Robin poems

Where do robins go when summer’s here

and blackbirds fill the hedge with song?

Only when the wind strips bare the trees

and scatters gold upon the ground beneath,

when earth and sky are damp and dark

and the long winter night descends

do bare trees fruit again with feather-red

and robin hurls his sweet triumphant song

against the howling voice of arctic winds.

His fragile courage saving summer’s notes

reminds the cooling heart that spring will come again.




Wintry air

a haze of misty greys

filled with shooting stars

of blazing leaves

and the pure clear beauty

of the robin’s song.









The old man and the river



The old man sleeps rough

and stands for hours watching

the play of light and half-light

on the ripple-patterned water.

Banks of leaves of red and gold

drift crisp and dry against his shoes

as he stands to watch beneath the clouds

the ripples in the river.


Along the bank the squabbling gulls

dip and dive to snatch at bits of bread.

Their noisy brilliance sleek and white

hangs bright against the grey of rainy skies

a short-lived dance that curtseys to the wind

while the dimpling water ripples on and on.


Seasons change and chill winds blow

and sunlight’s pale as ice and glacier-cold.

Still he stands among the leaves

to watch the endless river pass

with wind-drawn patterns on its skin

and narrow shadows cast by drifting birds.


Above his head beyond the blue

in the silent darkness filled with stars

the great wheel turns and turns and turns,

rolling from sky to unseen sky

with rivers of comets in its wake.

He stands and watches time flow by

his feet the pivot of the universe.

She mourns the death of love



As morning glory creeps across the blasted tree

and bright flowers hide the ravages of rot,

as autumn vines drape cold tumbled stones

warming dead ruins with cascades of fire

and red poppies carpet the fields of muddy death

time will weave a heart of sorts

to replace the one I gave to you.


But though the passing weeks and months and years

will heal the wound and fill the empty space

with some sweet froth of trivia

that leaves no lingering taste upon the tongue

no pain, no deep-carved emotion in the gut

nothing will ever be the same again.


The world, my heart, the poppy-covered mud

all are changed utterly

and I mourn the stillbirth

of the beauty that could have been.