Tag Archives: one word prompt



Beneath plastic castles and shifting sands,
beneath mortgages and grandiose plans,
beneath labour pains and mortuary vans,
beneath gleaming yachts and broken fans,
beneath lion hearts and rodent fangs,
beneath flat denial and praying hands –
beneath all of the hunger and greed of man,
lies the inheritance on which we stand.

It’s there, where it has always been,
silently waiting to be seen.

Beneath the feet of you and me,
are roots of possibility.
Though we may be too blind to see,
the earth still strives for harmony.

There, beneath all that we wish to become
is the strum of life, the truth that we are one.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The Daily Post #Harmony

The Wolf


Three bodies sat around a table;
a wolf disguised, as in a fable,
a bloodied victim, half chewed away,
and the predator’s next intended prey.

The bloodied victim had the audacity to survive. Bravely, she spoke to the intended prey, describing the tactics and weaknesses of the wolf. The wolf stammered excuses, but the woman in his sights was not a fool.

I was one of the three,
and, yesterday, I aquired a pile of knives.
Each one was etched with a
against my sex
All the sins committed by you, the wolf, were represented.

I sharpened my knives with a fine whetstone.
Aggression and affection rubbed together, each clearly defined.
I had no love for you, only the desire to save a life.

Today I examine my prospective weaponry, silently interviewing every well-honed applicant for the post of accomplice to rough justice. Each stretch of steel sharply translates the rays of sun into a gleaming silver streak of lethal dreams.

I select the most stylish knife in my armory;
fashioned for filleting, its sleek blade
emerges, confident, from a welcoming wood handle,
elegantly narrowing
to a
more threatening than Madonna’s famous bra.
Tenderly, I stroke it with my thumb.
I name it for you.

I picture a glistening film of crimson, the viscous drips weeping their shame at your lack of remorse.

I’ll hand you the knife, and wait
for the cutting slash, the stabbing thrust that will drive the spike through your flesh, into the unsleeping, penile heart of the matter.

I’ll watch your dispicable spirit simmer –
see you spit, but your spit will not reach.
You will have been hoisted by your own petard.

I’ll raise a victorious fist
for womens’ solidarity.

I’ll drink (coffee) to the health of my new friend.
She drinks weak tea,
but with my tolerant nature
I view that as a minor misdemeanour.

The Daily Post #Spike

©Jane Paterson Basil

Leaving home

leaving home

Whenwe  left the smog of the city to live in this backwater place, I lay curled in my mother’s womb. Although my family was looked upon as foreign by the rural folk, this is the only home I’ve ever known. As the popoulation grew, attracting those from distant towns and counties, I rose from my outsider status to become a local. My roots struggled to find a way through the stony soil, and tenaciously they clung. My four children came into being, and were raised here; seeds of the next generation which now thrives. All of my descendants save for one – my grandson, currently at University – are within this ancient burrough, within easy reach of me.

My daughter is at the graveside of her beloved, saying goodbye. Her bags are packed. I put them in the car, to save having to slog later. I come back to the flat and switch on my laptop. It’s slow to warm up, so I go to the bedroom to apply some hand lotion, and see the gap where her possessions had been.

With a jolt similar to a jagged bolt of electricity, it hits me. Aged thirty-one, my little girl  is leaving home.

Written for The Daily Post #Jolt

©Jane Paterson Basil

Breaking away


They never listen when you say
that each instance tips the scales.

Every time they go beyond the pale
you move a measured step away.

They think that you are only there for them to use;
their ascendance suggests that they will never lose.

Metre by metre your mind recedes,
hidden behind your bulk and their egos.

Too blind to see each retreating pace,
one day they search for you in vain.

You’re out of reach – a distant speck
vaguely silhouetted against the sunset.

 Your freedom comes with grief for what is lost,
but you must count your blessings, not the cost.

The Daily Post #Measure

©Jane Paterson Basil



See my feet?

Imagine them being at the centre of a circle two meters in diameter.

Intimate friends and family and may stand toe-to-toe with me, within the ring. They may reach for my hand, put an arm round my shoulder, and in greeting or for comfort, give me a hug.

Those in need are also welcomed in, if my presence may help.

Aquaintances and associates may place their heels several centimetres within the line, but not come too close without my willing agreement. Fake affection is not permitted.

Those who would do harm to me, my loved ones or even an innocent stranger, must stay away from my territory, lest I invade theirs with my tapping fingers.

Written for The Daily Post #Territory

©Jane Paterson Basil



We define ourselves with labels,
it makes us feel secure.
The wealthy say they’re middling,
and the middling say they’re poor.
The mean say they are thrifty,
as they push you out the door,
while some of the ‘hardworking’
are lazing on the floor.

The grasping speak of charity,
as they buy another slave.
The callous say they’re caring,
as they step upon your grave.
The greedy say they’re hungry,
as a seventh course they crave.

Let’s remove the labels
we’ve pasted on our heads.
Let’s nail them to our walls,
and live by them instead.

The Daily Post #Label

© Jane Paterson Basil

Hey, Joe

I shout the truth and defy you to say I am lying.
I speak in the name of justice,
there is no pretty picture on the page,
and it doesn’t matter if my rhythm is awry.
My words don’t have to flow gently
or make my readers sway and dream.
This time my poem doesn’t need to rhyme.

I shout the truth and defy you to say I am lying.
You played dirty games and isolated my beloved child.
You told lies to get your way.
You sweet-talked us then you beat my daughter
because you couldn’t own her.
You ground her face into sharp staples on your naked floor,
then you tried to break her neck.
This time my poem doesn’t need to rhyme.

I shout the truth and defy you to say I am lying.
You say she did it to herself, but nobody believes you.
The state of her face and head stand witness.
Maybe you want me to believe you are ill,
and your viscious attack was the act
of an unconscious side of your personality,
but it won’t work.
This time my poem doesn’t need to rhyme.

I shout the truth and defy you to say I am wrong.
In your rage, you thought to destroy her,
but you failed. Her wounds will be healed
by her own strength, and by endless love.
You only destroyed yourself.
Chemicals may sometimes silence
the screaming in your head to mere murmeration,
but like the noise from a flock of starlings,
the rumblings will always return.
You will not escape them.
This time my poem doesn’t need to rhyme.

I shout the truth and defy you to say I am wrong.
I speak in the name of justice.
There is no pretty picture on the page,
and it doesn’t matter that my rhythm is awry.
My words don’t have to flow gently
or make my readers dreamily sway.
My friends will all agree;
this time my poem doesn’t need to rhyme.
Hey, Joe,
You have incited my wrath, and I repeat;
this time my poem doesn’t need to rhyme.
I speak out against your heinous crime, and that is enough.

Written for The Daily Post #Murmuration

©Jane Paterson Basil

Not nonsense


sounds similar to new ants,
and if you add is it would be a nuisance.
If you speak in plural, of nuances,
you could be referring
to your new aunt sis,
or even saying
“’noon, sis.”

This sounds like nonsense,
but it’s true that a nuance
gives a clue to what you mean.


Written for The Daily Post #Nuance

©Jane Paterson Basil