On the petal’s lip a raindrop trembles,
Swirling with shreds of cloud enclosing,
And morning light hides behind drawn veils of mist.
A rainwater runnel,
Edging across the smooth seashell curve
Of a soft pink-petalled billow,
Gathers in a crystal pearl,
In suspension beneath the weight of the sky.
The delicate rose fabric, rain-bruised now,
Yet still it lifts its damp face,
As if to a lover’s kiss.
The sky’s leaden dullness pours,
And tears drip from weeping blooms,
One jewel at a time,
Onto the fallen petals on the ground.
Later, should the night sky clear,
That last, shining lead crystal drop
Will reflect the light of a distant star,
Cupped within its pearl shaped world,
And carry a million year old memory to rest,
Among the scattered petals of a rose.
From the window
I see the roofs stretch far and orange brown
To nudge the blue skyline.
I hear the morning stillness
The cool green hush that rises from the garden
Waiting for the sun.
I smell cypress and pine
And the musky smell of damp earth
Of decomposing aromatic leaves.
I breathe the pale blue air
Tasting all the facets of the morning picture.
Remembering its delicate flavour
Its cool pastel tones
The gentle crooning of the turtle doves
To savour when the brash sun burns
And stirs the noisy life
Beneath the orange brown rooftiles.
To become so small, so insignificant
That the cool tangle of the riverbank
Is the whole world.
For the creeping of insects
To sound a background throb
To the rustle of the reeds
Like sheets flapping in a storm.
The slap of the waves, a thunder roll
And the air vibrates with warbling notes,
Dropping from the immensity of green canopy,
The sublime music of the blackbird’s song.
To creep, to hide in the momentous shade
Where life teams, and the city noise,
Metallic braying wreathed in acrid fumes
Like emissions from some distant star
Falls into the black hole
Of man’s futilities.
I could find some peace here
From the city’s roar
Beneath rusting girders open to the sky
Where kites and swallows soar.
Lizards bask upon the tumbled stones
And dart among the sapling pioneers.
Root and stalk of wild plants ramp
And the sharp sun sears.
I do not seek a sheltered nest
Beneath these echoing beams
Among dusty memories
Of a thousand soldiers’ dreams,
Where no one’s left to answer
And no one to respond
My thoughts run past the ruined halls
To the untamed woods beyond.
I have dreamt of many things
The banal and the extravagant.
Some dreams lie folded neat and crisp
Never used and never missed.
Some have changed to suit what came
The faded colours of a mediochre fate.
The dreams of love and apple trees
Of moons and inaccessible stars
Fly with the geese in a velvet sky
Broidered with the heavens’ lights,
Their beauty not forgotten
Only the desires that gave them birth.
One dream now has grown to fill the place
That danced with gold and silver motes
The glittering futilities
And the softer yearnings of a gentler soul.
Now, in these less tumultuous days
All I ask of the maker of dreams
Is that I may walk
Into the dark.
I should have added the music that inspired this poem. I love this song.
The grass grows tall here
Smudged with mauve and white and gold
And clumps of buttercups crawl
Across the timbers of the old abandoned wharf.
Birds nest where tall ships used to moor
Where the river still laps undisturbed.
Rotting, rusting wood and iron
The wharf waits peacefully to sink
Into the river mud beneath the weight
Of a million golden buttercups.