The Siren Song

Elegance conceals an eventful past


Please evade the siren song,
Elude her capture,

I’ve been caught before today,
Ensnared, hooked, netted,
The whetted

Enraptured by the promise,
Mesmerised by sound,
The tightly bound

Trapped within that sacred turning,
Basking in the glow,
My heart flowed

I dropped down through darkened depths,
Following the lure,
Drowning in pure

Croons swayed soft from almond eyes,
Dripping on my heart,
Tears that no part

Listen, love, and set me free,
Trust in your allure,
Holding me.

I can sing,
Fly on freedom’s wings,
And through death our hearts enthrone.


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane


Time Moves


crowded where you live

Time arrives,
Flying in through open windows,
Displaying scenes from life,
Fleeting, fleeing, freeing.

Years leave,
Walking out through closed doors,
Leaving experiences now gone,
Fleeting, fleeing, freeing.


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane

My World Breaks…Again!

This may explain my longer than planned absence! 🙂


I awoke dulled and slow,
With the pressure of Saul,
You may be familiar
With the three o’clock call?

Climbing upright,
Dizzy, all blurred,
A nausea wave,
Crashed through my world.

I stumbled to get
To the place we all know,
When the body just threatens
To ‘let go, now, let go’.

A friend brushed my arm,
Supporting my lunge,
My strong, faithful wall
Averted a plunge.

I got to the place
We leave our temporary mark,
Sat down, held the bin,
When all faded to dark.

“Try to get up,”
I heard a voice say,
“You’re wet and you’re cold,
Come on, come away.”

I wasn’t quite sure
Just where I was at,
But movement, a no-no,
She had to see that.

I tried hard to explain,
All she heard was a groan,
I tried to say more,
It came out like a moan.

“Please try to get up,”
She ruffled my leg,
“I’ll go get some ice
To put on that egg.”

I slowly came to,
Pushed myself to a crawl,
She helped me to bed,
Wrapped ice to a ball.

Ah, life with MS,
A challenge a day,
I’m so grateful that someone
Can love me this way.

And as the day starts,
We discuss the event,
The need for a Doctor,
How it all went.

Pupils are equal,
Reacting to light,
Let’s rest, give it time,
I’m sure I’m alright!

And so I am,
After a few days of rest,
Just an appointment tomorrow,
With the Neuro for tests.


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane

The Sky Curdles

For NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016 – Day 30 (to prompt) – THE FINAL DAY! 🙂

The Prompt: “…today I’d like you to try your hand at a translation of your own. If you know a foreign language, you could take a crack at translating a poem by a poet writing in that language.”

My chosen language is Afrikaans and the poem ‘Die lug skif oop’ by George Louw. I have included the original and a literal translation below.

My Poetic interpretation:

The sky curdles into speckled clouds
the kiewet laid his egg large
I roll him round and round with my eyes
until he comes to rest in my brain.

Mum has just
sent me out with the chicken feed
and with a detour through the oats
I think the speckles onto paper.


The Original:

Die lig skif oop

Die lug skif oop in spikkelwolke
die kiewet het sy eier groot gelé;
ek rol hom met my oë om en om
totdat hy in my brein bly lé.

My mama het my netnou
met die kiepkos uitgestuur,
en met ‘n ompad deur die hawer
dink ek die spikkels op papier

George Louw


Literal Translation:

The air curdles open

The air curdles open in speckled clouds
the Kiewet has laid his egg large
I roll him with my eyes round and round
until he remains lying in my brain.

My mummy has just
sent me outside with the chicken feed
and with a detour through the oats
I think the speckles onto paper


So, there it is. The last day of NaPoWriMo and GloPoWriMo for 2016!

30 poems in 30 days – YAY!

Thanks to Maureen for all the prompts and to all participants for taking part and helping to build our poetry world! 🙂

An even bigger thanks to YOU for taking this ride with me. It’s been a great trip and your support along the way means the world!

See you again soon…

English Haiku – #15

NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo2016 – Day 29 (not to prompt but prompted by the prompt!)


Time took breezes down
Alleyways of past content
Smiling all the while


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane


The Prompt: “Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on things you remember.”

Friends Moving On

For NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016 – Day 28 (not to prompt)


You’re leaving?
How can that be?
It seems so short a time
Since we first met over coffee,
Discussed business,
Talked life,
How best to make the change,
What would cause least strife,
As you headed for your goal,
A life close to the land,
Eating from the soil,
With no computer in the hand.
Ah, how life can make such turns,
As your dream starts to unfold,
Leads you down a route,
Where you have to be so bold,
For how could we have guessed,
At the start of your new plan,
That the road to your fulfillment
Was paved in another land?
So, as we watch you go,
Hearts heavy with our loss,
We’re happy with your finding
This new path you came across.
We wish you all the best
As you take the adventure on,
Our love and thoughts go with you,
Be brave, be proud, be strong!


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane

Tracking Hunters

For NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016 – Day 27 – can you believe we’re almost there??? Today, I followed the prompt – and what a challenge. I wasn’t even sure, at first, that what I was writing was poetry! Then, as I continued writing, a pattern evolved so that, after a load of editing, I think this is poetry….?? 🙂

The prompt: “to write a poem with very long lines.”

Well, think I got that right at least! 🙂 …. Hope you enjoy!


I knelt to touch the tracks, two days old now, full of cracks,
And ridging edges like the wake of a passing ship on a smooth, smooth lake.
Above and to the left they’d tripped, a stem so newly bent that sap still oozed and dripped,
Life’s blood for a tracker, tracking a hunter, hunting an attacker.
This sign that I’d now found, confirmed my steps along the ground,
So, slipping bow from back and sliding arrows out of sack,
Knife resting wittingly in sheath, knees bent, I crept forward with stealth,
Slowly then speedily, smoothly and silently,
Years of training to kill.

Cresting a hill then dropping flat, before my eyes the group now sat.
No smoke, no sound, still-life held, with their surroundings they appeared to meld.
Notching arrow, loosing fast, one by one life did not last,
So, so soon the job was done, bodies strewn now one by one,
I stood and took the deepest breath, feeling void with so much death,
Knowing now my buddies protected, so they could carry on undetected,
I turned and headed back to camp, feeling air now cold and damp,
Slung my bow and stashed my arrows, listening to the songs of sparrows,
Years of training to kill.


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane

Burning Days

For NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016 – Day 26 (Not to prompt)


Dark days filled with warm collusion
Took my blood and boiled it
Stripped my skin and framed it
Left it out to dry
Displayed for all to see
And judge

I watched from afar
As children danced around a fire that was me
Undaunted by the tainted smell
By the touch
Of death
And the putrid satisfaction
Of those who wish to
Have more
See more
Die more

Chance took me afoot
Flying near the edge
Wings crisped by burning sunlight
Thrown out across the heavens to
Want more
Show more
Be more

Only one way left now


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane

The Seas Pull

wild-ocean_1920 x 1440 - takopix

For NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016 – Day 25 (to prompt – see below)


I must go down to the sea again,
It pulls my heart each day;
The swish of water around my feet,
The sand, the sun, the spray.

I used to watch the sailing ships,
Sketch the seashore line;
Sails spread wide on tall, straight masts,
Wakes spread out behind.

Then, close to shore, the reel of rods,
Men trying to catch their lunch;
With the surfers and the swimmers,
Always ready to take their plunge.

On warm bright days, the air so clean,
Deep breaths and strolls a pleasure;
On blustery days when the waves pound in,
Nature taking measure.

I must go down to the sea again,
To watch the dolphins play,
Yet doubt they’ll see me very soon,
I live too far away!

© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane


Prompt: “Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that begins with a line from another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it……The idea is for the original to furnish a sort of backdrop for your work, but without influencing you so much that you feel stuck just rewriting the original!…..any poem will do to provide your starter line – just so long as it gives you the scope to explore. Happy writing!”


Okay, so my starter line is actually only half the first line from Sea Fever by John Masefield and not the full line – plus I have taken the more commonly anthologised version from ‘The Collected Poems of John Masefield (using the singular ‘sea’ rather than the original
‘seas’) but I hope you’ll come with me and enjoy this anyway! 🙂



For NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016 – Day 24 (not to prompt)


People plead for food
In plaintive cries
That echo through the valleys.

Water flows from empty taps
That dry the land,
Leave bones
Reaching for the sun,
As they crumble to dust.

People stare through dead sockets,
Fighting for life,
Killing for control.

My brain empties.

I walk to nowhere,
My soul clings to itself
Without understanding
Or knowledge,
Confused beyond belief,
Believing beyond confusion
That there must be a rock
Melting fluidly with the flow,
Holding all within its feel,
Feeding soil and being,
Giving life where there is only void.

© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane