Yesterday was infernally hot, and not too far away in the pine forests of the Gironde, it was an inferno. The inferno continues, and cooler is only relative to unbearable. The warblers are singing again and the wood pigeons are cooing their soothing verses, but there is still no rain.
There will be violent storms this evening, but bringing only thunder and lightning and high winds. The red heat alert has moved to wildfire alert, the lightning of a rainless storm could start a conflagration anywhere in these tinderdry lands.
I’m tired of hearing silence, the climate disaster nowhere on the political agenda. The cost of living ie the cost of petrol, is so much more important than the reality of dying.
Our world is burning, our home, but we cheer on the Tour de France and argue about pronouns and the weight of the average school satchel.
I’m tired of hearing only the crackling of the flames.

Why do birds sing
when the sky reflects only the anger
of the parched earth
shrunken and cracked yawning wounds
and the crisp brown of tinder?

Why do the wood pigeons
persist in feeding their chicks
among the fringed leaves of the mimosa tree
when the sun is a demon
and the stream has run dry?

Being only human, I have no answer,
know nothing of giving so much
and expecting nothing in return.
I know only how to take,
to start the fires.



I saw the dverse prompt last night, to write a poem about one of the corvid family. Then this morning, I heard the news of yet another avoidable, senseless massacre in the US and I have no words for the moral bankrupcy of the/a people who call the murder of small children freedom.


Crows jays jackdaws
steal unattended eggs chicks
mob predators
soar glide chatter
protect entertain
plant oak trees
decorate cornfields.

Crows etc do only what needs doing
live their lives peaceably
clean up carrion
spread woodland

yet we call them pests
begrudge them a handful of grain
a few acorns
hate the way they warn others
that hunters are around
and we shoot them.

But then we shoot our own children too.



Paris, November 13 2015

Never forget, never forgive.


In the darkness anyone may strike a light

and say, follow me.


Beware the mutterers and mumblers,

the blackrobes and greybeards with all the answers


for one answer is a life of misery,

another is the gun.


Follow only the love of all life on earth, not the gods

of death; their candle bearers are charlatans,


their light leads only to the abyss.

Never-ending story


I am tired of this cold and this death

time after time the retort

echoing until it is caught

by another and another endlessly circling

buzzards above a blue and green field

Earth suffers shrinks

calling wild things back into the darkness

because this world of light is denied them

trees die charred sticks and we

eat and eat and eat until we are sick

I am tired of hearing and seeing brutish stupidity

hearing the calculating weasel words

of those who could make the change `

set the blue ball spinning in clear waters


each needless death

our own children screaming

bringing us closer to the ignominious end.

In the balance


Will we see the balance tip one morning of no sun?

Or will it come a night of no stars?


Will we hear the silence of no birds

in the flowerless fields of no bees?


Will we tell these children the magic is all dead,

the warm sun, soft rain, elephants and polar bears all gone,

beauty squandered, wasted leaving none for them?


Will we even dare?


Or will we stick more glitter on our eyes

drink more lies from the fountain of no truth

and set out feet upon the path of no return?

A parting


Hard to think today

when the house is different, less,

and a far away city is a little more.

Hard to think of happiness

when the sky shakes with gun shots,

graceful deer bound across the meadow in fear,

and pigeons rustle uneasily high in the maples.

Hard to think of tomorrow and why.

Another step on the journey,

another fork in the road,

a parting of the ways,

and will tomorrow be any easier?


Today’s Daily Inklings prompt is ‘falsely accused’.


Anger used to be silent,

dark-faced and sullen,

not a roaring fire,

just smoke from an unknown source.

I know now it was hurt,

hurt too deep to be spoken,

too deep to be heard,

explained, cajoled away.

Mute accusations burrowed beneath the skin.

How can you fight silence?


Anger flares rarely now and when it does,

it lights the sky with Latin histrionics.

Things get broken and doors slam.

Do you remember the old times

when we were feeling our way in the dark?

When there seemed to be so much to forgive?

Best not.

Let it go.

Embrace the flames.



#Three line tales: The beach

This short story is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash


The unexpectedly early summer sun had brought scores down to the beach: surfers, swimmers, sunbathers; and the jet ski rental, the shark fishing trips and the beach restaurants were all open and doing a roaring trade.

Beneath the turquoise water, the sea life was dying: pollution from the hotels and restaurants; noise and turbulence from the jet skis; and the massacre of the sharks and other big fish was destroying the fragile eco-system.

They were having too much fun to notice the wave rolling in and gaining in power and height as it approached the shore, the wave that had risen from the depths of the ocean, taken its strength from the anger of the ocean—the killer wave.


The poem, with a beaty rappy type of rhythm is called Medea, but it could be about any number of notorious women throughout history who were lied to, cheated on and dumped by the hero of the story.


I have to say,

there’s no way

I would stay

with a dude like you,

a dude who

won’t apologise,

weaves tissues of lies,

pretends to be surprised,

when I tell him he’s despised.

What kind of a reception

did you think your deception

would get from me—

floods of tears, maybe?

Such a little word,

that I’ve never heard

leave your lips.

Like spitting pips,

you scowl, not even then,

not even when

I say I’m going,

my storm light glowing,

can you spit it out clean,

that word that would mean

you truly care.

Don’t dare,

don’t frown,

make me chase it down,

like some kind of quarry,

that little word—sorry.

Red anger cools

Thinking of the rhythm of a bodhrán brought this poem.

Photo©Steve Jurvetson


Red anger cools in morning mist,

while doves coo in the waking trees,

slow green and thick the river runs

beneath the bridge that’s stood so long,

it knows each lover’s parting words.

Listen, wind and water to

the mutterings beneath the breath,

beneath the lashes, look and tell me

what is left when all is gone.

Doves stretch and curl their wings about

their only love, most precious gift,

while we who strive to touch the stars,

trip and stumble in the night,

the heart that beats to lead the way,

doused in the dark flood of desires.

No cooing words to soothe the pain,

no winged barque will come for us

and sail into a sunset sky.

Though anger cools, it drips and sets

in livid white like candle wax,

long, greasy scars of cold regrets.