Coins and other sides

Coins and other sides

There are stories too sad to be told
to be sung by violins
shouted blue as a painted sky
and though we stir the bitter dregs
we find no sweetness.

Shadow is the other side of light
the dark juice that runs through the green trees
that outlines the softness of feathers
the silence behind the whispers
the sharp retorts.

Wind draws mist veils across the sun
and whips the storm clouds
driving ship-death upon the rocks
stripping golden leaves
and scattering the year across the mud

but there is always beauty
in water diamonds
bird music
the eternal light show of the universe.
Even when there is too much sadness to bear.

Warbler singing in the key of purple

The colour of this summer is purple,
of storm skies, bruised clouds
and the dark beneath forest boughs.

Only the brave sing
with their thin threads of voices,
gossamer drifting across an infinite emptiness.

Petals fall, torn untimely,
a sea of regret for the blue promise
of spring never fulfilled.

Less is not more;
there will never be enough flowers
in this meadow or birds in the hedge,

never enough light in the sky
to show the truth
to those whose gaze is a dark tunnel.

Music drifts brave and sweet,
a thin thread, tenuous, barely there at all,
but what does life offer more beautiful?

Sea roses forever

Sea roses forever

Sea purple or colour of roses as night falls,
picture the shadows salt-scented,
where summer swims in sweet water music.

Then the singing stops, becomes a pounding
in the head, and the whispering of imagined muses
is a blow beneath the belt.

I see the rocks beneath the satin surface
where old bitterness flows, the craggy
subterranean echoing with a distant cry.

I will arm myself with forests,
cloak my shoulders in diamond spray
and a thousand fallen stars.

I will not sleep
until the blue of serenity fills
the ocean-sky depths again.

Perhaps this was the message
in the wordless cry, not despair
but a call to arms, to run, to fly

and cast a soft shadow mantle
over the spreading stain of black and red,
sow the green of hope.

One day

One day, I hoped,
flowers would bloom through the frost,
the ice crack with joy on the frozen pond,
the salt-sad ocean fill with joy,

and on that day,
when it came, I filled
from toe to top
full of the light that pours
from the boundless fiery dark
of forever and ever.

I hear your voice,
your familiar tread,
see the light lent by the stars
in your eyes,

and suddenly that day,
that began so long ago,
begins all over again.

A wish

Beauty flows beneath
the skin of this world,
singing with the nightingale,
whispering like the sea.

The bitter-bare has flowered,
and in the trees, spring shines
through the wind.

Ask, and I will blow your dreams,
hatched from dragons’ eggs,
coursing with the sap of the moon,
into the mists of summer.

For it will come,
and love will light the cool shade
of the garden with heart music,
and forests will grow, sweet as honey,
into the open arms of the sky.

Dream, blue and running,
and may you never see the ship
that founders on the shore,
or the red rose fall in russet sighs
among the raindrops.



There are sharp angles in the air,
wind-blown spring debris, rain-spits,
the ghosts of melted ice somewhere north.

Slow stars stream like growing words,
and the vast book of the sky is already full.

We need never live, says the voice in the dark,
the universe throbs with poison and joy enough.

So, what is there in this broken blue,
what magic lingers like salt in a sea-soaked sail?

Perhaps if I blow away with this breeze, fly
with wings of grass and feathered petals into the night,
I will remember where they run,
those bright rivers of light,
and cup them in hopeful hands before they die.

Illuminated flower


Is it peace the sky breathes blue
with buzzard voice?
I listen to the falling words,
you you you.

Day makes one picture green with trees,
night another from cloud-smoke and moonlight,
and both are born from the same dance,
the vast winged and petalled night,
the soft-furred day.

The universe is made of salt and scent,
song and sorrow,
colour and the monochromes of twilight,
the hot red of blood,
ghost white of bone

and in our embrace the whole melts
and merges into a waking morning,
brilliant as stars,
enduring as hearts unconsumed by fire.

Morning song


The song springs like light on the sea,
driving away the purple shadows
of lingering dreams.

Dawn sings, pink-petalled,
in the winding ears of shells,
and the blood in my head
rings with forest birds.

I ask, what did the moon whisper
in the still of the night,
in the water-tongue of storm and stream?

Listen to the dew diamond-drop, she says,
into the bowl of the first rose of summer,
to the feather-soft falling
of the robin’s egg, new-hatched,
to the rain soothing the burning skin of the sky,

watch the answer grow
in the steps of the red goddess,
in the rising milk of the ewes,
the green juice of the trees.

And in this wind
that blows in the morning,
sails the moon and the stars
across the dark sea of night,
I hear.

Magnets repel as well as attract

Once again, I knocked on the Oracle’s door and read the first page in the book, and the words that jumped out were the words I never use. Before I concentrated on finding the poem, I noted down some of these unusable words, then the words that I could use, just out of curiosity.

Words that never inspire:
boy egg butt peach puppy lust sausage candy cake bug baby angel sex pie caramel

words that always inspire:
dream lie head play say run raw spring spray smear skin still want water sky drink voice

words rarely used:
men woman god goddess sister brother son concrete

I am drawn to the abstract and natural, and I am totally uninterested in food, divinities and heart-warming or just plain human relationships.

The painting is by Odilon Redon (again).



This broken sky pours its sadness
to sop and slop hollow earth,
its salt tears gnawing.

You ask, can wounds heal so deep, so far,
if we reach into the blue
and close the lips with a kiss,
listen to the words and remember the song?

We’ll dance, I say, let the breeze bring comfort,
fly over flower-grass spangled
with cast-off stars of old night,

open the window
to the stream of waking laughter,
and join the singing voices of eternity.