Singing to the wind

When Damien asked me if I’d like to contribute a ghostly poem or two to his Halloween podcast, I wasn’t up to writing anything new, especially nothing unsettling. Now that life is limping along again, the creepy, ghostly stuff seems easier to write. This one can be for the earthweal prompt.

Singing to the wind

I sing my songs in the winter wind,
I sing them for the plucked and skinned;
bless them Father, for they have sinned.

My sins are pale and holy songs
that sweep away all rights, all wrongs
and leave the rest where it belongs.

In dark of moon and dark of night,
I sing the songs of holy light,
and pluck the stars that died of fright.

Come, watch me pull the moon around,
in her empty belly, no saviour’s found,
this year will die without a sound.

Waiting for the moon

Waiting for the moon

I’ll stand and wait for moonrise,
the rising of the light,
the silvering of meadows,
the darkening of night,
to hear the owl song echoing
among the spindle trees,
to hear the owl song echoing,
his soft voice in the breeze.

When veils of rain have fallen
into the arms of night,
I’ll stand and wait for moonrise,
the growing of the light
and listen for the owl’s song
among the darkling trees,
among the silver branches,
stirred by a silver breeze.

And will you wait here with me
while silver laps the hedge,
a tide of misty moonlight
is a sea where feathers fledge?
Our fingers joined like heartbeats,
the beating of pale wings
plays in silver fluting moonlight
such songs as the night bird sings.

The child priestess questions the night


The child priestess questions the night

Moon am I
for the light in my veins
chills cold as Atlantic swell
carrying ice floes
to dance around the Pole.

Light swells
cold as moon
and round and round
(not I with awkward frozen feet)
where the Pole stands
beneath this winter sky.

Am I Moon then
in pale reflection
murmuring to stars
where they dance on still water?

Pigeon shuffles on her dark branch
and in the rattling of her feathers
I hear soothing mother-words
that say
go home and sleep
as children do.



a day to honour the night
beacon in the darkness and emptiness of space
that outshines stars, showers silver,
sows furrowed fields with pale light,
sails cloudy seas, rocking at crescent.

All this day of wind and mud and cold rain,
I have looked for the shadow behind
the monochrome skeletons of sky trees
and its lining of pure light.

I have peered through shafts of rain
searched tree boughs where pigeons perch
waiting for the storm to pass and seen
beyond the ridge of the night
the flash of steel and heard the clash of arms

of Tuesday.

Haiku sequence for the Sturgeon moon

For Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge. Lots of moons.


in the shallows

of the sky clouds shoal

a beam of silver


in the half-light

between bright day and dark night

moon rises


caught in waving

tree fronds framing a sky pool

the moon


in a silver pool

of tree-kelp swims the moon

as sturgeon fish

Moon light

For Frank Tassone’s weekly haikai challenge, three gogyohka on the theme of the cold moon. The painting is by Marianne von Werefkin. Her moon is a sun.


in this cold sky

of dark night stretching

from the receding shores

of dawn and dusk

the moon lights


how can we say the moon is cold

when stone cracks and dead things lie

when we know our own hearts?

In this wintry world of night

moonlight is the only warmth


cold the sky

cold the earth

cold the stones

where hearts should lie

not the moonlight’s silvery touch

Gogyohka for light rain


wind in the poplars

hisses sea-whispers

and booms over the hills

with the bellowing notes

of the organ of the deeps


rain on the meadow

falls a flurry of steely grey

tossed by the wind

moving on

leaves crystal drops on window panes


moon tossed

from cloud to herringbone cloud

the ocean sky swims

with shoals of light

halos of rain-promise

Haibun for a footprint


An achievement worth celebrating, that giant step, the impossible dream realised. Yet closer to my heart is that first step on the trail of tears, the bamboo raft setting out across the world ocean of a flat earth, the hundred mile walk across a desert carrying a sick child, cattle trucks rattling to foul death, all journeys of a lifetime, a death, an inspiration.


in undisturbed dust

reminding us that where we tread

a trace remains—

tread softly.