Saturday, March 31, 2018

Sing Love

On his deathbed, when speech was gone,
we deciphered groans
and muddled on.

I remember she, visiting, took his hand
and for want of words,
he hummed to her

so tunelessly, it was not a tune,
but,  never in all his life
did he sing love so beautifully.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

From her mother’s face.

  for Kay, in memory of Geraldine

At two months, she absorbs her mother’s face,
all gentleness and giving;
smiles back without a care.

Young girl, she sees encouragement, pride,
reprimand or disappointment;
learning, reading that alphabet of lines.

As teenager, she must stretch the grain,
find different measures in new faces;
re-arrange the markers of her life.

Easy smiles and shared frowns;
in adulthood, she returns to the home
of her mother’s face.

And when those eyes are finally closed,
and the face is still, its full story written;
she carries her mother’s face onward.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The best part

Falling in love is the best part;
when all is conjecture and optimism,
and your boats are high in the water.
You smile in expectancy,
in a world all giving;
and if there is taking, that’s fair too,
as you draw your duvet of pleasurable
daydreams more snugly about you.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Alone and Loneliness

Here, I have become accustomed to silence,
and silence falling,
as darkness falls.

I have learned to fill it with my own voice,
answer my questions,
debate my answers.

And sometimes I talk to you,
answer as you would,
and, in silence, nod agreement.


I know a good poem. And the difficulty in breaking out of the chains of my own inability to achieve that poem (and this one ain't it either). I see how few poets do, and  I truly marvel at them.


This rectangle is my exercise yard.
Snow bare now,

all my poems start,
haul themselves across the space,

stumbling in chains,
dreaming freedom.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Country Child

       The Country Child.

The country child
runs in and out of rain showers
like rooms;

sees the snake-patterns in trains,
the sun's sword-play in the hedges
and the confetti in falling elder blossoms;

knows the humming in the telegraph poles
as the hedgerow's voice
when tar bubbles are ripe for bursting;

watches bees emerge from the caverns
at the centres of buttercups,
feels no end to a daisy chain,

feels no end to an afternoon;
walks on ice though it creaks;
sees fish among ripples and names them;

is conversant with berries
and hides behind thorns;
slips down leaves, behind stones;

fills his hands with the stream
and his hair with the smell of hay;
recognizes the chalkiness

of the weathered bones of sheep,
the humour in a rusted fence,
the feel of the white beards that hang there.

The country child
sees a mountain range where blue clouds
are heaped above the horizon,

sees a garden of diamonds
through a hole scraped
in the frost patterns of his bedroom window

and sees yet another world
when tints of cerise and ochre
streak the evening sky.

He knows no end, at night
he sneaks glimpses of Heaven
through the moth-eaten carpet of the sky. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018


The boat pulls away from the pier
while the houses are still sleeping.
I’m looking back at the empty windows
as though my leaving should mean something;

it doesn’t to them, but does to me.
I have fallen in love with this town, a fleeting affair;
being here has changed me,
and I know that mark is indelible.

The sky and the ocean are one; they are the vastness
into which I will throw this memory.
I will never be here again, so I allow myself watch, 
almost solemnly, as it flattens into my past.

Friday, March 9, 2018


Lime green, grass green,
beer brown, peat brown;

pink, blue and yellow flowers;
a profusion of June colours
circular like a mountain lake;
and shimmering over all
a milky way of  bog cotton.

I gazed at it for a long time
and couldn’t smile for week.

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Kiss

Brancusi's The Kiss

You and I

made our happiness whole

inside the circle of our arms

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Dust lifted into sunlight
is a vexed brain.

Our love was that way
before it settled.

Hard to imagine, now
that the house is empty.

Snow in my Garden

Snow. For the first time in years, there is a lot of it lying outside my window; I mean a lot. And, by all accounts, the main event is due later today: a blizzard on a scale we're not used to. For now though, I'm enjoying this lie in,  gazing out at the new world, pleased to see again our infrequent visitor from Siberia.

Snow in my Garden

The snow lies, bright and silent on my garden;
hedge, woodpile, upturned bucket reduced
to an undulant white suggestion of presence.
I stare, as though in an early stage of amnesia,
enthralled by this suspension of the familiar.

Suddenly a few flakes rise, meander into flight;
a few spiders climbing invisible threads, speckling the air;
then more, more and more till sight is thickly flecked;
zillions escaping into the amorphous sky,
and so it goes for hours, this muffled resurrection.

Till eventually the blades of grass, stiff as hedgehog spines,
are appearing through the thin cover of snow;
the grey air is clearing; and the last flakes are  lifting lazily
into haphazard flight; leaving the hedge, woodpile,
and upturned bucket exactly as before, but somehow, slightly baffled.