Night and water gogyohka

Photo©Mark Hartshorne


days of dark light

shadow trees and windy rain

birds flit around the feeder

streaking the drear

with sky and sun powder


after the deluge

darkness falls

in a melancholy silence

listen— the only sound

running water


no stars in this woven cloth

rippling like the sea

no dark lights in its depths

but the water sings




A gogyohka twitter sequence sparked by the word amber.



among grey pebbles

smoothed by cold waves

beneath cold grey skies of a Baltic beach

amber glows

with the light of the past


in the great green forest

a pine tree seeped and wept

aeons of golden blood

insect sarcophagus

sunset caught in a transparency


time past

amber light and silence

except for the wind in the trees

and birdsong

and the grinding of grey pebbles


on the cold beach turnstones



searching for boneless food

not amber


pick up the stone

colour of twilight

washed glass-smooth by cold waves

beneath a grey sky

and dream of lost forests

I close the shutters


I close the shutters

on the windy night—fox barks

to someone else


I close the shutters

on a scrap of moon

not enough light

to see the owl



I close the shutters

silently not to disturb

the watchful hare


I close the shutters

on the night

where clouds tussle with moonlight

and the meadow runs

with silence


I close the shutters

enclose the night calm

within these walls.

Haiku challenge: Beauty & Quiet

A gogyohka sequence in response to Ronovan’s weekly prompt.


quiet fills the spaces

between leaf and stream

water and dragonfly wing

flight and leaf

hushed beauty


not silence

because who has heard silence?

Listen hard

and you will hear the breath

of a rose


light drips

hues of sunlight

caught in cupped petals

paint a rose

with beauty


and when dark falls

who would dare call quiet silver

less beautiful

than the vibrant colours

of the sun?

City beauty

A sequence of short poems inspired by Claudia McGill’s reflections on geraniums at windows.


There is joy and beauty

beneath the city grime,

and the blackbird’s song

is just the same

beneath this sky.


There is beauty in the stone that glints

with the colours of the changing light,

and in the chaotic fluttering of sparrows’ wings.

There is kindness in the dirty blanket

laid beneath an old dog’s head,

and happiness when a greeting is returned,

a stranger’s uncalculating smile.


The earth is deep and dark in the garden plot

where snails creep,

elegant and unhurried,

among the stalks.

The earth is deep and full of life

that shoots and climbs higgledy-piggledy,

without order or patience,

riotous and lush,

because the sun and rain fall here as anywhere.

The earth is,

deep and eternal,

beneath my tread,

and over my head,

the sky.


And on a lighter note


How grey the sky and damp the air

and loud the screech of tyres complaining.

Beyond the cloud and heavy mist

somewhere there’s sun and it’s not raining.

Spring songs and rain

Starting another blustery day with a collection of tweet poems from yesterday


You cup my face,

as delicately as if I were made of rose petals,

as if I might drift away.


Take my hand and I will show you

the colours of the sky,

the colours of the earth,

and the fountain of happiness.


Spring pours a torrent of colour,

a rhapsody of perfume,

and gives it to the blackbird

to make an ocean of song.


One by one,

tight green buds unfold,

each hard scale reveals tenderness beneath,

unfurling in the golden sun,

rose dawn touched.


Rain drums the memories,

a beat of never forgetting.

Sometimes, I fear

the deluge will never end.

Sea, gulls and the river


Becalmed on this sea,

I watch the sky for clouds

and long for the wings of a gull,

but see only reflections of happiness

among white-capped breakers.


Tide flows

bearing gulls,

tossing their feathered laughter

over rushy banks,

vying with tidy blackbirds

for mud-born grubs.


What is the colour of the rain

the dewdrop falling,

the ripple of the stream?

Is there a name for the light

that falls on spring blossom?


Like mercury,

sunlight slips over river water,

scattering silver,

quick and bright,

on the rolling tide.


On the bank,

lapped by the tide,

the kingcups wind about the sedge

and fallen boughs.

I wonder if I dare

to brave the rippling wavelets

and join them.

Birds in winter

Photo©Jim Barton


Seven cormorants in the sky,

winging to where the grey cloud parts

and pale sun glitters on the waves—

fishing for gold.


Wind-thrashed gulls scream,

defy the dark,

ride the storm,

skim the wild waves,

madcaps all.


Among bare branches

and the papery flutter of old leaves

clinging beyond their time,

a robin sits,

brown and paper-fluttering,

frail as old leaves,

beating bright

as spring sunshine.