The fleeting season gone


The heat has come, too soon, too fierce and dry,

No time to taste the clean, brisk breeze of spring,

To watch the songbird fledglings learn to fly,

The fleeting season’s gone, bird on the wing.

Bright water rushing, tumbling down the fields

Is silent now and sluggish in the sun,

The racing torrent, fed by rainstorm yields

To drying mud, its youthful mad course run.

Already meadow flowers fade to seed,

Hay making trembles in the dusty air,

I fear for those who hide, too young to heed

The machine’s voice, in meadow’s flimsy lair.

The wheel turns, beauty gone, will summer bring

More soft nights when the nightingales will sing?

Haibun for gardening

Tussling with thistles taller than me, sprouting like something I saw in a black and white Doctor Who and remembered with terror for decades, in the sun too hot for spring and crickets vying with blackbirds for airspace, I feel the year running away from me already.

the Dagda stopped the sun once

for nine months

one way of hiding your guilt

and if the child turned out bad

you could always blame his mother

They tell me spring is coming


They tell me spring is coming with the birds

That flutter through the wind and gusty rain,

But past and future are no more than words,

And spring is just another name for pain.


They tell me life is burgeoning, the trees

Are slowly opening their crumpled hands,

To catch stray sunbeams drifting in the breeze,

Cascades of pied and dappled golden bands.


Go look, they say, the buds have burst ghost-white,

The meadow rings with trills of spring songs sung,

Beneath the hedge, the furred and feathered-bright,

Will fill the greening world with mewling young.


I tell you all is still beneath the sky,

The falling blossom melts away like snow,

Our times and moonlit tides with wild geese fly,

Beyond the hills, where all our daydreams go.

Haibun for wind and water


We close the window shutters to keep out the rain that lashes the panes and runs behind the frames, pooling on the floor. We lay a rudimentary barrage across the porch where the torrent, running down from the fields, following the driveway, joins the cascade pouring off the roof and edges up towards the door. Ditches and pathways are raging watercourses, turning the bottoms into a grassy lake. If the stream bursts its banks and joins the lake, the water will reach half way up the hill.

We do what we can to keep out the water, but we cannot keep out the roaring voice in the chimney. Listen, it says, to what I can do, and remember Ozymandias.

soft sunlight was

where rain beats—dandelion


Spring wind


Wind winds through cracks and crannies, picking at

the insulation around the frames of window and door,


poking frigid fingers into spine and soup, chilling hot

food with a frozen flap of the hand. Wind whines in


the chimney, rattling doors to get in, riffling the pages

of an open book, rustling like dead leaves or flame-


crackle in the stove. Wind wins the battle with defences,

teasing the cracked plaster apart to whisper with thin lips,


This is the way of spring, the bright promises made, the

singing and the shooting, the sharp cut and thrust of birth.

night talk


all day long the thrushes sing

and in the night the owls

play ghost with one another

among the swaying trees


beneath the cold stars winking

their feathery tremolo rolls

and bright-eyed mice count frightened

heartbeats hard as sunflower seeds


among damp night stalks trembling

foxes walk and badgers growl

while I listen to the moonlight-

darkened voices of the wild


breathe the musky scent of tree bark

and the rolling dewy grasses

where they walk and we would follow

ghosts all in the dusky night


A poem I wrote today and have finished up for the dverse prompt.