Come the day

I know ‘Ireland’s Call’ gets a lot of flack for being an awful song, but I like it, and as a message for a united Ireland, starting on the sports’ field, written by a Derry man, it does the job. Ireland beat (battered) Scotland this morning, and the tune has been trotting in my head.


Come the day and come the hour,

Come the last days of September,

When the leaves are falling thick and fast

Tossed by rolling winds in from the ocean.

Come the storms, their black capes billow

And poplars bowing in the tempest,

When the night is full of the sky’s dark waves,

Hear the parched earth whisper to the raindrops.

Come the dawn and come the morning,

Come the longed for deluge pouring,

Dry tongues lap the rain wished for summer long,

And the earth turns slowly into autumn.


Haibun erased for autumn rain




In this house, the only sound is the click of the keyboard and the hum of the flames. Cats, dog doze, thoughts drift into the dark. Night presses on windows with heavy hands, and I see no stars; clouds, rain-swollen, spread across the sky. Tomorrow will be the same, green, damp light and sodden leaves. Autumn clings.

from water we came

we wade in autumn rain

stream fills with brown leaves


The sound of thoughts,

night with no stars,

the sky, the same green light—water.

We wade in brown leaves

In this falling time of the year

Taking a poetry break. A terzanelle, though it preferred iambic tetrametre to pentametre


In this falling time of the year,

With golden leaves and berries red,

The rain and fog is grey and drear.


Beneath my tread the brown and dead

Of leaf fall, nut husk, seed pod strewn

With golden leaves and berries red.


The house sits silent, grey stone hewn,

Amid a rolling dewy sea

Of leaf fall, nut husk, seed pod strewn.


Falling rain and flailing tree,

In autumn gales we’re cast adrift,

Amid a rolling, dewy sea.


The sky is wild, clouds fly as swift

As white-sailed ships that catch the tide—

In autumn gales we’re cast adrift.


The bare-branched trees, leaves scattered wide

Are wreathed in fog so grey and drear,

Yet white-sailed ships still catch the tide,

In this falling time of the year.

WIP update, a photo and a poem


Since mid-July I’ve been working on a complete rewrite of The Green Woman series, and a couple of weeks ago I finished it. It has grown by 100,000 words and is very different to the original in just about everything. The central idea is the same, but not the way it’s presented, and the characters, the tone and the story threads are all different. It’s gone from straight YA to an older readership that I would describe as crossover adult.

About ten days ago I started revising another manuscript that I like a lot but was far too short. It’s now finished, 13,000 words longer and just about passes muster for length. I have two other projects that are started, and I should choose one of those and get on with it, but I think I need a break first—too many characters and too many stories still squatting my brain.

The brilliant hot summer weather has just broken this afternoon. Not with the thunderbolts and torrential rain we were promised, but the persistent wind rose to violent gusts, bringing rain clouds. It rained for a half an hour, the wind dropped and the evening is dull and grey. Summer, I think has finally gone.


The change is coming, the turning of the year into the dark time. South wind blows blue and the sky is still full of summer, but the shaking of the trees is eerie. Not just the whispering, sea-hiss of the poplars but the ploying and raking of the oaks and the alders, green leaves silver-backed writhe in torment on twisting branches with the roar of the ocean. Soon, the wind will turn, bringing cloud and rain, and the leaves will give up the unequal fight. Are they leaves or birds that scud across the meadow?

Do the hinds count the young ones left of this year’s brood, mourn the lost and cover the survivors with panic-stricken care, or do they cast a cold eye on the changing sky, the flickering leaves and listen for the heavy human tread, the snuffle of dog in the bracken? With grace, they melt into the shadows where perhaps another day waits at the other side.

Year ends in rain

golden and crisp, feathered

as fleeing birds.

Peeling back the layers


Peeling back the layers of silence,

the silence of songbirds, grass-whispers,

and the rushy quiet of the poplars,

there is still silence.

Peeling back the layers of movement,

lizard dart, bird flash,

boughs swaying in time to the slow flap flap of the heron,

and the earth still turns.

I wonder, do I love this solitude,

the ever-changing scene beyond the window,

the summer-long crunch of dry grass beneath my feet,

the berried and bedecked autumn trees?

Walking, we start a hare.

I watch it lope away, unhurried,

while dog still snuffs the empty briar patch.

Sun washes the last haystacks,

and in the dappling of the dancing leaves,

I see the hare hop merrily across the stream.

Perhaps this is all that matters.

And that you will be home this evening

to watch the shadows creep across the meadow.

Tanka Tuesday: Autumn & Leaves

While Colleen is beavering away on her next novel, she has left the rest of us idlers a few ideas to chew over. Here’s my tanka for this week’s prompt.


They still cling, the leaves,

though the frost has bit, first bite,

hard, white and thick-furred.

This autumn, year-turning, is

our life turning into calm.