Blackberries’ end

Blackberries’ end

And when the blackberries are all gone,
the stalks bare, bearing only thorns,
where will I go?

This late summer’s afternoon I move, quiet, slow,
plucking the ripe berries, hearing the rustle
of wings, the quiet chatter of blackbirds,
the plaintive call of the greenfinches.

There is no anguish here, no distress;
the hand rises, arcs in grace like birdwings ,
reaching into dogwood, parting the hawthorn,
picking black berries from thorny canes.

So quiet and slow I move, in the alders,
following the stream, squirrels leap unaware
from branch to branch;
a deer drifts beneath the oak tree.

I breathe like birds breathe with no sound,
feet scarce crackle the dry grass.

But when the blackberries are all gone,
where will I go to find such peace, to join with the birds,
fluttering with my unfledged wings,

when the east wind blows cold,
and my hands are full instead
of the ephemeral gold of fallen leaves?


A day

A day spent with a baby
is a day to be treasured and remembered
with the light falling through leaves
the babble of the stream
the wealth in simple things
food and laughter
that fills the cup of happiness to overflowing.

So much gold in this world
that some will never find

the oriole sings it in yellow and black
and the small hand that grasps
plays unknowing
on the chords the stars plucked
to make this blue round
spin on the finger of the universe.

No darkness ever


Only on mornings like this

beneath skies like this

when the soft air surrounds me

in a velvet embrace

can I think of you without weeping,

no cool-scented night ever recapture


~the time we had~


was red and raw as bird music,

as sunlight in forest gloom,

rain-shine shimmering on lake skin.

Here and now on my tongue,

the words of never letting go

still mock the silence


~in this lonely place ~


peace falls

like water over stones, climbing,

a river of roses to the light,

no darkness can ever dim

the beauty of our world

that was.



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Haibun for a summer’s day


We took a picnic across the meadow, stepping carefully to avoid the cracked earth and the vole tunnels, to our picnic table beneath the big plum tree. We ate pan bagnat, plums sun-hot from the trees, and the first blackberries. We listened to a red kite screaming at a buzzard, the robins’ war cries, the soft plop when a ripe plum hit the grass. A hot breeze riffled through the leaves, and for a few moments, there was nothing else.


a moment of peace

wherever it falls.

Hare brains

Yesterday evening, just after supper, we watched a hare loping around the house just under the windows, not doing anything in particular, nibbling a bit here and there. For once, we thought to try and take a few photos, through rainy windows though so as not to frighten it away by opening them.

Later, walking Finbar before bedtime, the fox was there again by the boundary fence. All three of us were startled when a pair of barn owls swooped between us, screeching like banshees. Magic (again) !


The neighbour says they know,

they taste the air around the house

and sense a peaceful calm,

like birds that know the lazy cat, replete,

will not even stir a paw.

They come up close she says

when the house is still, the light is silent,

timid things that race away when danger strikes.

There’s something in the scent of meadow grass,

the scent of man-not-killer

around houses such as hers, as mine.

I watch the way she bends and parts the weeds,

not uprooting—they need their space too—

finger-skin cracked and black with ingrained earth,

how she listens to the song of every bird,

and in the slow, measured sweep of her hands

the bow of her back

through the crook of finger and the tilt of her head

she builds a place of safety




Peaceful night

I missed the oracle on Saturday, so caught up with her today.


Bitter dreamsScreen Shot 2017-07-10 at 18.54.51

in honey smeared,

a thousand times

you whisper peach-sweet words.

I watch the sun set in a purple sky

and soar above

the mad moon music that you sing.



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run like the river

through all the years.

Touch the stars,

hold them always—

listen to their voices.

Let night music lift your soul

into the sunlight.



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blue as the vast ocean

where sail the salty clouds.

Remember the star of peace

in a velvet sky

and eternity breathing life

into the almost morning.



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colour of dawn-rose cloud

and dusky blue,

murmurs through the trees,

a waterfall of peace.

Quiet, the dark river

on this long night of moonlight,

I wish would never end.




Microfiction #writephoto: Peace

This is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.


It’s true we were on a public footpath, not hacking our way through virgin forest, but still, the sculpture was unexpected. The woods were silent and we had walked along in silence, I, listening to the birds, the other two finding walking quite tiring enough without wasting their breath on chit chat. When the carved tree trunk appeared ahead, it was greeted with squeals of pleasure, a relief from plodding and an excuse to break the silence. I stopped on the edge of the glade as the other two took selfies with the carving out of a fairy story.

Shadows moved among the branches but the birds had fallen silent. The undergrowth swayed almost imperceptibly. Something was moving away. I shivered, suddenly cold.

“It’s so peaceful here,” Betty shrieked. “I could almost sleep here,” she said, lying down on the tree trunk.

“We could certainly have our lunch here,” Alexa chirped. “It must be about time to stop.”

Betty sat up and looked around, suddenly serious. She pulled a face. “I dunno. There’s something a bit…funny about this place.” She looked over the other shoulder. “Like there’s someone watching.”

The ghost of peace and quiet.

Alexa stopped rummaging in her bag. We all listened. Nothing. Silence.

A while bell of convolvulus peeped over the wooden pillow.

Was that there before?

Ants marched across the recumbent trunk, drawing rapid, squiggly lines, like scars twitching. Betty leapt to her feet and batted tiny invaders off her shorts.

Alexa snatched up her bag. “Maybe a proper picnic place would be better.”

Betty was already moving along the path, into the green gloom, away from the clearing. Alexa followed, her eyes on her legs, swatting at anything that looked like insect life.

By the foot of the bed, I noticed a ramp of mushrooms. Where the trunk rested in the earth, the wood was spongy and greenish. Another convolvulus flower bowed in the breeze and my foot caught in a bramble runner reaching out to embrace the couch. The sun had shifted and shadows fell across the carved bedplace, filling it with darkness. The white bell flowers glowed.

We’re leaving.

My feet made little sound on the earthy path. I looked back, saw the shadows shift again and sunlight fill the glade.

This is peace.

The flickering movement was birds flitting from tree to tree, and a jay squawked as it flashed in colourful flight through the sunbeams. I could hear the chattering song of finches. I wondered if it had ever stopped.



There is a place

This is a Skeltonic poem for the NaPoWriMo prompt.


There is a place,

a peaceful space,

where blackbirds run

in the sun

and river flows.

No one knows

where is goes,

the river slow,

when the stream,

silver gleam,

into the sea,

with blackbird glee,

rolls away.

I will stay,

watch starlings play,

if you will say,

you’ll sit with me,

forever keep me