Lake water

The dverse prompt is to write an ekphrastic poem based on a painting by Fay Collins. I have chosen this one Grasses at Ennerdale.

Lake water

There’s peace in the grasses, deep rooted in shallows
that mirror the sky and the roof of the world,
where water and meadow meet at the wild fallow’s
edge, green tossed with yellow with clover pink curled.

I sit with the light, among shed plumes and plundered,
as hues metamorphose from dove-grey to red,
as mists fill the sky with clouds billowed and thundered,
clear lake water washes our sorrows all fled.

Best wishes

Tis the season, so here’s a festive decoration from outside the barn door

couronne de noël

and one from inside the barn door in the kitchen


Kitchen barn door

House hunkers down. The folk that pad and trot around its walls the night have gone. Only the birds, ever-hungry, ever-cheerful chatter, fluttering from tree to tree and into the porch after seed and other necessities. A deer family ambles through the willows by the stream. Dawn sun streams gold, a glimpse of heaven before its flow slows and ceases. Cloud thickens.

days slip deeper
into the heart of the cold
east wind sighs winter

Life flies

I have two daughters in Italy at the moment, one in Milan, the other in Naples. The one in Naples will be back soon, the other will be back for Christmas, but perhaps not to stay. I haven’t felt so happy in ages.

Fifi's Alps

if you take your eyes off it,
just for a moment,
takes wing, flies, like nestlings,
leaves on jet plane or some other form of locomotion,
soars unaided,
taking memories of the closeness,
the warm breath of home,
arms enfolding, hands holding,
and suddenly, a shared part of the world
is a shade cooler, a place in the nest
half-empty, where it once throbbed with young

Danu’s children pass


Air too grey

between ditch and tree bough,

gone the sun.

We hear the rushing tide,

the dark night roaring that swallows the stars

and we shut our ears to winter’s song.


Through rain and streamwater

Danu’s children watch

with cold misty blue eyes

a summer world

of kestrels’ wings.


The world shrinks,

colour of water,

blossom chased into the past

like empty husks in the icy steppes.


I close my eyes, my ears, the shutters tight,

that the lilting wind melody

lull to sleep

the children of the mist,

and, their laughter ending,

the tide turn its ebb into the dark

to flow bright with summer kestrels’ wings

for we who cower beneath mortal skies.

Rain music and moon songs

I don’t usually bother the Oracle in the week, but thoughts were getting grim and gloomy and something prompted me to see if she had anything to offer me. I’m glad I asked.


Honey-shadowed forest—

did you see its water beauty

winding in its bed towards the sea?

Beneath a  misty sky,

blue dream ships sail

with rain music in their wings.

One day, I will follow,

singing sun and moon songs.


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One voice in the wind

I am tired of writing the same words,

feeling the same pain,

stifling the same tears,

hands raised to my face,

in a gesture of despair,

again and again.

Who am I?

What does my sorrow matter?

Not a jot in the sands of time,

the starred and clouded sky,

in your fossilised hearts.

But grains of sand make mountains,

the sky our rocking cradle,

and your hearts will shatter

beneath the great hammer of history,

if enough stars and grains of sand

join to form the hands

to wield it,

and one day,

they will.

Two years

Words shoot across the wind like lovers’ darts,

so many left to say, unsaid,

while in the sky the stars look down on empty worlds

and listen to the echo of a song.

This turning planet once was blue,

turning grey as ashes fall;

there is nothing we can do,

and nothing will ever be the same again.

Listen for the rhythm in the air,

the beating wings of ghostly swans,

carrying the soul of music to the stars

and dance.