The poetic thing



I see your anger cut a scarlet stripe

Your tongue, it flashes words of vicious blue

And after, glow in tender rose remorse

Yet amber bubbles warning deep below

You keep your colours just for me to know.



In her beautiful head, under fiery hair

Behind electric eyes, in a random machine of sparks and pulses

Lie the distant memories of unattainable goals

Childhood fears and the heat of burning desires

And hard lessons learned indelibly etched in unremembered incidents

That are best left that way


Behind her fiery hair, electric eyes spark of burning desires

Unattainable goals and fearful lessons learnt

Unremembered incidents indelibly etched on her beautiful face

The distant childhood memories that lie deep within

Still randomly pulse through waking dreams, a forgotten face, a lost scene

Best left that way


The fearful memory of childhood, the burning heat

The electric sparks, the unforgotten face and the incident remembered

Her eyes become distant, shrouded beneath her beautiful hair

In her delicate hand the machine fires randomly towards an attainable goal

The hard face from the waking dreams, indelibly etched in the freezing snow

Best left that way

Never argue with a Tiger


You tear at my skin with piercing words

And I bleed just a little for you

Reassemble myself with the view you preferred

You tear at my skin with piercing words


And my acid retort is unheard

As I observe my existence undo

You tear at my skin with piercing words

And I bleed just a little for you


[This poem is in triolet form]

The Surprise Gift


‘A CARAVAN!’ we gasped

‘Thank you.’ we rasped

What a lovely surprise!

Though I wished, first they’d asked


It arrived and was parked

On the drive, in the dark

Neighbour’s curtains were twitching

With jealous remarks.


Then a trip with four friends

Camped beside us in tents

To a site quite close by

A trial-run, our intent.


But the pitch was a hillock

And we didn’t bring chocks

Then a freak gust of wind

Blew the front window off!


For a day it was dry, sunny and bright

The howling rain came on our subsequent night.

Then our table-come-bed proved a puzzle too far

When the power went out and we didn’t have light.


So, we packed up and hitched, (as fast as one can)

With three mud-soaked children, our gaffer-taped van

But the short journey home at the end of our trial

Was really the point where our troubles began.


Soot-black and smoking; total destruction

From the nine miles back home with the caravan brakes on!

Discs, shoes and chassis unyieldingly welded

Of course we declared it of faulty construction.


For the rest of the summer we seethed with frustration

Till the new chassis came from its German location

Too late for this year, to our neighbours bemusement

Resolute, we are planning next year’s hotel vacation

The Awful Dilemma of Parenting


A decision is made, or made for you, or made without your knowledge

But somehow, anyhow, your child is here, NOW, waiting for guidance

And whether you stumbled into parenthood or not

Each choice you make from this point forward

Directs the future of your progeny, their progeny

And your genes beyond

A significant slice of humanity, for a hundred years to come

Affected by the quality of your parenting skills


Suddenly, the gravity of fish-fingers

Weigh concrete on your mind

Smart Phone


Rain descends at eighty-three degrees

Perpendicular in those short breaks

When the buffeting winds gasp for breath

To holler new obscenities at

The despairing summer foliage

and hunkered-down birds


I chart the body count today

Thirty-one, yet the toll is not done

Washed ashore or slain in love or hate

And blood-lust. Infants loose with weapons

News delivered intravenously

Drip-fed with codeine


The weather is far better abroad

California drips in golden rays

Lake Elsinore is thirty degrees C

I watch a sodden bird shudder-off

The dull drizzle from his wings, take flight


I 'LIKE' another cat post



A blind man steps

Onto the soft, fragranced pillow

Of a flower-drenched land

And takes the hand of his fellow passenger

Who sees the floral wonderment

But steps aside

So as not to crush the blooms


The blind man’s feet

Disappear beneath the pollen waft

Scent upward, fills his nostrils

A parade of beauty

His seeing friend

Cautiously sidestepped

Pen & Ink


My daughter’s head dips

Below the frothy waves

I fail to reach her flailing hands


She is drowned


Anguished tears run rivulets

Down to my torn-apart heart

Washed swiftly aside

By the sharp prongs

Of the hot shower

I stand adrift beneath

Then the door rattles impatiently

And my daughter’s voice

Asks where I put the hairbrush


Dry and safe, not drowned


With vigour I detest my hateful head

It sneaks vile films

Upon my idle mind

My daughter stars the fated lead

I play the almost-saviour

In scenes inspired

By peripheral glimpses

And the false perception

Of peril


Daily I am dragged

To the precipice of insanity

Auto-play, pause, re-run

In that instant I fail to find

Something interesting

To possess my attention

The brutal show continues

And I am lost once more

In a mother’s nightmare of false memories

Authentic grief


I will not sink in wretched desolation


My mind is mine, I’ll block my ducts

Put head to paper

Transcribe this mental anguish


To merely pen and ink.




(Apparently [according to Dr Google], this is a rather nasty form of OCD, which thankfully, happens less - the more I write.)



Day turns to night and then night slinks away

Overawed by her aura, embarrassed to stay

She reproaches his tricks and his childish pranks

And the nightmare conspirators caught in his ranks

The streetlights abetting his fingering shadows

The devious rustlings of ravenous hedgerows

The cats and the foxes; their murder-scene sounds

All gleamed into silence and sent to ground

But as day grows sleepy and mindful of rest

Night oozes right back for another fright-fest.

Mother that is Earth


Tumultuous sway

Rise and fall

Bidding, enticing


Of whitest snow

Whose coy, blush buds



Tender-warm Spring

Precedes the swell

Of salt streams

Fertile valleys quenched

Topography transforms

For all that is new

Is born



This planet, the one we now call home

About twice the size of planet Earth

One of twelve within the theorised

Circumstellar habitable zone

Like Goldilock’s porridge; not too hot

Though to my taste, a little too cold.

They called it Kepler-22b

We call it, Freitous.


Seven-hundred and three thousand men

Women and children too.  Evicted.

Forced migration, auto-selection

Based on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…

The Cloud became a terrible storm

Data, profiles and the names rained down.

New pioneers from populous Earth

Destination, Space.


On September tenth, twenty-nineteen

We gathered in pens, herded, processed

For hours without comfort or choice

Many refused, went off-grid.  Vanished.

At nineteen-twenty, transport came

Surly, mechanical growls rumble

Pitch-black fear, then their lights, bright as suns

Stun us, compliant.


Colossal leaps in technology

Some extra-terrestrial know-how

Got us six-hundred light years in months

Ship after ship, in stowaway-class

Peering through distorted glass port-holes

Sustained by stars and meagre rations

Glimpsing galaxies, comets, our Earth.

Disembarked, they left.

A Little Girl Died


A little girl died

I cried

And regarded my child

With guilty relief

Heart beating

Skin warm.


A little girl died

I tried

Not to watch as the box

Was revealed, bright white

and tiny

and cold.


A little girl died

Tears dried

I pity the mother

Heart hollow, tears spent

Neglect her

Move on.

A Letter of Complaint to the Competition Judges

(Merengue as in the dance; Mer-en-gay)


Dismay, is my vein as I craft this letter, hopeful the act will 

Write me better.  Knowing, while penning each word to the page

That passé is my tag on the stylistic gauge, technical meter

Merengue of prose, torrent of metaphors cleverly chose in the

Poems of winners, story-full lines, poems of stature

Starved of all rhyme


And there lies the catch, my complaint, my obstruction

My compulsion to match; my poetic destruction

To prose in their style, shake my infantile rhythm

To hit the high-brow, ditch the gift I’ve been given

But my brow is low, like the smile of a clown who’s big top

Is down, because the lion tamer was found feeding

His mother-in law to his charges.  His wife was in pieces

In the fridge, so they closed, disbanded

Left the poor fellow stranded


So, on behalf of myself, the abandoned clown

The disgraced lion tamer

His digested mother-in-law and his soon to be wife

Please consider the poet’s compulsion to rhyme

And allow them to triumph, some of the time.

Bloody Women


That vermillion course

The curse of a creator;

Misogynist supreme

With sharpened claws

He cuts a woman

From a girl

Then, with a wink to his men

He leaves her to bleed.



Air-thrust stings my eyes

Pins them wide open and forces

The gorgeous vista upon me.


I revel in the rock-laden swells

The magnetic draw of waves

Who claw about their exposed edges

Relentlessly pulling them under

Before releasing them back to the drying sun.


A lone mermaid flips her seductive tail

Vibrant orange like the carrier bags

I abandoned this morning

On the kitchen table.

Enough food for a week

Maybe more now they are only three.


I forgot to buy butter.

All poems copyright © Diny van Kleeff 2019
Not to be used or reproduced without written permission from the author

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