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


I found these words jotted down at the beginning of a story file. No idea what they were doing there, but they read like a poem.

evening moon




river of night swelling

with starfish unnetted

silver world-flood



Photo ©Paul Militaru

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.