Tree wealth

I still haven’t surfaced from antiquity. If anyone is going to understand why, it’s the Oracle.

blue sky and blossom

Wind blows bare from pole to pole,
playing dark red, wine red, blood and poppy red
music with the bones of the trees,
and the moon sleeps in the sky,
rocked in a cradle of stars.

Time was we worshiped
the waxing and waning
of the tidal streams, the rising of milk,
sources and rushing watercourses,
the raw cutting shoots of spring.

We swim now in other seas,
where the sun shines relentlessly,
beauty is in the glitter of diamonds,
the wealth of bank vaults
and injections beneath the skin.

I watch the bud tips,
listen to the singing,
cling to these swaying branches,
good enough for white blossom
and the fluttering of blackbirds.


Sun sets in beauty

Inspired by the Ekphrastic prompt, Fin de la Jornada by Emilio Boggio.

Congratulations to Merril and Kerfe on having their poems selected for pulication!

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Sun sets in beauty, bursts colours of heaven,

Phoenix-intangible and oh so far away,


the golds and reds, jewels filling the clouds like

rain drops, blue, pink-tinged, colour of rose petals,


flame, scarlet, crimson, vermilion, burning up the

river with molten glory. The air sings with beauty,


birds, winged marvels, flock homeward lifting their

voices in praise of the changing sky, the sleep-time,


and workers walk, heads bent to the mud, dreaming of a day

of rest, dark churches candle-lit where shadows lie in wait,


and the mumbling sing-song of the priest promises eternal

rewards, the sinking, one day, back into the indifferent earth.

Spring swans

Photo©Bob Jones

Swans there were in the sky, a skein of nine,

silent and white as driven snow,

a perfect arrowhead, pacific and pure,

pulsed with hot blood and smooth-feathered muscle.

One accord binds them on the paths of the air,

above the slow-flowing river, bound to its bed,

one accord, wing tip to wing tip, slip-stream rowing,

strongest in front, breaking the way.

Bonds as sure as any fraternity, buoy their passage,

surging on pure white power and gentle compassion.

Crow’s feat


Sky is blue

above the placid river,


crow flaps,

searching the rushes

for quiet death.


Such a burden to carry

among sleek black plumes,

sheen of sun and river glitter,

and with every slow flap flap

the portents scatter

like ashes

in the eyes of the wary world.


Ages old, the dark eyes,

bright as jet beads,

have seen the grass grow where forests sprang

and run red with battlefield blood.

Crow tears a strip of carrion,

cleans the river bank of untidy death

and slips sleek as a seal

into the eternal blue sky.

Dark days are a-coming


Dark days are a-coming,

Say the geese on the wing,

The horse in the stall,

The tiny, scuttling things with small voices.

Dark night is falling and the stars are dim,

Say the sailors on the sea,

The seals on the isle,

The gulls on the cliff.

When will it end, we ask,

The people on the edge,

The old and the sick,

The small scurrying people with small voices.

Poets cannot read the future in their words,

Or cups of tea,

Or the flight of swallows,

Or the waddling walk of the magpie,

But the sunlight through the trees,

Moonlight on the lake,

The stars that shine through cloud and raindrops,

Weave their beauty into the world,

And we can say, Ah,

This is what should be,

In our millions of small voices.

Microfiction: Canary

Microfiction for the Daily Post prompt: flourish.

Photo ©massimilianogalardi



“Just hang the cage in the window, darlin’. You’ll see. A bit of sunshine an’ he’ll be singing his little heart out.”

She took the canary home, amazed that a bird would be content in such a small cage, but the bird man had said it wouldn’t need any more space. Her son-in-law fixed a hook for the cage in the kitchen window. It was always full of sun and people and cars going past. The bird would have plenty to look at, she thought. It seemed happy enough, hopping back and forth between the two perches, and it sang so prettily. She listened as she chopped up onions and carrots for the soup and tried to remember when the apartment had last felt so homely.

In the evening, when the sun had gone and the air was growing cooler, she brought the bird inside and closed the window. It wasn’t much to look at, with its drab greenish feathers. Not really yellow at all, she thought critically, and paid the silent bird no more notice.

For days the canary sang in the window, and she found the song brought back sunny memories, of when the children were small and she had been at the heart of a family. The wave had moved on, she thought. The children had their own lives now, and she was left washed up beyond the high tide line with the empty shells and driftwood. The bird sang its song and it was almost like hearing the prattle of children again.

She admired its tenacity. Such a fragile little thing, yet it produced a torrent of sound, unfailingly, all through the sunny day. In the evening when the street lights came on, she closed the shutters, and they shared their silence, she and the bird.

On the seventh day, the morning broke dull and drizzly. The bird was lying in the bottom of its cage, claws reaching skyward, curled like the narrow petals of a dried flower. It had sung its heart out, she thought, and for the first time felt a pang of guilt that she had ever pretended such beauty could flourish in a cage.


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Drink, said the muse

A poem for Margot, the queen of blackbirds, whose Easter eggs hatched over the weekend, inspired by the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt. This week’s words are:



Drink, said the muse and you will know,

Look for the flame-lettered sign on the wall.

I own I saw no great symbol there,

Or tasted honey in that cup at all.

Watch my lips, said the priest, and believe,

The test of your faith; you must take my word.

I own I saw only a puppet leer,

And the wind in the reeds was all I heard.

The blackbird sings when the spring buds burst,

He sings his heartsong in a voice so clear.

I own I see roses in the sweet notes falling,

And the scent of pure love in what I hear.

Drink of this potion and know the answers,

Blown in the breeze as it ruffles the sedge,

Caught in the dewdrops that spangle the roses,

In blackbird’s sweet voice as he sings in the hedge.