Bamboo Blade



In sweat-summer heat
first the thunder, then lightning
this backward storm strike –

Sharp the rise and fall
this faceless pain inflicted
leaves an evening burn.


It’s some haikus, my old friends. I went to my first and certainly not my last evening of Kendo Club today. Had I known such a thing existed on my campus, I would have gone sooner. I even quizzed half my students about it, but I was clearly asking the wrong questions, the wrong students, or questions too difficult for their level. Two thirds didn’t know – one third said they did kendo at high school, but now don’t. Kendo is Japanese fencing, to sum it up briefly, and I was unprepared for the unrestrained aggression and violence, the pounding of the floor, the echoing bone-like thwack of the sticks – respectively the “thunder” and the “lightning” in the first verse. And it is definitely thunderstorm season here – there’s one every third day, pretty much.

Continue reading “Bamboo Blade”

Storm Vilanelle

I’m ill. It’s a sick day off work, and it’s ludicrously hot. My flatmate, too, are coughing and spluttering. So, as my older brother is visiting tomorrow, I’ve got to get something up today.

I’ve always been really fond of the Vilanelle as a form, mostly because I’m rubbish at them, and I like a challenge, but also because I like trying to find the poetry in it’s repetitions. This poem is an example of a Vilanelle that I remain unhappy with, but I thought if I post it, maybe I’d get ideas to improve it. I’ve had a few, but I still need more. Also, maybe it’ll provoke me to write more vilanelles. For now, I’ll post and then go back to bed.

Storm Memories

orange storm

Storm Memories

I will remember this in years to come,
this storm that cracks a whip across the land
and each storm holds the memories of the last –

when over a wet yellow crust, we run
raining pelting the dunes and freezing our hands
I will remember this in years to come.

We sheltered in the caravan, and watch for masts
out at sea, by the lightning out beyond the sand
and each storm holds the memories of the last.

The hot French summer, the air con hum,
We leave the vines when the grey clouds expand
I will remember this in years to come

The night airs warmth and wet rush past
the wooden shutters, the hot wood fanned
and each storm holds the memories of the last.

So now, tonight, the thunder like a drum
the orange glows, our kiss goes as you planned
I will remember this in years to come
and each storm holds the memories of the last.