For the dverse prompt.


Against the sky
a bird trail etches
wing-beat runes
too high to read.

I can only
scrawl my words
and scratch their tunes
in notes that bleed

so dip my pen
in rose-red ink
sketch in bold
the tale wind told
among the reeds.


Rewilding the mundane days 10, 11 and 12

This is a poem inspired by the last three rewilding suggestions of Paul Brookes’ December challenge. You can see them on Paul’s blog here.

Sacred circles

Curled about her cubs,
every furred mother-sun
radiates love-warmth,

lake water gathers up in gentle hands,
broad wings, long necks, flecked and flocked
with bird-drift, gives them back to the sky,

worm tunnels clear through earth-mould,
the composted death of years past,
breathing air and life into the passage graves

of leaves, field maple, oak,
and the sifted bones and shells
of wild ossuaries.

All things curl, bow, bend,
the cycle re-cycled, reforming and recurring,
sun, moon, stars reflecting lifetimes.

This garden

The Oracle knows what’s on my mind.

This garden

This garden soothes like the breast of the sea,
like the shell of an egg in a wild bird’s nest,
like a pebble as pale as herons’ wings,
in the rippling shallows beneath the sun.
It soothes like the head of a long-lost dog,
laid on my lap, the look in his eyes
deep as the sea, soft as foam and feathers,
confused with those wisps of hurrying clouds.

Night warden

A poem for Paul Brookes’ challenge to re-wild the mundane and/or re-mundane the wild. Today we’re dealing with foxes (or toasters). If you’d like the join in, the details are here.
I’d like to add that most of the elements of this story are true.
Franz Marc provided the illustration.

Night warden

Where the kitchen stove glows
still warm, cats dream,
and mice dance with stray crumbs,
nudge loose-fitting lids,
chew holes in the mesh
of the food safe.

Padding soft, almost silent,
the fox in the attic descends
the cold stairs, grey-ghost,
in search of fat mice,

where cats stretch in sleep,
in the stove-glow,
their dreams full of tiny squeals.

The fox in the ditch

Like last week, the Oracle gave me this poem from the first few words (forgot to try mustache again). A car hit the fox yesterday evening. There are so few cars use this lane it must have been a neighbour, going too fast because the only thing you’re likely to meet is a hare, a pheasant or a fox.

The fox in the ditch

Between light and dark, the blue hour
of dusk, when all dogs are wolves,
and fox is just a shadow,
perhaps a bowing branch.

He ran on silent feet,
dashed proud red into the lane,
lies now in the ditch, where
flies settle on his death mask.

Wind scatters gold poplar coins,
tree-tribute to the dead,
a keening in the thinning branches
where jays cry.

Wind, a ship with westering sails
full, a treasure aboard. Later,
we hear a vixen scream,
the night gives small comfort.

Random poetry generator

Here is the word selection the Other Oracle sent today. My poem is below.

Woken by the men of violence

This morning rose armed and fierce,
scattering mist and birdsong.

This morning’s sun shone pale
through jagged birdflight of alarm,
golden leaves blown in snowflake drifts
by a gentle breeze.

This morning’s quiet filled
with the baying of dogs,
collecting bloody trophies,
and the crack of lead,
searing bone, flesh and feather.

This morning, beauty was sacrificed
once again on the altar of the heartless,
the crass and the cruel,

and I wish away the golden light,
wish for rain’s steel-pointed javelins,
and a veil of righteous anger.


Colleen reminded me of the Essence poetry form.


There were deer on the hill,
fled in fear, never still,

on the hill, till they heard,
not the rill, not a bird,

but the crack of a gun.
Looking back, through the sun,

saw a man, metal bright,
and they ran, feather-light,

in the green, left a glow
where they’d been, so I’d know.

Another fire

Another fire

Tide rose and rose all night,
the wind among the poplar leaves,
a swell of foam-hiss dark as dust,
and in the dawn the swollen roar
is unabated, wave on wave.

Not fallen leaves of compost brown,
nor sand churned in deep ochre pits,
gouged from some dead planet’s crust,
that choke this restless, turbid air,

but burning chaff and weary twig,
branch and feather, tiny ashy bones,
infernoed by this outrageous sun.

The end of something

The end of something

Waking is a dog-bite, rapid, unforgiving.
It leaves scars of the night,
snaps tight on dreams,
leaving only a scattering
of feathers.

You walked in distant places,
the dusk swilling around your walking shape,
your face a cloud.
This morning, a smile says more
than words.

We met a dog, hunter,
its approach hesitant, eyes evasive.
The sharp bark of command to return
was like an electric shock.

This season is sad as the death of trees,
of partings, getting older,
watching understanding dim.
We retreat into our shells
for comfort.

If, when this time passes,
we could walk without fear
that the sky may fall on our heads,
rivers may run again, and next year,
the roses.