Thank you to Vicen23 for use of the painting.

Digital Camera

The heather is always purple
On the mountains of the north,
The thunder rumbles darkly
Down the lonely valley sides.
The blackbird’s song is sweetest,
Where the river rolls majestic,
And splashed with golden ling
Are the green hills of home.

Morning by the lake

Poem inspired by the painting, this beautiful mild winter’s day, and mixed feelings about what next.


Sun rises behind the mountains.

Light streams

Casting a mist of gold dust

On still waters.

The air sings,

I lick my finger,

Hold it to the breeze.

Gold dust clings,

Coating my hand in glory.

I raise my face to the sky,

Eyes fill with the turquoise

Of a robin’s egg.

Feet tread the water’s edge,

Sinking in the silver sand

Where the dreams of ages lie,

Sifting their memories in the soft depths.

Light streams still

Over the purple peaks,

And gold dust and the robin’s song

Weave tresses of happiness.

Tepid on my bare feet,

Water washes back and forth

Whispering stories from the farther shore.

Will I dare to brave the beauty

And break the harmony,

Shatter the colours of the still, placid lake

With my frantic splashing?

The green grass grew all around

This is a poem I’m very pleased with. I don’t know whether it’s a good poem or an indifferent one, better or worse than any others I’ve written, but the sound of it gives me a little thrill of pleasure.

Here’s a bit of music to listen to while you’re reading it.

©Tony Alter
©Tony Alter

There once was a wood and a meadow, she said,
The woman who lives on the hill.
The sound of the birds was the only sound
And the green grass grew all around.
The wood went down to the river, she said,
Where kingcups covered the ground,
Where the heron stood in the sedge, she said,
And the green grass grew all around.
They’re gone, the birds from the meadow, she said
And the fox from his woodland hall.
They built houses over his earth, she said,
Where the green grass grew so tall.
But there’s a place I’ll show you, she said,
A place where nobody goes.
The old wharf’s forgot now the ships don’t come
And only the green grass grows.
Keep quiet your secret place, I said,
Keep it so nobody knows
That there’s still a place in this busy town
Where only the green grass grows.