Have you ever strayed from a dream into a fantasy, loved how the one merged into the other, the wonder, the unreality of all that depth of sky and stars close enough to touch?
Too beautiful a night to waste in sleep, I remember fondly my father’s arms around me as he pointed to Orion and the Plough and Cassiopea’s Chair.
Be silent, he said, and hear the song of eternity.
Fearful folk have cowered before the immensity of our ancestral pathways through the sky, but the truth is written there for all to see and know.
Night is when the vaults are opened.
We stood on the edge of the marsh and one of our voices said, “I wanted to be part of a flock today, - thank you.”
We huddle and skein and all our voices rise to the autumn skies.
And I know that I am home.
I should be cutting back
the sage, but look to wasps
and bees still sipping, drinking up
the last of summer's sweetness.
I can wait awhile, forgetful of
calendar dates on pages,
while the season lives out its fulness.
Summer waits on the shore, in bright waters and the green of subterranean weeds, while Autumn floats down to meet her on the first fallen leaf.
(a little haiku trail)
A single feather floats: an abandoned staysail catching the west wind.
A snatch of seaweed, a mermaid’s blood-red wishbone, touches, swims away.
Beneath the ripples, a blue eyed god lies waiting his time to be born.
A Wild Day On The Beach
Oh, I needed that! Just being on the beach with the sea in full fury, the noise and the hypnotic churn both telling me “Don’t think. Just sit. Shut up. Open up.”
That balance between attraction and fear. I really wanted to go stand in those waves, and I am not stupid enough to do so.
Always the sea washes through my soul, but when it’s wild it scours me clean.
Vision, through a window
Wildflowers – ok, call them weeds, - and a bistro table set, rusty shades of blue, tattered curtains hide whatever arguments inside are keeping me from being out there on the waves, the surf, the ocean, living out my dream, but people pass and maybe one or two, will understand how it feels, the having tried and failed...
…to ride beyond the sunset into a something beyond the windows,
reflections and salt-wrecked patios…
May we always have a steal-away space,
where light is dappled through limes and
and oak and ash,
May we always have a sacred place,
where ferns unfold,
May we always know where the wood
And may we keep our promise
Tonn a’ chladaich
The beach wave gentles along the rolling cliffs, settling souls stirred by crashing waters.
Dusky hued cliff clover, clambers along the edge, muting tumult.
Heugh daisies cushioning ladies, surviving on the wild edge of unstable land.
Thrifting, thriving, being wild in quiet ways, heads held high,
Sapphire and diamonds
are traditional promissary rings
but I don't need gemstones.
Weave me instead a coronet
of bluebell and stitchwort
and emerald leaves of oak.
I will wear a veil of Queen Anne's
lace and bear a spring of hawthorn
for a poesy.
We will walk the old drovers way
to the hidden stream, and there
yellow iris will bear witness
to our vows, and cups of butter
will drink our health, and water
lights will dance our dream.
The ferns will soften us to our rest,
and the stars will send their brightest
merriest jest, and we will sleep where
cattle breath once blessed the
The artwork is by Gertrude Abercromie & my thanks to Sue Burge's "Poetry Gym" for the prompt.
I can yield no more; all my inner ghosts drowned at Arwen’s Ford.
They’re always singing, always such a deafening, a wrangling, and a ringing.
Your clouds, are they Cirrus? Or cumulus tumbled and flown from wedlock?
Taffeta, glass, and truth gone by. I am enough of silver, all day blue, and defenders do not win.
Nothing worth the stating in this world, where newly murdered lie in the marram,
and greater sins offer the sun excuses from this newly smelted morning.
Contentment is a quiet sky, and greenery, and the water that flows along the field;
it is knowing where the grass grows at its most lush and how to rest easily to chew the cud.
Contentment is accepting the field with all its weeds, and finding our own way to the river’s edge.
She sits quietly and smiles, and
hides the constant pain she refuses
to talk about, but is there behind her eyes when she nods a silent yes.
She laughs about her penguin-waddle which means, something else is going oddly wrong, and that too is pushed aside
to speak of my week or my day on the marsh and how the rainbows rise and larks sing,
and geese come and go.
She would rather share how much she loves the way dew alights on grass on summer mornings. She would rather laugh through her memories of romance with the man still by her side, and let the candles dance where she can no longer.
She loves a lantern, sparkles, and living light. She loves green things.
She buys me elephants.
And lays fires in the room where I will sleep and watch the moon cross the sky.
I am all the red-gold colours, white-hearted with the heat of every love there ever was.
I welcome the rest of evening, the sinking into to the molten leaden sea at nightfall.
The clouds that veil my undressing soften and pull my shades, stretching evanescence, allowing me fingers, tendrils to paint a path across tide, and harvest fields in the sky, and spin mysteries that reach toward you on the shore.
Above the dark waters, above the fiery phoenix feathers, a simple gull flies towards morning.
You may find the promise of spring in hedgerows, snowdrops, crocus, in budding leaves and birdsong, but I know that winter’s tiring when first the beach bows to an arching sky and sea calls for discarded shoes and brave toes to be caressed by cold.
Talking about all the xenophobia in our destructive existence, reminds me of all that is still here, still to pray for, to be reprieved.
Where do we go in the dead of night; what lights shine in secret gardens?
Waking leaves green and soften the place where rain has fallen and candles are not lit and interloping paths are strange un-wild ways,
and the door is ever open to the darkness, the deepness of un-tamed dream-space.
Who are they now?
Who are they now, the Elders?
Where have they gone, the wise ones, who held all that was sacred?
How long is it since the pure-in-heart and ancient-in-wisdom, looked upon the path ahead and turned aside?
And will they return?
It is hard to live in the world of man, and yet
the oaks still stand
gnarled and twisted and bark-stripped and deep-grooved, and branch-shed, and leaning over the road,
and wounded and
Where are they now, the elders?
They wait in quiet lanes and by the woodland paths.
And you will know them by the silence of their beckoning.
What is wild, or life? Not only that which breathes, but stones and fallen leaves.
Is there anything more wild and free than sunlight?
And are we ever more arrested by the natural world, than when it makes us stop…
It lay there, still bloodied and gnawed. I foot-dragged shingle over it and tamped it down to feed the earth-living things
and hoped it would rot and disappear, but truth is it was too near the door, and I would tread upon its grave too often to rest easy.
I let it resurface and was surprised at the humanity in its paws, how hand-like they are holding that single pebble like a holy book, and the flowing nature of its gown, a rain-drenched shroud.
So what do I do now?
Don’t drape me with plastic, or flowers, nor tie me with ribbons and string, clothe me only warm sphagnum blankets, and birds stopping by to sing.
For pearls give me mushrooms that gleam, for diamonds string dewdrops on webs, cloak me in gossamer mists of a morning and crown me with a ruby at sunset.
What would you do?
If you were tiny, and your rapid heart, outraced the minute a thousand to one;
if you’d become a poster-boy for some strange cult, purely because of the colour of your skin;
If you woke too early and slept too late, and were harried to live the frozen months on scraps, and ice;
would you still climb the highest tree, and sing?
We are all sometimes Gull
We do what we need to do, not what others want of us, yet while we’re slamming down head-first after soggy bread on Christmas day, we don’t know just how beautiful are the wings that hold us.
Longest night steals in; trees spread their black fingers into the sky and across the waters.
Darkness does not fall, but waits for daylight shades to fade to grey and outlasts that flash of white,
while blackness oozes from the banks.
I do not wish my old life back nor the people from it
but how I miss…
the way they made me feel and how I feel the sadness of this new world.
A Wish Granted
I woke to a world of fairy-dust and glitter,
not true snow-fall, more
an end-of-Autumn shimmer,
Wet wood (close-up)
Translucence rises from logs and leaves, pearlescent, alabaster, sepia memories of the aging and the birthing, the quietude of autumn: woodland decaying into life.
If I should fall in Autumn, then let me lie where golden leaves will be my coverlet.
Let the gentle mists sing me to my rest, and early evenings welcome me to home.
Instead of swan-song let me hear the honk of returning geese and believe that I will fly
in a shimmer of golden wings rising into the morning Autumn sky.
We look to the stars for the alien life, which already lives beneath our feet, and writes to us, in hieroglyphs trying to find a way to speak,
while we look far beyond the place we live and do not yet understand.
The scarab first caught my eye, emerging crablike on the Cromer sands,
then the overflowing horn of plenty, its silver shimmering creator coiled
and dived leaving all the cryptic faces, goggled, helmeted, spaced out and
planned for me to wonder at, puzzle out to find the four-ribbed tube-breathing prototype of man.
We think of famous places, natural untainted spaces, or those magnificent castles and country piles of bricks, and gentry lives, but whose landmarks are those?
What relevance to your growth and being who you are becoming registers in that earth, or those walls?
Make your own marks on the land! Create your true points of reference, and raise the smallest statues to your beliefs.
Or plant – or maybe save – a tree, to shine golden in the evening against life’s stormy sky.
As we edge towards the darkening, lanes are lit by summer’s lingering. Fairy-sconces of toadflax torches, shine by the hacked-back hedges, while beyond the rusting gates, and long-forgotten fences, bright green fields stretch out their aching sinews, refreshed by autumn drenches, and then relax their greens into fading sage and brownish beige, as all summer colour fades away.
If I could only photograph one thing
I would sit and weep for being made to choose, between the paling of the sky at dawn, and the fading of the earth at dusk.
And in my tears I would find the answer, if I could only photograph one thing, I would choose “reflections”.
I would picture the distorted world, rounded in a raindrop, gilded in an office window, impressionist river paintings.
Low tide would gift me light, clouds and cliffs in the shimmers of the still-wet sands, and gulls upside-down.
In puddles I would find the autumn leaves, the wellington joy of children, and in the dark of the mountain tarn, I’d find the echo of miracles.
Tread not so softly
(After W.B. Yeats)
Though my dreams are scattered at your feet, run wildly on.
My hopes are as firm as the dunes where the marram grows, as the quicksilver of the evening seas;
they have all the fragility of the moon at dawn,
but fear not your treading across my heart, run free, run wildly on.
The Seeds of Memory
Soft ice cream and the pointless drive along country lanes, which you haven’t yet figured out is one of my favourite things, idle rides on roads to somewhere, or nowhere, just looking at the places in between.
The gentleness of cygnets on the river, in their end-of-summer grey, thunder clouds fallen down without rainfall, soft feathers on the water, and beyond the tree-lined bend: the skipping light.
Reed-streams below the surface, and why I wouldn’t swim where such fickle greenery lies waiting to entangle the unwary; ramshackle boats and one sleek beauty of polished wood that I held back from stroking.
Old flint walls and hidden park-land beyond its old-money rusting fences, tree-tunnels, and macho fools who jump from the stone bridge into the weir, impressing no-one.
Be still blood red heart of paper whispers, there is bee-work to be done.
Lonely seven-spot, forages in the shade of a ragwort sunburst
Hearts of burnished bronze, and silken fawn, held in the palm of lime green leaves.
Water on white campion
Flaming June is doused, and sopping, sobbing still.
Night-scents are wasted when moths cannot fly, wet-winged, grounded, hungry for the sweetness hidden in that pale blind eye.
Marsh Moment 22.6.22
Heat on the river path has me slowing to the pace of swans, languid and diving beneath the water, seeking shade; has me retreating to the few trees and the breath of leaves.
A swing has been strung on a branch, seemingly grown specifically horizontal for that purpose
and looking as though it has been there forever,
waiting for childhood to return.
I regret just walking on.
Orange Tip Settling
Impatience flutters, alights on the perfect bloom, folds wings, disappears.