Fierce summer

I wrote this gogyohka this morning and discovered that Paul Miltaru had posted a photograph to accompany it. Thank you, Paul for letting me borrow it.

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the wind blows hot and fierce

bringing only dry-leaf rain

to this parched land

fissures gape—listen

you can hear the earth gasp

Sloe magic

Yesterday I thought I might find a poem for Paul Milataru’s magical photograph. A sonnet of sorts.

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Quiet, except for the clamour in my head,

the chirruping of sharp-beaked nagging

that competes with oriole music.


Still, except for the restless waves of anxiety, mimicking

the gentle swaying of boughs, and the clouds that drift

at a relentless pace across the unforgiving sky.


Peace, except in the world beyond the hedge, in almost

every heart, and the weight pushes against these barriers

with the force of twisted nature.


How to fight the noise and listen to the music beneath,

to still the turbulent troubled air and let peace fall like

a sunset, a spring shower, a smile in the darkness?


When moonlight leads the way along the lane and the owls cry,

when sloes glow dark as midnight pearls, I see where secrets lie.



A second cascade poem inspired by this image by Paul Militaru ©

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Water pours and shakes its shaggy mane,

Green-tawny, streaming snowy foam,

Licking mossy rock and mossy root.


Water roars and snatches broken branch

To whip the rain to curds. Broken

Water pours and shakes its shaggy mane.


Wild cascade serpent-slides and falls

Over gemstone pebbles, cool black loam,

Green-tawny, streaming snowy foam.


Saliant, langued and armed of vert,

Ageless river beast devours,

Licks clean mossy rock and mossy root.

The green button man

This poem was inspired by Paul Militaru’s photo. I read in the comments that it is an abstract photo of Christmas tree lights. Not what it looked like to me.



The green button man was here again

In the darkness of the night,

He waits for a moment of weakness and then

He opens his green teeth to bite.

The green button man has the look of the lost,

Of those who have nowhere that’s home,

His touch is as cold and grim as the frost

That crisps the grass, freezes the loam.

Green lights that glow in the depths of the night,

Blue ink and blood thick as gel,

The button man comes with the hush of owl flight

To show you his vision of hell.

A sea of stars

We’re in the big build up to the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in 1918. This triolet came out as a small tribute, and was inspired by Paul Militaru’s lovely photo. Thank you, Paul for letting me borrow it.stars-on-water


The river rolls, an ocean full of stars,

A constellation tossed upon the waves,

A pebble tossed, the sky’s bright tribute mars.

The river rolls, an ocean full of stars,

Embroidered notes of ghostly brass fanfares,

A coverlet of light for unmarked graves.

The river rolls, an ocean full of stars,

A pebble tossed, the sky’s bright tribute mars.


The slow seep of autumn

Poetry production is going to be slower for a while as I’m using the prod of NaNoWriMo to get on with my new project. I sent off a manuscript I’d been polishing and finishing off on the 31st and have finally got back into my Twelfth Century story. It’s going to take a while to get back into the period and the characters.


Photo courtesy of ©Paul Miltaru


Beneath a sky

so full of changing cloud,

we walk,

through striped fields of green gold,

past hedges hung with hawthorn berries,

deepening to heavy wine red,

swollen with summer sugar.

We walk

while the sun lasts,

and winter is held at bay

by the energetic call of the woodpecker

and the slow seep

of last night’s dew.

A wish by starlight

A poem inspired by this haunting photograph by Paul Militaru. I had thought I would write something different. Maybe I still will.



When golden light’s full of the twitter

Of swallows in dancing air,

And the poplar trees sway in the glitter

Of starlight on meadowgrass where

The hare ventures out of the hedgerow,

Beneath the windy trees

And sniffs in the hazy moonglow

Scents on the southern breeze.

He runs through the willows by moonlight,

Along the rushy stream;

I send him a wish by starlight,

Keep out of the treacherous beam,

For more eyes than fox’s are spying

At the dark wood’s edge.

So keep from the moonbeams, lying

Hid in the kindly sedge,

Where the blundering hounds won’t find you,

In their early morning foray,

May the bold, bitter scent of feverfew

Guard your beauty another day.