his truck






Today’s poem from my sequence.


Not until they were wheeling me
along a corridor to the theatre
did it hit me: this is happening.
Some time how long later
cannulas inserted, ECG attached
I fell down the rabbit hole
never saw the march hare
cheshire cat, or mad hatter:
it was dark and timeless there
while up here it was all happening:
six hours rebuilding my stilled heart.

Twelve hours down the rabbit hole
she woke me, softly asked me
to squeeze her hand, the nurse
in this incredible Wonderland.



I didn’t like
the look of him
and in the heat
of the moment
took a stick
and broke it
into two pieces
over his head.

He fell down
but only into
a sitting position.
He picked up
the pieces of stick
which somehow
fused back together
in his hands.

He planted the stick
in the ground
where he sat.
To my surprise
it sprouted branches
leaves and flowers
providing him with
a shady arbour.

He motioned me over
and feeling chastened
I joined him under
the spreading tree.
A conversation ensued
as we sat together
out of the glare
of the midday sun.


A Temperate Clime

Palm fronds gently fingering the wind
Branches swaying in the breeze of night
Feral cats climb tree trunks
Of tufted fibrous bark
Only to be told
The sea is behind you
Small boats bobbing on an ocean
A galleon – dolphin watching,
An inaccessible horizon
Do the boats fall from the edge?

My Childhood

Can’t see the point
of soap in my ears, my eyes,
only to get dirty again.
Don’t get me wrong,
I wouldn’t want to live alone.

Mum and dad look after me,
feed me the best food.
In return, I’m obedient:
no jumping on the settee
or attacking visitors.

But what’s wrong with violence?
Or sniffing the girl next door?
And why this obsession with fleas?
Sometimes the rules
make no sense at all
and I wonder about my parents

in the park, throwing sticks,
scooping my shit into plastic bags.