A Sad Winter Flame (A Tanka)

In May this year, I attended an Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop at the Foundry Studio & Gallery. Today’s Poem/Tanka is another piece I wrote from that day, and which I have not posted on my site before now.
Featured Image Above: My photograph of, Lee McGrath’s fascinating painting, “Winter Flame Tree” (Acrylic on canvas)



A Sad Winter Flame (a Tanka)


Dismayed, how to stop

Leaning against the hard rain

Unseasonal pain

Sodden, a sad winter flame

Downtrodden, a stained Ukraine







Ivor Steven (c) November 2022

A Crescendo For Peace

The weather is wet and windy here in Ballarat, but that does’t matter. I’m resting, relaxing, and enjoying the break. Today’s poem is from June 2019.
Featured Image above; Street art on a building next door to the ‘Analogue Academy’, where my book launch was held on Saturday.

A Crescendo For Peace


Sounds of music, ring in my mind

Our hearts beat, to a slow drum

My soul hears the rhythm of life

I see angels playing a harp’s serenade

In harmony with the royal string quartet

Grand orchestra’s loudly join in

And choirs of the world are singing our song

Together, chiming the peace-bells of our time

Creating a crescendo of music, ringing in my mind








Ivor Steven (c) October 2022

Ask a Blade of Grass

Cassa Bassa. “It’s sad but reflecting a side of truth.
Ivor’s reply. “Despite humanity’s scientific advancements, their humanitarian skills are nonexistent”





Ask a Blade of Grass




Yesterday I looked up

At a grandfather clock

And saw the hands of time


Today I look above

At the gloomy clouds

And see beams of light

Appear through cracks in the sky


Tomorrow I will look down

At our war-torn ground

And ask a blade of grass

Why? Peace cannot be found

In our time






Ivor Steven (c) October 2022

Congregating Every Day

Hello dear readers and followers, this poem today is the first piece I have written for 3 weeks, after being unable to attempt any computer work because of my debilitating back pain. I’m afraid my back is still very sore, and this article has been put together via short sittings at my desk over the last 3 days. I think Derrick’s photos captured my imagination and stirred my tired mind to write something creative.

All Photographs, by Derrick Knight, and thank you once again for allowing me to reproduce your fabulous images here on my poetry site …
>> https://derrickjknight.com/2022/08/18/no-one-told-the-ponies/

And this is now our 39th poem/photograph collaboration, and a “Glossy Coffee-table” type book “Perceptions” is on the way, hopefully, available before Christmas.

No-one told the ponies





Congregating Every Day





There they patiently stand

Congregating every day

Outside the community shop

And the village letterbox


Most of them are posting

Food parcels to their equine relatives

Hungry and abandoned in the Ukraine


Others wait forlornly

For any news of encouragement

About the health and whereabouts

From their frightened families

Inside war-torn Ukraine


There they patiently stand

Congregating every day






Ivor Steven ©  August 2022

Ukraine is in Pain (a Limerick)

Not really a humourous Limerick, this one is quite melancholy, reflecting my back pain over these last few weeks …


Ukraine is in Pain (a Limerick)




There was an old poet in pain

Who had been struck down by hard rain

He felt thorns in his back

Like a missile attack

Misguided shrapnel from Ukraine






Ivor Steven (c) August 2022

The White Azalea Peace Garden





The White Azalea Peace Garden


I stare at the garden plaque

There on the ground

In front of the white Azalea bushes


I sit on the park bench and wonder

Here under a clear blue sky

Why? Does the sun shine on our world


I was born in nineteen fifty one

Here under a broken moon

During the second year of the Korean War


I stand and walk away

Where must I go?

To view the whole of the moon