storm again the grey

so familiar a cover

to the rain-lashed world


and the dimming

of the light

before the night


no dusk

of soft golden



drumroll and lights

yet we pull the shutters closed

on the spectacle


no moon rides

no stars glow beneath the waves

of such heavy seas


5 line poems for a world without meaning


it’s dark even when the sun

breaks through and the rain

eases into fierce glitter

shadows hang heavy

as incurable sorrow


no more shouting in my face

from your moral high ground

using violence and intimidation

to denounce violence and discrimination

show not tell


death and decay

blind anger and violence grow

where understanding should flower

everyone shouts

no one listens


eye for an eye

a head burst by paving stone

for a head burst by baton charge

blood is blood is blood

talk don’t pray


I am me and no one else

I have no millions of sisters

my acts are mine and my thoughts

and I will be judged

for myself alone


Gogyohka sequence for damselflies

Frank Tassone was kind enough to choose a poem of mine to feature as an example of the gogyohka form for the dverse prompt this evening. Thank you, Frank. Here are three more.


silver the pool

pewter the sky

and in the golden dust of bedstraw

the damsels fly

on wings colour of sunsets


heat and damselflies hover


light as sunbeams among the alders

water-dipping in the dark cool of tree shadow



sun and water and deep tree shade

the stray ray that falls

the flash like coloured lightning

of lace wings dipped in sapphire

kingfisher insect sips the light

Bird skirmishing


robin tweets his warning cry

fiery fierce

from his honeysuckle bush

none shall enter

this private tangle


egrets in the meadow

pause in their insect search

then resume unconcerned

the bullets

were for someone else


crows mob the buzzard

black voices hoarse with hatred

but when the red kites arrive

slow in tight formation

no one moves


Winter morning with birds

Time for some strict syllabic poetry this morning. A cinquain sequence for Colleen’s challenge. Our first real frost and the last for a while I hope, is disappearing in a beautiful cloudless morning.



White the

winter meadow

furred stiff with frosted cold

that fell with the starlight in night’s

dark time.


Bright the

sun in cloudless

sky, sharp as ice shards, blue

as the powdered wings of blue tits



Night cold,

fading faster

than melting ice, frost-fur

bathed in golden light where birds flit,


Night owls and cold moon

Kerfe’s owl again.

owl moon s

night is cold

full of stars and owls

hard brilliance

feather softness

bound in streamers of moonlight


night is cold

windows run wet

breath steams and streams

while the owl mocks

our shivering


owl song trembles

tremolo among the dark trees

warm notes

winged grace quavering

in the chill of starlight


moon round and pale

baleful silver

silent as owl-flight

casts a chill eye

for the night is cold

gogyohka for a scarecrow

A gogyohka sequence for Frank Tassone’s weekly challenge


in the field

a tattered man

of sticks and rags

silent stands beneath a sky

heavy with crows


heavy clay the orange earth

and sky grey

slicked with orange light

furrowed field full of crows

no bundle of sticks will scare


I watch you

with your helpless hands

and sightless face

that feels neither sun nor rain

scorned even by the birds

Gogyohka for light rain


wind in the poplars

hisses sea-whispers

and booms over the hills

with the bellowing notes

of the organ of the deeps


rain on the meadow

falls a flurry of steely grey

tossed by the wind

moving on

leaves crystal drops on window panes


moon tossed

from cloud to herringbone cloud

the ocean sky swims

with shoals of light

halos of rain-promise



no stars

to guide the storm

black water floods

black earth



sky swollen with rain


instead of stars


streak the darkness


after weeks and weeks

of drought

rain falls and falls

and when it stops

the earth’s bones are still dry


trees hiss

in the ocean’s wind

tossing spray of golden leaves

the night meadow



night falls

full of cloud

will the owls

sing me to sleep

beneath this restless sky?


Night time: gogyohka sequence


moon picks up

the stray threads

of sunlight

weaves a new




a haze of motes

soft as feathers

kinder than sunlight’s glare

I wear it gladly


wandering strands of silver

strands of gold

among the green and the grey

skylights finding their way

to earth


in the parched grass of the night

pools of silver light


almost like rainwater



we see only beauty

in the fields of the night

hear only music

in the cry of the hunting owl

beneath the silver a sprinkling of red blood