A bee poem for the 30DaysWild challenge. Also posted to @TopTweetTuesday.


bumbled and brass-banded
buzz-bombasting the borders
humming humble bee hymns
to the honeysuckle
hollyhocking the sun

fuzzed fighter
bee-bandit zorro of the zinnias

I have searched
with Aengus and Fintan
for that bee-loud glade of yours
where I might live

but some truths are only dreams
and Brigid’s honey
has a taste of the otherworld.


For yesterday’s 30DaysWild prompt. Late.


We tread this earth
too heavy
with careless steps
denying our feet of clay.

And in our wake
we leave a trail
of broken stalks
petals crushed and bleeding

a trail of used discarded things
carcases of unnecessary whims

a trail of microscopic death
pathogens carcinogens

a blackberry trail
sweet and dark
though who sees more
than briar thorns?

Where we walked

Where we walked

We walked in the rain
along the track
beside the stream

and followed the hedge
at the field’s edge
to the top of the hill

and all about
was deep tree-green
and the tinkle of water
running deep

and the rain in the wind
where the sunflowers grow.


Inspired by the random words of the previous post.


The destruction of Sennacherib has been told,
and the wolf falling down on the fold we know well,
and the silver tongues urging the uplifted spears
of the cohorts all gleaming in purple and gold.

Will you come to the seashore and sift through the tides,
for the booty of war that’s washed up on the rocks?
Will you lend half an ear to the guiltless who cry,
to the mothers who weep, to the mothers who die?

There is nowhere to hide from the sickness we spew,
no earth magic saves from the death we have forged,
for we worship the power of bright shiny steel,
and sacrifice women to religious zeal.

Plastic orphans

My poem for Paul Brookes’ 30DaysWild challenge.

Plastic orphans

I toss a bottle in the sea,
watch until it’s lost to sight.
Like Lir’s children, tossed from sea to loch
through storm and crashing waves,
it drifts unchanged and undiminished.

Not in pure white feathers clad,
its coloured label fading with the sun,
but smeared and greened with algae,
for three hundred years it sails,
condemned to never let its atoms free.

Three hundred years again before it finds
a different sea, an ocean broad as half the world,
and carried in the currents,
jostled by a million lost semblables,
it joins the continent of plastic trash.

Perhaps in three hundred years again,
when time has put an end to our earthly reign,
the sorry debris, our eternal badge of shame,
will sink like human bones, to rest
among the corals and the last of all the pearls.



Show me what you mean,
not that mad glitter that deflects the questions.
Can’t you see? I keep it all
and wear it, diamonds, in my hair.

The morning is full of sun
and the songs of careless birds,
but my skin is the colour of wax
and there are shadows beneath the bed.

Do not ask the man in the grey suit,
what is life, nor who and how.
He knows only how to count his profits
reads only share prices and the holy book.

Stop, you say, as if my will is malleable,
and if I run, it will never be away.
Have you never watched reeds in the wind?
They bend, but they never break.

Time on this bare hill is red,
geranium petals soaked in water.
I paint my face and sing,
because this is my dream, and it is blue.

On the beauty of poplars

The 30DaysWild challenge today is an ode to trees. A sonnet in my case.

On the beauty of poplars

Without the poplar trees there’d be no song,
no fluting call of orioles, no wild
and wanton dancing by the stream, no wreaths
of black and yellow through the leafy green.

Without the poplar trees, how would we know
the wind was pouring, rolling from the west?
The oaks stand firm, immobile, poplars sigh,
their topmost branches trembling silver sea.

And when the trembling grows, a rising tide
of waving boughs and hissing with the foam
of unseen water-wind, cold ocean-born,
the poplars raise their slender boughs to show

the wind take form, we see it in the sky,
an ocean, weed-strewn, flotsam flying by.

Damp morning growing hot

Damp morning growing hot

What can I say about the morning,
the light that grows between the streaks of rain,
the bare earth showing dark between dry stalks,
the bleached brown hue that hangs in cloud
and bathes the fields,
the dusty, tired feel despite the cool?

There is no time to soak dry eyes on this soft scene,
because the sun will soon be back,
the chiff-chaffs say,
(song speeding as the blue appears),
because the damp will dry,
and we will walk on toast crumbs.

Only the feral cats on silent feet
will stalk the naked meadow,
among sprung grasshoppers
and quick, shadowy voles—
needs must.

We sink back into torpor,
prepare to close the shutters tight.

The river winds among the meads

The river winds among the meads

The river winds among the meads
Where soft winds whisper summer’s breath,
Where herons stand as still as death,

Still damp with dew and fringed with reeds.
The water passes bright and clear
And sings a song for all to hear;

It sings its source and where it leads,
The distant rolling ocean deep,
Salt with tears that Selkies weep,

How broken hearts thread blood red beads,
In poppy heads amid the corn
That blushes pink at every dawn.

With golden stalks and water weeds,
The river weaves an endless frieze
Of ripples dimpled by the breeze.

The river winds among the meads,
Still damp with dew and fringed with reeds,
It sings its source and where it leads,
How broken hearts thread blood red beads
With golden stalks and water weeds.