Gogyohka for summer morning

 

sun ripples

through flesh and bone

chasing memories of cold and damp

and the darkness

of a night of no moon

 

cool grass glistens

dew-full

and a chiff chaff

chiff-chaffs quietly

in the sleepy morning hedge

 

here

where the boundaries are green and leafy

and the stream runs lower as heat rises

we stand on the edge

of vertiginous summer

Gogyohka for summer heat

 

too hot to sing for some

so warblers fill the silence

dutifully

with a silver trickle

cool as stream water

 

cloudless

the sky

vibrating with the cries of fractious crows

not too hot to chase

the drifting buzzard

 

still

a pause

and golden as melting butter

life trills in the shade

sweet and low

These days

 

It should be enough the sun

the languid whistling of the birds

heat rising from baked earth and green shimmer

 

enough to rise with the heat

on birdwings lifting languid and serene in the sun

from green earth

 

they should be green with birdsong

these hot days dusty

with harvest motes floating golden birdwings

 

there should be joy after rain shafts

slanting steely cold

from lowering skies

 

when we listened to the rattle of hail

the splash of torrents

and a wind raging from the east

 

it should be enough the sun

the unconscious beauty of the warbler’s song

the ripple of heat breeze and leaf hiss

 

but these days it is not enough

to lift the heavy wings

the flutter leaden with rain

and all the little sorrows

sing soft and low.

Poem in Visual Verse

My poem, No justice is in Visual Verse today. You can read it here

or better still, start at the beginning of the issue and read all the entries so far. The title page is here.

The Grenfell Tower fire was a terrible tragedy, but you have to wonder if it would have happened if the residents had not been who they were. The BBC list of names and faces is revealing of the social makeup of the building.

Khadija Saye was a young talented artist, one of the 72 men, women and children who died because they were not wealthy enough for their safety to have been considered important.

Haiku sequence for the thunder moon

For Frank Tassone’s Thunder Moon challenge.

 

serene—riding

in unclouded silence—

thunder moon

 

summer speaks

silver and gold with thunder

in the moon’s voice

 

thunderstorms

nights rocked with rain lit day-bright

behind clouds—the moon

 

night storm

among the billows

the moon glows

 

look—not fireflies

about the moon not stars

lightning flickers

He remembers home

chimpanzee-congo-painting-1_orig

 

The hand that shapes the picture

holds a world in brush-stroked paint,

 

a glimpse of ghosted past, no future

in the black, the white, all swept away

 

so much debris in an ocean blue,

swallowed by the beast of distance,

 

and in the calm deeps of eyes,

so like yours and mine, despair.

 

He sees further, deeper far than we,

remembers things we never knew,

 

and in the mute, paint-laden brush,

a small life, sings its painted song

 

a life defined in an alien medium

by the unhealable pangs of loss.

Diamond days

The Oracle sent me anniversary wishes. Not the diamond one yet, but our wedding anniversary nonetheless. Happy us 🙂

 

This diamond day glitters with new sun

exploding in dew drops

to the chanting of the birds

dreams dreamed by moonlight

love in the rain

and songs in the shadows

swell like storms of joy

 

you whisper

come with me the ship is waiting

 

sailing through nights and days

(like Mad Max)

fast and blue with light and life

yet no rocks loom to rip and tear

only the majestic sun

that plays on moving water

with silver tongue.

When?

 

When will there not be anguish that curls

in restless coils in the deep dark of flesh,

never still, sleeping the sleep of cats?

 

When will the day just grow in its own time

at the pace of cloud and wind, not ticking

to the hollow rhythm of deadlines?

 

Sky spreads high blue, so dense it leaves

smears in the meadow; shadows beneath

the trees flicker with wings and fluttering songs.

 

No calm falls when the wind

blows, and the snake shifts,

and the clock ticks.

 

Only in sleep does it stop,

the nagging amorphous fear

of failure, unhappiness, disappointment;

 

only because we hope, is the edge always

just before our feet, the cliff yawning, and beneath,

the ocean pounding on grinning rocks.

 

 

Undecided gogyohka

 

hard to start a day

that seems to have already decided

it has ended

and the sky refusing

to put off night-grey

 

A day of dull light

cool wind

decisions hanging in the air

and the only voices

in my head

 

like an end of autumn

with wind skirmish

bemused birds silenced

listening for their cue

from the rain

 

silence fills the spaces

beneath the trees

and in the exposed homes

in the bare meadow

rain-washed

 

evening spreads red skirts

melancholy dances

in the lengthening shadows

where only the thrush

still sings