I love this place with its layers of song

and the traces of criss-crossing hoof and paw

bird voices calling taking it in turns

to send echoes racing.


I love it as I love Redon colours

the tragic beauty of a Marc

intangible elusive

brushed with fingertips never seized

always the onlooker.


We think we own because we have measured

signed papers handed over cash.


Wind blows.


Sunlight stretches leaves unfurl

blossom scatters in the wind.

A shower patters, ringing wild garlic bells.

The blackbird looks at me with bright eye,

tugs at a worm.


I watch the world whisk by

in the flash of a white scut.


Pity the censorious


Evil writhes in glistening coils in the

scaled and furred hoofed and clawed


glistens in luxury and concupiscence

the moistly slip-sliding of nakedness.


Women tempting with apples breasts moon-

buttocked laugh at the pure eyes averted.


The paintbrush probes scalpel-like beneath

the skin delighting in entrails devoured


and the charred flavour of flaming hair

a dab of the branding iron the flaying knife


all the devious instruments for prising out pain

you paint with delectation. Only a priest-painter


clothed in the hair shirt of purity and self-

inflicted pain an artist with an aura of sanctity


could weigh in the balance

and find so many wanting.


Pity the censorious for theirs is the arid desert

of ash the blood-soaked sand of Golgotha.

Could it be blue?


Could it be blue

the answer to the question this time

or a blow crushing the head

the tearing of hair

like rags of mist rising from the lake?


We tongue words

who when what

but life is no less purple-red

the sky still glows brazen bold and

you you you

beneath it still gaze at your feet

making shadows that scream at the light.



peer through distant rain to the sea where blue blows

longing to soar on sail-wings over diamond-spray

and curling wave water.


toss you a rose

urging asking willing

you to raise your face to the sun

to smell the wind full of salt and flowers.


Take my hand and we will go there

into the blue


Broken are the good

A visit to the Oracle which probably fits the GloPoWriMo theme of dreams too. The painting (naturally) is by Odilon Redon again.


Broken are the good

though they were flawless as marble

they sail now among the slow stars. I

s s s

see their yellow-prowed ships

in the meadow among the flowers.

Is life only because death?

Between dawn and dusk

what does the waking rhythm say

words music or the digging of dark holes?

Is is is

this their time then the leaving

with trails of memories in their wake

a phosphorescent stream?

I touch the pale echo of their passing

ing ing

caught in buttercup petals

and I hear in the golden bee-touched bowls

the fierce song of the universe.

Calculating worth

Colleen might not be back yet, but that’s not a reason to shirk. An etheree, because she likes us to keep counting syllables. Short enough maybe for the NaPoWriMo prompt too.


They say there is no value in grass or

ditches running with bright rain water;

the sun, the sky, the lark singing

cannot be owned. Yet at the

end, when the last dark falls,

the nightingale’s song,

sweet stream pouring,

will be worth

more than



Snatching a few minutes here and there, I haven’t worked out what the NaPoWriMo prompt wants, so I’ve attempted a translation of the Baudelaire given as an example.


Be still my sorrow; let your disquiet sleep.

You asked for eventide to fall, it’s here,

Enveloping this town in darkness deep,

Bringing peace to some, to others fear.


While the common mortal herd at leisure

Gathers regrets, picked from festive debris,

Driven on by the task master, pleasure,

We stay aloof, pain, come, give your hand to me.


On heaven’s balcony, see dead years drape

Their shabby antiquated crepe;

Regret rise from the ocean depths profound;


The dying sun asleep beneath an arch,

And like a long shroud trailing in the east, the sound

You hear, my love, is of the sweet night’s march.

Upon a poem

For the NaPoWriMo prompt.


When we write a thing

of joy or grief

a falling leaf

an absence beneath

the roof

the way the light plays

on still water and water rippling


or the slashed

cross-hatched rain

across the window again

when we write the words of you and me


the cat lying in the sun

an unknown whose life is done

when we write the song of birds

and lamentations near and far

they are


Lilies and…

For the NaPoWriMo prompt, with apologies to Shakespeare and thanks for the loan of Sonnet 94.


I’ll not compare you to an evening sky,

Shot full of rainbows melting with the light,

A shadow only in the mem’ry’s eye,

When all is swallowed by the hungry night.

High praises are not what your ego lacks,

Your self-opinion soars with eagle’s wings,

Oblivious to any flaws and cracks,

A drab it preens, and as the peacock sings.

To compare you thus is hardly fair to birds,

Birdsong is sweet to hear and full of grace,

Unlike the fatuous flow of hollow words

From that blowhole in the middle of your face.

Give me a simple posy and staunch deeds;

Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

We toss roses in the river

A poem using repetition for the NaPoWriMo prompt. A cascade.


We toss roses in the river,

Running to the sea,

And it leaves us both behind, you and me.


With its cargo of dead litter,

Scented sweet and tasting bitter,

We toss roses in the river.


Once we laughed like children,

Digging castles wild and free, we went

Running to the sea.


Time’s relentless, rolling river

Has love’s cargo to deliver,

But it leaves us both behind, you and me