Another element


Many fingered like the sea

a heaving mass beneath the coping of the sky

sopping up the clarity with spongy paws


it wrings sweat from the veiled air

puddled in vague yellow unclear green

dripping dry and crisp beneath the tread


this heat slows the workings of the world

like syrup in the wheels and cogs

silencing even the irritable crows.

Heat rises

evening june

Heat rises from baked earth,

sighs in whisper of thistledown and butterfly wings,

bathes in gold the green beneath

more and more relentless blue,

seeps in the sweet, ripe smell of bird-pecked figs.

Leaves flutter,

flickering the shadowed sunlight where

a blackbird sings softly, a trio of notes,

listening in vain

for stream babble

to finish the line.

Last of August

The temperatures have been steady 95-96°F for weeks now and not a drop of rain. We’re hoping it will break tonight though we’ve missed out on all the storms recently.


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summer clings


to this crisp-leafed


dry-streamed world


South scything

no birds sing

to comfort the silent shrinking of the earth

mounds of dry grass

snake nurseries



Bridge over troubled nights

The Oracle gave me a double puente, which the French would call a viaduct.


Heat crushes me,

hot winds lick my skin with coarse tongue,

ripping splinters from a rainless sky,

water, dust-dry

as thirsty mouths

waiting for a summer storm


~with you~


there was a time when clouds drifted,

cool and wet from the salt ocean,

heavy with the moist perfume of sea stars

and the liquid darkness of the night sky.

Now heat melts,

so catch your ship and sail away but


~remember this picture~


breathe in colour

as the animals do,

dark and gentle,

let it grow this earth, this life,

as the vine climbs

to the moon.


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Third day of over 105°F and possibly hotter tomorrow. I reckon that’s what’s been wrong with the internet connection—it’s melted.

This evening I disturbed a very large green whip snake keeping cool beneath the origano I needed for supper. They’re not venomous but they bite and it didn’t go very far. Just behind the honeysuckle. It had a dish of water when I watered the froglets this evening.


Evenings of hot breeze, fluttering

wilted leaves,

watering froglets and their parched hiding places,

filling basins with well water

for birds and dragonflies,

pheasant crashing through trees

to reach the pitiful water-trickle

of the stream.

Nights still as withheld breath,

full of melting stars,

dripping into

mornings of no dew

and the birds silenced soon after cockcrow.

Midday stretches

boundless as a desert,

cracked and singed,

burned brown,

and the orange sun squeezes us dry

in its fiery fist.






so bright

I hide my eyes,

but still the hand of heat lies heavy on my head.

Throbbing darkly like the sun,

shadows bob in and out of sight.

Flowers, an unexpected joy,

frazzle in their coloured crowns and gowns,

thirsty even after storm rain torrents.

Walking these hard pavements

is like walking the floor of Hell,

and the brazen coping of its roof

is falling in molten drops

on this dry, whispering world.