Brief candles

For the penultimate day of Paul Brookes’ April poetry challenge, inspired by Anjum Wasim Dar’s painting, Oxygen. I’ve just written and sent off the final poem for the challenge with a feeling of a job well done, but regret that it’s over too. Please go to Paul’s blog to read all the poems. No regrets there.


For earthweal.


When the leaves are drying, curling,
rattling in the rising wind,
sharp as the gunshots that ring
from side to valley side,
autumn’s beauty marred by brutes,
it’s hard to remember

~ spring ~

bird racket and squirrels leaping where leaves unfurl,
the stream racing after the rains,
light falling bright and green,
falling on a mallard turning in the flood,
her chicks bobbing boats in a baby’s bath,
their new voices thrilling.

Dull day

Turn off the sun, and the grey
seeps through the walls,
light bereft of colour, even meadow-bright
drained beneath the drizzle,
drowning flower-fire,
pink sparks dulled, and flax

~closed all its blue eyes~

the sky is swollen with wind,
too loud to hear protesting birds,
though the branches wave
with the anger of kelp thrashing sand-silt,
stirred up by the passage
of some monstrous fish.

Evening after rain

There was endless grey in the sky,
an ocean of damp billows, though
the birds were singing and flowers shone
like small stars through the drizzle,
only wet enough
to dab the leaves with diamonds

~and then the sun~

at evening dipped
beneath the broken banks and poured,
lush as Goldwasser, flecked and glinting,
to robe the stately trees.
Glory filled the plaster tints with rococo stucco,
and all the birds were singing.

And if we were already dead?

For the earthweal challenge.

And if we were already dead?

Life is a mesh a web a flock herd tribe
life spins enfolds cradles embraces all into one
oceans are swells of as many drops as grains
of sand as stars as many leaves in every forest
that ever was feathers on every bird
wormed digested fragments of earth
microscopic bacteria plankton the fantasy organisms

~ crowding the bottom of the ocean ~

as multitudinous as our unmemorable thoughts
dropped into the silence
are the weightless things of sterile self-indulgence
our fatuous flatulent oms our self-saving
for a cleaner more special and exclusive life
after life/death we drown in our navels
while the core grinds to a pitiful halt.

Just the end of something

storm sunset very saturated

It is not bitterness
that runs through the deepening sky,
wind and water braided,
shot with the palette of infinity;
the black is not death
or ulterior motive
and behind, always
the night ocean swells


petals fall
torn by end of summer wind,
white, red, pink
piled beneath shadows,
and the moon that soars
in the bird’s egg blue of the sky
will always hatch
another winged spring.

Bird word mother

For the dverse prompt.

There is the desk and the words
that clip clop, a trotting horse
(blue probably),
on a paper trail of stories and I seated,
creator or transmitter, who knows?
Wrapped in silence and the swaying of trees,
I pour out the trop-plein of images, sailboats into
green and blue seas beyond the window

~lapping shores where a hundred birds call~

is where I walk, leaving footprints
for those who choose to look,
a mother with a hundred worries muttering,
yet catching clouds and stars,
drifting where the wind blows,
and at her heels a tall dog, a cat sometimes,
and in her head, hands, heart, blood,
the one who understands it all, always.