We never see beneath the skin of things,

the struggle to grow and reach the sun,
to spread roots and drink from deep fountains.

We skim, damsel-fly, but with less grace and beauty,
bat-blind but with no radar to guide;
our world turns to a rhythm, sound and vision off.

Root tangle


What lies beneath the root tangle?

Where loam deepens and thickens to rock
and the cracks let in water and let out fire

the heart lies wrapped in silence
shrunk away from the leprous skin
breathing hope into the roots of stitchwort and speedwell.



Glaucus, where are you?

As the world fills with lapping water ditch-bright
beneath heavy skies sodden Crimean bandage grey

no rocking-waved tides curl back on these fields
no mussel-bound rocks emerge refuges for the shipwrecked
rain drowns the shouting earth mouths.

The right way up

Which way is up?

They tell us to aim high to look at the stars
even when our feet are rooted to the ground

but the sky is for birds and clouds and dreaming things
tree branches catch their wisps and they fall leaves and acorns
and I am content to dig this the earth watch them grow.

Empty space


The day seems empty;

in the space between field and cloud
no sunbeams, motes or any kind of wings stir.

Earth withholds its breath, drizzle seeps
from cloud-leak, waiting, ear straining, for the
rumble waves of motion to carry you home.