Sunday, 21 July 2019

Friday, 19 July 2019


Take this day

Take it, though, for what it is,
not for its promises.

March dawn deceives, hinting at summer
while concealing frost in leaves

unfolding to the sun’s red eye,
a gift of light that, lacking heat

to thaw those entrails
broken by the fist of winter,

screws tight the morning eye
to tears of little joy.

This is the morning:
smoke from valley houses risen

spreading under an inversion,
grey paint colouring the land;

chuckle of hens
bantering of eggs and grains,

their menfolk trumpeting of wives
and territories gained;

the village dogs’ soft keening
of desertion and abandonment.

Closer to home a magnolia blooms
maroon, to pink, to white, to earth,

petals falling in a scything wind
that rises to dispel the smoke,

that chills down the receiving ground
and blows the flowers’ corpses;

earth, once having given birth,
welcoming beauty back to earth.

And so the day continues,
rituals of food and resting

interspersed with joys and griefs
until the shadows lengthen, deepen,

then, as evening comes,
the silence lighting a first star.

A day like any other, nearly done.
But take it if it pleases,

it is yours,
for I no longer need it.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Waddenzee storm

once on a time

I invented a girl
to stand beside me
at the top of a hill

and watch with me
as a shadow moon
eclipsed the sun

she took my hand
as twilight raced
across the fields

and held me
through the deepening
of blue to indigo

we heard without fear
the silence of birds

and saw without terror
the ring of white fire
engulfing the earth

but afterwards
as the creeping light
began to return

she started to fade
until I saw right through her
and all that was left

was daylight

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Sunday special

Images from Budapest (part 1)
(click on image to enlarge)





two gentlemen of Budapest

smile please

Saturday, 13 July 2019


dark city

let us walk in the ways of dreams
down streets the dawn displaces
sightless in the shelter of buildings
escaping what they had become
once light rose to inundate them

hear them now in the gathering dusk
whispering those stories
only night in city streets allows
rehearsing the scent of women
parading dreams to dissolution
down rank alleys alongside men
become recurring nightmares

this they will tell you and more
so walk with me now
among the darkened buildings
in the ways of their night

step with me at the end of a working day
from a Museum Street door
onto Bloomsbury pavements
peopled with shades
from another world and time
going about business long forgotten

walk on aimless to Fitzrovia
Marylebone then a shadow land
you know you know but cannot tell how
where a temple rises on a hill
above the rattling city
a climb we know that we must make
for the sake of our redemption

wait then back against Baker Street arches
for the train you know will never come
to a place you cannot recall
rails humming to wheels
of carriages carrying others home
while leaving you behind
chained in a dark city
committed to unending movement

then walk with me the rails instead
arriving at a desert urban plain
in which a station stands
ready to take us in
to hold us in its waiting room
but not let go

and as the night winds down
pace on to rhythms of the runner
drumming down Thames banks
from Hampton palace on to Kew
to Putney Chelsea Piccadilly
back to streets we think we know
to watch till daylight
drowns the buildings’ voices
and we wake

Thursday, 11 July 2019



City canyon
at the end of a dry season
where only people flow,
an arid river eddying
in and out of shops,
grounding in cafes,
summer’s detritus all adrift.
But now anticipation
of a forecast storm
has left it almost bare,
cracked stone and fractured tarmac
waiting breathless
for the rain to fall.

And soon it will begin.

First a single raindrop
sliding down to crater dust.
Then in sudden wind
a darting shoal coagulating,
silver flash in pewter light
slicking along the street,
salting tarmac
rainbowed in discarded oil.
Then the full flood,
a steady pelting
loosening the city’s grip on days,
turning drains to mouths
regurgitating effluent.

And on the road
see all the cracks creak open,
mud re-emerging after sleep,
an old tide on the rise again
to silt the canyon with a loam
where seeds will root
and grass will grow once more

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

buoys club


a craft I never mastered
not for want
of looking at myself
(I did that endlessly)
but rather
that I found
at length
there was
  at all
    to see

Tuesday, 9 July 2019


still life

a silence hard to imagine

in morning frost
under the orchard canopy
a hind and faun
caught out of place
legs a dawn thicket
light blaring through
heads held high to life
over crystalline grass
rimmed by sunlight

their breath
the only movement

a fragment
from some other world
adrift for a minute in ours
then all at once clouded
by rising mist
and gone again

a comma
in a story
we can never tell

Monday, 8 July 2019



it is
no longer
to die

to die

what was
a lurking


on the hook
at the end
of the line

Sunday, 7 July 2019