Tribute: Rachel Sutcliffe

Recently Rachel Sutcliff died.  She was a consummate artist of haiku.  She was a member of the British Haiku society and often featured on Frank Tassone’s site about Haijin and writing of haibun, tanka, haiku.  She suffered from an immune deficiency disorder and died a little every day.  Her voice will be missed.

Tribute:  Rachel Sutcliffe
bitter winter day –
the sun comes out briefly.
pond ice melts slowly.


Do Cephalopods Dream of Aquatic Sheep?

For Kerry’s Camera Flash prompt at Real Toads. Title is stolen from Philip K. Dick’s book upon which my favorite movie Blade Runner was based: Do Andreoids Dream of Electric Sheep. I am also posting this on Poets United Poetry Pantry

Do Cephalopods Dream of Aquatic Sheep?

“All those moments will be lost like tears in the rain.” Roy Batty, Blade Runner
You are dead now.
The rooms empty and forlorn –
Just a shell left behind.
I wonder if you were eaten
or if you died of old age.
How long do cephalopods live?
Long enough to build a home
with many rooms all lined with nacre.
Do cephalopods dream and weep as they dream?
Is that why their homes are lined with pearl?

Shell Edward Weston (1927)

When I Grow Up

A bit of froth for Brendan’s Prompt on Real Toads:  Heroes and Heroines.  I must be honest, I own all the CD’s of the series while Diana Rigg was playing Mrs. Peel.  I stayed up late in order to watch the TV series.  I took karate, judo, fencing, and my father taught me how to shoot a revolver.  Emma Peel was bad to the bone.  I was Emma Peel-lite.

When I Grow Up
Because of you
I took judo and karate,
Because of you
I discovered
Women can be strong –
Damascene steel under lace,
Tigress in black leather.
The lithe lissome beauty
with a Webley in hand –
Kikazuke Geri
Tiger claw
Passata soto
Intelligent witty elegant –
I still want to be Emma Peel when I grow up.

public domain

public domain



Today for day six of the Nannermopo, at Real Toads, we have a photo flash prompt. The treatment of the insane was cruel and unusual – women were given hysterectomies, their hair shaved, their teeth pulled, cold ice baths daily, being bound to their beds, drugged until senseless, raped by their caretakers, starved…


First they cut off her hair –
Then they gave her a hysterectomy-
Then they pulled her teeth.
Her family had deemed her insane because
She took no crap from no man
Because she ran naked from the house at times
Because she found a kitten and hugged it until
it died
Because she laughed at the wrong times
Because she cried at the wrong times.
She hugged a mask until it died
Being insane in the late stages of Victoria’s reign
Was a hard job – but someone had to do it.
She did it well.

Adolph de Meyer (1927)
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Fair Use


Night Curtains

For the Friday prompt at Real Toads: Curtains and for Hedge’s 55 and for Poets United Poetry Pantry.

Night Curtains
Draw back the curtains of the night,
show us the stars and the glowing moon –
Let in the argent light.
Dance to the rhythm of the
speckled shadows –
whisper of the music made by the stars –
pulsing as sure as the blood
in your veins, beating slowly.
Draw back the curtains of the night.

public domain photo

The Circus

Fore Real Toads Camera Flash and for Hedge 55. Sometimes something innocent comes along…

The Circus
they walked into town from the farm
a basket of eggs and pale yellow butter
between them to sell –
they spoke little English but were eager
to see the circus, supposedly from Mother Russia.
not enough money for two tickets
they stood and took turns looking
through the crack –
Such a good time they had!


Andre Kertesz
Date: 1920



Weight of Crows

or Angies prompt at Real Toads. We are to choose a list and write a poem from the words.
solace trace pause over
inwardness sweat reflect beginning
need forgiveness unfolding back
thanks weight years ahead

Weight of Crows
Today is the umpteenth anniversary
of your decision to return to Japan.
My words are like a weight around my neck,
a murder of crows hanging upside down
their feet tied with pink ribbons.
A trace of sweat sneaks down my face
And dribbles down onto my keyboard.
I look for forgiveness from you.
I truly loved you but now I must
let you go.
I should have done this years ago
but the love hangs around my neck
Like a murder of crows.

public domain photo

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