End of summer painting

I thought the Oracle was going to give me a cadralor. What I have isn’t quite a cadralor, more a string of bright images to remember this summer by.

End of summer painting

If only I could make music,
make the note-words
that would drive away the sadness,
pigeons against a blue sky.
But water runs, the moon rises,
and still all I hear is silence.

How do you get under the skin of a rock?
The red of sunset clings like a stain,
though the sea washes over and over.
The colour fades in the moonlight
and sunlight, but the smell lingers
beneath the salt crust.

Summer through,
birds tongue symphonies.
I let my feet wander where they will
among the dry stuff and seeds
of spring flowering, listening to the wind
rattling leaves instead of rain.

Mist in the city
is never this diaphanous thing
that veils green and softens spikes and thorns,
coalesces into droplets that contain worlds.
It is creeping damp,
greasy shoddy stretched thin.

Beauty swims in this ocean of tepid air,
drifts on feathered wings, golden chaff.
Sunset tastes of honey
and the purple bells of heather.
It rings like the stars and the soft breathing
of sleeping companions.


Not yet

The Oracle gave me a cadralor this morning, but I’m posting this short poem instead, a sort of condensation, to use the dreaded ‘s’ word she always shoves at me, although it’s a pretty elliptical allusion.

Not yet

There are buds on the roses still to open
and birds still singing songs to hopeful nests.
The year squirms like a fat worm
among the leaf litter,
and a million hearts still beat
high as summer.

Earth music

The Oracle gave me this one from the first page of words. I have a feeling there will be more if I load the next page. There’s a sadness in the air this morning.

Earth music

This is all about her,
this music that never fades,
this sea-billowed white ship
that never sails out of sight,
the leaves, blossoms, branches,
blowing beneath a changing sky.

This mother would stop the madness,
dip the world in sweetness again,
but we close our ears with grubby hands
and race our bare dirt track,
senses soaked in illusions
and the smell of asphodel.

Remembering the wild

An odd coincidence, yesterday a friend and I were exchanging linguistic references, words to describe places and features derived from Old Norse. Ings is one of them, meaning a damp marshy place or low-lying field. The suffix ‘ing’ appeared twice on the first line of words today.
Just for the record, ‘sausage’ was on the third page. I suspect the Oracle is just winding me up.

Remembering the wild

The ings were marshy once,
water meadows and full of life,
mist, blue and green and singing.
I’ve watched them dry, drained and paved.
Cars park there now in their cold, dead space.

From my bed, I can watch the moon,
listen to her night music,
swooping low over silvered fields.
Moonlight like sunlight has its own smell,
the waxing and waning of the year.

More rain drills the dust
and plucks petals from the tired roses.
This dog end of summer hangs its head
accepting the beating of the wind,
lying down beneath the deluge.

When you were small, we walked in the forest
beneath trees taller than you had ever seen.
You clung to my hand, listening
to the wild rustlings, staring
into shadows where primal fears lurked.

Gulls scream, feet raking the foam,
raucous, rowdy, relishing the sinking pinks and reds of the day.
I spread my arms, the last sun gilds
skin unfledged in the feather-wind;
all birds in this dusk light.

I had a dream

Because my first Oracle-inspired poem was such an odd one, and because Kerfe’s poem was also a strange one in the same way, I went back, using the new word set this time. She gave me a cadralor, less enigmatic, and one of her favourite paintings (by Odilon Redon) to illustrate it.

I had a dream

I had a dream
blue lake violin music
drifting like mist
and in a pool your face smiling.

Salt clings to the skin
a memory of childhood oceans
sea caves echo
with a fading song.

Death waits
beneath every stone in the road
each step takes us closer.
Owls croon uncaring.

Spring shadows
were cool as moon eggs
summer hedges are red
with the flutter of departing chicks.

If I had a thousand lives
I would keep from each one
a single petal
and make one glorious flower.


I used the old magnets by mistake and got this from the first set of words. Not sure about it. I’ll try and consult the new set later today. And I got ‘sausage’ again. That’s never a good sign.


This day could be brilliant
as a diamond on a ring finger
languid as satin gowns
musk-heavy as roses

or it could be rain-shadow
the sour smell of rottenness
black as reefs in heavy seas.

You twist the bauble on your finger
as the first drops fall.


Once again, the Oracle shows that she sees and understands.


Heat lies still,
a basking dragon,
where dew once watered roots,
and claws scratch runnels
where rivers ran.

Heat sings
a dragon song,
brass and bronze,
as an ugly dream,

beneath a throbbing sky,
where blue
is an intangible shade
of steel,
sweating drifting feathers.


Photo ©Adrian Haverkamp Song Thrush eggs


Spring was eggs
pale blue and warm
smooth and round as moons

nestled in downy secret
shaded and dappled
with new leaves.

The dry earth has spawned pebbles
round and smooth as moons.
They lie baking in the dust

but nothing will burst
from this crust
no feathered fragility

as the only rose
is in this dawn sky
and the dust will never blossom
with no rain.

The wind and the rain

I loaded more words, saw ‘wind and rain’ and the rest followed. Thank you, Oracle.
Photo ©Cosmo 1978

The wind and the rain

The wind and the rain
murmur a refrain
to the song of the earth,
that death will follow birth,
as a tree fledges leaves,
so every mother grieves
for the loss of a dream,
the drying of a stream,
when the year turns to the dark,
the song will lose its lark.

Yet, listen, says the crow,
you can hear the next spring grow
in the cradle of the mother,
ours, there is no other,
where she breathes green shoots will follow,
every summer have its swallow,
from each egg, unfolding petal,
every creature show its metal,
with the turning of the sun,
until this world is done.