vivienne blake


The river groans; its solid surface
crushed against the bank.
Earth protests the shackle of rime
and willows weep, not knowing why.
Small birds shiver, huddle in holes,
afraid to fly, while hawks hunger.


A friendly word
for the start of warmth.
Splinters, shavings, chips of oak,
chopped sticks and kinked twigs
then serious timber a handspan thick.

The catalyst, a fizz of sulphur,
prelude to atavistic pleasure
in spits, sparks, flames,
and quietly glowing cinders.

Vivienne Blake (Bistrot Vivienne) says: “I am a batty old lady, who does everything backwards. I left school at 16, had a varied career doing whatever kept body and soul together, finally teaching commerce in the Seychelles Polytechnic before retiring to France, where I kept myself busy quilting, translating and interpreting. I decided a bit of education wouldn’t come amiss, so I spent seven years online studying for an Open University degree. Poetry hit me somewhere along the studying, and I haven’t looked back since then.”