Canary in a cage


At last the stormy weather ends
The gloomy grey gives way to summer sun
Cramped apartments pour their cargo into streets
Dappled with puddles now the rain is done.
Bright-shawled, gold-glittering with their oriental air
They halt beneath the cool of spreading trees
A caravan of children running through the grass
Their laughter flying in the ocean breeze.
Before they left they had a thoughtful geste
To hand the songbird’s cage beneath the sky
To let it take its share of summer light
And watch the carefree swallows swooping by.
The banal city street is filled with tears
Cascade of notes that falling sound so wrong
No Ariadne or Persephone could weep
With more tragedy than this bird’s simple song.

After the storm

© Guillaume Piolle / CC-BY-3.0
© Guillaume Piolle / CC-BY-3.0

All night long the thunder growled
And lightning split the sky from side to side
While we lay silent curled around our pain
And let our love ebb with the falling tide.
When dawn poured light across your sullen face
I saw the darkness of the clouds above
Pooled in the hollows of your empty eyes
That once were endless fathoms deep in love.
The storm-drenched trees still drip their load of rain
And the air fills with the song of morning birds
I try to make you listen to my heart
But salt tears fill my mouth instead of words.
The night has gone and with it all our dreams
This house, this bed is not where I belong
When the blank look in your eyes is all there is
No matter how sweet the blackbird sings his morning song.

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 lull before the summer

Summer is in the air. Not so much in the temperature, as it is still quite brisk in the early morning, but as the sun rises, the air warms and the earth begins to smell of summer.

In town, summer smells are not always the most enticing. Pools of human dejections of one kind or another are part of the scenery, and not every citizen has learned what rubbish bins are for. But away from the streets, the smell of damp earth getting hot predominates, mown grass and the scent of spring flowers.

Viola odorata by Fritz Geller-Grimm
Viola odorata by Fritz Geller-Grimm

The sounds I associate with spring, the song of the robin and the wagtail, have given way to the screeching of the swifts that finally arrived last week.

Chimney swift overhead by Jim McCulloch
Chimney swift overhead by Jim McCulloch

Trixie caught her second lizard of the season—must have been a pretty geriatric specimen since she isn’t the most agile of felines—which we were able to rescue before she damaged it too much.

Common lizard on boardwalk by Babelstone
Common lizard on boardwalk by Babelstone

This season is too short for me. Plants flower and fade too early and the season of baking heat is too long. I intend to profit from these next weeks of green growth, because by June the garden will look like a jungle.