A parting


Hard to think today

when the house is different, less,

and a far away city is a little more.

Hard to think of happiness

when the sky shakes with gun shots,

graceful deer bound across the meadow in fear,

and pigeons rustle uneasily high in the maples.

Hard to think of tomorrow and why.

Another step on the journey,

another fork in the road,

a parting of the ways,

and will tomorrow be any easier?

Sea, turquoise and fuchsia




rolls on drunken waves

from sky to sky

and calls down boiling storm clouds

to drown my tears

in rivers of rain.


Voices in the fog,

ghosts of you and me.

I can almost remember

what we used to say,

but not how it felt.


It was the last time that we spoke,

and the words bounced back and forth

never taking hold.

I wish I could take those words

and twist them into the shape

of a bird or a rose

and give them to you again.


Take a song and sing it soft

to calm a stormy sea,

spread your crow black wings and let

the wind blow you safe back to me.


Beyond the humdrum

and the dismal damp

of November light,

sinking into obscurity,

the turquoise and fuchsia

and the flame red

of summer evenings

still sing to conjure up the moon,

and we will walk there

hand in hand beneath the stars.

At the ending of this day

Sangbad reminded me I hadn’t written a villanelle in a long time. Probably because they’re difficult. I’m chuffed no end to have actually written one, so here it is.


We wander at the ending of this day,

The stony path that overlooks the sea,

Where grey gulls dip and skim across the bay,


We stand so close, to watch the sunlight play.

Above the waves that beat against the scree,

We wander at the ending of this day.


When twilight drains all day’s bright hues away,

Tomorrows’ hopes fade, with the daylight flee,

Where grey gulls dip and skim across the bay.


We toss white pebbles as the pious pray,

You ask for signs, I send a final plea,

We wander at the ending of this day.


The pebbles sink; you say you cannot stay,

The far horizon calls you to be free,

Where grey gulls dip and skim across the bay.


Your fixed gaze says there is no other way,

Already you are gone, that I can see,

Sundered at the ending of this day,

Where grey gulls dip and skim across the bay.

Fallen leaves make dapples


Fallen leaves make dapples

in the moonlight on the terrace,

and the silence falls as heavy

as a leaden Sunday downpour,

for in the nimble silver

of the moonlight in the garden,

there is sadness where the rose bloomed

and now only hookéd thorns shine,

and the dapples swarm like gravespots,

and the silence cracks in cloudbursts

of lead pearls, cold tears, quicksilvered.

On this day

I haven’t done this before, and it’s still hard, but this is a few words in remembrance of this day fourteen years ago when my mother died.


This day was dark

That saw me fly to my mother’s side,

To hold a hand that did not know mine.

So quick her bird flew,

So hard to find the thoughts among the tears.

She had already gone,

Retreated to the place of half-being,

One foot in the doorway,

One hand reaching out to those beyond.

In her steady heartbeat

I heard the whispered words,

All the words left unsaid,

That would never now be spoken.

Tears could not open those lips,

Loosen that garrulous tongue.

The clock ticked but time had fled.

Were you there, Dad, to take her hand

And lead her through to the other side?

Did you give her that lop-sided smile and ask,

‘What kept you?’

I like to think you were,

She could never find her way without you,


NaPoWriMo: In the violet depths of midnight

Yesterday I responded to four different twitter prompts with a four line rhyming stanza. This poem is the result of stringing them all together.


In the violet depths of midnight,

Beneath the dancing trees,

I am caught in a tangle of moonlight,

Enthralled by a magic breeze.

In a dream I hear you calling,

From a place I cannot see,

Beyond the dark horizon,

And the tossing, purple sea.

Though the garden’s full of roses,

Perfumed climbers full of grace,

I cannot part their curtain,

Their thorns obscure your face.

A mess of blossom frothing,

Where rose and jasmine weave,

With the scent of spring’s swift passing,

Hides the path you took to leave.

Eloquent silence

A triolet in response to the Secret Keeper’s word prompt. This week’s words:



Eloquent silence of your eyes,

Resolute drumming of my heart,

Sentiment out the window flies.

Eloquent silence of your eyes,

And all the love within me dies.

You don’t deny our lives should part,

Eloquent silence of your eyes,

Resolute drumming of my heart.

She walks through the empty morning

Painting by Van Gogh


In the cool of the morning,

I walk beneath the roses,

Light sifted pink and white,

Perfume dripping with the dew.

Birch tree drips with birdsong,

Falling in dapples about my feet.

I walk, and the mist parts,

Rising from the river into the blue air.

I walk, listening to the quiet rush

Of the tressed water,

Tangling and untangling,

On its way to the sea.

In the cool wind from the west, I walk,

Listen to the silence falling,

At my back the sun rises,

At my face the rising wind.

Wind from the sea in my face,

And instead of the honey of your lips,

I taste the salt,

Though I cannot tell,

Perhaps it is the taste of my tears.